#TV and #Film News – Five Canadian productions nominated for iEmmys

TV News

Billy Campbell

CBC sitcom Workin’ Moms is among five Canadian productions nominated for a 2018 International Emmy Award or iEmmy. The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recognizes excellence in television produced outside of the United States, as well as U.S. primetime programming produced in languages other than English, and excellence in performances, kids programming and digital. Along with Workin’ Moms, which is nominated in the Comedy category, the Academy gave a nod to CTV crime series Cardinal (Sienna Films, Entertainment One) with lead Billy Campbell nominated for Best Performance by an Actor. Two Canadian productions are nominated for Short-Form Series: How to Buy a Baby (LoCo Motion Pictures), which streams at cbc.ca, and L’âge adulte (Productions Pixcom), featured on ICI TOU.TV. Musical documentary Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas (Riddle Films), from Oscar-nominee Larry Weinstein, is nominated in the Arts Programming category. Winners will be announced at a black-tie ceremony on Nov. 19 at the Hilton New York Hotel.

Netflix says it’s on track to exceed its half billion dollar Canadian content investment promise. In a blog post on the one-year anniversary of the creation of Netflix Canada, Corie Wright, director of Public Policy, said it’s a testament to the level of Canadian talent and the quality of shows and films being made here. Wright says the online streaming giant has invested in films and series produced all over the country, in hubs like Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and St. John’s, as well as new locations for Netflix like Cochrane, AB, Brandon, MB, and Sudbury, ON. Current and soon-to-be released titles include Altered Carbon, Riverdale, Lost In Space, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, How It Ends, Another Life, The Umbrella Academy, the SCTV Reunion, and Always Be My Maybe.

Gord Downie

CBC has announced the broadcast premiere date for Finding The Secret Path, a one-hour documentary featuring never-before-seen footage of the last year of Gord Downie’s life. The third documentary in the public broadcaster’s trilogy on the late The Tragically Hip frontman, the film’s release marks the first anniversary of Downie’s death and 52nd anniversary of the death of Charlie Wenjack, the 12-year-old Anishanaabe boy whose story Downie fought to bring to the national stage. Finding the Secret Path will premiere on Friday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. on CBC (9:30 NT), the CBC TV streaming app and cbc.ca/watch. An encore broadcast of the documentary will air on CBC News Network on Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. ET. Read more here.

Marilyn Denis

Marilyn Denis wants you to know she’s not going anywhere. The host of The Marilyn Denis Show on CTV, and co-host of CHUM 104.5 Toronto mornings, continues to dispel rumours after finding herself at the centre of an online scam hijacking her personal brand. Denis’ name and image are being used as click bait for online ads promoting an anti-aging cream that also bill the veteran broadcaster as retired. Denis isn’t the only Bell Media personality to have been targeted. CTV Your Morning and The Social co-host Melissa Grelo and etalk’s Lainey Lui have been featured in similar scam ads. Read more here.

APTN Investigates starts its 10th season on Oct. 5. This year’s show will feature contributors Rob Smith in Vancouver, Cullen Crozier in Yellowknife, John Murray in Edmonton and Trina Roache in Halifax. Paul Barnsley will curate a series of retrospective episodes “from the vault” that will launch Sunday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET. From residential school survivors to the Bruce Carson drinking water debacle, Barnsley will provide updates and insight into how the stories came together.

Mike Ross

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) has added its AMI-audio morning show Live from Studio 5 to AMI-tv’s morning lineup. Airing weekdays at 9 a.m. ET, Live from Studio 5 in Toronto is a daily look at technology, health and current affairs. Community reporters from across the country join hosts Mike Ross and Joeita Gupta with local stories from the Atlantic, Central, West and Pacific regions.

Mike Veerman and Max Kerman

CraveTV has announced a new original series based on the popular Mike On Much podcast. The eight-episode series is hosted by writer/director Mike Veerman, Arkells’ frontman Max Kerman, and YouTuber and pop culture aficionado Shane Cunningham. Following the podcast format, each episode opens with a roundtable-style talk where the long-time friends share stories from their professional and personal lives and deliver fresh perspectives on music, pop culture, and entertainment. A long-form interview segment anchors each episode, where musicians, comedians, authors, and actors chat with Veerman about their individual creative process. Currently in production in Toronto, the eight-episode series will begin streaming on CraveTV later this year.

Ann Sarnoff

Knowledge Network Corporation, a B.C. crown corporation, and BBC Studios have announced that the BBC Kids channel will cease operations in Canada on Dec. 31. The channel was revitalized and re-launched in 2011. In a joint statement Rudy Buttignol, president and CEO of Knowledge Network, and Ann Sarnoff, president BBC Studios – Americas said “After seven successful years of operations, we have made the difficult decision to close the channel. Both companies continue to share a commitment to quality children’s content that educates and entertains. Knowledge Network Corporation and BBC Studios are thankful to their distribution and production partners who contributed to BBC Kids’ achievements.”

Tim Steeves and George Westerholm, both veterans of the This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Rick Mercer Report writing rooms are joining writer/director David Merry in new film and TV production venture Home Invasion Studios. Specializing in sharp, comedic content, the Toronto-based company just finished production of their first hour-long comedy special Grandma Used to Heckle Me with comedian Jeff Leeson. Home Invasion Studios also recently optioned its first feature film, a horror believe it or not, to Wald Pictures in Hollywood with Humber College’s Professor of Comedy Larry Horowitz. Projects in scripted, unscripted, reality and game shows are also in development.

Global BC and Global News Radio 980 CKNW Vancouver launch their third-annual Leadership Series on Oct. 5. The five-week series features special reports, interviews and profiles of five local leaders, examining the concept of leadership, innovative thinking and issues that impact Vancouver’s businesses, culture, and community. This year’s leaders include former Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Kim Campbell; BC Lions General Manager Ed Hervey; Chief Constable Bob Rich, Abbotsford Police; Prem Gill, CEO of Creative BC; and Carole Taylor, former BC Minister of Finance. Interviews and feature discussions will air across Global BC and CKNW programming through Nov. 2.

Entertainment One (eOne) has picked up the international television rights for CBC legal drama Diggstown and will handle distribution for the series outside of English-speaking Canada. Created by Floyd Kane (Across the Line), Diggstown follows corporate lawyer Marcie Diggs (Vinessa Antoine), who finds herself working at a legal aid office following a family tragedy. A CBC original drama, Diggstown is produced by Circle Blue Entertainment, Freddie Films and DHX Media.

HIFI is bringing the new season of British primetime comedy talk show The Graham Norton Show to Canadian television audiences this fall. For the first time, new episodes will air in Canada days after their UK air date. The first episode will see Canadian Ryan Gosling, as well as Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Jodie Whittaker and Rod Stewart chatting together with Graham. The show premieres in Canada Oct. 6 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT with new episodes repeating Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

Super Channel is trying to establish its recently-launched Heart & Home channel as a destination for Christmas programming. Heart & Home Christmas kicks off on Nov. 9 with the holiday classic White Christmas and will air a total of 55 Christmas features, with 25 titles making their Canadian premieres. In total, over 560 hours of Christmas content will air between Nov. 9 and Dec. 25, including 16 Canadian-made, family-friendly holiday movies as seen on Hallmark, UPtv, Lifetime and ION in the U.S. The channel says in total, over 70 per cent of Heart & Home Christmas content is Canadian.

Corus Studios is bringing three new series to MIPCOM for international sale. Set to debut at MIPCOM this year is fiery cooking competition Fire Masters, travelogue series Big Food Bucket List and demolition docuseries Salvage Kings (working title). The titles join Corus Studios’ previously announced new programming for international sale including fashion competition series Stitched (12×60), travel/renovation show Island of Bryan (13×60), and factual programs Big Rig Warriors (10×30), History Erased (8×60) and Rust Valley Restorers (8×60). 

DHX Media and Alpha Group, one of the world’s largest developers of animation and toys, have announced co-investment in new animated preschool series Rev & Roll. DHX Television’s Family Jr., in Canada, and Alpha Group’s Jiajia channel, in China, have co-commissioned the new CGI-animated series, which is expected to begin delivering in fall 2018. DHX Media and Alpha Group will be presenting the new series at MIP Junior and MIPCOM this month.

DHX Media YouTube network WildBrain has struck a deal with toy manufacturer Just Play to manage a global YouTube channel to support the launch of new doll brand Hairdorables. The Hairdorables’ YouTube series is now live on the WildBrain network and YouTube Kids’ App. The English-language video series consists of animated vlogs to introduce each character, live-action toy play videos and an animated series about the characters’ lives and adventures. Hairdorables arrived at major U.S. retailers in early August with sales exceeding expectations ahead of an international launch.

DHX Media has signed a new agreement providing Amazon Prime Video’s U.S. streaming service with Spanish versions of 10 kids’ shows, including Strawberry Shortcake: Sky’s the Limit, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, Busy World of Richard Scarry, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario World, Madeline and more. The new content is expected to launch for U.S. Prime Video members on Oct. 4. 2018.

Nelvana has announced a Canadian licensing and broadcasting partnership with Mattel for Thomas & Friends across multiple merchandise categories excluding toys. Treehouse becomes the new hub for the long-running Thomas & Friends series, which will be available across the network’s platforms, including Treehouse on Demand, Treehouse Classic, and the TreehouseGO App. The deal starts with the broadcast of Thomas & Friends: The Adventure Begins movie on Treehouse on Oct. 5. Season 22 of the iconic show hits the network Oct. 13, airing weekends at 12:15 p.m. ET. Best of Thomas & Friends episodes will start rolling out on the channel Oct. 15, airing weekdays at 11:50 a.m. ET and 7:55 p.m. ET.

Gino Reda

7-Eleven will serve as the title sponsor of 7-ELEVEN THAT’S HOCKEY, TSN’s longstanding daily hockey news show hosted by Gino Reda. 7-Eleven will also be integrated into show segments and features, including a daily feature to highlight great saves, bloopers, video breakdowns, stats leaderboards, and highlighting storylines for each of the seven Canadian NHL teams in only 11 seconds each.

W5 will air one-hour documentary Love & Legacy: The Rob Stewart Story on Oct. 6, ahead of the the theatrical release of Sharkwater Extinction, the final work by the late Canadian filmmaker. Stewart died in a diving accident in the Florida Keys while making the film in Jan. 2017. The special features behind-the-scenes footage of Sharkwater Extinction, which will be released in theatres on Oct. 19, and follows the Stewart family’s mission to complete Rob’s final exposé on the illegal shark fin industry. The film is a Bell Media Original Documentary, commissioned by The Movie Network (TMN) and Super Écran. The film, which recently premiered at TIFF, will have its world television premiere in 2019 on TMN and Super Écran.

The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) and the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) have ratified a new DGC-CMPA Standard Agreement. The newly ratified accord gives directors a 2.5 per cent wage increase in 2019, followed by three per cent increases in 2020 and 2021. Crew members will see a general yearly wage increase of three per cent in each of the three years of the deal. The agreement takes effect Jan. 1, 2019 and will apply to all productions in Canada, excluding British Columbia and Quebec, commencing principal photography on or after that date.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has reopened the Corus-CMF Page to Pitch Program, with a program budget set at $1M. Now in its sixth year, the program is available to producers seeking funding for the development of eligible live-action and animated television projects for any CRTC-licensed Canadian broadcaster. Applications can be submitted from now until Nov. 20. Click here to access guidelines.

Burt Sugarman

Network Media Group Inc. and Network Entertainment Inc. are partnering with film and television producer Burt Sugarman to produce a feature documentary that tells the story of iconic 1970s television series The Midnight Special. During its 450-episode run, The Midnight Special showcased live performances from musical icons like James Brown, the Jackson 5, Van Morrison, Marvin Gaye, Ike & Tina Turner, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, The Beach Boys, Prince, Richard Pryor and George Carlin, among others. Burt Sugarman and Mary Hart will executive produce alongside Network Entertainment’s Derik Murray, Frank Anderson, Paul Gertz and Brian Gersh.

The Second City and Toronto-based Insight Productions are teaming up to develop original comedic content that will include sketch comedy, stand-up specials, scripted and unscripted series. The two have already partnered on the upcoming Netflix SCTV Reunion” special directed by Martin Scorsese.

CTV, in association with Proper Television, has announced that production has begun on new series Mary’s Kitchen Crush. The 30-episode, half-hour series will air on CTV, Gusto, and stream on demand from the new CTV Super Hub, as part of new lifestyle brand CTV Life. The show, featuring Masterchef Canada Season 3 winner Mary Berg, is currently shooting in Toronto and will premiere as part of CTV’s 2019 midseason schedule.

CTV Montreal says its Tuesday night provincial election coverage was the #1 choice with English-language viewers. The primetime election special attracted a rating of 6.1 (A25-54) in the Montreal market, more than five times that of its closest competitor. Hosted by Mutsumi Takahashi and Paul Karwatsky, the special was watched by a total of 339,000 unique viewers. Audiences peaked at 102,400 viewers at 9:02 p.m. ET, after the Coalition Avenir Québec party secured its first-ever majority government.

Discovery’s longest-running series Canada’s Worst Driver, buckles up for Season 14 on Oct. 29. Led by returning host Andrew Younghusband, Numeris data for the 2017/18 broadcast year shows the program was the most-watched entertainment specialty program during its Monday 10 p.m. ET timeslot among total viewers and the A25-54 and A18-49 demos.


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