TV + Film NewsTV & Film News - Strong pandemic TV ratings starting to taper...

TV & Film News – Strong pandemic TV ratings starting to taper in prime time


thinktv’s latest analysis shows TV viewing is still going strong, but starting to taper in prime time. With six weeks of “viewing during COVID” data now available, thinktv’s analysis shows some subtle changes in viewing patterns for the period from Mar. 16 – Apr. 26. Tuning is still significantly higher than pre-COVID, but is starting to see some audience fatigue. Overall viewing is up 11% on average (and up 20%, A25-54, when specialty sports is excluded) with the biggest increases in A25-54 viewing in daytime (+29%) and evening (+17% in the 6–7 p.m. block). However, prime time viewing is down 5%. When excluding sports networks, overall television consumption is still up 6%. Viewership of Canadian conventional national newscasts is up 51%, A25-54, compared to the period from Feb. 10 – Mar. 15, while viewership of Canadian specialty news is up 149% for the same period. Read more here.

Joi Harris

The Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia has handed down a nearly $290,000 fine to the producers of Deadpool 2. WorkSafeBC identified a number of failures by TCF Vancouver Productions Ltd., a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox, that contributed to the death of stuntwoman Joi Harris in Aug. 2017. Among other failures, WorkSafeBC said Harris was not instructed to wear headgear and that a risk assessment wasn’t undertaken prior to the stunt, among other violations. Harris died after she was thrown from a motorcycle and crashed into the window frame of a building.

Cineflix Rights has sold CBC Original drama series Coroner to The CW Network. The one-hour drama stars Serinda Swan as a newly-appointed coroner who investigates suspicious, unnatural or sudden deaths in Toronto. Coroner was previously acquired by NBCUniversal International Networks for broadcast on Universal TV in the UK. Coroner is produced by Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films, and Cineflix Studios. The CW Network deal was brokered on Cineflix’s behalf by APA’s Kyle Loftus.

Bryan and Sarah Baeumler

Corus Studios original series Island of Bryan has been sold to HGTV for the U.S. market. Season 1 & 2 of the series will be re-titled Renovation Island for the American market. The series follows Bryan and Sarah Baeumler as they navigate rebuilding and restoring a beachfront resort in the Bahamas, with their four children in tow. Season 1 is set to premiere June 7 on HGTV. In Canada, Season 2 was the most-watched series on the network in the past 10 years. Island of Bryan is produced by Si Entertainment in association with Corus Entertainment’s HGTV Canada. Corus Studios is represented by Rita Carbone Fleury, who oversees the global sales of Corus’ original content slate and brokered this deal.

Hot Docs has partnered with The Slaight Family Foundation to create the Hot Docs-Slaight Family Fund, dedicated to supporting Canadian music documentaries. Through a gift of $450,000 from The Slaight Family Foundation, the new film development and production fund will annually support three to five documentary projects, both shorts and features, with amounts ranging from $15,000 to $60,000 CAD. Recipients will also receive creative and professional development support. Applications for the first round of funding open June 3. 

ReelAbilities Film Festival has announced the full schedule for its 5th Anniversary Festival, which has moved online, May 20-24. Showcasing Canadian and International shorts, features, and documentaries about deaf and disability cultures and by filmmakers and actors with disabilities and/or who are deaf, ReelAbilities will screen a dozen films including Code of the Freaks on May 20, followed by a Q&A. Directed by Salome Chasnoff, Code of the Freaks presents a radical reframing of the use of disabled characters in film, gathering hundreds of clips from over a century of Hollywood favourites – viewed with a fresh perspective by disability activists, artists and scholars. ReelAbilities will also present events including an Inclusive Content Creation workshop facilitated by Accessible Media Inc; a youth panel with Aiden Lee and members of the Holland-Bloorview Youth Council; and a panel about working with the CBC and how to pitch a project on May 24.

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is launching four months of online programming from May to September, the majority of which will be offered free of charge. International media companies already signed up to participate in sessions and networking offerings include A+E Networks, Amazon, AMC Networks, BBC America, Bell Media, Blue Ant Media, CAA, CBBC, CBC/RadioCanada, CBS All-Access, CNN, Corus Entertainment, Disney, Endemol Shine, eOne, Hulu, ITV Studios, Keshet, Netflix, Lionsgate, OUTtv, PBS, Rogers Media, Starz, Tomorrow Studios, Groupe Media TFO, UKTV, Vice Canada, Warner Bros., WarnerMedia, YLE, ZDF and more. The BANFF Virtual Edition will kickoff May 26 with a Master Class featuring a sneak peek of post-apocalyptic drama series, Snowpiercer, which will air on TNT in the U.S. and internationally on Netflix (outside the U.S. and China). Additional industry panels, interactive video sessions and online networking events will be announced in the coming weeks. Individuals can register for a complimentary VIRTUAL PASS. Curated online one-on-one meetings and small group sessions with studio executives, agents, network buyers and streaming executives can be accessed via registration for a VIRTUAL + NETWORKING PASS for CAD $250.

Canadian Film Fest (CFF) says its 2020 Masterclass and Industry Series will be programmed on Super Channel’s Facebook and CFF’s Facebook and YouTube channel, May 21 – June 5, as part of the virtual Canadian Film Fest, presented by Super Channel. Some of the panels have pivoted their focus to address current day scenarios. Find the complete schedule of free industry programming, here. Find the schedule of CFF films airing on Super Channel, here.

Telefilm has put forward its Call for Entries for the Canada Virtual Pavilion at Cannes 2020, June 22-26. Showcasing Canadian professionals and their films (finished, in post production or at the project stage) online, Telefilm is offering a consolidated promotion campaign between three markets: MIFA, Sunny Side of the Doc and the Cannes Film Market. Register here by May 29 and update your profile on RDVCanada to be included. The deadline for Early Bird registration is May 29.

Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro have returned to TV after eight weeks exclusively on radio. Tim & Sid made their return to Canadian screens Monday on Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet NOW. Daily episodes are continuing to air on Sportsnet 590 The FAN (CJCL-AM) and the Sportsnet Radio Network.

Sportsnet is turning back the clocks to relive the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, starting Monday, May 18. The six-day World Cup marathon will have a special focus on Team Canada, featuring Sidney Crosby, John Tavares and Carey Price, in addition to Team North America, including Auston Matthews, Morgan Rielly, Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Johnny Gaudreau, Mark Scheifele, Jacob Trouba and Connor Hellebuyck. Sportsnet’s encore presentation of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey gets underway May 18 with a double billing in primetime, starting with Team USA vs. Team Canada at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT, followed by a showdown between Team Europe and Team North America at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT on Sportsnet and Sportsnet NOW. In addition to the encore presentations on TV, hockey fans can also join a World Cup of Hockey Watch Party on May 21, exclusively on Sportsnet’s YouTube and Facebook platforms.

CTV Sci-Fi Channel has announced that the cast of Orphan Black will reunite for a two-episode table read to be streamed from the official Orphan Black Facebook page on Sunday, May 17 at 3 p.m. ET. The virtual reunion coincides with the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, as well as Mental Health Month in May. Viewers are invited to support CenterLink, an organization supporting LBGT community centres, and Sistering, a multi-service agency for at-risk women and trans people. Confirmed to read Episodes 106 and 107 from the show’s first season are Tatiana Maslany, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Kristian Bruun, Kevin Hanchard, Dylan Bruce, Evelyne Brochu, Josh Vokey, Michael Mando, Inga Cadranel, Eric Johnson, Natalie Lisinska, and acting double Kathryn Alexandre, along with co-creators, Graeme Manson and John Fawcett, executive producer Kerry Appleyard, writer Will Pascoe and co-producer Mackenzie Donaldson.

CTV has unveiled the first wave of new and returning series headlining the network’s summer lineup, headlined by new physical competition series Ultimate Tag, airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT, beginning May 20. Co-hosted by NFL sibling trio JJ, TJ, and Derek Watt, the show is based on the classic playground game. Returning to the CTV schedule is dance competition series World Of Dance (May 26), and celebrity-filled game show Match Game (June 7), hosted by Alec Baldwin. The network will also air the fifth and final season of Blindspot, currently airing Thursdays on CTV, and the seventh and final season of MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (May 27) set to anchor Wednesday nights. CTV will also present a movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe each week, Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/PT, beginning June 7.

Shaftesbury is expanding the Shaftesbury Kids production and development slate to include four new series. Life With Luca (26 x 30 mins) is a live-action spin-off of long-running Life with Derek. Stinky Science (26 x 3 mins) is in pre-production, an animated series from Smiley Guy Studios, that explores the science behind why things stink. Mary and Flo: On the Go! (9 x 7-mins), inspired by Shaftesbury series Frankie Drake Mysteries, with animation by Smiley Guy Studios, follows Mary and Flo as they travel the world encountering famous women and men of the 1920s. Miikshi (10 x 7 mins) is a live action puppet series following the adventures of a shy but genius sheep scientist. In the meantime, Shaftesbury has released its full library of new and legacy kids programming on the Shaftesbury Kids YouTube channel. Some of the series are also available on CBC Gem and Citytv in Saskatchewan. 

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