The Big Bang Theory on CTV has returned for its 10th season as the most-watched series in Canada, drawing 2.53 million total viewers to date. New Global comedy-drama Bull starring former NCIS star Michael Weatherly is in second overall, followed by Kiefer Sutherland’s Designated Survivor on CTV.
CBC has unveiled five new primetime shows for its winter 2017 television season, including the Nova Scotia-shot drama Pure, following a Mennonite pastor battling drug trafficking within his community; Catherine Reitman’s new comedy Workin’ Moms; acclaimed BBC One drama The A Word; docu-series True North Calling and drama Bellevue, starring Anna Paquin, Allen Leech and Shawn Doyle. Schitt’s Creek and WWII espionage drama X Company are among the series that will return.
Telefilm Canada, the country’s biggest film financier, will now favour projects of equal quality that have a woman as director and/or writer. The goal is to level the playing field by 2020 to achieve a balanced production portfolio (at all budget levels) that reflects gender parity in each of the key roles of director, writer and producer.
CBC has launched the Breaking Barriers Film Fund, with $7.5M for diverse filmmakers. The CBC will support English-language feature films from underrepresented Canadian creators, including projects written or directed by Canadian women, Indigenous persons, visible minorities and persons with a disability. The CBC made moves to level the playing field in television earlier this year, pledging to have women direct at least half of its scripted series’ episodes, such as Heartland and Murdoch Mysteries.
The Canada Media Fund will host its inaugural showcase event on Parliament Hill on Nov. 22. Parliamentarians will meet with some of the on- and off-screen talent behind successful Canadian television shows and digital media productions including Heartland, The Next Step, Private Eyes, Kim’s Convenience, Mohawk Girls and others.
Corus Entertainment has launched History Vault, History’s direct-to-consumer subscription video on demand service. Now available in Canada on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, History Vault features hundreds of hours of commercial-free content from the History library, including series, documentaries, and specials.
DHX Media Ltd. reported its unaudited results for the first quarter of Fiscal 2017, ended Sept. 30. It reported revenue of $53.8 million, offset by its WildBrain Multi-platform Kids’ Network which contributed $5.9 million in revenue, up 68 per cent from Q1 2016. Net income of $1.4 million was significantly impacted by a foreign exchange loss versus a foreign exchange gain in the prior year quarter. DHX has announced the licensing of 19 preschool and kids’ series across five video-on-demand (VOD) services in China, reflecting continued strong global demand for its shows.
Lionsgate has reached an agreement with Parques Reunidos, one of the world’s leading leisure park operators, to develop Lionsgate-branded leisure centres in high traffic shopping areas. The centres will bring to life Lionsgate film and television properties like The Hunger Games, the Saw franchise, Now You See Me, Orange is the New Black, and Nashville. There are 20 under development, including centres in Madrid, Lisbon, London and Murcia.
Canadian Lorne Michaels is among those who’ll receive America’s highest civilian honour: the Presidential Medal of Freedom. U.S. President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the Toronto-born creator and producer of Saturday Night Live is among 21 new honourees, that include fellow Canadian and architect Frank Gehry, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, actor-filmmaker Robert Redford, Oscar winners Robert DeNiro and Tom Hanks, and music legends Bruce Springsteen and Diana Ross, among others.
Kim Coates will receive the 2017 ACTRA National Award of Excellence from the union representing Canadian performers. The Saskatoon native and former “Sons of Anarchy” star will receive the award, recognizing an ACTRA member’s career achievements, Jan. 28 in Los Angeles.
CanCon exporters including Corus Entertainment, DHX Media, 9 Story, Blue Ant Media, Cineflix Media, Entertainment One (eOne) and its Quebec subsidiary Les Films Séville have come together to form the Canadian Association of Content Exporters – .Association canadienne des exportateurs de contenu (CACE-ACEC). Raja Khanna, Blue Ant Media’s television & digital CE), will chair the new organization, which aims to make Canadian-based content exporters more internationally competitive and increase the visibility.