Numeris says the Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday, May 6 drew 7.6 million viewers in Canada. 71% of that viewing was live. Audiences started to tune in to coverage just before 4 a.m. ET, peaking at just after 9 a.m. The audience measurement agency says the data affirms that when history is made, Canadians turn to their TVs.
The CW has picked up CBC series Son of A Critch. The 13-episode first season will air this summer. Created by Mark Critch and Tim McAuliffe (The Office, Last Man on Earth, MacGruber), the CBC original series premiered on CBC TV and CBC Gem in Jan. 2022, with Lionsgate handling U.S. and international distribution. Focused on 11-year-old Mark’s coming of age in St. John’s in the ‘80s, the series is based on Critch’s 2020 book, Son of a Critch: A Childish Newfoundland Memoir.
Vérité International Distribution and Bejuba! Entertainment have announced that Genius Brands International has acquired the non-exclusive U.S. broadcast and streaming rights for CBC Kids original hit music series Jeremy and Jazzy (55 x 2 minute + 2 specials). The series will make its U.S. premiere on Kartoon Channel! on May 12. Jeremy and Jazzy is a catchy, heartwarming musical series based on the music of folk-pop musician Jeremy Fisher, and starring Fisher, along with afro-pop musician Aiza Ntibarkure. CBC Kids originally debuted the program in Sept. 2022, and recently commissioned a second season.
CBC original family drama Heartland started production on its 17th season this week in Alberta. Season 17 features 10 one-hour episodes, the first of which will be the 250th episode of the series that debuted in 2007. Produced by Dynamo Films and SEVEN24 Films, the new season will premiere exclusively in Canada on CBC and CBC Gem this fall. The longest-running one-hour drama in Canadian television history, based on the bestselling books by Lauren Brooke, Season 17 filming locations include Calgary, High River, Millarville, and Longview, AB.
Jennica Harper (JANN) and Nelu Handa (Sort Of) will co-showrun Season 3 of CBC original comedy, Run The Burbs. Created by writer and actor Andrew Phung (Kim’s Convenience) and filmmaker Scott Townend (The Secret Marathon), the series is produced by Pier 21 Films and distributed by Fifth Season. Season 3 is slated to be broadcast on CBC and CBC Gem in Winter 2024. Harper steps in after showrunning three seasons and a holiday special of Jann Arden CTV comedy JANN. Handa has written and produced on the previous two seasons of Run The Burbs. With a history of collaboration, they take over from Season 2 showrunner Anthony Farrell.
CTV unscripted dating series Farming For Love will air Sundays, beginning May 28 with writer, actor, and comedian Sabrina Jalees (Roast Battle Canada) announced as host. Based on the long-running Fremantle format, The Farmer Wants A Wife, which has resulted in 197 weddings and 480 children to date, Farming For Love sees five eligible Canadian farmers embark on a journey to find true love.
Global News has unveiled coverage plans for the upcoming Alberta 2023 election on May 29. Decision Alberta will be available on Global TV in Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge; on radio on QR Calgary, 630 CHED and Global News Radio 880 Edmonton; via streaming at Globalnews.ca or the Global TV App; and on social media. On May 18, Global News and CTV News co-present a special live presentation of the 2023 Alberta Provincial Leaders Debate with United Conservative Leader Danielle Smith and NDP Leader Rachel Notley, moderated by Global Edmonton’s Scott Roberts and CTV’s Erin Isfeld, to be televised live on Global, CTV, CBC and Rogers across Alberta, along with a live stream on PostMedia. Election night coverage will be hosted by Global Calgary anchor Linda Olsen and Roberts, with coverage from Global News Chief Political Correspondent David Akin, Global Calgary’s Dallas Flexhaug, Joel Senick and Blake Lough and Global Edmonton’s Carole Anne Devaney and Saif Kaisar. 630 CHED’s Shaye Ganam and QR Calgary’s Rob Breakenridge. Mercedes Stephenson and The West Block will have feature interviews and analysis of the election with a special edition of the program from Alberta on May 28. Dawna Friesen and Global National will also be broadcasting live from Edmonton on the eve of the election and election night.
OUTtv has launched a channel on Amazon Prime U.S., available as an add-on to Prime Video subscribers. The channel is an extension of OUTtv’s partnership with Amazon Prime in Canada and Australia, where OUTtv has been available as a channel since 2021. The channel features day and date releases of all OUTtv originals like Stormy Daniels-hosted gay dating reality series “For The Love of DILFs”; queer sex symbol showdown “Hot Haus”, hosted by Tiffany “New York” Pollard; and “Behind The Drag Queen of The Year Pageant Competition Award Contest Competition,” starring Alaska and Lola LeCroix.
The Youth Media Alliance (YMA) Awards of Excellence Gala will be hosted by Anisha Joshi, Creo Walters and Mercedes Gaztambide of CBC’s reboot of Street Cents on TikTok. They’ll announce this year’s winners during a live gala at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio on May 31. Sixteen prizes will be awarded, selected from over 60 nominated productions. 175 youth media professionals are expected to attend the celebration of Canadian youth media. The script will be written by Daniel Fernandes, an up-and-coming director, writer, and producer who previously worked on YTV’s Zone Weekend and Big Fun Movies, as well as TVOkids. He will be mentored by Holly Brace-Lavoie, a writer, filmmaker, and content creator with 20 years of experience in the industry.
Telefilm Canada’s Canadian Cinema – Reignited digitization initiative is announcing 23 Canadian titles that will receive funding for digitization and/or restoration this year, for a total of $659,640. Following a call for projects, decision-making was based on the cultural relevance of the film and its importance in Canadian film history, as well as its potential for commercial exploitation. Among the projects selected are: Joshua Then and Now (1985), Director: Ted Kotcheff, Screenwriter: Mordecai Richler; Archangel (1990), Director: Guy Maddin, Screenwriters: Maddin and George Toles; The Sweet Hereafter (1997), Director and screenwriter: Atom Egoyan; Poor Boy’s Game (2007), Director: Clement Virgo, Screenwriters: Virgo and Chaz Thorne; and Incendies (2010), Director: Denis Villeneuve.
Hot Docs Festival has awarded the 2023 Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary, as determined by audience poll with a cash prize of $50,000, to Someone Lives Here (D: Zack Russell | P: Matt King, Andrew Ferguson | Canada), the story of a young Toronto carpenter building life-saving shelters for unhoused people facing the winter outside during the pandemic. Veteran Canadian producer Bonnie Thompson, producer of Echo of Everything, received the Don Haig Award, given to an outstanding independent Canadian producer with a film in the festival in recognition of their creative vision, entrepreneurship and track record for nurturing emerging talent. The Lindalee Tracey Award, honouring an emerging Canadian filmmaker with a passionate point of view, strong sense of social justice and a sense of humour, was presented to Gaëlle Graton. Chinese American documentarian Christine Choy received the 2023 Outstanding Achievement Award. Read more about this year’s honourees here.
The 33rd annual Inside Out Toronto 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival has revealed its full film lineup. Showcasing 107 films from 30 countries, including 33 feature films, and seven world premieres, the festival will take place both in-person and virtually, May 25-June 4, in Toronto. Opening the festival will be the Canadian premiere of Ira Sachs’ French romantic drama Passages, which premiered earlier this year at Sundance to rave reviews. Closing the festival will be the World Premiere of Glitter & Doom by Tom Gustafson, a love story told through song lyrics by the Indigo Girls and featuring Alex Diaz, Missy Pyle, Tig Notaro, Alan Cammish and Lea DeLaria, along with the Indigo Girls themselves.
The 31st Toronto Jewish Film Festival will take place, June 1-11, consisting of 77 films/series (including 28 Canadian premieres) from across the globe, including The Man in the Basement, which will open the festival at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema with director Philippe Le Guay in attendance. The festival will be taking a hybrid approach, making it more accessible to a wider audience with certain screenings in-person, in addition to a selection of virtual screenings which can be found at tjff.com.