TV, Eh? Industry Roundup – Corus Quay, Shaw Media/Vikings, CRTC/music, Sea to Sky Entertainment

Corus Quay flipped twice in one day

On March 12, 2012, the Corus Quay was bought by Corus 25 Dockside Property Inc., a Corus Entertainment subsidiary, for $186 million. Corus Quay was, until this move, owned by the Toronto Port Lands Company.

The original agreement saw Corus Entertainment lease the Corus Quay until 2029. In exchange for maintenance of the original lease, plus an optional twenty-year extension, H&R Real Estate Investment Trust is Corus Quay’s new owner. H&R REIT covered the cost of the Corus 25 Dockside Property Inc. sale.

The Corus Quay was completed in the fall of 2010. It is the central programming hub for twenty-four television services, and three Toronto radio stations. Around 1100 employees currently work at the Corus Quay.

Shaw Media lets Vikings invade its schedules

Canada’s Take 5 Productions, and Ireland’s World 2000, recently convinced Shaw Media to climb aboard Canadian/Irish co-production, Vikings. Showrunner Michael Hirst’s writing credits include Starz/CBC’s Camelot and Showtime/CBC’s The Tudors. Hirst is the executive producer for Camelot, The Tudors, and Showtime/Bell Media’s The Borgias.

MGM’s Television Group and Digital is also involved in Vikings, through MGM TG&D president Roma Khanna. Khanna jumped to MGM from NBCUniversal in 2011, where she was president of Universal Networks International & Digital Initiatives. Khanna was the executive vice president of Snap Media Corporation from 1999-2003, and was a CHUM Limited executive from 2003-07.

Vikings will air on History Channel in the United States. The ten-part series is slotted for History Channel’s summer 2013 schedule.

Vikings is sold as History Channel’s “first scripted series” – which isn’t technically wrong. History Channel famously shelved its first miniseries, The Kennedys, in 2011, though The Kennedys aired abroad under the History Channel banner.

CRTC news

Canyon.TV is denied a licence for prospective MuchMusic-MuchMore-and/or-CMT-Canada-beater, Canyon Music TV…simply since it’s a prospective MuchMusic-MuchMore-and/or-CMT-Canada-beater. You don’t take must-carry channels like MuchMusic head-on.

As for MuchMusic, that channel can now air more long-form documentaries, just so long as long-form documentaries fill ten percent or less of the overall schedule. Previous to this decision, MuchMusic filled as much as five percent of the schedule with long-form documentaries.

Follow-Up to March 4 Industry Update

Thunderbird Films enters a joint venture with Lionsgate. The joint venture’s name is Sea to Sky Entertainment, and focuses on both American and Canadian television markets. Sea to Sky Entertainment is a 50/50 partnership, designed to split development and production costs between Thunderbird Films and Lionsgate.

Sea to Sky Entertainment’s development and production deals include projects with documentary/reality television producer R.J. Cutler, and Mystic River/Gone Baby Gone author Dennis Lehane.

Odds and sods

Jason Agnew, co-host of Bite’s The Conventioneers, hosts a show on NEWSTALK 1010 called Bite TV Presents…The Late Shift with Jason Agnew. The show debuts Thursday, March 15, 2012, at 10:00 PM ET. The show lasts until midnight, and focuses on stand-up comedy. Mike Bullard and Gary Rideout Jr. are among the first guests on The Late Shift.