TV & Film News – Public broadcaster says half of all Canadians have watched its Tokyo 2020 TV coverage

CBC/Radio-Canada has released Numeris data indicating that since the beginning of the Tokyo Olympic Games, more than half of all Canadians have watched the public broadcaster’s television coverage with 20.3 million viewers tuning in on either an English or French TV network to date. Additionally, CBC is marking record digital audiences for Tokyo 2020 with 8.4 million video views on CBC digital platforms so far, an increase of 65% compared to the same period during Pyeongchang 2018, which marked a similar time difference for Canadian viewers. The Opening Ceremony July 23 reached 6.5 million Canadians and was the most-watched primetime program among viewers 2+ and 25-54 with peak viewership of 1.361 million at 8:53 p.m and an average audience of over 1 million for the entire broadcast. CBC’s primetime television programming from 6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m garnered an average audience of 1.112 million on Saturday, July 24, increasing by 19% on Sunday, July 25 to 1.325 million. The most-watched Tokyo 2020 moment on CBC to date is swimmer Maggie Mac Neil’s receipt of Canada’s first gold medal in the Women’s 100m Butterfly, watched by 2.3 million. Read more here.

Muse Entertainment, Cineflix Studios, and Back Alley Films have announced the start of production in Toronto on Season 4 (12×60) of CBC original series Coroner. This season, star Serinda Swan will feature her talents behind the camera, marking her television series directorial debut. Swan joins a group of directors that includes Adrienne Mitchell (Durham County, Bellevue) Ruba Nadda (Frankie Drake Mysteries), Farhad Mann (Murdoch Mysteries), Samir Rehem (Tiny Pretty Things), Cory Bowles (Pretty Hard Cases) and Liz Farrer (Coroner). Writer/producer Adriana Maggs (Caught, Grown Up Movie Star) will lead the series as Showrunner with a writing team including Noelle Carbone (Wynonna Earp), Shannon Masters (Cardinal), Laura Good (Burden of Truth), Nathalie Younglai (Super Zee), Seneca Aaron (Nurses), Wendy ‘Motion’ Brathwaite (Akilla’s Escape), JP Larocque (Another Life), Mazi Khalighi (Foraldraskap) and Lindsey Addawoo (Promise Me). The new season will debut on CBC and CBC Gem in Winter 2022. 

Boat Rocker preschool animated series Dino Ranch has been renewed for a second season at Disney. Season 2 (52 x 11′) will air on Disney Junior and Disney+ in the U.S. & Latin America beginning in 2022. The successful first season, which saw the series premiere on CBC in Canada, was the #1 U.S. cable series among kids 2-5 at launch on Disney Junior, according to Nielsen data supplied by Boat Rocker. Season 1 has also just launched on Disney+ and is coming to Disney Junior Latin America in August, and SRC Canada in September.

 Proper Television, a Boat Rocker company, has announced its original unscripted lifestyle series, Motel Makeover (6×30’), will premiere globally Aug. 25 on Netflix in more than 190 countries. The series follows BFF business partners, April Brown and Sarah Sklash, as they transform a rundown 1970s roadside pitstop into retro-chic travel destination, The June Motel. In 2017, Brown and Sklash successfully launched the first June Motel in Prince Edward County, ON. An instant Instagram sensation, it’s been sold out since they opened. 

Sportsnet has unveiled its 2021-22 NHL broadcast schedule that includes more than 160 exclusive English-language matchups, starting Oct. 12. Available to Canadian hockey fans across Sportsnet’s TV channels and SN NOW, coverage returns with three marquee broadcast nights: Hockey Night in Canada, Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey, and Rogers Hometown Hockey  – now on Mondays. Sportsnet will also serve up 190+ regional matchups this season as the official regional TV and streaming broadcast rights holder for the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, and Toronto Maple Leafs. With no decision yet regarding the participation of NHL Players in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the NHL has agreed to pause from Feb. 7-22, 2022 to accommodate participation, with the regular season resuming Wednesday, Feb. 23.

TSN’s CFL ON TSN broadcast schedule includes exclusive live coverage of all 63 regular season games, all four divisional playoff matchups, and the 108th Grey Cup, live from Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton on Sunday, Dec. 12. The 2021 CFL season kicks off Thursday, Aug. 5 with a rematch of the 107th Grey Cup featuring reigning champions Zach Collaros, Winnipeg Blue Bombers host Jeremiah Masoli, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats beginning at 8 p.m. ET on TSN, live from IG Field in Winnipeg. The network’s preview coverage begins Aug. 3, including CFL Top 50 Players, the 2021 CFL Fantasy Special presented by TSN Edge, and the 2021 CFL Preview Special, breaking down the biggest storylines heading into the 2021 campaign.

CBC will air one-hour broadcast benefit Terry Fox: The Power of One that will share diverse stories of hope, courage, and resilience as told by iconic Canadians and inspired by the enduring legacy of Terry’s Marathon of Hope. Music performances by Alessia CaraTom Cochrane, and William Prince will be featured, with appearances by Michael “Pinball” ClemonsSidney CrosbyMike and Patrick DowniePerdita FelicienRick Hansen, Rick MercerCatherine O’HaraLloyd Robertson, Darryl Sittler, Hayley Wickenheiser, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among others. Produced by Insight Productions,  the special will air nationwide Monday, Aug. 9 on CBC TV and CBC Gem, and stream at CBC.ca/TerryFox.

Jesse Fawcett

Fireworks Media Group is the new Vancouver and L.A.-based prodco launched by Jesse Fawcett, the co-founding partner of global content company Essential Media Group, where he helmed North American operations until the company’s sale to Kew Media in 2018. In 2020, Fawcett and Greg Quail re-acquired the assets of Essential and relaunched as EQ Media Group. Under the new banner, Fireworks Media Group is producing new original series Pamela Anderson’s Home Reno Project (working title) for HGTV Canada and has secured an exclusive first-look scripted development deal with Abbotsford, BC TikTok star Kris Collins. Fireworks is also currently in production on sophomore seasons of unscripted real estate series Selling the Big Easy for HGTV in the U.S. as well as Corus Studios’ Big Timber which airs on HISTORY in Canada and Netflix in the U.S. and internationally.  

RiverTV, the cable-free, live TV platform that bills itself as Canada’s first virtual broadcast distribution undertaking (vBDU), has added CBC/Radio-Canada’s English and French-language local channels, as well as CBC News Network and ICI RDI, to RiverTV’s core package. The RiverTV monthly core-package subscription remains unchanged, while documentary Channel, ICI ARTV and ICI Explora will be available on RiverTV’s growing Add-Ons section, which now encompasses almost 100 channels. The RiverTV basic package lineup is now up to 38 channels, including local Global TV stations, CHCH-TV, W Network, Showcase, Teletoon, YTV, Treehouse, HISTORY, Adult Swim, Family, Slice, Smithsonian Channel Canada, and Crime & Investigation

Media Technology Monitor (MTM) has released its Spring 2021 Sneak Peek report which explores how Canadians are redefining their media habits as we slowly emerge from the pandemic. Some of the report’s top findings include that as a result of the pandemic and the growing appetite for content, one in four Canadians have rented or bought a film digitally. The report also finds Canadians aren’t just watching TV, but are continuing their TV experience online with one-third following social media TV and related celebrity accounts. Additionally, MTM found that In Northern Canada, traditional television is still the primary way to receive TV, especially in larger centres with over 10,000 residents. Satellite TV, however, is more than twice as common in the North than in the average Canadian household.

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