TV & Film News – CMPA reports another record year for Canadian production

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The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) is reporting another record year for Canadian film and television, however its Profile 2022: Economic Report on the Screen-based Media Production Industry cautions it will be difficult to sustain that level of production. Looking at the state of film and television production in Canada between April 2021 and March 2022, the report indicates total production volume leapt by an unprecedented amount, reaching an all-time high of $11.69 billion. The industry added over $2.56 billion in production spending, pushing it 21.8% higher than the previous pre-pandemic high of $9.60 billion in 2019/20. The biggest growth contributions came from foreign location and service (FLS) production, increasing 27.3% to $6.71 billion, and Canadian television production, increasing 38.9% to $3.51 billion. Broadcaster in-house production also recovered from a COVID-19 downturn, increasing by 1.9% in 2021, driven by more spending on news programming, among other genres. Read more here.


(ACTRA Toronto/George Pimentel)

ACTRA Toronto announced the winners of the 21st ACTRA Awards at an intimate, in-person gathering at the Palais Royale in Toronto on April 26. Among this year’s winners were CBC/HBO Max comedy Sort Of, which won the Members’ Choice Series Ensemble Award. FX Network’s What We Do In The Shadows claimed the 2023 Stunt Ensemble Award. Find the full list of winners here.

APTN and Radio-Canada, in collaboration with the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO), have launched a new pilot project to support Indigenous creators in the pre-development stage of their project. The Radio-Canada-APTN Early Stage Scripted Development Program for Indigenous Creators, in association with the ISO, is open to emerging Indigenous audiovisual content creators. Selected participants will have access to Radio-Canada and APTN executives, and receive tailored support for their projects with the aim of progressing them to the next stage of development, and ultimately into production. Funding will be distributed based on project need, to a maximum of $18,000. The deadline to apply is June 7.

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced a new partnership with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in support of science on screen. Breakthroughs: The Sloan Science on Screen Programme equips screen creators with industry connections and creative support to further their science- and/or technology-focused projects. The program will run at TIFF from 2023-24, funded by a gift from the foundation, comprised of the Sloan Science & Technology Project Pitch, the Sloan Science & Technology Writer Fellowship, and the Sloan Science on Film Showcase. Applications for the Project Pitch are now open. 

Bell Media has announced a landmark longterm, exclusive licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery that makes Crave the home of programming from the studio for years to come, in addition to feeding Bell’s suite of specialty channels and CTV platforms. Expanding on a previous licensing agreement announced in 2019, the deal includes HBO and Max Originals; the DC universe; the Wizarding World of Harry Potter; new cable series; library television series; pay and post-pay window rights for Warner Bros. films; and library films. French-language rights are also secured for HBO and Max Originals, Pay 1 films, Friends, the Harry Potter collection of films, and other select content. Read more here.

Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana has announced a development deal with Japan’s Polygon Pictures to deliver Japanese originated animated content for kids. The development collaboration leverages Polygon’s position and reputation in the Japanese market, with Nelvana’s track record of partnering to bring Japanese animated properties like Bakugan, Beyblade, and Cardcaptor Sakura to global audiences. Assisting Nelvana and Polygon with the venture is veteran animation expert Rika Sasaki, who brings experience managing Japanese IP for global export from her previous roles at d-rights Inc., ADK Emotion and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions. Corus says the collaboration will focus on Japanese properties aimed at younger audiences, drawing inspiration from both existing legacy content and creating new perspectives such as lifestyle, publishing, and design.

CTV News will provide live coverage of King Charles III’s ascension to the throne with CTV National News special The King’s Coronation, airing live from London on Saturday, May 6 at 4 a.m. ET across CTV, CP24, CTV News Channel,, and the CTV and CTV News apps. Led by Chief News Anchor Omar Sachedina, the special will start with the Royal Procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, and continue with the Coronation ceremony itself. Along the route will be reporters Paul Workman, Genevieve Beauchemin, Joy Malbon, and Daniele Hamamdjian, as well as CTV News Channel Anchor Merella Fernandez and CTV Your Morning host Anne-Marie Mediwake. Network coverage will also feature analysis and insight from CTV Royal Commentators Afua Hagan and Sally Osman. Additionally, CTV News Chief Political Correspondent Vassy Kapelos co-hosts special coverage live from Ottawa, joined by Senior Political Correspondent Mike Le Couteur and Royal Commentator Richard Berthelsen. CTV News’ Digital Executive Producer Mary Nersessian covers the Coronation for CTV News digital platforms. 

Adrienne Arsenault

CBC News’ Chief Correspondent Adrienne Arsenault is in London for The Coronation of King Charles as the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey unfolds and King Charles III is crowned. Special guests will include former CBC London bureau chief Ann MacMillan and historians Dan Snow and Peter Johnson. The live coverage starts at 4 a.m. ET on CBC TV, CBC News Network, CBC Gem, CBC Explore and the CBC News App. Nahlah Ayed and John Northcott bring the view from Canada as the coronation takes place in a live CBC Radio special with Canadian royal historian Carolyn Harris, also streaming on CBC Listen, beginning at 5:30 a.m. ET. Following the events in London, CBC News Chief Political Correspondent Rosemary Barton will be live from Ottawa, beginning at 10 a.m. ET. On Sunday, Ian Hanomansing hosts a special edition of Cross Country Checkup live from London with Canadian reaction to the weekend’s pageantry, and special guests reflecting on the future of the monarchy. The show will air across CBC Radio, CBC News Network, CBC Listen and Facebook at 4 p.m. ET. CBC News Explore is also featuring Arsenault’s exclusive interview with Princess Anne, broadcast on CBC News Network at 7 p.m. ET.  

The CW has picked up CTV Original drama series Sullivan’s Crossing, based on the books by best-selling author Robyn Carr (Virgin River). Shot in Nova Scotia, The CW pickup for the 2023-24 TV season sees alumni Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill) and Scott Patterson (Gilmore Girls) return to the network. The show also stars Morgan Kohan (Transplant).

Global has unveiled its summer programming lineup, highlighted by the return of Global scripted series Family Law (May 22) and Departure (Aug. 7) and new reality competition series Superfan. The new six-episode, one-hour unscripted series features Kelsea Ballerini, Gloria Estefan, Little Big Town, LL COOL J, Pitbull and Shania Twain as they each crown their biggest fan. Debuting June 9, the musical game show sees contestants vie in multiple rounds of play to prove they are their favourite artist’s most devoted supporter.

Zarqa Nawaz

CBC Gem original comedy ZARQA is in production on Season 2 of the series from Zarqa Nawaz (Little Mosque on the Prairie) and produced by her Regina-based production company FUNdamentalist Films. The new six-episode season will premiere on CBC Gem later this year. It follows Zarqa’s (Nawaz) pursuit of a holier-than-thou social influencer’s friendship and clout that backfires when she gets cancelled, sending her life spiralling out of control. Joining the cast are Aliza Vellani (Sweet Tooth), Greg Ochitwa (Corner Gas), Mark Claxton (Corner Gas), Kayvon Khoshkam (No Way! Podcast), Dakota Ray Hebert (Shelved), and Pam Haig Bartley (My Chernobyl, True West). 

GESPE'GEWA'GI: The Last LandRezolution Pictures has announced that APTN has greenlit Season 3 of GESPE’GEWA’GI: The Last Land for a nine-episode, half hour series. Principal photography is set to start in May on the heels of Season 2 which has just finished post-production and will be broadcast on APTN in late 2023. The character-driven series features people who do sometimes volatile and dangerous, yet exciting jobs, celebrating the Indigenous people of Atlantic Canada and the fisheries that sustain them. Season 3 will expand coverage of Mi’kma’ki, bringing viewers to different communities in Unama’ki, the Land of the Fog (Cape Breton) and Epekwitk (meaning lying in the water), aka P.E.I. The first season is available on APTN lumi and CBC Gem.

Thunderbird Entertainment Group has optioned New York Times bestselling novel Mad Honey, co-written by Jodi Picoult (My Sister’s Keeper, Wish You Were Here) and Jennifer Finney Boylan (She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders, Good Boy: A Life in Seven Dogs), for a premium series adaptation. Thunderbird CEO and Chair Jennifer Twiner McCarron, Thunderbird President and Chief Creative Officer Matthew Berkowitz and Tuatara Media principal Barbara Wall will executive produce on behalf of Thunderbird, along with Picoult and Boylan.

Super Channel’s GINX Esports TV Canada is adding movies to its programming roster on Monday nights. Beginning May 8 and running weekly for nine weeks, gamers can put down their consoles and kick back on Monday nights to enjoy classic movies that appeal to a gaming audience. The GINX Canada Movie Night will kick off with titles including Power Rangers, Gamer, Fubar and Henchmen, among other films.

Discovery is offering a nationwide free preview of its complete family of channels, including: Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Velocity, Discovery Science, and Investigation Discovery until May 30 via Bell, Cogeco, Eastlink, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, Telus, and participating members of the CCSA. New and returning series include the debuts of Discovery original series, Bush Wreck Rescue (May 17) and East Harbour Heroes (May 29).

Pluto TV is offering an exclusive look at new Paramount+ series Fatal Attraction, starring Joshua Jackson and Lizzy Caplan. Viewers can stream the first two episodes of the new series beginning May 5 at 8 p.m. ET on Pluto TV’s Fatal Attraction Paramount+ pop-up channel or on demand. The new, eight-episode series, which debuted on Paramount+ on April 30, is a reimagining of the 1980s feature film through the lens of privilege, personality disorders, family dynamics, and murder. Canadian users can watch Pluto TV via, the Pluto TV app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, Chromecast, Samsung and LG devices, and mobile apps on the App Store and Google Play

Wheelchair Basketball Canada (WBC) and CBC Sports will provide live streaming coverage of the Canadian Men’s games at the Ottawa Invitational tournament, May 18-20. Additionally, the final two games on Sunday, May 21, will be streamed. The action includes games against the U.S. and the Netherlands, live from Carleton University Ravens’ Nest on CBC Sports digital platforms, including CBC Gem, and the CBC Sports app, as well as WBC’s YouTube channel.

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