TV, eh? | What's up in Canadian television
TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

AMI-tv announces 2024-25 production slate

From a media release:

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is pleased to announce its 2024-25 production slate for AMI-tv and AMI+. Telling a wide range of authentic stories about Canadians in the disability community through positive portrayal, these new and returning projects promise to be favourites with viewers.

AMI is currently in production on new scripted and docuseries from Big Time Decent Productions, Canadian Content Studios, Flow Video, Summerhill Media Inc., Border2Border Entertainment, Prairie Cat Productions, Bone Vault Inc. and Catapult Pictures.

“We are thrilled to offer over 100 hours of programming to Canadians of all abilities,” said Cara Nye, Director, Content Development and Production at AMI. “The upcoming broadcast season sees the expansion of our scripted stable of shows and provides, for the very first time, a children’s series to our schedule.”

New Series

After Dark (working title) – 8 x 30 digital series
After Dark is a documentary digital series exploring sex, love, dating and relationships relevant to people with disabilities. From sex surrogacy, virginity, manufacturing ergonomically designed sex toys, and sex parties to navigating online dating and the sharing of romantic/sexual wants and needs with family and friends, After Dark dares to illuminate your world of possibilities. After Dark is produced by Border2Border Entertainment (Womb EnvyAvocado Toast, Drag Heals).

Collar of Duty Kids – 8 x 30 children’s docuseries
Collar of Duty Kids takes young viewers into the lives of amazing kids who’ve been matched with extraordinary service animals. It’s all about these brand-new partnerships and the adventures they get up to. If you are thinking just dogs, you’re in for a surprise because we are talking about creatures from parrots to pigs! Collar of Duty Kids is produced by Summerhill Media Inc. (There’s Something You Should Know, Collar of Duty) in association with Fifth Ground Entertainment.

The Crip Trip – 6 x 60 docuseries
The Crip Trip is a punk-rock, gonzo, road trip comedy following the misadventures of artist, filmmaker, and quadruple amputee Daniel Ennett and his producer/friend/caregiver Frederick Kroetsch as they drive from Edmonton to Toronto. Their goal: to secure employment for Daniel in the television industry thereby saving him from long term care. Along the way, the duo will meet with other artists in the disability community to hear their stories. The Crip Trip is produced by Catapult Pictures (The Secret Society, Blind Ambition: The Wop May Story).

Get Hooked – 7 x 30 docuseries
This isn’t your dad’s fishing show. In partnership with OutTV, Get Hooked is a fresh take on how members of the queer, Black, Indigenous and disability community turn the mental health benefits of fishing into pure joy. Get Hooked is produced by Heidi Lynch of Bone Vault Inc. (Avocado Toast, Finding Green) and will feature the British disability advocate and comedian Rosie Jones along with other diverse nature lovers. Other partners include the Bell Fund, Ontario Creates and CAMH.

Low Vision Moments (working title) – 6 x 30 scripted comedy
Based on the life of Jennie Bovard, the candid host of the AMI podcast Low Vision Moments, viewers are in for a blurry ride, as Jennie fumbles and finds her way through everyday life as a person with albinism and low vision—work, friendship, love, and waving at mailboxes. Low Vision Moments is produced by Jennie Bovard, Jonathan Torrens’ Canadian Content Studios (Vollies, Roll With It) Club Red Productions (Who’s Yer Father?, A Small Fortune) and Flow Video Inc. (DarkVision, Accessing Pleasure).

Underdog Inc. – 8 x 60 docuseries 
Underdog Inc. follows Dale Kristensen (Backroad Truckers), a Little Person, as he navigates life in a mountain town, juggles the ups-and-downs of fatherhood and runs a small business with his sister. Dale’s business, Underdog Inc., offers a variety of services to customers in the region, including backroad trucking, hotshot delivery of urgent cargo, salvage and rescue calls, construction and handyman services. Whether he’s transporting heavy loads up and down treacherous backroads or tackling a long list of repairs for demanding homeowners, Dale is making a name for himself as a trucker, handyman and all-around good guy. Most importantly, he’s showing his son—and the world—that life is not about first impressions… it’s about lasting connections. Underdog Inc. is produced by Big Time Decent Productions (Rust Valley Restorers, Backroad Truckers).

We Were Broncos – 6 x 30 docuseries
We Were Broncos is the story of Ryan Straschnitzki’s life beyond the horrific Humboldt Broncos bus crash in 2018. As an athlete, Ryan wanted to be a professional hockey player. But after the crash, he had to adapt to a new athletic goal of becoming a Paralympic sledge hockey player while completely changing his lifestyle. We Were Broncos is about perseverance in life and adaptive sport. We Were Broncos is produced by Prairie Cat Productions (Humboldt: The New Season, Talent).

Returning Series

Returning series include Season 2 of Access Tech Live, Season 9 of Our Community, Season 3 of Disrupt, Season 3 of Healthy at Home, Season 5 of Dish with Mary, Season 4 of Mind Your Own Business, Season 6 of Postcards From… and a brand new All Access Comedy special.

All AMI-tv originals are available post-broadcast on demand at AMI+.

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Accessibility takes centre stage in Season 2 of Roll With It

From a media release:

Helmed by Canadian comedian and Trailer Park Boys legend Jonathan Torrens in the director’s seat, Roll With It returns for a second season on the heels of two Screen Nova Scotia nominations for Best Ensemble and Best Scripted Series. Inspired by real-life experiences of award-winning actor and ‘sit-down’ comedian Brian George, the show follows Brian as he navigates life on wheels in inaccessible cities and surrounded by well… jerks – including his own family. Fed up with not living life on his own terms, he takes matters into his own hands in this gritty Canadiana comedy written by comedian Peter Anthony (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Just for Laughs). Season 2 of Roll With It lands on Bell Canada’s Fibe TV1 channel on June 19, 2024, with one episode airing each Wednesday for six weeks.

“The great thing about a second season is you don’t have to pause to introduce every new character, so you can go full throttle on the story,” says director Jonathan Torrens. “The incredible actors in this cast know their characters inside out. Our crew led by DP Tim Mombourquette is world-class. Peter Anthony’s scripts are tight and funny. And we’ve added Canadian comedy legend Mike Wilmot to the mix. Fibe TV1 viewers are going to love this season!”

In Season 1, audiences became acquainted with Brian (played by Brian George) and his kooky family, always on the cusp of ‘something big’. Fed up with their antics, Brian takes his fate into his own hands and tries to get them onto some quick cash. A man on wheels with big dreams, Brian decides to rob his boss to fund his own business venture. That is, until things go awry.

“Our TV1 audience responded with such love and enthusiasm for the first season with Brian and his flawed but very funny family unit,” says Paul Gardner, Senior Producer, Fibe TV1. “We are very excited to see Roll With It return to continue Brian’s journey.”

“I used to see ableism as a negative,” says award-winning actor, comedian and star of Roll With It, Brian George. “But after working on Roll With It, that negativity has turned into therapy. People have always asked me how I keep my sense of humour in such an inaccessible world, but truthfully, if I didn’t have one, I don’t know where I’d be today.”

Roll With It is rounded out with a hilarious and celebrated cast including show creator and writer Peter Anthony, comedian Kenny Robinson (The Umbrella Academy, Coroner), Fiona Highet (Murdoch Mysteries, Law & Order Toronto), Katelyn McCulloch (Bystanders), award-winning actor Kirstin Howell (Moonshine, Queen of my Dreams) and Steven Lund (Who’s Yer Father?, Schitt’s Creek). New to Roll With It this season are Canadian comedy legend Mike Wilmot and Leah Pritchard as Brian’s love interest Nina. 

Season 1 is available to stream on Bell Fibe TV, channel 1 and the Fibe TV app.

About Canadian Content Studios
In five short years, CANADIAN CONTENT STUDIOS has emerged as one of the busiest small production companies in Atlantic Canada. Building on the personal brand of owner Jonathan Torrens, it specializes in making good things with good people. Credits include Vollies (3x Canadian Screen Award nominee, 3x Nova Scotia Screen Award winner), Trapped (2x Nova Scotia Screen Award nominee) and the co-pro 1 Man’s Treasure (2x Canadian Screen Award nominee). 

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Rogers inks blockbuster deals with NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery

From a media release:

Rogers Communications today announced blockbuster multi-year deals with NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery to bring the most watched lifestyle and entertainment content to Canadians on their platform of choice.

 “Rogers invests to bring Canadians the most coveted sports and entertainment,” said Colette Watson, President, Rogers Sports & Media. “We’re evolving our business to reflect where consumers are going, bringing the best mix of U.S. and Canadian content to audiences in the way they want to watch it. This investment also advances our position as a strong Canadian broadcaster that can compete with foreign streamers.”  

 Starting September 2024, the company is launching NBCUniversal’s Bravo channel in Canada and will become the English-language television content rights holder in Canada, featuring the best of unscripted programming, which will include new seasons of Bravo’s hit franchise series.

Starting January 2025, Rogers will be the home of Warner Bros. Discovery’s suite of English-language U.S. lifestyle and factual brands, including HGTV, The Food Network, and much more.

Rogers will work with Canadian distribution partners to make the content widely available, so viewers can continue to watch the programs they have come to know and love.  The content will also be available on Citytv+, complementing the award-winning lineup of programming from Citytv, OMNI, FX, and FXX.  

“We’re already home to Canada’s #1 sports network, and these partnerships solidify our leadership in entertainment with a diverse media portfolio of TV’s most iconic brands,” added Watson. 

The company’s investment in leading entertainment brands and content follows Rogers recent announcement with Comcast to bring the latest award-winning Xfinity products and technology to Canadians across the country. Its entertainment platform integrates live sports, entertainment and news, on-demand, and streaming apps into one, simple viewing experience so customers spend more time watching and less time searching with the award-winning voice remote and integrated interface. 

 With the new U.S. licensing deals, Rogers will increase its investment in original Canadian content and collaborate with Canadian independent producers. Over the last 10 years, Rogers has invested $6.9 billion in Canadian content, part of its commitment to bring Canadians the best content.  

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New Metric Media strikes exclusive multi-year first-look deal with creative talent Sasha Leigh Henry

From a media release:

Award-winning producer New Metric Media has signed a multi-year first-look deal with rising creative talent Sasha Leigh Henry to produce new original projects across multiple mediums including television, film and theatre.

“We’re delighted to expand on our collaboration with Sasha, an exceptionally talented and visionary creator,” commented Mark Montefiore, Founder and CEO, New Metric Media.  “Supporting unique and gifted voices like Sasha’s is at the core of our mission, and we’re excited to partner with her in bringing more compelling stories to life.”

New Metric Media previously partnered with Sasha who created the Crave Original series Bria Mack Gets a Life, which recently won Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards. The series received five Canadian Screen Award nominations, including Best Writing. In addition, the series garnered critical acclaim, with NOW stating it as “a comedy phenomenon where Black girl magic meets the harsh reality of everyday life” and Shifter praising it as “funny, well-written and pretty much perfect.”

“Working with New Metric to bring Bria Mack to life was an incredibly bonding experience,” added Sasha Leigh Henry.  “As creative collaborators, I think we are a good match, and share a similar appetite for experimenting and shaking things up with the kind of comedic stories we want to tell and the way we put them out into the world. I’m elated to be continuing our partnership. If Bria Mack Gets A Life was just the beginning, I can only imagine what comes next.”

Recognized by The Hollywood Reporter as a rising Canadian talent to watch, Sasha Leigh Henry is a writer, director and producer. She was also highlighted as Playback and Variety’s 10 to Watch for 2022. Sasha’s film Sinking Ship, penned by her creative partner Tania Thompson, debuted at TIFF 2020 and was the winner of the 2021 Vimeo Staff Pick Award at Aspen Shortsfest. Her film Bitches Love Brunch screened at festivals internationally before being acquired by CBC Gem. As a producer, Sasha has helped bring numerous films to screen including Randall Okita’s Canadian Screen Award winner The Lockpicker, Kelly Fyffe-Marshall’s award-winning short film Black Bodies and Fyffe-Marshall’s debut feature When Morning Comes, which premiered at TIFF 2022. Bria Mack Gets A Life is Sasha’s most recent debut as series creator and showrunner. A frequent panelist and speaker, Sasha is also an alumni of POV 3rd Street, Black Women Film!, 2020’s TIFF Filmmaker Lab, a TIFF Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow, and is Chair of the Board of the Reelworld Film Festival.

New Metric Media is a comedy-focused entertainment studio that aggregates and amplifies premiere global comedy brands through a vertically integrated, franchise-building eco-system across Content Creation, Talent Development & IP, Distribution, Live Entertainment and Merchandise and Licensing. With a growing global demand for comedy on and off screen, New Metric Media is committed to partnering with top tier talent across all mediums to build comedy brands to a scale that rivals major entertainment franchises.  Most recently, the company partnered with Crave on an exclusive overall content deal with award-winning creator Jared Keeso for all new series and to expand the world of popular hit series, Letterkenny.

About New Metric Media

Based in Toronto, New Metric Media is an award-winning independent entertainment studio specializing in building comedy brands across tv production, live entertainment, distribution, merchandising and licensing. Recipient of Playback’s 2022 Production Company of the Year award and the Banff World Media Festival’s 2018 Innovative Producer Award, the company’s slate of programming includes the hit Crave/Hulu original comedy Letterkenny, the Crave/Hulu Letterkenny spinoff series Shoresy, the CTV/CW/Roku half-hour comedy series Children Ruin Everything, as well as the new half-hour Crave comedy series Bria Mack Gets A Life.

New Metric Media is recognized as a leader in 360 degree brand marketing and its success with Letterkenny off-screen extensions, including beer, collectible merchandise and Letterkenny LIVE!, a sold-out North American theatre tour featuring the stars of the series.

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Rogers brings more star power to Citytv Canadian hits

From a media release:

Rogers Communications announced today Citytv’s 2024/25 original programming slate, promising to bring even more jaw-dropping and inspiring moments, loads of suspense, and more star power.

“We just wrapped our best season yet for original programming on Citytv, and are excited to build on this success by delivering more compelling stories and familiar homegrown stars to Canadians,” said Hayden Mindell, Senior Vice President, Television, Rogers Sports & Media

They’ve DUN DUN it again…and again! After debuting as the #1 show in Canada earlier this year*, Rogers today announces a two-season greenlight for Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intentin partnership with leading producers Lark Productions and Cameron Pictures Inc. Showcasing original Canadian stories written, produced by and starring Canadians, both seasons are set to premiere on Citytv from early 2025. Filming will commence this July in Toronto. The returning cast includes Aden Young (Rectify, Black Robe) as Detective Sergeant Henry Graff, Kathleen Munroe (City on Fire, Patriot) as Detective Sergeant Frankie Bateman, Karen Robinson (Schitt’s Creek, Echoes) as Inspector Vivienne Holness, and K.C. Collins (The Cleaning Lady, Clarice) as Deputy Crown Attorney Theo Forrester. Tassie Cameron (Pretty Hard Cases, Mary Kills People, Rookie Blue) is the series developer and showrunner. Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent is produced in association with Universal International Studios. It is based on the original US series created by Dick Wolf for Universal Television. The Criminal Intent format is licensed by NBCUniversal and Wolf Entertainment.

Shania Twain and comedian Katherine Ryan join Howie Mandel, Kardinal Offishall and Host, Lindsay Ell for an all-new season of Canada’s Got Talent.

Global Superstar, Celebrated Songwriter, and Style Icon Shania Twain is a five-time GRAMMY winner and one of music and fashion’s most renowned trailblazers. With six albums released and more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, Twain remains the top-selling female country pop artist of all time. Her hits include “Any Man of Mine,” “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” “You’re Still the One” and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!”. Shania was the first artist in history to release 3 consecutive diamond-certified albums. Twain’s first album in 15 years, NOW, was released in September 2017 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 albums, making it the first female country release in over 3 years to top the all-genre chart. The release was followed by a year-long sold-out NOW World Tour. In 2021, Shania kicked off her second residency in Las Vegas called “Let’s Go!” which completely sold out and continued through September 2022. In July 2022, Netflix released “Shania Twain: Not Just a Girl,” a brand-new, career-spanning documentary on Twain’s life and career with an accompanying Highlights album. Most recently, Shania released her sixth full-length album Queen of Me on February 3, 2023, via Republic Nashville/Universal Music Canada, which received glowing reviews from NPR, Rolling Stone, Consequence, Billboard, Variety, and many more.  In April 2023, Shania kicked off her sold-out global Queen of Me tour, which ran through November 2023, and was one of the Top 10 highest-grossing country tours of the year.  This year Shania returned to Las Vegas for her third residency entitled “Come On Over!”.

Twain brings her unparalleled experience, charisma, and knowledge to the judges’ panel as they seek out Canada’s new wave of superstars. 

“Canada!  I’m really excited to discover the amazing talent you have to share,” said Shania Twain, Judge, Canada’s Got Talent.  “Canada is well known for having high calibre creative people and it’s my honour to sit back and see you at your best. Let’s go my fellow Canadians!”

Hailing from Sarnia, ON, comedian and actress Katherine Ryan brings her incisive wit, fearless humor, and commanding presence to the judges’ panel offering perspective from her own journey as a leading figure in contemporary comedy. Canada’s Got Talent Season 4 begins production this fall in Niagara Falls, ON, and premieres in Spring 2025. Auditions for Season 4 are now open on Citytv.com

Canada’s Got Talent, the country’s biggest talent competition, returns for another season of showstopping performances from across the country, announced in partnership with MEM Inc., Fremantle, and SYCO Entertainment, in association with Citytv. Season 4 begins production this fall in Niagara Falls, ON, and premieres in Spring 2025 on Citytv and Citytv+. Auditions for Season 4 are now open onCitytv.com.  

Winning over the hearts of Canadians week after week, Citytv’s favourite cop-and-canine duo Hudson & Rex returns for Season 7, set to premiere on Citytv in early 2025. Produced by Shaftesbury Productions, in association with Citytv, Hudson & Rex begins production this month in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Kickstart mornings with Sid & Meredith on Breakfast Television, weekdays from 6-10 a.m., for a dynamic mix of news, weather, traffic updates, and entertainment, alongside the rest of the BT family – Devo Brown, Tammie Sutherland, Stephanie Henry, and Frank Ferragine. Starting this September, Citytv debuts an all-new national hour of BT from 10-11 a.m. serving up an extra slice of lifestyle entertainment with beloved Canadian media personalities Cheryl Hickey and Tracy Moore. BT with Tracy and Cheryl will feature in-depth conversations that will make you feel seen, life hacks, and tons of fun giveaways, plus fashion, décor, and food content delivered by Canadian influencers you know and love.

Available to stream across Rogers Ignite TV, Amazon Prime Video, and online at CityNews.ca, CityNews 24/7 in Ontario and BC provides in-depth coverage of breaking news stories, and live events, plus exclusive interviews and in-depth insights. Beginning this July, CityNews 24/7 will expand to serve Alberta, building on the company’s commitment to offer Canadians timely local news.  

OMNI Television’s hit satirical sketch comedy series ABROAD has been renewed for a fourth season, in partnership with Longhope Media Inc. Co-created by and starring Filipina comedian Isabel Kanaan, ABROAD Season 4 will feature six all-new 30-minute episodes in English and Tagalog, airing on OMNI Television in Spring 2025. Loosely based on Isabel’s experience immigrating to Canada as a teenager, ABROAD presents a humorous look at how immigrants think, perceive, and deal with living in Canada.  

Over the last 10 years, Rogers has invested $6.9 billion in Canadian content, part of its commitment to bring Canadians the best content.  

*Source: Numeris, Total Canada, 2+, National Conventional English TV, M-S 7-11p, AMA(000), Consolidated (Live+7), Broadcast Year to Date (2023-08-29 to 2024-03-17)

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