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

John Catucci returns to Food Network Canada with Big Food Bucket List

In June 2017, Food Network Canada made it official: they had cancelled You Gotta Eat Here! after five seasons. I, like many, was upset. It seemed like the series, with host John Catucci, could go on much, much longer.

But all is forgiven. This is 2019, and Catucci is back on Food Network Canada with a new series. Big Food Bucket List, from the same production company as YGEH, finds Catucci gamely travelling around sampling food and interacting with the folks who make and taste them. What sets Big Food Bucket List—bowing Friday with back-to-back episodes at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT—apart from his previous project? We asked Catucci.

Before we talk about Big Food Bucket List, let’s go back. I just want to get your reaction to You Gotta Eat Here’s cancellation.
John Catucci: You know what? It was mixed feelings. It was hard because I loved shooting the show, and I had an amazing crew, and the production company was fantastic. It was just nice to grow with everybody. So, that was definitely hard. There was part of me that was like, ‘OK, I could do with a little break. I could do with being home for a while.’ It had been five years of being on the road pretty steady. So, it was kind of like mixed emotions. I mean, definitely sad. I don’t think it hit me until a good maybe month after.

Big Food Bucket List is on Food Network. It’s starring you. It’s from Lone Eagle Entertainment. You’re eating food. What’s setting this apart from You Gotta Eat Here?
JC: The main thing is the style of restaurant that we’re hitting. On You Gotta Heat Here, we were doing a lot of diner stuff and Mom and Pop shops. We’re still doing the Mom and Pop stuff. That exists. But the restaurants are elevated a little bit. On You Gotta Eat Here, we never talked about the idea of having a farm-to-table kind of place. It’s just like, ‘No, no, no, we’re going to do burgers.’ We’re really celebrating that food, or celebrating a lot of farm-to-table restaurants, and celebrating restaurants that are doing really unique and interesting dishes. If the restaurant makes a sandwich that is completely out of this world, that’s the thing we’re going to go for. Is that dish something you want to knock off your bucket list.

We’re also travelling all across North America, so it opens up a different market for the show and for myself. It was pretty cool, man. It was pretty exciting. I forgot what it was like to start a new show because it happened such a long time ago. It was a lot of, ‘OK, what’s the show going to be? Do we like this? Do we not like this? We definitely don’t like this.’

The first two episodes are back-to-back, where you’re in Chicago and then Toronto. What are some of the cities that you go to?
JC: We’re going back to Vancouver and Calgary and Halifax. We’re bouncing all over the States, too. We’re going to Philadelphia, New Orleans, Austin, and we got to go to Lafayette. I went to Houston for the first time, St. Louis, San Diego. We got to go to San Diego and L.A., so that was pretty wild. San Diego was just like shooting right down the street from the ocean here. We’re like, ‘OK, we’re on a five-minute break, we’re just walking down to the ocean right now.’

Big Food Bucket List airs Fridays at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada.

Image courtesy of Corus Entertainment.

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Canada’s Worst Driver comes to an end

Canada’s Worst Driver has careened into the sunset. After 14 seasons and dozens of terrible drivers behind the wheel, Discovery’s longest-running reality series has come to an end.

Host Andrew Younghusband made the announcement on his Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.

“It is with equal parts pride and humility, sadness and joy that I am writing to inform you all that Canada’s Worst Driver is officially finished. Done. The great runaway hit has finally crashed and burned,” he wrote. “I had really hoped we would get to do a ‘Goodbye’ season to end the series with a tip of the hat to the faithful audience, but alas, we are simply done without any fanfare.

“Many, many, many thanks to the hundreds (yes hundreds!) of people who have worked on the show over the years,” he continued. “Your creativity and grit, both on set and behind the scenes, are what made CWD the longest-running reality series in Canadian TV history.”

Younghusband, who gamely faced Canadians oblivious to how bad their driving habits were, thanked the Bell Media specialty station and those who got behind the wheel throughout the series’ run. He finished by acknowledging Guy O’Sullivan, the President of Proper Television, Worst Driver‘s production company, who passed away in 2017.

“But the biggest thanks of all, of course, goes to our late, great leader Guy O’Sullivan,” Younghusband wrote. “He started a production company based on the single sale of season one of CWD back in 2005, and that company, Proper Television, still thrives today.”

Will you miss Canada’s Worst Driver? Let me know in the comments below.

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Link: Caroline Dhavernas on family, friends and foes in Mary Kills People

From Melissa Girimonte of The Televixen:

Link: Caroline Dhavernas on family, friends and foes in Mary Kills People
“Nicole used to be Mary’s confidant, but now she’s part of Mary’s day-to-day, complicated life. She used to really want to join in and be there for Mary, but now the reality of it all is sinking in and it’s complicated. It’s making the dynamic between the two sisters more tense at times.” Continue reading. 

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Lucky 13! Cameras roll on Season 13 of #1 Canadian drama Murdoch Mysteries for CBC and UKTV

From a media release:

Shaftesbury announced today that #1 Canadian drama* MURDOCH MYSTERIES has begun production on Season 13, for CBC and UKTV, distributed by ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment. With 18 new one-hour episodes, Season 13 will see the beloved series celebrate its 200th episode. Starring Yannick Bisson, Hélène Joy, Jonny Harris, and Thomas Craig, the internationally acclaimed series averaged 1.1 million viewers each week on CBC in Season 12,** and in the U.K. remains one of Alibi’s top-performing shows. MURDOCH MYSTERIES Season 13 will film on location in Ontario until November 2019, and premiere on CBC this fall, with international dates to follow.

With personal and professional changes for some of the Station House No. 4 team last year, Season 13 will continue to explore new developments in the lives of Detective William Murdoch (Bisson), Dr. Julia Ogden (Joy), Inspector Thomas Brackenreid (Craig), Constables George Crabtree (Harris) and Henry Higgins-Newsome (Lachlan Murdoch), and Detective Llewelyn Watts (Daniel Maslany) as they tackle Toronto’s toughest mysteries, from the serious and historic to the comical and unusual. Returning cast also include Shanice Banton, Arwen Humphreys, and Siobhan Murphy. Season 13 guest stars include Colm Feore (The Umbrella AcademyHouse of Cards) and Claire Goose (The CoronerCasualty).

Yannick Bisson returns to the director’s chair for a Season 13 episode. Other episodes will be directed by showrunner Peter Mitchell, Harvey Crossland, Gary Harvey, Mars Horodyski, Sherren Lee, Mina Shum, and Craig David Wallace. Season 13 episodes are written by Mitchell, Paul Aitken, Noelle Girard, Maureen Jennings, Simon McNabb, Mary Pedersen, and Dan Trotta.

One of Canada’s most successful and longest-running dramas, MURDOCH MYSTERIES (13 seasons; 207 total episodes – 204 x one-hour episodes, 3 x two-hour specials) has become a staple for CBC and broadcasters around the world with its winning formula that brings together compelling mysteries, unique slices of turn-of-the-century history, ingenious inventions and personal moments for each character. The series is licensed to broadcasters in 150+ countries and territories including the U.S., U.K., France, Finland and China.

The MURDOCH MYSTERIES brand continues to grow and evolve – brand licensing deals include an all-ages immersive game experience, The Murdoch Mysteries Escape Series, a collaboration between Shaftesbury and Company & Co. that launched in early 2017 in Toronto, and recently relocated to historic Casa Loma in Toronto.

MURDOCH MYSTERIES is based on Maureen Jennings’s popular Detective Murdoch series of novels and premiered in Canada in January 2008.

MURDOCH MYSTERIES is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, Yannick Bisson, Hélène Joy, and Peter Mitchell, who also serves as showrunner, and produced by Stephen Montgomery and Julie Lacey.

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