CBC drama series The Porter leads the nominees for this year’s Canadian Screen Awards, set to recognize talent across 145 television, film and digital media categories. Announced by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television on Wednesday, The Porter leads both Television and overall nominations with 19, including Best Drama Series and Best Lead Performer, Drama Series nominations for Aml Ameen, Ronnie Rowe Jr., and Mouna Traoré. In the Film categories, Clement Virgo’s Brother earned a leading 14 nominations. Digital Media nominations were led by Revenge of the Black Best Friend (CBC Gem) with nine, including Best Web Program or Series, Fiction. Read more here.
ACTRA Toronto’s 2022 Sandi Ross Awards recognized award-winning writer, producer and television/radio host Amanda Parris and Toronto-based entertainment agency Jesse Griffiths Casting on Feb. 17. Presented by ACTRA Toronto Diversity & Inclusion Committee co-chairs Chattrisse Dolabaille and Janet Rose Nguyen, the awards celebrate one individual and one company/organization each year whose work demonstrates a commitment to inclusion on screen. The awards are named after Sandi Ross, the first woman and person of colour to serve as president of ACTRA Toronto and the founder of its diverse talent directory, Into the Mainstream.
Simu Liu will host the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Awards presentation on Friday, Feb. 24. The Canadian actor will present nine awards, including an Oscar statuette, to 20 individual recipients during the evening. Liu is also set to host the JUNO Awards broadcast for a second year in a row on March 13.
The CAFTCAD Awards celebrate their fifth year, live from the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, on Sunday, March 5, hosted by Canadian Screen Award winner Peter Keleghan (Slings and Arrows, Murdoch Mysteries) and Samora Smallwood (Lifetime’s Death She Wrote, OWN’s The Kings of Napa). The Canadian Alliance of Film and Television Costume Arts and Design (CAFTCAD) brings together Canadian costume professionals, recognizing designers and artisans across film, television, video, and commercials. Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and Station Eleven lead this year’s nominees, while Quebec costuming pioneer Louise Jobin is this year’s Nobis Industry Icon Award winner.
CPAC will launch new long-form interview series Profile with Michael Serapio this week, with a debut episode featuring Ukrainian Ambassador to Canada Yuliya Kovaliv discussing the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The new show highlights Serapio’s interview skills who joined CPAC in July as English anchor. Profile with Michael Serapio debuts Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. ET on CPAC, and will also be available on CPAC.ca.
Crave is the latest broadcaster to tackle the unsolved murders of Toronto couple Barry and Honey Sherman, announcing new original docuseries, Billionaire Murders, helmed by Toronto Star Chief Investigative Journalist Kevin Donovan. Donovan, who has covered the 2017 murders since day one, is the host of Star podcast The Billionaire Murders: The hunt for the killers of Honey and Barry Sherman, which launched its second season on Feb. 10, and the author of 2019 national bestseller The Billionaire Murders: The Mysterious Deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman. Produced and distributed internationally by eOne, in association with Bell Media, the four-part series will debut later this year. Jocelyn Hamilton, President, eOne Television, Canada, will serve as Executive Producer, alongside Donovan, Vera Lubimova (Timber Kings, Yukon Gold), and Joe Danisi (Murdaugh Murders: Deadly Dynasty, Rebellion!: Stonewall), who’ll also direct. Read more here.
Major League Soccer (MLS) has announced the broadcast schedules for linear partners TSN and RDS, highlighted by a slate of regular season matches involving Canadian clubs CF Montréal, Toronto FC, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The TSN and RDS schedule kicks off with MLS is Back as all three Canadian clubs are in action on Feb. 25. In the early-evening window, Toronto FC will travel to face D.C. United (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN), while CF Montréal will take on Inter Miami CF (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS). Vancouver welcomes Real Salt Lake to BC Place at 10:30 p.m. ET (TSN, RDS2) to close out opening day of the MLS season. Eight MLS Cup Playoffs matches and MLS Cup will be broadcast on the Bell Media sports networks in 2023. Additionally, TSN and RDS will be the linear broadcast home in Canada for select Leagues Cup matches.
The Toronto Arrows Rugby Football Club has renewed its agreement with TSN for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The network will deliver the club’s 16 regular season games in 2023, as well as potential MLR Championship Series matches, to TSN and TSN+ subscribers. Currently available for a limited-time free preview, TSN+ is a new, direct-to-consumer streaming product available exclusively on mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs.
Corus Entertainment has announced it’s rebranding two of its linear kids’ television channels, as TELETOON moves solely into the streaming space. Starting March 27, TELETOON’s linear channel will become Cartoon Network, while Corus relaunches the current Cartoon Network channel as Boomerang. Making its debut in the Canadian market, Boomerang – a spinoff of Warner Bros. Discovery-owned Cartoon Network in the U.S. – features retro content and classic animation series, while Cartoon Network will deliver flagship shows like Total DramaRama, DC Super Hero Girls, and classic TELETOON programming, in addition to new series produced by Cartoon Network Studios, Warner Bros. Animation, and Corus-owned Nelvana Studios. The TELETOON brand, meanwhile, moves solely into the streaming space following last September’s launch of TELETOON+. Read more here.
Club illico has reached a Pay-One licensing agreement with Paramount Global Content Distribution to stream new films from Paramount Pictures’ following their theatrical release. As of December 2022, Club illico is now the exclusive French-language home for all new Paramount Pictures feature films following their theatrical release in Canada. Titles anticipated to premiere on Club illico after their theatre runs include Top Gun: Maverick (2022), Babylon (2023), Scream 6 (2023), Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (2023), Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One (2023), and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part Two (2024).
XITE, the global music video platform, has launched three linear music video channels on free streamer, Pluto TV. The XITE Rock, XITE Classic Country and XITE Gospel channels will focus on rock, country, and gospel, respectively.
Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released new data indicating more than half of Canadians are binge-viewing television monthly. Fifty-eight per cent of Canadians, 18+, say they’ve binge-watched TV in the past month with Francophone Canadians slightly more inclined to watch multiple episodes of a series in rapid succession (61%), vs. 57% of Anglophones. Roughly 15% of viewers are binge-watching daily with men more likely to marathon watch (18%) than women (13%). By SVOD service, Crave subscribers are most likely to be binge-watchers at 71%. Read more here.
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) officially launches its national survey on Feb. 27, gathering the Canadian audiovisual sector’s views on how the current definition of Canadian content should evolve following the passage of Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act. Open to all individuals who work in (or aspire to work in) Canada’s audiovisual production and broadcasting sector, the 10-minute survey is designed to be widely accessible, regardless of role, level of experience, or knowledge regarding Canadian content policy. The industry survey will be complemented by a public-facing survey to gauge popular perceptions of Canadian content, as well as a series of industry workshops in the spring. The initiative will culminate with the publication of a “What You Said Report,” set to be published ahead of the CRTC’s upcoming Bill C-11 policy review.