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TV & Film News – Schitt’s Creek earns five Critics Choice Association (CCA) nods

Schitt’s Creek has earned five Critics Choice Association (CCA) nominations, including Best Comedy Series, Best Actor in a Comedy Series for Eugene Levy, Best Actress in a Comedy Series for Catherine O’Hara, Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Daniel Levy, and Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Annie Murphy. Netflix series When They See Us topped the TV nods with six, while Martin Scorcese’s The Irishman led the film nominations with 14. The CCA is the largest critics organization in the U.S. and Canada, representing more than 400 television, radio and online critics, and a reliable predictor for the Oscars. This year marked a formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the blurring of distinction between film, television, and streaming content. The awards will be handed out Jan. 12.

The Costume Designers Guild (CDG) has unveiled the nominees for its 22nd annual awards celebrating excellence in film, TV, and short form costume design. Among the Canadians nominated are Debra Hanson (Excellence in Contemporary Television) for Schitt’s Creek: “The Dress”; Natalie Bronfman (Excellence in Sci-Fi / Fantasy Television) for The Handmaid’s Tale: “Household”; and Cynthia Summers, in the same category, for A Series of Unfortunate Events: “Penultimate Peril: Part 2.”  The winners will be announced Jan. 28 at a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton, hosted by Mindy Kaling.

Jean Yoon

ACTRA Toronto will present its 2020 Award of Excellence to Jean Yoon on Feb. 22. The playwright, actor and advocate is best known for playing Umma on Kim’s Convenience for which she received the ACTRA Award for Outstanding Performance Female in 2017 and two Canadian Screen Award nominations. Yoon has been an inclusion advocate, and has addressed the CRTC on behalf of ACTRA to argue that private TV broadcast licences should continue to be tied to a commitment to Canadian programming. Most recently, she served as an ACTRA Toronto Councillor from 2018-19.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has announced its full list of 2020 Special Award recipients to be honoured during Canadian Screen Week, March 23 – 29, 2020. They include David Suzuki (Lifetime Achievement Award), Alex Trebek (Academy Icon Award), Dan Levy (Radius Award), Tina Keeper (Earle Grey Award), and David Shore (Margaret Collier Award). Read more here.

Alex Trebek

CTV will broadcast an exclusive one-hour interview special A Conversation with Alex Trebek, Dec. 18. The longtime JEOPARDY! host opens up to CTV News’ anchor Lisa LaFlamme about his Stage 4 pancreatic cancer battle, his future on JEOPARDY!, and his family life. The interview was conducted at Trebek’s alma mater, the University of Ottawa, with excerpts previously featured on CTV National News and W5 in October.

DHX Media (doing business as WildBrain) has notified NASDAQ of its intention to voluntarily delist its shares from the American stock exchange. WildBrain shares will continue to trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). The children’s content producer and distributor says with the majority of its shares trading on the TSX, the company believes the cost and administrative requirements associated with maintaining a dual listing are no longer justified. The decision is in line with the Nova Scotia-headquartered company’s ongoing efforts to find cost savings to re-invest in growth areas of the business. Its shares are expected to cease trading on NASDAQ on or about Dec. 24, 2019. 

Toronto Raptors star Serge Ibaka

Bell Media has struck a partnership with Uninterrupted Canada, the athlete empowerment brand now helmed by former Sportsnet president Scott Moore. Bell and Uninterrupted have announced a new long-term exclusive partnership on athlete-driven, long-form content to air in Canada on TSN, Crave, and the CTV-branded platforms. That partnership will kick off this week with the premiere of Anything Is Possible, an original documentary featuring Toronto Raptors star Serge Ibaka. The doc will air Thursday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET on TSN4. Read more here.

Scott McGillivray, The Reklaws, Cindy Sampson, Dallas Smith, Brett Kissel

Entertainment Tonight Canada kicks off a week of special guest co-hosts, starting Dec. 16, as part of the show’s 15th season celebrations. The week begins with Scott McGillivray of HGTV Canada’s Buyers Bootcamp and Income Property, followed by Stuart and Jenna Walker of The Reklaws, Cindy Sampson from Global TV original series Private Eyes, and country star Dallas Smith. The week wraps up with JUNO Country Album of the Year winner Brett Kissel.

Steven Hodge, Anna Olson and Cynthia Stroud

Great Chocolate Showdown, a new serialized dessert competition series that puts 10 home bakers to the test each week makes its debut on Food Network Canada Feb. 4. The show’s judges include television personality and best-selling cookbook author Anna Olson,  award-winning British cake designer Cynthia Stroud, and pastry chef and chocolatier Steven Hodge. Following a North America-wide search, 10 home bakers have earned a ticket to compete for a $50,000 grand prize. Purdys Chocolatier is the show’s official chocolate sponsor.

Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana has launched its first original musical shorts series Toon Bops. The 21×90 second animated shorts have made their international debut on Nelvana’s Treehouse Direct YouTube channel and will be featured on the YouTube Kids’ App homepage in all English-speaking territories worldwide this month. Building on preschoolers’ love of music, the animated shorts feature upbeat original songs surrounding themes like family and friendship.

Citytv’s new series joining the mid-season lineup, include Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector (Jan. 10), based on the best-selling book series by Jeffery Deaver and starring Russell Hornsby as an NYPD detective and forensics genius. Also joining returning series Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Bachelor, and Manifest, is half-hour animated comedy Duncanville (Feb. 16), produced by Amy Poehler. It centres around a spectacularly average 15-year-old boy named Duncan (played by Poehler) with a rich fantasy life in which he’s never anything less than amazing.

TekSavvy Solutions and its affiliate cable company Hastings Cable Vision Ltd. have launched its Cloud PVR service. TekSavvy TV Cloud PVR enables customers to securely store their recorded content in the TekSavvy TV Cloud, allowing subscribers to watch, pause and rewind recorded shows across all of their authorized devices. The TekSavvy TV Cloud PVR starts at $10/month for 50 hours of recording time, with an additional 100 hours available for $15/ month. TekSavvy has also announced new advanced viewing features Look-Back and Restart. Customers who miss the beginning of their favourite shows or games can now go back no matter when they tune in with Restart. Look-Back allows customers to go back up to 30 hours in the electronic programming guide and select shows that have previously aired and watch them in their entirety.

Telefilm has extended the deadline to register for the Canada Now USA 2020 First Look Export Initiative, which provides a preview of 10 films in post-production to the acquisition community in New York (Feb. 12) and Los Angeles (Mar. 5). Eligibility has been expanded to all Canadian films (narrative and documentaries). The new deadline is Dec. 15. Find submission info here.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Shaw Rocket Fund (SRF) are renewing their partnership to fund the production of Canadian digital animated series for children and youth that encourage the use of new technology. The second round of financing through the CMF-SRF Kids Digital Animated Series Program will have a total budget of $5.06M, a $1.76M increase from last round’s $3.3M budget. An eligible project must be an original, animated series, in its first season, created initially for digital distribution – including subscription video-on-demand services – on a platform meaningfully available to Canadian audiences. Applications must be submitted to SRF by Jan. 17. Click here to access the program guidelines.

Women in Film & Television Vancouver (WIFTV), in association with the Whistler Film Festival (WFF), has announced that Joy Haskell is the recipient of the 2019 WIFTV Whistler Film Festival Film Market Preparation Mentorship Program for her project Cookies or Crack. Haskell is an Indigenous screenwriter, director and producer who has previously worked on APTN series Tribal as an associate story editor, and produced TELUS Storyhive comedy piece Cuzzin’. She’ll receive industry immersion at the Whistler Film Festival, as well as personalized coaching sessions with Camille Beaudoin, co-founder and CEO of Mosaic Entertainment. The mentorship program is going into its 8th consecutive year.

Dave Daigle, Vice-President Radio and Local TV, Bell Media, joined Rich Goodman, Head of Capital Development, Toronto Stock Exchange & TSX Venture Exchange, to open the market on Dec. 5 in celebration of the 53rd CP24 CHUM Christmas Wish campaign. Established in 1966, the city-wide toy drive and charity event provides financial assistance to hundreds of agencies, ensuring that hundreds of thousands of children across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) enjoy a holiday experience.

The 56th annual Christmas Daddies Telethon raised over $510,876 on Dec. 8. The Christmas tradition, which airs on CTV in the Maritimes is powered by the energy of hundreds of volunteers – including CTV personalities and local musicians – and benefits children and families in need. 

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