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

Comments and queries for the week of Jan. 30

This week’s comments and opinions centred around Kelly Lynn Ashton’s informative column that explains exactly what makes a Canadian television show, W Network’s announcement of Hockey Wives and love for Bravo’s 19-2.

Although it’s less scientific than this article and, admittedly, prone to inaccuracy, one thing I’ve noticed is the end credit “This is protected under the copyright laws…” blurb. If I’m curious about whether something is actually Canadian or if it’s simply filmed in Canada, I’ll check to see if it lists Canada at all (“i.e.: This production is protected under the copyright laws of The United States, Canada, and other countries”), and if it does it’s probably Canadian or a co-production. If it doesn’t mention Canada, that doesn’t prove it isn’t Canadian, but I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a blurb that did mention Canada that wasn’t for a Canadian production. Admittedly, you have to be the sort of person who freeze-frames at the end credits, or even skips to the end credits first, which, y’know, probably is little too obsessive for most people. :) —D.K.

Though I HATE HATE HATE reality shows like The Real Housewives, The Bachelor, Honey Boo Boo, etc., the sociologist and hockey fan in me wants to check Hockey Wives out. I, admittedly, really liked the short-lived CBC series MVP which was a fictional look at the lives of hockey wives.—Ally

I have watched 19-2 from the very beginning on Bravo. You get to see how the officers on the front line face each and every day. I also can understand why most people have not heard of this great show or a number of other shows on Bravo. When you look on the schedule for Bravo all you see most of time are reruns of Criminal Minds, Blue Bloods, Person of Interest, Missing, etc. Only if you are an avid TV watcher do you know when and where to look. Maybe if they had more shows people would watch.—Barbara

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? greg@tv-eh.com or head to @tv_eh.

Dino Hunt Canada uncovers new species for TV

Finding dinosaur bones while television cameras are rolling is difficult enough. But discovering a whole new species? Next to impossible. And yet that’s exactly what happened when it came to production of History’s latest homegrown project, Dino Hunt Canada.

“Production had started on the series and there was the possibility that they would find something new,” says Sarah Jane Flynn, senior director of original factual content at Shaw Media. “Then they came back to us and said, ‘You’re not going to believe this, but this really is a completely new species. We pretty much lost our minds.” The result is the star of Dino Hunt Canada and the newest showpiece in the Royal Ontario Museum’s dinosaur exhibit, a new species related to triceratops. (A video of Dr. David C. Evans unveiling the animal is below.)

The project, Flynn explains, was the result of Cream Productions (Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan) CEO David Brady asking ROM head palaeontologist Dr. David C. Evans what he was up to and being told his team was on the verge of discovering something big. Brady and Evans told Shaw what they had planned and the network jumped on board.

Bowing Friday night, History’s four-parter not only tells the story of how Evans and his team discovered the as-yet-unnamed beast (an interactive website urges Canadians to come up with a name for it), but spotlights the palaeontologists who scour this country for bones. One of the biggest surprises—to me at least—was learning that dinosaur bones and other fossils aren’t just found in the badlands of Alberta. Digs in B.C. and the Bay of Fundy are documented in Dino Hunt Canada in what Evans calls a Golden Age for the industry.

Narrated by Dan Aykroyd, the first episode serves to introduce several of the key players in the show, including Evans and his team in Alberta as they began to unearth their unique beast. Palaeontology butted up against television production with Evans’ group faced with the daunting task of putting the skeleton together in months rather than years in order to meet Shaw’s broadcast deadline.

“We knew we had something special because the first thing we uncovered were the pieces of the neck shield, which is the most characteristic part of the horned dinosaur,” Evans explains. The biggest challenge for Evans’ squad was to uncover remainder of bones locked under a hillside; a summer of daily jackhammering and the animal was free of its earthly bonds.

“By then we were able to tell History, ‘We’ve found something new here,'” he says with a smile. “‘If you want to be here when we uncover this new dinosaur, come on out.'”

See what they uncovered starting tonight.

Dino Hunt Canada airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on History.

Preview: You Gotta Eat Here continues cross-Canada noshfest

Oh to be John Catucci. I dream of it sometimes. The opportunity to travel across Canada—with the occasional stop in the U.S.—sampling  things roasted, broiled, barbecued, grilled and steamed? It’s worth what it would do to my waistline.

Catucci is back for Season 4 of Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here! on Friday night with the same formula that’s worked for the past three. In it, the affable, comedian, writer and actor drops by a trio of eateries—Pizzeria Via Mercante in Toronto’s Kensington Market neighbourhood, Moonshine Barbecue in Montreal and The Cheshire Cat in Carp, Ont., outside of Ottawa—to munch and mingle with the staff and customers.

I wiped away slobber as Catucci and Romolo Salvati worked their way through pizza and pasta at Pizzeria Via Mercante, exclaimed at the size of the smoked ribs and “totini” (tater tots smothered in pulled pork, gravy and cheese) at Moonshine Barbecue and stared in wonder at the pub fare sampled at The Cheshire Cat.

A die-hard fan of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, I at first dismissed YGEH as a cheap Canadian rip-off of what Guy Fieri’s been doing for years. How wrong I was. Yes, Catucci is travelling to restaurants, talking to people and eating plates of food, but his sense of humour, shameless mugging for the camera and open-eyed wonder at the foods placed in front of him makes this project unique. And it’s proved to be quite the triptych of dining moments for me. Thanks to YGEH, I’ve added several fantastic places to chow down to my contacts list and I’m look forward to adding a bunch more thanks to this newest season of 26 episodes.

You Gotta Eat Here! airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network.

Link: ‘The Outer Limits’ Scribe Sam Egan Developing Canadian Crime Drama

From Etan Vlessing of The Hollywood Reporter:

Writer and producer Sam Egan (Quincy, The Outer Limits, Continuum) and director Jeff Barnaby (Rhymes for Young Ghoulshave joined forces to develop a crime-family drama for Canadian indie Rezolution Pictures and the APTN cable channel.

Dirty Red Boys explores smuggling, violence and “crazymakers” in the world of Native Canadians. The drama is in development, and APTN has ordered eight scripts. Continue reading.

Link: Rachel Nichols talks Continuum future – “Perhaps this isn’t the end”

From Morgan Jeffery of Digital Spy:

Rachel Nichols talks Continuum future: “Perhaps this isn’t the end”
“I’d like to see the fourth season be such an incredible success that maybe we can get a little bit more out of it,” she admitted. “Maybe there are some legs to it somewhere else and I think that the fans would be in support of that. Continue reading.

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