TV, eh? | What's up in Canadian television | Page 5
TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

The Nature of Things flies with the eagles

I’ve always loved watching predatory birds flitting around the skies of Southern Ontario. As a kid, I marvelled at their ability to cruise updrafts, endlessly circling in search of prey. Driving along the 401 east of Toronto means a likely chance to see one or two hawks perched on power poles or treetops.

And while the majestic bald eagle can be found in Ontario, I have yet to see one in the wild. Luckily, there’s “The Eagles Next Door” to sate my hunger. Thursday’s newest instalment of The Nature of Things explores the lives of Haliaeetus leucocephalus, that have gradually migrated into Vancouver. As host David Suzuki points out, it’s becoming more common to find one of these birds roosting on a back deck or in a tree in the city’s suburbs.

The benefit is two-fold. Bald eagles find plenty of food to eat (including scavenging at landfills) and spots to raise their young, and scientists are able to observe once-endangered species more easily. As John Elliott, research scientist at Environment Canada says, there are more bald eagles breeding in the Fraser Valley now than there were in the whole of the contiguous United States in the 1960s. Informative and entertaining, “The Eagles Next Door” explores which trees the birds prefer to nest in, how the animals have adapted to deforestation in the city and folks like Russ who rejigged his backyard to encourage birds to nest there. Footage from his cameras in White Rock (you can watch the bald eagles on his property via webcam) shows how nests are built, the laying of eggs and both parents raising eaglets Lima and Kilo. The 12 months in the lives of the bald eagle family is documented.

It’s not all good news for bald eagles, however. Being so close to humans means altercations where birds almost always end up injured—there is amazing footage of an eagle saved from a power line—and eating out of landfills may be turning them into scavengers.

“The Eagles Next Door” is from Parallax Films, the folks behind Bahama Blue, Battle Castle and When Disaster Strikes, and the episode is visually stunning. Extreme close-ups allow viewers to see droplets of water shaken from feathers and the intricate steps taken when hunting prey. Check it out on Thursday night.

The Nature of Things airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Link: Saving Hope’s Erica Durance on her directorial debut

From Christy Spratlin of The TV Junkies:

Saving Hope’s Erica Durance on her directorial debut
“I personally like being behind the camera quite a bit. One of the reasons that I fell in love with the business is all of the work that it takes to get that one moment. I find everything that’s happening behind the scenes quite fascinating. So me being behind the camera experiencing it all, and having all of their help and support and seeing all the things from that perspective was awesome. Then seeing the whole project through editing, and how important the whole process is, it gives you a whole other perspective of things. It was really great.” Continue reading.

Get ready to flip out! Season 4 of The Next Step returns Feb. 15 on Family

From a media release:

Killer choreography, dynamic dancing and non-stop drama are set to takeover Family Channel on Family Day Weekend as the network’s flagship series The Next Step returns for its fourth season. Starting at the crack of dawn, on Saturday, February 13, audiences can experience all the kicks, tricks and hair flips the popular tween drama has to offer with a nonstop three-day, full series marathon which culminates with the highly anticipated season four premiere on Monday, February 15 at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT. Following the Family Day festivities, new episodes will air regularly Fridays at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Known for its jaw-dropping dance routines and high-energy performances, The Next Step follows the lives of an elite group of dancers who train at The Next Step dance studio. Season four begins with A-Troupe returning home from their win at the International competition. The studio is now considered one of the best in the world, but achieving victory at the highest level has the dancers questioning their futures – some feel they’ve reached their full potential, while others are still waiting for their chance to shine. Riley is offered a surprising new position with A-Troupe, while James, West and Eldon are swept off on a whirlwind escapade to London, England. Amidst the changes a crop of talented but untested newbies are welcomed to the studio and the team must use every ounce of their talent and determination to recapture the old A-Troupe magic in time to defend their title at Regionals.

The Next Step stars Victoria Baldesarra as Michelle; Brittany Raymond as Riley; Logan Fabbro as Amanda; Myles Erlick as Noah; Trevor Tordjman as James; Lamar Johnson as West; Isaac Lupien as Eldon; Jordan Clark as Giselle; Briar Nolet as Richelle and Skylar Alexis Healey as Skylar. New to the cast this season are Giuseppe Bausilio as Alfie; Alexandra Chaves as Piper; Erika Prevost as Sloane; Akiel Julien as LaTroy; Isaiah Peck as Henry; Shelby Bain as Amy; and Allie Goodbun as Cassie. The new season will also feature special appearances by fan-favourite characters from past seasons, cast members from spin-off series Lost & Found Music Studios, and mark the directorial debut for cast members Trevor Tordjman and Lamar Johnson.

The Next Step is produced by Temple Street, a division of Boat Rocker Studios, in association with Family Channel and is executive produced by Frank van Keeken (Lost & Found Music StudiosWingin’ ItKids in the Hall), Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier (Orphan BlackBeing EricaWingin’ It), and Laura Harbin (Lost & Found Music Studios, Wingin’ It). BBC Worldwide handles the international rights to the series.

Big Brother Canada is Back with all the 24/7 Action Canadians Can Handle – Season 4 Premieres March 2 on Global

From a media release:

Global’s smash-hit original series Big Brother Canada is back and bigger than ever with Season 4 premiering on Wednesday, March 2 at 9 pm ET/PT. Hosted by Arisa Cox, the much-anticipated fourth season promises more surprises, more challenges, and more houseguest shenanigans all under the watchful eye of Big Brother.
Recently nominated for a sixth Canadian Screen Award, Big Brother Canada also welcomes the return of an all-new season of the Big Brother Canada Side Show, premiering on Friday, March 4 at 10 pm ET on Slice and Saturday, March 5 at 8 pm ET on Global. This year Arisa Cox is joined by panellists Peter Brown (Season 1 houseguest) and Sarah Hanlon (Season 3 winner) who talk through the exploits of the week, analyze game strategy, make predictions, and discuss those oh-so important showmances.

For die-hard fans, Big Brother Canada After Dark is back seven days a week where the cameras never stop rolling in the Big Brother Canada house. Viewers can catch all the late-night activity, secret conversations, and backroom alliances beginning Friday, March 4 at 3 am ET on Slice. And for those who still want more #BBCAN4 action, free live feeds from the Big Brother Canada House will also be available on

Following a coast-to-coast casting call, a new group of houseguests are moving into an overhauled Big Brother Canada house outfitted wall-to-wall with cameras and microphones capturing their every move. The houseguests compete for a grand prize of $100,000, a $25,000 gift card from The Brick, and an OxiCleanTM prize pack valued at $10,000 that includes $500 of fabric care products and a $9,500 wardrobe makeover. The upcoming season of the fan favourite series continues to offer unparalleled digital extensions that augment the social dynamics and real-time momentum of the 24/7 television production. Big Brother Canada extends from series to site at with exclusive content, full episodes, 24-hour live streams, and a host of surprises and opportunities that allow fans to directly impact the show.

Based on Endemol Shine Group’s worldwide hit franchise and commissioned by Shaw Media, Season 4 of Big Brother Canada is produced by Insight Productions in association with Shaw Media. Erin Brock and Sue Brophey serve as Supervising Producers. John Brunton and Barbara Bowlby serve as Executive Producers.

Big Brother Canada premieres on Global, Wednesday, March 2 at 9 pm ET/PT and airs Wednesdays at 9 pm ET/PT, Thursdays at 8 pm ET/PT (eviction episode), and Sundays at 7 pm ET/PT. Viewers who miss the premiere can catch up on Big Brother Canada for free following the broadcast the next day on and Global Go.

Podcast: Best Episode Ever, Season 7, Episode 9

I don’t just love Canadian TV. As a child of the 1970s and 80s, television was my babysitter, whether I was tuning in to Sesame Street and The Polka Dot Door or—during my formative years—checking out The Incredible Hulk, The A-Team, Magnum PI, Mork & Mindy, Three’s Company and Happy Days.

So it was a real treat to be asked to guest star on the Best Episode Ever podcast this week. Anthony Marco, Bob Goyetche and Dave Brodbeck get together (almost) every week to chat about three television series from the past. The discussions are informative and darned entertaining, and I was honoured to be asked on to discuss Simon & Simon. The full podcast can be found here for your streaming pleasure. Past instalments of Best Episode Ever can be accessed here.

In addition to a bunch other podcasts, Anthony co-hosts the weekly TV, Eh? podcasts with myself and Diane; those can all be found here.