Canada Media Fund (CMF) has opened its Canadian Content industry survey, announced last month, gathering the audiovisual sector’s views on how the current definition of Canadian content should evolve. Open until March 31, the insights gathered from the survey will be condensed into a “What We Heard” style report, to be published ahead of the CRTC policy review, following adoption of Bill C-11.
CBC and BET Plus co-production The Porter won’t get a second season. While CBC supported and had greenlit another season of the historical drama, which is heading into the Canadian Screen Awards with a leading 19 nominations, BET Plus decided to pass on renewal. Executive producer Jennifer Kawaja told the Toronto Star that attempts by Sphere Media to interest other American and British networks in the series, which depicts the formation of the first Black union and is primarily set in 1920s Montreal, was met with a lack of interest due to the series’ distinct Canadian point of view.
Bell Media is teaming up with entertainer, musical artist, and the first-ever winner of Canada’s Drag Race, Priyanka. The partnership includes a development deal and a first-look acquisition opportunity on international projects. Priyanka will also join ETALK as a special contributor, including bringing her interview and hosting skills to the studio and red carpet.
CTV new original drama series Sullivan’s Crossing joins the network’s midseason schedule Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app beginning March 19. From the team behind Netflix series’ Virgin River, and adapted by executive producer and showrunner Roma Roth from the bestselling novels by Robyn Carr, Sullivan’s Crossing stars Morgan Kohan (Transplant), alongside Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill), and Scott Patterson (Gilmore Girls). Filmed in Nova Scotia, the 10-episode one-hour drama follows the journey of neurosurgeon Maggie Sullivan (Kohan), whose life is turned upside down after finding herself in unexpected legal trouble, taking refuge in her childhood home of Sullivan’s Crossing, a campground run by her estranged father.
Crave’s March highlights include the premiere of Crave Original Series, Disobey (Desobeir: Le Choix De Chantale Daigle) on March 8. The six-part, one hour drama focuses on the infamous 1989 story of Chantale Daigle and her legal battle surrounding the right to abortion in Canada. The series follows a weekly release schedule with new episodes dropping Wednesdays. Also making its Canadian documentary premiere March 21 is And I Still Sing from award-winning Afghan-Canadian filmmaker, Fazila Amiri, featuring controversial Afghan pop star and activist Aryana Sayeed as she mentors young hopefuls for Afghan Star, Afghanistan’s hugely successful version of American Idol. With two young women on the verge of being named the show’s first-ever female winners, the Taliban take over and their dreams are suddenly under threat.
Just For Laughs Vancouver and CBC have announced a third season of original series The New Wave of Standup (14×10), beginning March 24 on CBC Gem. The third season showcases 14 Canadian comedians including Brendan D’Souza, Travis Lindsay, Rachel Schaefer, Courtney Gilmour, Bobby Warrener, Charles Haycock, Seán Devlin, Dino Archie, Heidi Brander, Jackie Pirico, Jacob Balshin, Laura Leibow, Malik Elassal, and Mike Green.
PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Canada has extended its broadcast agreement with TSN for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. For the sixth consecutive year, TSN will deliver more than 30 weeks of PBR programming, bringing viewers highlight specials from both the PBR Canada Cup Series and PBR Unleash The Beast. The 30th anniversary schedule begins March 8 with the first broadcast of the 2023 PBR Canada Cup Series, recapping the season-launch event in Red Deer, AB.
The Tim Hortons Brier gets underway on TSN beginning March 3 at 7 p.m. ET, culminating with the final March 12 at 7 p.m. ET on TSN, TSN.ca, and the TSN app. This year’s field is highlighted by 2022 Tim Hortons Brier champion Brad Gushue and Team Canada; two-time World Champion and four-time Brier champion Kevin Koe and Team Alberta; and 2021 Brier champion Brendan Bottcher’s Team Wild Card #1. TSN play-by-play commentators Vic Rauter and Bryan Mudryk are on-site at Budweiser Gardens in London to deliver the call, alongside analysts Cathy Gauthier and Russ Howard.
Prime Video has announced new Amazon Original Francophone docuseries, Pendant ce temps en cuisine. Over eight episodes, the docuseries follows the fast-paced lives of six chefs over six months, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the chaotic world of the restaurant industry. Pendant ce temps en cuisine premieres on Prime Video in Canada, starting March 10. Produced by Pixcom in association with Amazon Studios, chefs featured include Antonin Mousseau-Rivard from Le Mousso, Simon Mathys from Mastard, Alex Cohen and Raegan Steinberg from Arthurs, Maria-Josée and Zoya De Frias from Le Virunga, Kim Côté and Perle Morency from Côté Est, and Mike Lafaille from Kwizinn.
Cottage Life’s latest original series Mission Unexplained features Military Police Officers, U.S. Marines and U.S. Air Force medics, among others, talking about the unexplained events they’ve witnessed on the front lines. From mystifying lights to vanishing civilians and mechanical mysteries, the series sees military veterans recount their harrowing experiences. The world broadcast premiere of Mission Unexplained airs on Cottage Life on March 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT during the channel’s eight-week nationwide free preview event, happening until April 30.
BritBox International has reached a milestone of three million total subscribers across the eight international markets where the streaming service is available, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, South Africa, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Representing subscriber growth of over 15% during the past year across all of the BBC and ITV joint venture streaming service’s markets, BritBox International previously announced subscriber milestones of 1M in March 2020, 2M in July 2021, and 2.6M in March 2022, with the service having grown by 300% in under three years.
Guitar Lessons – The Movie is opening in 70 more cinemas nationwide after multiple sold out shows in more than 70 communities across the prairies. Telling the story of a 15-year-old Metis boy who inherits a guitar from a father he never knew and sets out to find someone to teach him to play it, the film stars musician Corb Lund as an oilfield contractor rumored to have been something of a rock star. Financed by the community of High Level, AB with no distributor or festival exposure, the film was shot in 18 days. Extra Butter Pictures says Guitar Lessons has done more than $100,000 of box office and growing.
Super Channel and the Canadian Film Fest (CFF) have teamed up for a fourth year to present a hybrid festival from March 28 to April 1. Canadian Film Fest Presented by Super Channel will showcase nine features, 25 shorts, and a digital series, running concurrently for audiences to enjoy in-person at Toronto’s Scotiabank Theatre and virtually on Super Channel Fuse. The festival will open with the Toronto premiere of Quebec-made comedy, Babysitter from director Monia Chokri, adapted from Canadian playwright and screenwriter Catherine Léger’s play of the same name. The Canadian premiere of Super Channel Original feature film, Wintertide from writer/director John Barnard will close the festival.
The Quebecor Fund has announced the Canadian production companies that will receive a total of $2.1 million in backing in the 45th round of the fund’s Television Production Assistance Program. Under the Support for the Creation of Intellectual Property component, $621,568 is being granted to projects from PVP Média, Attraction Images, and Yzanakio, supported by Corus Média, Bell Media and Société Radio-Canada, respectively. Under the Support for the Production of Intellectual Property for International Markets component, administered in partnership with the Canada Media Fund (CMF), a total of $1,917,000 will be divided among 10 fiction projects and one documentary produced by Encore Télévision, Les Productions ALSO, Urbania TV, ComediHa!, V10 Média, Duo Productions, Productions Pixcom, Productions Sovimage, A Média, Trio Orange, and Productions J. The selected productions will air in Canada on Corus Média, TVA Group Inc., Télé-Québec, Bell Media, Société Radio-Canada and TV5 Québec.