Everything about Reality, Lifestyle & Documentary, eh?

Survivorman returns to OLN’s Spring Schedule

From a media release:

It’s in with the spring and out with the snow as OLN welcomes the season’s hottest new original series, sure to excite all audiences. From master survivalist Les Stroud who returns to OLN with fan-favourite series Survivorman, to prodigy magicians and death-cheating escape artists, to the mind-blowing things the human body can do, OLN has it all. Catch all the action beginning March 3 on OLN.

Tuesday, March 3:

You Can’t Lick Your Elbow: Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings), beginning March 3

**Series Premiere**

You Can’t Lick Your Elbow, hosted by future NFL Hall of Fame player Tony Gonzalez, is a guide to the weird, clever, and amazing things you can – and sometimes can’t – do with the human body. On the series premiere of You Can’t Lick Your Elbow, viewers are welcomed to explore their own human body. So watch – and learn – as this episode unlocks the superhuman powers hidden within each of us.

Fail Army: Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings), beginning March 3

Fail Army is a brand-new, high-impact, unscripted comedy based on the hugely popular YouTube channel. The 20-episode clip show features the funniest ‘fail’ videos, bloopers, pranks, and all-around entertaining videos in an easy-to-digest half-hour format. Each episode is packed with the same remarkable clip content that has made the FailArmy brand an international sensation with more than one billion total views on YouTube, and over eight million combined followers on social media.

Wednesday, April 8

Survivorman: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings), beginning April 8

Canada’s favourite survivalist comes home! Canadian Screen Award winner Les Stroud returns to OLN withSurvivorman, kicking off the show with six special episodes focused on the elusive Bigfoot.

Les Stroud dives deep and puts his reputation on the line to either prove or disprove the existence of a species of man-like primate thought to have become extinct after the last Ice Age: the elusive and mythical Gigantopithecus (e.g., Sasquatch and Bigfoot). On the season premiere, Survivorman Les Stroud’s current quest takes him to the wilderness of Klemtu, an Indian reserve on the coastal fjords of British Columbia, to investigate hundreds of reports of Bigfoot sightings by local residents. Is it myth or fact? One thing is for sure, Klemtu is an environment where large animals could exist indefinitely.

Tuesday, April 14:

Escape or Die!: Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings), beginning April 14

**New OLN Original Series**

Dean Gunnarson is hailed as the world’s most daring escape artist, according to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, entertaining audiences around the world with remarkable stunts that cheat death. In the series premiere, Gunnarson is in Shanghai, China to defend his title as the “World’s Most Daring Escape Artist.” The Chinese media have come out in full force to watch him face off against one of the largest wooden rollercoasters in the world.

Illusions of Grandeur: Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT (check local listings), beginning April 14

**New OLN Original Series**

In this new docu-series, up-and-coming street magician Zack Mirza strives to take his magic skills to the next level. On this magic pilgrimage to 12 cities in 12 weeks, Mirza walks in the footsteps of the greats and brings his brand of street magic to cities like Toronto, New York, Austin, Las Vegas, and Detroit. In each city, Mirza focuses on a different style of magic, including mentalism, escapes, and card magic.

The series premiere sees Mirza begin a magic journey across North America in his hometown of Toronto. He performs for Toronto Raptors forward-guard Terrence Ross – blowing his mind with a basketball trick-shot for the ages. Finally, Mirza embarks on the most ambitious card illusion he’s ever attempted.

Preview: Transforming Transgender an intimate look into the lives of transgendered people

“I just didn’t feel right in who I was. I always thought, ‘Am I in the right body?'” That’s how Olie, a young Quebec girl, felt while she was a boy. That stunning quote kicks off Transforming Transgender, airing Thursday as part of CBC’s Doc Zone, a program that informs and educates—as Geena  Rocero explains—the “T” in LGBT.

Executive producer Rachel Low and her team aren’t out to shock viewers with their documentary, but to spotlight, celebrate and produce some very interesting facts. History shows humankind likes to put everyone in one gender or another, when the reality is that isn’t true. Nature presents different variations of flora and fauna, including humans. As Rocero, founder of Gender Proud in New York City points out, gender has been blurred in Asian countries for centuries.

Transforming Transgender interviews a stunning array of transgendered individuals, from children like Olie and Wren to Dr. Carys Massarella (pictured above) and Stephanie Castle, who was born in 1925 and as a child dreamt he saw himself as a girl. Stephanie went into the navy and had a “normal” life with two marriages and kids. It was at the end of the second marriage Stephanie knew she couldn’t hide it anymore and had gender reassignment surgery at 66.

The documentary also presents some sobering stats: 97 per cent of transgendered people experience harassment on the job and 40 per cent will attempt suicide. Unemployment rates are high because of transphobia and depression is a common occurrence. And why not? As several interview subjects point out, they felt isolated from their family and friends because of who they felt they needed to act like versus who they really were.

Far from being a “woe is me” project, Transforming Transgender is also a celebration of becoming who one really is and being supported by those who love you. The most touching moments are those chats with parents who didn’t care whether their child was a boy or a girl, just that they were someone they loved.

“We have this little joke where we hear someone say, ‘Oh, we’re having a boy,'” Wren’s mom says with a laugh. “And I think, ‘Maybe. Maybe not.'”

Transforming Transgender airs as part of Doc Zone at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Carver Kings premieres April 5 on HGTV

From a media release:


  • HGTV Canada Presents Jaw-Dropping Look at Producing Custom Art from Raw Wood
  • New Series Premieres Sunday April 5 at 10pm ET/PT

HGTV Canada expands its royal family this spring with the new series Carver Kings, a captivating and entertaining look at the unique world of chainsaw carving. A companion to the hit Timber Kings series, Carver Kings follows a passionate crew of elite chainsaw mavericks based out of Williams Lake, B.C. as they turn raw wood into stunning custom art for the owners of the world’s most spectacular log homes. Carver Kings premieres with back-to-back episodes Sunday, April 5 at 10pm ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

Part of the team at Pioneer Log Homes, these chainsaw experts are challenged with creating extraordinary, one-of-a-kind carvings for the Timber Kings’ most prestigious clients. Faced with near impossible deadlines, demanding clientele, last minute changes and work yard egos, the Carver Kings will stop at nothing to make sure their works of art are the crown jewel of some of the most magnificent log homes on the planet.

As some of the best carvers in the world, the Kings know every detail about the subjects they carve – from the number of feathers on a bird’s wing to the exact angle at which a bear’s claw curves. Each incredible carving comes with a unique story and viewers get an up-close look at the precise work required to create a range of carvings. Whether it’s an eagle, a mountain lion, a family tree, a gazebo or even a tiki bar, every carving becomes a striking focal point in homes across North America.

The premiere episode follows the Carver Kings as they create a modern totem pole for a Colorado log stunner that Timber King Peter Arnold needs to complete the build. The homeowner requested a piece that stands 13 feet tall and represents the native animals of Colorado – but they only have five days to complete the work. In this high-stakes job where timing and quality are everything, one mistake could prove very costly to the whole project. Meanwhile, across the work yard at Pioneer Log Homes, the most seasoned carver of the bunch gives Pioneer’s rookie carvers a surprise job to cut their teeth on.

History’s Yukon Gold mines for riches in Season 3

There’s still gold up in thar hills, and Karl Knutson is determined to find it. Turns out that, long after the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-1899, the precious metal continues to be dug out of the earth. That adventure has been the focus of several TV projects, including Yukon Gold, which returns for its third season tonight.

The program is History’s No. 1 docu-series, and it’s no wonder; to watch these guys and gals turn precious ounces into a cash windfall is pretty addictive stuff. Even more so for someone like Knutson, who was born into the life under his father, Marty, and strives to succeed on his own.

“The hunt for gold and being able to pull your paycheque out of the ground just does it for me,” the 28-year-old says. “It doesn’t do it for some people. I love the fact that there’s gold in the ground and we’re able to pull it out.” It’s not easy. Weather is always and issue that far north. Toss in mosquitoes and black flies, aging bulldozers, diggers and sluice plants and remote sites, and you’ve got a recipe for extreme discomfort and even danger.

And while large machinery has taken the place of old timers panning for gold in a creek bed, the process of staking a claim hasn’t changed that much from the days of the gold rush. Knutson explains anyone can go up and spend $10 to stake ground on a creek. You then have two weeks to record that property and must do a certain amount of work on the land during the year to keep it. During that time licences are filed for permission to use water to sluice the earth away from gold; Knutson says environmental concerns regarding the use of water has to be carefully mapped out and regulated so as to conserve it and the land.

Re-joining Knutson on the Yukon Gold cast are Ken Foye, Guillaume Brodeur and Cam Johnson; newbies Chris St. Jean and Nika Guilbault struggle to make a living while taking care of their baby daughter. And while Knutson appreciates the popularity of the show and the spotlight it aims on the area of Canada he loves, it’s still a bit weird to have cameras pointed his way while he tries to work.

“We love telling this story because not a lot of people get to go to the Klondike and see this, let alone live it. But at the same time, they’re slowing me down a bit,” Knutson says with a chuckle. “I only have a certain amount of time to do this and sometimes it gets stressful explaining every waking moment to them.”

Yukon Gold airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.

Link: City profiles northern Saskatchewan’s Nordic Lodge

From Will Chabun of the Leader-Post:

City profiles northern Saskatchewan’s Nordic Lodge
When Chris Triffo made his pitch to her, Jennifer Huculak-Kimmel was not having the best day: new business, new baby and an outstanding bill of a million bucks for the latter.

Somehow, veteran TV producer convinced her a reality TV series following her and husband Darren Kimmel, as they ran their fishing camp in northern Saskatchewan, could work.

We see the result at 10 p.m. Wednesday night when Citytv Saskatchewan airs the first two episodes of Nordic Lodge. Continue reading.