TV, Eh? Industry Roundup: bold, Isabel, TVA and more

Sunshine Sketches get bold

Under “things we screened on one channel before their ‘real’ debuts,” the 2012 Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town TV-movie aired on CBC cable channel bold at 7:00 PM ET on February 10, 2012, two days before its premiere on CBC Television.

Shaw Media’s Mystery TV previously debuted XIII: The Series ahead of Showcase. The Guard and Shattered also premiered on Mystery TV, ahead of Global.

I’m not sure if this is the first time a secondary CBC cable channel has undermined the premiere on a main program service, but the parallels are the same. Mystery TV and bold are both lower-tier outfits with sketchy remits – bold is supposed to be Country Canada, yet hasn’t bothered to stick to its original terms of licence since CC’s 2008 rebranding.

CBC periodically attempts to make something of bold. This usually amounts to a botched awards ceremony, and British shows most people don’t even realize bold has. Airing Sunshine Sketches ahead of CBC Television is par for bold’s boundary-pushing, cutting-edge, The Wilkinsons-rerunning course.

Jojo Chintoh finds Love, Later in Life

VisionTV will air Jojo Chintoh’s new documentary, Love, Later in Life, February 14, 2012, at 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT. Chintoh, a gravel-voiced crime reporter and documentarian, worked at Citytv from 1978 to 2010.

Love, Later in Life is about people who fell in love after 45, in keeping with the older demographic VisionTV currently courts. Chintoh himself was born circa 1944. As a documentarian, Chintoh’s best known for 1985’s Down and Out in Parkdale, which earned a Gemini nomination in 1986 (Best Writing in a Documentary Program or Series.)

Love, Later in Life also airs on The Brand New ONE, thirty minutes before its VisionTV screening. The Brand New ONE and VisionTV are owned by Moses Znaimer’s ZoomerMedia.

NBC caught in Charlotte’s Isabel‘s Web

Recently, The Hollywood Reporter posted a roundup of new American pilots. The entry of interest to TV, Eh? readers: NBC’s Isabel, a loose adaptation of 2000s Radio-Canada sitcom Le Monde de Charlotte. Le Monde de Charlotte won nine Prix Gémeaux – the French-Canadian version of the Gemini Awards – during its run.

This isn’t the first time a French-Canadian show has been refitted for an English-speaking audience (hi, Sophie and Rumours), or the first time a Canadian show has been adapted for the American market (hello, Being Erica.) According to cyberpresse.ca, the English version of Le Monde de Charlotte was originally in development for ABC, but found a home on NBC.

One of the show’s executive producers is Howard Busgang, whose recent credits include 2005-06 CBC hockey sitcom The Tournament, 2011 Showcase misery-com Single White Spenny, and 2008-09 CBC sitcom Sophie. Kevin Nealon and Alex Désert are the most recognizable names currently attached to Isabel.

CBSC crosschecks La série Montréal-Québec

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council recently found TVA in violation of a few Canadian Association of Broadcasters rules – in particular, those relating to viewer advisories and ratings classifications. The offending show is La série Montréal-Québec, which aired at 7:30 PM on January 16, 2011.

TVA was in fault of Article 4 of CAB’s Violence Code, plus Clauses 10(a) and 11 of the CAB Code of Ethics. La série Montréal-Québec pits two hockey teams against each other, mimicking the Montreal Canadiens/Quebec Nordiques rivalry. Sports are exempt from CAB classification. Unfortunately for La série Montréal-Québec, it is a reality show with sport elements.

For future airings of La série Montréal-Québec, TVA must either air the show within the watershed hours of 9:00 PM-6:00 AM, or edit the show for pre-watershed use. The moral of this ruling? A reality show where people play sports is not a sport in itself. English Canada should keep that in mind, if it makes an edgy Canadian version of Battle of the Network Stars.

9 Story takes over Camp Lakebottom and Vivi

9 Story Entertainment announced its takeover of Skywriter Media and Entertainment Group’s Camp Lakebottom and Vivi, on February 13, 2012. 9 Story now handles production and distribution on the two shows. Camp Lakebottom will air in Canada on Teletoon, while Vivi will air on TVOntario.

This isn’t 9 Story’s first property assumption. Arthur, a longtime CINAR/Cookie Jar co-production with WGBH Boston, jumped ship to 9 Story after fifteen seasons. Nelvana and 9 Story co-produced both the fifth season of YTV’s Jacob Two-Two, and the third through fifth seasons of Treehouse’s Max and Ruby (with Silver Lining Productions.)

9 Story Entertainment has also lost a property. 9 Story produced the first seven episodes of YTV/The Hub’s Pound Puppies (2010- .) 9 Story was replaced by Studio B Productions/DHX Media Vancouver, which caused an eight-month delay between new episodes in America. While animation production company shifts aren’t uncommon in North America, 9 Story is responsible for a lot of them. 9 Story’s the Canadian equivalent of Titmouse.