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TV & Film News – Baroness Von Sketch Show wins Rose d’or for Comedy

Baroness Von Sketch Show has won the coveted Rose d’or prize for Comedy. The award is shared by CBC, Winnipeg prodco Frantic Films, and international distributor Banijay Rights. Winners hailed from 10 countries at this year’s awards gala, held in London for the first time in its 58-year history. A jury of more than 70 leading industry professionals from around the world, chaired by Swedish actor Sofia Helin (The Bridge), voted for titles across 10 categories. HBO and Sky Atlantic’s limited drama series Chernobyl was this year’s big winner claiming the prestigious Golden Rose trophy as well as Best Drama

Wildbrain/CBBC’s Creeped Out and Odd Squad (Sinking Ship Entertainment, Fred Rogers Productions/CBBC) were among the Canadian co-productions that took home awards at the BAFTA Children’s Awards Dec. 1. The Creeped Out production team was recognized in the Drama category, while Odd Squad claimed the award for International Live Action. Find the full list of winners here.

The National Film Board (NFB) will be undertaking a series of cross-country consultations with creators and professional associations within the Canadian audiovisual sector between January and March. The consultations will discuss the issues and priorities that will inform the NFB’s 2020-23 Strategic Plan, in partnership with the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), Directors Guild of Canada (DGC), Association des realisateurs et realisatrices du Quebec (ARRQ), and ONF/NFB Creation. The preliminary tour schedule includes Winnipeg (week of Jan. 13), Edmonton and Vancouver (week of Jan. 20), Toronto (week of Feb. 10), Montreal (week of Feb. 24), and Halifax and Moncton (week of Mar. 2).

Food Network Canada has announced its newest culinary competition series Wall of Chefs (10×60). Host Noah Cappe (Carnival Eats) puts four home cooks through intense rounds of culinary skill-testing as they battle in a state-of-the-art kitchen under the towering shadow and watchful eye of “The Wall” – a revolving panel of 33 notable Canadian chefs that includes Lynn Crawford, Susur Lee, Rob Feenie, and Joël Watanabe, to name just a few. With a $10,000 prize up for grabs, the series makes its debut Feb. 3.

Dennis Prescott, Karin Bohn, and Nick Liberato

marblemedia, in association with OutEast Entertainment, will launch new unscripted series Restaurants on the Edge on Blue Ant Media’s Cottage Life channel Jan. 2 with two back-to-back episodes. Each hour-long episode invites viewers into a new restaurant located in a stunning location, but struggling to create an experience that lives up to its incredible surroundings. A team of experts led by chef Dennis Prescott, designer Karin Bohn and restaurateur Nick Liberato work to transform not just the restaurant, but the owners’ outlook as well. The 13-episode series is co-produced by marblemedia, with executive producers Matt Hornburg and Mark J.W. Bishop, and OutEast Entertainment with executive producers Courtney Hazlett and Steven Marrs. 

Hollywood Suite is available in nationwide free preview through Jan. 5, including the first-ever Hollywood Suite original series A Year in Film. A Year in Film explores the art of film and filmmaking, with insight into how films reflect the events, mood, politics, and culture of their eras. Featuring rare archival footage, interviews and long-forgotten commercials, among the years to be featured are 1978, which will explore Grease, The Deer Hunter and Canadian film The Silent Partner, among others. Hollywood Suite programming through the holidays will also feature a series of movie marathons, including the X-men movies, and Sally Field, Bette Davis, Tom Hanks and Mel Brooks double- and triple-bills.  

Animal Planet’s nationwide freeview, through Jan. 2,  is anchored by the return of MADE-in-Canada series Dr. Keri: Prairie Vet which follows rural Manitoba veterinarian-on-wheels Dr. Keri Hudson-Reykdal. Other returning series include Season 2 of Crikey! It’s the Irwins, and Season 7 of North Woods Law, which follows New Hampshire conservation officers and their K-9 companions.

Encore International and Quebecor Content have secured a new scripted comedy adaptation of their hit TV series Les Beaux Malaises with Serbian producers Fresh Production and Blekbuk. Commissioned by Telekom Serbia for broadcast in the Balkans, all three seasons (33 half-hour episodes) of the original series have been adapted under the title “Slatke Muke.” Filming started last June in Belgrade with the streaming premiere on Telekom-owned Superstar TV set for Dec. 9. The series was previously picked up by Netflix and adapted in France for M6 with French celebrity Franck Dubosc as the lead character.

Asian Television Network, Canada’s largest South Asian producer and broadcaster, has launched ATN’s Tribute to 100 Years of Indian Cinema on Prime Video in the U.S. and UK, as part of the Prime Video Direct Self-Publishing Service. The 300-episode series features exclusive interviews with stalwarts of the Indian film industry, produced at ATN’s High Definition Studios in Markham, ON. The series draws from ATN’s vast original Canadian production archives. Among the legends featured are Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Jitendra, Tanuja Mukherjee, Priyanka Chopra, and Kulraj Randhawa, among many others.

Thunderbird Entertainment Group reported Q1 2020 consolidated revenue for the three months ended Sept. 30 of $17.1 million, compared to $14.4 million year-over-year, an increase of $2.7 million. The majority of the first quarter revenue increase was related to growth in the animation division. The company’s adjusted EBITDA for Q1 2020 was $3.0 million compared to $4.2 million for the first quarter of 2019, a decrease of $1.2 million. The decrease was due to lower net income of $0.7 million due to an increase in direct costs from the company’s productions, offset by decreases due to the amortization of right-of-use assets related to the adoption of IFRS 16. During the first quarter, the company had 21 programs in various stages of production, and deals with Netflix, NBCUniversal, Nickelodeon, PBS, WGBH, Bell Media’s Discovery, APTN, Corus Entertainment and CBC, among others. Throughout Q1, 37-half hour episodes and 18-hour-long episodes were delivered collectively from the Factual, Scripted, and Kids and Family Divisions.

Super Channel has acquired the eight-episode half-hour comedy-drama, Upright, from Entertainment One. Recently launched to rave reviews in both Australia and the UK, the series will make its Canadian broadcast premiere Jan. 19 on Super Channel Fuse. Each episode will also be available on Super Channel On Demand the day following its weekly linear broadcast. The series is produced by Lingo Pictures Australia.

Family Channel’s holiday lineup kicks off Dec. 21 with the exclusive return of Peanuts winter classics A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown, followed by I Want a Dog For Christmas, Charlie Brown (Dec. 25) and Happy New Year, Charlie Brown (Dec. 31). Family Channel will also air holiday-themed episodes of series like Gilmore GirlsInspector Gadget, and festive flicks through Jan. 5, among other seasonal programming.

CTV’s December programming includes new original special David Foster: Off The Record (Dec. 5) and Nick Cannon’s Hit Viral Videos – Holidays 2019 special (Dec. 16). The network will also air the three-night Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways (Dec. 10-12), with the Marilyn Denis Show bringing back its 10 Days of Giveaways. Additional network year-end specials include The Social Year in Gossip 2019 (Dec. 19), ETALK Rewind 2019 (Dec. 23) and Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards (Dec. 15). CTV seasonal programming is available on demand on CTV’s Holiday Hub at and the CTV app.  

CTV Toronto’s annual Toy Mountain campaign was launched with help from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Nov. 29, who joined anchor Michelle Dubé and weather anchor Tom Brown at Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto. Toy Mountain has a goal to collect 150,000 new, unwrapped toys by Dec. 20. Its online portal features a list of drop-off locations, a live-on-location broadcast calendar, social media updates, and more.

Global Winnipeg will air a one-hour special Sunday, Dec. 8 exploring the City of Winnipeg’s unprecedented increase in crime. The investigative special, hosted by Lisa Dutton, will speak with those directly affected by the crime wave, explore what’s driving the violence, and travel to Minneapolis – Winnipeg’s nearest big city neighbour – to see how that city is tackling crime.

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