Prime is no more - or at least it won't be as of June 1. Instead its owners, CanWest MediaWorks and Rogers Media, are replacing it with Tvtropolis, which will blend a bit of the old with a lot of new energy. Ten- to 15-year-old classics such as Seinfeld, Ellen, Grace Under Fire and Beverly Hills 90210 will be joined by Canadian premieres of such VH1 celeb-reality stateside hits as Hogan Knows Best, Celebrity Fit Club, My Fair Brady and Breaking Bonaduce. These shows explore the "real" lives of TV's most familiar faces and, says Tim Kist, director of marketing for Global Television Specialty Networks, are exempt from the age parameters imposed by the net's CRTC licence. Though Global is touting TVtropolis as a whole new brand, Kist says the target demo of 25-54s, skewing slightly female, will remain the same. This raises the question: 90210? Seems like a younger skew.
But think about it, Kist says. The teen soap first ran 15 years ago making it now not only old enough to appear on TVtropolis (which also has CRTC regulations of running shows 10-15 years old) but the original fans of Brandon and Brenda are now 15 years older, fall into the target demo and look back fondly on their first visits to Beverly Hills High. Kist says Prime was rebranded because Global was taking a good look at all its properties and decided that although Prime had done well for both viewers and advertisers over its first 10 years, it was time to bump it up a notch. And they figured why go with a pallid revamp when they could produce a vibrant new brand altogether? He hints that plans are in the works for some innovative ad ventures but at this point we'll just have to stay tuned.