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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Link: Canada’s Worst Driver enters 10th season

From James Bawden:

Canada’s Worst Driver: I Was Wrong
I watched the first new episode of the 10th season and I now see the error of my ways. The new drivers profiled here are pathetic cases. They deserve their time in Driver Rehab. In fact some of them should never be permitted to drive again. In the past decade the producers have received 7,000 nominations –the thought that so many incompetents are out there simply scares me. Continue reading.

Book of Negroes to premiere at Canadian International Television Festival

From a media release:

  • Cuba Gooding Jr., Aunjanue Ellis, Lyriq Bent, Allan Hawco, and Lou Gossett Jr., author Lawrence Hill and director Clement Virgo to attend
  • Follows prestigious Mipcom world premiere screening

The 2nd annual Canadian International Television Festival (CITF) is proud to make its first programming announcement: the exclusive North American preview of CBC and BET’s highly anticipated event mini-series of The Book of Negroes from Conquering Lion Pictures, Out of Africa Entertainment, Entertainment One (eOne), and Idlewild Films on November 18. The CITF is an independent new social enterprise with the mission to showcase television content and talent from Canada and around the world via a dynamic festival experience. CITF will take place November 14 to 23, 2014 with most events happening at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Lead actress Aunjanue Ellis (The Help, Ray), Oscar® winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men), Lyriq Bent (Rookie Blue, Saw), Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle), and Oscar® and Emmy® winner Lou Gossett Jr. (A Raisin in the Sun, Boardwalk Empire) are scheduled to appear at the screening, along with The Book of Negroes author and series co-writer Lawrence Hill, multi-award winning director and co-writer Clement Virgo (The Wire), and executive producer Damon D’Oliveira (What We Have). The star-studded miniseries also features Jane Alexander (The Cider House Rules) and Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line).

“We are thrilled to present this advanced look at The Book of Negroes at one of the television world’s newest events. Made for two of North America’s most compelling TV networks, Canada’s CBC and Viacom’s BET Networks in the US, the series is a sweeping historical drama. It has an international scope and an international cast that features some of the finest Canadian talent in front of and behind the camera,” said David Heath, board member of the non-profit Canadian International Television Festival.

Executive producer Damon D’Oliveira from Conquering Lion Pictures said: “In addition to bringing this North American premiere to television fans, the CITF will feature an industry-oriented panel discussion about the making of The Book of Negroes.”

The Book of Negroes is produced by Conquering Lion Pictures, Out of Africa Entertainment, eOne and Idlewild Films.

The CITF is made possible with the support of partners, sponsors, and supporters including the City of Toronto, Bell Media, Directors Guild of Canada (DGC), DGC Ontario, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada Media Fund (CMF), and the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA). In addition, new sponsors and partners include the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), ACTRA Toronto, and the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC).

Additional programming, schedule and ticket information will be announced soon.


Video: Corner Gas – The Movie official trailer

The Corner Gas gang have unleashed the official trailer for Corner Gas: The Movie.


Brent Butt made the announcement via Twitter early on Thursday. The one-minute and 11-second trailer features the Butt and the cast, including Gabrielle Miller, Eric Peterson, Fred Ewanuick, Janet Wright, Lorne Cardinal, Tara Spencer-Nairn and Nancy Robertson. Though a little vague the details, it appears as though the citizens of Dog River are dealing with dire economic straits.

As previously announced, Corner Gas: The Movie will roll out as a multi-platform event beginning with an exclusive Cineplex Front Row Centre Events theatrical debut across Canada, from Dec. 3 to 7.

Immediately following its time in movie theatres the 90-minute project will debut on CTV following a special preview for The Movie Network subscribers and a broadcast on The Comedy Network.

Saving Hope continues Thursdays on CTV.

Tonight: Saving Hope, The Nature of Things, Doc Zone

Saving Hope, CTV – “Joel 2:31 (a.k.a Apocalypse Now)”
A ‘blood moon’ gives the ER its busiest night of the year and also delivers a medical mystery for Alex (Erica Durance), Maggie (Julia Taylor Ross), and Joel (Daniel Gillies) to solve. Meanwhile, Charlie (Michael Shanks) meets a patient with an unusual link to life and death, and Zach (Benjamin Ayres) gets an unexpected visit at the hospital that has him questioning his abilities as a dad.

The Nature of Things, CBC – “Dreams of the Future”
Is the future already here? Dr. Jennifer Gardy tries out new technology and explores fresh ideas about our relationship with nature.

Doc Zone, CBC – “Weather Gone Wild”
As intense and unpredictable weather becomes the new normal, how can we adapt and survive?

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 2.25.08 PM

Review: Another Doyle drops by the Republic

Do things really happen in threes? Let’s hope not when it comes to CBC’s previously happy couples of primetime. Just three days after Ty and Amy called it quits on Heartland, Leslie was breaking up with Jake on Republic of Doyle. Here’s hoping William and Julia get married in two weeks as planned on Murdoch Mysteries.

Still dealing with the after-effects of being kidnapped by Blake Brogan, Leslie said she needed a break from Jake to figure out who she was. I’m thinking “copper” shouldn’t be one of them: she went way overboard arrested that low-level drug dealer. Still, by the end of the  episode Leslie had stripped down to sexy pjs and was wooing Jake, so maybe she’s going to be OK after all. But I suspect not. After all, she did pop some pills–and then denied taking any kind of medication–to the psychologist the RNC had assigned to her.

Unfortunately, the other major lady in his life was walking away. Jake was dismissed by Sloan, who he finally located after she was nabbed by Vick Saul. Turns out Vick was robbed by Sloan too, and was holding her for ransom. Vick demanded Jake get everything the police had on him before he would let Sloan go. Jake did, leading to an emotional moment in the GTO (that girl is still by his side) resulting in tears by both and Sloan saying goodbye to her father.

Meanwhile another Doyle–Shawn, last seen on Fargo–reprised his RoD role as Carl Maher, and brought some fun to “No Rest for the Convicted” (directed by actor Mark O’Brien). It was Carl who came up with the bail money to get Jake out of prison and the cash windfall came with a price: Carl wanted Jake to look into the woman he’d given $800,000 of his money to invest and hadn’t heard anything from in days. What appeared to be a quick case of Carl being a little slow in the smarts department turned into a case involving poisonings and Ponzi schemes. There were several great comic moments between Des and Carl, the best of which led to the destruction of the Doyle surveillance van; here’s hoping Carl is back before the series finale.

Notable quotes 

  • “I’ll watch Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Des. You do what you have to do.”–Malachy
  • “Don’t gets all sooky baby about it!”–Carl
  • “I’m really looking forward to getting some sleep in a room not full of 300 hairy-arsed men.”–Jake

Republic of Doyle airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.