Tag Archives: Industry News

Link: Banff: Netflix launches Canadian charm offensive amid bid to regulate U.S. digital players

From Etan Vlessing of The Hollywood Reporter:

Link: Banff: Netflix launches Canadian charm offensive amid bid to regulate U.S. digital players
Behind the scenes, Tanz and fellow Netflix execs heard a familiar chorus from local critics about the U.S. streamer’s evil algorithms, its unfair Canadian market advantage and how it doesn’t play by the same rules as domestic broadcasters. And on the eve of Banff, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government in Ottawa unveiled an expert panel to investigate ways to regulate online video and music streaming services and tax their growing business presence north of the border. Continue reading.

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Natalie Urquhart joins Amaze Film + Television

From a media release:

June 11, 2018 – Amaze Film + Television is proud to welcome Natalie Urquhart as their new Director of Development. Formerly an Associate Producer on the NBC/UNIVERSAL series SUITS, Natalie also produced the scripted half-hour comedy ROGUE BRIDAL for the Makeful Channel. Natalie is a graduate of the University of Southern California and the CFC – Canadian Film Centre.

Natalie will oversee development in Canada while working with Burrad Marsh who was recently promoted to Senior VP of Television, spearheading the US operations for Amaze Film + Television in Los Angeles. Burrad is a former TV Literary Agent for ICM and was VP of Development for Shed Media in the United Kingdom.

Most recently, Amaze Film + Television produced the one-hour comedic drama procedural CARTER, created by Garry Campbell and starring Jerry O’Connell. CARTER premiered on BRAVO to 1.1 million viewers during its first week in May, 2018. The 10-episode series has enjoyed a very successful global release through Sony AXN and Sony Distribution.  CARTER was recently added to CTV’s main network summer schedule and will air on UKTV in June.

Michael Souther and Teza Lawrence launched Amaze Film + Television in 2000. Amaze Film + Television produced four seasons of the internationally acclaimed series CALL ME FITZ for HBO Canada and 52 episodes of the multi-cam sitcom THE STANLEY DYNAMIC for YTV. Film projects include SAINT RALPH, FINN ON THE FLY, and in 2016 the documentary BEING CANADIAN. They currently have a diverse television slate including projects in development with Rogers, and Amazon.

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Banff World Media Festival announces Netflix title partnership for Diversity Of Voices Initiative

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is proud to announce that Netflix has formalized a five-year commitment as Title Partner of the BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative, a training and development program for underrepresented emerging and mid-career creative producers of commercial Television and/or Digital Media content, with a specific focus on Indigenous, Francophone and women industry professionals.

The partnership was announced today as part of the inaugural Diversity of Voices Initiative currently underway at the 2018 Banff World Media Festival (June 10-13, 2018). The program investment is part of Netflix’s commitment to support market development opportunities for Francophone and other Canadian screen-based creator groups.

The Diversity of Voices Initiative was launched with the support of Netflix as well as the Canada Media Fund – Fonds des médias du Canada (CMF/FMC), the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), and Canada’s Indigenous Screen Office.  It brings up to 100 emerging and established producer/creators to the festival each year.

Participants of the program receive full registration to the festival, a curated professional development curriculum plus access to networking opportunities with senior creative and executive leaders.  In addition, a sub-group of twenty-five (25) of the program applicants take part in the Diversity of Voices Pitch Program where they receive personalized advice from industry mentors and take pitch meetings with international buyers at BANFF in addition to receiving a stipend to defray travel costs.

BANFF serves as a crucial lifeline for many in the Canadian content industry offering world-class education, networking and business development opportunities. The festival provides a platform for the evolving media industry to collaborate and advance its creative and business objectives, while serving as the leading destination for the genesis of new projects, and one of the most effective marketplaces for co-production and co-venture partners.

About the Banff World Media Festival
The Banff World Media Festival is one of the world’s largest and most important gatherings of entertainment industry executives and creators, dedicated to content development, production, broadcast and distribution within TV and digital media. BANFF provides a platform for the evolving media industry to develop its creative and business objectives. It is an unparalleled marketplace for over 1500 international decision-makers to connect with new partners, learn from industry leaders and execute new business deals. The 39th annual BANFF World Media Festival will take place June 10-13, 2018 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Canada.

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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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