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TV & Film News – CBC to launch two new FAST channels this fall

CBC has announced plans to launch two new free ad-supported streaming (FAST) channels this fall. Following the launch of CBC News Explore last November, the public broadcaster will introduce CBC Comedy, featuring CBC original comedy series like Run the Burbs, Son of a Critch and Sort Of, in addition to standup specials. CBC News BC will broadcast the biggest stories of the day from Canada’s West Coast, with additional local CBC News streaming channels to be made available on connected TVs, the CBC News App and its CBC Gem streaming platform in the New Year. CBC’s 2023-24 programming slate for CBC TV and CBC Gem features over 40 new and returning original series and more than 4,000 hours of new programming, including expanded series versions of feature films Blackberry and Bones of Crows. Read more here.

Citytv has unveiled its primetime lineups for 2023/24. Joining the 18 returning series and special events on its primetime schedule this fall are three all-new shows and one new-to-Citytv series. Anchoring Mondays is new high-stakes drama The Irrational, starring Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order, Rent), followed by highly-anticipated Bachelor Nation spinoff, The Golden Bachelor, featuring a bachelor “in search of a partner with whom to share the sunset years of life.” Thursdays feature new missing-persons drama Found, starring Shanola Hampton (Shameless). Premiering on OMNI Television on June 11 are two new original series, comedy Our Big Punjabi Family and five-part documentary series Katiba Banat: Sisters in Arms, in addition to a new season of Filipino sketch comedy ABROAD.

Citytv has announced that Toronto is getting its own dedicated Law & Order spinoff, set to debut on the network next Spring. One-hour crime drama Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent will be an adaptation of the legendary TV franchise. Citytv says the series will showcase original Canadian stories, written, produced by, and starring Canadians, following “an elite squad of detectives who investigate high-profile crime and corruption in metro Toronto.” Produced by Lark Productions and Cameron Pictures, in association with Citytv, 10 one-hour episodes have been ordered, with production to get underway this fall in Toronto. Read more here.

Bell Media has announced new series set to join CTV and its specialty channels for the 2023/24 season, in advance of its upfront presentation June 8. Coming to CTV are: Snake Oil, a game show hosted and produced by comedian David Spade and executive-produced by Will Arnett via his Electric Avenue Productions; Tracker, based on the bestselling novel The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver, starring Justin Hartley (This Is Us) as lone-wolf survivalist Colter Shaw, who roams the country using his expert tracking skills to solve mysteries; Rescue: Hi-Surf, a Hawaii-set lifeguard drama from executive producer/director John Wells (Shameless); High Potential, written by Drew Goddard (The Good Place) and based on popular French series Haut Potentiel Intellectuel, starring Kaitlin Olson (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Daniel Sunjata (#FREERAYSHAWN); and Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, a quasi-military training reality series.

TSN has announced its CFL ON TSN broadcast schedule, featuring live coverage of every regular season and playoff game, in addition to the 110th Grey Cup, live from Hamilton on Sunday, Nov. 19. The 2023 CFL season kicks off June 8 with the BC Lions taking on the Calgary Stampeders at 9 p.m. ET. CFL ON TSN’s coverage is led by host Kate Beirness alongside CFL Hall of Famers Matt Dunigan and Milt Stegall, sports betting analyst Davis Sanchez, and featuring former CFL head coaches Jim Barker and Paul LaPolice; TSN’s play-by-play broadcast team, including Rod Smith, Dustin Nielson, Marshall Ferguson, Glen Suitor, Duane Forde, Farhan Lalji, and Dunigan; TSN Football Insiders Dave Naylor and Lalji delivering news and analysis from around the league; reporters Matthew Scianitti, Claire Hanna, and Kenzie Lalonde with the latest news in the East Division, while Lalji, Ryan Rishaug, Brit Dort, and John Lu focus on the West Division.

Bell Media has acquired a minority stake in Montreal-based producer Sphere Media. whose original series include CBC/HBO Max co-pro Sort Of, medical drama Transplant, which airs on CTV and NBC, and CBC/BET+ period drama The Porter. Terms of the deal, which reportedly closed in March, have not been disclosed.

Sparkly Frog Clan Productions and Brightlight Pictures have announced the return of reality business competition Bears’ Lair to APTN. Indigenous entrepreneurs are invited to apply to be on Season 2, June 15 at Selected contestants will pitch their ideas to the panel of Bears and guest judges, competing for their share of approximately $160,000 in cash prizes. Season 2 will feature both new and familiar faces with Indigenous business moguls Geena Jackson, Tabatha Bull and Dave Tuccaro returning as Bears, in addition to new judge Clint Davis, former President and CEO of Nunasi Corporation in Nunatsiavut. 

The IWK Foundation has made the decision to reschedule its annual IWK Telethon for Children on CTV until later this summer, due to the devastating wildfires in the Halifax region. The 39-year Maritime tradition usually takes place the first weekend of June. This year’s theme is Stronger Than You Know, highlighting the sheer strength and resilience of patients and families, which the organization says it had no way of knowing how relevant and meaningful that would be.

Youth Media Alliance (YMA) has announced the winners of the 2023 Awards of Excellence during a live gala May 31 at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio. The evening’s big winner was TVOKids’ sports competition series All-Round Champion, which won the Grand Prize, in addition to its cast securing the Award of Excellence for Outstanding Youth Performer or Ensemble. Picture Box Distribution founder Marilyn Kynaston was recognized with the Outstanding Achievement Award, given for a distinguished career in youth production in Canada. Joan Digba received the Emerging Talent Award, given to a rising star in children’s programming. Since 2020, Digba has been an associate producer for Sinking Ship Entertainment, writing for Aunty B’s House (CBC Kids, Headspinner Productions), Jane (Apple TV, Sinking Ship Entertainment), and Beyond Black Beauty (Amazon, Sinking Ship Entertainment).

Telefilm Canada has announced a $19.4M funding commitment to 32 feature-length films, with 25 projects in the English market and seven in the French market, under the lower budget stream of the Production Program for fiscal 2023-24. Among the low budget features approved for funding are Chandler Levack comedy Anglophone; drama Lakeview from Nova Scotia director/screenwriter Tara Thorne; and historical drama Chopping Boy from directors and screenwriters Adam Belanger and David Lafontaine.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy) has announced the return of Women in Post, its development program designed to address barriers to entry and advancement for women and non-binary professionals working in the post-production industry. It’s now accepting applications for its third cohort here through July 4. Building on the success of the first two years of the program, the third year will expand to support up to 12 participants, thanks to an additional funding commitment from Netflix. Participants will partake in a curated observer/mentorship placement aligned with their specific area(s) of interest in post-production. 

VIDAA, the smart TV operating system powering Hisense, Toshiba, and other leading regional OEM brands, and Paramount, have announced a new partnership to bring Paramount+ to smart TVs powered by VIDAA in Canada and Latin America. VIDAA viewers in Canada, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela can now access the Paramount+ library of original content, movies, live sports, and more on their smart TVs. The expanded partnership builds on VIDAA’s initial launch of Paramount+ on VIDAA devices in the U.S. in May 2022.

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