Tag Archives: Bell Media

Bell Media to Acquire Séries+ and Historia

From a media release:

Bell Media announced today it has entered into an agreement with Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX:CJR.B) to acquire French-language specialty channels Séries+ and Historia.

Séries+ is Québec’s most-watched fiction channel, offering popular locally produced drama, including recent successes SUR-VIE and MIRADOR, as well as the best of foreign series. Historia, a Top 10 channel among A25-54, broadcasts a suite of locally produced original content, ranging from award-winning documentaries, popular reality series like LE LOT DU DIABLE, and drama series such as BÉLIVEAU.

Bell Media currently operates 10 French-language TV channels in Québec, including Canal D, Canal Vie, Cinépop, Investigation, RDS, RDS Info, RDS2, Super Écran, Vrak, and Z.

The transaction is subject to approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the Competition Bureau, and is expected to close in mid-2018.

Caution concerning forward-looking statements
Certain statements made in this news release are forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements relating to the proposed acquisition by Bell Media Inc. (“Bell Media”) of French-language specialty channels Séries+ and Historia, the expected timing of, and certain benefits expected to result from, the proposed transaction, and other statements that are not historical facts. All such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the “safe harbour” provisions of applicable Canadian securities laws and of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Forward-looking statements, by their very nature, are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions, both general and specific, which give rise to the possibility that actual results or events could differ materially from our expectations expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize and we caution you against relying on any of these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release describe our expectations at the date of this news release and, accordingly, are subject to change after such date. Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this news release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Forward-looking statements are provided herein for the purpose of giving information about the proposed transaction referred to above and its expected impact. Readers are cautioned that such information may not be appropriate for other purposes.

The completion and timing of the proposed transaction are subject to customary closing conditions, termination rights and other risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, approval by the Competition Bureau and the CRTC. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will occur, or that it will occur on the terms and conditions, or at the time, contemplated in this news release. The proposed transaction could be modified, restructured or terminated. There can also be no assurance that the benefits expected to result from the proposed transaction will be realized.

 

 

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Calling All Heroes: CTV Orders Sixth Season of Hit Series The Amazing Race Canada

From a media release:

After five AMAZING seasons, host Jon Montgomery announced today that the adventure will continue as CTV has renewed THE AMAZING RACE CANADA for a heroic sixth season. And in a new twist, THE AMAZING RACE CANADA is seeking courageous Canadians – teachers, first responders, parents, community leaders, mentors, athletes, and other everyday heroes with a story to tell – to join the Race for Season 6 and be a part of an adventure that could change their lives forever. The most-watched Canadian series of the year, THE AMAZING RACE CANADA is slated to return next summer to CTV when host Jon Montgomery welcomes a new cast of racers to the starting line and takes viewers on their favourite summertime adventure.

CTV also confirmed today that casting for the upcoming sixth season of the competition series is now open. Aspiring racers are invited to pair up with someone they know and trust – a friend, sibling, parent, partner, or someone with a close relationship – and submit an audition for the opportunity to share their story with the rest of Canada. While THE AMAZING RACE CANADA is especially seeking everyday heroes to join the Race for Season 6, casting is open to every Canadian looking to challenge themselves and find the hero within.

New this season, fans and viewers can tell THE AMAZING RACE CANADA about the incredible everyday heroes who they would like to see conquer the Race, in addition to submitting their own application. Viewers looking to shine a spotlight on the valiant Canadians in their lives should visit the casting website to submit a nomination, telling the story of what makes their submission a hero in their life or community (no video required). The deadline for applications and nominations is Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. ET. For all casting details and updates, including instructions on how to submit an audition video or propose someone for Season 6, viewers can visit CTV.ca/TheAmazingRaceCanada, the CTV Facebook page, and follow @AmazingRaceCDA.

The fifth season of THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, which saw racers travel more than 50,000 km with international stops in China, Thailand, and Panama, was the most-watched Canadian program of the broadcast year, with an average audience of 1.8 million total viewers. More than two million viewers tuned in for the Season 5 finale on Sept. 12, 2017 to watch dating couple Sam and Paul from Toronto take home the grand prize.

 

 

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Production Underway on the Third Cycle of CTV and Super Écran’s Hit Serialized Drama CARDINAL

From a media release:

CTV and Super Écran, alongside producers Sienna Films and Entertainment One (eOne), announced today that production is underway on the third cycle of hit original drama CARDINAL, starring Golden Globe® nominee Billy Campbell (THE KILLING) and the multiple Genie Award-winning actress Karine Vanasse (REVENGE). Inspired by By the Time You Read This and Crime Machine, the fourth and fifth novels in the John Cardinal Mysteries series written by Ontario native and award-winning author Giles Blunt, the third season of the networks’ serialized drama is shooting six, hour-long episodes in North Bay, Ont. and Toronto.

The first season of CARDINAL was the #1 new Canadian drama of the 2016/17 broadcast season, averaging 1.1 million total viewers weekly, and received an unprecedented two-cycle renewal. eOne has successfully licensed the series internationally with the first season of CARDINAL having aired in U.S., U.K., France, Spain, and Scandinavia, among other territories. The second season of CARDINAL recently wrapped production and is slated to premiere as part of CTV and Super Écran’s 2017/18 season.

In the third season, entitled CARDINAL: BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, the autumn season starts to shroud Algonquin Bay, but the glorious fall colours can’t hide the town’s most gruesome double murder for long. As Cardinal and Delorme’s detective work brings them precariously close to a doomsday cult with nothing to lose, Cardinal launches his own investigation into a case far more personal and dangerous.

Joining Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse in CARDINAL: BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS is an all-star supporting cast that includes Rya Kihlstedt (RAY DONOVAN), as Sharlene ‘Mama’ Winston; Aaron Ashmore (KILLJOYS) as Randall Wishart; Alex Ozerov (THE AMERICANS) as Jack; Sophia Lauchlin Hirt (THE ROMEO SECTION) as Nikki; Canadian Screen Award winner Nick Serino (Sleeping Giant) as Lemur; Tom Jackson (NORTH OF 60) as Lloyd Kreeger; Jennifer Podemski (BLACKSTONE) as Wendy Doucette; Susan Coyne (SLINGS AND ARROWS) as Susan Bell; and Devery Jacobs (THIS LIFE) as Sam Doucette.

Returning cast members include Deborah Hay (The Anniversary) as Catherine Cardinal; Glen Gould (Rhymes for Young Ghouls) as Det. Jerry Commanda; Kristen Thomson (Away From Her) as Staff Sergeant Noelle Dyson; Stephen Ouimette as Dr. Frederick Bell; and Alanna Bale (PRIME RADICALS) as Kelly Cardinal.

CARDINAL is produced by Sienna Films and eOne in association with CTV, with the financial participation of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, the Canada Media Fund, and the Cogeco Program Development Fund; and with the assistance of the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. Super Écran has commissioned the series for French-language Canadian broadcast. eOne distributes the series worldwide.

CARDINAL is adapted from the John Cardinal Mysteries series, a series of six bestselling crime novels written by Giles Blunt. Cycle 3 of CARDINAL is written by Patrick Tarr (SAVING HOPE), who also serves as an Executive Producer and Head Writer, with co-executive producer Noelle Carbone (SAVING HOPE, ROOKIE BLUE) and story editors Shannon Masters and Aaron Bala. Executive Producer Daniel Grou aka Podz (19-2) returns to direct all six episodes. The drama is executive produced by Sienna Films duo Julia Sereny and Jennifer Kawaja (RANSOM, COMBAT HOSPITAL). For eOne, Jocelyn Hamilton and Tecca Crosby serve as Executive Producers.

 

 

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CTV’s The Disappearance mines a fractured family’s search for their missing son

A child gone missing. It’s one of the most traumatic things a family can face. The Sullivan family experiences that awful scenario this Sunday when the original six-part miniseries The Disappearance debuts at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV. Starring Peter Coyote, Aden Young, Camille Sullivan, Joanne Kelly, Micheline Lanctôt, Kevin Parent and Michael Riendeau, The Disappearance is a gripping thriller about lives turned upside down.

“What is the worst thing that can happen to parents?” executive producer Sophie Parizeau asks television critics during a set visit to Montreal. “It’s having a child that disappears. And not having answers as to why is very, very difficult. Emotionally, I think people will really connect with it.”

It won’t take long for viewers to be drawn into the story on Sunday; Normand Daneau and Geneviève Simard’s first script of six directed by Peter Stebbings is tightly-wound and traumatic, beginning with an idyllic day at school for Anthony Sullivan (Riendeau) and ending with darkness, police lights, an investigation by Lieutenant-Detective Susan Bowden (Lanctôt) and Sergeant-Detective Charles Cooper (Parent), and an overturned bicycle. Between those bookends, we learn Anthony’s father, musician Luke Sullivan (Young), and mother, microbiologist Helen (Sullivan), are signing off on their divorce, something Luke’s father, former prosecutor and judge Henry (Coyote) frowns upon. Meanwhile, Anthony has gotten in trouble at school—a class project on the community invades his neighbours’ privacy—and how to discipline him divides Henry, Helen and Luke.

Daneau and Simard brought The Disappearance to Joanne Forgues at Productions Casablanca in 2011, but after some initial interest in Quebec, the project stalled. After translating the first script into English they pitched it to Bell Media, thinking the psychological drama would fit on a variety of properties, including Bravo and The Movie Network. Bell Media bit and the project was a go, but landing their leading man proved to be a challenge: Young was starring in an ABC pilot and wouldn’t be available. But, as often happens in Hollywood, the pilot wasn’t picked up.

“They sent me three episodes,” the Canadian-Australian actor recalls over lunch. “My agent called me and asked how far I was into the scripts and I said I was on the third one. I realized I’d just been blowing through the pages … it was a real whodunnit and that excited me. This was an investigation, a let’s get into it and get after what’s happened kind of thing.”

What’s happened is key. Was the person who took Anthony a neighbour unhappy at the boy entering their home while he researched the project? Could someone Henry put in prison during his 40-year-career be exacting revenge? Or is the disappearance related to someone from Luke’s past? Secrets are revealed—and they’re not pretty—but there is at least one sliver of hope.

“Usually, something like this would break a relationship,” Sullivan says of Luke and Helen. “We’re already split at the beginning and, because we’re locked into the search for Anthony, we really do start to rediscover each other. There is also no one else in the world at that moment who can understand what you’re going through. Only the other parent, and I think that’s something that really draws us together.”

The Disappearance airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

 

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CraveTV and Just For Laughs Partner to Create Three Original Stand-Up Specials

From a media release:

CraveTV, Canada’s premium TV streaming service, announced today that it has partnered with Just For Laughs on three CraveTV Original Stand-Up comedy specials for its streaming audiences in Canada. This marks CraveTV’s first commission of original stand-up comedy, which will stream on CraveTV in 2018 and anchor the streaming service’s popular Stand-Up Comedy Collection. Showcasing homegrown talents Debra DiGiovanni, Darcy Michael, and Graham Chittenden, the specials taped yesterday and today at Toronto’s Berkeley Church during the JFL42 Festival. Now in its sixth year, JFL42 is a pass-based interactive comedy Festival and has established itself as one of the world’s most successful and cutting-edge comedy events. This year’s Festival runs until September 30.

Bell Media and Just For Laughs have a long history of joining forces to bring audiences hilarious hits, such as five seasons of the original stand-up series JUST FOR LAUGHS: ALL ACCESS (Season 5 premieres Saturday, September 30 at 9 p.m. ET on The Comedy Network); six seasons of FUNNY AS HELL hosted by Jon Dore; and numerous original specials like ELLIE KEMPER: UNBREAKABLE COMEDY GALA, NEIL PATRICK HARRIS: CIRCUS AWESOMEUS, JUST FOR LAUGHS PRESENTS: WHITNEY CUMMINGS BLEEP SHOW, SETH ROGEN’S HILARITY FOR CHARITY, and more.

A mainstay of the Canadian comedy scene for 15 years, Debra DiGiovanni is known for her hilarious stand-up comedy and appearances on television series like VIDEO ON TRIAL, Just For Laughs ALL ACCESS, and The Comedy Network original series, MATCH GAME. She was also a finalist on Season 5 of LAST COMIC STANDING. Currently based in Los Angeles, DiGiovanni is a three-time Canadian Comedy Award-winner.

Vancouver-based Darcy Michael has appeared at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montréal for five consecutive years. He also co-starred in two seasons of the CTV original comedy series SPUN OUT.

A familiar face at the Just For Laughs Festival, Graham Chittenden is also a writer on the hit comedy series MR. D. Known for his fresh and clean, but still relentlessly funny style of humour, the Canadian Comedy Award-nominee has also appeared on television series like MATCH GAME, COMEDY NOW!, and MTV SHOWTOWN.

Co-produced by Just For Laughs Television and Counterfeit Pictures, in association with Bell Media’s CraveTV. Executive producers are Bruce Hills and Gilbert Rozon from Just For Laughs and Dan Bennett, Shane Corkery and Anton Leo from Counterfeit Pictures. The specials are directed by Shelagh O’Brien.

 

 

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