From John Doyle of the Globe and Mail:
Seed: This baby’s got potential for a Gen Y hit
“We only shoot the baby once a week.” That’s pretty much the first thing I hear on the set of Seed, the comedy series. It’s day 47 of a 52-day schedule. In this emphatically unglamorous building in a Dartmouth industrial park, about 65 people are working on the funny business. Outside it’s pouring rain and there’s a fierce wind blowing. By evening, most flights out of Halifax airport will be cancelled. Continue reading.
From Lesley Goldberg of the Hollywood Reporter:
Syfy Acquires Canadian Werewolf Drama ‘Bitten’
Based on the best-selling novels Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong, the supernatural thriller stars Smallville’s Laura Vandervoort as Elena Michaels, the lone female werewolf in existence. The 13-episode drama will unspool on Syfy — and Bell Media’s Space network in Canada — in 2014. Continue reading.
From Greg David of TV Guide Canada:
The CW picks up Canadian ‘Seed’
We weren’t sure if Seed would be planted for another season in Canada, but not only will it return for Season 2, it’s growing. City and Entertainment One confirmed they are spreading Seed south of the border, now that The CW has picked up the rights to broadcast Season 1 of the Canadian sitcom.
From the Calgary Herald:
Mr. D, Seed lead Canadian Comedy Award nominations
The TV sitcoms Seed and Mr. D and the comedy films Please Kill Mr. Know It All and My Awkward Sexual Adventure are the leading nominees at the Canadian Comedy Awards. Continue reading.
Rogers Media’s 2013 upfront was held June 4, 2013, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Before the upfront, Rogers announced the renewal of Seed, as well as the rescheduling of Package Deal to fall 2013. This stuff you already know, so I won’t waste time typing about it.
The interviews started shortly after 2:30 PM ET. Surprisingly, five of the seven interview segments focused on Canadian shows. Seed and Package Deal featured cast interviews, though a majority of Seed‘s questions were answered by executive producer Mark Farrell and star Adam Korson. Eva Longoria was on hand for Mother Up! Also interviewed were the cast of OLN/City’s Storage Wars Canada, and Ray Zahab from OLN/City’s The Project: Guatemala. Rounding out the bill were James Wolk from The Crazy Ones, and Lauren Ash from Super Fun Night.
The Score, which joined the Sportsnet family as soon as the CRTC approved Rogers’ takeover of the channel, will become Sportsnet 360 on July 1. This doesn’t mean The Score is dead – the website and mobile businesses Score Digital owns still carry The Score’s lineage, and name.
Rogers promised Sportsnet 360 would retain The Score’s personality, and I hope Sportsnet 360 makes the cut. I just hope it doesn’t become a clearinghouse for Sportsnet 590 The Fan simulcasts. It’s nice Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro are back on The Score/Sportsnet 360, but the Tim and Sid simulcast is there for three hours of easy weekday CanCon.
The Rogers upfront presentation was typical of its kind: a rundown of Rogers’ properties, with a visible countdown displaying the number of minutes until free bar access. The most genuine surprise was two performances by Tegan and Sara, in service of City obtaining Canadian broadcast rights to the Grammy Awards. Professional wrestler Ron Killings (d/b/a WWE’s R-Truth) and IZOD IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe shepherded The Score into the Sportsnet family.
Rogers was especially interested in Mother Up!, showing unfinished and behind-the-scenes clips of the show during the upfront presentation. The clips were rough – backgrounds weren’t cleaned up and painted in. It struck me as odd to showcase Mother Up! in beta mode, yet it’s obvious Rogers has high hopes for it. Package Deal clips were also screened, while Breakfast Television formally announced a Montreal edition with a “surprising” host.
One notable thing about City’s 2013-14 fall schedule is the return of Great Canadian Movies, which will air Saturday at 9:00 PM ET, after an “encore presentation” of The Project: Guatemala. The Canadian movie block was temporarily retired in 2012-13, in favour of The Bachelor Canada, Less Than Kind and Murdoch Mysteries “encores”.
The Rogers upfront promoted OMNI’s Bollywood Star. Mohawk Girls, an APTN/OMNI series, wasn’t mentioned. It was a curious omission. CityNews Channel’s immediate termination last week was also ignored. Granted, upfronts deal in “happy news” moments, and don’t focus on the failures. I would have liked to see Rogers mention CityNews Channel; it was an integral part of Rogers’ 2011 upfront.
To promote Storage Wars Canada during the free bar, advertisers were handed “Rogers Cash”. The completion of activities – e.g., having a caricature drawn at the Mother Up! booth, playing a racing simulation and/or meeting R-Truth at the Sportsnet 360 booth, getting a Cityline beauty makeover – allowed participants to earn more “Rogers Cash”. It was a departure from standard protocol – Canadian television upfronts don’t usually have a gaming element. This was mainly for the advertisers’ amusement, but it was effective enough promotion.
In the end, Rogers Media had a relatively modest 2013 upfront, even though it was more lavish than the 2012 upfront. While not much actual news was offered, at least Rogers didn’t oversell itself. The countdown-to-free-bar display was a bit much, though.
From a media release:
City Adds Seven Original Canadian Series to 2013-14 Prime-Time Schedule
- Newly commissioned reality series Meet the Family joins prime-time schedule this fall
- Multi-camera original comedy Package Deal gets new, fall prime-time timeslot
- Seed renewed for Season 2; returns with 13 half-hour episodes in 2014
- Mother Up! with Eva Longoria joins mid-season schedule in 2014
- Three OLN original series – Storage Wars Canada, The Project: Guatemala and returning hit The Liquidator – to also air on City this fall
Marking the most robust lineup of original Canadian programming the network has ever produced, City today announced seven original series – five new and two returning – join the network’s 2013-14 prime-time schedule.
The announcement was made today as part of Rogers Media’s 2013 Upfront presentation.
Scripted original comedy Package Deal is part of City’s winning comedy block on Mondays this fall, airing at 8:30 p.m. ET. Three all-new original reality series, Storage Wars Canada, The Project: Guatemala, and the newly commissioned Meet the Family, also air on City in prime time this fall, as does OLN’s hit returning original series The Liquidator. Beginning mid-season, new original animated adult comedy series Mother Up!, starring and executive produced by Eva Longoria, will air exclusively on North American television on City.
Along with the new schedule, City announced today it has greenlit Season 2 of its original single-camera, sperm-donor comedy Seed, with an additional 13 half-hour episodes from Vancouver-based Force Four Productions. Premiering to critical acclaim this past February, Seed returns to Halifax this summer to begin production. Recognized for its rich characters, quick-wit, and edgy writing, Seed has been nominated for an international 2013 Banff Rockie Award in the category of Best Sitcom.
For all its originals, City will have a strong digital presence with live chats, blogs, bloopers, and exclusive video content for web that will engage and enhance the viewing experience.
In addition to these seven original series, The Bachelor Canada – the #1 new Canadian show and a top 10 new show in Canada for last fall* – begins production on Season 2 in 2014. A guilty pleasure for all women, the show is slated to air in fall 2014 and will engage across multiple platforms with more co-viewing and dual-screen experiences.
Image by Derek Langer