Tag Archives: Jonny Harris

Emma Hunter and Jonny Harris to host 2018 Canadian Screen Awards

From a media release:

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy) and CBC today announced that Jonny Harris of CBC’s Still Standing and Murdoch Mysteries and Emma Hunter of The Comedy Network’s The Beaverton and CBC’s Mr. D, will co-host the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast Gala live on CBC on Sunday, March 11, 2018. The Canadian Academy also announced hosts for the three non-broadcast Canadian Screen Awards Galas and Family Fan Day.

The Canadian Academy and CBC also announced their new production partner for the Broadcast Gala: Insight Production Company. This year marks the inaugural year the Canadian Academy will work with the award-winning content producers to deliver one of the country’s biggest award shows. As part of the new partnership, Insight Productions is taking on the task of bringing the “Golden Era of Entertainment” to the Canadian Screen Awards stage.

Also taking on hosting duties during Canadian Screen Week this year are five very talented Canadian stars who will each bring their own flare and personality to the stage at the three non-broadcast Galas during Canadian Screen Week.

  • Canadian Screen Award nominee and co-anchor of The Comedy Network’s The Beaverton, Miguel Rivas, will host the Gala Honouring Excellence in Non-Fiction Programming Sponsored by Boat Rocker Media and Eagle Vision (March 6, 2018);
  • Award-winning actor and improv dynamo Andrew Phung, of CBC’s Kim Convenience, will host the Gala Honouring Excellence in Creative Fiction Storytelling Sponsored by Technicolor and Thunderbird Entertainment (March 7, 2018); and
  • Mind Fudge’s Jon Simonassi and Justine Nelson will serve as “virtual hosts” through the creation of content for the Gala Honouring Excellence in Digital and Immersive Storytelling Supported by the Independent Production Fund (March 8, 2018).

The three off-air Galas will be produced by e=mc2 events who are working with the Canadian Academy for the first time this year.

Additionally, ET Canada’s Carlos Bustamante will host Family Fan Day, presented by the Canadian Academy and the Shaw Rocket Fund, and supported by City of Toronto at the Sony Centre of Performing Arts on March 10, 2018, which coincides with the beginning of March Break in Toronto.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

CBC’s A Christmas Fury reunites Hatching Matching and Dispatching crew for holiday laughs

I totally missed the boat when Hatching Matching and Dispatching came around back in 2006 on the CBC. The sitcom, starring Mary Walsh as Mamie Lou Furey, matriarch of the Cats Gut Cove, Newfoundland, family who ran an ambulance, wedding and funeral business was cancelled after just one season.

Now all old is new again as Walsh and the rest of the original cast in Mark McKinney, Susan Kent, Shaun Majumder, Jonny Harris, Sherry White, Joel Thomas Hynes, Adrianna Maggs and Rick Boland reunite for a follow-up TV movie called A Christmas Fury. I couldn’t find any of the original episodes online, but there is an extended trailer from 2006 worth checking out for no other reason than to see the baby-faced Jonny Harris even more baby-faced.

Since I didn’t see the original series, I went into A Christmas Fury—airing Sunday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. on CBC—with no preconceived notions or expectations other than being impressed by the all-star cast and looking forward to what I surmised would be a riot of sight gags and salty language. I was not disappointed. And I did not, as I feared, have to have seen Hatching Matching and Dispatching to know what was going on in A Christmas Fury.

When we catch up with the Furey family on Sunday they’re in the midst of assembling for a nativity scene with Troy (Harris) as the “baby Jeebus.” He’s surrounded by Nick Crocker (Hynes), Phonse Furey (Boland), Darlene Furey (Kent), Cyril Pippy (Majumder), Todd Meaney (McKinney), Mamie Lou (Walsh) and Myrna Furey-Meaney (White), who argue who should be playing the Chosen One. As the scene devolves into a all-out donnybrook, Mamie Lou reflects on her spoiled children and holidays past and plans to leave her stunned family (literally and figuratively) for good. The wrench in Mamie Lou’s plan? Troy announces he and his gal pal Alma (Maggs) have got a baby on the way.

Written by Walsh and Ed Macdonald, A Christmas Fury is full of laughs. No surprise, really, since much of the cast can be seen on 22 Minutes. Myrna, sure that Troy and his baby will inherit the family business, is determined to get pregnant or undermine Troy’s plot. Darlene, meanwhile, plans to win the prize for best yard decorations and Nick wants to fornicate in the manger. There’s a lot of heart too. Sprinkled amongst the insults are some truly touching moments like when Cyril delivers a present to Mamie Lou and the family connects with a troubled young girl. (And A Christmas Fury has a killer soundtrack.)

If you’re looking for a truly offbeat—and entertaining—holiday special to add alongside Rudolph, Frosty and Charlie Brown, add A Christmas Fury to your list.

A Christmas Fury airs Sunday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of CBC.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

CBC’s Still Standing kicks off Season 3 in Fort McMurray

It isn’t within Still Standing‘s guidelines to visit a place like Fort McMurray. After all, one of the stand-up/documentary hybrid’s keystones is to visit small communities across the country and Fort McMurray’s population is over 61,000. But the other rule is to focus on an area hit by hard times, and you don’t get much harder hit than the Alberta town which saw much of its area consumed by wildfires.

Returning with two back-to-back episodes on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CBC, Harris and his crew stop in Fort McMurray during the first half-hour before jetting to Bell Island, Nfld, for the second instalment.

“We thought the story [in Fort McMurray] was so compelling and important that, with the one-year anniversary of the evacuation coming up [for filming], it was a story we could tell,” Harris told us during CBC’s upfront media day. Harris, his writers and producers spent several days in the area, interacting with folks and preparing original standup material to be performed for the community. Rewatching video of the events of May 3, 2016, brings the seriousness of the situation to light. It’s not, you’d think, something folks would want to laugh about. But they do, whether it’s at Harris’ suggestion some folks’ sins brought hell upon them or his own admission he’d freak out during an emergency.

But the episode is as much about joking about the situation as it is about the little triumphs and “disasterhood.” People offered up food, clothing, water and rooms to those affected by the conflagration. And, over a year later, the community is rebuilding, burgeoning and offering surprises.

“I was amazed by how multicultural it is there,” he Harris says. “I’ve met people from every corner of the globe in Fort McMurray and it doesn’t have that rough and tumble, work camp sort of feel. It’s got great restaurants and a healthier art scene than you might expect.”

The mark of a community getting back on its feet.

Still Standing airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Still Standing celebrates more Canadian small towns in Season 2

Jonny Harris is back with Still Standing, celebrating small-town Canada with big laughs. Returning Tuesday with what’s quickly becoming a summer staple for CBC, the likable Harris sheds his Constable Crabtree duds and spikes his hair to hit the road, shining a spotlight on communities of folks ekeing out a living in the place they call home.

Tuesday’s return finds the young Newfoundlander in British Columbia, where the 800 citizens of Skidegate are struggling to keep their Haida culture intact amid a history of boom and bust.

Shop owner Rose Russ discusses the local artisans, tourism and an economy that once did well thanks to fishing and logging; Haida elder Diane Brown gives a history of the area and reveals she is one of a mere handful who still know their ancient language; and Jags tells of the once-thriving community of Skedans that was decimated by smallpox.

As with Season 1, Harris successfully tells the history of the community he’s visiting without a hint of malice. He’s there to point out the hard and good times, but there’s no meanness in his comedy. There are references to Europeans arriving in the area and promptly stealing totem poles (“How are you going to show that off to your friends and not look like a complete a-hole?”). And it’s not all bad news in Skidegate: Ben Davidson is a renowned local artist creating Haidi works, a heritage centre promises to educate the youth on their history and language and the Skidegate Saints kick butt on the basketball court.

Upcoming stops in Still Standing‘s season include Omemee, Ont., Inuvik, NWT., and Georgetown, PEI.

Still Standing airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Murdoch Mysteries’ Season 9 end and what’s to come in Season 10

Spoiler alert! Do not read on unless you’ve watched Monday’s season finale episode of Murdoch Mysteries, entitled “Cometh the Archer.”

OK, did anyone really believe Julia would die in Monday’s season-ender? Not a chance—especially because the show was renewed for Season 10—but that was one heck of a ride? Plenty of fans, myself included, wondered who from Murdoch’s past would return to cause troubles for the pair. Turns out it was Eva Pearce, the disturbed young woman with an obsession for our favourite TV detective who not only attempted to murder Julia but kidnapped Murdoch and plotted to have his child.

Cinematic in scope, and featuring Julia on horseback and firing an arrow (who knew she could do that?!), “Cometh the Archer” concluded a season chock-full of drama and heartbreak. We chatted with MM showrunner Peter Mitchell, who took us back over the past 18 episodes and gave us a peek into what’s coming in Season 10 straight from the writers’ room.

There were a couple of cast changes this season. The first was saying goodbye to Emily Grace and welcoming Rebecca James. How did the addition of Mouna Traoré change-up things for you and the members of the writers’ room?
Peter Mitchell: I think it was fun and we sort of eased her in a bit. We gave her increasingly more stuff to do. It’s interesting, because she really has to play against type, which is something that not many of our characters have to do. Mouna the person is a lot more outgoing and vivacious than Rebecca the character. It was tricky trying to find a balance. In the upcoming season she’ll become a more dynamic personality as her confidence increases.

OK, so you’re confirming that Mouna will be back for Season 10.
Yup.

Murdoch_Mysteries

Let’s talk about the other big change, adding Roland to Julia and William’s lives. He made a big impression on the fans and you’ve already stated that this is a procedural drama and not a domestic drama. In the season finale, adoption was mentioned by William; does this mean Roland is gone for good or could he return? Or are we headed for adoption?
We could be headed neither way. [Laughs.] We’re talking about that right now. It was a moving thing and a charming thing to have this baby in their lives for a while, but we haven’t really focused on that part of Season 10 yet.

How many Season 10 episodes have you written so far?
We haven’t written any so far. We’re still kicking around ideas and stories for the first half of the season.

Let’s talk about Crabtree. He’s had some bad luck in love, but things were looking up last week when he made a connection with Nina Bloom, played by Erin Agostino. Any plans to give him a more permanent love match next year?
Nina is the kind of character we always want on the show because she’s very polarizing. Half the fans love her and half the fans hate her, which means we want her! [Laughs.] As Season 10 begins, he does have a permanent partner. Whether that lasts for the length of the season, we’ll find out.

OK, let’s talk about “Cometh the Archer,” written by yourself, Simon McNabb and Jordan Christianson. How early on in the planning of this episode did you have, “Julia gets shot” written on the wall?
I think we had “Julia rides a horse” and “Julia shoots a bow and arrow” before. That was Hélène’s simple list of demands, “Can I ride a horse this year and can I shoot a bow and arrow?” Let’s come up with a scenario for that. It probably at the two-thirds mark of the season that the idea came to be of how we were roughly going to end the season.

Murdoch5

I assumed, wrongly, that every season of Murdoch Mysteries is planned straight through with a beginning, middle and end, but that’s not the case.
I probably happens with some shows, but we have the liberty of not having to have everything approved up and down the line. They trust us. We never really consider how things will end until midway through the shooting. A season is three acts and we go into it with Act 1 and Act 2 planned and then, generally, things that happen in the first bit of the season helps inform us how we’re going to end it because things come up, you know?

Now, unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Constable Worseley! What were the circumstances surrounding Sean Harraher’s departure?
Interesting story. It was Sean to who came me and said, “Hey, could I die this year?” I said, “Yeah, sure man.” I think it adds a nice bit in the finale, a nice little scary bit, but it wasn’t a question of having to go down and tell someone who’s been an extra on the show for seven years that he’s not coming back.

You’ve directed this episode. This isn’t the first time you’ve done that, but I did notice some interesting overhead shots you used. I’m thinking of when Julia was in surgery and when Brackenreid was questioning folks at the hotel. Why did you choose that style of filming?
I’m always trying to tell a story with the minimum amount of shots because our shooting schedule is so short. This felt like a more cinematic episode and you don’t really get the shock of Julia Ogden’s operation unless you’re right over top of it. There’s blood everywhere. A bunch of the back half of the episode was going to be Murdoch lying on his back and I was committed to that type of shooting so I just tried to integrate that into the overall episode so it didn’t turn into this weird perspective change. And my friend, Gary Harvey, does such a dynamic job of directing his episodes that he kicks my ass a little bit. [Laughs.] I was like, “OK Harvey, two can play at that game!” You have the horses and the wilderness and all that scope. We were blessed with weather in that we got a bit of snow and it had a bit of a McCabe & Mrs. Miller feel to it.

Murdoch4

A lot of fans were speculating as to who it would be from William’s past who’d return in the finale. How did you decide it would be Eva Pearce, played by Daiva Johnston?
I was really interested in the back half of the script when I was writing with the guys. It could really only be played by a female and the idea of giving a little bit of an edge with the sexual angle and that weird song she sings. We hinted at the Black Hand in the episode before but, ultimately, in terms of the love triangle of Eva mounting William and it causing Julia to wake up is a more interesting dynamic.

Where do we go from here? What can you tell me about some of the stories you’re breaking for Season 10?
I think there will be some unexpected returning characters to the show. We’re also looking at adding a couple of semi-recurring characters onto the show. We’re mining some historical figures that we want to bring in like we normally do. We’re seriously kicking around H.P. Lovecraft right now, just in time for Halloween! He’s a very interesting character who was about 15 years old at this time. I also think we’ll be dealing with the Toronto fire in some shape of form because this is the year. It’s also an Olympic year and I know somebody who is an archer and somebody who is a big soccer fan, both of which were events at the Olympics in St. Louis.

We also have to deal with some of the events from the final episode, some of them lighthearted—does Murdoch build the house this year?—and the exploration of Crabtree and his new girl and how can she possibly fit into this world? We’re also going to see Rebecca at medical school and how that works with her being a black woman there … we’ll see and learn a little bit more about her.

I’m constantly amazed by the people I work with. We’re sitting here with 12 or 13 fairly solid murder mysteries already that don’t feel like ones we’ve done before.

What did you think of Monday’s season finale? What do you want to see happen in Season 10? Comment below or via Twitter @tv_eh.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail