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The Social’s Jess Allen: Six things I’ve learned being on TV

Season 3 of The Social returns to CTV next Monday, Aug. 31. Co-hosted by Melissa Grelo, Cynthia Loyst, Lainey Lui and Traci Melchor, The Social also includes digital correspondent Jess Allen. We got the multi-tasking, multi-faceted dynamo to write a guest column about her experiences on the series so far. Take it away, Jess:

Right before The Social premiered two years ago, I remember my bosses asking me if I would be comfortable occasionally being on TV. “Sure,” I said. How hard can live television be?

I was fairly green—as in zero television experience. I’d done on-camera work in the form of videos. But the thing with that medium is something called “editing.” It’s a miracle thing, really, that can remove blunders, stutters, snorts and awkward pauses with a few swift keystrokes.

Here is what I’ve learned in the meantime:

  1. Don’t make fun of Liza Minnelli. Even if she shows up at the Golden Globes not wearing a bra. People will be angry with you and may even send the show emails about how insensitive you are towards a living legend.
  1. The things people love about you are the same things people hate about you. For example, people seem to enjoy me because I over share—except for people who think I share too much: like the sincere young woman who told me that I shouldn’t have talked about picking my nose on television. I reminded her that the story I told was of me picking my nose when I was four years old, thinking that might soften her disappointment. (It didn’t.)
  1. Don’t over-analyze the opinions you share on live TV because you can’t always predict with precision what will offend. I could say that I think Donald Trump has some pretty good ideas and there’d be the sound of crickets. In the next breath I could confess that I don’t believe in ghosts and people might gasp in horror. You will never please everyone, which I know seems so obvious but it’s still a difficult concept to accept when you’re a born people pleaser. Make a (terrible) joke about how I wish unicorns would go extinct already because duh, they’re racist, and a unicorn-truther would be upset. Just be true to you.
  1. I’ve also learned that I should dress sexy, even though I’m not comfortable wearing form-fitting outfits; that I should wear whatever makes me comfortable; that every person’s definition of what marmy-type clothing is different; that every person’s interpretation of fashion-forward is different; and that I should dress like a marm (and not sexy) if I like it. Confused yet? Me too. The lesson? A stylist is the best friend a girl on the tube can have.
  1. Remember in the HBO show The Newsroom how MacKenzie, the show’s executive producer, would be talking in the ear of anchor Will McAvoy via an IFB? Will is always so chill—even if MacKenzie is telling him that the world is about to end. He makes it look so easy. Well, it’s not easy to have someone talking in your ear while you’re trying to talk about how unicorns are racist and that’s why they should go extinct. It’s really, really hard. And I will never be as good as Will McAvoy. (Or Melissa Grelo.)
  1. An IFB is a little thing that goes into your ear and acts like an intercom between you and the control room. Also, it makes you feel like an FBI agent. And that is a beautiful thing.

The Social airs Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET on CTV.


Jessica Allen is excited to be returning this season as THE SOCIAL’s Digital Correspondent, and looks forward to writing more stories for the show’s website on everything from food, films, and books to science and history (You can read her latest pieces under The Jess Files). She will also appear as the fifth chair on Fridays with THE SOCIAL’s co-hosts, and whenever anyone tells her to.

Before joining the team at THE SOCIAL, Jessica was an assistant editor at Maclean’s where she wrote arts and culture-related stories for the website and magazine. After work, she maintains her personal food blog, Foodie and the Beast. It’s actually a relationship blog masquerading as a food blog, because really, when you get down to brass tacks, the good stuff happens – and will continue to happen – around the dinner table.

Last chance to bid in the TV, eh? charity auction for Kids Help Phone

KHPThis is it — bidders have until 5pm PT/8pm ET today to bid in our charity auction in support of Kids Help Phone.

We have some incredible experiences and show merchandise available, including a set visit and walk on role from Murdoch Mysteries, a set visit to Bitten, autographed scripts from Heartland and Saving Hope, baseballs signed by the company of X Company, Some Assembly Required tshirts and playing cards, a chat with Jonathan Torrens, and the Phantom of Crowley High mask from Todd and the Book of Pure Evil. For writers, producers, teachers, even fans, we have experiences such as pick a writers brain, notes on a script and beers with showrunners in Toronto.  There are books, DVDs, Blurays, tshirts, and so much more. Check it out and spread the word!

On August 5, 2014, this site came back from the dead thanks to contributions to our Indiegogo campaign. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of TV, eh?‘s rebirth, we’re reviving our charity auction, with all proceeds to Kids Help Phone — a free, anonymous and confidential phone and on-line professional counselling service for youth. If you’d like to contribute but don’t want to bid, please go directly to their website to make a donation. (Note tax receipts are not available for auction bids.)

This auction uses simple bidding and ends August 28, 2015 at 5 pm PT. Payment will be due by end of day September 1, 2015 and shipping costs will be added to physical items as required. International bidders, please note that any additional taxes and duties charged by customs will be your responsibility.

Please email Diane at with any issues or questions.

Comments and queries for the week of August 28

Steven Sabados ends Steven and Chris

He will be truly missed. What a shame, with heartfelt condolences to Steven. —Janet

God Bless. You will be missed. —Rhonda

Going to miss Chris and his banter with Steven and others who happened to be in his sight. —Edith

What do you think of shomi?

Shomi’s main problem is that video streaming is bad on any device you use it on. Android buffers, web-based works a bit better and the set top interface is terrible, and many shows are SD only. Netflix and CraveTV have a better selection of shows too. —Luke

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

Link: ‘Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany On Female Empowerment In TV & Her Favorite Clones

From Anthony D’Alessandro of Deadline:

‘Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany On Female Empowerment In TV & Her Favorite Clones
“The thing about the characters in improv is that you can create hundreds of them, and then you have to remember those that came out of the previous scene. You call them back. There’s no props, no costumes, and on Orphan Black, improv serves me. Improv has given me strength. My favorite improvisers are courageous and those who say yes to things in a scene. The notion of saying yes helps me every day on set, especially when I have to switch characters half-way through the day or play characters off the top of my head.” Continue reading.

W Network sets return dates for Property Brothers & Hockey Wives

From a media release:

This Fall, W Network continues to deliver a slate of fan-favourite original series including Property Brothers, the Love It or List It franchise and Hockey Wives, which has made W Network the top-rated specialty network for women in Canada. The schedule is packed with real estate focused series including new seasons of Property Brothers, new episodes of Love It or List It as well as the premieres of  the new W Network original series Real Houses Of… and Love It or List It U.K. In October, Hockey Wives returns with a brand new season featuring the WAGs of Canada’s national pastime, and Candace Cameron Bure (Full House) returns in the next instalment of the movies based on the books by Charlaine Harris (HBO’s True Blood), Real Murders: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery.



Real Houses Of…. premieres Tuesday September at 8 and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT (New Series)

Real Houses Of… (15×30) invites viewers into some of the most incredible homes in North America. You won’t find “cookie cutter” here. These fabulous spaces are one-of-a-kind, custom-designed to fit the needs and lifestyles of their remarkable owners. From historic east coast manors to ultra-modern Pacific pads, these Real Houses push wow factor to the max. With luxurious bedrooms, resort-worthy pools, spectacular bathrooms, million-dollar views and kitchens hot enough to make a French chef swoon – this series is guaranteed to astonish and inspire. View a preview here.

Property Brothers Season 5 premieres Monday, September 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT (New Season)

The brothers are back and this season marks the 100th episode of the hit series. Named People Magazine’s Annual Sexiest Man Alive List and HELLO! Canada’s 50 Most Beautiful List, the boys are return with all new homes and amazing transformations. Real estate agent Drew Scott and his twin brother, contractor Jonathan Scott return with brand-new episodes of the popular series Property Brothers (11×60) this fall. This real estate/home renovation series gets buyers into their dream homes without busting their budget. The series follows Drew and Jonathan as they help couples find, buy and transform extreme fixer-uppers into the ultimate dream home. Each week, with the help of CGI technology, the brothers show buyers the underlying potential in two rundown properties. Once the clients choose the property they like best, Drew begins negotiating the purchase price while Jonathan starts planning the transformation. The 100th episode will air Monday, November 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.


Love It or List It premieres Monday, October 5, at 10 p.m. ET/PT (New Episodes)

Hilary and David return in October with a new season of W Network’s hit real estate and renovation series Love It or List It (8×60). Featuring interior designer, Hilary Farr and real estate agent, David Visentin. Hilary attempts to win over the homeowners by renovating their current home, real estate agent David tries to find them the home of their dreams. Once all work has been complete and all potential homes have been viewed, couples must decide whether to love their homes or list them.

Love It or List It U.K premieres Tuesday, October 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT (New Series)

Love It or List It U.K. takes the hit franchise across the pond (6×60). Designer Kirstie Allsopp and realtor Phil Spencer, U.K.’s top property duo help English homeowners divided over renovating or a fresh start somewhere new. Kirstie is heading up Team Love It and believes that with clever design and spending wisely, it’s possible to fall in love with your home all over again, while Phil is captaining Team List It and feels that dream homes are within reach.

Hockey Wives Season 2 premieres Wednesday, October 28 at 10 p.m. ET/PT (New Season)

Hockey Wives Season 2 will continue to have unmatched access to the off-the-ice lives of the women who are the captains of their families, careers and relationships. Following the success of the first season the series will continue to delivers a rare opportunity for fans to meet accomplished “captains” off the ice and explores the meaning of being married to the game. With an exclusive look into the high-stakes lives of WAGs (wives and girlfriends) of professional hockey players, the series reveals that it takes an incredible woman to manage fulfilling personal careers and stick handle life off of the ice with some of today’s top pro athletes.

Being married to the game comes with its fair share of perks, but make no mistake the hockey life isn’t for the faint of heart.  Balancing family, career and personal aspirations against a backdrop of the pressures of being traded, injury, career uncertainty, long periods of separation is a constant juggling act. And, if you happen to be in one of the country’s biggest hockey cities, it’s like living in a fishbowl.  Meet the off-ice Captains – sexy, savvy, jet-setting women, stick handling life through another grueling hockey season. From wives who are rookies, to those who are facing free agency or whose partners are Stanley Cup winning superstars, these women form a team of their own, supporting and encouraging one another through personal and professional highs and lows.