TV + Film NewsTV & Film News – Rogers to host first federal leaders debate

TV & Film News – Rogers to host first federal leaders debate

Rogers will host the first leaders debate of the 2019 election Sept. 12. The event will air live from Toronto on Citytv and its websites, and Facebook, as well as on Rogers news radio stations and their websites. Maclean’s senior writer Paul Wells will moderate. CPAC will carry the debate with a French translation, while OMNI Television will carry the broadcast with Mandarin and Cantonese translation on television and in Punjabi online.

Dawna Friesen of Global News, CBC’s Rosemary Barton, CTV senior anchor Lisa LaFlamme, Althia Raj of HuffPost Canada, and Susan Delacourt from the Toronto Star will make up the all-female moderator panel at the Oct. 7 English-language federal leaders debate. Each moderator will guide a section of the exchange. The French-language debate Oct. 10 will be moderated by Patrice Roy from Radio-Canada.

Rogers has announced that its IPTV service, Ignite TV, is now available across New Brunswick. Updated to include both French and English, customers can now search for content and navigate the platform in both official languages using their voice. Uniquely designed for New Brunswick customers, more than 500 employees across the province  helped perfect the voice technology in both northern and southern Acadian accents. Ignite TV,  which brings together content across Live TV, On Demand, recordings and Netflix, has also been rolled out across Newfoundland and Ontario.

Ethnic Channels Group has secured a distribution deal for Schlager TV with TELUS Optik TV. Schlager TV is the first Dutch TV channel focused on German-language pop and folk music, current artist news, and concert performances with 90% of of its programming popular folk music from Austria and Germany. Schlager TV is now on free preview on channel 2977.

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has unveiled the nominees for this year’s Indiescreen Awards, honouring a veteran independent producer who has made significant contributions to Canada’s film production sector, and an up-and-coming producer whose early work embodies the next generation of Canadian filmmaking. The 2019 Established Producer Award nominees are: Christina Piovesan, First Generation Films (American Woman); Félize Frappier, Max Films Media (Kuessipan); Jessica Adams, JA Productions (Tammy’s Always Dying); Judy Holm, Markham Street Films (Level 16); Lori Lozinski, Violator Films (The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open). The nominees for the Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer Award are: Julie Strifler, Endgame Films (Easy Land); Katie Bird Nolan & Lindsay Tapscott, Babe Nation Films(The Rest of Us); Kevin Krikst & Fraser Ash, Rhombus Media (Clifton Hill); Lana Belle Mauro, Shed Creative (Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band); and Sara Blake, Ceroma Films (Raf). The winners will be revealed at the CMPA Indiescreen Awards reception Sept. 5, as part of the opening day of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Sophie-Claude Miller

APTN will debut its first national French-language news program later this month. Helmed by Sophie-Claude Miller, who hails from the Waswanipi Cree First Nation in James Bay, Nouvelles nationales d’APTN will focus on Quebec’s 11 First Nations. In addition to investigative and indepth stories, the half-hour program will profile community members and host interviews with an eye to putting the week’s news into perspective. Starting Monday, Aug. 26, Nouvelles nationales d’APTN will air weekly on aptn e in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, at 6:30 p.m. ET. It will repeat the following day (Tuesday) on aptn hd at 9:30 a.m. ET, which is available across the country.

Citytv’s fall lineup is highlighted by returning Dick Wolf blockbuster stack Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, and Chicago PD, starting Sept. 25. Much buzzed about new drama Bluff City Law will headline Monday nights, starting Sept 23, featuring a father-daughter legal team tackling David-and-Goliath cases, starring Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blue), Caitlin McGee (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Barry Sloane (Revenge), and Michael Luwoye (The Gifted). Season 2 of Citytv original series Hudson & Rex moves to a new night, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 24. Also premiering Sept. 24 is new 30-minute spinoff comedy mixed-ish telling the childhood story of a young Rainbow Johnson (Arica Himmell) in a 1980s prequel to black-ish, narrated by Tracee Ellis Ross. All-new animated series Bless the Harts premieres Sunday, Sept. 29, starring Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids), Maya Rudolph (The Good Place), and Jillian Bell (Workaholics). 

Big Brother Canada casting is open as the reality franchise embarks on its 8th season on Global. Canadians, who’ll be 19 as of Feb. 1, 2020, can apply online at to become a #BBCAN houseguest. Applications are being accepted until Nov. 15.


CTV is casting for new Mike Holmes series Holmes Family Rescue. Teaming the contractor with his children – Mike Jr. and Sherry – the inspirational series is set to headline CTV’s Summer 2020 lineup. The network is currently casting “change-makers” in their communities who also want to subscribe to Holmes’ “Make It Right®” mantra and be part of the series. Production begins this October. Details here.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) will invest over $22.6M in the production of 44 projects through three of its programs. A total of $7.7M will fund 17 projects through the Aboriginal Program. A further $9.4M will be invested in the production of 10 digital media projects through the first round of funding of its Experimental Stream’s Innovation Program. An additional $5.5M is being invested in 17 projects through the English POV Program.

Link to the full list of projects here.

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