Everything about Heartland, eh?

Comments and queries for the week of April 1

Do you know if there is a Season 2 for The Pinkertons? —Tony

The official word from CHCH—the Canadian network that airs The Pinkertons—is they have not signed on for a sophomore season yet. I’ve spoken to folks who worked on Season 1 who told me The Pinkertons will not be back.


Review: Schitt’s Creek Season 2 finale

This TV show is truly underrated. I’d never even heard of it until an advertising banner showed up on my Facebook page last week. The characters aren’t the normal one-dimensional caricatures you see in most sitcoms, especially David who I find to be a truly unique and compelling depiction of a pansexual person. Not a lot of shows explore this part of sexuality and I find that their nonchalant attitude about David’s sexual identity refreshing. My only complaint is Roland. His character is meant for another dumbed-down comedy. His brand of comedy is slapstick and I find that I can only take him in small doses. In comparison, his wife is a great counterpart for Moira and I enjoy seeing the two of them on screen together. —Lindsay

Agreed about the final episode! It was a great moment at the anniversary dinner when Johnny finally stood up for the town he and his family now call home, and I LOVED the final scene with everyone dancing. Very touching and I had a grin on my face the whole time. :D —Jeff


Heartland celebrates Season 10 news with a surprise

I look at the Lou and Peter drama a little differently, I guess. The world is full of divorced parents, so why not show an audience in a “family” show how two adults can work things out? Is this pie in the sky thinking? Maybe, but this is supposed to be a feel-good family show, in my opinion. —Pat

My family has enjoyed every season and were really impressed by the last episode. My girls have been living with Type 1 diabetes for seven years and were really grateful that the writers took the time to introduce this medical issue that is potentially life threatening. Georgie and Adam did a great job of portraying what it is like and how most people don’t know how to treat a diabetic low. Great job! We are looking forward to Season 10. —Sally

 

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

CBC announces new and returning series for 2016-17 season

From a media release:

CBC today announced five new original programs to its 2016-17 lineup of Canadian hits, along with the renewal of another 10 returning titles. Among the new titles are The Council (working title), a crime drama set in an isolated arctic outpost; observational series The School (working title); Northern-Canadian docu-series True North Calling; comedy series Four In The Morning; and Caught, a dramatic miniseries based on Lisa Moore’s novel of the same name. Series renewed for new seasons as part of the CBC-TV lineup include Murdoch Mysteries, Heartland, The Romeo Section, Hello Goodbye, Canada’s Smartest Person, This Life, X Company, Exhibitionists, Interrupt This Program and Crash Gallery.

NEW SERIES:

CAUGHT – New
6×60 (Winter 2017) – Take the Shot Productions and Entertainment One Television (eOne Television)
Adapted from the book by acclaimed author Lisa Moore, Caught is a riveting tale of bravado and betrayal, of complex characters and treacherous seas, of love, loss and last chances. Allan Hawco stars as David Slaney, who after six years incarcerated in a Nova Scotia prison for smuggling marijuana, has escaped. Slaney sets off on an odyssey that takes him deep into Latin America to reconnect with his once best friend and partner-in-crime who left him holding the bag years earlier. Slaney tastes freedom, but trusts no one and sees cops everywhere he goes.

 THE COUNCIL (working title) – New
10×60 (Fall 2016) – Lark Productions and Keston International Productions
The Council begins on the edge of the Arctic frontier during the endless days of the polar summer when a young woman, a renowned environmentalist, is found ritualistically murdered near the Canadian hamlet of Resolute. An investigation is mounted by the local RCMP inspector Mickey Behrens, an outsider and new-comer to the north who is running from a derailed personal and professional life, and her partner, officer Jo Ullulaq. A soulful counterpoint to Mickey, Jo is torn between the duty to his job and loyalty to his Inuit culture. The pair quickly discovers that the mystery extends far beyond the borders of the town and to the backrooms of Canadian parliament in Ottawa, the dark corridors of U.S. intelligence in Washington, D.C., the committee rooms of the Arctic Council in Copenhagen, the airbases of world powers, and the migrant conflicts at the border of Norway and Russia.

FOUR IN THE MORNING – New
8×30 (Summer 2016) – Serendipity Point Films
Four In The Morning is an edgy comedy that follows four friends in their twenties as they navigate life at the unpredictable, emotional and bewitching hour of 4 a.m. Dealing with themes of life and death, love and heartbreak, friendship and betrayal, it’s a series about self-discovery, disappointment and clawing after dreams that always feel out of reach.

THE SCHOOL (working title) – New
6×60 (Fall 2016) – Paperny Entertainment
The School is an intense, surprising and intimate series that, for the first time, looks deep into the incredible dynamic existing today between students and their teachers at a typical Canadian high school. Based on the award-winning UK format, The School offers unprecedented access into the day-to-day goings on at South Kamloops Secondary School in Kamloops, BC. Facing daily pressures at school, at home and in the world, today’s teens deal with seemingly insurmountable challenges. The School explores themes of teenage life and those all-important student-teacher relationships, which lie at the heart of everyone’s formative years. Fitting in, falling out, exam pressure, peer pressure, first love and last chances—The School uses warmth and humour to describe steps on the journey towards self-knowledge, at a time when both the present and the future remain uncertain.  The School is distributed by Endemol Shine and will premiere on CBC in fall 2016.

TRUE NORTH CALLING – New
7×30 (Winter 2017) – Proper Television
True North Calling will reveal the north to audiences in an entirely new, modern and surprising way. The series follows one season in the lives of several young, dynamic Arctic dwellers carving out a life for themselves and their families on the frozen tundra. We follow the daily dramas as each deals with unforgiving terrain, and unpredictable weather, hunting, guiding, fishing and farming, travelling by snowmobile and dog sled, mixing traditional ways with modern technology, all while making a living in Canada’s most spectacular and treacherous environment.

These newly announced series will debut during the 2016-2017 season, along with previously announced new shows, including: Shoot The Messenger; Workin’ Moms; Kim’s Convenience; and Baroness von Sketch Show.

RETURNING TITLES:

CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON – Season 3
6×60 (Fall 2016) – Media Headquarters
Canada’s Smartest Person is an original competition series that inspires and entertains Canadians. Each week, competitors go head-to-head in a series of mind-bending challenges that redefine what it means to be smart. Based on the Theory of Multiple Intelligence, the series explores six categories of smarts including linguistic, physical, musical, visual, social and logical.

CRASH GALLERY – Season 2
5×30 (Winter 2017) – Lark Productions
Hosted by Sean O`Neill of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Crash Gallery is a high energy, immersive television series that brings art to life.  In each episode, three talented artists face-off in a real-time creative arena, giving the audience a front row seat and the opportunity to share in the creative process.

EXHIBITIONISTS – Season 2
26×30 (Fall 2016)
Exhibitionists is a vibrant series that pulls back the curtain on people who create, and why they do it. Hosted by actor, writer and educator Amanda Parris, this weekly show features Canadian artists as they reshape our country’s artistic landscape. Topical, innovative and entertaining, Exhibitionists explores the most exciting cultural happenings across Canada through a passionate lens.

HEARTLAND – Season 10
18×60 (Fall 2016) – Seven24 Films and Dynamo Films
Heartland continues the saga of a Western family as they chase big dreams and manage life’s setbacks, while holding on to what matters most: courage, love, family, and a home you can always come back to. Starring Amber Marshall, Graham Wardle, Alisha Newton, Michelle Morgan, Shaun Johnston and Chris Potter.

HELLO GOODBYE – Season 2
13×30 (Fall 2016) – Pivotal Media and Forte Entertainment
Bustling airport arrival and departure terminals see thousands of people every day, and each and every traveller has a unique story to tell. Host Dale Curd meets people from all walks of life who are in the midst of welcoming home or saying goodbye to their loved ones. He witnesses heartwarming, emotional moments that demonstrate the universal themes of love, loss, family, friendship, grief, and joy through each intimate story of arrival and departure.

INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM – Season 2
5×30
 (Winter 2017) – Noble Television and Storypark Inc.
Interrupt This Program
 returns with new episodes revealing the surprisingly vital cultural underbellies of unsettled, global cities. In each compelling episode, passionate young artists display art as a form of protest, as a means of survival and as an agent of change. Viewers are guided through parts of the world they have most likely never seen and experience the creativity and vitality of some of the planet’s most intriguing, resilient cities.

THIS LIFE – Season 2
10×60 (Fall 2016) – Sphere Media
Based on the original Radio-Canada hit, Nouvelle adresseThis Life is a family saga set in Montreal that focuses on Natalie Lawson (Torri Higginson), an accomplished columnist and single mother in her early forties whose terminal cancer diagnosis sends her on a quest to prepare her teenage children for life without her. Her tight-knit family – sister (Lauren Lee Smith), two brothers (Rick Roberts, Kristopher Turner) and parents (Peter MacNeill, Janet Laine Green), do the best they can to help her, while coping with their own responses to this revelation.

MURDOCH MYSTERIES – Season 10
18×60 (Fall 2016) – Shaftesbury Films
Season 10 of Murdoch Mysteries, marking 150 episodes of the series, will continue to follow the heroes at the Toronto Constabulary as they solve crimes inspired by Canadian history and international celebrities of the early 20th century. Detective Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) will continue to use his cutting-edge forensic methods and scientific inventions to catch criminals and find unexpected adventures in his home life with wife Doctor Ogden (Hélène Joy) and his colleagues at Station House Four, while last season’s newcomer Miss James (Mouna Traoré) takes on more responsibilities at the morgue.

THE ROMEO SECTION – Season 2
10×60 (Fall 2016) – Haddock Entertainment
Season 2 of The Romeo Section finds freelance intelligence agent Wolfgang McGee (Andrew Airlie) tasked with a covert investigation of a terrorist incident. The trail leads him forward into the dark side of intelligence services and backwards into his own past history of serving in that realm, and its tragic personal and social consequences.  Meanwhile, Lily Song (Jemmy Chen) is now a recruit for the Intelligence Service and working her way up the ladder, while taking drastic action to prevent her discovery as a double agent. Up and coming drug gangster Rufus (Juan Riedinger) gets caught in an escalating city-wide turf war which upsets the gangster hierarchy and triggers an attempted coup d’etat at the top of the heroin food chain.

X COMPANY – Season 3
10×60 (Winter 2017) – Temple Street Productions
Inspired by remarkable true events, X Company is an emotionally driven character drama set in the thrilling and dangerous world of WWII espionage and covert operations. During World War II, a real life spy training school existed on the shores of Lake Ontario. The series follows the stories of five highly skilled young recruits torn from their ordinary lives to train as agents at an ultra-secret training facility, Camp X.

These renewed titles join an impressive list of returning series that have already been announced, including: This Hour Has 22 Minutes (Season 24); Rick Mercer Report (Season 14); Schitt’s Creek (Season 3); Mr. D (Season 6); Dragons’ Den (Season 11); Still Standing (Season 2); Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays (Season 2), and When Calls The Heart (Season 2).

Comments and queries for the week of March 25

Murdoch Mysteries‘ Season 9 and what’s to come in Season 10

I very much enjoyed the season-ender and am very happy that it has been picked up for yet another season. I find the program to be most enjoyable and have followed the show for the nine seasons it has been on. I would like to see Murdoch and Julia with a child and their new home in Season 10. Their is a lot of garbage on TV and it is refreshing to be able to sit down and watch this show. I think you have done a great job. —Cathy

Shame on the people who criticized this episode for its lack of verisimilitude. I agree with the viewer who observed that this great show is fiction and not a documentary. As in all works of fiction, some suspension of disbelief is necessary. I watched this episode and absolutely loved it. This is a wonderful show and all of the actors (especially Yannick Bisson, Hélène Joy and Jonny Harris) are superb. The humour, smart dialogue and the perfect integration of historical fact and creative storyline are what keep the audience coming back each week. This season finale was riveting. You see the physical and emotional closeness between the two main characters and how that translates into interesting plot twists. I appreciate that Hélène is the one saving Yannick and demonstrates both physical and emotional strength. The power of the mind and the mental bond between Yannick and Hélène are repeatedly demonstrated throughout the episode. The spiritual and the unexplained have been incorporated in past episodes. I think the way that they are used in this episode just adds to the appeal of the perfect partnership between Murdoch and Dr. Ogden! To the writers of this show: Keep up the great work! —N

I personally loved the final episode and I love the show and can’t wait to see what Season 10 brings. Keep up the great work. —Deborah

My wife and I loved the last episode. Julia bursting awake, galloping the horse through the wilderness, dressed to hunt for her love, William, and save his life with the bow and arrows. WOW. Very stressful episode but thank the writer gods for a terrific happy ending. —Stevie

Here’s the issue. If we look at the progression of the series, there was a fine balance between events and the character, and there was a strong emphasis on the mystery aspect of the series. The series has lapsed into more soap opera and needs to get back to its roots and focus on, as the title says, Murdoch Mysteries (stressing the mysteries). Perhaps it is time to bring in some new writers who will focus on exploring Toronto/Canada’s history in a way that was accomplished in seasons 1-7. Without doubt, Season 8 was the worst season—Season 9 redeemed itself but some of the episodes remained a bit sketchy. We don’t expect a perfect season but focus on what has made this show great and listen to your audience. I love this show. —Raymond

Absolutely disgusting, a terrible way to end what had been so enjoyable. How could the writers think we are so gullible? If this is the way the show is going I won’t be watching it next season for sure!!! I felt very sorry for the actors, they must have cringed with the stupid plot. —June

I agree. It was totally unbelievable. I am not sure if I want to continue watching the show after this. I found that the entire season was much poorer than the previous ones. —Pat


Heartland3

Heartland celebrates Season 10 news with a surprise

Every time I know a new episode is available I can’t wait to watch it. The ending to Season 9 was perfect and I’m ecstatic for Season 10. Although I do not agree with the above comment for Amy just because you’re pregnant does not make you disabled. I rode horses (including running them) halfway through my ninth month. Oh and my daughter was completely healthy; which is all I wish for Amy and Ty in the next season. I will be patiently waiting for Season 10. Keep up the GREAT work!! —Whitetail

The finale was great. I was very happy that Lou and Peter did not get back together, which would have been the easy way. I like Mitch’s character and hope Season 10 takes us that direction with Lou. Georgie will definitely have to pick up the reins, so to speak as with Amy’s pregnancy she will have to take a step back from the horses.
Great show. Have watched from the start and will continue to watch as long as it runs. —Nancy

I though the last episode of Season 9 was perfect! Absolutely amazing!! Keep up the great work and I’m so excited for Amy and Ty’s baby! —Alana

I really enjoyed the finale, it was perfect. I am actually glad Lou didn’t take Peter back, it was definitely the right call. Is there a future for Mitch’s character? I sure hope so. I think both he and Lou deserve some happiness and they look good together. Additionally, with Amy being pregnant, I guessing Georgie will be stepping in a bit more, helping Amy with the horses. —Felicia

 

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

Heartland celebrates Season 10 news with a surprise

Heartland fans have a lot to celebrate. Not only was their favourite TV show renewed for Season 10, but Ty and Amy’s lives are about to take a huge step forward.

Yes, on their first wedding anniversary, Amy announced to Ty that she’s pregnant. (Congratulations to showrunner Heather Conkie and her writing crew for having Cassandra’s pregnancy throw us off the trail.) I assumed Sunday’s season-ender “Resolutions” would deal largely with Lou and Peter’s decision to get back together or not. It did, but Amy and Ty still stole the show from them.

And let’s not forget about Adam and Georgie, who are officially an item. I guess saving each other’s lives—him last week in the sanctuary fire and she this week with the diabetes sugar shot—was enough for Adam to stand up to his father (played by Cracked‘s Dayo Ade) and demand the young couple be given a chance. Seeing them hold hands under the aurora borealis was very sweet.

Heartland1

Meanwhile, Peter’s return to Heartland was bittersweet. Despite his teary confession, a promise and a kiss on the lips with Lou, he’s leaving empty-handed. And, after everything Lou has been through this season, it’s the right call. Yes, it would have been easy to have happy-endings all around relationship-wise by the end of the episode, but Conkie has too much respect for the storyline and I applaud her for that. There are plenty of divorced couples in the real world, and Peter and Lou are determined to be great parents to their daughters. That’s more important than keeping others happy. (I was sad to hear Tim and Casey are on a break, but maybe things will be better next season.)

What did you think of Heartland‘s season finale? Are you hoping Ty and Amy have a boy, or a girl? What else do you want to see happen in Season 10? Comment below or via @tv_eh on Twitter.

Heartland2

Lou’s love life brightens on Heartland

Georgie’s right, once you open Pandora’s Box things will be changed forever. And, as the saying goes, it might seem like a small thing but it has far-reaching consequences.

In the case of Sunday’s new episode, “Pandora’s Box,” every small thing that happened on and off the ranch became bigger as the hour went on. And, I’m sure, will continue to loom larger as the season comes to a close. Lisa’s checkup turned into a medical scare that shadowed she and Jack until a follow-up phone call the next day relieved them both. But does Lisa’s pre-emptive plans to update her will hint at something sinister on the horizon?

Ty, who is seems has been gone from Heartland for weeks, was back and flip-flopping over whether to open the box his father had left for him. I knew he would eventually decide to take a peek inside and that cigar box held a flood of memories for Ty. His dad’s birth certificate confirming he lied about his age. A picture of Ty on the day he learned to ride a dirt bike. His mother’s engagement ring and a note explaining he’d scraped together enough money to buy it back after pawning it. Opening that plain paper wrapped parcel seemed small, but it held big significance for Ty: the man he’d painted as a criminal and scoundrel had tried to be a better person.

Georgie and Adam took a leap forward in their relationship. Yes, agreeing to “hang out” outside of studying appears to be minuscule, but it’ll change everything. Adam will be invited to those awkward family dinners that make me laugh out loud and Georgie will once again find herself under the gaze of Olivia, who I’m sure won’t be happy she lost Adam.

But perhaps the biggest box opened on Sunday was Lou, who took the plunge and made out with Mitch. The two have been bickering back and forth for weeks and I was silently thanking those guys for putting all of the dude ranch furniture on the roof because it forced Mitch and Lou to spend some time together. Once she realized he wasn’t a one-dimensional player, Lou dove in with both feet. After everything she’s been through, Lou deserves some happiness in the romance department. Of course, doing this opens up a can of worms. On the surface, how can they ever hope to keep their budding romance a secret from everyone? And in the larger scope, Lou’s decision affects Georgie and Katie, especially if she and Mitch get serious.

Speaking of serious, things get very serious next week when a suspicious-looking fire rages at the sanctuary, putting the animals and humans there in jeopardy.

Heartland airs Sundays at 7 p.m. on CBC.

Were you happy Lou and Mitch finally kissed? Think things will last between them? Comment below or on Twitter via @tv_eh.