CBC News Explore has launched, the public broadcaster’s new free ad-supported streaming (FAST) news channel, available on digital and connected TV platforms. The channel features a curated selection of CBC journalism from across the country in addition to original programs, led by new Andrew Chang vehicle About That – a look at the day’s most compelling stories in a blend of conversation and feature interviews. CBC News Explore is streaming free on CBC Gem, CBCNews.ca, and the CBC News app, and is also available on Smart and Connected TV platforms, including The Roku Channel (105 in Canada). Some Explore programming will also be available on demand via CBC Gem, the CBC News app and the CBC News YouTube channel. Read more here and more about CBC’s multi-platform winter schedule here.
The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and CBC have announced that Simu Liu, star of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings, will return for a second year as host of the 2023 JUNO Awards Broadcast. The 52nd annual celebration of Canadian music is set to air Monday, March 13 from Edmonton. Liu most recently wrapped production on Netflix science fiction thriller Atlas opposite Jennifer Lopez and is set to star and executive produce Seven Wonders, an action-adventure series based on Ben Mezrich’s novel for Amazon Prime Video.
Bell Media says Canada’s second appearance at the FIFA World Cup on Sunday set more records, attracting an average audience of 4.4 million viewers across TSN, CTV and RDS. Canada’s 4-1 loss to Croatia surpassed the Men’s National Team opener vs. Belgium (which attracted an average audience of 3.7 million viewers), to become the most-watched FIFA World Cup Group Stage match on record, according to overnight data from Numeris. Overall, the match reached 9.8 million unique Canadian viewers, with more than one-in-four Canadians tuning in to watch some or all of the live broadcast. Bell Media says thus far, a total of 18.8 million unique Canadian viewers have tuned in for live FIFA World Cup game coverage across the three networks. Read more here.
CTV has renewed The Amazing Race Canada for Season 9, with casting now open. Hosted by Olympic gold medallist Jon Montgomery, Season 8 of the franchise was the top summer program and top Canadian program for the 2021-22 broadcast year, with a season average of 1.6 million viewers.
TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment have announced their collaboration on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. In development right now, the series is based on the real Canadian brothers, one of whom has Down Syndrome, who have grown a significant online following. The series is being developed in consultation with the Down Syndrome community.
CTV holiday programming includes holiday-themed episodes of hit CTV series, movies, seasonal classics, and festive new specials, including JANN: Alone for the Holidays (Dec. 9), featuring guest appearances by Michael Bublé and Bryan Adams. Four-part holiday-themed CTV Original competition series Cross Country Cake Off gets a two-night premiere event Dec. 15-16, while Chef Gordon Ramsay takes his pals Gino D’Acampo and Fred Sirieix on a road trip in Gordon Ramsay’s Road Trip: Christmas Vacation on Dec. 17. Other highlights include The Original Santa Claus Parade (Dec. 3) and CMA Country Christmas (Dec. 8), featuring Dan + Shay, Scotty McCreery, Steven Curtis Chapman, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, Molly Tuttle, The War And Treaty, and Carly Pearce. Additionally, the CTV Holiday Hub, available on CTV.ca and the CTV app, features more than 150 movies and festive-themed episodes of throwback series.
WildBrain Television has unveiled its lineup of special holiday programming on Family Channel and Family Jr. It features the Canadian premiere of WildBrain original special, Caillou’s Perfect Christmas. Additional network premieres include The Snowman and the Snowdog, a sequel to the Oscar-nominated The Snowman; the hour-long special, Abominable and the Invisible City; a brand new episode of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir; and two specials from the Shaun the Sheep franchise. The lineup will also include holiday marathons and festive episodes of fan-favourite series throughout December.
The NFB Ho Ho Holidays channel is once again offering seasonal classics, recent works and family favourites. The collection of 53 films that can be viewed for free, include Jeff Hale’s The Great Toy Robbery; Sheldon Cohen’s iconic The Sweater, adapted from Roch Carrier’s much-loved hockey story; Alanis Obomsawin’s classic Christmas at Moose Factory; and the stop-motion adventures of Ludovic, the teddy bear in Co Hoedeman’s series for kids, among many others.
Hollywood Suite is running its free preview event, Dec. 1 – Jan. 5. Available to Canadian households from participating TV service providers, including Amazon Prime Video, viewers have unlimited access to movies and series on four HDTV channels and Hollywood Suite On Demand (where available). In the spirit of the season, Hollywood Suite’s programming team has drawn up “Naughty” and “Nice” lists. Anchoring the “Naughty List” is the broadcast premiere of 5’7 Films’ holiday comedy caper Vandits, premiering Dec. 15, starring Robb Wells (Trailer Park Boys), Enrico Colantoni (A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood), Jann Arden, Tony Nappo (Saw II), Francesco Antonio (Wayne), newcomer Victoria Turko, and Jesse Camacho (Locke & Key).
The Whistler Film Festival Society (WFFS) has announced the recipients of the first-ever David Miller Legacy Award. Named in honour of Canadian producer David Miller (The Righteous, The Child Remains, Amal), who passed away unexpectedly in April 2021, the fund provides support for producers attending WFF Talent Programs to further their projects and careers. Each recipient will receive a $500 award. This year’s recipients include: Kent Donguines (BC), Kate Green (BC), Luke Humphrey (ON), Tanis Parenteau (AB), Christina Saliba (QC), Sina Sultani (BC), and Shelley Thompson (NS).
Global News Toronto is partnering with the Toronto Firefighters’ Toy Drive and primary sponsor Spin Master for the 16th consecutive year. From Dec. 1-31, people are encouraged to make monetary donations, text to donate at TOYDRIVE (45678), or donate new, unwrapped toys to a local fire station in the Toronto area. In 2022, a record-breaking $200,000 was raised over the month-long campaign. Global News will also run Toy Drive Week, Dec. 12-16, where local hosts Susan Hay, Liem Vu, Ross Hull, and Anthony Farnell will share stories highlighting how donations impact people’s lives, and the various ways viewers can help make a difference during the festive season.
Global Edmonton and Global News Radio 880 have launched the 19th annual Give Me Shelter campaign, running Nov. 29 – Dec. 15. For almost two decades, the campaign has provided countless items and Christmas gifts for women and children who are the victims of assault, as well as thousands of dollars in donations. The focal point of the campaign is an all-day donation drive-thru happening Dec. 14 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Global Edmonton news and radio personalities will be outside the station at 5325 Allard Way, accepting cash and gift card donations. The campaign supports six Edmonton and area women’s shelters – A Safe Place, Jessie’s House, La Salle, Lurana Shelter, WIN House, and WINGS.
CTV Atlantic will host the 59th Annual Christmas Daddies Telethon on Dec. 3, beginning at 11 a.m. AT on CTV2, CTVAtlantic.ca and the CTV News app. With the increased demand for support, the telethon has collaborated once again with The Salvation Army to distribute food, toys, and gifts throughout the holiday season. Co-hosting this year are Steve Murphy and Todd Battis, joined by Maria Panopalis, Jayson Baxter, Katie Kelly, Kalin Mitchell, and Ana Almeida, among many others. The seven-hour special will also feature performers across all three Maritime provinces, including Myles Goodwyn, The Trews, Makayla Lynn, David Myles, Jenn Grant, Carleton Stone, Natalie MacMaster, The Barra MacNeils, and The Men of The Deeps. Since it began in 1964, Christmas Daddies has raised more than $34.5 million for Maritime families.