Cityline host Tracy Moore, former CTV National News senior anchor Lisa LaFlamme, TVA anchor Pierre Bruneau, and late Newfoundland producer Paul Pope are among this year’s special award recipients being recognized by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. The Academy’s special awards are bestowed upon those in Canada’s screen-based industry who have made outstanding contributions to the industry and society as a whole. To be recognized during Canadian Screen Week, April 11-16, in Toronto, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine O’Hara, Simu Liu, Jennifer Podemski, and Peter MacNeill are also among this year’s honourees. Read more here. Nominations for the 2023 Canadian Screen Awards will be announced on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
LISTEN: After two years of virtual events, the Canadian Media Producers Association’s Prime Time, Canada’s pre-eminent conference for media production, broadcasting, distribution and media policy, makes its in-person return, Feb. 1-3 in Ottawa. Andrew Addison, CMPA’s Vice-President of Communications, Marketing & Membership, joins us on this episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast to talk about Prime Time’s expansion, the appetite to return to in-person events, and this year’s speaker’s lineup including how they’re approaching contentious policy issues like Bill C-11. Listen on your favourite podcast app or here:
Blue Ant Media and World of Wonder have announced the U.S. launch of Drag Race Universe, a new FAST (free, ad-supported streaming) channel, available now on VIZIO WatchFree+. The channel offers U.S. audiences global versions of World of Wonder’s Emmy Award-winning Drag Race series. With nine international franchises, Drag Race Universe will feature a constant pipeline of new seasons and drag-related programming. Additional platforms carrying Drag Race Universe will be announced in the coming months. The deal represents an expansion of the two companies’ ongoing partnership that sees Blue Ant produce Canada’s Drag Race and Canada’s Drag Race: Canada vs. the World for World of Wonder, in association with Crave.
Farpoint Films and Super Channel have signed an exclusive deal that will see Winnipeg-based Farpoint produce 150 hours of both unscripted and scripted television for Super Channel over the next year, with an option to extend for two more years at 150 hours per year. The first show in production is Death of the Party (26×60), a true crime docuseries that takes a look at mysterious murders linked to house parties, banquets, concerts, festivals and events. The second show is unscripted true crime series, An Hour to Kill, which micro-examines the most fascinating uninterrupted hour of a homicide investigation. Farpoint is planning on rolling on three movies this summer with another collection of documentaries and unscripted series shooting simultaneously utilizing their in-house production and post crew. All shows will be developed and produced in-house at Farpoint Films with Farpoint Distribution taking the majority to market starting at Realscreen 2023.
How To Lose Everything, a CBC Arts Original created by Christa Couture and produced by Michelle St. John, will premiere Jan. 27 with episodes streaming free on CBC Gem. The series of Indigenous animated short films explores personal stories of loss with all five episodes available in English, French, and the Indigenous language of the writer. Inspired by Couture’s debut memoir of the same name, the Indigenous team of writers, animators, directors and composers includes Terril Calder, Archer Pechawis, Chief Lady Bird, Tara Williamson, Meky Ottawa, Smokii Sumac, Megan Kyak-Monteith, Cris Derksen, G.R. Gritt, Melody McKiver, and Taqralik Partridge, representing Cree, Ojibwe, Anishinaabe, Ktunaxa, Inuit, Chippewa, Potawatomi, Atikamekw, and Métis nations.
Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana has begun production on new CG animated series, Millie Magnificent (52×11). The new series announcement kicks off Kids Can Press’ year-long 50th Anniversary celebrations. Inspired by Canadian author-illustrator Ashley Spires’ The Most Magnificent Thing, and following the success of the Nelvana-produced award-winning short film of the same name, the original preschool series has already received strong interest from international broadcasters and is set to deliver in 2024. The new animated series is the second Nelvana adaptation of an Ashley Spires work with her Binky Adventure graphic novels inspiring 3D animated series Agent Binky: Pets of the Universe, produced by redknot, now in its third season.
TSN has acquired the rights to PGA Tour Live, featuring more than 4,300 hours of exclusive coverage from PGA Tour events throughout the season. The acquisition supports the launch of the network’s new direct-to-consumer streaming product, TSN+, available on TSN.ca and the TSN app. TSN+ is also offering coverage of the NTT Indycar Series, augmented NFL feeds for every playoff game and the Super Bowl, and the re-launch of the XFL, beginning Feb. 18. TSN+ is available now for a limited-time free preview, streaming via mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs, and rolling out across platforms including Android TV, Apple TV, Xbox One, Roku TV, LG Smart TV, Samsung SmartTV, and Amazon Fire TV/Stick.
Sportsnet celebrates the 23rd annual Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada – Canada’s biggest single-day hockey celebration featuring all seven Canadian NHL teams in action this Saturday, Jan. 21. The puck drops at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT on Sportsnet with Team Scotiabank facing off against Team adidas as part of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association (PWHPA) Secret Dream Gap Tour. The NHL then takes centre stage as the Tampa Bay Lightning visit the Calgary Flames at 3 p.m. ET / noon PT on Sportsnet & CBC, followed by the Winnipeg Jets vs. Ottawa Senators on Sportsnet West, Sportsnet ONE, and Citytv, while the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens renew their Original Six rivalry on Sportsnet and CBC, both at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. The marathon concludes with the Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks in a Pacific Division battle at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT on Sportsnet and CBC. The complete broadcast will also stream live on SN NOW. In addition to English-language coverage, Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi Edition will air Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens and Oilers vs. Canucks on OMNI, while Hockey Night in Canada in Cree will broadcast Oilers vs. Canucks on APTN.
CTV Original drama The Spencer Sisters begins airing Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app, starting Feb. 10. Created by award-winning executive producer Alan McCullough (Private Eyes, Rookie Blue) and co-showrun with Jenn Engels (Sort Of), the female-led, one-hour procedural follows mystery novelist Victoria Spencer, played by Lea Thompson (Back To The Future, Caroline in the City) and her daughter Darby Spencer, played by Stacey Farber (Virgin River, Schitt’s Creek), who are mistaken as sisters as they tackle puzzling cases in the fictional town of Alder Bluffs, ON. Filmed in Winnipeg, the first season consists of 10 one-hour episodes. The Spencer Sisters is produced by Entertainment One (eOne) and Buffalo Gal Pictures.
The Canadian Academy of Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and CBC have announced the next round of artists set to perform at the 2023 JUNO Awards Broadcast, to be hosted for a second time by Simu Liu. The March 13 broadcast will include performances from AP Dhillon, as well as multi-platinum songwriter/producer duo Banx & Ranx together with singer/songwriter Preston Pablo and dance-pop icon Rêve. JUNO Award winning country star Tenille Townes will also take the stage for the first time. They join previously announced performances from Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Nickelback and four-time JUNO nominee Tate McRae. The 52nd JUNO Awards, produced by Insight Productions, will broadcast and stream live from Rogers Place in Edmonton at 8 p.m. ET/6 p.m. MT on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, CBC Listen, and globally at CBCMusic.ca/junos and CBC Music’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages.
Crave has ordered a second season of hit original comedy Shoresy. Created by and starring Jared Keeso, and produced by New Metric Media in association with Play Fun Games, the six-episode, half-hour series follows fan favourite character, Shoresy (Keeso), and the embattled Sudbury Blueberry Bulldogs as they continue their quest to never lose again. Production is set to begin in Sudbury this spring. According to audience data provided by Bell Media, Shoresy was the most-watched Canadian series debut in Crave history. Hulu will once again be the exclusive streaming home of Shoresy in the U.S., alongside its popular forerunner, Letterkenney.
Crave has announced a partnership with Viaplay Group that delivers more than 150 hours of premium Nordic content to Crave subscribers through Viaplay Select, a branded content concept that offers Viaplay series and films, along with curated third-party content from the Nordic region, to partner platforms around the world. More than 25 Nordic series and films – with a focus on the ‘Nordic noir’ crime drama genre and available in Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish with English subtitles – are now available on Crave, bolstering the streamer’s International TV & Movies Collection.
Hollywood Suite will air the exclusive Canadian premiere of the fifth season of horror anthology series Slasher, with back-to-back episodes on April 6. The highly-anticipated new season of Slasher: Ripper, starring Eric McCormack (Will & Grace), will roll out new episodes Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET. Episodes will be available on Hollywood Suite On Demand following their premiere. Produced by Shaftesbury, the new season is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, Thomas P. Vitale, Aaron Martin, Ian Carpenter and Adam Macdonald. Slasher fans can currently stream Slasher: Flesh & Blood, released last fall and starring horror icon David Cronenberg, exclusively on Hollywood Suite On Demand.
Hot Docs and Netflix are joining forces once again to launch the Hot Docs Incubator, the newest pillar of the Canadian Storytellers Project. The program is designed for documentary filmmakers with a feature-length project that shows creative and market potential. Funding will be provided to successful projects, and each selected team will engage in a series of intensive workshops focused on story, market preparedness, and career or company building. The program will conclude at Hot Docs Festival 2024, where a high-quality teaser to highlight the film-to-come will be shown to international decision-makers and Industry delegates. Five teams of up to two participants per project, with previous experience in directing/producing documentaries, will be selected. Netflix will support each of the five projects with $35,000 CAD in production funds. Applications are open until March 1.
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and The Slaight Family Foundation have announced the latest cohort of Canadian music creators selected to participate in the 2023 Slaight Music Residency, a hands-on program that integrates composers and songwriters into the onscreen storytelling process and advances opportunities for them to work in the screen industry across film, TV and digital. The five participants for the 2023 cohort, now underway until the end of June, are Amine Bouzaher, Conan Kapinski, Lydia Ainsworth, Stella Conway and Tori Morrison.
Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released a series of reports on media and technology usage in 12 different markets across Canada, highlighting similarities and differences across regions, provinces, the North and major cities. Highlights include that 79% of residents of the Atlantic Provinces, 73% of residents of Vancouver and 72% of Torontonians have a paid TV service subscription, making them more likely to subscribe to a traditional TV service than the rest of the Anglophone population. Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) services, such as Netflix, are most popular in Vancouver (86%) and Alberta (85%). Francophones who live in Montreal are also more likely than the general francophone population to subscribe to SVOD services, especially Netflix (77%).