Tag Archives: History

Preview: History’s doc series Bud Empire rolls up on pot sales as Canada heads toward legalization

I don’t—and have never—smoked marijuana. Growing up, I didn’t know anyone who did and when it was offered I declined. As a result, I don’t have any skin in the game as Canada inches closer to the legalization—voting on Bill C-45 is scheduled for June —of recreational marijuana in this country. But tuning in to History’s latest original series, Bud Empire certainly educated me in the drug and what being able to sell it as an entrepreneur.

Debuting Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the specialty network, the seven-part Bud Empire—narrated by Will Sasso—introduces viewers to Bob Kay, the owner of Be Kind, the Okanagan’s original Compassion Club. Episode 1, with its guitar-driven soundtrack, introduces Kay as he reveals B.C.’s Okanagan Valley is dotted with pot grow-ops mixed in with other crops. It’s a $5 billion industry and Kay aims to be “the King of Weed.” That title comes with challenges in the form of robbery, extortion, violence and Kay potentially being arrested for selling.

But Bud Empire isn’t about the furtive exchange of money for pot in a shadowy alley or groups of stoners lounging in a room filled with smoke; the program explores not only Kay’s family life (including his creatively-named kids) but how he’s running and, hopefully, expanding his business. This could be a series about any entrepreneur wanting to sell a product; the hook is that Kay sells marijuana. Kay welcomes salespeople into Be Kind, analyzing and sampling their weed and deeming if it’s up to his high standards and worthy of being in his store. Watching bunches of twenties exchange hands over bags of pot is certainly something to see.

Kay works a grey area of the law but he believes what he and others are doing is really helping; medical marijuana helps alleviate chronic pain and other ailments. Still, rules in Kelowna, B.C., could put him out of business and in jail.

Produced by Screen Siren Pictures Inc. and HLP + Partners, Trish Dolman (Canada in a Day)—Bud Empire‘s executive producer and director—offers a wonderful, educational and heartfelt peek into the life of man eking out a business in a rapidly-changing landscape.

Bud Empire airs back-to-back episodes on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.

Image courtesy of Corus Entertainment.

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Green is the new gold in History’s original series Bud Empire, premiering June 5

From a media release:

As Canada rolls towards legalizing marijuana for recreational use, HISTORY® offers an insider’s look into Canada’s estimated multi-billion dollar marijuana industry through the eyes of one grassroots trailblazer in the new original docu-series Bud Empire (7×30). Premiering Tuesday, June 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT with back-to-back new episodes, the series follows Kelowna pot pioneer Bob Kay as he navigates his medical marijuana dispensary through the burgeoning green rush. As big business and politicians threaten to make independent head shops like Bob’s history, he must find a way to weed out the competition and solidify his place in the new frontier. Produced by Canadian Screen Award winner Trish Dolman (Canada In A Day) and Executive Producer Henry Less (Chef in Your Ear), the series is narrated by actor Will Sasso (MADtv).

Holding one of the largest personal medical marijuana grow licenses in Canada, pot-repreneur Bob has made a name for himself in the Canadian cannabis scene as the owner of Be Kind, the Okanagan’s original Compassion Club. With a head for business and a passion for pot, Bob plans to grow Be Kind from a medical marijuana dispensary into a budding empire with the help of his staff and family. With ambitious plans to grow his business, Bob looks to partner with Vancouver-based marijuana maverick and renowned grower Jo Leon a joint “LP” – a federal grow license to produce an unlimited amount of weed for retail sale. Can Bob take his small-town pot shop to the next level? Or will he, and countless other marijuana entrepreneurs just like him, soon be history?

Bud Empire premieres just ahead of the Senate’s final vote on Bill C-45, currently scheduled for June 7. If approved, marijuana will become legal for retail purchase and Canada will become the first advanced industrialized nation to legalize and regulate marijuana from production to consumption. Experts currently estimate that the base retail market of recreational marijuana could reach up to $8.7 billion annually*, with $1 billion per year in tax revenue from all marijuana sales.**

The series is produced by Screen Siren Pictures Inc. and HLP + Partners in association with Corus Entertainment’s HISTORY. Executive producers on the series are Trish Dolman and Henry Less. The series is written by Peter Waal. Series Producer is Dan Jackson. Directors are Trish Dolman, Leia Hutchings and Peter Waal.

 

 

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Canadian Eric Johnson joins Season 6 of History’s Vikings

From a media release:

HISTORY® announced today that Alberta-native Eric Johnson is set to star in season 6 of the award-winning drama series, Vikings. Johnson will play “Erik,” a formidable warrior who is an outlaw living on his wits and martial skills.

Season 6 of Vikings is currently in production in Ireland. Broadcast details will be announced at a later date. The celebrated series recently received five Canadian Screen Award nominations including Best Drama Series and Best Lead Actor, Drama Series (Alexander Ludwig).

Eric recently wrapped production on the TNT/Anonymous Content/Paramount TV series The Alienist opposite Daniel Bruhl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning for director Jakob Verbruggen as well as the mini-series Caught with Paul Gross and Allan Hawco. He stars in Universal’s Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed for director James Foley, opposite Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. He previously starred opposite Clive Owen in Cinemax’s critically acclaimed series The Knick, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh. He recurred on Orphan Black opposite Tatiana Maslany and The Girlfriend Experience opposite Riley Keogh. Eric has also starred in Smallville, Rookie Blue, Flash Gordon and made his screen debut in the Oscar-winning film Legends of the Fall, opposite Anthony Hopkins when he was 14.

Michael Hirst serves as executive producer along with Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000 (The Count of Monte Cristo, The Tudors), Sheila Hockin (The Tudors, The Borgias), John Weber of Take 5 Productions (The Tudors, The Borgias), Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer, and James Flynn (The Tudors, The Borgias).

Vikings is an international Canada/Ireland co-production by Take 5 Productions and TM Productions Limited.

 

 

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History announces production on original First World War docudrama 100 Days to Victory

From a media release:

The gripping story of the Allies’ collaborative efforts to end the First World War and Canada’s crucial role within those victories is coming to HISTORY® Fall 2018, as production begins on the new original docudrama, 100 Days to Victory (2×60). The two-part series is set to air during HISTORY’s annual Days of Remembrance programming, timed to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the First World War’s conclusion.

Through cinematic recreations of crucial battles and insights with top historians, the series tells the story of the courageous contributions in the final days of the First World War, including Canada’s pivotal role. Commissioned by Corus Entertainment’s HISTORY, this international co-production is produced by Canada’s Bristow Global Media and Australia’s Electric Pictures.

The last 100 days of the First World War were triumphant thanks in many ways to visionary leadership, revolutionary tactics, and the tenacious resolve of Canadian and Allied forces. This marked a major turning point in the four-year struggle to defeat Germany. Often overshadowed by earlier battles, 100 Days to Victory highlights the untold coming together of five leaders from five countries including General Arthur Currie (Canada), General John Monash (Australia), Marshal Ferdinand Foch (France), Field Marshal Douglas Haig (Britain) and General John J. Pershing (United States).

The dramatic First World War retelling will be shot in Canada and is produced by Bristow Global Media and Electric Pictures in association with Corus Entertainment’s HISTORY.

 

 

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History greenlights Vikings for epic sixth season

From a media release:

HISTORY® announced today that it has renewed a 20-episode, sixth season of its hit, original drama series, Vikings. Production is slated to begin in Ireland this fall, ahead of the highly-anticipated two-hour season five premiere on Wednesday, November 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HISTORY. Additionally, Canadian Katheryn Winnick (Lagertha) is set to make her directorial debut for one episode in season six.

Over the past five successful seasons, Canadian talent – both behind and in front of the camera – have propelled Vikings to the critically-acclaimed series that it is today. The winner of eight Canadian Screen Awards including “Best International Drama,” Vikings is co-produced by celebrated Canadian company Take 5 Productions and primarily helmed by industry-leading Canadian directors including David Wellington, Daniel Grou, Kari Skogland, Helen Shaver, Ken Girotti, and Jeff Woolnough to name a few. Since its premiere in 2013, an outstanding roster of Canadian actors alongside Winnick, including Alexander Ludwig, Jessalyn Gilsig, Donal Logue, and season five new comers, Adam Copeland and Kris Holden-Ried, have brought their exceptional talents to the Vikings tribe. Additionally, Toronto’s visual effects company Mr. X and Tattersall Sound and Picture have been nominated for a combined seven Emmy® Awards for their work on Vikings to date.

As previously announced, Corus Entertainment also launched VIKINGS VR – a wholly original virtual reality app that offers an immersive, in-world, 360° experience where users are enveloped into thrilling scenes filmed on the set of Vikings and starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Alex Høgh Andersen, Peter Franzén, and many more key cast members.

Vikings is the critically acclaimed series from creator and sole writer Michael Hirst (Elizabeth, The Tudors) and is a family saga that tells the remarkable tales of the lives and epic adventures of the raiders and explorers of the Dark Ages. Hirst serves as executive producer along with Morgan O’Sullivan of World 2000 (The Count of Monte Cristo, The Tudors), Sheila Hockin (The Tudors, Penny Dreadful), John Weber of Take 5 Productions (Reign, The Handmaid’s Tale), Sherry Marsh, Alan Gasmer and James Flynn (The Tudors, The Borgias).

Vikings is an international Canada/Ireland co-production by Take 5 Productions and TM Productions Limited. HISTORY broadcasts both domestically in Canada and the U.S. MGM Television is the worldwide distributor outside of Ireland and Canada. Vikings is produced in association with Corus Entertainment.

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