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Discovery’s Mighty Cruise Ships sets sail with a new season on February 12

From a media release:

Discovery’s original Canadian series MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS embarks on its second season voyage, Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT beginning Feb. 12 on Discovery and the Discovery GO app. Produced by Discovery’s in-house production unit, Exploration Production Inc. (EPI), the visually stunning, six-episode series features unprecedented access to billion-dollar, cutting-edge, opulent vessels that sail passengers away to high seas luxury.

From the newest and largest cruise ship in its fleet able to accommodate more than 4,600 guests, to a vessel that is referred to as “a boutique hotel at sea”, and a ship able to navigate down the tightest of passages to remarkable places, MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS takes viewers to some of the world’s most extraordinary hotspots. The series also goes behind the scenes of these seafaring marvels to reveal the high-stakes, behind-the-scenes navigational and technological challenges aboard the floating state-of-the-art vessels.

A true Canadian success story, MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS is distributed to 160 countries worldwide by EPI’s distribution arm, Exploration Distribution Inc. – the international distributor for all of EPI and Bell Media programs.

Sailing to the world’s most blissful nautical hotspots, MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS journeys to exotic ports in old world Mediterranean cities including Rome, Athens, Venice, and Barcelona; the challenging but breathtaking high Arctic; the rugged coastlines of Norway and Scotland; and for the first time, to the Caribbean.

Episode highlights from Season 2 of MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS:

“Carnival Vista”
Sunday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

Carnival Vista is the new flagship for one of the world’s largest cruise lines. It can carry more than 4,600 passengers and boasts 10 restaurants, nearly 2,000 staterooms, and a crew of 1,400 ready to tend to their guests’ every need. The top deck features Carnival’s largest waterpark at sea with a 140 metre-long slide, and a first-ever suspended bike loop that allows guests to pedal 46 metres above the sea.

“Royal Clipper”
Sunday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

Royal Clipper is the largest sailing cruise ship in the world, with five masts that soar 58 metres high, supporting 42 sails carrying the ship to a speed of 17 knots. With a ratio of one crew member for every two guests, the Royal Clipper offers the epitome of pampered service. On this ship, adventure is written on the wind.

“Viking Sea”
Sunday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

Viking Sea is the second ocean-going vessel launched by the owners of Viking River Cruises. Reviews for the first cruise ship were stellar, but each ship – and each voyage – is a new test. No casinos, bumper cars, or discos on this ship – just fine food, dramatic destinations, and sublime Scandinavian décor making Viking Sea one of the most beautiful cruise ships in the world.

“Europa 2”
Sunday, March 5 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

Life aboard Europa 2 is all about luxury. That means having plenty of room to relax. The ship offers more space per passenger than any other. There is always a free chaise by the pool or a table available in the restaurant. And the crew caters to every request or whim. A special aerial tour in an exotic port? Done. A surprise beach barbeque to celebrate a family birthday? No problem. The credo on this vessel is simple: “Small ships make big things happen.”

“Ocean Endeavour”
Sunday, March 12 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

With an ice-strengthened hull and a fleet of zodiacs, Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for adventure. A voyage on this ship is not just a cruise…it’s an expedition. In the hands of an experienced staff who are experts in arctic ice, wildlife, and natural history, each trip ashore promises a rugged but enriching experience.

“MSC Divina”
Sunday, March 19 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

MSC Divina is divine – all marble and mirrors, with dramatic lighting and Swarovski crystal staircases. Featuring the best of Mediterranean design and North American convenience, the ship cruises the Caribbean in a style more often associated with ships one-quarter its size. Carrying 4,200 passengers, a cruise on this ship offers the best of Europe on board, with stops at the top ports in the Caribbean.

MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS is produced by Exploration Production Inc. (EPI), a production house wholly owned by Discovery Canada. Karen McCairley is the Executive Producer. The Series Producer is Richard Martyn. Kelly McKeown is Director of Production.


Four Senses expands its world in Season 4

Four seasons in, Four Senses‘ mantra continues to be “Touch it. Taste it. Hear it. Smell it.” But the cooking show—returning Thursday, Jan. 5, to AMI-tv—designed for viewers who are blind or partially sighted has expanded its scope with cross-country adventures and high-profile celebrity guests.

Co-hosts Carl Heinrich and Christine Ha (he won Top Chef Canada and she took the MasterChef title) are back and more confident than ever in their surroundings and each other. Now sure-footed as chefs and hosts and describing how they’re preparing dishes as second nature, they’re able to joke and verbally jab one another, adding to the charisma factor. Their on-screen comfort means they can give more attention to their guests.

Thursday’s return features radio and television veteran Steve Anthony, who pops in to help create crab-stuffed avocado halves, Brussels sprouts slaw and homemade salsa and chips. Anthony has spent decades interviewing folks, so it’s no surprise he turns the tables on Ha and Heinrich, asking their opinion of specialty salts or opining as to why kids don’t like Brussels sprouts, but they give it right back, enquiring as to his kitchen habits. Yes, Four Senses is a cooking show but it’s also about sharing and telling stories, and Anthony, Ha and Heinrich do plenty of that before digging into their creations. (Upcoming guests include interior design gurus Colin and Justin, fashion icon Jeanne Beker and comedian and television star Luba Goy.)

The series has also upped the air miles in Season 4 as the co-hosts swap the kitchen for trips around Ontario and Nova Scotia, highlighting Canada’s diverse culinary landscape and the chefs, farmers and purveyors who bring them to our tables.

Four Senses airs Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. ET on AMI-tv.

Image courtesy of AMI.


Ontario’s highways thru hell star in Discovery’s Heavy Rescue: 401

Anyone who relies on Ontario’s 400-series highways knows that, at the best of times, you’ll fly along to your destination. But throw in some weather or boneheaded move by a fellow driver and chaos ensues. That’s what’s captured in Heavy Rescue: 401.

Debuting Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery Canada—and from the same folks behind Highway Thru Hell, Heavy Rescue: 401 tracks the tow truck drivers, provincial police and emergency personnel who work long hours in dangerous conditions to keep cars and trucks full of precious cargo—human, animal and product—safe and on to their destinations. Yes, the west coast’s Coquihalla highway has snow and high peaks, but Ontario’s roads have their own challenges.

“I would fly into Toronto for meetings at Discovery and would drive from the airport and see guys smashing into each other in front of me,” executive producer Mark Miller says. “I’d get to Discovery and tell everyone about the hell I had just been through and they’d say, ‘Yeah, we go through that every day.’ We spoke to tow truck drivers that work the roads and quickly realized there was something there. It was different enough that it makes for a really cool series.” Miller likens the 401 to a spine with manufacturing plants and factories attached to it; the sheer number of tractor trailers needed to transport supplies along that route means jam-packed lanes and accidents waiting to happen.

“It’s all about time,” says longtime Abrams Towing driver John Allen (pictured above), one of several drivers featured in Heavy Rescue: 401. “You have auto parts going to Oshawa, auto parts going out to Windsor. If they get tied up, it’s costing GM or Chrysler or whoever is doing the manufacturing millions of dollars because they don’t have the storage capacity. Their storage is the trucks coming in.” Tuesday’s debut episode wastes no time showing what happens when snowy conditions and several lanes of traffic mix: a multi-vehicle accident has shut down part of the 401 and Allen is among the drivers rushing to the scene. Other companies followed in Season 1’s episodes include Herb’s Towing, Preferred Towing, Ross Services, Steve’s Towing, Classic Heavy Towing and Metro Towing.

Allen, with over 25 years in the towing business, has seen it all on Ontario’s roads and isn’t fazed by the fact he’s about to become a TV star. Instead, he’s more interested in educating viewers about the dangers involved in his profession.

“Part of what I want to get out of this show is for drivers to slow down, move over and give us a little space,” Allen says. “One tow truck driver is killed every six days in North America. That’s more than police officers, firefighters and ambulance drivers put together.” Injuries and death, he says, occur when a tow truck operator is crushed between vehicles or in what he refers to as “the 30 feet of kill zone” between his door and the back of the truck working in an active traffic lane and totally unprotected.

“Not even one in 10 drivers will move over and give me room,” Allen says. “I was watching the episode back and was getting scared! Give me some space in my workplace … that’s all I ask.”

Heavy Rescue: 401 airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery Canada.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


Comments and queries for the week of December 9

Thank you, Canada’s Worst Driver

To Andrew Younghusband and Canada’s Worst Driver, I am not a bad driver but I am a frightened driver from a terrible car accident. I have watched your show since Season 3 and I want to thank you for the confidence your show has given me. Hints and instructions I have received while watching saved me the other night from another accident.

At first, when I returned to driving, I was probably a danger to myself and others from being so nervous. LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO is the key that saved me from hitting a huge buck while driving home after dark. If stressed while driving, I think of Andrew and your show to improve a positive thought pattern while I am driving in any weather or tense driving situation. I repeat only the secret to success, “look where you want to go.” When I returned to driving I pulled over on the shoulder every time an 18-wheeler was behind me. It took me a long time to get anywhere!

Your show changed my life and gave me freedom from fear and the ability to become a better driver. Your show has made a huge difference in my life and many others. Thank you sincerely from my heart. —Virginia

Is Heartland’s Gobi desert storyline a dud?

“Galvanizing” isn’t quite the word. It’s more like even a lot of the people who otherwise are enjoying the show think it outright stinks. It’s a dud. It’s nice that the actor is happy, but it’s pretty clear this was one of the worst story decisions, especially in timing, the show has ever made. —Kelly

The episode in which they introduced the Gobi bear storyline was horrendous. I like the show, but half the episodes are poorly written and eye rollingly idiotic. There’s probably four bad episodes for every one good episode. I think maybe certain writers think they have to dull things down for a family audience. I’ll watch this show to the end because it’s telling a rural Western Canadian story but it’s never been a favourite. It’s a shame too because in the episodes that are written well it is a great show. —Alicia

I love Heartland and the direction they are taking it into this season. It is great to see them stretch the relationship of Ty and Amy without breaking it. I love the reflections Amy places on her relationship with Ty over the past few seasons while driving to the doctor’s office. It would beautiful to see this from Ty’s end as well. Keep making a beautiful and enjoyable family show for all of us. —Steven

Great interview Graham, love your passion and commitment to Heartland. I work with dogs and the connection with animals is so very real, they struggle with emotions just like us, they have same medical problems we have, they have social issues, separation issues. For you wanting to show that hopefully next year will be awesome. I can see Ty working more in the reserve or more wild animals coming into the clinic. But whatever happens you are a great actor with a great love to telling the truth to every story. Hope you never leave Heartland. —Karen

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


Comments and queries for the week of December 2

Which three new Canadian television shows are your favourites?

Bryan Inc. is my favourite, and the only one on the list that I watch. Was watching Moving the McGillivrays when it first started, but I feel that their new home is way over the top, and that has put me off. Their design style is quite elaborate. Do four people really need that much space? Bryan’s house is lovely, and I love their decorating style. —Marlene

Airport: Below Zero, Moving the McGillivrays and Bryan Inc. —Florence

Murdoch Mysteries‘ “Weekend at Murdoch’s” is a fan favourite

We loved the “Weekend at Murdoch’s” episode. The victim sure looked like Terry Kiser in Weekend at Bernie’s. Love Murdoch Mysteries and all the stars. —Liz

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