Tag Archives: Bell Media

MasterChef Canada’s Michael Bonacini rings in the holidays with Christmas at the Farm

I’m a huge food TV fan, especially during the Christmas season. I’ve enjoyed holiday specials starring Michael Smith and Michael Stadtlander and Jamie Oliver churned out a series of them recently. There’s something comforting, for me at least, watching chefs at home making recipes that have become traditions for their families and giving me some ideas too. (I credit Oliver for two standards at my house on Christmas Day: roasted vegetables and a killer gravy.)

Now MasterChef Canada‘s Michael Bonacini has jumped into the mix with his own Gusto special Michael Bonacini’s Christmas at the Farm, airing Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on the specialty channel. The hour-long celebration ticks all the boxes for me: snow, a fireplace, decorations and amazing recipes. Add to that an amiable, charismatic host in Bonacini and Christmas at the Farm is a truly enjoyable project.

Filmed on his sprawling property outside of Toronto, Bonacini’s traditional plates includes food celebrating his Italian last name and his mother’s Welsh background. Potato and leek soup garnished with smoked salmon is the first to be made, a scrumptious-looking bowl of warmth that is super-easy to create in your own home. Soup is followed by cheddar and bacon scones, gnocchi, roasted leg of lamb, maple roasted root vegetables, slow-roasted breast of veal and molten chocolate lava cake. (Though Bonacini doesn’t give any measurements or directions in the episode, viewers can get the recipes via the Gusto website after broadcast.)

But what sells Christmas at the Farm and sets it apart from other cooking specials is Bonacini. MasterChef Canada viewers get just a taste of his cooking knowledge and personality on CTV’s popular cooking competition. Here Bonacini is allowed to relax, show off his knife skills, discuss how he came to be a chef in the first place and how growing up on a Welsh farm impacted on his life.

Michael Bonacini’s Christmas at the Farm airs Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on Gusto.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.

 

 

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Animal Planet makes holidays happier with six-week free preview, beginning Dec. 1

From a media release:

This holiday season, Animal Planet invites viewers to cuddle up with some of the funniest, wildest, and most touching moments the animal kingdom has to offer during a special Free Preview from Friday, Dec. 1 through Thursday, Jan. 11.

The Animal Planet Free Preview delivers a slate of programming that’s purrrrrr-fect for the whole family, including the new original Canadian series DR. KERI: PRAIRIE VET, airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT beginning Dec. 10. From pedigreed show dogs to prize mares, cows, cute and cuddly cats, and even angry bulls, the series follows the action-packed life of travelling vet Dr. Keri Hudson Reykdal, who’s on the road 24/7 to care for “all creatures big and small.” She’s dedicated her life to animals – treating them, training them, and riding them in horse derbies – with one of the busiest and most unusual mobile veterinary units to roam the northern prairie.

On Christmas Eve, Sunday, Dec. 24 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, Animal Planet is giving the gift of cute with a full hour of super adorable holiday cuteness. SUPER CUTE YULE LOG is stocked full of fluffy puppies, cuddly kittens, and other baby animals all frolicking to seasonal tunes across a holiday set.

Animal Planet’s Free Preview is available through television service providers across Canada including: Bell, Bell Aliant, Cogeco, Eastlink, BellMTS, Rogers, SaskTel, Telus, Videotron, and several CCSA partners including Access Communications, Westman Communications, Northwestel Inc., Tbaytel, Novus Entertainment, Wightman Telecom Ltd., and Mitchell Seaforth Cable TV.

Below is a listing of Animal Planet programming highlights during its Free Preview.  All programming is subject to change.

NEW SERIES
DR. KERI: PRAIRIE VET – Original Canadian Series
Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT beginning Dec. 10
She’s a hardworking vet on wheels! It’s calving season in rural Manitoba as the new original Canadian series begins, and Dr. Keri is on call 24/7. She’s running on no sleep, with an emergency C-Section, and a chocolate-chomping dog – all before lunchtime.

DR. KERI: PRAIRIE VET is produced by Merit Motion Pictures in association with Animal Planet and with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Rogers Cable Network Fund, the Manitoba Films & Video Production Tax Credit, the Canadian Film & Video Production Tax Credit, and the financial investment of Manitoba Film & Music.

RETURNING SERIES
COLLAR OF DUTY – Season 2 – Original Canadian Series
New Season: Fridays at 10 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT beginning Dec. 15
This 12-part original Canadian series captures incredible true stories of service and therapy animals that are transforming people’s lives. In each episode, Animal Planet visits individuals living with a service/therapy animal to learn about their relationship and witness how each person’s life has dramatically improved thanks to their special animal. From prisons to courtrooms to classrooms, the series reveals the many ways animals are making a major impact on the humans who need them most.

 

 

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Bell Media welcomes esteemed business journalist Amanda Lang

From a media release:

Wendy Freeman, President, CTV News, announced today that award-winning Canadian business journalist Amanda Lang is set to rejoin Business News Network (BNN) in January 2018. In addition to her role on the network, Lang will also contribute to a number of Bell Media properties including CTV News and iHeartRadio.

Lang has been covering business news in North America for 20 years. She started her journalism career at The Globe and Mail and then the National Post. As New York correspondent, she was a key part of the team that launched BNN’s predecessor, ROBTV, in 1999. She then moved over to the channel’s partner, CNN, as a reporter and anchor.

Lang returned to BNN/ROBTV in 2002 as anchor of the network’s flagship morning show before creating and hosting SQUEEZEPLAY, a nightly issues-driven debate show with Kevin O’Leary. In 2009, Lang left BNN to join the CBC as its senior business correspondent. Most recently she worked as an anchor for Bloomberg Television Canada.

Lang studied architecture at the University of Manitoba before becoming a journalist. Her best-selling book, The Power of Why, (HarperCollins, October 2012) explores the connection between curiosity and success. Her second book, The Beauty of Discomfort, was published earlier this year.

 

 

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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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