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CBC unveils its 2016 summer schedule with five new primetime series

From a media release:

CBC Television today unveiled its summer 2016 schedule with five new series, returning home-grown hits and comprehensive coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The prime-time schedule includes comedies Baroness von Sketch Show and Four In The Morning; international crime drama Follow The Money; inspiring docu-series The Special Needs Hotel; political thriller Undercover; Firsthand documentary special Perfect; CBC documentary special Newfoundland at Armageddon; popular returning series Still Standing with Jonny Harris; new episodes of the Ha!ifax Comedy Fest hosted by Mark Critch; and When Calls The Heart, based on the bestselling novel by Janette Oke. CBC will also showcase a roster of Canadian movies on Saturday nights this summer, including Passchendaele, Monsieur Lazhar, John A: Birth of a Country, Uvanga and more.

The CBC-TV prime-time summer programming schedule is listed below, along with synopses for new series and returning favourites with summer premieres.

MONDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Murdoch Mysteries season 9 (encores)

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Book of Negroes (encores begin June 20)

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Undercover (premieres August 22) *NEW SERIES*

TUESDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Rick Mercer Report season 13 (encores begin June 14)

8:30 p.m. (9 NT) — This Hour Has 22 Minutes season 23 (encores begin June 14)

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Still Standing season 2 (beginning June 14) *NEW SEASON*

9:30 p.m. (10 NT) — Baroness von Sketch Show (premieres June 14) *NEW SERIES*

9:30 p.m. (10 NT) — Ha!ifax Comedy Fest (beginning August 2) *NEW EPISODES*

WEDNESDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Dragons’ Den season 10 (encores begin June 22)

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — The Romeo Section season 1 (encores begin July 6)

THURSDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — The Nature of Things (encores begin June 23)

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — The Special Needs Hotel (premieres August 25) *NEW SERIES*

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Keeping Canada Alive (encores begin June 16)

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Newfoundland at Armageddon (June 30) *NEW CBC DOCUMENTARY SPECIAL*

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Perfect (August 4) *NEW FIRSTHAND DOCUMENTARY SPECIAL*

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Firsthand (encores begin August 25)

FRIDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Schitt’s Creek season 2 (encores begin June 17)

8:30 p.m. (9 NT) — This Hour Has 22 Minutes season 23 (encores begin June 17)

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Mr. D season 5 (encores begin June 17 until July 29)

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Four In The Morning (premieres August 26) *NEW SERIES*

9:30 p.m. (10 NT) — Mr. D season 5 (encores begin June 17 until July 29)

9:30 p.m. (10 NT) — Raised By Wolves (encores begin August 26)

SATURDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Murdoch Mysteries season 9 (encores)

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Follow the Money (premieres June 18) *NEW SERIES*

SUNDAY
7 p.m. (7:30 NT) — Heartland season 9 (encores begin June 19)

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — When Calls the Heart season 2 (beginning June 19)*NEW SEASON*

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Baroness von Sketch Show encores (encores begin June 19)

9:30 p.m. (10 NT) — Still Standing season 2 encores (encores begin June 19)

CBC-TV SUMMER 2016 PRIMETIME PROGRAMMING SYNOPSES:

BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW — New Comedy Series
Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. (10 NT) beginning June 14

6×30 (Frantic Films)

This all-female, single-camera sketch comedy series takes a fresh look at the world’s narcissistic contemporary culture. Fast-paced and irreverent, Baroness von Sketch Show celebrates the absurd, mines the embarrassing and satirizes daily lives. Drawing on 15 years of comedy experience and multiple collaborations, the award-winning talents of Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen have teamed up once again as writers, stars and executive producers of this new series. Shot entirely on location in Toronto, the series is insightful and emotionally grounded while offering a witty take on everyday concerns. From the politics of ordering a coffee to entitled co-workers and open relationships, this satirical sketch show holds a fun-house mirror up to modern life.

FOLLOW THE MONEY — New Drama Series

Saturdays at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) beginning June 18

10×60 (Acquired from DRTV)

Follow the Money is a Danish drama that takes audiences into the world of economic crime, following swindlers and corporate moguls and the crimes they commit in the pursuit of wealth. When the body of a man is washed ashore near a wind farm, police detective Mads (Thomas Bo Larson) is called out to investigate. At first, it merely looks like an industrial accident, but the case implicates those in the upper echelons of Energreen — one of Denmark’s most successful energy companies. The CEO of Energreen is the charismatic Sander (Nikolaj Lie Kaas), and young lawyer Claudia (Natalie Madueño) is working hard to advance in the company. Nicky (Esben Smed), a former car thief and mechanic, works at his father-in-law’s garage. He has put his life of crime behind him for his girlfriend’s sake, but his new colleague Bimse (Lucas Hansen) tempts Nicky with a chance to make a quick buck. Set in the worlds of both economic and violent street crime, Follow the Money tells the stories of the rich, the poor, the greedy and the fraudulent — people who will go to any lengths to build the lives of their dreams.

FOUR IN THE MORNING — New Comedy Series

Fridays at 9 p.m. (9:30NT) beginning August 26

8×30 (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 series is created by Ira Parker, who also holds an executive producer credit alongside Ari Lantos, Jeff Sagansky, Mark Musselman and Matt Geller.

HA!IFAX COMEDY FEST — New Episodes

Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. (10 NT) beginning August 2

6×30 (Pilot Light Productions)

The Ha!ifax Comedy Fest cracks like a whip and moves like a bullet. Hosted by the ever-funny Mark Critch (This Hour has 22 Minutes) and featuring more than 60 stand-up performances, the series was shot in various locations around Halifax and crisply edited into six half-hour episodes. This season features 30 Canadian and international comedians, including festival favourites Lachlan Patterson (Last Comic Standing), Gemini Award-winner Nikki Payne, Graham Chittenden, Tim Nutt, Erica Sigurdson, newcomers Matt Wright, Sean Emeny and Daniel Tirado, and comedy legends Harland Williams and Caroline Rhea.

NEWFOUNDLAND AT ARMAGEDDON — New CBC Documentary Special

Thursday, June 30 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT)

1×120 (Gala Films and Morag Loves Company)

Newfoundland at Armageddon tells the epic story of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and its bloody destruction on the morning of July 1, 1916, a battle that led to enormous consequences on the life of Newfoundlanders. On July 1st 1916, 800 soldiers of the Newfoundland regiment rose from St. John’s Road trench and marched into no man’s land. “We died like tethered goats,” recalled one officer. Less than 35 minutes later almost every Newfoundlander was wounded or dead. As the boy soldiers suffered, so did the heroic women of their lives – who somehow picked up the scattered pieces. How the women did it is central to the story at the heart of this tragedy.

PERFECT — New Firsthand Documentary Special

Thursday, August 4 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT)

1×60 (Rapide-Blanc)

Perfect follows Canada’s national synchronized swimming team as they strive to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Shot over the course of a year and benefiting from exclusive access to the team, it reveals a world of extraordinary sacrifice and determination. Combining the beauty of dance with the intensity of swimming, this sport not only demands a staggering level of athleticism and artistry, it also requires that a team be physically homogenous: virtual clones of the same ideal body. As these young athletes aim for the world’s podiums, they must strive to maintain their health and self-esteem.

RIO 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES

Aug. 5–21 beginning at 7 a.m. ET (4 a.m. PT) each day

The Rio 2016 Olympic Games will be CBC/Radio-Canada’s 20th as Canada’s Olympic Network and the first Olympic Games hosted by a South American city. Including Team Canada, approximately 10,500 athletes representing 206 countries will be in Rio de Janeiro this summer to compete in 306 medal events. As Canada’s Olympic Network, CBC/Radio-Canada, along with primary broadcast partners TSN, RDS as well as Sportsnet, will provide the most innovative and accessible Olympic Games coverage ever made available to Canadians. With more than 1275 combined hours of television coverage and more than 4000 hours of live streaming and innovative virtual reality experiences, Canadians will enjoy Rio 2016 like no Olympic Games before. Details of CBC/Radio-Canada’s programming plans for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games from September 7–18, 2016 will be announced in the coming months.

STILL STANDING –  Season 2 — New Season

Tuesdays at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) beginning June 14

13×30 (Frantic Films)

Follow Canadian comedian Jonny Harris (Murdoch Mysteries) as he sets off yet again, veering off the main highway to discover the hidden comedy in Canada’s far-flung small towns. Each week, Jonny takes a hilarious and heart-warming journey to find humour in the unlikeliest of places — small towns on the ropes. After immersing himself in the lives of local characters and unearthing the tall tales in these tiny towns, Jonny delivers a rousing original stand-up comedy routine — a toast, not a roast — for the whole community. From coast to coast to coast, Still Standing showcases Canada’s vast beauty and highlights the country’s unique and diverse characters. Viewers ride shotgun with Jonny at the wheel on the ultimate cross-country road trip. In season 2, Jonny makes doughnuts in the Haida community of Skidegate B.C., trades stories with Neil Young’s childhood friend Goof in Omemee, Ontario, visits the world’s most northerly mosque in Inuvik, N.W.T., joins a seniors’ ukulele group in Georgetown, P.E.I., — and much more.

THE SPECIAL NEEDS HOTEL — New Factual Series

Thursdays at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) beginning August 25

3×60 (Acquired from Sky Vision)

The Special Needs Hotel follows Foxes Academy, a remarkable organization that gives young people with learning difficulties the opportunity to train to work in the hospitality industry. In this charming and light-hearted series from the U.K., viewers meet extraordinary young people as they progress through the unique academy, which includes working in the academy’s Foxes Hotel. The hotel is open to the public and competes for customers, and must be at the top of its game while staffed by this eclectic group of students. This inspiring documentary series follows both the missteps and triumphs of this extraordinary group and the staff who help them every step of the way.

UNDERCOVER — New Drama Series

Mondays at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) beginning August 22

6×60 (Acquired from BBCWW)

Undercover is a six-part political thriller from BBC/BBC America created by Peter Moffat. The series follows Maya (Sophie Okonedo), a barrister in London, who is at the very top of her profession and about to become the first black director of public prosecutions. But just as her life comes under intense public scrutiny, Maya discovers that her husband, Nick (Adrian Lester), has been lying to her for 20 years. Their stable and loving home life is deeply under threat as a result. At the same time, a case that has dominated her career is about to reach its conclusion. Rudy Jones (Dennis Haysbert), a black man in America, is wrongly convicted of murdering a white politician and soon to be executed. As she fights to save Rudy and discovers more about her husband’s past, Maya begins to realize there are bigger forces at work. An intricate web of corruption involving members of the police, the press and politicians unfolds.

WHEN CALLS THE HEART – Season 2 — New Season

Sundays at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) beginning June 19

10×60 (Acquired from Mindset Television)

Based on the bestselling novel by Janette Oke, season 2 of When Calls The Heart follows the residents of Coal Valley as they navigate matters of the heart during uncertain times in the wake of the mine disaster investigation. Young school teacher Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) and Mountie Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) are just starting to build their relationship. But when Elizabeth gets bad news from home, she must return to the wealthy, high-society life she left behind, where her feelings for Jack will be put to the test.

Link: Remembering Canadian factual TV pioneer Ralph C. Ellis

From Barry Walsh of RealScreen:

Remembering Canadian factual TV pioneer Ralph C. Ellis
Ralph C. Ellis, a Canadian independent television production pioneer, has passed away at the age of 91.

The founder of Ellis Entertainment began his career with the National Film Board as a field rep in Halifax, and then in Toronto, Ottawa and New York. In 1955, he partnered with Paul Talbot and Saul Turell to open Fremantle of Canada, and then in 1964, set up a shop with partners Jerry Kedey and Dan Gibson, known as KEG Productions. Soon after, he established his own distribution business, Ralph C. Ellis Enterprises. Continue reading. 

Kids’ CBC greenlights Wandering Wenda based on Margaret Atwood’s children’s book

From a media release:

Kids’ CBC today announced that new animated series WANDERING WENDA (26×8) from Breakthrough Entertainment has been greenlit. Inspired by Margaret Atwood’s children’s book The Wide World of Wandering Wenda, the alliterative series follows young Wenda and her two best friends as they embark on magical adventures.Production by Breakthrough Entertainment and PIP Animation began in November 2015 and broadcast is slated for winter 2017.

Children will be transported into an exhilarating world of action, adventure and alliteration as they follow Wenda and her two best friends, Wu and Wesley Woodchuck on a series of wild, weird and wonderfully exciting adventures. No matter where Wenda wanders, she always finds herself mixed up in the middle of mayhem and when the going gets tough she uses her words. With some quick wordplay, Wenda manages to get out of the trickiest situations. By changing words she is able to shape her adventure and adapt the world around her to help her out of some sticky situations. Each episode will be a whimsical, globe-trotting adventure of sound, word and letter exploration aimed at early readers. Wenda and her friends allow audiences to share as they venture into daring exploits and new travel destinations, and armed with the power of words there is nothing they can’t overcome.

DHX Television orders second season of hit original drama Backstage

From a media release:

DHX Television confirmed today that Fresh TV will deliver a 30-episode sophomore season of the hit original series Backstage for Family Channel’s 2017 broadcast season. The popular tween drama, which debuted in March 2016, has gained international acclaim and a devoted fan- following for its layered portrayal of daily life at an elite fine arts high school. The commissioning decision comes on the heels of Family’s Big Ticket Summer Concert announcement, revealing three of the series stars – Josh Bogert, Aviva Mongillo and Mckenzie Small – will make their touring debuts as performers on this year’s concert tour, accompanied by additional performers from the show. Production is set to being this summer in Toronto.

Backstage follows a group of immensely talented teenagers as they live through the highs and lows that come with attending the prestigious Keaton School of the Arts. From the angst and disappointments to the new friendships and crowning achievements, being a student at Keaton sets you on the path to becoming a star. Lifting the curtain on how these young musicians, dancers and artists see the world, their confessions and dreams are highlighted as they sing, dance and carve out the destiny they see for themselves – making it big.

The series’ stars: Josh Bogert as Miles; Aviva Mongillo as Alya; Mckenzie Small as Scarlett; Devyn Nekoda as Vanessa; Alyssa Trask as Carly; Julia Tomasone as Bianca; Matthew Isen as Jax; Colin Petierre as Sasha; Romy Weltman as Kit; Kyal Legend as Julie; and Adrianna Di Liello as Jenna.

Commissioned by DHX Television, and with international distribution handled by DHX Media, Backstage was created and developed by Fresh TV. Executive Producers are Brian Irving, who also serves as producer; Jennifer Pertsch, also the co-creator and a writer; Lara Azzopardi, the series’ co-creator, show runner, writer and director; Tom McGillis and George Elliott. Directors for the series include top music video directors RT! (Snoop Dogg, Sean Paul, Shane Harte), Director X (Iggy Azalea, T.I., Drake), Wendy Morgan (Dragonette, Janelle Monáe) and Warren Sonoda (Johnny Reid, George Canyon), as well as Mario Azzopardi (Stargate SG-1The Outer LimitsDegrassi) and Lara Azzopardi (I Am an Apartment BuildingRewind).

 

CTV orders Canada in a Day, a new crowd-sourced event celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday

From a media release:

CTV today announced it has ordered the two-hour event broadcast CANADA IN A DAY, from Vancouver-based Screen Siren Pictures, to premiere in 2017 in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. Based on the highly successful Life in a Day series of films from Academy Award® and Golden Globe®-nominee Ridley Scott and Academy Award-winner Kevin Macdonald, CANADA IN A DAY will allow viewers to experience a day in the life of Canada. Comprised entirely of footage shot by Canadians across the nation on a single day later this year, the event special will make its broadcast television debut on CTV.

Canadians will be asked to participate in the nationwide event this fall that will see citizens from across the country shoot and submit video in any language that captures a moment in their life, on that day. From these stories, viewers will learn what it means to be Canadian via a video snapshot of who we are as a nation. The filming date, as well as details on how to submit footage, will be announced in the coming months. Leading up to the film day, CTV and Screen Siren Pictures will launch an extensive campaign that will engage celebrity and community ambassadors as well as organizations across Canada, to help bring as much awareness as possible to the project.

Celebrated filmmaker and director Trish Dolman (Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson; LUNA: SPIRIT OF THE WHALE) will curate the video submissions and then craft a two-hour event broadcast to capture Canadians as they really are during one moment in time.

CANADA IN A DAY is inspired by the original award-winning Ridley Scott film, Life in a Day. Shot in 2010 and released in 2011, Life in a Day was the remarkable story of one day on Earth. The project garnered more than 80,000 submissions around the world, and contained more than 4,500 hours of deeply personal, powerful moments shot by contributors from Australia to Zambia – from the heart of bustling major cities to some of the most remote places on Earth. Since then, several countries have launched their own In a Day films, including Britain and Japan.

CANADA IN A DAY is produced by Screen Siren Pictures Inc. in association with CTV, with the financial participation of the Canada Media Fund, Bell Fund, Creative BC, FIBC, and the Government of Canada. Executive producers are Scott Free Films and Christine Haebler with Trish Dolman and Michael Ghent producing for Screen Siren Pictures Inc. Switch United is the web producer and Innovate by Day is the Social Media producer.