TV + Film NewsTV & Film News - SAG-AFTRA reaches tentative agreement with AMPTP

TV & Film News – SAG-AFTRA reaches tentative agreement with AMPTP

The SAG-AFTRA picket line in New York City on July 14, 2023. (@sagaftra/Twitter)

ACTRA (The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) says it’s relieved SAG-AFTRA has reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) after a 118-day long strike. On strike since July 14, the union says the tentative three-year contract includes “above-pattern” minimum compensation increases, provisions for consent and compensation that will protect members from the threat of AI, and for the first time establishes a streaming participation bonus. 

Crave award-winning original series Letterkenny will drop its twelfth and final season on Dec. 25, consisting of six new episodes. Created by and starring Jared Keeso, Crave’s first-ever original series premiered in 2016, establishing a loyal fanbase. According to data provided by Bell Media, Letterkenny is the most-streamed Canadian show on the platform for the past several years. 

CBC is bringing extended three-part original series Blackberry to CBC Gem and CBC TV on Nov. 9. All three episodes will be available to stream for free on CBC Gem and beginning that evening, a new episode will air weekly on CBC TV. From Rhombus Media and Zapruder Films, Blackberry is director and co-writer Matt Johnson’s (Nirvanna the Band the Show) take on the rise and demise of the world’s first smartphone, starring Jay Baruchel (This Is The End) and Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia).

l-r: Supinder Wraich, Enrico Colantoni, Stephen Lobo; from bottom left to right: Adolyn H. Dar, Brian Markinson, David Cubitt

CBC and Lark Productions have announced casting and production details for Anar Ali’s (Transplant) character-driven police procedural Allegiance (10×60), now in production in Vancouver and BC’s lower mainland. A CBC Original series, being produced in association with Universal International Studios, the series features an ensemble cast led by Supinder Wraich (Sort Of), Enrico Colantoni (Station Eleven), Stephen Lobo (Continuum), Adolyn H. Dar (Superman & Lois), Brian Markinson (A Million Little Things) and David Cubitt (Virgin River); with showrunners Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern (Flashpoint, X Company) at the helm. Allegiance will premiere on CBC Gem and CBC TV in winter 2024.

Nelly Furtado

Nelly Furtado will host and perform at the 2024 JUNO Awards Broadcast on March 24. The 53rd Annual JUNO Awards, produced by Insight Productions, will broadcast and stream live from Scotiabank Centre in Halifax on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, CBC Listen, and globally at and CBC Music’s YouTube page. Furtado will host the awards for the second time since her 2007 debut in Saskatoon. The JUNO Awards has also announced the induction of hip-hop pioneer Maestro Fresh Wes into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Tegan and Sara will be honoured by CARAS with the 2024 Humanitarian Award recognizing their contributions to Canada’s social culture and worldwide, to be presented by actor, producer, director, and Halifax native Elliot Page.

The 2023 Canada’s Walk of Fame 25th Anniversary Celebration will be co-hosted by The Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott, along with singer, songwriter, Broadway star and previous Walk of Fame inductee Deborah Cox. Taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Dec. 2, CTV will broadcast the event Dec. 16. Inductees announced to date include The Honourable Rosalie Silberman Abella, Michael Budman and Don Green, Tantoo Cardinal, Degrassi, Avril Lavigne, Connor McDavid, Dr. Brenda Milner, Rick Mercer and Gary Slaight. Also joining Canada’s Walk of Fame this year are the 13 Canadian rock bands and musicians honoured during “Canada’s Rock of Fame” including April Wine, Chilliwack, Glass Tiger, Lee Aaron, Lighthouse, Loverboy, Max Webster, Michel Pagliaro, Platinum Blonde, PRISM, Rough Trade, The Parachute Club, and Trooper

Global News’ Remembrance Day coverage will include two special presentations, Canada Remembers, hosted by Dawna Friesen, and No Stone Left Alone, hosted by Tracy Tong, along with regional specials in Vancouver and Calgary. Friesen will be joined by Dean Oliver, Director of Museum Services at Know History Inc., and former Vice President of the Canadian War Museum. Airing at 7:30 a.m. PT, 8:30 a.m. MT, 10:30 a.m. ET, CT, and 11:30 a.m. AT, the special also includes Mercedes Stephenson and David Akin reporting from Ottawa and coverage of an Indigenous ceremony and the Remembrance Day ceremony live from Ottawa. No Stone Left Alone will air at 10 a.m. ET, CT, MT, and PT and 11 a.m. AT, highlighting the service and sacrifices of Canada’s military. Following the national broadcast, Global Calgary will air Calgary Remembers at 10:30 a.m. MT, in partnership with the Field of Crosses, hosted by Global News anchor Linda Olsen, live on location, and Blake Lough in studio. Global BC will also air BC Remembers at 10:30 a.m. PT. The one-hour ceremony at Victory Square in downtown Vancouver will be hosted by anchors Chris Gailus and Sophie Lui.

OUTtv has commissioned three new documentaries. Produced by Firestarter Productions, Our Gay Family explores a family with three generations of women living a gay life from their early twenties to mid-fifties; The Last American Gay Bar, produced by Kristian Day Media and Daylite Pictures, is a three-part series telling the story of the rise and fall of gay bars in America through the eyes of three red state institutions; while Escape to Paradise is a one-off doc looking into the life of Filipino-American drag queen and reality television personality Manila Luzon, produced by Producer Entertainment Group.

Wallop Film has announced that TELUS original documentary Tojo and the Tale of Daruma, based on the life of internationally acclaimed Chef Hidekazu Tojo, is in production in B.C. and Japan. The documentary, from Director Mads K. Baekkevold (Chamber of Ox) and writer Natalie Murao (No More Parties), follows the Master Chef’s story, known as the chef who invented the California Roll and for moving seaweed to the inside of rolls as a way to appeal to western palates. Despite his success, he has faced a staggering amount of prejudice since immigrating to Canada in the ‘70s. Using his story as a springboard, the film is billed as “a touching immigrant narrative centered on a man standing tall in the face of adversity.” 

Paramount+ is now the streaming home of Yellowstone in Canada. As of this week, all seasons of the franchise are available to stream on Paramount+, including the first eight episodes of the fifth and final season. As announced last week, the series final installment moves to November 2024 with two more spinoffs forthcoming under the working titles 1944 and 2024. Paramount+ is also exclusively streaming Dutton family origin stories 1883 and 1923.

Stingray has introduced ZenLIFE by Stingray on VIZIO WatchFree+ (channel 583), marking its entry into the wellness space as a Free Ad-Supported Television (FAST) channel in the U.S. ZenLIFE features a wellness music collection spanning genres including Spa, Zen, Healing, and Meditation as well as a variety of easy-listening music, featuring light acoustic, relaxing jazz, and study and focus music, complemented by tranquil nature videos. 

Pink Triangle Press (PTP) is launching an initiative, with support from the Canada Media Fund (CMF), aimed at promoting greater diversity within the Canadian film, television, streaming, and gaming industries. PTP says the partnership will advocate for LGBTQ2S+ professionals working in screen industries through research, reporting, and recognition, with the foundation of their work established via an industry-wide survey to identify needs, gaps, systemic issues, and opportunities for those working in film, television, streaming, and gaming. PTP says a series of industry “Pink Papers” focused on LGBTQ2S+ representation will be released with contributions from the editorial team at Xtra Magazine, to be made available in 2024 to the industry at large as a resource.

LISTEN: Beyond bringing film to audiences, the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) has made an effort in recent years to explore new technology and champion local artists and tech talent. VIFF presented the second edition of Signals at this year’s festival, in partnership with DigiBC, an interactive exhibition featuring 35 curated projects that investigate the potential of creative tech in storytelling. On this episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast we catch up with VIFF Executive Director Kyle Fostner, DigiBC Executive Director Loc Dao, Dene interdisciplinary artist Casey Koyzcan, and filmmaker Loretta Todd, one of the matriarchs behind the IM4 Lab, an inclusive Indigenous space offering mentorship in immersive technologies.

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