TV & Film News – Rogers announces longterm rights deal with Canucks Sports & Entertainment

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Canucks Sports & Entertainment (CSE), Rogers Communications and Sportsnet have announced a new agreement that will see the longtime partners continue to collaborate across media and sponsorship through the 2032-33 season. With the renewed partnership, Rogers will maintain the naming rights of Rogers Arena, home of the Vancouver Canucks. The landmark deal also extends the 24-year broadcast partnership agreement between the Canucks and Sportsnet, which will remain the team’s exclusive regional TV and radio partner. Rogers will also work with Canucks Sports & Entertainment to support youth hockey in the community through various initiatives with the Canucks for Kids Fund.

CTV Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor Omar Sachedina takes viewers on an intimate journey back to Uganda where his mother was born, 50 years after she and thousands of other Indians were expelled from their home. Filmed this summer, the CTV News special Expelled: My Roots in Uganda with Omar Sachedina airs Friday, Nov. 4 at 9 p.m. ET on CTV, CTV News Channel, CTV.ca, CTVNews.ca, and the CTV and CTV News apps. The hour-long documentary follows Sachedina as he travels to his family’s homeland, alongside his mother Salma and sister Nafilia, marking the first time his mother has returned since her expulsion in 1972, the year Ugandan dictator Idi Amin ousted the Ugandan Asian community from the country. The special includes insight from Canadian Visa Officer Michael Molloy, who helped lead the operation that brought over 6,000 people to Canada.

Blue Ant Media has announced the U.S. launch of two free streaming channels on Amazon Freevee, formerly known as IMDb TV, including natural history channel Love Nature and home renovation and real estate channel, Homeful. The launch builds on Blue Ant Media’s expansion into the emerging free streaming space and grants audiences in the U.S. free access to Blue Ant’s extensive library of exclusive programming on the two channels.

 

Gusto TV is now available through the Xumo app on Rogers devices in Canada. A pioneer in the free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) space, XUMO offers viewers the opportunity to tune in to over 2,550 channels with free premium programming across 26 genres, including Local News, Weather, Action & Drama TV, Westerns & Country TV, Latino, Crime TV, Game Shows & Daytime TV, and Horror & Sci-fi.

Omnifilm Entertainment says its recent Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) certification and funding through the federal Creative Export Canada (CEC) Program, will enable the company to expand its subscription-based fitness channel, Movement by NM, in the U.S. and beyond. Movement by NM offers a library of premium fitness classes across dance, HIIT, boxing, kickboxing, and yoga, led by elite trainers. In addition to foundational classes, subscribers can access original productions, including short documentary, The Adaptive Athlete, which follows Canadian boxer Leo Sammarelli, and the Your Turn and On Movement series, which profile individuals and their movement stories. Recent acquisitions include 2022 Oscar-winning short documentary The Queen of Basketball, executive-produced by Steph Curry and Shaquille O’Neal, and Precious Leader Woman, a film about world-renowned Canadian snowboarder Spencer O’Brien.

Alfred Molina stars in Canadian Amazon Original, Three Pines, based on Canadian author Louise Penny’s best-selling Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. (Amazon Prime Video)

Prime Video has announced the premiere date for Amazon Original scripted series Three Pines, adapted from Louise Penny’s best-selling Chief Inspector Gamache series. The eight-episode, one-hour drama, shot in Quebec, follows Gamache (Alfred Molina) as he investigates cases that happen beneath the idyllic surface of the Quebec village of Three Pines, finding long-buried secrets. The first two episodes will premiere exclusively Dec. 2 on Prime Video, in Canada, the U.S., UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Greenland, with two new episodes released weekly until the Dec. 23 finale. Among the main cast members are Rossif Sutherland, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, and Sarah Booth. Three Pines is produced by Left Bank Pictures, the Sony Pictures Television-owned production company behind The Crown, with Canadian prodco Muse Entertainment providing production services.

Lilly Singh

CTV has announced that Lilly Singh will host and executive produce the inaugural season of the network’s previously announced primetime quiz show Battle of the Generations, that will see Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z face off through multiple rounds of nostalgia-packed pop culture trivia. Nationwide casting for the show is currently underway, with production on the 20-episode, one-hour quiz show set to begin in February in Toronto. The announcement comes on the heels of Blink49 Studios and Bell Media’s multi-year partnership with Singh and her company Unicorn Island Productions on a first-look global scripted and second-look unscripted deal. Singh and Unicorn Island also have a first-look unscripted deal with Universal Television Alternative Studio.

Crave has ordered a fourth season of its hit original series Canada’s Drag Race. Applications from Canadian drag artists, 19+, are open now. Seasons 1-3 of Canada’s Drag Race are currently available to stream on Crave in Canada and on World of Wonder’s SVOD platform WOW Presents Plus in the U.S., in addition to more than 160 countries around the world. 

ZoomerMedia is set to debut a new television series on Nov. 14 focused on the journey B.C. seafood makes from sea to table. Your Nation’s Table, hosted by television host and producer Carmen Ruiz y Laza and Chef Robert Clark, provides insight into the harvest of wild seafood along the rugged B.C. coastline, and the colourful characters responsible for catching, processing, and preparing it. The season’s six episodes, filmed in remote destinations across B.C., highlight how spot prawns, salmon, crab, geoduck, sablefish and tuna are harvested. Viewers will also be offered tips by top chefs on how to shop for, prepare, and which B.C. wines to pair them with.

Kelly MacDonald & Ramya Amuthan

Kelly and Ramya makes its debut on AMI-tv on Jan. 9, while continuing to be a staple of AMI-audio and podcast platforms, where over 1,500 episodes have been broadcast as Kelly and Company. Airing weekdays from 2 – 4 p.m. ET from AMI’s state-of-the-art new production studio in Toronto, Kelly and Ramya gives voice to the disability experience in Canada. Hosts Kelly MacDonald and Ramya Amuthan will cover lifestyle and entertainment, community events and discuss issues that impact the disability community. Joining the duo are over 30 contributors, sharing advice on everything from assistive technology to human rights, employment, health and wellness, all through a disability lens.

Dane Cook

Super Channel has announced that Dane Cook is partnering with the Canadian broadcaster to produce feature documentary, Brace for Impact: The Dane Cook Story. The documentary will chronicle Cook’s meteoric rise to stardom, personal life, and more than three-decade career. Cook will serve as executive producer on the documentary, alongside Adam Scorgie and Shane Fennessey’s Score G Production Films and Rocky Mudaliar’s Abrupt Films. Also on board to produce are Upstream Flix and Gruvpix Films. The doc will be written and directed by award-winning director, Brett Harvey (Breaking Olympia: The Phil Heath Story and Inmate#1: The Rise of Danny Trejo). Licensed by Super Channel in Canada, the Super Channel Original is anticipated to air in late 2024.

Super Channel and Blood in the Snow Film Festival (BITS), a showcase of contemporary Canadian horror films, have announced that a hybrid version of the film festival will return this November. The on-air portion of the festival features six films and a variety of shorts for fans across the country to enjoy nightly on Super Channel Fuse, Nov. 21 – 26, including the World Premiere of The Devil Comes at Night from writer/director Scott Leaver. The in-theatre portion of BITS will be presented at the Isabel Bader Theatre in Toronto, with screenings at 7 and 9:30 p.m. each night, showcasing an entirely different lineup of 12 programs comprised of nine features and selected short film programs. In-person highlights include the acclaimed Polaris by KC Carthew; sci-fi comedy Relax, I’m From the Future by Luke Higginson; and Rodrigo Gudiño’s The Breach with music by the film’s producer, Slash of Guns N” Roses. Find the full festival lineup here.

Baking All The Way, directed by and starring Yannick Bisson, along with Cory Lee, Colin Mochrie, Deb McGrath, and Jayne Eastwood, is set to have a one-night only theatrical release across Canada. Shot in Hamilton, cities screening the holiday film Nov. 28 include Calgary, Edmonton, Penticton, Kelowna, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Ottawa, Waterloo, Whitby, and Kanata. The film will have its broadcast premiere on Super Channel on Dec. 3. Cory Lee also recorded an original song for the movie, “Suddenly Feels Like Christmas.”

Wild Media Entertainment’s new feature film The Dogs, has begun principal photography in Northern Ontario. Directed by Valerie Buhagiar, the film is an adaptation of Allan Stratton’s best-seller of the same name. Key cast include Donovan Colan (Spirit Halloween, Zoe), Kathleen Munroe (Patriot, The Void), Asher Grayson (Kids vs. Aliens, Tuff Boy) and Kris Holden-Reid (Departure, Umbrella Academy). The film is produced by Wild Media Entertainment in association with 2ofaMind Productions and funded in part by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. Paul Flint, Kevin C. Bjerkness, Perry Dellelce and Brad Pelman serve as Executive Producers. 

Hollywood Suite is set to air two newly-restored classics from the Canadian film canon – the 4K restoration of Guy Maddin’s Tales From the Gimli Hospital (1988) (Nov. 9) and 2K digital remaster of Zale Dalen’s cult hit Skip Tracer (1977) (Nov. 29). Both titles are available to stream on demand. The Maddin restoration is part of a broader movement to make hard to find Canadian art house films accessible to a new generation of movie lovers. As part of Telefilm’s Canadian Cinema – Reignited initiative to restore and re-release Canadian films of historic and cultural importance, the Toronto International Film Festival hand-picked the restoration of Tales from the Gimli Hospital to premiere at this year’s festival. Utilizing materials from Library and Archives Canada, the digital remaster of Skip Tracer was produced by Justin Decloux of The Great Canadian Cinema Library. Considered an essential entry in the Canuxploitation oeuvre, Dalen’s feature film debut was the first Canadian film programmed at the New York Film Festival in 1979 said to have influenced subsequent cult films including 1984’s Repo Man

Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has announced the full lineup for its 22nd edition taking place in-person from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 and online from Dec. 5 to Jan. 2. Selected from over 2,000 submissions, the lineup includes 86 films curated into nine program strands. There are 41 features and 45 shorts from 19 different countries. Films in competition will vie for 15 film awards and $223,500 in cash and prizes. WFF’s opening night will set the tone with the Western Canadian Premiere of White Noise, Noah Baumbach’s parody of an ideal American nuclear family under threat, featuring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig. Other significant award-contenders having their first Canadian festival showings at Whistler include Guillermo del Toro’s PINOCCHIO, a stop-motion reinvention of the classic tale set in fascist Italy, and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s epic Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths.