TV & Film News – CBC reveals successful Creative Relief Fund projects

thinktv, on behalf of member companies, Bell Media, Corus Entertainment, Rogers Sports & Media and Quebecor Media, has announced an agreement in principle to adopt a common set of advanced advertising audience segments. thinktv says the adoption of standard audience segments is another step forward in the industry’s journey to facilitate better planning and buying of multiplatform television. Powered by Environics Analytics, the segments are geared towards the largest advertising categories in Canada. thinktv says a linear TV campaign optimized across the four broadcasters will deliver combined reach of more than 90% of total linear television audiences representing targeting at scale – with greater consistency, efficiency, and effectiveness. Rogers, Corus, and Bell started the new offering June 24, with Quebecor to follow later this year.

CBC has revealed the 119 successful Canadian projects selected to receive support through the public broadcaster’s $2.2 million Creative Relief Fund, announced in April. Launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund is aimed at providing immediate development and production funding to original Canadian projects, including scripted comedies and dramas, unscripted entertainment, kids and young adult programming, podcasts, play adaptations and short documentaries. Barbara Williams, Executive Vice-President, CBC, said the public broadcaster was overwhelmed by the response, receiving close to 9,000 submissions. 99 projects have been selected for development funding and 20 for production funding, including 51 projects (43%) from storytellers who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, or from other visible minority groups. Read more here.

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) and Teamsters Local 362 have ratified a new three-year master agreement, establishing the terms, conditions and rates for Alberta film, TV, and digital media production crew, including drivers, wranglers and caterers. The deal marks the first-ever Canadian independent production industry labour negotiation to be completed virtually, with negotiators participating from locations across Canada. The new master agreement, which will remain in effect until Mar. 31, 2023, includes a revised budget tier and wage structure for the first year of the agreement. The parties also agreed to a one per cent wage increase in the second year of the deal, and a two per cent increase in the third. 

Corus Entertainment has struck an agreement with NBCUniversal that gives the broadcaster exclusive rights to air Peacock Original programming in Canada. The move is a strong indicator that the coming subscription video on demand (SVOD) service won’t be available on this side of the border. Peacock, named for the iconic NBC logo, is set to launch in the U.S. on July 15. The Corus deal includes a selection of original scripted and unscripted content, along with movies and specials, including new series, Girls5Eva, executive produced by Tina Fey; Aldous Huxley adaptation Brave New World, starring Alden Ehrenreich, Harry Lloyd and Jessica Brown Findlay; Rutherford Falls, created by Ed Helms, Sierra Teller Ornelas and Mike Schur; and reboots of Punky Brewster, starring Soleil Moon Frye; and Saved By The Bell with Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley. Read more here.

Blue Ant Media has launched three new linear channels on The Roku Channel, including its wildlife and nature brand Love Nature, Love Nature Español, as well as ZooMoo, a children’s offering devoted to the animal world. The deal is part of Roku’s expansion of its free live/linear channel lineup, which now offers more than 100 free channels. Blue Ant says the partnership is an important step in its AVOD expansion in the U.S. market, allowing it to introduce its premium brands to one of the largest and most engaged streaming audiences in the world.

The CRTC has denied Blue Ant Media’s request to reduce its PNI (Programs of National Interest) requirement. The commission determined Blue Ant did not give sufficient justification to have its required PNI spend reduced from 13.5% to 5% for its eight discretionary services A.Side, BBC Earth, Cottage Life, HIFI, Love Nature, Makeful, T + E and Smithsonian Channel.

Telefilm has released details of the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund Top-Up for Regional Companies. As previously announced, a portion of the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund was reserved to provide additional support to clients from regional companies with a head office in any part of Canada more than 150 km from Toronto or Montreal. The regional top-up is only available for existing, eligible clients who have already received emergency funding from Telefilm in the first phase. Details for the top-ups reserved for interrupted shoots will be released shortly.

Global Citizen and the European Commission have announced Global Goal: Unite for Our Future – The Concert, a globally televised and digitally streamed special that will highlight the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on marginalized communities. Hosted by Dwayne Johnson, The Concert will feature performances from Chloe x Halle, Christine and the Queens, Coldplay, J Balvin, Jennifer Hudson, Justin Bieber and Quavo, Miley Cyrus, Shakira, Usher and Yemi Alade, with appearances from Charlize Theron, Chris Rock, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Jackman, Ken Jeong, and Kerry Washington, among others. It will premiere Saturday, June 27 across the globe, including Bell Media, CBC, Citytv, and Global TV in Canada, and streamed on Apple, Brut, Roku, Insight TV, TIDAL, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo! and YouTube.

Bell Media has confirmed its new and returning series, including Season 2 renewal for Transplant, Season 3 renewal for JANN, and new seasons of Corner Gas Animated, The Amazing Race Canada, Wynonna Earp, and an all-star edition of Masterchef Canada: Back To Win. New series include Children Ruin Everything, created by writer/producer Kurt Smeaton (Schitt’s Creek) and executive produced by Chuck Tatham (Modern Family) and Mark Montefiore (LETTERKENNY); paranormal series The Surrealtor; new music docuseries This Is Pop from Banger Films; and Holmes Family Effect, starring contractor Mike Holmes & family. Crave has confirmed Season 9 of LETTERKENNY, while Discovery Networks adds new original series Mud Mountain Haulers (from the producers of Heavy Rescue 401); and Chasing Monsters. CTV and Crave are also set to air new original documentaries on Buffy Sainte-Marie, Howie Mandel, and Thomas King, author of national bestseller The Inconvient Indian.

Citytv has announced its 2020/21 schedule, featuring four new shows and 21 returning series and events. New to Citytv this fall is Law & Order: Organized Crime on Thursdays, where Christopher Meloni reprises his role as Elliot Stabler. Citytv brings three new comedies into the mid-season mix with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson starring in single-cam comedy Young Rock, inspired by his formative years. Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s Mr. Mayor stars Ted Danson as a wealthy businessman who runs for mayor of Los Angeles for all the wrong reasons, along with reality show Alaska: The Last Frontier. Returning are comedies black-ish, Bless the Harts, Bob’s Burgers, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Duncanville, Family Guy, mixed-ish, Mom, and The Simpsons, and dramas Hudson & Rex, Manifest, and A Million Little Things, in addition to The Bachelor / Bachelorette and Chicago Med / Fire / P.D. New series coming to FX and FX NOW in Canada include The Old Man, A Teacher, and Y: The Last Man; returning dramas American Crime Story, American Horror Story, Fargo, Mayans M.C., Pose, and Snowfall; and returning comedies Atlanta, Better Things, Breeders, Dave, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mr. Inbetween, and What We Do in the Shadows.

Corus Entertainment has announced its 2020-21 programming slate featuring 43 new and returning Canadian Original series and movies. Among the highlights, Food Network Canada makes its first foray into the documentary realm with Cheese: A Love Story (6×60), while Tiffany Pratt (Family Home Overhaul) hosts new series Bake or Break (wt) (10×60). Food Network Canada also debuts new series Bakeaway Camp with Martha Stewart and Big Time Bake, hosted by Buddy Valastro. HGTV Canada debuts Corus Studios Original series, Family Home Overhaul (8×60), where HGTV Canada contractors and designers transform households for deserving families, as well as east coast renovation series Rock Solid Builds (10×60). HISTORY unveils seven new and returning Canadian Original series, including Big Timber (10×60) following the work of loggers on Vancouver Island debuting this fall, and docuseries Backroad Truckers (8×60) featuring the daring lifestyle of independent truckers in northern B.C. National Geographic debuts new series Barkskins, filmed in Quebec and starring Marcia Gay Harden (The Newsroom), and Trafficked with Mariana Van Zeller as the Award-winning journalist investigates the global underworld. YTV’s fall schedule boasts three new Nelvana-produced series, The Dog & Pony Show (26×30), Ollie’s Pack (26×30), and a reboot of The Hardy Boys (13×60). 

Global’s 2020/21 slate includes three new primetime shows. They include Global Original, Departure, starring Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) and Oscar winner Christopher Plummer (All The Money In The World); a reboot of The Equalizer starring Queen Latifah (Chicago, Bessie), who also serves as executive producer; and sci-fi drama neXt starring John Slattery (Mad Men). The new series join 19 returning primetime shows, with Global also announcing it’s picking up CBS newsmagazines 60 Minutes and 48 Hours, beginning this fall.

Sportsnet is celebrating female athletes, builders and rising stars in new interview series, Top of Her Game. Hosted by Tara Slone, the weekly 30-minute show will feature guests like WWE’s Stephanie McMahon and Charlotte Flair; Kim Davis, NHL Executive Vice President, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs; Waneek Horn-Miller, the first Mohawk woman to compete in a Summer Olympic Games; and Chantal Petitclerc, Canada’s Most Decorated Paralympian. Top of Her Game premieres Sunday, June 28 at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT on Sportsnet ONE and Sportsnet NOW. Interviews will also be available online the following day on sportsnet.ca and Sportsnet’s YouTube channel.