Everything about Motive, eh?

Reaction to CRTC’s Policy framework for Certified Independent Production Funds

By Anonymous 

Canadian Television is about to become slightly less full of Canadians, thanks to a major CRTC decision released quietly yesterday.

The CRTC is allowing the independent production funds (including the Shaw Rocket Fund, Rogers Fund, Cogeco Program Development Fund, Telefilm Canada, and the Harold Greenberg Fund) to reduce their “point system” for what determines Canadian-ness of a project from 8 to 6. The general effect of this will be to allow for the hiring of non-Canadians in key creation and starring roles (ie: Americans will be able to create and star in “Canadian” TV series).

This, in fact, by the CRTC’s own admission, was one of the points of the decision:

“The current criterion requiring eight out of 10 Canadian content certification points to qualify for CIPF funding is restrictive and excludes many productions that could otherwise be of high quality and qualify as Canadian. Moreover, a reduced requirement could help smaller and perhaps more innovative projects to qualify for funding. A reduced requirement of at least six points could also facilitate the hiring by production companies of non-Canadian actors or creators, who may increase a project’s attractiveness and visibility in international markets.”

Reaction from the Canadian creative community was swift, and critical.

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What’s particularly unusual about this decision is that something with far-reaching implications was done as a “paper hearing,” ie: the CRTC did not hold any public consultations.

The last time something like this was proposed, the Writers Guild of Canada brought a group of screenwriters to Hull to appear before the commission. They made a convincing case as to why this “flexibility” wouldn’t lead to better quality Canadian programming. It seems that current chairman J.P. Blais was determined to not repeat this exercise.

Of concern to fans of actual Canadian TV shows, of course, is the fact that once again in no way was the audience consulted. The CRTC didn’t bother to seek out or try to understand the feelings of fans who celebrate unique Canadian points-of-view and creative directions on display in Canadian-created shows such as Orphan Black, Flashpoint, X Company, Letterkenny, Wynonna Earp, Lost Girl, Rookie Blue, Saving Hope, Motive, or many more.

As Peter Mitchell, executive producer and showrunner of Murdoch Mysteries explained on Facebook, even the premise of the CRTC’s decision is faulty:

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The problem with the CRTC’s decision is that it really doesn’t advance any new idea. Many Canadian producers have been doing their level best to copy “American-style” shows for years, watering down the Canadian creative role as much as possible. They never seem to do as well as the original work such as Orphan Black or Murdoch Mysteries. That’s why you’re not seeing Season 4 of the forgettable XIII, and why Houdini & Doyle, which debuted to so much fanfare, died a quiet death.

The idea that Canadian producers will be able to attract top American talent is dubious at best. Because if you’re American, and you’re working in the American industry where there’s more money, and more prestige, why would you take a massive pay cut to work in Canada? Instead of top American talent, you’re likelier to get the people who can’t get hired anymore, who might have had credits in the 1980s or 1990s. And now the CRTC has blessed the idea that these marginal players are more valuable than the top homegrown talent who are responsible for the industry’s top successes.

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There are other ways to approach the idea of creating hits, rather than this failed road. But the CRTC seems to be enamored with the fantasy that “flexibility” fixes all, rather than actually supporting talent.

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And the best part? A government that ran at least partially on a platform of promoting culture is signalling to the next generation of storytellers not to bother—that it’s time to leave:

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So there’s nothing good here if you’re a Canadian writer or actor hoping to star in or create a Canadian show. Or if you’re someone who likes the unique point of view you see from Canadian TV shows. But the producer’s association loves it. I’m sure you’ll be getting something great from that writer who did one episode of Simon & Simon any day now.

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Great news, isn’t it?

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Motive readies for its final goodbye

This is it, Motive fans. The penultimate episode is upon us. It’s been one hell of a ride, hasn’t it? We’ve loved this four-season peek into the lives of Angie Flynn, Oscar Vega, Betty Rogers and Brian Lucas. They’ve solved crimes, faced adversity and enjoyed copious adult beverages together. But before the final farewell—will Angie move to Paris?—we’ve still got this week’s story to cover.

Here’s what CTV has to say about “Chronology of Pain”:

When Detective Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman) and the team investigate an explosion at Judge Natalie Rodman’s (Joanna Cassidy, CALL ME FITZ) home, Angie is grateful her mentor survived. But when the Judge dies a short while later, Angie races to catch a sophisticated killer who’s an expert at covering their tracks—and may strike again.

And here’s what we can tell you after previewing the episode, written by Julie Puckrin:

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Angie as … staff sergeant?
She may be a fill-in for now and says she’s not interested in the gig, but is Angie telling the truth? Her thoughts on her years as a detective, and possible next steps, are challenged when Judge Rodman is found dead.

Kennecki returns!
We’ve certainly missed the wise-cracked, over-confident cop, haven’t you? Thankfully, we get a dose of Det. Mitch when Angie investigates the incident at the judge’s house. The two have a nice little tête-à-tête that hints Angie could be one heck of a mentor.

A.J. Buckley returns to TV!
Oh, how we’ve missed Buckley on Canadian TV. The former CSI: NY forensics expert checks in to Motive as a car mechanic who is key to the case.

Motive gets vice-presidential
OK, he played a vice president on The West Wing, but we were giddy to see Tim Matheson guesting as Brent, the judge’s husband. Sure, he seems worried about his wife’s well-being, but did he have reason to off her?

Let us know what you’ll miss most about Motive using the Comments section or via Twitter @tv_eh.

Motive‘s series finale airs next Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media

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Rookie Blue’s Missy Peregrym guest-stars on Motive

Motive is nearing the end of its run, and everyone involved is clearly looking to go out on top. After weeks of strong stories and high-profile guest strs, Tuesday’s newest, “In Plain Sight,” not only boasts Tommy Flanagan, but Continuum/Intelligence actor Ian Tracey, iZombie‘s Aly Michalka and Rookie Blue‘s Missy Peregrym.

Here’s the network synopsis:

When an abducted woman returns and is later found nail-gunned to death, Detective Angie Flynn and the team discover that truth is stranger than fiction. Angie embraces her new relationship with Agent Jack Stoker, while Staff Sergeant Oscar Vega’s increasing frustration with the bureaucracy in the department drives him to look for other options.

Here’s what else we can tell you about the episode, written by Damon Vignale.

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Missy Peregrym as you’ve never seen her before
Rookie Blue viewers are used to seeing her as cop Andy McNally, but Motive poses Peregrym as the killer in this episode. It’s a twisting, turning case that involves kidnapping, an estranged father, bundles of cash and a private investigator (Tracey), leading to one shocker of an ending.

Betty and Lucas team up for Angie teasing
“Sure hope Stoker is ‘fitting in,'” mocks Betty. “Like a glove,” adds Lucas. Love it.

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Vega weighs his options
Fed up with being questioned constantly, Vega is considering another career. Based on his impression of Al Pacino, we think improv might be a good move too.

Motive airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.

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Jack and Angie get awkward on Motive

What’s this we spot? Angie and Jack Stoker working together on another case? We couldn’t be happier, especially after last week’s final scene that caught Jack singing a post-coitus “O Canada.”

Written by Matt MacLennan, Tuesday’s new episode is called “Remains to be Seen,” and we’ve got some scoop to get you primed.

An e-motional murder
Motive comes up with some real doozies when it comes to how folks are dispatched, but “Remains to be Seen” takes it to another level. Let’s just say motion sensors allow Angie, Betty and Lucas to see exactly what happened to the victim.

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A treasure trove of guest stars
Max Martini (24, Republic of Doyle) and Keegan Connor Tracy (Once Upon a Time, Heartland) play key characters in the main storyline, but we won’t ruin whether they’re involved with the killer or the victim. Ty Olsson (Supernatural, Continuum) returns to Motive as Tim Kelly—who assaulted Betty in the morgue—to face her in court. And Blackstone fans should keep an eye out for Steven Cree Molison, sporting a beard and looking very un-Daryl like.

Stoker is here to stay … for now
Apparently, Interpol needs a new liaison in Vancouver, and seeing as the polite gent is already there, why not have him stick around? He made for a great one-night stand for Angie—living overseas means virtually no strings attached—but being in the same city … the same office? This is getting interesting.

Motive airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.

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Sons of Anarchy star lands on Motive

“Foreign Relations,” written by Sarah Dodd, may just be Motive’s most international episode ever. Not only does the main crime involve a British student found dead on university grounds, but Scottish actor Tommy Flanagan in a guest role. Yes, Chibs from Sons of Anarchy appears in Tuesday’s new story, as an Interpol agent teamed with Angie to investigate the crime.

Here’s what fans can expect on Tuesday night.

Sons of Anarchy star plays good guy?
It’s deliciously ironic that Tommy Flanagan is playing Interpol Agent Jack Stoker in this episode. He was unforgettable as motorcycle gang member Chibs for 92 episodes of Sons of Anarchy, so it’s pretty neat to see him showered, shaved and dressed to the nines, investigating Julian’s death … while catching Betty and Angie’s approving eyes. (Viewers with a sharp ear will catch a familiar, British bit of music when Jack leaves his meeting with Vega.) We learn a lot about Jack and his personal life; one wonders if he’ll return before—or during—Motive‘s series finale. And we love his off-key warbling of our national anthem.

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Vega is in troubleeeee…..
Motive revisits last week’s case involving Sgt. Bailin, with Vegas being questioned by the press about why her mental unbalance wasn’t caught via screening. Vega gets called on the carpet by his superiors for telling the media he thinks the justice system failed her son.

Vancouver’s stunning cityscape
I always forget what a beautiful backdrop Vancouver is for Motive; make sure you look at the scenery as Angie and Betty are examining the body.

Motive airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.

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