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

Link: Wynonna Earp’s Rayisa Kondracki previews the many sides of the Stone Witch

From the TV Junkies:

Wynonna Earp’s Rayisa Kondracki previews the many sides of the Stone Witch
Never judge a book by its cover. The saying definitely applies when it comes to the villains that inhabit Purgatory on Wynonna Earp. Constance Clootie, aka the Stone Witch, may seem like pure evil–all dressed up in a pretty pink bow–but viewers will soon be seeing a few more shades of gray added to the character in this week’s episode, “Bury Me With My Guns On.” What’s the real reason she put Doc (Tim Rozon) at the bottom of that well for all those years, and what’s the deal with her “boys” that she’s trying to resurrect with help from Bobo (Michael Eklund)? Continue reading.

What’s new, CBC?

CBC announced their 2016-17 schedule this morning, bringing back this fall long-standing favourites such as Murdoch Mysteries, Dragons’ Den, Rick Mercer Report and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, as well as the second seasons of low-ish-ly rated Romeo Section, This Life and Crash Gallery.

Fall is a difficult time to launch new series, though this year CBC has Olympics-watching eyeballs over the summer to endlessly promote their wares. Will it be enough to successfully launch Shoot the Messenger, Kim’s Convenience and This is High School, the three new series for fall?

Originally announced for summer season, Shoot the Messenger is the Jennifer Holness/Sudz Sutherland creation described as “a gritty political thriller that centres on the complex relationships between crime reporters and the police.” Starring Elyse Levesque, Lucas Bryant, Lyriq Bent and Alex Kingston, the eight-episode series centres on “a sharp and ambitious j-school grad trying to balance a messy personal life while working at a big city newspaper. Things begin to go sideways for Daisy when she witnesses a murder she thinks is gang related, only to find herself slowly drawn into an interconnected web of criminal activity that reaches into the corridors of corporate and political power.” The show should benefit from a big Murdoch Mysteries lead-in on Mondays, though the tonal differences might not work in its favour: “gritty” Murdoch is not.

Kim’s Convenience is based on the hit play by Ins Choi, who also adapted it for television. It’s “the funny, heartfelt story of The Kims, a Korean-Canadian family, running a convenience store in downtown Toronto. Mr. and Mrs. Kim (‘Appa’ and ‘Umma’) immigrated to Toronto in the 80’s to set up shop near Regent Park and had two kids, Jung and Janet who are now young adults. However, when Jung was 16, he and Appa had a major falling out involving a physical fight, stolen money and Jung leaving home. Father and son have been estranged since.” It lands in the middle of CBC’s comedy block on Tuesdays.

This is High School is a factual series airing Sundays this fall and described as “a love letter to teachers.” It’s a six-part series “set in an extraordinary, ordinary school — where teachers, led by a passionate principal, go the distance to prepare their students for adult life. But when you’re dealing with teenagers, nothing is ever straightforward.”

Today’s announcement was the first I’ve heard of Pure, which is not on the fall schedule so likely airing in winter 2017. It’s a six-episode dramatic series that sounds ripped from CBC’s own headlines. From CBC:

PURE, from Big Motion Pictures, tells the story of Noah Funk, a newly-elected Mennonite pastor, who is determined to rid his community of drug traffickers by betraying a fellow Mennonite to the police. But instead of solving the problem, Noah’s actions trigger an ultimatum from Menno mob leader Eli Voss: in order to protect his family he must get involved in the illegal operation. Noah decides that if he must work for the mob, he will secretly gather enough evidence to dismantle the organization.

Hidden from view, Old Order Mennonites exist in a world all their own, dedicated to living the same plain lifestyle as their ancestors. However, a tiny percentage of outlaw Mennonites controls one of the most efficient drug trafficking operations in North America. Supplied by an unholy alliance with the Juarez Cartel, their pipeline extends from Mexico, through the U.S. and into Canada.

Noah finds his beliefs and principles challenged every step of the way. Struggling to save his soul and complete his mission, Noah receives help from an unlikely source: his high school nemesis, local cop Bronco Novak. With his law-enforcement career hanging by a thread, Bronco sees the Menno mob case as his ticket to redemption. Created by David Macleod and Michael Amo, the series will be filmed on location in Nova Scotia and Alberta.”

Link: Jason Priestley on his busy year

From Bill Brioux of the Canadian Press:

Jason Priestley on his busy year, recruiting Doug Gilmour for ‘Private Eyes’
Jason Priestley sounds as surprised as anyone. “That’s right,” he says. “I’ve never played a detective before.” At 46, the Vancouver-born actor shot to fame over 25 years ago as teen Brandon Walsh on “Beverly Hills, 90210.” His credits actually date back ever farther, with roles in the ’80s on “21 Jump Street,” “Danger Bay” and “MacGyver.” Continue reading.

CBC announces 2016-17 season

From a media release:


  • New daytime series to feature a team of hosts including Steven Sabados and Jessi Cruickshank
  • Television slate includes nine new original series and 25 returning titles
  • Largest investment ever in CBC digital original content including nine new series

GemCBCCBC today announced its 2016–17 fall and winter season, featuring a uniquely Canadian slate of new and returning original drama, comedy, factual, news, documentary, sports, arts and digital content from diverse voices and perspectives.

The 2016–17 television slate includes an all-new one-hour weekday daytime lifestyle series (title to be announced) launching on October 3. Hosted by a team including beloved personalities Steven Sabados and Jessi Cruickshank, the program will bring a fresh approach to daytime, offering playful inspiration and information on food, home, fashion and health. Additional hosts will be announced in the coming weeks.

New primetime series include crime-thriller SHOOT THE MESSENGER (8×60), focused on the complicated relationships between crime reporters and the police, and PURE (6×60), a dramatic miniseries about Mennonites who control one of the most efficient drug-trafficking operations in North America. CBC continues to increase its investment in smart, premium comedy with KIM’S CONVENIENCE (13×30), the funny, heartfelt story of a Korean-Canadian family running a convenience store in Toronto, based on the award-winning play by Ins Choi; WORKIN’ MOMS (13×30), a brash comedy from Catherine Reitman that tests the modern ideal that women really can have it all; and the return of the acclaimed MICHAEL: TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS (6×30). Taking on contemporary issues that are important to Canadians through authentic storytelling, new factual series include THIS IS HIGH SCHOOL (6×60), offering unprecedented and unfiltered access to real life at a British Columbia high school, and docu-series TRUE NORTH CALLING (7×30), which follows a group of young Canadians as they carve out lives at the edge of the Arctic.

With an extensive digital reach that includes 52 percent of all online millennials across Canada every month**, CBC is also investing in its largest slate of digital original programming to date, including new comedies COMING IN, from the creators of Shit Girls Say, MY 90-YEAR-OLD ROOMMATE, THE AMAZING GAYL PILE, THE WHOLE TRUTHS, THIS IS THAT and THAT’S WHAT SHEENA SAID! at CBC Comedy; a wide-ranging slate of short-form digital documentaries at; and arts titles DISRUPTING DESIGN with Matt Galloway, and JET AGE and MEET YOUR MAKER for CBC Arts, expanding CBC’s multiplatform arts strategy announced last fall.

New Kids’ CBC original series include the world premiere of DOT. (52×11), an animated series from entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg, and photography competition series SNAPSHOTS (6×30).

Building on the success of last season’s acclaimed and award-winning programming lineup, returning drama, comedy, factual and arts series include CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON (season 3); CORONATION STREET (season 18); CRASH GALLERY (season 2); DRAGONS’ DEN (season 11); EXHIBITIONISTS (season 2); HA!IFAX COMEDY FEST (season 21); HEARTLAND (season 10); HELLO GOODBYE (season 2); INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM (season 2); JUST FOR LAUGHS: GALAS; MR. D (season 6); MURDOCH MYSTERIES (season 10); RICK MERCER REPORT (season 14); THE ROMEO SECTION (season 2); SCHITT’S CREEK (season 3); THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (season 24); THIS LIFE (season 2); THE WINNIPEG COMEDY FESTIVAL (season 15); and X COMPANY (season 3).

CBC will bolster its slate of award-winning news, investigative and documentary programming with the launch of a new investigative program hosted by Diana Swain, which will take Canadians behind the scenes for a closer look at the process of investigative journalism. CBC journalist Peter Armstrong will host a reimagined business show. Returning flagship titles include news and investigative programs THE NATIONAL, MARKETPLACE (season 44) and the fifth estate (season 42), thought-provoking documentary series FIRSTHAND (season 2) and David Suzuki’s THE NATURE OF THINGS (season 56).

Following the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, CBC Sports will build on its commitment to promote and elevate high-performance sport and athletes in Canada with expanded coverage leading into the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. In addition to events such as FIS ski and snowboard and IBSF bobsleigh and skeleton, CBC Sports has signed a new three-year agreement for exclusive Canadian coverage of ISU figure skating and speed skating.

The CBC-TV 2016 primetime fall programming schedule is as follows:

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Murdoch Mysteries *NEW SEASON*
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) —Shoot the Messenger *NEW SERIES*

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Rick Mercer Report *NEW SEASON*
8:30 p.m. (9 NT) — This Hour Has 22 Minutes *NEW SEASON*
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Kim’s Convenience *NEW SERIES*
9:30 p.m. (10 NT) — Mr. D *NEW SEASON*

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Dragons’ Den *NEW SEASON*
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — The Romeo Section *NEW SEASON*

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — The Nature of Things *NEW SEASON*
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Firsthand *NEW SEASON*

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Marketplace *NEW SEASON*
8:30 p.m. (9 NT) — Hello Goodbye *NEW SEASON*
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — the fifth estate *NEW SEASON*

6:30 p.m. ET — Hockey Night in Canada

7 p.m. (7:30 NT) — Heartland *NEW SEASON*
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — This is High School *NEW SERIES* (October)
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Canada’s Smartest Person *NEW SEASON* (November)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — This Life *NEW SEASON*

My Millennial Life spotlights the struggle of overeducated, underemployed young adults

The statistics don’t lie, and they’re pretty darned depressing. Millennials are the most-educated generation ever. Since 1981, there has been a 58 per cent increase in the percentage of 25-29 year olds with post-secondary degrees or diplomas. Nearly half of millennials are underemployed in low-wage, dead-end jobs and unemployment for recent grads is double the national average.

Amid those, stunning, crushing numbers comes TVO’s My Millennial Life, which follows five twenty somethings struggling to find jobs—and an identity for themselves—today.

It’s easy to watch something like Saturday’s documentary—produced and directed by Maureen Judge—with a jaded eye. After all, these are all twentysomethings who want money, cars, houses and fame right now rather than work the decades it took generations before them to get there. It used to be folks got an education, graduated and then worked at one company until retirement. Today’s society is different, with 40-year-olds looking for work; where do kids half their age go to find a gig?

Hope saw herself living in NYC and working for a high-end magazine, going to parties and meeting celebrities. She dreamed of buying Louis Vuitton bags on a whim. Her reality? Buying knockoffs from a street vendor and living at home in Pennsylvania. James has a start-up company but is cash-poor; Meron wanted to be a MuchMusic veejay but cleans hotel rooms; Emily sits in her kitchen and listens to music in the apartment her dad pays the rent for and enrols in college to get the real-life skills she didn’t acquire in university; and Tim moved from Moncton to Toronto to make it as a musician but transcribes court testimony for money. There are plenty of tears as they describe the frustration of working in menial, low-paying jobs.

“I don’t know why I haven’t been hired,” Emily says at her lowest point. “I keep trying and trying, and I just need a chance. I just need that break and I don’t know what to do. At this point, I think there’s something wrong with me.”

My Millennial Life isn’t a total downer. Judge introduces the family, friends and loved ones’ of those featured, showing the support systems in place when things aren’t going well. And there is good news for a couple of the kids featured. But the fact remains: it isn’t getting any easier for millennials to realize their dreams.

My Millennial Life airs Saturday, May 28, at 9 p.m. ET on TVO. It can be seen on following the broadcast.