Blink49 Studios, the Endeavour Content-backed content venture founded by former eOne executives John Morayniss, Patrice Theroux, Jeff Lynas and Nelson Kuo-Lee last fall, is adding an unscripted arm to develop a slate of non-fiction entertainment. Targeting the Canadian and international marketplace, the new division will be led by former eOne execs Toby Dormer, Executive Vice President, Unscripted Television, with Allison Brough named Vice President, Unscripted Television. Based in Vancouver, Dormer will report to CEO John Morayniss and oversee development, production and strategy across the new division. Reporting to Dormer and based in Toronto, Brough will helm the creation aspects of the studio’s unscripted portfolio. Dormer has most recently served as Executive Vice President, Unscripted, Canada, at eOne overseeing programming including Project Bakeover (Food Network), Arctic Vets (CBC/NatGeo), Hunt for the Chicago Strangler (Discovery+), and Border Security (Netflix/Global). Brough was Vice President of Development, Unscripted Television & Head of Podcast Network for eOne, responsible for bringing a “podcast to broadcast” model to life in addition to managing a slate of unscripted television including forthcoming Canadaland collaboration, Thunder Bay (CTV/Crave). Read more here.
Cinesite has announced it’s acquired a majority stake in animation and mocap (motion capture) studio Squeeze, located in Quebec City and Montreal. The studio has a creative team of more than 200 artists and technical experts. Co-founded in 2011 by Denis Doré and Patrick Beaulieu and joined by current CFO François Houde in 2014, Squeeze clients include Disney, Marvel, Universal, Illumination, Supercell, Warner Bros. and Ubisoft. Cinesite says the move will allow it to increase its animation content and service offerings for international markets while bringing mocap and Unreal capabilities into the group to service video game and film productions. Squeeze is the fifth studio to join the independently-owned Cinesite group following Image Engine in 2015, Nitrogen Studios (renamed Cinesite Vancouver) in 2017, German VFX studio Trixter in 2018, and most recently L’Atelier Animation last month. Squeeze will retain its brand and creative centre, with its 200 staff to continue to work under the leadership of Doré and Houde. With this partnership, Cinesite now employees more than 780 animation staff across Canada. Read more here.
Boat Rocker will produce and distribute the latest instalment of the Orphan Black franchise, Orphan Black: Echoes. AMC Networks has announced Krysten Ritter (Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Love and Death, Breaking Bad) as the series’ star and executive producer. Set to debut in 2023, Orphan Black: Echoes will have a 10-episode first season. Set in the near future, the series is described as “a deep dive into the exploration of the scientific manipulation of human existence.” Anna Fishko (Pieces of Her, The Society, Fear the Walking Dead) is creator, writer, showrunner and executive producer, with John Fawcett, the co-creator of the original series who also directed 17 episodes across all five seasons, signed on as director and executive producer. David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg, executive producers from Boat Rocker on the original Orphan Black series, return as executive producers on the new series. Katie O’Connell Marsh, Nick Nantell, and Kerry Appleyard will also executive produce for Boat Rocker.
CBC Sports will bring Canadians coverage of the Mixed Doubles Super Series, the next evolution in the sport of curling. Kicking off in Ottawa, Sept. 29 – Oct. 2, the Mixed Doubles Super Series will bring together some of Canada’s top curlers for five events over five weekends. CBC Sports will provide live streaming coverage across its platforms, including CBC Gem, cbcsports.ca and the CBC Sports app. The first four events will be preliminary competitions, consisting of 32 teams from around the world competing in pool play. The final event, Dec. 16-18, in Brantford, ON will be the Super Series Championship, featuring a 24-team triple-knockout format.
Niagara College Broadcasting – Radio, Television, and Film Production students will helm a new streaming platform set to broadcast more than 1,000 hours of live coverage from the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games, Aug. 6-21. Over 90% of scheduled competitions, across 18 different sports, will be available for free streaming at niagara2022games.ca/watch, with select events including commentary in English and French. On-demand content will feature archived events, highlights and a daily highlight show. Another 100+ hours will stream on CBCSports.ca,CBC Gem and Radio-Canada Sports. Niagara College is responsible for management and oversight of the full digital production. Read more here.
Sportsnet will deliver coverage of the 2022 National Bank Open presented by Rogers, Aug. 8-14, across Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE, and Sportsnet 360, and via live stream on SN NOW. Live coverage begins Monday, Aug. 8 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT as the women battle it out on the Toronto hardcourt and the men go for straight sets in Montreal. The broadcast team include daytime host Danielle Michaud, joined by former national tennis coach Robert Bettauer and Canadian doubles player Sharon Fichman. In primetime, Brad Fay anchors the evening coverage with former Canadian professional player Jesse Levine.
Makeful spotlights Britain’s rich heritage of traditional crafts with The Prince’s Master Crafters: The Next Generation (7×60’). Hosted by comedian and artist Jim Moir, the series follows six amateur craftspeople as they learn Heritage Crafts skills crucial to the preservation of landmark buildings, taking on a variety of crafting challenges before creating a final showcase piece to present to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. The Canadian broadcast premiere of The Prince’s Master Crafters: The Next Generation airs Aug. 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Makeful.
Hollywood Suite’s Cinema A to Z: Books, is the first in a series of hour-long episodes that explore common themes through a selection of expertly curated movies. Premiering Aug. 21 at 9 p.m. ET, viewers can also catch the show on Hollywood Suite On Demand, starting Aug. 1. Titles explored will include Pride and Prejudice (1940, 2005), In Cold Blood (1967), Remains of the Day (1993), The English Patient (1996), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) and Silver Linings Playbook (2012). Cinema A to Z will continue this fall with a horror-themed episode featuring the greatest monsters in movie history that will tie into Hollywood Suite’s Shocktober programming lineup. Cinema A to Z: Monsters will be available on Hollywood Suite On Demand, starting Oct. 1.
toober, the Toronto-based live television app designed to connect viewers to specialty television from around the world, has launched eight new channels: Euronews Spanish, Euronews Portuguese, Euronews German, Euronews Greek, Euronews Russian, Euronews Hungarian, Euronews Italian, and Pulse TV, an English-language music video entertainment channel. All channels on the platform are available to every subscriber. toober is available in Canada on Rogers, Shaw, Videotron, Apple TV, Google TV Playstore, and Roku and will be launching globally, and on additional platforms, later this year.