The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) has released a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Report. The new report reflects membership data from 2017-22 and includes contract data from 58 live-action and 29 animated series that started production last year. When it comes to new members joining the Guild, the share of diverse writers increased from 29% to 56% in 2022, however at the end of 2019, just 8% of members identified as diverse, compared to 15.8% in 2022. For the first time, the report also includes earnings data, showing that while non-diverse animation writers represent 22.9% of working writers and account for 15.4% of total earnings, diverse animation writers represent 8.6% of working writers but only account for 2.2% of total earnings. Read the full report here.
Knowledge Network is announcing Stories (Un)told, a new commissioning stream in partnership with Creative BC, for mid-career to senior B.C. producers and directors to create premium limited documentary series. Funding for the initiative includes $2.25 million from Creative BC, part of a historic $42 million investment made by the Province of B.C. in support of B.C.’s creative sector. Knowledge Network will develop, commission and broadcast three high impact limited documentary series over three years, highlighting B.C. stories that have been hidden from view or that are being reframed with new context and insight.
Paramount Global has announced the global expansion of EyeQ, the ViacomCBS cross-product digital video advertising platform. EyeQ allows advertisers to activate campaigns across the full scale of Paramount’s domestic and international digital content portfolio, spanning brands from CBS Sports to Pluto TV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. Paramount says its Pluto TV FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming) service, with its growing footprint across four continents and 35 territories, will fuel EyeQ’s international expansion, in addition to the introduction of a Paramount+ ad tier in select international markets, including Australia and Canada, next year. The international launch will begin as a beta program and roll out to all advertising and agency partners in early 2024. Read more here.
Bell Media and Fox Entertainment Global have struck a new licensing and distribution pact that sees the companies partner to support original Canadian productions for Bell Media platforms, including CTV and Crave, and FOX in the U.S. The deal encompasses English-language scripted drama and comedies, unscripted competition, and docuseries with CTV or Crave acting as the commissioning broadcaster. Initial projects will be produced in Canada by Toronto-based prodco Neshama Entertainment. Read more here.
CTV is launching a new, early edition of CTV National News, starting Monday, Nov. 13 to be hosted by veteran anchor Sandie Rinaldo. The half-hour newcast will air weekdays at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV.ca, CTVNews.ca, and the CTV and CTV News apps. The flagship edition of CTV National News, led by Chief Anchor Omar Sachedina, will continue to wrap up the news of the day at 11 p.m. ET/PT. CTV National News will also provide segments on key stories that will air as part of the early evening CTV News local newscasts on Saturdays and Sundays. Read more here.
Seth Rogen is among the executive producers behind new competition series, The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down, for CBC. Set to premiere in winter 2024, the series – based on the British format – will see 10 Canadian potters face off to be crowned “Canada’s top potter.” It’s hosted by Canadian actress and comedian Jennifer Robertson (Schitt’s Creek, Ginny & Georgia). A potter in his own right, Rogen also serves as a guest judge. The series was shot this summer at a studio on Granville Island in Vancouver. Read more here.
CBC has the exclusive Canadian broadcast rights to Now and Then – The Last Beatles Song, a short documentary that explores the story behind the last Beatles song, with exclusive footage and commentary from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Sean Ono Lennon and Peter Jackson. Now and Then – The Last Beatles Song will broadcast exclusively in Canada on CBC TV and stream on CBC Gem. The documentary film, written and directed by Oliver Murray, tells the story behind the new single, which was written and sung by John Lennon, and now finally finished by McCartney and Starr more than four decades later.
Nelvana has secured multiple global distribution deals for 3D animated preschool series Builder Brothers Dream Factory (40x11min), including with ITV for the new streaming platform ITVX in the UK. Co-produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment and Scott Brothers Entertainment, the series has made additional deals with Warner Brothers Discovery for Southeast Asia, Genial Media for Spain, and NRK for Norway. The series currently airs on Discovery Kids in Latin America, and on Corus Entertainment’s STACKTV and Treehouse in Canada. Builder Brothers Dream Factory is inspired by the real-life Property Brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott, a pair of regular kids who use their imagination, creativity, grit and heart to help friends and solve problems in the neighbourhood.
The HISTORY Channel Original docuseries, Our War, shines a light on extraordinary contributions made by Canadians during World War I and II. Over two, one-hour episodes, premiering back-to-back on Nov. 11, descendants of these Canadians explore and share the truths behind their family histories. Each investigation reveals Canadian stories about ordinary individuals who made brave and profound contributions to World War I and World War II.
Corus Entertainment’s Historia invites viewers to delve into the daily life of three stuntmen and stunt coordinators. The new documentary series Cascadeurs, produced by PVP Média and directed by Éli Laliberté and Nathalie Pelletier, shines the spotlight on a profession where preparation and training play key roles in confronting the challenges represented by height, sharp objects, fire, fights, and car chases. Airing beginning Nov. 8, Quebec stunt coordinators Jean Frenette, Héléna Laliberté and Jean-François Lachapelle take viewers through their stunts, from planning to execution on the day of filming.
Discovery’s latest Canadian Original docuseries, Forensic Factor: A New Era premieres Friday, Nov. 17. The six-episode, one-hour docuseries explores how innovations in forensic science, combined with the expertise of dedicated crime scene investigators work together to uncover the truth. Produced in partnership with Bell Media Studios and Attraction, the updated series traces its DNA to the classic Discovery Original Canadian docuseries Forensic Factor, which premiered in 2003, and ran for six seasons. New episodes will also be available on CTV.ca and the CTV app each week.
RONA is returning to Québec television with reality show Le Grand chantier RONA, created in partnership with Bell Media’s Noovo and produced by Zone3. Hosted by Marie-Lyne Joncas, the home improvement competition sees 12 couples compete over 10 weeks to win a brand-new, fully furnished home. The series comes 20 years after the success of Ma Maison RONA.
Super Channel Heart & Home will bring viewers 19 new holiday movies, including 12 festive films making their Canadian broadcast premieres. Underway from Nov. 24 to Dec. 31, this year’s lineup features over 100 new and returning titles available live and On Demand. Thirteen Canadian-made features include Super Channel Heart & Home Original Country Hearts Christmas from Brain Power Studios and starring pro wrestler Chris Jericho and Lainey McAuley. Super Channel’s Teri Hart will be back this season with a series of Instagram Live interviews taking viewers behind the Christmas movie magic.
The Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF) has announced that the winner of the 2023 WIFF Prize in Canadian Film is Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person directed by Ariane Louis-Seize. The prize carries a cash value of $25,000, awarded to the film’s director. Philippe Falardeau received the WIFF Spotlight Award for his distinguished film career that has made an impact within the industry. His body of work includes the Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar, The Good Lie starring Reese Witherspoon and My Salinger Year starring Margaret Qualley, Sigourney Weaver and Colm Feore. The award was presented to Falardeau at the screening of Lac-Mégantic: This Is Not An Accident. WIFF runs until Nov. 5.