Blue Ant Media, CBC/Radio-Canada, the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), Groupe V Média, TVO, Groupe Média TFO, OUTtv, Télé-Québec and TV5/Unis TV have filed a complaint with the CRTC against the Bell Fund with respect to the guidelines for its new TV Program. Set to start releasing funds on June 4, the coalition says the rules for eligibility only became public on Apr. 10. They’re asking for an expedited process saying the TV Program does not meet the requirement that Certified Independent Production Funds “shall establish an effective and efficient process to ensure applications for funding of productions are appraised objectively and absent of actual or perceived conflicts of interest.” In addition, the coalition says the current composition of the Bell Fund’s board of directors does not meet the requirement that “at least two thirds of the board members must be independent.”
The CRTC has approved an application from Ethnic Channels Group Limited to add A Wealth of Entertainment to the list of non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution. The American, 24-hour general interest lifestyle and entertainment channel features programming on exotic travel, outrageous cars, amazing homes and more.
DHX Media has reported its Q3 and nine-month results for Fiscal 2018, ended Mar. 31. Revenue for Q3 2018 grew by 49 per cent to $116.5 million, over Q3 2017, which included 3 per cent organic growth, and 46 per cent acquisitive growth largely from Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake. For the nine months of Fiscal 2018, revenue was up 60 per cent to $337 million. Subsequent to the quarter-end, DHX has sold 49 per cent of its 80 per cent stake in Peanuts to Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. DHX says the transaction will build on the strength of Sony’s long-term relationship representing Peanuts in Japan, its largest market outside the U.S.
DHX Television’s Family Channel and Aircraft Pictures in association with American Greetings Entertainment have announced that principal photography has begun on its Holly Hobbie live-action series. The new tween drama, based on the American Greetings character first introduced in 1967, is being filmed in Toronto and Hamilton this month. The series makes its debut with 10 episodes in the U.S. exclusively on Hulu this fall, followed by its Canadian debut on Family Channel. Universal Kids (U.S.) has also purchased the linear rights for the series following its first window run on Hulu.
Super Channel has acquired the exclusive Canadian broadcast rights to Season 3 of the Hallmark original series Chesapeake Shores from Daniel L Paulson Distribution. The 10-episode third season, currently in production on Vancouver Island, and based on the bestselling novels of the same name by Sherryl Woods, will premiere in Summer 2018 on Super Channel Heart & Home and will also be available on Super Channel On Demand. Chesapeake Shores will join When Calls the Heart (Seasons 1-5) as one of the pillar series for Super Channel Heart & Home (currently SC 2), slated to launch June 4.
Super Channel has announced that the eight-episode first season of American Gods, produced by FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) and adapted from Neil Gaiman’s best selling fantasy novel, will make its Canadian broadcast premiere on June 20 on Super Channel Fuse, SC 1’s new rebrand effective June 4. The cast of American Gods includes Ricky Whittle (The 100, Austenland) as Shadow Moon; Ian McShane (Deadwood, Ray Donovan) as Mr. Wednesday; Emily Browning (Sucker Punch, Legend) as Laura Moon; Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, The Fall) as Media; Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies, Wicked) as Easter; and Cloris Leachman (Malcom in The Middle, Raising Hope) as Zorya Vechernyaya.
CTV will become the exclusive Canadian broadcast partner of the upcoming, yet untitled, SCTV reunion special for Netflix that’s set to debut in 2019. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the special brings together Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis. Under the partnership, Netflix will premiere the special globally, with the exception of Canada, where it will premiere on CTV. Following the CTV airing, the special will be available exclusively on Netflix worldwide. This past Sunday, the original cast members gathered in front of a live audience at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre for “An Afternoon With SCTV” taping moderated by Jimmy Kimmel.
Corus Entertainment has launched The Drive, a multi-platform content partnership between OLG and Global Toronto’s The Morning Show. Hosted by Jesse Jones, founder of lifestyle marketing agency TEN81, the segment follows Jones as he drives across Ontario picking up everyday Ontarians and serves as their chauffeur for their daily commute. During the three-minute segments, he and his passengers discuss a wide variety of human-interest topics, from technology to dating and relationships. The Drive airs every Thursday on Global’s The Morning Show, in addition to Corus Radio stations across Ontario, and www.globalnews.ca/thedrive.
Global’s Farah Nasser and TVO’s Steve Paikin will moderate the Ontario provincial leaders debate on May 27. Televised from the CBC Broadcast Centre in downtown Toronto, the debate will air on Global, CTV, CBC, TVO,
Cogeco’s Independent Production Fund will distribute $2.3 million across 15 projects in latest round of funding. A total of seven English-language projects and eight French-language projects received production financing. View the list of successful productions here.
Great Pacific Media’s new eight-episode docuseries Queen of the Oil Patch is set to premiere on APTN on June 5. The series follows openly gay, Indigenous entrepreneur Massey Whiteknife, who has built a million-dollar empire in Fort McMurray. His second spirit is Iceis Rain, a critically-acclaimed recording artist, nominated for a 2014 Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Award. Produced by Métis director Neil Grahn, Kelly McClughan, and Mark Miller, the series was developed by Kah-Kitowak Films in partnership with APTN.
Blue Ant Media has greenlit a new lifestyle series reuniting designers Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan for its Cottage Life channel. Great Canadian Cottages will be produced by Architect Films and starts production next month.