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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Link: Queer representation on TV – Michael Grassi

From Bridget Liszewski and Megan Haas of the TV Junkies:

Queer representation on TV: Michael Grassi
Television writer Michael Grassi was the showrunner for Lost Girl’s fifth and final season, and he recently joined our Queer Representation on TV series. After spending time writing on Degrassi, he then joined Lost Girl and spent time writing this year on Supergirl’s first season. He now has joined the staff at the CW’s upcoming series Riverdale. Grassi spoke to us about Lost Girl’s sex positive message, the factors that went into the decision behind giving Bo and Lauren a happy ending and how he got emotional writing their final scene. Continue reading.

Kids’ CBC greenlights Snapshots

From a media release:


  • Casting open for school-aged kids from across Canada

kidscbcKids’ CBC has greenlit SNAPSHOTS (6×30), an unscripted live-action series from FORTÉ Entertainment and Headtrip Films. Co-created by executive producers Andrea Gabourie and Mitch Gabourie, SNAPSHOTS is an interactive, hosted competition series and website that engages school-aged children in a competition that uses photography to tell their own stories and share their vision of the world around them.

In each episode, three kids go head-to-head in a series of picture snapping challenges designed to test their creativity, ingenuity and passion. Their best photos will be displayed publicly for photography experts to judge. The companion website will allow children from across Canada to compete in a digital spin-off competition based on challenges from the show.


SNAPSHOTS begins filming in June 2016 and will be broadcast in September 2016.SNAPSHOTS was developed with the assistance of the CMF and The Bell Fund and is a recipient of the Shaw Rocket Fund.

FORTÉ and Headtrip have also just inked a deal with Warner Brothers International to option the format rights to the SNAPSHOTS series in New Zealand.


CTV’s Canada AM cancelled 

From a media release:

CTV’s CANADA AM To Mark Final Sign-Off, Tomorrow, June 3

– Co-hosts Beverly Thomson and Marci Ien move to new roles at Bell Media as Jeff Hutcheson begins retirement –
CTV announced today that after 43 seasons, CANADA AM will deliver its final headlines and interviews when its last episode airs tomorrow, Friday, June 3 from 6 – 9 a.m. ET. Since 1972, Canadians from across the country have awakened to the national morning show, with its blend of hard news and lifestyle stories, as well as in-depth interviews with top newsmakers, celebrities, and musical stars.
Bell Media also confirmed today that long time co-hosts Beverly Thomson and Marci Ien will remain with the company. Thomson moves to CTV News Channel while Ien will develop new projects with Bell Media In-House Productions. Jeff Hutcheson announced his retirement earlier this month.CTV will announce a new program for the 6-9 a.m. timeslot next week. A simulcast of live CTV News Channel programming will air in the timeslot on CTV beginning Monday, June 6.

“As the television landscape continues to evolve, so too must our programming. We look forward to building upon the success of CANADA AM as we move forward,” said Randy Lennox, President, Entertainment Production and Broadcasting, Bell Media. “We invite viewers and fans to join us as we say goodbye tomorrow and acknowledge the lasting legacy this series and its talent – both now and in the past – have had on Canada’s broadcasting industry.”

“Over the past four decades, millions of Canadians have started their mornings with CANADA AM,” said Nanci MacLean, Vice-President, Bell Media Production. “We say goodbye with great respect and with sincere appreciation to Bev, Marci, and Jeff, who have led CANADA AM with such class, warmth, and wit.”
“We are incredibly thankful to our viewers from coast-to-coast-to-coast who have been with us on this journey and a heartfelt part of our TV family all these years,” said Co-Hosts Beverly Thomson and Marci Ien, and Weather and Sports Anchor Jeff Hutcheson. “We are extremely proud of CANADA AM. It has been our privilege to be part of this historic Canadian series that brought us the opportunity to work with such an incredible team.”
In tribute to both the long-running program and their own participation on CANADA AM, tomorrow’s final episode is dedicated to Thomson, Ien, and Hutcheson. Viewers can expect to see studio and location highlights, and clips of the historic moments that CANADA AM has covered.
Online, the farewell dedication continues with commemorative CANADA AM photo timeline, and favourite CANADA AM memories on the CANADA AM Facebook page. Viewers can also take part by tweeting their favourite moments or tributes to @CTVCanadaAM.
CANADA AM has interviewed some of the most newsworthy individuals from within Canada and around the word over the past four decades. It has also aired live during some of the world’s biggest news stories through those years, bringing context to Canadians as they awoke to breaking news stories and began their day. CANADA AM has also played a huge part in building the Canadian star system, introducing viewers to the most celebrated actors and talented artists from all walks of entertainment and showcasing hundreds of performers as part of the AM Sound Stage series.
Since its debut in 1972, CANADA AM cultivated talent both behind the camera on in front – from Craig Oliver, the first producer of CANADA AM when it launched in 1972, to former hosts and anchors including: Dennis McIntosh (Co-Host 1972-1973); Carole Taylor (Co-Host 1972-1973); Percy Saltzman (Meteorologist 1972-1974, Canada’s “first” weatherman); Helen Hutchinson (Co-Host 1973-1979); Pierre Pascal (Co-Host 1974); Elaine Callei (Co-Host 1974); Norm Perry (Co-Host 1974-1990 – longest serving male co-host); Wally Macht (News, Weather & Sports Anchor, 1977-1987); Gail Scott (Co-Host 1978-1981); Sandie Rinaldo (News Anchor 1980-1985); Pamela Wallin (Co-Host 1981- 1984 and 1991-1992); Ann Rohmer (Features Reporter 1984-1986); Linda MacLennan (Co-Host 1985-1987); Tom Clark (News Anchor 1986-1987); Nancy Wilson (Co-Host 1987-1988); Terrilyn Joe (News Anchor 1987-1991); Dan Matheson (Sports Anchor 1987-1995 and Co-Host 1995-2001); Deborah McGregor (Co-Host 1989-1991); J.D. Roberts (Co-Host 1990-1992); Thalia Assuras (News Anchor 1992-1993); Keith Morrison, Co-Host 1992-1995); Rod Black (Sports Anchor 1993-1997 and Co-Host 2001-02); Wei Chen (News Anchor 1993-1998); Valerie Pringle (Co-Host 1993-2001); Rob Faulds (Sports Anchor 1996-1998); Leslie Jones (News Anchor 1998-2002); Lisa LaFlamme (Co-Host 2001-2003); Seamus O’Regan (Co-Host 2002-2011); Omar Sachedina, Mi-Jung Lee, and Rena Heer (Co-Hosts CANADA AM Extended Version, 2008); and of course, the program’s current Weather and Sports Anchor, Jeff Hutcheson (1998- 2016), Marci Ien, who became Co-Host in 2011 after acting as News Anchor (2003-2011), and Co-Host Beverly Thomson, who joined the program in 2003.

The mystery of CBC’s disappearing The Council and Caught

Absent from CBC’s recently announced 2016/17 season were two previously announced series, The Council and Caught.

Playback quoted Sally Catto, general manager of programming at CBC, as saying The Council has been pushed back to fall of 2017 for “location and climate-related reasons” (the series was to be shot in Iqaluit and Manitoba), while Caught is delayed because of a financing issue. While it is still going ahead, she can’t provide a new air date yet.

The Council was originally announced for fall 2016. From showrunner René Balcer (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), the series “is set against the unfolding drama of our changing planet and draws inspiration from the true-to-life fight over the vast and valuable resources of the Arctic. The series traces the journey of two cops who uncover a small-town murder that is at the heart of a global conspiracy.”

Caught is the adaptation of a Lisa Moore novel originally announced for winter 2017, to be co-produced by Republic of Doyle’s Allan Hawco, who will also star. Caught is set in 1978 and follows a young man who was caught smuggling drugs to Newfoundland. After spending five years in prison, he breaks out in order to do one last drug run in a futile attempt to shake off his past and set himself up for life. Slaney embarks on a cross-country adventure filled with fascinating characters and close calls. ”

In response to fan reaction on Twitter, Hawco responded: