Tag Archives: Dan Levy

Link: Daniel Levy’s queer comedy asks what would happen if the Kardashians went penniless

From Hilton Dresden of Out:

Link: Daniel Levy’s queer comedy asks what would happen if the Kardashians went penniless
“It was only when we started pulling back the layers on this family that we realized there’s a really tender through line of these strangers coming together and realizing love does not require any financial compensation. And once we struck that chord I think it really sent us on a nice, clear trajectory. In terms of season after season.” Continue reading.

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CBC announces Season 2 of The Great Canadian Baking Show; plus audition details

From a media release:

Cake, battle and roll! CBC today announced that hit culinary competition THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW will return for season 2 (8×60) as the public broadcaster kicks off a country-wide search for Canada’s best amateur bakers. Starting today, home bakers can apply online at cbc.ca/life/greatcanadianbakingshow for the chance to participate in the upcoming season. Based on the hit British format and produced by Proper Television, season 2 begins production in Toronto in summer 2018 and will air on CBC in the fall. Interested amateur bakers can apply online now until Sunday, March 18, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW premiered in November 2016 and was the most-watched unscripted series debut on CBC in the past five years, with the series reaching 1.4 million viewers in Canada each week.* Twenty-four-year-old graphic designer Sabrina Degni of Montreal, QC, the youngest baker in the first season, took the inaugural Canadian title after competing against semi-finalists Linda Longson of High River, AB and Vandana Jain of Regina, SK.

Hosted by Daniel Levy and Julia Chan and judged by acclaimed pastry chefs Bruno Feldeisen and Rochelle Adonis, THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW invites bakers to showcase their talents and diverse stories on a national stage as they compete in the kitchen. Competitors on the homegrown series have the opportunity to go up against Canada’s best bakers, while also competing against themselves as they strive to achieve their personal best.

Based on the beloved British format, THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW brings together 10 amateur bakers from across the country to compete in a series of themed culinary challenges. Each episode features three rounds including the Signature Bake, the Technical Bake and the Show Stopper. After the bakes are tasted and critiqued, the judges decide who will become the week’s Star Baker and who will be sent home. The final three bakers compete for the Great Canadian Baking Show title.

THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW is produced by Proper Television in association with CBC and Love Productions. The format is owned by Love Productions and distributed by Sky Vision.  In addition to the original British series, American, Australian, French and Irish versions of the format have also been produced.

 

 

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The Great Canadian Baking Show is unapologetically entertaining

The real world can be a pretty nasty place sometimes. I don’t know about you, but I find myself looking for an escape from the bad that seems to clog up the news and news feeds on social media. I’ve found the perfect respite from all that on Wednesday nights thanks to The Great Canadian Baking Show on CBC.

I love food—baking and ooey, gooey desserts in particular—so The Great Canadian Baking Show ticks those boxes immediately. But the series is so much more than just that. Based on the UK hit of the same name, the CBC’s remake—courtesy of Proper Television—is a sugary sweet, entertaining confection that just makes me happy. A lot of that comes from co-hosts Daniel Levy and Julia Chan. The pair, who are friends, scored themselves the gig of a lifetime with The Great Canadian Baking Show. The opportunity to meet Canadians from across the country, sample their baked goods and hang out for a couple of months? Where do I sign up? You can’t fake the enjoyment the pair derive from making cheesy quips in an attempt to get the other to roll their eyes. This Wednesday’s Bread Week episode gives Chan the chance to shine. And the fact Levy isn’t afraid to taste more than a morsel of gluten-y goodness establishes him as a bona fide bread expert in my eyes.

Judges Rochelle Adonis and Bruno Feldeisen don’t glower at the contestants like Demon Chef Alvin Leung on MasterChef Canada does. Nor should they. This is not that series. The Great Canadian Baking Show is definitely more relaxed, swapping stainless steel and hard edges for pastels and real wood in a pastoral setting. There is a playful, dainty soundtrack accompanying the proceedings, lending a calming air. Yes, folks are being eliminated—it is a competition after all—but even that is done gently and with a “keep your chin up” attitude.

The Great Canadian Baking Show may not be your cup of tea—see what I did there?—but I find it to be a calming oasis amid the noisy negativity we’re besieged with.

The Great Canadian Baking Show airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

 

 

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Dan Levy and Julia Chan bake up fun on CBC’s The Great Canadian Baking Show

Never underestimate the power of social media. That’s what Schitt’s Creek co-creator, executive producer, writer and star Daniel Levy learned when he tweeted his love for The Great British Bake Off and announced he’d be honoured to host a Canadian version of the culinary competition if that was ever in the cards.

“I had tweeted, quite naively, that if it ever came to Canada that I’ve love to throw my hat in the ring,” Levy says with a smile. “Almost immediately I started getting these responses, ‘It is for sure coming to Canada.’ ‘It’s happening.’ And then I inevitably got the call asking me if I would actually be interested. I said yes.”

Levy fulfils his dream on Wednesday when The Great Canadian Baking Show debuts at 8 p.m. on CBC. As if helming the homegrown version of your favourite program wasn’t enough, Levy does it with one of his best friends in Julia Chan; the former Saving Hope actress (who went by Julia Taylor Ross) joins him as narrator and co-host.

“We are great friends and were watching The Great British Bake Off together and Dan got involved,” Chan recalls. “Dan threw my hat in the ring, I got a call, went through the process and, apparently, we have good chemistry.”

“Watching this show and kind of colour commentating through the whole process, I was like, ‘I have a friend, she’s never hosted before but I think she would be a great, fresh voice for the show,'” Levy explains.

The Great Canadian Baking Show is fresh on a couple of levels. First, unlike other culinary competitions such as Top Chef Canada and MasterChef Canada, this is all about the baking. That, for watchers of those other shows, is often the hardest challenge put towards competitors thanks to the unforgiving science behind baking. You can fly by the seat of your pants when searing a steak. Not so when baking a multi-tiered cake. Second, The Great Canadian Baking Show is light-hearted and fun. If Wednesday’s debut is accurate, we’re in for one heck of an enjoyable ride. Levy and Chan are natural hosts, walking amongst the 10 home bakers, tasting here, asking questions there and genuinely having a good time.

Of course, the program isn’t all crumpets, tea and giggles. Each of the eight episodes contains three rounds—the Signature Bake, Technical Bake and Show Stopper—judged by baking legends Rochelle Adonis and Bruno Feldeisen. At the end of each episode, one home cook will be eliminated. This season’s 10 competitors represent a thick slice of Canada, from Regina CFO Vandana Jain to Victoria animator Jude Somers, from Toronto human rights lawyer Corey Shefman to Montreal graphic designer Sabrina Degni. All have a passion for baking and a flair for drama on a platter. Wednesday’s challenges force the 10 competitors to up the ante with regard to cakes and the results are stunning.

And while Levy is a longtime fan of The Great British Bake Off, he’s not so great in the kitchen, admitting to just one item in his culinary repertoire: frittata.

“I don’t have any culinary experience, but I do have a lot of opinions,” he says with a laugh. “That’s something that I can bring to this. I can’t bake a thing, but I can eat.”

The Great Canadian Baking Show airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

 

 

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Daniel Levy on the “most exciting season” of CBC’s Schitt’s Creek

For two seasons, the Rose family has been desperately trying to leave Schitt’s Creek. But Johnny’s (Eugene Levy) plan to sell the town (hilariously) fell through, Moira’s (Catherine O’Hara) attempts to distance herself from the locals has failed and Alexis (Annie Murphy) and David (Daniel Levy) have slowly been accepted into the community.

Now, in Season 3—returning for 13 episodes beginning Tuesday, Jan. 10, to CBC—the Roses have more or less embraced Schitt’s Creek and all that comes with it, including Roland Schitt (Chris Elliott), Jocelyn Schitt (Jennifer Robertson), Mutt (Tim Rozon), Twyla (Sarah Levy) and Ted (Dustin Milligan). We spoke to co-creator, co-executive producer and writer Daniel Levy about what fans can expect in Season 3.

I’ve seen the first episode of Season 3 and the Roses are going through some transition in their lives.
Daniel Levy: Yes, they are. This whole season centres on the premise of transition and just digging a little deeper into the town.

I did wonder where you can go in a third season. I guess the answer is, throw him into a three-way relationship between Stevie (Emily Hampshire) and a guy named Jake (Steve Lund).
{Laughs.] One of the mandates from season to season is, ‘What haven’t we done before?’ And that was definitely a fun little arc to play with.

Is Jake around for a full season or a recurring character?
He plays a pivotal role in the first two episodes. Steve was in the final episode of Season 2 and it’s an interesting casting choice because he does play a sexually fluid character and something Steve brought into the room felt right. We thought he did such a good job at the end of Season 2 that it could be fun to bring him back. And, again, we’re playing off the complexity of David and Stevie’s relationship that David identifies and pansexual and how much fun you can have with the idea of a ‘throuple.’ [Laughs.]

As funny as those scenes are between Stevie and David, there is that undercurrent of serious feelings they have for each other. It’s an added, emotional layer.
Going back to your earlier comment about where you go in a third season, for us, it was taking the focus away from the circumstance and shining the light on the characters in a slightly more dimensional way than we have in the past. For two seasons, it was really important in terms of the narrative, to really substantiate the scenario, the premise of the family adapting to this town. For Season 3, we’re really peeling back the layers of the four protagonists and also with Stevie and Roland and Jocelyn.

To me, this is the most exciting season that we’ve done, and hopefully, rewarding to the fans of the show because we’ll see these people in new and dynamic situations they’ve never seen them in before.

I’ve almost forgotten they’re trying to get out of the town. That’s not part of the narrative anymore, really. Moira is part of the town council and rather than trying to get out of it, has made the best of it.
She’s going to make it about her, basically. Now that they’re not getting out, how are they going to make the best of their time there?

When you say this is the best season ever, have you been working towards this season via the last two?
When I go into each season, it’s not with an end goal in mind when I go into the room. There are emotional beats and emotional places where we want to find our characters at the end of every season. But, to be honest, on a lot of shows the premise wears thin. Being able to dig deeper is a relief, to say the least. But that’s also because of the strength of our actors. They have substantiated these characters in ways that far surpassed all of our expectations and, in a way, have allowed us to tell stories that are uniquely tailored to their skills.

Schitt’s Creek airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Cast image courtesy of CBC.

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