Tag Archives: Bell Media

The Amazing Race Canada: The Heroes depart

It usually takes me a couple of legs of The Amazing Race Canada before I decide which teams I like and have the best chance of winning. Thanks to Bell Media, I had an edge going into this Heroes Edition because I got to interview the teams before they headed out on the Race. (Check those interviews out here, here and here.)

As a result, when Tuesday finally rolled around for the first episode of this season, I was expecting big things from former Canadian Air Force pilots Chewy and Happy, Toronto Argos cheerleaders Leanne and Marielle and RCMP officers Taylor and Courtney. No disrespect to the others; it was just my gut feeling. And, as it turned out, my gut was dead wrong in one case.

Things had started out so swimmingly for all of the teams. This Heroes Edition version of The Amazing Race Canada spotlights those who give of themselves for the better of others, so expect plenty of inspirational speeches and tales of hardship and triumph. Jon Montgomery, who has become the voice of the summer months in this country despite competing in the Winter Games, gamely took his pride of place in front of the 10 teams participating this year. After introducing all of the teams and their stories, they assembled in front of Jon at Hatley Castle in Victoria, B.C., and were poised for the finger drop.

Martina and Phil were the first to depart the castle in their Chevy, headed to a mainland ferry before driving to Squamish, B.C. In second were Happy and Chewy, followed by Courtney and Taylor and everyone else … except for Kwame and Dylan, who literally missed the boat and suffered a two-hour setback. You’d think that would be an insurmountable feat, but not on The Amazing Race Canada. With nine other teams in the running, there was plenty of time for a rookie mistake.

Once the ferries docked, the teams drove to Squamish and hopped on board gondolas to collect their next clue. The Amazing Race Canada camera crews always do a stellar job capturing the beauty of this country, and this episode was no exception. The stunning mountain peaks, roaring rivers and twisting roads made me long for an excuse to head west. Happy and Chewy were the first to arrive at the gondola, followed by Nancy and Mellisa, Leanne and Marielle, Todd and Anna, Courtney and Taylor and Martina and Phil. Zainab and Monica were hopelessly lost in Vancouver as Kwame and Dylan drove off their ferry.

The first Road Block of the season tasked players with pulling themselves along ropes high above a canyon floor to retrieve a stuffed beaver from its spot hooked to the rope. Chewy went first, and just missed snagging the little beast before continuing on his bungee cord course to the bottom of the canyon. He would have to try again. Nancy grabbed the beaver on her first try and she and Mellisa vacated the scene in favour of the Squamish Days Festival. Leanne succeeded next, as did Todd, Taylor, Phil and Dylan. Adam and Akash missed on their first tries too but the trio all grabbed the beaver on their second tries.

The second Road Block took place at the Festival site, where the other team member had to make like a lumberjack and climb a massive 80-foot pole to retrieve the next clue card. Two height-related challenges in the same episode? Interesting choice by the producers. As an aside, it was great to see two all-female teams leading the first leg of the Race. (Quote of the night: “I’ve got slivers in my crotch!”) Mellisa and Nancy were unstoppable as they departed for Darrell Bay and the next clue to fish for regulation-sized crab. Trouble was, they didn’t realize the buoys were attached to the crab traps and paddled their tandem board right on by, leaving Leanne and Marielle to take the lead.

All teams headed for the Brittania Mine Museum (where several features and TV shows, including The X-Files, have filmed) to seek out Mill No. 3, and the first Pit Stop of Season 6. Argos cheerleaders Leanne and Marielle made it to the mat first, scoring a trip for two to Tokyo. Nancy and Mellisa were steps behind, followed by Todd and Anna, Dylan and Kwame and Taylor and Courtney. The five-team scramble to haul in the right sized crab meant Happy and Chewy were in last place on the drive to the Mine Museum. Zainab and Monica, Martina and Phil and Adam and Courtney all hit the mat within seconds of each other, leaving Joseph and Akash and Chewy and Happy in a footrace for the final spot. Chewy was steps behind his partner, but too late to save them from elimination.

What are your thoughts regarding the teams racing this season? Let me know in the comments below!

Here’s how the teams finished this Leg of the Race:

  1. Leanne and Marielle (trip for two to Tokyo)
  2. Nancy and Mellisa
  3. Todd and Anna
  4. Dylan and Kwame
  5. Taylor and Courtney
  6. Zainab and Monica
  7. Martina and Phil
  8. Adam and Courtney
  9. Joseph and Akash
  10. Chewy and Happy (eliminated)

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Bell Media announces first wave of 2018/19 original Canadian entertainment productions with 42 new and returning series and specials

From a media release:

− New original comedy JANN and Season 3 of THE BEAVERTONjoin CTV’s winning schedule, as acclaimed event series CARDINAL is renewed for Season 4 in advance of Season 3 premiere −
CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS returns to CTV –
− Bell Media Studios renewals include ETALK, THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW, THE SOCIAL, and YOUR MORNING –
− Three new titles join Discovery’s 10 returning original series for 2018/19 −
− New six-pack of LETTERKENNY slated for Crave TV –
− The Comedy Network renews CORNER GAS ANIMATED for Season 2 and returns to Montréal for new Just For Laughs projects –
−MASTERCHEF CANADA winner and celebrity chef Mary Berg stars in new lifestyle series MARY MAKES IT EASY for Gusto –
− Animated shorts series LITTLEKENNY joins interactive stand-up series JOKEOFF on Snackable TV −

In advance of today’s #CTVUpfront, Bell Media confirmed today its first wave of new and returning, English-language, original entertainment programming for 2018/19. A total of 13 new and 29 returning original series and specials are confirmed to- date, produced in partnership with independent producers and international content companies, as well as Bell Media Studios, the company’s in-house production arm.

Bell Media once again plans to spend nearly $900 million overall on French and English programming in 2018/19, all promoted by the Bell Media megaphone, including Canada’s most-watched television network, CTV.

More Canadians make Bell Media’s original programs their choice for homegrown viewing than any other media company. As Canada’s most-watched network in primetime for 17 years in a row, CTV is home to:

  • THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, the most-watched Canadian series for the 5th year in a row
  • CARDINAL, the #1 Canadian drama for A18-49 and A25-54 on broadcast television Bell Media Studio’s THE SOCIAL and THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW, the most-watched Canadian daytime programs in daytime
  • ETALK, the top-rated Canadian entertainment news program
    Further, Bell Media has three of the Top 5 Canadian series on entertainment specialty television among viewers A25-54 with Discovery’s HIGHWAY THRU HELL, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, and HEAVY RESCUE: 401. Through the last broadcast year, 12 of Bell Media’s specialty channels increased their rank among all Canadian specialty channels.

NEW Bell Media Original Series and Specials for 2018/19 (by channel):

CTV

JANN
JANN is an original comedy series starring Jann Arden. Arden plays a fictionalized version of herself: a singer-songwriter of a “certain age”; dealing with the harsh reality that her former music career is now on a slow, relentless slide into obscurity. But it’s not just Jann’s career that’s on life support – she’s newly single, her sister may disown her, and her mother is clearly suffering from the early stages of dementia. Although Jann’s personal life is in shambles, she’s convinced that the cure-all is to rebrand her image in order to reclaim her celebrity status, so she embarks on a quest to return to greatness but gets tangled in the pressures of her ‘real’ life. Jann is at the crossroads between who she was, and who she wants to be, if she can just figure out what’s really important. (Project 10 Productions; 6 x :30)

CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS
CTV announced this morning a multi-year partnership with Canada’s Walk of Fame to become the official and exclusive broadcaster of the CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS in time for the awards’ 20th anniversary this December. CTV’s broadcast of THE 2018 CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS is a celebration of Canadians who have excelled on the national and international stage in their respective fields, including music, sports, film and television, literary, visual and performing arts, science, innovation, philanthropy, and social justice. The star-studded 2018 CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS broadcast will feature must-see performances and inspiring stories from previous and new inductees. (Insight Productions)

The Comedy Network

Just For Laughs
The Comedy Network returns to Montréal for the Just for Laughs Festival this summer, shooting a new stand-up series and specials for the 2018-19 broadcast year. (Just For Laughs Television)
CraveTV

NEW EDEN
CraveTV’s latest original production is NEW EDEN. Going into production this fall, the darkly funny mockumentary is a “true crime” anthology from two of Canada’s hottest comedic voices, Evany Rosen (PICNICFACE, BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW) and Kayla Lorette (THE BEAVERTON, SPACE RIDERS). (Peacock Alley Entertainment; 8 x :30)

Discovery

VINTAGE TECH HUNTERS
VINTAGE TECH HUNTERS follows a fascinating journey across North America in search of amazing pop culture and tech memorabilia. (Crooked Horse Productions/Boat Rocker Studios; 14 x :30)

DISASTERS AT SEA
New docudrama series DISASTERS AT SEA highlights the most mysterious and unexpected marine disasters in recent history. (Exploration Production Inc.)

ALBERTA FLOODS: ROGUE EARTH
Marking the fifth anniversary of the catastrophic “flood of floods,” ALBERTA FLOODS: ROGUE EARTH joins Discovery’s ROGUE EARTH documentary series. (Pixcom Productions; :60)

Gusto

MARY MAKES IT EASY
Mary Berg has a gift for making irresistibly delicious food. Her signature style is beautiful, but approachable; impressive, but never pretentious. For Mary, cooking is about fun and family and a strategic lack of fuss. When it comes to cooking science, Mary is an unapologetic food nerd who loves to demystify the process and break down techniques. Whether it’s an elegant party or an everyday dinner, Mary shows viewers how to dial down their stress with time-saving tips and easy-to-follow advice. (Proper Television; 30 x :30)

SnackableTV

LITTLEKENNY
There are 500 kids at Letterkenny Central School, and these are their problems. Based on CraveTV’s smash-hit LETTERKENNY, LITTLEKENNY is a series of animated, short-form extensions of the award-winning Canadian comedy program, and marks SnackableTV’s first foray into original content. Written and created by Jared Keeso, LITTLEKENNY includes the Hick’s origin story: how standing up for each other on the schoolyard resulted in their friendship. (New Metric Media/ DHX Media/ Playfun Games; Animation services provided by Little Blackstone Inc.; 6 episodes)

JOKEOFF
SnackableTV has commissioned its first interactive content. JOKEOFF is a new series that pits some of the world’s top comedians against each other in the ultimate stand-up competition. The short-form, bracket-style elimination series features a renowned mix of incredible comedic talent – from Kevin Hart, Joan Rivers, and Debra DiGiovanni, to Gilbert Gottfried, Jay Pharaoh, and Kevin James – as they go head-to-head in daily match-ups with some of their best material curated from the unparalleled Just For Laughs stand-up archives. The audience votes on the best jokes from each matchup and the winner from each round moves forward. The JokeOffs continue until there’s just on comedian standing! (Just For Laughs; 32 match-ups)

2018/19 Original Bell Media Studios Productions

Producing some of Canada’s most-watched daily programs, Bell Media Studios continues to offer a robust and unrivaled lineup of flagship series and national specials, along with factual and lifestyle series, including:

  • YOUR MORNING (CTV) kicking off CTV’s leading original daytime lineup
  • The country’s #1 and #2 Canadian daytime series, THE SOCIAL (CTV) and THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW (CTV)
  • Canada’s most-watched entertainment news program, ETALK (CTV)
    The 2018 IHEARTRADIO MMVAs (CTV/Much)
  • WE DAY 2018 (CTV/MTV)
  • THE SANTA CLAUS PARADE (CTV)
  • ETALK AT THE OSCARS (CTV)
  • Joining DISASTERS AT SEA for Discovery, the fan-favourite MIGHTY TRAINS (Discovery) hits the rails for a second season while MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS (Discovery) sets sail for Season 3 (Exploration Production Inc.)
  • Half-hour docu-series WHERE TO I DO? (Gusto) – starring Canadian property and design expert Tommy Smythe and currently the most-watched new series on Gusto – is back for a second season of wedding venue hunts (Bell Media Studios/Motion Content Group)
  • Half-hour docu-series DOG TALES RESCUE (Gusto), following the day-to-day operation of a dog rescue and horse sanctuary, returns for a second season (Bell Media Studios/Motion Content Group)

Returning Bell Media Original Series Confirmed to Date for 2018/19 (by genre):

Drama

  • Ahead of its Season 3 premiere on CTV, internationally successful, critically acclaimed, and award-winning drama CARDINAL (CTV) has been renewed for Season 4 with stars Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse. (eOne/Sienna Films)
  • Season 3 of international dramatic adventure series FRONTIER (Discovery), starring Jason Momoa, returns to the schedule this winter. (Take the Shot Productions/ASAP Entertainment)
    Comedy
  • New to CTV in midseason, the half-hour satirical news sensation THE BEAVERTON has been greenlit for Season 3. (Pier 21 Films)
  • The Comedy Network’s most-watched series debut of all-time CORNER GAS ANIMATED returns for Season 2. (Prairie Pantoons/335 Productions/Moving Mountoons/Vérité Films/Smiley Guy Studios)
  • Smash hit comedy LETTERKENNY (CraveTV) begins production on a new Season 4 six-pack in Sudbury this July. (New Metric Media/DHX Media/Playfun Games)

Sci-Fi

  • The most-watched original series in Space’s history, sci-fi adventure series KILLJOYS has been renewed for a fifth season ahead of its Season 4 premiere on July 20 at 10 p.m. ET. (Temple Street)

Reality

  • Original series and international format THE LAUNCH (CTV) returns for a second season, showcasing a new group of aspiring artists vying for a shot at stardom. Featuring world-renowned record executive Scott Borchetta, internationally acclaimed music industry legends will once again join the series as mentors. (Bell Media Studios/Big Machine Label Group/Eureka/ Insight Productions; 6 x :60)

Factual

  • Entertaining and educational hit series HIGHWAY THRU HELL (Discovery) returns for Season 7. (Great Pacific Media)
    Discovery’s most-watched original series of all time, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER (Discovery) enters its 14th (Proper Television)
    The road angels of hit series HEAVY RESCUE: 401 (Discovery) returns for Season 3. (Great Pacific Media)
  • 2018 Canadian Screen Award winner for Best Factual Series, MAYDAY (Discovery) returns for Season 19. (Cineflix Productions)
  • The Bunce family is back for more mining adventures for the Season 5 return of JADE FEVER (Discovery). (Omnifilm Entertainment)
  • Labrador’s rag-tag team of “MacGyver”-like mechanics returns for the second season of LAST STOP GARAGE (Discovery). (Proper Television)
  • The resilient crews of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Ontario Northland Railway keep Canada’s critical freight and passenger trains rolling in Season 2 of ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAILROAD (Discovery). (Cineflix Productions)

Lifestyle

  • Italian cooking series BONACINI’S ITALY (Gusto), starring MASTERCHEF CANADA’S Michael Bonacini, returns for a second season. (Gusto Worldwide Media)
  • Season 2 of SPENCER’S BIG 30 (Gusto) showcases healthy, hearty meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes. (Gusto Worldwide Media)
  • Host Jessica McGovern returns to share her love of baking in Season 2 of FLOUR POWER (Gusto). (Gusto Worldwide Media)
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Bell Media unveils exclusive CTV-branded portfolio of channels, creates next-generation digital destination, and launches new CTV Movies service

From a media release:

In a bold move to strategically leverage Canada’s #1 entertainment brand, Bell Media announced today it will rebrand four of its leading entertainment specialty channels as CTV properties. Space, Bravo, Comedy, and Gusto will become CTV Sci-Fi, CTV Drama, CTV Comedy, and CTV Life. They will be joined by CTV Movies and CTV Vault, two new ad-supported VOD services, in a new CTV digital super-hub featuring all seven services.

With the new CTV super-hub, Canada’s best entertainment content will now be curated and exhibited together in a singular CTV destination. THE HANDMAID’S TALE, STAR TREK DISCOVERY, CARDINAL, THE BIG BANG THEORY, and Spider-Man, for example, will co-exist within the same environment.

The rebrand of the four specialties will be preceded by the launch of two, new digital VOD services, CTV Movies and CTV Vault. Debuting “in front of the wall” on the new CTV digital platform, CTV Movies and CTV Vault will each offer thousands of hours of content, refreshed weekly, all flowing from a ground-breaking new partnership with Sony Pictures Television.

The expansive movie catalogue will feature titles from every genre including, for the first time, family-oriented films, as well as blockbuster franchise titles like Spider-Man and Men In Black. CTV Vault will be the home of the entire catalogues of some of television’s most-popular series like COMMUNITY, RESCUE ME, DAMAGES, and THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW, among others. Free to consumers, the two services are 100% ad supported, and will anchor the new CTV super-hub with the newly branded CTV channels to follow.

The CTV super-hub will be available on connected devices everywhere, including the web, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Apple and Android TV, Xbox One, and Samsung smart TVs.

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Cop drama The Detail cancelled at CTV after one season

It’s one and done for The Detail; CTV has opted not to order another season of the cop drama.

“Canada! The last ever episode of @TheDetailCTV starts now!” star Shenae Grimes-Beech tweeted prior to the show’s first season finale on Sunday night. “Sadly we will not be coming back for a second season on @CTV but it’s been an absolute dream getting to bring Det. Jack Cooper to life!”

“CTV was so lovely, they were so passionate about the show and I know everyone really wanted it to go again,” Grimes-Beech continued on her latest YouTube post. “Unfortunately, due to finances, I think, and ratings and all of that kind of stuff it won’t be going again. I loved that show a lot. It was so much fun being a badass homicide detective and it was so much fun getting to play Det. Jack Cooper.” You can watch the full video below.

Developed by Ley Lukins (Saving Hope) who served as co-showrunner and co-executive producer alongside Adam Pettle (Saving Hope), The Detail was a 10-episode adaptation of the UK smash Scott & Bailey and starred Grimes-Beech as street-smart Detective Jacqueline “Jack” Cooper, who has keen investigative skills but a messy personal life. Angela Griffin starred as Detective Stevie Hall, a sharp quick-witted interrogator who is Jack’s mentor. Wendy Crewson played Staff Inspector Fiona Currie, the homicide unit’s boss, who works overtime to secure justice, no matter what the cost.

Supporting cast included David Cubitt as Detective Kyle Price, Stevie’s ex-boyfriend and new co-worker at the division; David Ferry as Harry Barker, Stevie’s stepfather and retired cop; Matthew Edison as Stevie’s husband Jono Hall; Ben Bass as Marc Savage, Jack’s boyfriend; Al Mukadam as Detective Aaron Finch; and Matt Gordon as Detective Donnie Sullivan.

Executive producers included Ilana Frank (Saving Hope), John Morayniss (Bitten), and Linda Pope (Rookie Blue), with co-executive producers Jocelyn Hamilton (Cardinal), Sonia Hosko (Saving Hope) and Gregory Smith (Rookie Blue).

The Detail‘s lack of a renewal is the latest move by Bell Media; the broadcaster announced InnerSpace and Daily Planet would not be back.

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Corus Entertainment and Bell Media agree to terminate share purchase agreement for Historia and Séries+

From a media release:

Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) (“Corus Entertainment”) today announced that Corus Entertainment and Bell Media Inc. (“Bell Media”) have agreed to terminate their Share Purchase Agreement for French-language specialty channels Historia and Séries+.

As announced on May 28, 2018, the Commissioner of Competition did not approve the sale by Corus Entertainment of these channels to Bell Media.

Corus Entertainment will continue to own and operate Historia and Séries+ and also remains an active contributor to the Quebec broadcast and production community with Global Montreal, Télétoon and La chaîne Disney, as well as Toon Boom, its animation software company.

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