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Hitler has his revenge in Hell Below

Watching X Company, I was reminded of the Battle of the St. Lawrence, when German U-boats patrolled the Gulf and mouth of the river during the Second World War in search of Allied ships to sink. In Tuesday’s new episode of Hell Below, attacks are ordered along the east coast of the United States in an attempt to threaten the war effort.

In “Hitler’s Revenge,” airing at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel Canada, the German Commander of U-boats, Karl Dönitz, wanted to follow up the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor—which caused the U.S. to enter the war—with a full-scale assault along the eastern seaboard. With men like Kapitanleutnant Reinhard Hardegen at the helm of U-123, Dönitz hoped Hardegen and the captains of four more Type 9 submarines would get the job done via Operation Drumbeat. There’s a ton of interesting facts revealed in the episode, including background into Hardegen’s pre-submarine war career, the truly awful conditions inside the U-boats and the lengths crews would go to make 80-day missions aboard them somewhat livable.

There are plenty of action and tense moments. The plan to attack off the coast of New York City is so rushed no accurate maps of the water depth are available and Hardegen has to resort to a city guide and map to figure out what The Big Apple looks like. As with past episodes of Hell Below, stunning recreations, CGI and real war footage bring these harrowing tales to life.

Is Hardegen’s mission a success? Tune in to find out.

Hell Below airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel Canada. You can watch past episodes via Smithsonian Channel Canada’s website.

Proper Television shifts into Season 3 of Vegas Rat Rods on Discovery

From a media release:

Proper Television announced today that Vegas Rat Rods Season 3 is in production with ten new, one-hour episodes for Discovery Canada and Discovery US. The third season of the internationally acclaimed series continues to follow Steve Darnell and his merry band of misfits as the Welderup gang creates 10 more killer vehicles that are bold, bitchin’ and badass. Production of Season 3 begins after a successful year of international sales with Seasons 1 and 2, now airing in over 180 territories across the globe.

Having spent the past two decades scouring the desert around Vegas for cars, parts and rusty inspiration, Steve is starting to realize many of his reliable stomping grounds have been picked dry. With more clients seeking out Steve’s expertise, Season 3 finds him venturing further and further afield to find his rusty relics, which means he needs to trust the rest of the Welderup crew to look after the shop. The crew must adapt to a new way of doing business in order to stay on schedule and on budget while taking the creativity of the builds to the next level.

Produced by Proper Television, Guy O’Sullivan (Canada’s Worst Driver) serves as Executive Producer and Barry Davis (Canada’s Smartest Person) as Series Producer. Vegas Rat Rods is an original production produced for Discovery Canada and Discovery US. For Discovery Canada, Bruce Glawson is Executive Producer and Edwina Follows is Director of Production. For Discovery US, Mitchell Rosenbaum and John Slaughter serve as Executive Producers. Proper Rights oversees international distribution on Vegas Rat Rods.

Hell Below portrays perilous life aboard wartime submarines

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of military programming, and Hell Below is a fantastic one. Produced by Parallax Film Productions out of Vancouver, the documentary series delves into life aboard submarines during the Second World War, and Tuesday’s newest is a humdinger.

“The Wolfpack”—broadcast on Smithsonian Channel Canada at 8 p.m. ET—explores the elite submariners that hunted Allied convoys bringing much-needed supplies from the East Coast of North America to Britain. At the centre of the episode is Otto Kretschmer, one of Hitler’s U-boat aces whose guts and gambles made him a successful and valued member of the German side. Kretschmer inflicted incredible damage by manoeuvring his submersible into the middle of convoys and then picking off ships one by one, leading to cataclysmic losses.

Filmed aboard era ships and subs, Hell Below successfully portrays not only the successes and failures of Kretschmer and his crew, but the claustrophobic conditions they operated in. With hundreds of feet between them and the surface—and with Allied boats dropping depth charges—being on a U-boat crew was not for the faint of heart. You can’t help but feel sympathy as depth charges shudder through the sub’s structure, springing bolts and letting in freshets of water. Expert analysis, re-enactments, stock footage and impressive CGI help tell the tale of Kretschmer’s career and what happened when the Allies finally put radar on their ships.

Hell Below airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel Canada. You can watch past episodes via Smithsonian Channel Canada’s website.

HGTV Canada’s superstars team to create the ultimate Home to Win

Superstars assemble! Take 20 HGTV Canada contractors and designers, drop them onto a property in dire need of renovation and what do you get? Home to Win, the network’s biggest giveaway ever, and a showcase for homegrown talent.

Hosted by ET Canada‘s Sangita Patel and debuting Sunday at 10 p.m. ET, Home to Win is a who’s who of demolition and design talent, including Bryan and Sarah Baeumler, Sarah Richardson, Scott McGillivray, Mike Holmes, Tiffany Pratt, Samantha Pynn, Paul Lafrance, Kate Campbell, Sebastian Clovis and Danielle Bryk. Basically, if they appear on an HGTV Canada series, they’re participating in Home to Win. It’s a smart move: it’s all hands on deck in the first episode as the participants search Canada for the ideal property to make over. But can so many artistic people with differing style ideas all get along?

“Bryan and I had a lot of questions,” Baeumler says during a press junket at Corus headquarters alongside Pratt and Pynn. “How do we get these 20 people together, align the schedule, make sure we all work well together … it just seemed like a huge feat. It took about an hour of thinking about it, and Bryan said, ‘This will work.'” It certainly does. It’s easy to assume these folks all get together on a regular basis to quaff and beer and talk shop, but that’s not the case. With busy production and business schedules to juggle, pros like Pynn and Lafrance would never have met and collaborated, let alone be featured in a series together.

Home_to_Win

“We all have our own different areas of expertise,” Pratt explains. “We all have our different arenas, so for all of us to come together and put it into one space, it’s really spectacular. It’s good times with everybody.” Unlike many renovation shows, there are no firm deadlines and no winner or loser. The group is working together over 10 episodes to create a beautiful space full of, as Baeumler says, stories, memories and connections.

“I knew that it would be a lot of fun,” Pynn says. “I knew there would be a lot of work, but it doesn’t feel like work. And the end reveal is just everything. It was an amazing experience.”

At the end of that experience, one Canadian will win the home and all of the furnishings. Auditions are open now and couldn’t be more simple: after giving the standard name and address information, you must record a one-minute video telling the casting team, “What makes a house a home?” Three contestants chosen will compete in Home to Win‘s finale.

“You have 20 people repeating the words ‘dream home,’ so you can’t not have a dream home, period,” Pratt says. “Everyone here and at home want to tune into that final episode and say, ‘Holy … Oh my God!'”

Home to Win airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

CBC’s Crash Gallery Season 2 casting now open

From a media release:

CASTING CALL: We are looking for creative, confident, energetic artists looking to showcase their skills and talent on national TV!

Lark Productions is now casting Canadian artists for Season 2 for the groundbreaking CBC series – Crash Gallery.

We are looking for artists from a wide variety of mediums from painters, sculptors and mixed media artists to tattoo, graffiti, carving, street art, animators, illustrators, all creative mediums apply.

We want to hear from you if:

• You want an opportunity to showcase your talent on a televised, national stage
• You have advanced art skills (the ability to draw & sketch is a must)
• You are enthusiastic to take on an art challenge both within & outside your specialized medium
• You are comfortable on camera and have an outgoing personality
• You aren’t afraid to get a little competitive!

Casting is currently open, so apply today!

Please send your name, photo, artists bio, contact information and 2-3 photo samples of your artistic work to casting@larkproductions.ca. Please include links to any relevant pages or media articles.