TV, eh? Industry Roundup: DVDs, Cartoon Network Canada & more

By Cameron Archer for TV, eh?

DVD Releases

Canadian TV-on-DVD is surprisingly active, as of late. Rookie Blue‘s second season will be released on DVD/Blu-ray by eOne, on May 8, 2012. Combat Hospital fans have to settle for Sony’s manufacture-on-demand (MOD) DVD set of “Season 1,” on March 6, 2012.

eOne will also release a couple of Showcase dramas. King‘s first season appears on DVD March 6, 2012, while Lost Girl‘s first season appears on DVD March 27, 2012.

Durham County‘s third season will be released on DVD by Anchor Bay Entertainment’s Canadian division February 21, 2012. eOne will respond with its own HBO Canada title, Call Me Fitz (second season; March 13, 2012 on DVD.)

If you’re looking for new DVD/Blu-ray sets of Canadian shows not made before this decade, keep looking.

Cartoon Network comes to Canada

On February 2, 2012, Teletoon and Turner Broadcasting announced the formation of Cartoon Network Canada, in the form of a digital specialty channel. Cartoon Network Canada will debut later in 2012, though no set date has been announced.

Of note, no Canadian shows currently airing on the American Cartoon Network will move to CN Canada, according to Teletoon communications manager Sarah Etherden. The American Cartoon Network has either acquired shows from, or co-produced shows with, Canadian cable entities.

Currently, Teletoon controls the Total Drama and Bakugan franchises, plus Johnny Test, while YTV controls the Beyblade and Redakai franchises, Sidekick, and Almost Naked Animals. This does not mean said shows won’t be on CN in the near future, though Etherden promises “limited duplication” between CN Canada and Teletoon. We’ll see.

Guru Studio in hiring hot water

Canadian Animation Resources recently posted an article on Guru Studio’s hiring practices. Guru Studio used CAR as a place to advertise job postings, including internships, for Family Channel/Disney Junior preschool series Justin Time.

In response to the article, Guru Studio explained the internship job postings as “clerical errors,” even though Guru Studio’s practice of using interns for Justin Time has been in place since at least June 2010. The controversy stems from whether the intern is doing the work normally given to a paid employee. Such an arrangement would violate Ontario’s Employee Standards Act, 2000.

In a bit of bad timing, Guru Studio also recently announced a development deal for Teletoon’s Nemesis.

Reimagining CBC

OpenMedia.ca and Leadnow recently launched Reimagine CBC, which allows people to leave suggestions on how to improve the CBC service, so that it can better function in future media landscapes. The best ideas will be crowdsourced into a set of recommendations, which will be sent to both CBC brass, and CRTC regulators.

A notable early entry: Kai Nagata’s suggestion to dump television entirely, and focus on web video. Nagata left his post as CTV’s Quebec City Bureau Chief, at the age of 24. He gained infamy for this blog post, explaining the reasons why he left his job.

As of 10:00 AM on February 1, 2012 (the time and date I type this), Nagata’s Reimagine CBC entry has a 3.0 rating, with seven votes.

Break It Down premieres

AUX TV debuts Break it Down, a half-hour hip-hop/urban-centric interview series, Tuesday, February 21, 2012. Two episodes of the series will air in an hour-long block, for three consecutive days.

Break it Down‘s Facebook page claimed the show’s debut month as March 2011. A Sway interview with BiD producer/MuchMusic alumnus Tony “Master T” Young placed the debut month as May 2011. A fall 2011 debut fell through, according to GlassBOX Television marketing & communications coordinator Nicolas Di Lollo.

Di Lollo attributes the delays of Break it Down to “production and delivery issues.”

Mélissa François demotion controversy

Groupe TVA, a Quebecor Inc. company, issued a three-month suspension-without-pay to Réjean Beaudet, president of Groupe TVA’s employee union.

Le Canal Nouvelles news anchor Mélissa François was moved to off-air editing duties, following a December 2011 incident in which she mistakenly reported on Kim Jong-il’s death, calling him Kim Jong II.

In a La Presse article, Beaudet claims that the François demotion is discriminatory in nature, as François is black, and Groupe TVA has a poor track record when dealing with minority employees. Groupe TVA president Pierre Dion claims Beaudet is spreading unjustifiable, race-based allegations against Groupe TVA, which Beaudet refutes.

La Presse, a middle-class Groupe Gesca/Power Corporation of Canada broadsheet, competes in Montreal against Le Journal de Montréal. Le Journal de Montréal, a daily tabloid, is owned by the Sun Media division of Quebecor.