CBC brings virtual interview series trend to primetime

Tom Power hosts new, one-hour virtual interview show, What're You At? With Tom Power, premiering Sunday, April 5.

CBC is launching a new Sunday evening, virtual primetime interview show from host Tom Power’s home.

What’re You At? with Tom Power will broadcast Sundays at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem, starting this weekend. The title of the one-hour program is a nod to Power’s home province of Newfoundland.

“Back home in Newfoundland when you see someone you ask ‘What’re you at?’ There is a debate on the spelling but it generally means ‘How are you?’ or ‘How are you holding up?’,” said Power. “At a time when we’re all searching for meaning and connection, I am honoured to have this opportunity to check in with how Canadians are doing each week and celebrate those who are making a difference in their communities.”

The show will be a mix of interviews, storytelling, musical performances and perspectives from Canadians across the country. A mix of live and pre-taped segments, the debut episode will feature Schitt’s Creek showrunner and star Daniel Levy, a performance from singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez, and conversations with three first responders on how they’re navigating challenges.

“As we all face unprecedented isolation in this period of uncertainty and change, we seek to play a meaningful role in connecting Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Through the power of conversation and music we can gain inspiration, comfort and a sense of belonging,” said Sally Catto, General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports, CBC, in a release. “Tom’s authentic approach to every conversation along with his love for homegrown music and culture will ensure that this new show brings Canadians a meaningful and enjoyable hour each Sunday to connect, reflect and celebrate the very best of who we are.”

Virtual interview shows emerging trend

A number of Canadian networks have launched virtual interview series in the last two weeks, but most are being offered for streaming via digital channels. Sportsnet’s In Conversation with Ron MacLean – a new 20 to 30-minute virtual roundtable show available on Sportsnet’s Facebook and YouTube channels and sportsnet.ca – made its debut Wednesday night. It will feature guests like Wayne Gretzky, Hayley Wickenheiser, and Peter Mansbridge, airing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.

Sportsnet also hosted its first Digital Watch Party on Mar. 31 on its Facebook and YouTube channels. The Watch Parties see Sportsnet hosts and celebrity guests interact with fans as they view select Raptors Rewind and NHL Rewind broadcasts on the main network.

Shannon Ella, syndicated midday host on Bell Media’s Pure Country Radio network, is also hosting new virtual video series, Home Hangouts, on Pure Country Radio’s IGTV and YouTube channels. Guests have included Canadian country stars like Dallas Smith and Jess Moskaluke sharing their thoughts on self-isolation from their homes.


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