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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television
Gail_Head_Shot

Mailbag for the week of Aug. 29

Not sure if I am doing this correctly, but how does one apply to be on Til Debt Do Us Part? Is the show still currently running?–JS

Unfortunately, Gail Vaz-Oxlade doesn’t have any new seasons of Til Debt Do Us Part, Princess or Money Moron in the works, but when/if she does, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, you can get some guidance from her website.

I hope [TSN's five national feeds] means the TSN Jets channel is going to merge with one of the feeds so I can finally watch more Jets games.–Alicia

Good news Alicia, you are getting your wish. A quick query to TSN and I was told that the 60-plus regional Jets games are headed to TSN3, meaning you no longer have to subscribe for that extra service.

This is somewhat of a technical question. I’ve noticed that, while recording, a few of my programs are being cut off with a minute or so to go. It seems the channels are not keeping the show run within the time slot that is set for the show’s running time.

This is problematic as, if you are recording two programs in the following hour (and your PVR only records two at time), you would need to record the following hour to get the entire program.
Have spoken to Bell (our cable provider) and it is not their doing, and they replaced our PVR, just in case that was a problem. It was not.

Is this a tactic to make it necessary for viewers to watch the programs live? Or just something they didn’t take into consideration? Glad to see you are up and running again. –Kat

Thanks Kat, we’re glad to be up and running again too! I totally get your frustration, and it’s becoming an increasingly common occurrence. You sit down to watch the show you recorded on your PVR and suddenly the last few minutes are cut off. VERY frustrating and I feel your pain.

And you are absolutely right as to why shows go over by one to several minutes: networks want you watching the end of their show live rather than the beginning of a rival network’s program. The result? PVR chaos. I have two suggestions that you can try to solve this problem. The first is to edit your recording to add a couple of minutes to your record time, something that I do. The other fix? Go back to your cable company and get a PVR that records more shows at once. Of course, that will cost you.

Got a question? Contact me at greg@tv-eh.com!

Steve Anthony and Poison

Interview: Steve Anthony reflects on MuchMusic’s 30th anniversary

I distinctly remember where I was on August 31, 1984: tuned in to the debut of MuchMusic, the upstart music video station launched by Moses Znaimer. I watched as veejays J.D. Roberts and Christopher Ward burst through a screen of some sort and began talking. Unfortunately, a glitch in the sound meant I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but it didn’t kill my excitement for the channel.

For years Ward, Roberts, Erica Ehm, Michael Williams, Steve Anthony, Master T and Laurie Brown were my guides to the newest singles by the hottest bands. Sure, I was more into the hair bands of the 1980s (the above image of Poison’s Bret Michaels with Anthony brings me great joy), but I appreciated all music, especially when it was served up via video form.

On Saturday, the channel celebrates three decades of being on the air with the retrospective 30 Years of Much. We spoke to Anthony–who is back at Much’s 299 Queen St. West headquarters as host of CP24 Breakfast–about his memories of working at MuchMusic.

MuchMusic launched in 1984 and you joined the crew in 1986. What was it like joining this group that Moses Znaimer had put together at the time?
Steve Anthony: Just as the thing that makes Moses the visionary that many people refer to him as–these days they would call him an architect–he would draw up the blueprint for this thing and then he would go, ‘OK, I need an electrician, I need a plumber, I need a lighting guy or girl,’ and then he would find these people and say, ‘Go!’ That was it. Once he had his blueprint down, he didn’t change them a lot.

I was told what my role was and I was successful. My attitude would be to be carefree and I had this reverence and that’s one of the things that he wanted on this channel. That’s where I fit in. I knew that I would not be replicating the things that Michael Williams would be doing. When you talk about a team effort, you’re all heading in the same direction but you each have your own skill sets. It was like basketball. Everybody on the court has their own style and does their own thing but it’s together that they try to beat the other guys.

You had already built up a career in Montreal on radio and then moved to Toronto to work at Q107. What made you decide to move from behind the microphone and in front of the TV camera?
I discovered when I got in front of the camera the impact that the visual message had. It’s so much more powerful than just the audio message. Don’t get me wrong, I love radio. I adore radio; it’s where I’ve come from.

I never had a five- or 10-year plan, but I imagined that I would inevitably get on TV. It just seemed like a natural evolution because I’m very animated and I like being in front of a crowd. But I didn’t know what the timing of it would be. I had just gotten to Toronto and had spent a year doing radio here; I didn’t think it would happen that fast. I’m flattered and very happy that it did. It was thrown into my lap and I seized the opportunity.

What I liked about you on-air was the handful of paper in your hands and the relaxed way you had of speaking right to the camera. Did that come naturally, or was it something you worked on?
I wish I could say I worked on it, but the fact is I just wasn’t very good. [Laughs.] Let’s face it, real television people were able to stay focused and didn’t go off the rails. It just became part of who I was.

Did you guys feel like you were doing something special or were you just trying to survive?
Our mandate was to keep people entertained between the most entertaining thing on television, which was music videos. The youth were hungry for videos. We weren’t told what that had to be. Over the mosaic of the day, Moses knew that we would all bring a scope of Canadian culture to young people.

What do you think of the current incarnation of Much?
It’s evolved into a much more professional product. It knows what it wants to be and is very smart about it. It is still relevant to young people. They still address what viewers want, and that’s being on top of the latest comedy, the latest in music and the music videos.

30 Years of Much airs Saturday at 9 p.m. ET on Much.

Link: Mag Ruffman of Road to Avonlea

From Constance Scrafield of the Orangeville Citizen:

Mag Ruffman – the Road from Avonlea
Mag Ruffman played the role of Olivia Dale in the famous television series, Road to Avonlea, set in Prince Edward Island, for seven years. “I sort of slipped into the role,” she admitted in an interview this week, “I hadn’t really had any acting training and I was working with some big stars.” Continue reading.

Link: Mike Holmes Jr. builds his dad’s ultimate garage

From Bill Harris of QMI:

Mike Holmes lets son build him his ultimate garage
Mike Holmes Sr. and Mike Holmes Jr. are keen on being superheroes, but it gets more complex with the assigning of roles. “As a kid that’s what I wanted to do, I wanted to help people, I wanted to save people, I wanted to be a superhero,” Mike Jr. said. “I guess this is the closest thing I can do to that.” Continue reading.

APTN announces fall schedule, including Blackstone and Mohawk Girls

From a media release:

APTN ANNOUNCES SOLID SELECTION OF FALL 2014 PRIME TIME LINEUP AND PREMIERES

  • Mohawk Girls, a world premiere on the network with straight-up portrayals of modern Mohawk women – it’s a prime time, dramatic comedy series of adventures in self-discovery about a group of young women and what connects them.
  • Arctic Air, Blackstone, Cashing In and Longmire, four well-known prime time dramas return with new seasons and will instantly become classic fan favourites.
  • Catch the Dream and Native Planet, two documentary series with world premieres debut on the prime time lineup, backed by thought provoking themes.
  • The Nature of Things, an iconic Canadian-produced documentary series debuts on the network.
  • Chefs Run Wild, a prime time reality series of adventures in search of Asianinspired cuisine makes its network debut.
  • Amy’s Mythic Mornings and Warrior Games, two world premieres of children and youth series debut on APTN Kids to share unique knowledge with youthful minds.
  • Qanurli and Takuginai, two children and youth series return with new world premieres and continue to own their titles of the longest running original series from the North.

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) has announced a fall prime time lineup featuring its most solid selection of programming to date. Five new original English series, two new original French series and two new original Aboriginal language series are part of the programming premiering on its fall 2014 lineup.

APTN’s 2014 fall season begins September 1 and new programming will continue to captivate you throughout the fall.

PRIME TIME – NEW ORIGINAL SERIES THIS FALL ON APTN:

CATCH THE DREAM / WORLD PREMIERE / PRIME TIME DOCUMENTARY

Documentary series featuring 18 amazing achievers who made things happen for themselves. Their journeys cover the vast expertise of Arts and Culture, Education, Health and Sports – each shares their unique motivations and commonalities that helped them to come out on top.

  • Premieres September 4 on APTN East (ET), APTN West (MT) and APTN HD (ET)
  • Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on APTN East Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on APTN West
  • Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on APTN HD

MOHAWK GIRLS – SEASONS I AND II / WORLD PREMIERE / PRIME TIME DRAMA
Life on the “Rez” can prove challenging for the modern day Mohawk women. This new drama series follows the lives of four young women as they struggle to walk the path their community has chosen for them. From finding love to finding a purpose in life, you’ll discover what it really means to be a Mohawk Girl in this lighthearted, sexy and fun show.

  • Premieres November 25 on APTN East (ET), APTN West (MT), APTN North (CT) and APTN HD (ET) – Back-to-back episodes
  • Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. on APTN East Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. on APTN West
  • Sundays at 9:00 p.m. on APTN North Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. on APTN HD

LE RYTHME (FRENCH) / WORLD PREMIERE / PRIME TIME YOUTH DOCUMENTARY
Follow eight young performers from Quebec’s First Nations as they learn the tools of the trade to become a recording artist. Under the guidance of Algonquin rapper Samian, will they learn to trust their inner artistic instincts and surpass themselves both in their everyday lives and creative spheres?

  • Premieres September 1 on APTN East (ET) and APTN HD (ET)
  • Mondays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN East Mondays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN HD

NATIVE PLANET / WORLD PREMIERE / PRIME TIME DOCUMENTARY
Travel deep into the centre of compelling Aboriginal communities where community members are at the helm guiding change in defence of the planet. These passionate spokespeople will share their Indigenous perspectives on the critical issues that affect humanity.
NOTE: CREE ONLY ON APTN NORTH

  • Premieres September 3 on APTN East (ET), APTN West (MT), APTN North (CT) and APTN HD (ET)
  • Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN East Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN West
  • Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. on APTN North Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN HD

AMY’S MYTHIC MORNINGS / WORLD PREMIERE / CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Animated series that takes children on unique journeys of discovery to reveal the value of problem solving. This is the kind of insight that only comes from the honourable experience and wisdom of Elders.

  • Premieres September 6 on APTN East (ET), APTN West (MT), APTN North (CT) and APTN HD (ET)
  • Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. on APTN East Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. on APTN West
  • Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. on APTN North Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. on APTN HD

LES DEERSKIN (FRENCH) / WORLD PREMIERE / DRAMA
Forced out of the Wawkeetawkee reserve, the Deerskin family try to integrate into a small town of predominantly non-Aboriginals. Their new neighbours have a pretty strange notion of what Aboriginal Peoples are all about. Attempting to fit in is going to be a challenge, in the most amusing way. Les Deerskin, a hilarious animated series now presented En Français!

  • Premieres September 1 on APTN East (ET) and APTN HD (ET)
  • Mondays at 5:30 p.m. on APTN East Mondays at 5:30 p.m. on APTN HD

WARRIOR GAMES / WORLD PREMIERE / CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Host and apprentice Steve Sxwithul’txw’s new youth-focused series brings Aboriginal sports to the forefront. Amateur athletes from various territories mentor Steve through the play of traditional and contemporary games; the remarkable cultural traditions, sport and well-being of youth are also praised.

  • Premieres September 6 on APTN East (ET), APTN West (MT), APTN North (CT) and APTN HD (ET)
  • Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. on APTN East Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. on APTN West
  • Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. on APTN North Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. on APTN HD

CHEFS RUN WILD / NETWORK PREMIERE / PRIME TIME REALITY
Three Winnipeg chefs exit the comforts of their realm and don’t look back. A homegrown reality series featuring chefs Chad, Lyndon and Clayton, who let loose through the detours and back routes of Asia – in the name of cuisine.

  • Premieres September 3 on APTN East (ET), APTN West (MT) and APTN HD (ET) – Backto-back episodes
  • Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. on APTN East Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. on APTN West
  • Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. on APTN HD

THE NATURE OF THINGS / NETWORK PREMIERE / PRIME TIME DOCUMENTARY
A documentary series created by award-winning scientist,  environmentalist and broadcaster David Suzuki. Stories guided by science but presented in a way to humanize each fascinating subject; it’s a Suzuki specialty of adventure, drama and insight.

  • Premieres September 4 on APTN East (ET), APTN West (MT) and APTN HD (ET)
  • Premieres September 7 on APTN North (CT)
  • Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN East Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN West
  • Sundays at 5:00 p.m. on APTN North Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN HD

NEW SEASONS OF FAN FAVORITES:

ARCTIC AIR – SEASON III / NETWORK PREMIERE / PRIME TIME DRAMA
Bobby Martin (Adam Beach), Krista Ivarson (Pascale Hutton) and Mel Ivarson (Kevin McNulty) are at forks in the road. In season two,  Bobby dodged a death threat, but its shadow looms over his head, placing those close to him in peril’s reach. It seems nothing stops this crew from putting their own lives at risk to help others – search and rescue missions, evacuations and flood diversions are part of their days work.

  • Premieres November 9 on APTN East (ET), APTN West (MT), APTN North (CT) and APTN HD (ET)
  • Sundays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN East Sundays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN West
  • Sundays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN North Sundays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN HD

BLACKSTONE – SEASON IV / WORLD PREMIERE / PRIME TIME DRAMA
Blackstone’s multi-award winning formula and drama continues to go beyond its own limits, and its well-known emphasis on realism digs deeper into First Nations power and politics. This season confronts themes of human trafficking, the high population of Aboriginal Peoples in the prison system and other effects of the residential school system.

  • Premieres November 11 on APTN East (ET), APTN West (MT) and APTN HD (ET)
  • Premieres November 16 on APTN North (CT)
  • Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. on APTN East Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. on APTN West
  • Sundays at 10:00 p.m. on APTN North Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. on APTN HD

CASHING IN – SEASON IV / WORLD PREMIERE / PRIME TIME DRAMA
The North Beach Casino is a prosperous palace of gaming recently acquired by Matthew Tommy and his casino empire. Matthew’s mission is to make North Beach, North America’s top First Nations casino. Set on the Stonewalker First Nation, snug against an affluent Manitoba beach community, the cast is a swirl of swindling executives, schemers and colourful community members, of all sorts.

  • Premieres November 18 on APTN East (ET), APTN West (MT) and APTN HD (ET)
  • Premieres November 23 on APTN North (CT) – Back to back episodes
  • Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. on APTN East Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. on APTN West
  • Sundays at 8:00 p.m. on APTN North Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. on APTN HD

LONGMIRE – SEASON III / NETWORK PREMIERE / PRIME TIME DRAMA
Sheriff Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) returns – chin up – to solve the perplexing mysteries of Absaroka County, Wyoming. Shaken from a series of recent overwhelming events, Longmire realizes a time will come when he needs to pull it together and carry on…

  • Premieres November 28 on APTN East (ET), APTN West (MT) and APTN HD (ET)
  • Premieres November 29 on APTN North (CT)
  • Fridays at 8:00 p.m. on APTN East Fridays at 8:00 p.m. on APTN West
  • Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN North Fridays at 8:00 p.m. on APTN HD

QANURLI – SEASON IV (INUKTITUT) / WORLD PREMIERE / YOUTH DOCUMENTARY
This youth-driven series is back with hosts Inuk (Thomas Anguti Johnston) and Nipangi (Vinnie Karetak) and their signature northern comedic style. Their show features talented Inuit youth, comedic skits, commercial parodies and more. It’s the Inuk answer to Wayne’s World of Saturday Night Live.

  • Premieres September 1 on APTN North (CT) – Back-to-back episodes
  • Mondays at 7:00 p.m. on APTN North

TAKUGINAI – SEASON XIV (INUKTITUT) / WORLD PREMIERE / CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Takuginai is a series for kids but appeals to all ages featuring ‘Johnny’ the lemming, other locally crafted puppets and young hosts. An educational show that teaches Inuktitut counting, syllabics and cultural values with loads of fun mixed into the process.

  • Premieres September 7 on APTN North (CT)
  • Sundays at 8:30 a.m. on APTN North