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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Comments and queries for the week of July 31

The key to Amazing Race Canada‘s Express Pass

You can really do one of three things with the Express Pass you have to give away:

A) Give it to another team you like out of friendship and maybe you can help each other on some random task down the line.

B) Give it to a weak team you feel sorry for. Perhaps hoping on the small chance they use it at a time when a stronger team is having a bad day so the Express Pass contributes to the stronger team’s elimination.

C) Give it to a strong team that probably won’t really need it but knowing it will probably make them a bigger possibility for getting U-Turned. And maybe the stronger team will help you on a task down the line. —Dan

Love/hate for Dark Matter

I think that Dark Matter S01E07 is one of this season’s best episodes, with an interesting, fast paced story and new interesting characters. I think it was a nice jump in quality, compared to the previous episode, that I found slow and not too interesting. —Juan

Not impressed with the addition of Ruby Rose to the great cast already in place. She is freaking annoying and not sci-fi material in my opinion. I’ll give her props in OITNB but this was not a positive for the show Dark Matter. It adds a sleazy feel. Last week we enjoyed wonderful character development. This week made me feel like I was watching The CW’s teeny B.S. —Not Happy


Got a comment or query about Canadian TV? or @tv_eh.

Food Network sets Chef in Your Ear debut date

From a media release:

Listen up! This Fall on Food Network Canada, culinary masters are pairing with clueless cooks to see who can create the best restaurant quality dishes in the new original Canadian series Chef in Your Ear, premiering August 31 at 10pm ET/PT.

In this thrilling culinary competition, two of the country’s hottest chefs face off to see who can get a completely clueless cook to create the best restaurant quality dish in only one hour. The catch? The chefs never step foot in the kitchen. Isolated in a remote booth, each chef watches their cook on a monitor, guiding them step-by-step through an earpiece. The final plates are judged and the winning chef determines the losing chef’s punishment. It’s ego against ego and dish against dish in Chef In Your Ear!

The series is hosted by Second City funnyman Greg Komorowski and features Canadian chefs Jordan Andino (Harlow Sag Harbor, Kourtney & Khloé Take The Hamptons), Devin Connell (Delica Kitchen), Craig Harding (Campagnolo), Rob Rossi (Bestellen, Top Chef Canada Season 1), and Cory Vitiello (The Harbord Room, THR & Co. and Flock).

Chef in Your Ear is a 13-episode, 60-minute competition series. Chef In Your Ear is an original format conceived by Justin Scroggie, developed by Ricardo Larrivee, Justin Scroggie, Daniel Gelfant, Henry Less, Lee Herberman, and Food Network Canada. The series is produced by HLP+Partners in association with Food Network Canada. Series Producers are Daniel Gelfant and LeAnne Armano. Supervising Producer is Angela Donald. Executive Producers are Henry Less, Lee Herberman and Daniel Gelfant. International Distributor is The Format People.

Digging for more Canadian history on Backroad Bounty

You never know what will be uncovered during an episode of Backroad Bounty. Will hosts Marty Gebel and Peter “Bam Bam” Bamford procure a cool neon sign hidden in a disused storage room, a box full of collectible Matchbox cars aching to see the light of day, or an old stand used to hold cans for a long-forgotten brand of car oil?

What these guys find, what they pay for them with plans to re-sell—and the stories behind those items—are at the heart of the Cottage Life series as it heads into its sophomore season. I hopped in the car and drove two hours outside of Toronto to Ingersoll, Ont., where Gebel and Bamford were busy searching for buried treasure. I found the pair climbing around the cluttered, humid third floor of E. W. McKim Quality Home Hardware in Ingersoll’s downtown, calling out to one another—and to store owner Bob Mott—when they discovered something cool. There was plenty to chat about. Among the items the fellows were interested in? Old ice skates, wooden boxes, vintage hardware store displays and a sign that once hung in front of the store. And while the items the boys found had interesting stories attached to them, the future episode’s setting did too: Mott recalls how the hardware store was a buggy shop during the 1800s.

“Searching for items is in their blood,” Joe Houlihan, president of Our House Media, Backroad Bounty‘s production company, tells me during a break in shooting. “They’d be doing this whether there was a TV show or not.” Season 1 of Backroad Bounty saw Gebel and Bamford tooling around cottage country, poking around decrepit hotels, barns, overflowing basements and garages in search of finds they could fix up and re-sell; this go-round has expanded its boundaries.


“This season feels more like a buddy road trip,” series producer and director Marshall Kaplan says. “It’s about the characters they meet along the way. It’s always about the amazing stuff that they find, but there’s humour and more of a story, more meat to the bone this year.”

Houlihan points out Backroad Bounty “sneaks history” into each episode through the tales told and items purchased; he himself has learned an incredible amount of Ontario history from his program. Among the areas the duo visit in Season 2 are Grand Bend, Quinte West, Harcourt, Port Dover, Walkerton, Wiarton and Owen Sound where the pair entertain each other as much as they do viewers.

“Marty is Bam’s best audience,” Kaplan says with a laugh. “Bam is a really good entertainer and Marty laughs at every one of his jokes. They may be interested in different things, but at the end of the day they both love the hunt.”

Season 2 of Backroad Bounty will air on Cottage Life.

YTV Brings Gordon Korman’s Macdonald Hall to the Small Screen with Bruno & Boots: Go Jump in the Pool!

From a media release:

The most infamous troublemakers at Macdonald Hall Boys’ School are bringing their pranks to YTV in Bruno & Boots: Go Jump in the Pool!, based on the much-loved Macdonald Hall book series by best-selling young adult author Gordon Korman. Aircraft Pictures and YTV have started production on the TV movie, which stars Jonny Gray (Max & Shred, Annedroids) and Callan Potter (Stratford Festival), Peter Keleghan (18 To Life, Murdoch Mysteries) and Caroline Rhea (Sabrina The Teenage Witch, Phineas and Ferb). The movie will shoot in Hamilton, Ontario through to the middle of August and is slated to premiere on YTV in 2016

Bruno (Jonny Gray), the enthusiastic instigator of plots, plans to enrage Macdonald Hall’s rivals at York Academy, to intrigue the students at Miss Scrimmage’s Academy for Education & Awakening and to just make high school more fun. His very best friend, his comrade-in-arms, his we-do-everything-together pal is Boots (Callan Potter) who, as it happens, is a very good swimmer. The duo’s shenanigans try the patience of Headmaster William Sturgeon (Peter Keleghan) and Headmistress Eugenia Scrimmage (Caroline Rhea).

For the boys at Macdonald Hall, losing swim meets to the snobs at York Academy is a constant humiliation. But, until the Hall gets its own pool and Boots can train, York is going to win every swim meet. Unhappy with their son’s athletic performance, Boots’ parents decide to transfer him to York and enrol him in its excellent sports program. What is worse than losing your best friend? Nothing. So Bruno concocts a plan to raise $150,000 to build his school a pool. How hard can it be? A few rummage sales. A couple of bake-offs. Maybe a slightly, possibly against-the-rules toll booth. Bruno will try anything to keep Boots at Macdonald Hall.

Bruno & Boots: Go Jump in the Pool! is produced by Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen of Aircraft Pictures (Todd and the Book of Pure EvilCybergeddon), written by Adam Barken (Killjoys, Flashpoint) and directed by Vivieno Caldinelli (This Hour has 22 Minutes, Odd Squad). Breakthrough Entertainment will handle international sales.

Link: Rookie Blue boss talks happy endings and new beginnings

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Rookie Blue boss talks happy endings and new beginnings
“It was very emotional. It was hard and weird and sad and good. I sat in the church watching those two say those vows that we all worked so hard to get right, and the party afterwards at the cabin, we were all there for it. It was a very emotional experience. I felt so proud of our cast and our team and it was a very positive way to end my run on that show.” Continue reading.