Everything about Hard Rock Medical, eh?

Hard Rock Medical moves to North Bay for Season 3

Hard Rock Medical is back, and with a new backdrop. Season 3 was officially announced on Thursday via press conference from Canadore College’s Studio 1 in North Bay, Ont., where filming will take place. The first two seasons of the medical drama were shot in Sudbury, Ont., but an educational partnership with the support of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) meant a shift in cities.

“I am here to announce an NOHFC investment of $825,000 to TVO and its production partners for their production of Season 3 of Hard Rock Medical,” said Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, and chair of the NOHFC. “We’re really excited about it, and that will support the production of nine half-hour episodes.”

“I feel honoured that so many institutions are squarely behind Hard Rock Medical,” said co-creator/director Derek Diorio. “Thank you to the city of North Bay, that has been so welcoming to our production. Without all of you here, there is no Hard Rock Medical.” Diorio explained over 50 per cent of Season 3 will be shot at Canadore College. Seventy-five students from the Digital Cinema Program, Television Program and Theatre Arts Program, are currently working on pre-production and will be an integral part of the six-week shoot. A local warehouse and medical centre location will also be used for filming. Post-production will take place at Canadore as well.

“I want to thank Derek,” George Burton, President and CEO of Candore College said. “You have provided an incredible opportunity for learning to our students, which means so much to them. I want to thank everyone on Hard Rock Medical for being such wonderful role models to our students. You bring a level of professionalism to our campus which will hold them in good stead long after graduation.”

All local crew and musicians will be used and over 30 local actors will have lead roles this season, including North Bay native Jamie Spilchuk, who plays Cameron Cahill on the series. Hard Rock Medical follows a group of medical students training in Northern Ontario and is loosely based on the curriculum of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Shooting begins next week and continues until the middle of March.

Co-created by Smith Antonio Corindia and Diorio, Hard Rock Medical stars Patrick McKenna, Angela Asher, Danielle Bourgon, Rachelle Casseus, Tamara Duarte, Kyra Harper, Christian Laurin, Andrea Menard and Stephane Paquette.

Season 3 of Hard Rock Medical will be broadcast on TVO and APTN.


Comments and queries for the week of February 5

CBC’s Hello Goodbye tells our stories via Canada’s busiest airport

Best show ever. Why not an hour long? I have travelled all my life and always got emotional when seeing other people saying hello and goodbye at airports. No dry eyes here! —Rick

Canadian TV series Hard Rock Medical to set up in North Bay

I’ve been dying of curiosity after what’s his name rode off on his (borrowed) motorcycle. North Bay, eh? My wife is from North Bay. Cool! —Steve

Great news! I was surprised to see it was renewed. I really like the show. —Alicia O

Review: Schitt’s Creek – How the mighty have fallen

I did feel a bit of that with the first two episodes, but I thought episode three was back to Season 1 standards. But even when I’m not laughing out loud I have an appreciation for the actors and the writers. They’re talented. —Kathleen

Oy. After the third episode, I’m still disappointed. I haven’t laughed once all season. I really wanted to find something to appreciate, but it just didn’t happen. And I loved Season 1. Something is just off this time. —Charis


Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? greg@tv-eh.com or @tv_eh.


TV Eh B Cs podcast 15 – Between a Hard and a Rock Place with Patrick McKenna

812531_drfraserhealeyPatrick began his acting career with Toronto’s famous Second City Theatre Company. Then he took to the road as a Stand Up comedian headlining in Universities and clubs throughout North America.

Eventually, episodic television beckoned. First with the hilarious Red Green Show with fifteen seasons as the loveable, nerdy, techno-geek, Harold; while simultaneously performing five seasons in the acclaimed dramatic series TRADERS. Variety newspaper noted, Mr. McKenna “has made television history” by being awarded Gemini’s for both the “Best performance by a Lead Actor in a Comedic Series” and “Best performance by a Lead Actor in a Dramatic Series” in the same year on the same night.

Currently Patrick co-stars in two new hospital series, HARD ROCK MEDICAL for TVO and APTN as well as Global Televisions newest hit drama, REMEDY. With any remaining free time, Patrick continues to guest star in several dramatic and comedic series from MURDOCH MYSTERIES to THE MERCER REPORT and has recently entered the world of cartoons; lending his voice to no less than five regular animated series.

Next you can see Patrick star in the soon to be released feature films A MASKED SAINT and MARGARITA.

Listen or download below, or subscribe via iTunes or any other podcast catcher with the TV, eh? podcast feed.

Want to become a Patron of the Podcast? We’ve got a Patreon page where you can donate a small amount per podcast and get a sneak peek of each release.


CBC, meet APTN

There are encouraging signs at CBC lately, in terms of the quality of what they’re putting on screen and how audiences are responding to it (let’s not talk about the rest).

With a vision that’s shifted toward distinguishing themselves from the private networks with more sophistication, more partnerships  and more international acquisitions, ratings have more or less followed with their new programming.

Less would be fall’s Strange Empire, which garnered an audience around the mid-200,000s. Not stellar for a not-cable network, though the quality isn’t in question.

More would be this winter’s The Book of Negroes co-production with BET, based on Lawrence Hill’s award-winning novel, with around 1.4 million watching each of the six episodes.

Somewhere in between would be Schitt’s Creek, which reunited Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy and premiered in January to a huge 1.4 million, but has plateaued at nearly half that audience.

Another mixed result would be X Company, which debuted last week to somewhere over 800,000. CBC must have hoped for more — the absence of a braggy ratings media release is a clue — but it’s a decent number with potential to grow.

They’ll air Young Drunk Punk sometime after its City run, and a highly credible rumour has it that Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays will come back, though CBC are taking their time confirming it. They apparently don’t care that I’m on the edge of my seat here.

But what of those killer budget cuts and the need to fill out a schedule with less money for original series and fewer episodes for the series they do make?

CBC, meet APTN: Canada’s other public broadcaster.

With every interview or review I do of an APTN series, I find myself thinking to myself — and to the interviewee, and to Twitter — that CBC would be a great home for a show like that.

Like Hard Rock Medical, the hugely entertaining half-hour Northern Exposure of the North that deserves a much, much bigger audience than it’s getting on TVO and APTN. And hey, it would make a great pairing for the equally cable-esque Michael, wouldn’t it?

Or like  Blackstone, which could be the closest Canada has come to The Wire, exploring social and political issues within a community.  And which could make a great pairing for a season two of Strange Empire.

I’m less sold on Mohawk Girls but it as well as some of APTN’s children’s and youth programming might benefit our actual public broadcaster, and be benefited in return with a wider fan base.

I used to wonder “why doesn’t CBC do the kind of distinct, uniquely Canadian programming APTN is doing,” but now it’s more “if CBC can air a City show in second-window, why not an APTN show?”

So CBC, meet APTN. Can I buy you guys a drink?