TV, eh? | What's up in Canadian television
TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Super Channel to premiere new original drama series, Acceptable Risk

From a media release:

Super Channel is pleased to announce that Acceptable Risk, a six-part gripping conspiracy thriller, will make its Canadian broadcast premiere on Thursday, November 9 at 9 p.m. ET (SC1) as a new Super Channel Original Series. Each episode of the Canada/Ireland co-production, will also be available on Super Channel On Demand the day following its weekly linear broadcast.

Shot in Dublin and Montreal, Acceptable Risk is written by Emmy® Award winner Ron Hutchinson (Traffic; The Ten Commandments, Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story) and directed by Kenny Glenaan (Charlie, Paranoid, Noah’s Ark, Wired).

Principal cast includes Elaine Cassidy (Harper’s Island, No Offence), Angeline Ball (Mr. Selfridge, The Commitments), Lisa Dwyer Hogg (Waking the Dead, The Fall) and Morten Suurballe (The Killing, Vikings), as well as Canadians Paul Popowich (Rogue, Saving Hope, Cracked) and Geordie Johnson (Copper, Murdoch Mysteries, Reign).

When her husband, Lee (Paul Popowich), is murdered while on a business trip to Montreal, Sarah Manning (Elaine Cassidy) comes to realize that she knows nothing about his past. While coping with her grief in her home in Dublin, Sarah questions who Lee actually was and what he did in his work for a powerful global pharmaceuticals organization. And why did Lee, a salesman, need to carry a gun?

The growing suspicion that Lee’s death may be connected to the death of her first husband, leads Sarah to confront a powerful conspiracy of corporate, police and political interests, extending from Dublin to Montreal, in which her own family may be complicit.

Acceptable Risk was produced for Irish broadcaster RTÉ by Siobhán Bourke and Kathryn Lennon of Saffron Pictures (Whistleblower) and James Mitchell of Soho Moon Pictures (Croupier) with funding from the Broadcast Authority of Ireland.  The series is being co-financed by international distributor DCD Rights and U.S. partner Acorn Media Enterprises.  Canadian Producer is Stephen Greenberg with Anna-Sue Greenberg and Jamie D. Greenberg as Executive Producers, all of Facet4 Media. Acceptable Risk is being distributed in Canada by Incendo Media Inc.




Massive Monster Mayhem runs riot on Family Channel

“What’s the craziest things that kids love and how do we jam them all into one show?” That’s the question Art Spigel was asking himself when he ruminated on his newest project. The answer: a lot. Debuting Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT on Family Channel, Massive Monster Mayhem is a mishmash of genres—live-action game show, comedy, CGI and sci-fi series—delivered at a frenetic pace.

Where else can you create a world where kids teleport to an alien planet or a hot dog can drive a robot? That’s just the tip of the iceberg with Massive Monster Mayhem. Co-created by Spigel, the veteran of kids’ programming recalled all the things he loved as a child—giant robots, wrestling, outer space and winning prizes—and jammed them into a television show.

Each episode is an ingenious combination of technology and old-school, as kids don costumes and become intergalactic heroes, facing off against each other in Intergalactic Battle Alliance challenges. The winner of those tests faces a monster sent by Master Mayhem (voiced by Daniel Davies and performed by Thomas Lorber), who has proclaimed himself “Greatest Ruler in the Universe.” Master Mayhem wants to rule Earth and these kids are our last hope. Shot against a massive green screen, CGI transforms the challenges to a space-based colosseum where Graham Conway and Devon Deshaun Stewart call the action from Wipeout-ish obstacle course to the monster movie-inspired smackdown of a cityscape finale. The competitor that successfully defends the world takes home $1,000.

Spigel teamed with Toronto video effects company Playfight to utilize a real-time CGI environment usually reserved for feature films like Avatar—he likens it to dropping the television cameras into a video game—when creating Massive Monster Mayhem.

But Massive Monster Mayhem isn’t just the competition. Master Mayhem is a shade-throwing, sarcastic fellow who delights in boasting of his powers in comedic segments between tests where he preps to destroy Earth.

“I think the humour is universal,” Spigel says. “As crazy as this is, we want there to be some co-viewing. Parents can appreciate the wrestling parody and kids can laugh because that monster looks funny when he breaks things.”

Massive Monster Mayhem airs Monday at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT on Family Channel.

Image courtesy of Family Channel.





Comments and queries for the week of October 20

WOW! I live in and have raised two children in an 1,100 square foot home with wood heat, etc. I am amazed at the expense and extravagance of this home of Sarah’s [on Off the Grid]. I feel sorry for all of the young folk out there that aspire to this lifestyle. We need more shows about living more simply and more environmentally sensitively. Beautiful home, Sarah but wouldn’t want to have to clean it or keep it up. —C.K.

Disappointed that her show did not address how to live without ANY connection to hydro. —Brian

I have watched all of the episodes so far and do not see any heating vents or electric registers in any of the rooms. My wife and I built our own home north of Winnipeg over 30 years ago to R2000 standards, which is super insulated with an HRV air exchanger, and passive solar heat gain and forced air natural gas furnace. My question is, are you using solar electric with propane backup with radiant heat in the floors and ceilings? —David

Not sure they know what “off the grid” is. —Gordon


Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email or via Twitter @tv_eh.




T+E’s Scariest Night of My Life recounts awful paranormal experiences

Our House Media first jumped onto my radar via Backroad Bounty, but they’ve stayed there thanks to three seasons of Paranormal Survivor and one of Haunted Case Files. Now the Canadian documentary series producers return with a third equally creepy series with Scariest Night of My Life.

Debuting Friday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on T+E, Scariest Night of My Life is exactly what it sounds like: ordinary people recount an awful night they’ve experienced. It all begins Friday with Gloria, who recalls the 2007 night she’ll never forget inside her first home. A happy moving day with her two children and husband went sour that evening when an odd vibe and cold temperature hinted something was amiss. It wasn’t until her daughter woke up to a figure knocking at her window that life for Gloria grew totally terrifying. With her husband gone to his night shift, Gloria and her kids bore the brunt of whatever was in their home, experiencing slamming kitchen cupboards, disembodied footsteps, odd reflections in a bathroom mirror and voiding black goo. Things get worse from there.

Presented with the witnesses narrating their tales, dramatic recreations packed with shadowy figures, giggling children, jagged fonts and otherworldly screams drive home the spookiness. Like Paranormal Survivor and Haunted Case Files before it, Scariest Night of My Life is terrifying. Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, the people interviewed on Scariest Night believe something happened to them.

If you’re looking for a double-dose of scares, Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on T+E marks the Season 2 return of Cream Productions’ Evil Encounters with more tales of personal accounts of paranormal experiences in the woods.

Happy Halloween!

Scariest Night of My Life airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on T+E.

Image courtesy of Blue Ant Media.




The Bachelor Canada: Battleground in Costa Rica

Now that the first episode of The Bachelor Canada was out of the way, we could really get down to business. I mean, I felt bad seeing the girls who didn’t get a rose leave last week, but we never really got to know them that well anyway. At least, not as well as the 15 who accompanied Chris to Costa Rica.

I excitedly opened up my bottle of Two Oceans Wine—broadcast sponsor for this season—and settled in to absorb all of the drama as it unfolded.

And what drama there was! As soon as the drinks were poured former model Shanti was disparaging her fellow competitors as not being to the quality she’s used to. Poor baby. Shanti distanced herself from the other girls, literally, preferring to sit off by herself while the remaining 14 wondered exactly what her deal was. With two group dates and a single one-on-one date, the pressure would be on to impress Chris enough to keep him interested. Dee got the first impression rose last week and was hoping Costa Rica would be the perfect setting … to tell Chris about her daughter.

Dee would have to attempt that chat during one of the group outings because it was Lyndsey who scored the one-on-one. The pair united at the airport and hopped aboard a plane for a ride over an active volcano. Laughter was had, sarcastic jokes were traded and cuddling occurred … until Chris asked her age. The 10-year difference—he’s 33 and she’s 23—seemed to throw him for a loop. Chris stuck with the date and was rewarded with a treehouse dinner, but he couldn’t shake the age difference; Lyndsey countered that she’s done a lot of living in those years and is ready to be in a relationship. She’s also encountered hurt: a longtime beau she was ready to marry was on Tinder looking to score a quickie. The result? Chris gave her a rose and major smooches.

Meanwhile, the lucky 13 gathered together to learn who’d be on the first group date: Brittany W., Catie, Lisa, April, Meghan and Mikaela. Then, suddenly, Shanti was asking to have a group meeting. Her issue? None of the other girls, in her opinion, were up to Chris’ standards and if they could see how they were acting most of them would be going home. She added that the stress they were putting on her was making Shanti physically sick. It had become painfully obvious that Shanti shouldn’t be in the house or on The Bachelor Canada.

Thankfully, the group date began, with Chris welcoming who he selected for a photo shoot on the beach. The idea, of course, was to see the girls in a group setting and observe who was more willing to go with the flow and have fun. Meghan made the most of her 1800s swimming outfit, something Chris noted right away. Funniest photo shoot was Lisa, who insisted she don her mermaid lower half for the camera, something Chris wasn’t too excited about. Catie had the winning shots; there was a palpable connection between the two and her eyes betrayed her growing feelings. Then they kissed, sending everyone into a tizzy. Mikaela got back at Catie by kissing Chris as she approached for some alone time, shocking the latter. Meghan got her kisses in too before Chris handed Catie a rose.

As for the final group date, Brittany M., Dee, Jessie, Kait, Stacy, Lara, Ashley and Shanti were off to do battle, but not before Brittany made a devious move first. After discovering Shanti in the bathroom, she suggested Shanti tell Chris about the other girls in the house. The planned group date, however, was scuttled due to weather so Chris dropped by to party at the girls’ place, promising some key personal time with the group date members. That didn’t sit well with Shanti, who made the most of her time with Chris to tear into her competition. Anyone who has watched this franchise knows you don’t rat out others, especially during alone time with the bachelor or bachelorette. Chris finally clued in that perhaps Shanti was the problem and he was doing damage control until the rose ceremony when Shanti told Chris that Dee was a single mother … as Dee walked into the room. It was awful. It was unthinkable. It was embarrassing to watch. That cast a shadow on the rest of the night, despite Stacy and Kait’s nice chats with Chris.

In an unprecedented move—at least that I’ve witnessed in the Canadian franchise—Chris grew frustrated with Shanti’s constant harping about the other girls and asked her to leave. Good on him for doing that … and on Brittany for her power play. The cocktail party was skipped, meaning no more personal time to make an impression before the rose ceremony. Catie was ill and skipped the ceremony (Was she hung over? Did she eat a bad shrimp?) so she missed seeing who was eliminated.

Here’s who will be back next week:

  • Catie
  • Lyndsey
  • Stacy
  • Mikaela
  • Kait
  • Dee
  • Brittany M.
  • Meghan
  • Lisa
  • Lara
  • Brittany W.
  • Jessie
  • April

What did you think of the episode? Are you happy Shanti was sent home or will you miss the drama? Let me know in the comments below!

The Bachelor Canada airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on W Network.

Images courtesy of Corus Entertainment.