CBC was the big winner at Tuesday night’s Canadian Screen Awards gala, one of several being held leading up to this Sunday’s awards show broadcast on CBC

Heather Hiscox, Gillian Findlay, Lisa LaFlamme, and James Duthie

CBC was the big winner at Tuesday night’s Canadian Screen Awards gala, one of several being held leading up to this Sunday’s awards show broadcast on CBC. The public broadcaster and its talent took home 18 awards, including Heather Hiscox, who won Best National News Anchor. The Fifth Estate’s Gillian Findlay was named Best Host of a News or Information Program or Series. CTV won 10 awards, including Best National Newscast for CTV National News with Lisa LaFlamme. TSN won seven awards, including bragging rights for James Duthie, who was named Best Sports Host. Global Edmonton won the 2018 Best News Special Award for their story Fort McMurray: The Road Back.

Jeffrey A Melvin, Paul D. Austerberry, and Shane Vieau

2018 Oscar winners included several Canadians connected to the Guillermo del Toro-directed Best Picture winner The Shape of Water. Toronto producer J. Miles Dale shared in the big prize of the night, while three other Canadians connected to the film also won, including Shane Vieau, Paul Austerberry, and Jeffrey A. Melvin, who accepted the Oscar for Best Production Design.

Anthony McLachlan, Scott Russell, Andi Petrillo, and Stephanie DixonThe Canadian Paralympic Committee Media Consortium, including CBC/Radio-Canada, Sportsnet, AMI, Twitter and Facebook, will broadcast every minute of the Paralympic Games from Pyeongchang, including 125 hours on television throughout its 10 days. CBC/Radio-Canada will air live coverage of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies in English and French and live coverage early Saturday and Sunday mornings, in addition to coverage weekdays from 4-6 p.m. in local time zones, and weekend afternoons. Radio-Canada will air a daily French-language highlights show, while Sportsnet One will air daily re-broadcasts of the competition. AMI will air daily shows, in addition to re-broadcasting CBC coverage with descriptive video with reporter/host Anthony McLachlan. CBC’s broadcast team includes Scott Russell, Andi Petrillo and Stephanie Dixon, joined by reporters (and Para alpine skiers) Lauren Woolstencroft and Josh Dueck. Doing commentary will be Chris Daw, Paul Rosen and Rob Snoek. On the French side, host Marie-Jose Turcotte will be joined by Chantal Petitclerc, Jean St-Onge and Benoit Huot. Play-by-play and analysis will be provided by Michel Chabot, Rodrigue Gilbert, Gilles Gagnon, Jean-Thomas Boily, Philippe Crepeau, Jocelyn Huot, Christian Hrab, Justine Boutet and Carl Marquis.

The Canadian Cable Systems Alliance (CCSA) has filed a complaint with the CRTC accusing Rogers Media of violating a number of policies in refusing to let its members launch or re-package channels. The CCSA has asked the regulator to direct Rogers to immediately allow repackaging and relaunch of Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet World, OLN, Viceland, FX and FXX. The CRTC has been supervising an ongoing dispute over renewal of the CCSA’s distribution agreement for Rogers channels. The complaint says Rogers refusal runs contrary to the CRTC Discretionary Services Regulations as well as the TV Wholesale Code.

The CRTC is open to comments on whether to allow U.S.-based cable TV shopping service QVC into Canada after previously denying an application from VMedia Inc. In September, the Federal Court of Appeal referred the matter back to the commission for reconsideration. The deadline for comments is Mar. 29.

RNC Media will cease broadcasting CKRN-TV in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, its Radio-Canada affiliate station, at midnight on Mar. 25. CKRN-TV went on the air on Dec. 25, 1957. Affiliated with both the French and English CBC network, the station was known as Canal 4, offering bilingual programming. It went French only in 1962.

Corus has shut down the Sundance Channel Canada (formerly Drive-In Classics) as of Mar. 1. A post on the channel’s website directs viewers to “enjoy similar content” on Corus speciality channels IFC and MovieTime.

Sarah Wayne Callies, Shawn Doyle, Michael Shanks, and Camille Sullivan

CBC and SundanceTV have announced casting for dramatic eight-part miniseries Unspeakable, chronicling the tainted blood scandal in the 1980’s. Sarah Wayne Callies (Colony, The Walking Dead), Shawn Doyle (Bellevue, Big Love), Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1, Saving Hope) and Camille Sullivan (The Disappearance) will lead the series. Production begins this spring in Vancouver. The series is a passion project for creator and executive producer Robert C. Cooper, who himself was a victim, having contracted Hepatitis C from tainted blood.

TVA Group Inc. has announced Q4 2017 operating highlights, recording net income attributable to shareholders in the amount of $9.2 million or $0.21 per share, compared with net income attributable to shareholders of $5.7 million or $0.13 per share in the same quarter of 2016. The Broadcasting & Production segment recorded $16,232,000 adjusted operating income, an unfavourable variance of $1,213,000 mainly due to a 9.5 per cent decrease in the adjusted operating income of TVA Network. The company cites an adjustment made following the CRTC decision on the rate payable by Bell for distribution of the TVA Sports channel.

Cinespace Film Studios has announced plans to lease the former Marine Terminal 51 from PortsToronto and convert it into a 165,000 square foot studio that will become a hub for its downtown productions. Cinespace has recently hosted high-profile productions like TV series The Handmaid’s Tale and the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water.

NFB has achieved its parity objectives two years ahead of schedule for the number of productions directed by women (which stood at 47 per cent in 2017–2018), the portion of the production budget allocated to women (46 per cent), and the key creative position of screenwriter (47 per cent). NFB says work remains to be done in positions related to cinematography and music composition, where the ratio of men to women is still unequal.

Kim Coates

City has greenlit Season 2 of original drama Bad Blood, starring Canadian Kim Coates. Produced in partnership with New Metric Media and Sphère Média Plus, in association with distributors DHX Media and Skyvision, writing on the new season is currently underway with production slated to begin this summer for a Fall 2018 premiere.

CBC has renewed comedy series Schitt’s Creek for a fifth season (14 x 30). Created by and starring Eugene and Daniel Levy, CBC says the show has a total reach of more than 1.4 million weekly and an average audience of 742,000 (2+ AMA) this season, with 41 per cent of viewers in the 25-54 demographic.