TV & Film News – CBC to offer Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony in eight Indigenous languages

CBC will mark the official start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Friday with extensive coverage of the Opening Ceremony beginning at 7 a.m. ET (4 a.m. PT). Co-hosted by Scott Russell and Adrienne Arsenault, live coverage will be carried on CBC, CBC News Network, TSN and Sportsnet, as well as CBC Gem, the dedicated Tokyo 2020 website and the CBC Olympics app. Coverage of the opening ceremony will be offered in eight Indigenous languages including Eastern Cree, Dehcho Dene, Dënësųłinë́ Yałtı, Gwichʼin, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, Sahtu Dene and Tłı̨chǫ. 

CBC, along with broadcast partners TSN and Sportsnet, will offer more than 1,275 hours of broadcast coverage, with an additional 2,500 hours of live sport across its online channels. CBC Radio One will feature the five-minute LIVE at :25 Olympic Report, every hour during regional morning, noon and afternoon drive shows, providing updates on Canadian athletes and teams. World Report, World This Hour and World at Six will also feature live reports and stories. Telelatino (TLN) will once again offer Men’s and Women’s football coverage and daily recaps. Select English and French highlights will also be available to Canadian publishing partners through STN Video

Mary Simon

CBC News will carry full coverage of the installation of Canada’s 30th Governor General Mary Simon on Monday, July 26, which will be simultaneously interpreted in Inuktitut on CBC Gem, CBCNews.ca and CBC North’s Facebook page. The CBC News special will be live and commercial-free on all CBC platforms and hosted by chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton. The first-ever CBC News simulcast in English and Inuktitut, will take audiences inside the VIP arrivals and ceremony in Ottawa, and into Simon’s hometown of Kuujjuaq, Que., for the community’s reaction to the historic appointment. An audio special will be hosted by Nil Köksal and Juanita Taylor on CBC Radio One and CBC Listen. The swearing-in ceremony will also be covered in eight Indigenous languages across multiple CBC radio stations.

TVA Group, with support from the Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal, has announced the expansion of MELS studios, with the construction of MELS 4. Set for completion in spring 2023, TVA says the project will allow MELS to attract more major film shoots. The $53M infrastructure project, accompanied by an additional $23M in equipment investments over a 10-year period, will cover a total of 160,000 sq. ft. – 60,000 of which will be dedicated to the new film studio which will be dividable into two smaller studios. The rest of the space will feature staging areas, workshops, production and auxiliary function offices. The Government of Quebec, through Investissement Québec, will provide MELS with $25M to support construction. Upon completion of MELS 4, MELS will feature 21 studios totalling over 500,000 sq. ft. of production space, including over 270,000 sq. ft. for studios. 

Pixomondo (PXO) and William F. White International have announced their second virtual production LED volume in Toronto slated to open Aug. 3. Known as Stage 6, the 16,100 sq. ft. stage features a large semi-circle LED volume that measures 62 ft. across and is equipped with a ceiling consisting of four dynamic modular sections, each with the ability to move and angle itself independently or as a single unit, giving Directors of Photography more flexibility when it comes to lighting. Stage 6 is designed for shorter duration shoots that only require space for a limited amount of time compared to the multi-month bookings associated with large scale, visual effects heavy TV and film projects. Stage 6 is based at Studio City’s recently completed development in the Port Lands district.

The 48th annual Daytime Emmys were handed out over the weekend. Among the Canadian-produced winners were animated Netflix series Hilda, co-produced by Ottawa’s Mercury Filmworks, which picked up awards for Outstanding Children’s Animated Series and Outstanding Editing in a Daytime Animated Series during the Children’s & Animation ceremony. Late Jeopardy! Host Alex Trebek was posthumously awarded Outstanding Game Show Host.  

Telefilm Canada has released the results of its gender-parity initiatives for projects funded during the 2020-21 fiscal year. The statistics show that parity (50%) was achieved for all three key roles (director, screenwriter and producer) in terms of number of films financed, and that the parity zone (40%+) was reached for the percentage of funding of all three key roles. In addition, 70% of the projects supported have at least one woman in a key role, comparable to the average over the last three years. Projects having at least two women in a key role rose to 54%, exceeding last year’s result of 47%. Find complete figures and analysis here.

The Directors Guild of Canada has launched a new DGC Census that will allow DGC members to voluntarily self-identify according to demographic characteristics including region, age, cultural community, gender and gender identity, disability status and sexual orientation as well as factors like family and marital status. Partnering with research firm Nordicity, the guild says the data will help guide the DGC’s efforts towards greater inclusion and more effective programs. 

Colin Farrell in The North Water

CBC/Radio-Canada and the BBC, in partnership with Super Channel, have commissioned five-part Arctic nautical adventure The North Water, a UK/Canada treaty co-production from Rhombus Media and the UK’s See-Saw Films. Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Ian McGuire, the drama is adapted and directed by Andrew Haigh (45 Years, Looking) and stars Jack O’Connell (Unbroken, Godless), Colin Farrell (In Bruges, True Detective), and Stephen Graham (Line of Duty, Boardwalk Empire), together with an ensemble cast that includes Inuit actor Natar Ungalaaq (Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner). The North Water will make its Canadian debut on Super Channel Fuse on Sept. 19 with each episode available on Super Channel On Demand the day following its weekly linear broadcast, followed by wide release on CBC TV, CBC Gem, ICI TÉLÉ and ICI TOU.TV in fall 2022. The series will premiere in the UK on BBC Two this fall and stream on AMC+ in the U.S. this summer.

Alfre Woodard

Alfre Woodard has signed on to join the first season cast of BET+ and CBC series The Porter (8×60), from Inferno Pictures and Sienna Films (a Sphere Media company). Currently shooting in Winnipeg, Woodard joins Aml Ameen (I May Destroy You, Yardie), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Star Trek: Discovery, Pretty Hard Cases), Mouna Traoré (Self Made, The Umbrella Academy), Oluniké Adeliyi (Titans, American Gods) and Loren Lott (American Idol, Tag).

LoCo Motion Pictures has begun production on the third season of CBC Gem original scripted tween series Detention Adventure in Toronto. In the new season, Carolyn Taylor (Baroness Von Sketch Show) will guest star in five episodes and up-and-coming singer, dancer and actor Danté Prince has been tapped to co-star as “Dash” alongside returning series regulars Simone Miller Castoro-Qualizza, Tomaso Sanelli, Alina Prijono, Jack Fulton, Lilly Bartlam, Andrew Moodie, Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll and Stacey McGunnigle. Benjamin Ayres will also return as a guest star as “Bruno Black.” Blue Ant International has secured the worldwide distribution rights to the third season of the series (outside of Canada).

Bell Media has confirmed the sale of Discovery original docuseries Mud Mountain Haulers to non-fiction channel DMAX in Germany. Already renewed for a second season, Season 1 aired in the U.S. on The Weather Channel earlier this year. The network has also committed to partner on the newly-renewed second season. From the producers of Highway Thru Hell and Heavy Rescue: 401, Mud Mountain Haulers follows Craig LeBeau and his three-generation LeBeau Bros. family logging business through the steepest, muddiest conditions in North America. The debut season is the #3 Canadian program on Discovery for Adults 25-54, this broadcast year.

Hollywood Suite will broadcast the six-part CNN Original docuseries The Movies this August. Making its debut with “The Seventies” on Aug. 10, with new episodes following Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET through Sept. 14, all episodes of The Movies will be available on Hollywood Suite On Demand beginning Aug. 1. From Emmy Award-winning executive producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman in association with HBO and producer Mark Herzog, The Movies explores American cinema through the decades and the cultural, societal and political shifts that framed its evolution. The series combines archival footage and interviews with leading actors, directors, producers and historians like Paul Thomas Anderson, Tim Burton, Cameron Crowe, Billy Crystal, Robert De Niro, Jon Favreau, Amy Heckerling, Ron Howard, Holly Hunter, Anjelica Huston, Baz Luhrmann, Julianne Moore, Ed Norton, Rob Reiner, Molly Ringwald, Ridley Scott, John Singleton, and Robert Zemeckis, among others.

T+E will premiere new original series Encounter: UFO on Aug. 10. The eight-part docuseries weaves together first-hand accounts of UFO encounters and abductions, video evidence and paranormal reenactments. A national survey, commissioned by the paranormal television broadcaster and conducted by market research firm Ipsos, reveals one in 10 Canadians claim to have seen an unidentified flying object. According to the survey results, close encounters of the alien kind are most likely to happen in the Prairies: 16% of Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents claim to have seen a UFO, compared to 10% of Quebecers, 9% of Ontarians, 8% of Albertans, 7% of British Columbians, and just 5% of Atlantic Canadians. Canadian science writer, ufologist and expert contributor in the new series, Chris Rutkowski, says the survey results are in line with his own research, with more reports during the pandemic.

TSN and RDS have announced a multi-year media rights agreement that continues to make the Bell Media sports networks Canada’s exclusive English and French-language homes of Wimbledon. The rights extension sees extensive, multi-court coverage of the tournament on TSN and RDS, highlighted by simultaneous matches, post-match reports, analysis, news and highlights, as well as additional bonus court coverage available to stream.