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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

CTV orders Season 5 of Saving Hope

From a media release:

– Eighteen new episodes have been ordered for CTV’s 2016/17 broadcast season from ICF Films and Entertainment One with production on Season 5 set to begin Spring 2016 in Toronto –
– New episodes from SAVING HOPE’s current fourth season return in a new Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT timeslot beginning January 7 on CTV and the CTV GO app –
– Love is in the air for SAVING HOPE as Season 4 will conclude with a special two-hour finale event on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, Feb. 14, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and the CTV GO app –
– New episodes of SAVING HOPE continue to be available the day before their broadcast premieres on CraveTVTM, with the first three seasons also streaming now –

CTV confirmed today that is has ordered 18 new episodes for a fifth season of hit original series SAVING HOPE (@SavingHopeTV), from Ilana Frank’s ICF Films and Entertainment One (eOne) for CTV’s 2016/17 broadcast season. The most-watched Canadian drama this fall will begin production in Spring 2016 in Toronto and will see the return of series leads Erica Durance as Dr. Alex Reid and Michael Shanks as Dr. Charlie Harris. The Season 5 order comes as Season 4 episodes are set to return in a new Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT timeslot beginning Jan. 7 on CTV and the CTV GO app. The season will conclude with a special two-hour finale event on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, Feb. 14, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and the emotional and dramatic two-hours will culminate in a shocking moment viewers won’t want to miss.

The #1 Canadian drama series this fall, SAVING HOPE currently averages 1.3 million viewers in its Thursdays at 9 p.m. timeslot on CTV. Also the most-watched Canadian program among the key adult demos this fall, SAVING HOPE has seen a 16% increase in the key A18-34 demo, as well as a 63% increase in F18-34 over its third season.

Returning for Season 5 of SAVING HOPE is 2013 Canadian Screen Award nomineeErica Durance (SMALLVILLE) as Dr. Alex Reid; Michael Shanks (STARGATE SG-1) as Dr. Charlie Harris; 2013 Canadian Screen Award-winner Wendy Crewson(BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) as Dr. Dana Kinney; Benjamin Ayres (LESS THAN KIND) as Dr. Zach Miller; Julia Taylor Ross (ROOKIE BLUE) as Dr. Maggie Lin;Michelle Nolden (REPUBLIC OF DOYLE) as Dr. Dawn Bell; Huse Madhavji (CALL ME FITZ) as Dr. Shahir Hamza; and Kim Shaw (THE GOOD WIFE) as Dr. Cassie Williams.

SAVING HOPE is back in January with an all-new episode entitled “All Down the Line” (Thursday, Jan. 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and CTV GO). With Dr. Dana Kinney (Wendy Crewson) back from Paris, Dr. Alex Reid (Erica Durance) enlists her help to save Lorenzo (Stefano DiMatteo, KILLJOYS), a hot-tempered chef suffering from oral cancer. Her concerns over her friend’s own treatment (or lack there-of) quickly bubble to surface however, when their patient refuses medical attention in favour of pursuing the opening of his restaurant. Meanwhile, Dr. Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks) has his hands full juggling the spirit of a restless single mother, while working to save her life after a DIY treehouse accident. The episode also features guest star Stacey Farber (DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION) as Dr. Sydney Katz.

SAVING HOPE is produced by ICF Films with eOne in association with CTV, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. ION Television in the U.S. has also renewed the series for a fifth season.

SAVING HOPE is executive produced by Ilana Frank and John Morayniss and co-executive produced by Linda Pope, Trish Williams, Noelle Carbone, and Patrick Tarr. Adam Pettle is Executive Producer and Showrunner. All distribution rights are handled by eOne.

New titles and returning favourites highlight CBC’s midseason schedule

From a media release:

CBC-TV’s winter programming lineup is filled with returning hit comedies, dramas and current affairs programs, as well as new titles filled with intrigue, suspense, and heart-warming moments.

New additions to the CBC prime-time lineup include the critically acclaimed drama JEKYLL AND HYDE, premiering Jan. 11; the emotional real-life stories of HELLO GOODBYE, premiering Jan. 8; and suspenseful three-part mystery MIDWINTER OF THE SPIRIT, premiering Jan. 6.

The acclaimed comedy hit SCHITT’S CREEK is among a group of shows returning with new episodes, as well as World War II spy thriller X COMPANY, and comedy staple MR. D. Ongoing CBC prime-time series are back with all-new episodes for winter 2016, including MURDOCH MYSTERIES, HEARTLAND, RICK MERCER REPORT, THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES, DRAGONS’ DEN, THE NATURE OF THINGS, FIRSTHAND, MARKETPLACE, THE FIFTH ESTATE, and on CBC News Network, THE PASSIONATE EYE.

New for winter 2016:

  • JEKYLL AND HYDE – Mondays 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. NT) beginning Jan. 11
    It’s 1930s London and Robert Jekyll (Tom Bateman) is a naive, sensitive young man finding his place in the world and moving away from the protection of his loving foster parents. As he begins to feel himself coming under the power of a darkness he cannot control, he realizes that all this time his parents were protecting him from his true self. Jekyll has inherited the curse of his grandfather, and when angered or in danger, he undertakes a graphic and twisted transformation to become Hyde, a shadowy, brooding figure of incredible strength and agility; confident and fearless. As he tries to discover his past and search for a cure, Robert Jekyll is drawn deep into Hyde’s world of monstrous creatures and freaks of nature.
  • HELLO GOODBYE – Fridays at 8:30 p.m. (9 p.m. NT) beginning Jan. 8 (Encore broadcasts air Sundays at 8pm (8:30 NT))
    HELLO GOODBYE draws out touching stories from people in Canada’s busiest airport: Toronto Pearson International Airport. Hosted by Dale Curd, the series shines a spotlight on the themes of love, family, friendships, immigration, grief, and joy. It presents a window into our most emotional moments.
  • MIDWINTER OF THE SPIRIT – Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. NT) beginning Jan. 6
    Outspoken, intelligent, and down-to-earth, single mother Merrily Watkins (Anna Maxwell-Martin) is not what you’d expect to see upon hearing the words “Church of England priest”. However, her Bishop has total faith in her, so much so he’s offered Merrily the position of an Exorcist – plunging her into a dark and dangerous world in this crime drama with a supernatural twist. Deeply human in her doubts and scepticis, Merrily reluctantly agrees to assist when police discover a body crucified in the woods. But as Merrily and her family  are drawn further into the mystery, she must summon all her strength to fight the evil she uncovers amid a web of murder, abuse, power and lies. MIDWINTER OF THE SPIRIT is based on the novel by Phil Rickman and adapted by BAFTA- winning screenwriter Stephen Volk.

Returning to CBC-TV’s prime-time lineup in winter 2016:

  • HEARTLAND – Sundays at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT); Returns with new episodes Jan. 10
  • MURDOCH MYSTERIES – Mondays at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT); Returns with new episodes Jan. 11
  • RICK MERCER REPORT – Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT); Returns with new episodes Jan. 5
  • 22 MINUTES – Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. (9 p.m. NT); Returns with new episodes Jan. 5
  • SCHITT’S CREEK – Tuesdays at 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. NT); Season 2 premieres Jan. 12 with back-to-back episodes
  • MR. D – Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. (10 p.m. NT); Season 5 premieres Jan. 19
  • DRAGONS’ DEN – Wednesdays at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT); Returns with new episodes Jan. 6, beginning with the Second Chance Special
  • X COMPANY – Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. NT); Season 2 premieres Jan. 27
  • THE NATURE OF THINGS – Thursdays at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT); Returns with new episodes Jan. 7
  • FIRSTHAND – Thursdays at 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. NT); Returns with new episodes Jan. 14
  • MARKETPLACE – Fridays at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT); Returns with new episodes Jan. 8
  • THE FIFTH ESTATE – Fridays at 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. NT); Returns with new episodes Jan. 8

Returning to the News Network lineup in winter 2016:

  • THE PASSIONATE EYE – Sundays at 10 p.m. (10:30 p.m. NT); Returns with new episodes Jan. 17 on CBC News Network

Link: Vikings creator Michael Hirst shares exclusive image, teases betrayals in season 4

From Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly:

Vikings creator Michael Hirst shares exclusive image, teases betrayals in season 4
History’s Vikings is returning Feb. 18, but for fans who can’t wait, EW is excited to share an exclusive look at the new season: A Last Supper-inspired piece of key art featuring the show’s cast. Vikingscreator/writer-of-every-episode Michael Hirst offers an in-depth look at the artwork. Click on the image above for a full-sized view, and read Hirst’s tantalizing teases for the season ahead, below. Continue reading.

History marks Vikings’ Season 4 return and new cast

From a media release:

HISTORY’s hit drama series Vikings returns for a gripping fourth season onThursday, February 18th at 10pm ET. The network has added four episodes to its initial 16 episode order and is rolling out an epic fan experience extending far beyond the new season.

Beginning February 18th, a new episode will air every Thursday for ten weeks with the remaining episodes to air later in the year. Brand new this season is the innovative online destination, ‘Vikings: A World Revealed’, that takes fans on an interactive journey into the making of Vikings, guided by the stars of the show. Also new is Real Vikings, a four-part documentary series that draws on recent discoveries, leading experts, and the cast of Vikings to offer fans a compelling window into Viking civilization. In the week leading up to the premiere, ET Canada takes viewers behind-the-scenes of Vikings in Vikings: Behind the Shield Wall with ET Canada featuring exclusive, on-set interviews with the cast and a sneak peek of the new season.

In the upcoming season of Vikings, betrayal is everywhere as the powers begin to shift. Following the Vikings’ successful raid of Paris in season three, Ragnar is the most feared and respected leader in the Western World. However, his victory is short-lived as he is surrounded by those who seek his undoing. Joining the stellar cast this season is Canadian Dianne Doan (Descendants) as “Yidu,” a completely different character within the world of the Vikings who fascinates Ragnar. Doan is joined by Peter Franzén (The Gunman) as “King Harold Finehair,” a complex character who seeks to be King of Norway and a potential threat to Ragnar; and Jasper Pääkkönen (Jet Trash) as “Halfdan The Black,” King Harold’s violent younger brother. In an exciting first in the series’ history, the new season of Vikings will feature scenes filmed in Canada, on location in Sault Ste. Marie.

Vikings has been the #1 Canadian specialty program among multiple key demos for three consecutive seasons and is the #1 program on HISTORY*. Fans can spend the holidays catching up on the exciting first three seasons of Vikings on shomi and iTunes, and the third season will be available on HISTORY on Demand,, and the HISTORY Go app beginning December 21st. Leading up to the season four premiere, a Vikings season three marathon will air on Saturday, February 13th on HISTORY.


Photo gallery: Murdoch Mysteries rings in the holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year … except for a murdered philanthropist and stolen gifts meant for needy children. That’s the main storyline behind Monday’s upcoming Murdoch Mysteries‘ holiday special “A Merry Murdoch Christmas”, a rollicking two-hour present guest-starring Ed Asner as Santa Claus, Downton Abbey‘s Brendan Coyle as Mr. Rankin and The O.C.‘s Kelly Rowan as Mrs. Millicent McGowan alongside the series’ regulars.

“It’s a complete Christmas movie,” showrunner Peter Mitchell—who wrote the instalment—teases. “You don’t have to have seen an episode of Murdoch Mysteries to watch it.”

There’s a lot going on in “A Merry Murdoch Christmas” aside from the main crime: the holidays stir up bad memories for Inspector Brackenreid and Crabtree seems destined for a Christmas alone. And, if the picture of William and Julia can be trusted, a very special gift is in the cards.

Take a peek at these images and get ready for Monday night.






Murdoch Mysteries‘ “A Merry Murdoch Christmas” airs Monday, Dec. 21, at 8 p.m. on CBC.