OMNI announces broadcast team for Blue Jays: Pinoy Edition

Mara Aquino

OMNI Television has announced the broadcast team for the Blue Jays: Pinoy Edition, which starts Sunday, Aug. 5. It includes host Mara Aquino, courtside reporter for the Philippine Basketball Association; colour commentator Mike Cruz, CEO of sports management company Crossover Sports Canada; and play-by-play announcer Charles de Torres. Games will air every Sunday on OMNI.2, OMNI BC, OMNI Alberta and OMNI Regional throughout the remainder of the regular season.

Samantha Wan, Amanda Joy, Nile Séguin, and Lily Gao

OMNI Television original series Second Jen returns for a second season, beginning Aug. 4. Inspired by real-life experiences, Season 2 of the scripted comedy following two second-generation millennials and their friends, promises to touch on hot-button topics like racism and sexism in the workplace. Joining Amanda Joy and Samantha Wan as season regulars are Nile Séguin (Alister, The Beaverton), Lily Gao (Karen, Blood and Water), and new cast member Lovell Adams-Gray (Marcus, Slasher).

The CRTC has delayed the hearing of applications for a national, multilingual multi-ethnic television service, that could potentially replace OMNI. The commission will now consider applications starting Nov. 26, instead of Oct 15.

One America News Network (OANN) and A Wealth of Entertainment (AWE) have announced a master distribution agreement with the Canadian Communication Systems Alliance, representing over 110 independent internet and TV providers across Canada. The conservative news and luxury entertainment-themed specialty channels, owned and operated by San Diego-based Herring Networks, received authorization for distribution in Canada earlier this year.

Robert Zemeckis, Ryan Tudhope, and Kevin Baillie

Deluxe Entertainment Services Group is acquiring Montreal and San Francisco-based visual effects (VFX) company Atomic Fiction. Atomic Fiction will join Method Studios, Deluxe’s global VFX brand, as part of its strategy to deepen the company’s talent base and take on bigger and more challenging VFX projects for feature film, TV and advertising. Founded in 2010, some of Atomic Fiction’s standout projects include Robert Zemeckis collaborations The Walk, Allied, Flight, and the upcoming Welcome to Marwen, as well as Star Trek Beyond, Deadpool, and Ghost in the Shell. Montreal will become a flagship studio for Method as part of a global strategy that also includes expansion in Pune, India. Atomic Fiction co-founder Ryan Tudhope will continue to lead the Montreal team as executive creative director, while co-founder Kevin Baillie will take on the new role of creative director and Sr. Visual Effects supervisor. All of Atomic’s 300 full-time and freelance employees are expected to join Method Studios when the transaction closes.

Irem Harnak, Elli Raynai, and Devyn Farries

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and CFC Media Lab have announced that VR experience Made This Way: Redefining Masculinity has been selected to screen in the Venice Virtual Reality program at the 75th Venice International Film Festival. A co-production of CFC Media Lab and Cinehackers, with additional support from Depthkit and the National Film Board (NFB), the 18-minute experience was made by artist/photographer Irem Harnak and writer/filmmaker Elli Raynai. It blends an installation of large-scale photographic portraits with volumetric VR testimonials from Elijah Miley, a circus performer and belly dancer training to be a firefighter and raising a family in Toronto; and Devyn Farries, a New York-based, non-binary comic book illustrator who creates comics about the everyday lives of queer people of colour.

Trey and Jae Richards

Much Studios has partnered with longtime Much Studios creators Jae and Trey Richards of 4YE to produce eight-part comedy web series Judge Tyco. The series is based on the 4YE’s popular recurring character Tyco, best known for the T-Dot Goon Scrap DVD skits and follow-up video which featured a cameo by Drake. The Brampton-born, Toronto-based comedy duo have been creating stand-out content, amassing an audience of more than 1 million YouTube subscribers and more than 90 million lifetime views.

The 2018 iHeartRadio MMVAs have announced that Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina will make her live broadcast hosting debut at the Aug. 26 awards show. The actress, writer, and rapper joins confirmed talent Halsey, Shawn Mendes and Tyra Banks. Mendes and Drake lead the award nominations, with voting now open for the six Fan Fave categories, including Fan Fave Artist, Fan Fave Video, and Fan Fave Much Creator at CTV.ca/MMVA.

TSN has announced its broadcast schedule for the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, starting Aug. 6. The under-18 tournament, held this year in Edmonton and Red Deer, runs through Aug. 11 with the gold medal matchup at 9 p.m. ET on TSN2. TSN and TSN Direct subscribers can enjoy live coverage on TSN, TSN.ca, and the TSN app. Find the broadcast schedule here.

CraveTV has announced that production is underway on an all-new season of Letterkenny. The half-hour comedy will feature new guest stars Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead) and Jonathan Torrens (Trailer Park Boys) this season. Currently in production in Sudbury, ON, and set to debut later this year, Jacob Tierney returns to direct the six new episodes while also reprising his role as Christian leader, Glen.

Casual, the Golden Globe-nominated comedy series from Canadian filmmaker Jason Reitman (Juno, Up in the Air), has returned to CraveTV for its fourth and final season. All eight episodes of Season 4 dropped at once on Tuesday, while Seasons 1-3 continue to stream on the service.


The Canadian Media Producers Association
(CMPA) kicked off its national tour in Halifax on Monday, soliciting feedback from members on how the federal government can best update legislation to support domestic TV, movie and digital content production. The coast-to-coast consultation is in response to the federal review of the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts. Sessions are scheduled to take place over the next four weeks in St. John’s, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa.

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