Everything about Children’s Programming, eh?

Link: How “ReBoot” predicted the future but got left behind

From Matthew Braga of BuzzFeed:

Link: How “ReBoot” predicted the future but got left behind
The future arrived in 1994 as a Saturday-morning cartoon. It crackled with the excitement of the early internet age: of modems and Windows and CPUs, the animated equivalent of dialing into AOL or Prodigy for the first time. It was the first computer-generated television show ever made — a show about computers, made with computers — and unlike anything else on air. Continue reading. 


Family CHRGD slugs it out with the Season 4 debut of Slugterra

From a media release:

Grab your gear, train your slugs and get ready for an epic battle of good vs. evil as Eli and the Shane Gang return to Family CHRGD for a fourth season of Slugterra. Debuting Tuesday, October 4 at 5 p.m. ET, the animated adventure follows Eli Shane and his crew as they collect and train slugs, while protecting the 99 caverns from mysterious evil forces. The season four premiere amps up the network’s Turbo Charged Tuesday lineup, airing alongside top-rated action series Turbo FAST, The Deep and Thunderbirds Are Go.

Season four begins with Eli and the gang returning to the 99 caverns from their Eastern adventure, only to find that the Gateway Cavern has been overrun with slugs. In their absence, the Shadow Clan has decided to put the slugs before the needs of people and the result is pure chaos. As war wages between the Shane Gang and their former allies, some unexpected help comes from a newcomer who has just arrived from the Surface. But soon, this recruit casts his own shadow and it’s up to Eli to restore the balance.

Slugterra’s fourth season debuts as part of Turbo Charged Tuesday, an action-packed weekly programming block featuring brand new episodes from Family CHRGD’s top series. Throughout October, Slugterra will air regularly Tuesdays at 5 p.m. ET, alongside underwater explorations from The Deep, race car adventures from Turbo FAST and international escapades from Thunderbirds Are Go. New episodes of Slugterra will also be available on the Family Channel App each Tuesday, immediately following the broadcast premiere and on Family CHRGD OnDemand the next day. To prepare for season four, slugslingers can catch up on seasons 1-3 now, on both the Family App and OnDemand service.

The adventure continues at CHRGD.ca where fans can learn more about their favourite characters and catch up on the show with cool clips and full length episodes. Kids can feel like they’re a part of the Shane Gang by taking inventory of slugs and gear in the awesome game “Slugterra Slug Arsenal,” and strategically placing slugs to help Eli win the Slugterra battle in “Slug Wars.”

Slugterra is produced by DHX Studios. Asaph Fipke, Chuck Johnson, and Ken Faier serve as executive producers for the series.


Exciting new kids formats headline Distribution360 slate at MIPCOM

From a media release:

As it heads into MIPJunior and MIPCOM, Distribution360 is putting new kids formats in the spotlight with the introduction of several exciting new format series including The School Run and Snapshots among its kids & family slate.

Among the format-friendly series that Distribution360 will be introducing to buyers at MIPCOM/MIPJunior is The School Run, following a freshly inked deal with UK producer Silver Bullet Entertainment and Snapshots, produced by Forte Entertainment for CBC Kids.

Produced for BBC Radio 1, The School Run (6 x 10 minutes) surprises a group of unsuspecting friends with a favourite musical celebrity waiting at the school gates to drive them home. With the help of host BBC Radio 1 DJ and former X Factor judge Nick Grimshaw, the celebrity is grilled by the teens with hard-hitting and humorous questions that every fan is desperate to ask. Celebrities featured: Olly Murs, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Little Mix, The 1975 and The Vamps.

Snapshots (6 x 30 minutes) is an unscripted live-action photography competition series where kids compete to take the best photo ever! In each episode three kids go head-to-head, armed with a passion for photography and an eye for the perfect shot, as they use all their skills and creativity to complete the challenges.

Distribution360 will also unveil an additional 4 brand new kids and family series at the market, including:

Driving Me Crazy (20 x 30 minutes) produced by marblemedia in consultation with IWC Media Limited and Proper Television for YTV, is a fast-paced, fun-fuelled reality series that puts first-time teen drivers behind the wheel with their parents. In a series of challenges on a larger-than-life course with the help of a professional race car driver the teens try to become the ultimate drivers. Based on a original format by IWC Media Limited, global rights to the series are shared by Distribution360 (North America, Latin America, and Australia) and Zodiak Kids (ROW).

In mathXplosion (50 x 3 minutes, Live Action), magician Eric Leclerc turns “mathemagican” in this entertaining new short series that shares secrets from the not-so-hidden world of math, proving math really is everywhere! Each episode illuminates the big ideas in primary math that children are already learning to do in a fun, funny and very approachable way. Produced by GAPC Entertainment for TVOKids.

The Mystery Files (13 x 30 minutes, Live Action) – The adventure never stops for Kyla, E.B, and their Aunt Tilly after they inherit a mysterious set of boxes containing ancient objects from their great aunt Hermione. Now it’s up to the team to figure out where these items came from, and how they connect to the present day! Produced by Apartment 11 for TVOKids.

Opie’s Home (39 x 7 minutes) – Opie’s Home explores the fun of family life from a preschool point of view, following 4-year-old Opie as he plays, explores and discovers new things in and around his home. Episodes feature Opie’s day-to-day interactions at home, reading and playing with his family and neighbours, as well as his family routine before and after school. Produced by marblemedia, in association with TVO, The Jim Henson Company, City Saskatchewan and Knowledge Network. Global rights to the series are shared by Distribution360 (Canada, Australia and France) and The Jim Henson Company (ROW).


YTV jumps into horse-based family drama with charming Ride

Jonny Gray has established himself as a bona fide star for YTV. He leapt onto the network as co-lead on Max & Shred and most recently became Bruno in the Bruno & Boots franchise. Now he’s utilizing his real-life horse-riding skills as Josh Luders in the channel’s newest series, Ride.

But Ride, debuting its first episode of 20 half-hours this Monday on YTV, isn’t all about Gray. Instead, he’s part of an ensemble in the equine-themed family drama about Katherine “Kit” Bridges (Kendra Timmins, Wingin’ It), a young lady who swaps Canada for England when her father, Rudy (Mike Shara), accepts a gig as an equestrian supervisor at Covington Academy, an elite riding school. The Canada-England co-production, between Breakthrough Entertainment and Buccaneer Media in the UK, was created by writers Jill Girling (Life with Derek) and Lori Mather-Welch (Queer As Folk) and has a direct lineage to series like Heartland and Anne of Green Gables.


Like Heartland, there are horses and a lot of time is spent on them. It’s a horse riding boarding school after all, so that makes sense, and the beautiful beasts are certainly celebrated. Director Stefan Scaini, a stalwart of Canadian TV from Heartland and Odd Squad to Avonlea and Wind at My Back, spends several moments capturing their movement in Monday’s debut.

But Ride feels more to me like an update of Anne of Green Gables. Kit has a flowing, unruly mane of reddish hair, bursts with enthusiasm and energy, and thinks nothing but the best of people. That, of course, causes her to run afoul of uppity rider Elaine (Alana Boden) and school marm Lady Covington (Sara Botsford). Kit does make a friend rather quickly: a wild and unpredictable horse named TK everyone is afraid of.

There’s a lot to like in Ride. Aside from strong writing—in the first 60 seconds of the debut we know why Kit and Rudy are in England, how they feel about it and their reservations—and the performances (Timmins, in particular, is fantastic), there’s the setting: rolling green English countryside, gnarled tree branches and moss-covered castles.

Check Ride out and let me know what you think.

Ride airs Monday to Thursday at 7 p.m. ET/PT on YTV.

Cast image courtesy of Corus.


Comments and queries for the week of September 2

Is SnapShots returning to CBC?

I have enjoyed the SnapShots show. My daughters would be interested in participating. Are there going to be any more episodes of SnapShot? If so, will there be any more auditions and where and when will they be? —Lisa

SnapShots will be back for another season on Sept. 10 on CBC. for auditions and other information, go to the CBC Kids’ Facebook page.

Readers react to the CRTC’s changes to Certified Independent Production Funds

I live in Australia and most of my favourite TV shows were/are filmed in Canada, frequently with Canadian creatives—Stargate (SG1, Atlantis & Universe), Arrow, Dark Matter and The X-Files. Many are set in the U.S. but are still very Canadian. In fact, I’ve seen so much that I can often look at a film without knowing and say that’s British Columbia—the forests, streets, generally the look and feel.

Canadian creatives are every bit as talented as those in other countries. While my mother and I were initially attracted to Stargate because it was American actor Richard Dean Anderson’s new show, we loved the show itself and all of the actors to which it introduced us. In fact, Canadian Michael Shanks was my late mother’s favourite. For genre television fans like myself, some of the names of creatives that I follow from project to project aren’t necessarily well-known names in mainstream television. Examples: James Bamford, Ivon Bartok, Joseph Mallozzi, Brad Wright, Robert Cooper, Amanda Tapping, Michael Shanks, Kavan Smith, Paul McGillion, David Hewlett, Ryan Robbins and Patrick Gilmore, etc.

So I want to see more Canadian creatives names on-screen. —Webgurl

Bad news indeed. Should the Levys, Reitmans and Balcer be given shows in Canada since they clearly have spent their lives and careers in the USA? Never mind that some of them have no experience producing or writing … leaving local talent unemployed and without opportunity. So tomorrow Kiefer Sutherland, his U.S. career having faded, comes to Canada and gets shows/money thrown at him at the expense of lesser-known local creatives? And then Hart Hanson… What constitutes Canadian and what is fair? Is this question too Harperian in nature?

Canadian tax dollars should be spent on creatives residing locally … too few shows get made and far too often the same Canadian writers/producers get those shows. The executives are largely to blame for this turn of events. How do you develop talent, then, given the new regulations and the collusion of executives to deprive local creatives of opportunities and enhance their own reputation by funding American-Canadian U.S.-based talent? —Mir

Saying goodbye to Motive

One of the best, if not the best, truly Canadian series is ending. The unusual twist of victim/killer made this dramatic very intriguing! Kudos to the crew and cast got an outstanding run! Sorry to see you go! —Brenda

My favourite show is ending. So sad. Hope they will renew it in the future. —Bo

Such a shame that a great show has to end. Well, I can only hope it’s replaced by another great Canadian show! God knows there’s not enough of “our” stuff—and too much of everybody else’s! —Stephen

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email Greg.David@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.