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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Link: Degrassi graduates

From Anne T. Donohue in the Globe and Mail:

Degrassi graduates: after 14 seasons the series comes to an end
With news this week that MTV is pulling the plug on the television series after 14 seasons, an important chapter of original Canadian programming has closed. Considering the Degrassi franchise began in the 1980s with a show starring a boy named Joey Jeremiah and his collection of hats, it’s a miracle that any franchise (let alone one born and bred in Canada) managed to sustain a reboot that was a mix of pure soap and increasingly dark teen melodrama, and populated by a revolving door of characters who became more compelling (and sometimes even unbelievable) than the last. Continue reading.

Comments and queries for the week of June 5

Cracked actor makes an impact on Rookie Blue

I started out watching all the reruns of Rookie Blue. I fell in love with the show and the cast. I could not wait to see the next episode. — Jennifer

Welcome to RBParty! I think going on a RB marathon will really allow you to see how many of the many relationships have developed and how each of the characters have grown so much. — Diane

I actually started watching Rookie Blue this season. With so many passionate fans I decided to give it a try and I was surprised to see I really liked it. Best thing is the episodes are syndicated on so many channels I might get all of them on my DVR so I can watch from the beginning. — Alicia

CTV’s unwavering support for Saving Hope

Thank you CTV! Saving Hope is by far my favourite show right now and I’m glad it’s getting such strong support. I hope it catches on here in the U.S. on ION channel, and I hope the prime time slot will help with any loss of viewers over the Season 3 ending. — Hallie


Got a comment or question about Canadian TV? Email or via @tv_eh.

Review: A mother’s pain on Rookie Blue

Last week, David Sutcliffe dropped by Rookie Blue to play a father who went a little too far when it came to controlling his kids. This week it was Mary Walsh (22 Minutes) who hopped into the sandbox to play … and ended up having quite the impact on Gail.

I’ve watched enough seasons of prison series to know that not all convicts are deadly, but I admit I worried for Gail’s life when she first came upon Odelle (Walsh) in the room where the prison riot had taken place. I kept waiting for Odelle to take Gail prisoner in a bid to get out of Pine Valley, you know, like what had happened to Andy and Juliet with Kenzie. Turns out Odelle was a lonely woman with a tragic story: she was in prison for murdering her husband after he’d accidentally set their house on fire and killed their children. Odelle implored Gail to embrace every day as if it was her last and our favourite blonde cop did just that, pinching Lauralee’s bottom when the two ran into each other at the precinct.

Raise your hand if you knew right away that even though Kenzie was labelled the belligerent convict that it was really Rachelle that Nick should have kept his guard up for? Yeah, me too, though it was still interesting to learn (and see) how she got everyone’s guard down and then attacked. Her plot to kill a fellow inmate almost came to fruition; if the assault team—aided by Shaw and Diaz—hadn’t arrived when they did the situation would have had a much bleaker conclusion.

Prison riots are claustrophobic scenes where I suspect something bad it going to happen, so I was glad when Andy and Juliet emerged unscathed. Well, as unscathed as you can be when a knife is being held to your throat. “Uprising” (directed by Gregory Smith) allowed for the two to get to know each other a little more, especially Andy, who learned as we already have that Juliet is not exactly who she appears to be. Kenzie recognizing Juliet means she was in Vancouver and involved with a drug dealer who worked for a gang. Juliet said things got messy, and I wonder if she became so involved in the gang she got addicted to drugs or even witnessed a murder and failed to intervene. Whatever it was, it was enough she appears to be an unwilling participant in an internal investigation into the precinct. (Erin Karpluk is the queen of playing awkward characters, so it was a joy to see she and Missy Peregrym going back and forth in the car about Nick and the baby.)

Speaking of the baby, I’m betting that although things appear to be OK spine-wise for the little girl so far, a major health issue for she and/or Marlo will threaten to tear the tenuous relationship between Marlo, Swarek and Andy apart. This is Rookie Blue after all, and there can’t always be happy endings.

Notes and quotes

  • “Is it true that Peck has retractable fangs?” That line from Duncan had me giggling for minutes. His body roll? Disturbing.
  • “No one’s seen a pirate in a cop costume before?” — Shaw
  • Speaking of Shaw, only Matt Gordon could rock an eyepatch like that. Fingers crossed the eye infection lasts another week or two so that we can get more images like this:


Rookie Blue airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Global.

Where Are They Now (wonk version)?

So a few weeks ago I tweeted that I had gotten lost on Google for a couple of hours because it had been suggested to me that ‘someone’ should report on where former CRTC Commissioners are now.   It’s like a wonky version of Zap2It’s ‘Degrassi: TNG Season 1 Cast – Where Are They Now?’ post. So here’s my Zap2It/Buzzfeed style update on more recent former CRTC Commissioners. As you can see, some leveraged their CRTC experience to move on to interesting new positions, some went back to what they had been doing before and many are consultants (a very honourable profession in my opinion). Some are consulting more than others. The further back you get the harder it is to find info online so I called it quits at Charles Dalfen. [Note – if anyone, including a former Commissioner, would like to update their listing, please feel free to contact me and I will edit.]

Louise Poirier (2008 – 2013)

Poirier continues as Chair of the Gatineau Sport Development Board (Conseil de Dévelopment du Sport de Gatineau) She had been a Gatineau city councilor before the Commission.

Suzanne Lamarre (2008 – 2013)

Prior to the Commission Lamarre had a long career at the CBC as an engineer and a lawyer. She has now shifted to the consulting world as a Strategy and Regulatory Affairs Advisor. According to her LinkedIn page she is keeping very busy advising and teaching telecommunications and broadcasting regulation.

Timothy Denton (2008 – 2013)

Prior to his stint at the Commission, Denton was a consultant and executive focused on all things Internet and he has returned to that focus as Chair of the Internet Society of Canada and Principal of The Windermere Group (telecomm, broadcasting and internet law and policy consulting practice). He is also blogging at

Marc Patrone (2008 – 2013)

Prior to the Commission, Patrone had a long career as a reporter at CTV Atlantic. He returned to the news first at Sun News Network as director of news for Western Operations until it folded and now freelance, writing articles and posting videos for Ezra Levant’s Rebel Media blog and YouTube channel.

Len Katz (2007 – 2012)

Katz appears to be fully retired after he left the Commission due to health issues after a short term as interim Chair of the Commission and four years as Vice-Chair of Telecommunications.

Michel Morin (2007- 2012)

Morin was a journalist and news executive with Radio-Canada prior to the Commission. He has returned to the news as a Journalist for TVA Nouvelles.

Konrad von Finckenstein (2007 – 2012)

After a distinguished career as a Federal Court Judge and before that Chair of the Competition Bureau, von Finckenstein spent a term as the Chair of the Commission. He is now an independent arbitrator for commercial disputes at JAMS, a global provider of commercial arbitrators and a Senior Fellow at the independent think tank C.D. Howe Institute.

Helen Ray Del Val (2005 – 2008)

Ray Del Val was a commercial and telecommunications lawyer prior to her three year term as the BC Regional Commissioner. She is now Chair of BC’s Financial Institutions Commission and of the Community Care and Assisted Living Appeal Board.

Michel Arpin (2005 – 2010)

After a lengthy career primarily in radio broadcasting, Arpin was the Commission’s Vice-Chair Broadcasting for five years. After his term he spent one year as a lecturer at Université de Montréal and is now consulting.

Elizabeth Duncan (2005 – 2014)

Duncan served two terms as Commissioner after a career in regional cable. She appears to now be retired.

Rita Cugini (2005 – 2012)

Cugini also served two terms on the Commission. She currently is active as a strategic planning and media consultant with clients like APTN, Blue Ant, the Competition Bureau and the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Tourism. In 2013, along with Trina McQueen, Cugini conducted an independent review of the game Pipe Trouble commissioned by TVO, to see if it complied with TVO’s Programming Standards.

Richard French (2005 – 2007)

After two years as Vice-Chair Telecommunications, French left the CRTC and now holds the CN Paul M. Tellier Chair on Business and Public Policy at University of Ottawa.

Joan Pennefather (1998 – 2007)

After two terms with the CRTC, Pennefather is now a mediator with the Mediation Centre of Southern Ontario and a senior associate with the Institute on Governance.   She also sits on a number of boards.

Stuart Langford (1998-2007)

Langford spent two terms at the CRTC but seems to have fallen off the map at least as far as Google is concerned. Prior to the CRTC he practiced law, worked as a political staffer and wrote crime novels.

Andrée Noel (1998-2007)

Prior to her nine years with the CRTC, Noel was an executive with a telecommunications company and a publishing company. Noel is now a broadcast and telecommunications consultant and the National Chair of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.

Charles Dalfen (2002-2006)

After his term as Chair of the CRTC, Dalfen was counsel at Tory’s, the firm he practiced with prior to his term at the CRTC. Dalfen died May 26, 2009 from a heart attack.

Thank you to Bram Abramson for being way better than a hive mind and directing me to the Privy Council Office page that aggregates Commissioner appointments.



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