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

Writers Guild of Canada ratifies new agreement

From a media release:

Canadian screenwriters and producers have a new collective agreement governing English-language screenwriting in Canada. The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) announced today their members have ratified the new Independent Production Agreement (IPA), which will come into effect on May 22, 2024. This agreement sets the terms, conditions, and rates for writers, story editors, and story consultants until January 31, 2027.

As part of the newly ratified agreement, live action script fees will increase by 5 per cent, 4 per cent, and 3.5 per cent over the next three years. Animation script fees will increase by 5 per cent, 11.5 per cent, and 3.6 per cent over the same period. A minimum staffing provision was negotiated, requiring two Story Editors to be engaged during the bulk of principal photography on productions commencing on or after January 1, 2025, for one-hour productions with budgets over $2.5M per episode and half-hour productions with budgets over $1.5M per episode. Artificial Intelligence (AI) protections were also negotiated, requiring producers to disclose and contract under the IPA when providing writers with AI-generated materials, as well as no reduction in existing writer credit or compensation. Expanded protections against discrimination and harassment in the workplace were also negotiated.

“We are pleased to have negotiated meaningful protections and fee increases for our members,” says WGC Executive Director Victoria Shen. “These achievements would not have been possible without the solidarity demonstrated by our membership. Special thanks to the Negotiating Committee, who volunteered months of their time, passionately represented the interests of screenwriters, and stood their ground to reach this deal.”

“Bargaining this agreement was extremely challenging but it has resulted in a more united and engaged membership,” says Bruce Smith, President of the WGC. “Our work will continue on many fronts, including fighting for equal compensation and protections for animation writers, advocating for a better funding system to address the needs of feature film writers, and ensuring our industry can flourish.”

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CBC and Allan Hawco’s new production company team up on new original series Saint-Pierre

From a media release:

CBC and Allan Hawco’s new production company team up on new original series Saint-Pierre.

Hawco Productions and CBC today announced that production is underway on new original series SAINT-PIERRE (10 x 60’), a new episodic police procedural currently filming in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, France and St. John’s Newfoundland. SAINT-PIERRE is the creation of Allan Hawco, Robina Lord-Stafford and Perry Chafe, with Hawco and Lord-Stafford as Showrunners. TJ Scott and John Vatcher will each direct two of the first four episodes, with Scott directing the pilot. The series will premiere on CBC and CBC Gem in Winter 2025 and is produced in association with global film and TV studio FIFTH SEASON, which is also handling global distribution on the show.

SAINT-PIERRE’s cast includes French star Josephine Jobert (Death in Paradise) as Arch, Canadian star, Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle, Caught, Jack Ryan) as Fitz, and James Purefoy as Sean Gallagher (Rome, Sex Education, The Following) rounding out the stellar team.

After the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Inspector, Donny Fitzpatrick (Fitz), digs too deeply into a local politician’s nefarious activity, he is exiled to work in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon – the French Territory nestled in the Atlantic Ocean. Fitz’s arrival disrupts the life of Deputy Chief Geneviève Archambault (Arch), a Parisian transplant who is in Saint-Pierre for her own intriguing reasons.

As if by fate, these two seasoned officers — with very different policing skills and approaches — are forced together to solve unique and exciting crimes. Although the islands seem like a quaint tourist destination, the idyllic façade conceals the worst kind of criminal activity, which tend to wash up on its beautiful shores. At first at odds and suspicious of each other, Arch and Fitz soon discover that they are better together.

“Saint-Pierre et Miquelon is a unique place – the islands’ isolated location between North America and Europe makes it an ideal location to go unnoticed by the law, which sets it up to be the perfect place for this story,” says Hawco, Lord-Stafford and Chafe. “We’re excited for audiences to discover these compelling characters in this rarely seen before landscape.”

“SAINT-PIERRE offers audiences a fresh and exciting new procedural led by the talented duo of Allan and Josephine, set in a beautiful location that so many Canadians are curious about,” said Sally Catto, General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports, CBC. “We look forward to working with Allan, Robina and Hawco Productions to bring Fitz and Arch’s adventures to life onscreen.”

Ava Mustos, Associate Director, Acquisitions at FIFTH SEASON, said: “It’s fantastic to be partnering with Allan Hawco on SAINT-PIERRE, a detective drama with a brilliant blend of mystery and humour, set against the vibrant and unique back drop of France’s Saint-Pierre et Miquelon islands. We’re delighted to have Josephine Jobert – already known to audiences from Death in Paradise – as our co-lead alongside Hawco. The chemistry between them is undeniable and we look forward to introducing audiences around the world to this dynamic, crime-solving duo.”

A CBC original production, SAINT-PIERRE is produced by Hawco Productions in association with global film and TV studio FIFTH SEASON. The new series is executive produced by Janine Squires, Erin Sullivan, Robina Lord-Stafford, Perry Chafe, John Vatcher and Hawco.

Image courtesy of Derm Carberry.

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CBC unveils 2024-25 programming slate featuring over 40 original series and specials from Canadian storytellers

From a media release:

CBC today announced its 2024-25 programming slate for CBC TV and CBC Gem, featuring over 40 new and returning original series from Canadian creators, producers and storytellers, and 14 CBC News local FAST channels.

“Our wide-ranging slate of original Canadian programming for the coming year embodies our promise to reflect more people, places and perspectives from across the country in new ways,” said Barbara Williams, Executive Vice-President, CBC. “As Canada’s storyteller, we are continuing to step up and stand apart from other media choices by serving audiences with more local coverage and stories from their own communities, acoss both news and entertainment.”

CBC News local streaming channels

Expanding its local news offering, in the coming year CBC News will launch 14 new free 24/7 ad-supported streaming (FAST) channels, providing audiences across the country with ongoing coverage of major breaking news, weather, headlines, and the stories that matter where they live. Channels CBC NEWS BC and CBC NEWS TORONTO are now live and available on CBC Gem, the CBC News App and the Roku Channel, as well as Samsung TV Plus and additional platforms in the coming weeks, and within a year, they will be joined by an additional 12 FAST channels serving audiences in Calgary, Edmonton, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, the North, Nova Scotia, Ottawa, PEI, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Windsor. The channels follow the recent launch of seven community-focused podcasts across the country, and the new addition of 19 local live streams of CBC Radio in the CBC News App, further reinforcing CBC News’ commitment to local coverage and offering Canadians the information they want, when and how they want it.

CBC News & Current Affairs

From breaking stories to in-depth coverage, CBC News delivers trusted 24-hour news and information on CBC News Explore and the local CBC News slate of FAST channels, CBCNews.ca, the CBC News App and the #1 Canadian news channel* CBC News Network. CBC News continues to bring audiences the latest news from across Canada and around the world, in addition to an award-winning slate of current affairs, investigative and primetime and weekend news programs available to broadcast and stream, live and on-demand, across multiple CBC platforms. Premier investigative series THE FIFTH ESTATE celebrates its 50th anniversary this fall with a special project to address the troubling decline in local journalism across Canada.

Small Achievable Goals’ Meredith MacNeill.

Entertainment, Factual and Sports

ORIGINAL COMEDY SLATE

This upcoming broadcast and streaming year, CBC and CBC Gem will continue to be the home for fresh original Canadian comedy with three new series spanning communities and perspectives across the country, including Nunavut-set NORTH OF NORTH following a young Inuk mother as she tries to build a new future for herself in her small town; SMALL ACHIEVABLE GOALS, an honest and hilarious look at menopause and middle age; and SNOTTY NOSE REZ KIDS, inspired by the chaotic journey of the Indigenous hip-hop duo. The series join long-running news satire comedy THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES, including a U.S. election special, and authentic family comedy SON OF A CRITCH, which enters the ‘90s as Mark embarks on new adventures in high school.

New Original Comedy Series

  • NORTH OF NORTH (Premieres Winter 2025, 8×30, Red Marrow Media and Northwood Entertainment)

Siaja (Anna Lambe, True Detective: Night Country, Trickster) is a young Inuk mother who wants to build a new future for herself. After a spontaneous — and extremely public — exit from her marriage, Siaja has to find a job and a place for her and her young daughter to live, and fast. Her only option might be to go from one complicated living situation to another — where Siaja’s dreams of a fresh start collide with some long-kept secrets. To top it all off, this is happening in a small Arctic town where everybody knows your business. A comedy series commissioned by CBC, Netflix and APTN, NORTH OF NORTH is created by Stacey Aglok MacDonald (Qanurli, The Grizzlies) and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril (Angry Inuk, The Grizzlies) of Red Marrow Media and produced alongside executive producer Miranda de Pencier (Anne with an E, Beginners, The Grizzlies) of Northwood Entertainment. Anya Adams (Yellowjackets, Ginny & Georgia), Susan Coyne (Mozart in the Jungle, Daisy Jones & The Six) and Garry Campbell (The Kids in the Hall, Less Than Kind) also executive produce.

●     SMALL ACHIEVABLE GOALS (Premieres Winter 2025, 10×30, Sphere Media)

When odd couple Jan (Jennifer Whalen) and Kris (Meredith MacNeill) are forced to work together to produce a podcast, they learn they are both undergoing “The Change” – aka menopause – and embark on a journey of transformation, helping each other through workplace challenges and office politics, dating and relationship drama, and some serious health concerns. Like a phoenix from the ashes, they will be reborn as sexy, silver-haired, wizard women! Or at least wiser, less sweaty versions of themselves… Created by Jennifer Whalen and Meredith MacNeill, who are executive producers with Jennifer Kawaja, Bruno Dube and Elise Cousineau.

●     SNOTTY NOSE REZ KIDS (Premieres 2025, 8×30, Snotty Nose Productions, Grand Scheme and Reality Distortion Field in association with Redcloud Studios)

The not even true, real life story of the Indigenous hip hop sensation Snotty Nose Rez Kids chronicling their tireless hustle and chaotic journey to stardom. The series is inspired by the lives of best friends Quinton and Darren, who move from their remote Haisla Nation to the big city of Vancouver to chase their hip hop dreams. Throughout a series of misadventures they lean on their newfound community to kick start their career as Snotty Nose Rez Kids. Created by Quinton Nyce and Darren Metz, Vance Banzo and Matt Kippen; Jennifer Podemski is the series’ showrunner, and an executive producer with Metz, Nyce, Michael Tanko Grand, Stephen Hegyes, Simon Barry, Banzo, Kippen and Bhavika Mantri; Amber-Sekowan Daniels is co-executive producer.

Returning Original Comedies & Festivals

Saint-Pierre’s Allan Hawco. Image courtesy of Tim Leyes.

Original Drama Slate

SAINT-PIERRE features the return of Allan Hawco to CBC, with a new police procedural set in picturesque Saint-Pierre et Miquelon that pairs him with Josephine Jobert to solve a wide range of cases. Time-travel anthology series and Radio-Canada adaptation PLAN B returns this summer with Vinessa Antoine as a Montreal police officer who uses the mysterious agency to alter the outcome of crimes, with unexpected consequences. The drama continues with new seasons of west coast series ALLEGIANCE, as Sabrina starts a new role with the Serious Crimes unit, and WILD CARDS in association with The CW, promises more high stakes crime and action mixed with juicy relationship intrigue, as well as audience favourites HEARTLAND, MURDOCH MYSTERIES and SKYMED.

New Original Drama Series

  • SAINT-PIERRE (Premieres Winter 2025, 10×60, Hawco Productions)

After Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Inspector Donny “Fitz” Fitzpatrick digs too deeply into a local politician’s nefarious activity, he is exiled to work in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon (the French Territory nestled in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Newfoundland). Fitz’s arrival disrupts the life of Deputy Chief Geneviève “Arch” Archambault, a Parisian transplant who is in Saint-Pierre for her own intriguing reasons. SAINT-PIERRE is a police procedural with French star Josephine Jobert (Death in Paradise) as Arch and Canadian star Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle, Caught, Jack Ryan) as Fitz, and James Purefoy (Rome, Sex Education, Pennyworth) rounding out the stellar team. As if by fate, these two seasoned officers — with very different policing skills and approaches — are forced together to solve unique and exciting crimes. Although the islands seem like a quaint tourist destination, the idyllic façade conceals the worst kind of criminal activity which tend to wash up on its beautiful shores. At first at odds and suspicious of each other, Arch and Fitz soon discover that they are better together… a veritable crime-fighting force.

SAINT-PIERRE is the creation of Allan Hawco, Robina Lord-Stafford and Perry Chafe, with Hawco and Lord-Stafford as Showrunners, produced by Hawco Productions in association with global film and TV studio FIFTH SEASON, which is also handling global distribution on the show. It is executive produced by Janine Squires, Erin Sullivan, Robina Lord-Stafford, Perry Chafe, John Vatcher and Hawco.

●     PLAN B (Season 2 premieres Sunday, August 11 on CBC Gem, 6×60, KOTV)

In Season 2 of this high-concept drama series, a new character is given the opportunity to change her life – and the lives of those around her – by making use of Plan B, a mysterious time-travel agency. After Montreal police officer Mia Coleman (Vinessa Antoine, Diggstown) and her partner Tyler take a lenient approach to a marital dispute, the husband, Paul Whitman, murders his wife Keri and their two small children, then kills himself. Mia is devastated, but soon stumbles across Plan B and finds herself able to book a trip into the past, and perhaps alter the outcome. Along the way, Mia discovers the astonishing potential of Plan B to alter the balance between criminals and victims, making her the most effective cop on the force. As always, though, Plan B guarantees no easy solutions, and Mia’s journey into the past is replete with unexpected quicksands. The more she struggles to effect change, the deeper into complication and crisis she sinks, especially as her own issues around control and jealousy are laid bare.

PLAN B is produced by KOTV, with international distribution by Red Arrow Studios International. Jean-François Asselin, who co-created the original French-language series, is director and also co-writer with Celeste Parr. Asselin also serves as Showrunner and Executive Producer, alongside Louis Morissette. Louis-Philippe Drolet, Parr, Mélanie Viau, Jacques Drolet and Aisling “Ash” Chin-Yee are Executive Producers.

Returning Original Dramas

  • ALLEGIANCE (Season 2 premieres Winter 2025, 10×60, Lark Productions)
  • HEARTLAND (Season 18 premieres Fall 2024, 10×60, Dynamo Films and SEVEN24 Films)
  • MURDOCH MYSTERIES (Season 18 premieres Fall 2024, 22×60, Shaftesbury)
  • SKYMED (Season 3 premieres Winter 2025, 9×60, Piazza Entertainment)
  • WILD CARDS (Season 2 premieres Winter 2025, 13×60, Blink49 Studios, Front Street Pictures and Piller/Segan) – in association with The CW, also premiering in the U.S. Winter 2025
Locals Welcome’s Suresh Doss.

Factual Entertainment

CBC’s factual entertainment slate reflects people and experiences from all regions of Canada, with new factual series LOCALS WELCOME shining a spotlight on food as a conduit to sharing stories and building communities over delicious dishes. Returning series showcasing Canadians who are striving for personal excellence include FAMILY FEUD CANADA, kicking off a new season with Second Chance Week, CANADA’S ULTIMATE CHALLENGE, THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW, STILL STANDING and DRAGONS’ DEN, which celebrates the Year of the Dragon with a celebrity guest Dragon. Actor, producer, author and ambassador Simu Liu will join the panel of industry titans for a multi-episode stay in the Den this fall. Winter brings the return of BOLLYWED and the Singh family as they embark on a journey overseas to where it all began, plus more impolite but necessary history in globe-trotting STUFF THE BRITISH STOLE. New Original Factual Series

●     LOCALS WELCOME (Premieres Winter 2025, 10×30, Artifactual Media)

LOCALS WELCOME, hosted and executive produced by OG food writer and expert Suresh Doss, is a celebration of the lesser-known food places that make up the fabric of our rich communities. Exploring the spaces and menu items that you never knew existed, the series marries a love of people, place, and culture, with our love of discovering the hidden gems… right in our own backyard. LOCALS WELCOME is a format created by one of the producers of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

Returning Factual Formats & Series

  • BOLLYWED (Season 3 premieres Winter 2025, 8×30, HeartHat Entertainment)
  • CANADA’S ULTIMATE CHALLENGE (Season 3 premieres 2025, Insight Productions and The Gurin Company) – The Season 2 finale airs Sunday, June 2 starting at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem, with back-to-back episodes.
  • DRAGONS’ DEN (Season 19 premieres Fall 2024, 10×60)
  • FAMILY FEUD CANADA (Season 6 premieres Winter 2025, 64×30, Zone 3/Fremantle)

Documentaries

Last year, CBC commissioned more than 50 documentaries for CBC, CBC Gem and documentary Channel, with CBC Gem offering a library of over 800 documentaries, available to stream for free anytime. THE PASSIONATE EYE returns this fall with a new slate of original documentaries that drop audiences into a broad range of cultural conversations, from a fairytale exploring grief and the creative power of love with Adrianne & the Castle, to the growing resistance of the Wet’suwet’en against forces intent on exploiting their land in recent Hot Docs Best Canadian Documentary and Audience Award winner, Yintah. CBC’s flagship science and nature series THE NATURE OF THINGS heads into an awe-inspiring 64th season, as hosts Anthony Morgan and Sarika Cullis-Suzuki continue to encourage viewers’ curiosity and sense of wonder about the living world.

New original doc series this upcoming year include:

●     PAID IN FULL (Premieres Fall 2024, 3×60, Supercollider, Green Door Pictures and Pink Towel in association with Catalyst)

Narrated by Canadian music icon Jully Black, PAID IN FULL explores the journey of Black artists in the music industry from its inception to the digital streaming age. Despite remarkable success stories, systemic racial obstacles persist, with exploitative contracts and copyright arrangements often hindering artists’ autonomy and financial reward. From the harsh realities faced by legends such as Bessie Smith, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, to the emergence of Black-owned labels like Motown, Stax Records and Def Jam, and finally the impact of streaming in the digital era, the series offers insight into the triumphs and challenges of Black artists striving for recognition, autonomy, and fair compensation—in a music industry with odds stacked against them. Commissioned by CBC and BBC, PAID IN FULL is executive produced by Greg Sanderson for Supercollider, Idris Elba for Green Door Pictures, Sabrina Elba for Pink Towel and Julie Bristow for Catalyst, with showrunner David Upshal.

●     THE KNOWING (Premieres Fall 2024, 4×60, Makwa Creative)

THE KNOWING is a four-part narrative docuseries that follows journalist Tanya Talaga and her family’s eight-decade long search for family matriarch Annie Carpenter, revealing a story deeply intertwined with Canada’s residential school system. Using sweeping imagery of the land, blended with rare archival footage, Ininiw poetic narration and deeply personal conversations with Survivors, knowledge holders and newly found family, Talaga takes us on an emotional journey of both familial reclamation and an exploration of Canada’s true history. Adapted from Talaga’s book of the same name and told through an Indigenous lens, The Knowing is one story of survival, love and of outlasting. It is a story that every single Indigenous family in Canada shares. Based on the book by Tanya Talaga, THE KNOWING is written and directed by Talaga and Courtney Montour.

Returning Documentary Formats & Series

Snotty Nose Rez Kids’ Darren Metz (left) and Quinton Nyce (right)

Award Shows

Shining a spotlight on Canadian creators across genres and disciplines. Returning award shows include:

  • INDSPIRE AWARDS (Friday, June 21 at 7 p.m. (8 AT, 8:30 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem) – A celebration honouring the remarkable achievements and contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada.
  • POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE (Tuesday, September 17) – Each year, the prize honours artists who produce Canadian music albums of distinction without regard to musical genre or commercial popularity.
  • THE LEGACY AWARDS (Fall 2024) – From The Black Academy and Insight Productions, the third edition of the awards will feature live performances, award presentations and tributes honouring established and emerging Black Canadian talent.
  • SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE (Monday, November 18) – A prize dedicated to celebrating the best in Canadian fiction each year and bringing the long-listed books to the attention of Canadians.
  • THE JUNO AWARDS (Sunday, March 30) – Live from Vancouver, The 54th annual JUNO awards showcase Canada’s biggest night in music, honouring artists across all genres.
  • THE CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS (Spring 2025) – Honouring the best in Canadian film, television and digital media.

CBC Kids

Building on CBC’s ongoing commitment to inspire, entertain and inform young audiences, CBC Kids will continue to share new programming for kids and tweens across all platforms this upcoming year, including over 500 hours of ad-free programming on CBC Gem. New original preschool series GO TOGO (Fall 2024, Gazelle Automations) will introduce preschoolers to early math concepts through the fun and excitement of big public transit vehicles in miniature scale. Animated series returning for a second season include CBC/Radio-Canada original MINI-JON AND MINI-MAPLE (Summer 2024; Happy Camper Media), based on the books by popular author and cartoonist Alex A. and a sibling series to Super Agent Jon Le Bon!, and JEREMY & JAZZY (Fall 2024, Verite Films), the

JUNO-nominated animated series about how feelings become songs and songs become stories. JEREMY & JAZZY will be joined by new spinoff PLAYING WITH STU (Fall 2024, Verite Films) about the joy of discovering the world around us through collaboration and music.

Live action original series returning for a second season include BESTEST DAY EVER WITH MY BEST FRIEND! (Winter 2025, Lopii Productions), celebrating the cherished relationships children have with their pets, and MACY MURDOCH (Winter 2025, Shaftesbury), following teen detective Macy (Shailyn Pierre-Dixon, The Book of Negroes), the great-great-great granddaughter of Detective William Murdoch, and her friends on a new time travel adventure to stop a murder – her own! Animated series THE BRAVEST KNIGHT (Winter 2025, Big Bad Boo Studios) reunites the fan-favourite group of fairy-tale heroes in Season 2 for even more action-packed adventures, with Alan Cumming and Jane Lynch joining returning voice actors TR Knight, Christine Baranski, Wilson Cruz, Steven Weber and Bobby Moynihan.

Paris 2024

The countdown is on to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 this summer, taking place from Friday, July 26 to Sunday, August 11, and Team Canada will be among the approximately 10,500 athletes, 5250 women and 5250 men, representing 206 countries in competition. CBC’s comprehensive coverage will feature live broadcasts from every venue and include every Canadian medal-winning moment, totalling more than 3000 hours of live content across the public boadcaster’s multiple platforms. In addition to live TV broadcasts, audiences will be able to watch events daily on the free CBC Gem streaming service, CBC’s Paris 2024 website and the CBC Paris 2024 app for Android and iOS devices. The website and app will also house full event schedules, results, athlete bios and features, daily updates and more. Plus, exclusive coverage will be provided by CBC Sports including in-depth reports, highlights, digital series and on-demand replays of the biggest moments and events. This commitment to bringing audiences all the top stories will continue with extensive coverage of the Paralympic Games Paris 2024 later this summer, running from Wednesday, August 28 to Sunday, September 8.

International Series

CBC and CBC Gem will continue to offer audiences a curated selection of acclaimed series from around the world. Premium titles coming to CBC Gem this summer include the exclusive Canadian premieres of comedy/drama THE DRY Season 2, starring Ciarán Hinds (Belfast) as Shiv, who must determine whether she can stay sober and still have the normal things in life; and lifestyle series BIG ZUU’S 12 MEALS IN 12 HOURS, as BAFTA winner and self-taught chef Big Zuu embarks on a fresh, funny and fast-paced culinary adventure around the world. This fall, two-part documentary THE SECRETS OF PRINCE ANDREW tells the inside story of Andrew’s scandal-plagued life, including the disastrous BBC Newsnight interview in November 2019 that shook the monarchy to its core. With exclusive interviews and unprecedented access, the documentary provides a unique perspective on the Prince’s life, offering an in-depth look at the chain of events that led to his downfall.

*Source: Numeris TV Meter, 8/28/2023 – 5/5/2024, CBC News Network, Ind.2+, M-Su 2a-2a, Total Canada, Shr%, generated by InstarTV

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Preview: Christa Couture ups the adventure on AMI-tv’s Postcards From…

Christa Couture is no stranger to AMI or storytelling.

She hosted AMI-audio’s Live from Studio 5 and has been featured on an episode of AMI-tv’s Fashion Dis. On the storytelling side, she has written, sung and spoken of her life, including the childhood cancer that led to the amputation of her left leg, abortion, divorce and the tragic deaths of two infant sons.

Couture’s way of weaving a story is what makes the newest season of Postcards From… so engaging.

Returning for Season 5, Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET on AMI-tv and AMI+, Couture is the newest host to take over for the channel’s veteran series. The program, which was previously hosted by AMI talent in Alex Smyth, Laura Bain, Beth Deer, Shelby Travers and Dave Brown—and Season 4 by poet Therese Estacion—features Couture visiting eight communities across Canada. Focusing on the senses, Postcards From… spends equal time presenting the locales as Couture witnesses them via taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight like never before.

Couture’s enthusiasm, curiosity and wit make for a winning production. In Wednesday’s return, she heads to Drumheller, Alberta, where she gets hands-on with dinosaur bones, hops on the back of a motorbike for a ride into town and scarfs down a local delicacy called “prairie oysters.” An emotional scene features Couture recalling visiting Drumheller as a child with her mother—and showing off a smiling photo of herself, then unaware of the cancer in her left leg that had returned and would ultimately take it below the knee—before she gets a tour of the area and gets up close with some dinos.

What sets Postcards From… apart from other travel series is that time is spent focusing on accessibility. Couture, for instance, describes and utilizes the paved path and wheelchair the Tyrell Museum offers guests to traverse the rocky terrain. And her description of what it was like to swing her prosthetic leg over a motorcycle before going on her first-ever ride was as fun as watching the smile on her face.

Future destinations in this season include Fredericton, Dawson City, Salt Spring Island, Niagara Falls, Montreal, Edmonton and Whistler.

Postcards From… airs Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv.

Image courtesy of AMI.

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TSN mourns the passing of Darren Dutchyshen

From a media release:

Following the passing of beloved Canadian broadcaster and longtime host of TSN’s SPORTSCENTRE Darren Dutchyshen, TSN has released the following statement:

“Darren Dutchyshen was a legend of Canadian sports broadcasting, a great teammate, and an essential part of TSN for the last three decades,” said Stewart Johnston, Senior Vice President, Sales & Sports, Bell Media. “A larger-than-life personality, Darren’s incredible sense of humour and magnetic energy made him a natural broadcaster who connected easily with viewers. His enthusiasm reminded us every day of why we love sports. Most significantly, Darren was a friend to all of us at TSN, and we will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with his loved ones.”

“He passed as he was surrounded by his closest loved ones,” the Dutchyshen family said. “His sharp wit remained until his final moments, classically delivering plenty of jokes – most of them pretty good and all of them inappropriate.”

One of Canada’s most popular and engaging sports personalities, Dutchyshen began his TSN career in 1995, hosting weekend editions of SportsDesk and CFL Live.

Dutchyshen became a beloved mainstay on TSN’s flagship news program over the next three decades, often hosting late-night editions of SPORTSCENTRE alongside co-anchor Rod Smith and later with Jennifer Hedger.

Dutchyshen played a key role in the Kraft Celebration Tour, taking SPORTSCENTRE on the road across the country for several consecutive summers, and was the co-host of the boxing show In This Corner with Canadian trainer and cut man Russ Anber. He also hosted Olympic Prime Time on TSN during the London 2012 Olympic Games and Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Born in Regina and raised in Porcupine Plain, Sask., Dutchyshen’s first job as a sportscaster was with STV in Saskatoon, followed by a stint with IMTV in Dauphin, Man. He also spent seven years as the host of ITV’s Sports Night in Edmonton.

Viewers can watch TSN’s tribute to Darren Dutchyshen at TSN.ca.

Tonight (Thursday, May 16) in SPORTSCENTRE at 6 p.m. ET, TSN features a series of tributes to Dutchyshen, including a discussion of memories from some of his closest colleagues.

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