TV & Film News – JOIN TV F.A.S.T. network set for January launch

JOIN TV (Just One Incredible Network) is set to launch Jan. 1, 2023.  The Toronto-headquartered F.A.S.T. channel and A.V.O.D network is founded by Warren Campbell and Gordon Weiske. The network says it’s already secured thousands of hours of programming for its array of channels that include a dedicated Fashion Channel, Travel Channel, Music Channel, Documentary Channel, Animation Channel, Crypto News Channel, World Sports Channel, Indigenous Peoples Channel, LGBTQ2S+ Channel and a top Trending Channel showcasing the best shows, films, and programming from around the world. It also has plans to begin producing its own programming for additional channels to be launched in the months following that of the official JOIN TV Network.

The Canadian Stunt Hall of Fame (CANSHOF) has named its inaugural round of inductees. They include John (Frenchie) Berger, Celine Fournier, Charles Fournier, Marcel Fournier, Tom Glass, Alex Green, Robert (Bobby) Hannah, Dwayne McLean, David Rigby, Jacob Rupp, John Scott, Jerome Thibergien, Betty Thomas, John Thomas, John Wardlow, and Keith Wardlow. CANSHOF formally pays tribute to the groundbreaking work and dedication of Canada’s stunt professionals. In addition to the inductees, members of the community will be posthumously honoured in the Hall of Fame’s ‘In Memoriam’ section. The Canadian Stunt Hall of Fame Committee, which includes Rick Skene, Colin Decker, Mike Scherer, Steve ‘Shack’ Shackleton, Ana Shepherd, Lori Stewart and Amy Szoke, has also established a website serving as an online historical archive celebrating inductees’ body of work.  

Crave Original series Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs. The World will premiere Nov. 18. After three successful seasons of Canada’s Drag Race, the new six-part series will see nine, world-renowned drag artists, including four former Canada’s Drag Race contestants, compete. With Canada acting as host nation, resident Canada’s Drag Race judges Brooke Lynn Hytes, Brad Goreski, and Traci Melchor bring their judging expertise, joined by guest judges and special guests to be announced throughout the season.

(L-R: Leitreanna Brown, Moe Sargi, and Marika Simón of Repossessed

Corus Studios is adding new paranormal investigation series Repossessed (8×60) to its catalogue for international distribution. The new Corus Studios original series is led by paranormal investigator Moe Sargi, psychic medium Leitreanna Brown and researcher Marika Simón, as they travel across North America in search of the most haunted objects and the owners requiring their help. The series will air on HISTORY Channel and joins the new season of Crime Beat as part of the paranormal and crime offerings available at MIPCOM. As a lead up to MIPCOM, new deals include multiple international sales for the highly-anticipated Pamela’s Garden of Eden (8×60), starring Pamela Anderson, ahead of its Canadian premiere, Nov. 3 on HGTV Canada. In addition to the previously announced first pre-sale of Pamela’s Garden of Eden to Hulu in the U.S., sales are also confirmed to Foxtel in Australia, M6 GROUP (Paris Premiere and 6ter channels) in France, Italy’s Sky Italia, Talpa TV in the Netherlands, Portugal’s SIC, Poland’s Zoom TV, and Talit in Israel.

Molly Parker, Brian J. Smith, Stephen McHattie, Finlay Wojtak-Hissong, and Kevin Durand lead the cast of Essex County (5×60). Based on Jeff Lemire’s graphic novel, Essex County is a limited series that follows the intertwining lives of two families in a rural community. ITV Studios and Media Musketeer Studios will launch the show internationally at MIPCOM. The limited series premieres in Canada on CBC and CBC Gem in Winter 2023.

Trevor Solway

Blackfoot Nation Films’ latest project Tales from the Rez, from writer/director Trevor Solway, has gone to camera in Siksika, AB. The horror-comedy anthology series, set to air on APTN Lumi, adapts popular Blackfoot traditional tales and urban legends for the screen. The film features a cast of Indigenous talent including Eugene Brave Rock (Dark Winds, Wonder Woman), Shane Ghostkeeper (Parallel Minds), Shayla Stonechild (Siren), Michelle Thrush (Prey), Joel Oulette (Trickster), Nathan Alexis (Trickster), Cody Lightning (Echo, Four Sheets to the Wind) and introducing Charles Duck Chief. The initial season takes place in the traditional territories of the Blackfoot confederacy in Southern Alberta. Subsequent seasons will travel to other Indigenous communities around the globe.

Lopii Productions has announced its sixth original series, Bestest Day Ever With My Best Friend! Made in partnership with CBC Kids, Bestest Day Ever is a 20 x 7-minute live-action series set to launch in 2023 targeted at preschoolers and celebrating the cherished relationships children have with their pets. Lopii Productions is casting for kids, siblings and families (ages 4-12) with deserving pets to apply to be part of the show to be filmed in January/February 2023. Lopii Productions was one of 19 recipients of Canada Media Fund’s Pilot Program for Racialized Communities (PPRC), a new fund designed to support the growth of English- and French-language audiovisual production by underrepresented creators. 

Boat Rocker has renewed preschool animated series Dino Ranch for a third season. Season 3 (52 x 11′) will air on Disney Junior and Disney+ in the U.S in Fall 2023, followed by an international rollout on Disney Junior in Latin America and Disney+ in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. The show has seen international sales in over 160 countries worldwide.

Eastlink, in partnership with the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia and the Delmore Buddy Daye Learning Institute, has launched Season 3 of weekly series Black Films that Teach. Hosted by Eastlink Community TV producer Morgan Jessome, the series showcases curated films from across the country as told through the lens of Black trailblazers, civil rights activists and groups, and community leaders. Season 3 kicks off with Academy Award-winning short The Queen of Basketball by Ben Proudfoot. Other films include Still Here: A Journey to Triumph by Wanda Taylor, Michaëlle Jean: A Woman of Purpose by Jean-Daniel Lafond, and Same Movie Different Cinema by Harmony Adesola.

Super Channel begins broadcasting its annual Heart & Home Christmas holiday movie programming event Nov. 4. Beginning Nov. 18, a new festive title will air every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night until Dec. 23. This season’s offering includes 23 Canadian-made features, including five Super Channel Heart & Home Original productions (making their Canadian premieres), including Christmas on Mistletoe Lake from Chesler Perlmutter; Baking All the Way from Vortex Media; Sappy Holiday from Defiant Empire; Christmas by the Book from Chaos; and Faith Heist: A Christmas Caper, the sequel to the Canadian Screen Award-winning Faith Heist, from No Equal Entertainment. Also premiering are two pre-licensed titles from Brain Power Studios produced in association with Super Channel, Country Roads Christmas and Christmas in Wolf Creek. The slate also includes 17 titles acquired from All Canadian Ent., 15 of which are Canadian made titles. All holiday movies will air commercial-free and will be available on Super Channel On Demand.

The 118th Original Santa Claus Parade will air Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. ET/PT exclusively on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app. The largest children’s parade in North America makes its return on Nov. 20. Bell Media is promising additional broadcast details at a later date.