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

Comments and queries for the week of May 24

I started watching my first episode about five years ago, thinking it was a new series only to find out I was wrong. I loved it so much I went back to Season 1 to be caught up. I hope it doesn’t end soon. Thanks for Season 13 and all your hard work on all the seasons. God bless you all including all the crew, staff and cast. —Dee

A fantastic show. It’s great to see the history of the late 19th century and early 20th century. Keep up the great work; can’t wait for Season 13. —Michael

I live in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, and I get to see this wonderful show every Monday night at 8 o’clock. It is by far the best show on TV. The only one that I liked as much was NYPD Blue and that’s gone. Thank you for another season. —Juneann

I lived in downtown Galt when they were filming Season 10. I went to watch and got talking to some diehard fans. I told them I hadn’t seen it. [One] said YOU’VE GOT TO WATCH IT. So I went home and binge-watched nine seasons. I was hooked. One of the best and my most favourite shows. I hope it goes for a few more years. —Phyllis

I love Murdoch Mysteries. Best show on TV. Love seeing episodes filmed in Galt. I lived there. A few episodes filmed a few blocks from the house my daughter was born in. Kids have been excited to see places they have played as little ones on the show. —Trish

I am so happy to see that there will be a Season 13. I enjoy watching the show, glued to the television each week. Please continue. —Marie

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.

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CTV announces summer schedule including the return of The Amazing Race Canada

From a media release:

CTV revealed today a slate of new and returning series for the network’s sizzling summer schedule, headlined by the highly anticipated, international reality sensation LOVE ISLAND, airing weeknights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app, beginning July 9. Also heating things up this summer is the new drama GRAND HOTEL (June 17) from executive producer Eva Longoria, exploring scandals, escalating debt, and explosive secrets. Additionally, the eight-part limited drama series THE RED LINE, starring Noah Wyle, joins CTV’s robust summer schedule on July 2.

Canada’s most-watched summer series, the multiple Canadian Screen Award-winning THE AMAZING RACE CANADA returns for Season 7, airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app, beginning July 2. Hosted by Olympic Gold Medallist Jon Montgomery, 10 teams of racers will once again push themselves outside of their comfort zones in a non-stop, action-packed adventure. For the first time ever, this season Canadians voted to allow one previous team to return to the starting line. Jet & Dave, best friends from London, Ont. who competed during the first season of THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, join nine other soon-to-be-revealed teams for their second chance at racing to the finish line.

Also returning to the CTV schedule this summer are fan-favourites including the action-packed AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR (May 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV2), culinary competition series MASTERCHEF (May 29 at 8 p.m. ET/PT), MATCH GAME (June 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT), THE $100,000 PYRAMID (June 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT), and the Jane Lynch-hosted HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT (July 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT).

CTV.ca is also set to celebrate the warm weather with entertaining TV series and blockbuster movies available with no subscription or sign-in required. CTV.ca will roll out titles throughout the summer including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 2, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, JANN, CARDINAL, SEINFELD, THE GOLDBERGS, and THE BIG BANG THEORY, in addition to the extensive content viewers can already stream for free on CTV Throwback and CTV Movies.

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Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television now accepting applications for its Women Directors Program

From a media release:

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy) today announced it is accepting applications for the third edition of its Canadian Academy Directors Program for Women. This year, Pinewood Toronto Studios joins the program as a sponsor, along with the continued support of Netflix, The RBC Emerging Artists Project, and Canada Media Fund. Submissions will be accepted starting today until Friday, June 21, 2019.

Formerly known as the Academy Apprenticeship for Women Directors, the Canadian Academy Directors Program for Women is designed to bolster the professional development of Canada’s women directors. Its activities provide invaluable and engaging hands-on experiences, including an exclusive professional development symposium, an online learning module, and curated on-set placements with high-profile directors and established production companies.

The 2019 Selection Committee comprises: Tracey Deer (Filmmaker/Director/Writer); Bill Evans (Executive Director, Alberta Media Production Industries Association); Moira Griffin (Producer & Strategist, New Bumper and Paint Productions); Caroline Habib (VP Development, New Metric Media); Christine Haebler (President & Producer, Terminal City Pictures); Kadidja Haïdara (Writer); Floyd Kane; (Showrunner & Executive Producer, Freddie Films); Mark Slone (President, Pacific Northwest Pictures); and Carole Vivier (CEO/Film Commissioner, Manitoba Film & Music).

Last year’s cohort includes: Kirsten Carthew (Yellowknife); Alicia K. Harris (Toronto); Kathleen Hepburn (Vancouver); Tiffany Hsiung (Toronto); Halima Ouardiri (Montreal); Kristina Wagenbauer (Montreal); Allison White (St. John’s); and Asia Youngman (Vancouver).

The coveted program is now accepting applications and those interested in applying can do so at no cost. The application period is May 23 to June 21, 2019.

The Canadian Academy and the Selection Committee of distinguished industry professionals will review the submissions and identify a shortlist of 20 applicants. Those shortlisted will have a video interview with the Academy in early August, with the final eight (8) emerging* women directors of this year’s program announced in late August.

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Winnifred Jong explores diversity and inclusion in Tokens

With diversity and inclusion hot-button topics, Tokens couldn’t be more timely. Or scathingly on point.

Created by Winnifred Jong, the digital series—available online now—skewers representation in the entertainment industry through Tokens on Call, a casting agency that sends over actors of any stripe to a production in dire need of someone to fill a role. Whoever happens to be on call is sent, fulfilling the gender quota for that project.

“This is a commentary on the fact that, because there are so many choices for every role, people tend to bring in people that they know,” Jong says during a recent phone call. “Until you try to create a change in the dynamic, there is no change.” For Sammi Pang (Connie Wang), that means being cast as a badass gang member who takes out her enemies using kung fu. Written, directed and produced by Jong and produced by Trinni Franke, the eight-part series stars a plethora of familiar faces in Sharron Matthews, Daniel Maslany, Shelley Thompson, Jonathan Cherry, Christina Song, Russell Yuen and Amy Matysio as members of Sammi’s family of part of the productions she works on.

Three people sit on a couch, side by side, wearing the same clothes.One of the most outrageous scenes in Tokens finds Sammi, Demar (Ryan Allen) and Vasant (Gabe Grey) playing triplets in a scene. It’s giggle-inducing and outrageous and part of Jong’s commentary.

Known for directing episodes of Coroner and Private Eyes, the Frankie Drake digital series A Cold Case and Global’s upcoming medical drama, Nurses, Jong has been juggling making Tokens between paying gigs, and called on favours from actors to help her make it. She cast Matthews—the two worked together when Jong was a script supervisor on Frankie Drake Mysteries—after sending the flame-haired actress all eight episode scripts and letting her choose her favourite role.

“I told her, ‘If you want any role, you can have it,'” Jong recalls. “She came back and said, ‘I’d like to be Director No. 2.”

Season 1 of Tokens is available online now.

Images courtesy of A Token Entertainment Company.

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