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The Social’s Jess Allen: Six things I’ve learned being on TV

Season 3 of The Social returns to CTV next Monday, Aug. 31. Co-hosted by Melissa Grelo, Cynthia Loyst, Lainey Lui and Traci Melchor, The Social also includes digital correspondent Jess Allen. We got the multi-tasking, multi-faceted dynamo to write a guest column about her experiences on the series so far. Take it away, Jess:

Right before The Social premiered two years ago, I remember my bosses asking me if I would be comfortable occasionally being on TV. “Sure,” I said. How hard can live television be?

I was fairly green—as in zero television experience. I’d done on-camera work in the form of videos. But the thing with that medium is something called “editing.” It’s a miracle thing, really, that can remove blunders, stutters, snorts and awkward pauses with a few swift keystrokes.

Here is what I’ve learned in the meantime:

  1. Don’t make fun of Liza Minnelli. Even if she shows up at the Golden Globes not wearing a bra. People will be angry with you and may even send the show emails about how insensitive you are towards a living legend.
  1. The things people love about you are the same things people hate about you. For example, people seem to enjoy me because I over share—except for people who think I share too much: like the sincere young woman who told me that I shouldn’t have talked about picking my nose on television. I reminded her that the story I told was of me picking my nose when I was four years old, thinking that might soften her disappointment. (It didn’t.)
  1. Don’t over-analyze the opinions you share on live TV because you can’t always predict with precision what will offend. I could say that I think Donald Trump has some pretty good ideas and there’d be the sound of crickets. In the next breath I could confess that I don’t believe in ghosts and people might gasp in horror. You will never please everyone, which I know seems so obvious but it’s still a difficult concept to accept when you’re a born people pleaser. Make a (terrible) joke about how I wish unicorns would go extinct already because duh, they’re racist, and a unicorn-truther would be upset. Just be true to you.
  1. I’ve also learned that I should dress sexy, even though I’m not comfortable wearing form-fitting outfits; that I should wear whatever makes me comfortable; that every person’s definition of what marmy-type clothing is different; that every person’s interpretation of fashion-forward is different; and that I should dress like a marm (and not sexy) if I like it. Confused yet? Me too. The lesson? A stylist is the best friend a girl on the tube can have.
  1. Remember in the HBO show The Newsroom how MacKenzie, the show’s executive producer, would be talking in the ear of anchor Will McAvoy via an IFB? Will is always so chill—even if MacKenzie is telling him that the world is about to end. He makes it look so easy. Well, it’s not easy to have someone talking in your ear while you’re trying to talk about how unicorns are racist and that’s why they should go extinct. It’s really, really hard. And I will never be as good as Will McAvoy. (Or Melissa Grelo.)
  1. An IFB is a little thing that goes into your ear and acts like an intercom between you and the control room. Also, it makes you feel like an FBI agent. And that is a beautiful thing.

The Social airs Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET on CTV.


Jessica Allen is excited to be returning this season as THE SOCIAL’s Digital Correspondent, and looks forward to writing more stories for the show’s website on everything from food, films, and books to science and history (You can read her latest pieces under The Jess Files). She will also appear as the fifth chair on Fridays with THE SOCIAL’s co-hosts, and whenever anyone tells her to.

Before joining the team at THE SOCIAL, Jessica was an assistant editor at Maclean’s where she wrote arts and culture-related stories for the website and magazine. After work, she maintains her personal food blog, Foodie and the Beast. It’s actually a relationship blog masquerading as a food blog, because really, when you get down to brass tacks, the good stuff happens – and will continue to happen – around the dinner table.

W Network sets return dates for Property Brothers & Hockey Wives

From a media release:

This Fall, W Network continues to deliver a slate of fan-favourite original series including Property Brothers, the Love It or List It franchise and Hockey Wives, which has made W Network the top-rated specialty network for women in Canada. The schedule is packed with real estate focused series including new seasons of Property Brothers, new episodes of Love It or List It as well as the premieres of  the new W Network original series Real Houses Of… and Love It or List It U.K. In October, Hockey Wives returns with a brand new season featuring the WAGs of Canada’s national pastime, and Candace Cameron Bure (Full House) returns in the next instalment of the movies based on the books by Charlaine Harris (HBO’s True Blood), Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery.



Real Houses Of…. premieres Tuesday September at 8 and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (New Series)

Real Houses Of… (15×30) invites viewers into some of the most incredible homes in North America. You won’t find “cookie cutter” here. These fabulous spaces are one-of-a-kind, custom-designed to fit the needs and lifestyles of their remarkable owners. From historic east coast manors to ultra-modern Pacific pads, these Real Houses push wow factor to the max. With luxurious bedrooms, resort-worthy pools, spectacular bathrooms, million-dollar views and kitchens hot enough to make a French chef swoon – this series is guaranteed to astonish and inspire. View a preview here.

Property Brothers Season 5 premieres Monday, September 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT (New Season)

The brothers are back and this season marks the 100th episode of the hit series. Named People Magazine’s Annual Sexiest Man Alive List and HELLO! Canada’s 50 Most Beautiful List, the boys are return with all new homes and amazing transformations. Real estate agent Drew Scott and his twin brother, contractor Jonathan Scott return with brand-new episodes of the popular series Property Brothers (11×60) this fall. This real estate/home renovation series gets buyers into their dream homes without busting their budget. The series follows Drew and Jonathan as they help couples find, buy and transform extreme fixer-uppers into the ultimate dream home. Each week, with the help of CGI technology, the brothers show buyers the underlying potential in two rundown properties. Once the clients choose the property they like best, Drew begins negotiating the purchase price while Jonathan starts planning the transformation. The 100th episode will air Monday, November 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.


Love It or List It premieres Monday, October 5, at 10 p.m. ET/PT (New Episodes)

Hilary and David return in October with a new season of W Network’s hit real estate and renovation series Love It or List It (8×60). Featuring interior designer, Hilary Farr and real estate agent, David Visentin. Hilary attempts to win over the homeowners by renovating their current home, real estate agent David tries to find them the home of their dreams. Once all work has been complete and all potential homes have been viewed, couples must decide whether to love their homes or list them.

Love It or List It U.K premieres Tuesday, October 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT (New Series)

Love It or List It U.K. takes the hit franchise across the pond (6×60). Designer Kirstie Allsopp and realtor Phil Spencer, U.K.’s top property duo help English homeowners divided over renovating or a fresh start somewhere new. Kirstie is heading up Team Love It and believes that with clever design and spending wisely, it’s possible to fall in love with your home all over again, while Phil is captaining Team List It and feels that dream homes are within reach.

Hockey Wives Season 2 premieres Wednesday, October 28 at 10 p.m. ET/PT (New Season)

Hockey Wives Season 2 will continue to have unmatched access to the off-the-ice lives of the women who are the captains of their families, careers and relationships. Following the success of the first season the series will continue to delivers a rare opportunity for fans to meet accomplished “captains” off the ice and explores the meaning of being married to the game. With an exclusive look into the high-stakes lives of WAGs (wives and girlfriends) of professional hockey players, the series reveals that it takes an incredible woman to manage fulfilling personal careers and stick handle life off of the ice with some of today’s top pro athletes.

Being married to the game comes with its fair share of perks, but make no mistake the hockey life isn’t for the faint of heart.  Balancing family, career and personal aspirations against a backdrop of the pressures of being traded, injury, career uncertainty, long periods of separation is a constant juggling act. And, if you happen to be in one of the country’s biggest hockey cities, it’s like living in a fishbowl.  Meet the off-ice Captains – sexy, savvy, jet-setting women, stick handling life through another grueling hockey season. From wives who are rookies, to those who are facing free agency or whose partners are Stanley Cup winning superstars, these women form a team of their own, supporting and encouraging one another through personal and professional highs and lows.

Scott McGillivray takes control of his Property

Scott McGillivray has built an empire with a handful of shows surrounding home renovation and property investment. Now he’s adding another segment to his realm with his own production company, McGillivray Entertainment. The longtime host of Income Property figures this was the natural evolution of his brand. After increasing involvement in the HGTV hit—he’s been an executive producer for the last four seasons—McGillivray decided to start McGillivray Entertainment not only to manage new projects starring himself, but fostering new talent as well.

“You become this conduit,” he says from behind the wheel of his truck. “I’ve got this great group of talented individuals that I’ve been working with and there are a lot of possible opportunities. I’m always looking to fill that opportunity gap. When you have a brand, and a branding team and you have sponsors, it’s a lot easier to get a show. And when you have your own production company, it’s easier to spin that out to people as well.” McGillivray has already got two projects put to pilot by HGTV in the U.S. and a third project in development. And while that trio is still in the beginning stages, McGillivray Entertainment’s first series is already filming.

“It’s not the Kardashians.”

Moving the McGillivrays—set to air in 2016 on HGTV Canada—spotlights Scott, wife Sabrina and daughters Myah and Layla as they not only build a dream home for themselves but he constructs a home for a family in need. Cameras are currently rolling on Episode 2 of the 10-parter. Die-hard fans of McGillivray can get a regular dose of Sabrina and kids via his YouTube series Good to Grow, but a television show is a totally different beast. Just ask Bryan Baeumler’s wife, Sarah, who has acquired a fair number of detractors who don’t like the way she acts in the House of Bryan series.


“Sabrina has been hands-off on the television thing since Day 1,” he says with a laugh. “We’ve been in our current house for eight years and have seen a lot of change during that time with having kids. I said, ‘We could make a show about this!’ and she said, ‘Please don’t.'” She relented, but McGillivray stresses Moving the McGillivrays will be authentic and show who his family really is (“It’s not the Kardashians,” he says.). McGillivray notes anything he posts showing his private life garners a lot of attention from fans, so the project is a logical move. And with the success of series like Income Property, All American Handyman, Canada’s Handyman Challenge and Holiday Battle on the Block, his popularity doesn’t show any signs of erosion.

Next up following Moving the McGillivrays is a full season of Income Property: On Vacation. Something he’s been wanting to feature in the mothership series for ages, On Vacation shows people who own getaways how to make a buck from them.

“I grew up with a cottage and you’re just a different person when you’re there,” he says. “Even if you’re working, it’s not the same as being in a basement in the city during a snowstorm.”

Link: Alan Thicke endorses pot in Season 2 of Unusually Thicke

From Melissa Hank of O.Canada.com:

Alan Thicke endorses pot in Season 2 of Unusually Thicke
As a wise woman once sang, haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. And, with their 28-year age difference, Alan Thicke and Tanya Callau are used to that Swiftian sense of injustice. The second season of the married couple’s reality show, however, will take those haters to task. Continue reading.

History hunts for Frozen Gold in British Columbia

It has all the makings of a great drama. A prospector reports of finding a fortune in gold but dies before digging it all out, and anyone who has gone looking for the treasure since has gone missing. But this tale is true, and is the focus of History’s latest documentary.

Like The Curse of Oak Island does for the east coast of Canada, Curse of the Frozen Gold does for the west. Debuting Wednesday night, Curse of the Frozen Gold retraces the tale of Slumach, a Native Canadian man who, in 1891, was hanged in New Westminster, B.C, for murdering Louis Bee. A decade after his death, word began to circulate Slumach had discovered a mine of gold in the Pitt Lake area worth billions. The tale—spread word-of-mouth from prospectors, treasure hunters and others—has continued to today without losing steam. The story has fascinated Adam Palmer for years. The mountaineering veteran is a member of B.C.’s alpine search and rescue team, and along with fellow climber and friend Evan Howard, signed on to seek out Slumach’s riches.

“It’s not just the legend of gold, it’s a legend of paranormal activity,” Palmer says. “You’ve got the legend of the curse, UFOs, Sasquatch and prospectors who have gone missing and it’s all wrapped up into one legend. The fact that it’s a legend with historical significance and missing prospectors—like Volcanic Brown—is what keeps me motivated.” (Robert Allan Brown, a.k.a. Volcanic Brown, disappeared in 1930 without a trace while searching for Slumach’s mine.)

Fast-forward to last summer, and the duo had paired with four others for the eight-week expedition. Along for the ride as TV cameras captured it all were Palmer and Howard with Don Waite, who has devoted over 40 years to seeking the gold; Fred Braches, who has separated fact from fiction on his Slumach website; Daryl Friesen, a Slumach enthusiast; and Danny Gerak, a local who knows the area well.

Much of Wednesday’s first episode of six is spent introducing the players and their personalities. Everyone is pumped to be heading into the brush in search of riches, but it doesn’t take long for impatience, frustration and perceived backstabbing to derail the proceedings. Turns out that, unbeknownst to the other guys, Friesen staked a claim in the search area; if Slumach’s gold is there, he owns it.

“Everyone has their own theory of where this gold is and everyone is bringing their own maps and clues,” Palmer explains. “Everyone is a detective working on their own case. I was angry we were stuck in a canyon for two weeks looking for the gold when I thought we should be on a glacier taking advantage of the nice weather. I’m not looking to sit in a creek and pan for gold.”

Curse of the Frozen Gold airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.