DHX Media, the Halifax-based kids content producer which just last year bought a controlling stake in the Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake brands for $345 million, is up for sale. After disappointing financial results, the company says it has launched a committee to evaluate “strategic alternatives focused on maximizing shareholder value,” which could include the sale of part or all of the company, a sale of some of its assets, or a possible merger. The company says its board has not set a timetable for the process.
Unifor, the union representing employees at OMNI TV, has filed a complaint alleging that Rogers has already violated its four-month-old broadcasting licence by subcontracting its Chinese news broadcasts to competitor Fairchild TV. The union says the move violates Rogers’ repeated promise in its application of “in-house” production of news shows. Unifor is calling on the CRTC to call an immediate public hearing into the issue.
Star Trek: Discovery is now the most-watched series ever on Canadian specialty TV. So far, more than 1.17 million viewers have tuned into the premiere episode on Space. Episode 2, which immediately followed the premiere, saw audience growth of five per cent with more than 1.2 million viewers to date. Its debut on CraveTV also ranks as the biggest ever for the streaming service. Including the simulcast on CTV, nearly 2.2 million viewers have watched the premiere episode, making it the third most-watched series debut on Canadian television this season.
New Discovery series Last Stop Garage, debuts Oct. 23, the latest from the producers of the channel’s most-watched series Canada’s Worst Driver. The half-hour show follows a rag-tag team of “MacGyver”-like mechanics from Labrador. Tougher Than It Looks? also returns to the channel for another season. Discovery will run a five-week free preview Oct. 12 – Nov. 9 on most Canadian cable providers.
Groupe Média TFO has launched Minivers, the first interactive children’s production powered by its Virtual Universe Laboratory (LUV). Aimed at children, ages 2-6, the 40, seven-minute episodes are available to Franco-Canadians on the TFO channel and online through TFO.org, IDÉLLO and the Mini ABC YouTube channel.
Premiere Week began Sept. 25 with Young Sheldon debuting on CTV as the most-watched new series, drawing 3.6 million viewers. The Big Bang Theory spinoff saw the biggest debut for a new comedy in 10 years, drawing an average 1.5 million A25-54 viewers. The season premiere of The Big Bang Theory led the night with 3.8 million viewers.
Zone·tv is partnering with TheWrap to deliver original programming, including Studio Wrap and Emmy Quickies. TheWrap, a digital news organization covering the business of entertainment and media, will extend its brand onto the zone·tv Dynamic Channels platform, available on TELUS and Bell in Canada.
Telelatino Network has announced several events and special programming for October in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month in Canada, including half-hour special Cronicas, a TLN Studios Original special, hosted and produced by Montreal based TLN/Univision journalist Jorge Contreras. View the calendar here.
Lionsgate and leisure park operator Parques Reunidos have announced a Lionsgate-branded indoor entertainment centre, set to open in New York City’s Times Square in 2019. Lionsgate Entertainment City will feature attractions built around Lionsgate film and television properties including Mad Men, The Hunger Games and the most recent installment of the John Wick franchise. Lionsgate’s location-based entertainment business now encompasses planned attractions in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
A digital portrait of Quebec households, conducted by the Centre francophone de recherche en informatisation des organisations (CEFRIO), finds more than half of those connected to the internet are now subscribed to a paid online viewing service, a 13 per cent increase from 2016. The most popular platforms are Netflix (33 per cent), Club Illico (19 per cent) and Extra Tou.tv (four per cent). The vast majority still subscribe to a television service (84 per cent), whether cable, fibre or satellite. The CEFRIO results are based on a phone survey of 1003 adults in March of this year.
TVA has suspended commentator Luc Lavoie after complaints and a threatened boycott of sister company Videotron, following a comment about “hunting separatists” during a segment on squirrel hunting petitions tabled in the National Assembly. TVA and Videotron are owned by Quebecor, whose president is former Parti Quebecois leader Pierre Karl Peladeau. The network says Lavoie will remain off the air until an investigation is concluded.
CBC/Radio-Canada has announced its hosts for English-Language coverage of Pyeongchang 2018, Feb. 9-25. Scott Russell will mark his 14th turn doing Olympic Games coverage. Also returning is Andi Petrillo, while Olympic Games silver medallist Alexandre Despatie joins the English-language broadcast team for the first time. Former Olympians Craig McMorris and Kelly VanderBeek will helm the overnight broadcasts. The Olympic Winter Games will take place in Korean Standard Time, 14 hours ahead of EST. As a result, Olympic Games Primetime will feature live sports coverage as the day begins in Pyeongchang.