Global TV celebrates 45 years on-air this month. The Global Television Network signed on Jan. 6, 1974 at 6 p.m. with six transmitters across Southern Ontario. Studios were in a former factory on Barber Greene Road in Don Mills, ON. Facing low ratings and high expenses, by March the company had accepted a re-financing plan put forward by a group of investors, including Izzy Asper and Paul Morton, who bought a 45 per cent interest in Global Communications Ltd.; Seymour Epstein (whose Imagineering Ltd. did all of the technical work for Global and was now a creditor) bought 10 per cent; while Allan Slaight’s IWC Communications Ltd. took 45 per cent. The new owners took over Apr. 15, 1974, with founder Al Bruner and his group exiting. Read more on the Canadian Communications Foundation website.
Sandra Oh made Golden Globes history as the first performer of Asian heritage to win more than one award. Oh, who hails from Nepean, ON, claimed the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Drama for her role as an MI5 officer on the hunt for a female assassin in BBC America series Killing Eve. She previously won Best Supporting Actress in 2006 for Grey’s Anatomy. Oh also co-hosted Sunday’s ceremony with Andy Samberg, the first person of Asian descent to do so. She was the only Canadian nominated that took home a Golden Globe this year with Jim Carrey (Kidding), Stephan James (Homecoming) and director Jean-Marc Vallee (Sharp Objects) going home empty-handed in their respective categories.
ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch, a documentary examining humanity’s re-engineering of the planet, has been awarded the $100,000 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award by the Toronto Film Critics Association. The award was presented to filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier at a Tuesday night gala. They share the honour with photographer Edward Burtynsky. Maison du bonheur by director Sofia Bohdanowicz and Ava from director Sadaf Foroughi received runner-up prizes of $5,000.
Thunderbird Entertainment Group has reached a distribution deal for the first three seasons of Kim’s Convenience with distributor Yoon & Company, who have already confirmed a cable TV release in Korea in early 2019. The partnership follows other major distribution deals for the award-winning Canadian series, including Netflix acquiring global streaming rights, and with Amazon for VOD rights in the U.S. and United Kingdom. Season 3 of Kim’s Convenience premiered on CBC on Tuesday (Jan. 8) with a fourth season already greenlit.
Crave is offering its first-ever free preview this weekend. From Friday, Jan. 11 (11 a.m. ET/MT) to Monday, Jan. 14 (11 a.m. ET/MT), three of Crave’s linear channels – Crave 1, HBO 1, HBO 2 – are being unlocked. The free preview is available via participating television providers across Canada including Bell, Bell Aliant, BellMTS, Cogeco, Eastlink, Rogers, Shaw, Shaw Direct, Telus, and others.
The Ontario Junior Hockey League has struck a broadcast partnership with CHCH-TV Hamilton, that will see a total of six live games air during the remainder of the 2018-19 OJHL season. The “CHCH Game of the Week” airs Saturday afternoons at 3 p.m., with the final broadcast on Feb. 23. The deal also includes the broadcast of six episodes of The OJ Today, a weekly hockey magazine show featuring highlights and analysis from games across the 22-team league. Veteran junior hockey announcer Alex Bloomfield is handling play-by-play duties, while Alex Bastyovanszky, host of The OJ Today, serves as host and provides colour commentary.
Global has announced the start of production on the third and final chapter of drama Mary Kills People. Produced in partnership with Corus Entertainment, Entertainment One and Cameron Pictures Inc., the series (6×60) will film in and around Toronto this winter, with the premiere set for spring 2019.
The Power of Play, a one-hour documentary exploring the science behind play and how researchers are linking play deprivation to mental health issues, will have its world broadcast premiere on CBC’s The Nature of Things on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 8 P.M. (8:30 NT) and will also be available to stream on CBC Gem from 5 p.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 18. Taking viewers to research labs, zoos, and aquariums around the world to see how animals play, The Power of Play was written and directed by Halifax’s Christine MacLean, created and produced by Erin Oakes, and executive produced by Edward Peill of Halifax-based Tell Tale Productions Inc.
Family Channel is debuting new series Holly Hobbie as a two-day television event Jan. 12 and 13 at 11:30 a.m. ET/PT. Inspired by the American Greetings character first introduced in 1967, the tween drama stars up-and-comer Ruby Jay as 13-year-old Holly Hobbie, an aspiring singer-songwriter who lives with her family on a farm outside small town Collinsville, U.S.A. Produced by Aircraft Pictures, in association with Cloudco Entertainment and the financial participation of the Shaw Rocket Fund and Hulu Originals, the series was filmed last summer in Hamilton and Toronto.
Iggy Pop and fashion designer John Varvatos will executive produce a four-part docuseries exploring the music, fashion and art of the punk movement for Vancouver-based Network Media Group Inc. and Network Entertainment. Punk will premiere on EPIX in the U.S., March 11.
CTV has officially unveiled the 30 artists vying for a chance to record an original song on the upcoming second season of The Launch, premiering Jan. 30. The six episodes will also air day-and-date with CTV on VRAK, subtitled in French. Guiding artists through the audition, performing, and recording process are Scott Borchetta, music executive and CEO/Founder of Big Machine Label Group, and new permanent mentor Marie-Mai (Star Academie, La Voix), who join a weekly rotating panel of celebrity mentors and producers. Liz Trinnear (ETALK) also joins Season 2 in a new hosting role.
Telefilm Canada is currently accepting entries of feature-length narratives on behalf of the Festival de Cannes, and its two parallel sections, the Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week, for selection screenings to be held in Montréal from Feb. 25 to Mar. 14. The application deadline via eTelefilm is Feb. 13. More info here.
RBC and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television have announced the nine grant recipients of a new initiative called the MVP Project, which provides funding and networking support to musicians and filmmakers for music video creation and production. The next round of submissions will open on Jan. 15. For more information, visit mvpproject.ca.
Global Calgary’s third annual Morning of Giving raised 6,500 toys and $72,000 in gift cards and cash on Dec. 12. The donations support the Magic of Christmas charity which was able to expand its reach from just over 600 families to 750 families this year thanks to the generosity of viewers.
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