TORONTO — Hotly anticipated TV shows from Hollywood heavyweight Steven Spielberg, Lost creator J.J. Abrams and The Dark Knight writer Jonathan Nolan are among the highlights of Citytv’s 2011-12 schedule.
Citytv is the first of several Canadian networks that will reveal their upcoming slate of shows this week. The actor who plays Manny on Citytv’s returning hit sitcom Modern Family joined celebrities Elisha Cuthbert, Henry Czerny and newcomer Beth Behrs to tout the lineup.
On Modern Family, Rico Rodriguez plays a self-assured tween who often seems more mature than the adults
Dressed in a blue T-shirt and black blazer with the sleeves rolled up, the chatty 12-year-old said he often fools around with his kid co-star Nolan Gould, who plays Luke, when the cameras are off.
“We have the same personalities, pretty much, we just like to play all the time. We run around the sets and have Nerf gun fights,” said Rodriguez,.
“(We) also prank Ariel Winter who plays Alex on the show . . . . Sometimes we pop behind doors and just go, ’Ah!’ and scare her.”
Upcoming dramas on Citytv include Spielberg’s long-awaited dinosaur drama Terra Nova and the Abrams thriller Person of Interest, written and co-produced by Nolan.
Abrams’ prison drama, Alcatraz, is slated for a midseason debut. Also on tap is the Chicago-set period piece The Playboy Club, starring Eddie Cibrian, the night-time soap Revenge, with Canadian actor Czerny, and the midseason series Scandal.
New comedies, meanwhile, include Behrs’ 2 Broke Girls, and the Zooey Deschanel vehicle New Girl, in addition to Suburgatory, Last Man Standing and the midseason Apartment 23.
Canadian series include Canada’s Got Talent and Secret Millionaire Canada.
Rogers Media was reportedly the biggest Canadian buyer of U.S. shows in Los Angeles last week, when the company sought fresh fare for its Citytv stations.
Its fall lineup includes four shows that previously aired on other networks — Raising Hope, The Middle, Private Practice and Shameless.
Shaw Media plans to reveal its Global TV lineup Tuesday while market leader CTV will announce its schedule Thursday.
CBC-TV details its slate June 8.
Citytv’s schedule also features the return of dramas Body of Proof and Fringe and returning comedy series, Happy Endings, How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Parks and Recreation and Community.