Shaftesbury CEO Christina Jennings to be honoured by Canadian Film Centre

Christina Jennings

Shaftesbury CEO Christina Jennings will be honoured with the 2018 Canadian Film Centre Award for Creative Excellence. Jennings founded Shaftesbury, the company behind Murdoch Mysteries, and other television, film and web series, in 1987. Shaftesbury titles are sold in 120 countries. Jennings will receive her award on Mar. 21 at a reception in Los Angeles.

BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and ITV, the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, have announced the launch of BritBox in Canada. The subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming service offers what it bills as the largest collection of British TV available, including classics Doctor Who, Poirot and Keeping Up Appearances.

AMI is launching a new wellness-focused documentary series called Mind Set Go. The series follows eight Canadians as they tackle their obesity over a three-month wellness journey. Fitness experts Lowell and Julie Taylor (Amazing Race Canada), along with Canadian paralympians and athletes who have used a positive mindset to overcome their own barriers, provide insight to participants along the way. An Anaïd Production, Mind Set Go airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT starting Mar. 8 on AMI-tv.

Lionsgate reported revenue of $1.14 billion for the third quarter of 2018, net income attributable to shareholders of $193 million, operating income of $80 million, and free cash flow of $140 million in the quarter, while paying down $113 million of corporate debt. Net income and basic EPS include a one-time income tax benefit of $165 million reflecting the impact of the lower U.S. income tax rate under new tax laws. Revenue in the quarter increased 52 per cent  year-over-year, however due to Lionsgate’s acquisition of Starz, fiscal 2018 third quarter results are not directly comparable to prior reporting periods. Media Networks segment revenues increased 6 per cent to $382.9 million driven by higher over-the-top (OTT) revenue growth and revenues from worldwide digital media licensing arrangements. Motion Picture segment revenues increased 14 per cent to $539.1 million due to the strong box office performance of Wonder and continued strong international performances of La La Land and American Assassin

DHX Media Ltd. reported its second quarter and first six-month results for the period ended Dec. 31, 2017. Revenue for Q2 2018 grew by 55 per cent to $121.9 million, compared to Q2 2017, which included four per cent organic growth, and 51 per cent acquisitive growth mainly from Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake.  For H1 2018, revenue rose by 66 per cent to $220.6 million. For Q2 2018, adjusted EBITDA was as expected, at $32 million with net income reported at $7.4 million.  In H1 2018, adjusted EBITDA was $54.8 million and net income at $15.6 million.

APTN is bringing back 1990s Canadian TV drama North of 60. The network will start airing the entire six seasons starting Feb. 19, after receiving numerous letters over the years from the show’s fans, in addition to a petition with 1,500 signatures lobbying to bring the show back to the small screen. Created and produced by Barbara Samuels and Wayne Grigsby, North of 60 stars Tina Keeper, Tom Jackson, Tracey Cook and Gordon Tootoosis, among others.

Videotron has reached a last-minute deal with AMC to keep the channel in its lineup. Videotron announced Friday it’s reached a new deal with the cable channel, which is home to popular original series like The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul. Videotron will offer AMC on free preview until Feb. 28.

City TV and OMNI Television workers, represented by Unifor in Toronto, have voted 84 per cent to ratify a new tentative agreement with Rogers Media. The three-year agreement covers 288 media workers, including camera operators, hosts, reporters, editors, production assistants, writers, switchers and other production crew. It offers a two per cent wage increase retroactive to Nov. 1, 2017, 1.75 per cent in each of the next two years, and additional two per cent wage increases in 2020 and 2021.

CBC has ordered a second season of culinary competition The Great Canadian Baking Show. Bakers can apply online for a chance to participate in the upcoming season. Based on the hit British format and produced by Proper Television, Season 2 begins production in Toronto in summer 2018 and will air on CBC in the fall.


Jinny Harris

Jonny Harris of CBC’s Still Standing and Murdoch Mysteries and Emma Hunter of The Comedy Network’s The Beaverton and CBC’s Mr. D, will co-host the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast Gala live on CBC on Mar. 11. The Canadian Academy and CBC also announced Insight Production Company, as their production partner for the broadcast.

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University has received a $1.9 million grant from the Knight Foundation to research the future of television news. The grant will fund initiatives aimed at ensuring TV news outlets remain competitive in broadcast and digital storytelling.