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TV & Film News – Black Screen Office releases audience research study ‘Being Counted’

The Black Screen Office has released Being Counted, its study centred on the experiences, screen media preferences, and viewing habits of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour audiences – a first in Canadian audience research. Among its findings are that systemic biases are embedded in traditional audience research methodologies, limiting the discovery of new and innovative insights, and rationalizing existing practices. The report says there is also an undeniable link between what is on screen and who occupies decision-making and creative roles in the sector. Key takeaways include that there is an urgent need for representative content that has complex characters, especially as the volume of diverse entertainment content available on other platforms continues to increase. It also recommends that viewing behaviours of BIPOC audiences be disaggregated from typical audience research data in order to be visible to broadcasters. 

Sam Mendes

Academy Award–winning filmmaker Sam Mendes will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award. The TIFF Tribute Awards will return as an in-person gala fundraiser during the 47th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, Sept. 11. TIFF will be presenting the Canadian Premiere of Mendes’ most recent work Empire of Light, which he wrote, directed, and produced. Mendes made his feature film debut at the festival in 1999 with the World Premiere of American Beauty, a TIFF People’s Choice Award winner, for which he was honoured with an Oscar in the Best Director category. The TIFF Ebert Director Award recognizes filmmakers who have exemplified greatness in their careers. Named after legendary film critic Roger Ebert, the Award marks an evolution of the festival’s Roger Ebert Golden Thumb Award, which in past has gone to visionaries like Martin Scorsese, Claire Denis, Ava DuVernay, and the late Agnès Varda

The Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC) will host the Canadian Screen Music Awards, celebrating excellence in scoring original music for the screen on Sept. 21. Open to all Canadian and permanent resident composers, the Guild has released this year’s nominees across nine categories. Additionally, the SCGC special award for Distinguished Service to the Industry will be awarded, as selected by the Guild’s Board of Directors

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is accepting recommendations for its Special Awards until Sept. 15. They include the Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute, presented to a Canadian individual for their extraordinary impact on the growth of the Canadian media industry; the Industry Leadership Award; and Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism.

Jay Baruchel

Boat Rocker has struck a first-look deal with actor, writer, director, and producer Jay Baruchel. Under the deal, Baruchel will develop and produce original television, film and digital projects. Baruchel, who starred in all three seasons of Simon Rich-created Man Seeking Woman on FXX, is also known for voicing Hiccup in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, co-writing and starring in the Goon movie franchise, and his roles in blockbuster comedies Tropic Thunder, Knocked Up, and This is the End. Baruchel most recently hosted LOL: Last One Laughing Canada from Boat Rocker’s Insight Productions for Amazon Prime Video. He’ll also be a series regular in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s upcoming spy adventure series for Netflix. Baruchel joins other first-look deals recently struck with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s Maroon Visions, Dakota Johnson and Ro Donnelly’s TeaTime Pictures, and Shamier Anderson and Stephan James’ Bay Mills Studios.

Global has announced premiere dates for the fall 2022-23 primetime season. Among the new series joining the schedule are dramedy So Help Me Todd (Sept. 29), starring Marcia Gay Harden and Skylar Astin; action drama Fire Country (Oct. 7), starring Max Theriot; music drama Monarch (Sept. 14) with Susan Sarandon, Trace Adkins and Anna Friel; and The Real Love Boat, (Oct. 5) hosted by Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell, in which viewers set sail for love and nostalgia.

Showcase and W Network have announced fall premiere dates for new and returning programming, including Peacock titles and Hallmark Channel programming. Among the Showcase highlights are the modern reimagining of classic sci-fi novel, The Midwich Cuckoos, premiering Sept. 1, starring Keeley Hawes and Max Beesley. Peacock comedic thriller The Resort debuts Sept. 11, a multi-generational, coming-of-age love story from the creators of Palm Springs and Mr. Robot. Premiering Oct. 17 is Peacock’s true-crime limited drama series A Friend of The Family featuring an all-star cast including Anna Paquin, Jake Lacy, Colin Hanks, Lio Tipton, Mckenna Grace and Hendrix Yancey. Premiering on W Network is Peacock’s Vampire Academy on Sept. 18, based on the Richelle Mead novels; Peacock’s Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin on Nov. 24, a new comedy series starring Adam Devine who reprises his role as Bumper Allen from the hit film franchise as he moves to Germany to revive his music career. Corus Entertainment’s Sex with Sue also premieres Oct. 10, a feature-length documentary on the decades-long career of sex educator Sue Johanson

CTV Original comedy Children Ruin Everything returns for its second season, Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, beginning Sept. 19. Created and executive produced by Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Kurt Smeaton (Schitt’s Creek), and set and filmed in Toronto and Hamilton, confirmed to guest star on the series’ second season are Kim Coates (Bad Blood, Sons of Anarchy) and Aaron Ashmore (Ginny & Georgia, Killjoys); with Anna Hopkins (The Expanse, Shadowhunters) reprising her role as “Disaster Mom.”

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) has unveiled the AMI-tv schedule for the 2022 fall broadcast season, with a lineup of new and returning AMI originals available in described video for the blind and partially sighted community. They include Double Tap TV, which returns for a fifth season on Sept. 13, bringing viewers discussions on everything tech with an eye on accessibility. New series Healthy at Home makes its debut Sept. 14. Produced by Honey Cut Studios, fitness instructor Bobbi Janzen – a member of the blind and partially sighted community – guides viewers through a home workout giving step-by-step detailed instruction, often focusing on the muscle groups overused when using a white cane or guide dog. 

CBC and CBC Gem are set to premiere Summit 72 on Sept. 14, telling the definitive story of the legendary ‘Super Series’ through a modern lens, and exploring its legacy and lasting influence on Canadian national identity. In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the tournament and with exclusive rights from Team Canada ‘72, multiple filmmakers collaborated to create the 4 x 60-minute documentary series. Series producer, Nicholas de Pencier, shares writing and directing credit across all episodes with the team of author, musician and director, Dave Bidini; multi-award-winning writer, producer and director, Robert MacAskill; and nine-time Emmy-winning journalist and news anchor for Chicago’s ABC News, Ravi Baichwal. Among the hockey legends participating are Phil Esposito, Ken Dryden, Serge Savard, Paul Henderson, Vladislav Tretiak, and Boris Mikhailov. The remaining three episodes of the docuseries will air on consecutive Wednesdays at 8 p.m. local time (8:30 NT). 

SportsGrid, the 24-hour streaming network serving the sports wagering audience, has launched on FuboTV in the U.S. & Canada. Hosted by a team of on-air personalities, sports and betting experts, and guest contributors, the network features real-time sports news, data, analytics, and statistics, including daily odds, matchups, injury reports, and more across the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, college sports, golf, tennis, and soccer. The network’s live programming originates from television production facilities adjacent to Madison Square Garden in New York City and at the SG Studios & Production Hub in Holmdel, New Jersey.

TVA Sports has extended its deal with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for four more years until 2026, including all 250, 500 and 1000-level women’s tennis tournaments. The extensioh ensures Quebecer Leylah Fernandez, Canadian Bianca Andreescu and other stars of women’s tennis will continue to been on TVA Sports, as the exclusive French-language broadcaster.

Netflix is adding more than a dozen classic Canadian television series to its library, starting this month and available through January. Among the series coming to the streamer are 1994’s “Due South,” starring Paul Gross; 2010 crime drama “Rookie Blue”; and 2014’s “Sensitive Skin,” starring Kim Cattrall as a woman coming to terms with aging.

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