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

Canada’s public broadcaster launches CBC Gem streaming service

From a media release:

 CBC today announced the launch of CBC Gem, the national public broadcaster’s new streaming service, offering more than 4000 hours of live and on-demand programming for free. Available now as Canada’s destination for acclaimed, authentically Canadian programming and a curated selection of best-in-class content from around the world, CBC Gem provides live and on-demand access to CBC’s full programming slate spanning drama, comedy, factual entertainment, documentaries, arts, kids, sports and national and local news programming, including the ability to live stream CBC TV at any time with access to 14 CBC channels and their local newscasts across the country. The streaming service also offers French-language programming from ICI Radio-Canada.

CBC will also collaborate with new partners in order to expand the CBC Gem streaming library and offer additional Canadian and international content. A new partnership between CBC and homegrown success story Wattpad, the global multiplatform entertainment company for original stories and the world’s most popular social storytelling platform, will offer emerging Canadian writers the opportunity to create exclusive content for CBC Gem, with more details to be confirmed in the new year. The streaming service also offers more than 100 acclaimed Canadian feature films, available ad-free in partnership with Telefilm Canada, with a selection of films from the National Film Board of Canada, including Indigenous projects, to be added in the coming year.

The growing streaming library available on CBC Gem is supported by ongoing acquisitions from key Canadian distribution partners, including A71 Entertainment, Elevation Pictures, eOne, levelFILM and Mongrel Media, and international partners BBC Studios, Fremantle International, ITV Studios Global Entertainment and Sky Vision.

CBC Gem is available for free as an App for iOS and Android devices and online at cbcgem.ca, and on television via Apple TV and Google Chromecast. An ad-free premium membership is also available for $4.99 per month, which also provides access to a live stream of CBC News Network.  All children’s programming is always provided ad-free within CBC Gem.

CBC Gem is exclusive to Canada. All content is available with Closed Captioning, and Described Video is available for most on-demand content.

CBC Member – FREE (registration required):

  • Live stream CBC TV, including access to all 14 local channels from across the country and their news broadcasts
  • Watch current and past seasons of favourite shows on demand
  • Resume watching programs on any device
  • Ad-free children’s programming

CBC Member – Premium:

For $4.99 a month (with the first month free of charge), Canadians can upgrade their viewing experience to enjoy additional features and content:

  • Watch on-demand episodes without ads
  • Live stream CBC News Network 24/7

CBC Gem Programming Highlights:

  • All episodes of new CBC original drama NORTHERN RESCUE (10×60), starring William Baldwin and Kathleen Robertson, will be available to stream exclusively in Canada on CBC Gem starting Friday, March 1.
  • Past and current seasons of CBC series, including acclaimed comedies KIM’S CONVENIENCE, BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW and SCHITT’S CREEK; factual entertainment favourite THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW; crowd-pleasing dramas MURDOCH MYSTERIES, ANNE WITH AN E and HEARTLAND; and classic CBC hits like THE KIDS IN THE HALL and BEING ERICA.
  • Renowned programming from around the world including: FORTITUDE (Season 1) with Stanley Tucci; international hit THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW (Seasons 1-8); LUTHER starring Idris Elba (Seasons 1-4); PORTLANDIA (Seasons 1-5); TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL; THE TUDORS (Seasons 1 – 4); miniseries VANITY FAIR; and BAFTA Award-winning series WALLANDER (Seasons 1-4) with Kenneth Branagh; with Emmy Award®-winning LITTLE DORRIT starring Claire Foy (The Crown) available later this month.
  • CBC News award-winning news and investigative programming available live and on demand, including THE NATIONAL, MARKETPLACE, THE FIFTH ESTATE and POWER AND POLITICS, in addition to livestream access to 14 local news broadcasts across the country.
  • More than 500 hours of Canadian and international documentary storytelling, including CBC DOCS POV’s critically acclaimed 14 & Muslim; THE NATURE OF THINGS three-part series Equus: Story of the Horse; CBC Docs Special Presentation In Search of a Perfect World with Peter Mansbridge; and CBC SHORT DOCS’ Fast Horse, Sundance Film Festival 2019 selection and Best Documentary Work Short Format winner at the 2018 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.
  • More than 200 hours of ad-free children’s programming, including CBC Kids’ favourites ADDISON, BECCA’S BUNCH, DOT,THE FURCHESTER HOTEL and TRUE AND THE RAINBOW KINGDOM.
  • CBC Sports’ ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES available live and on demand, with upcoming highlights including FIS World Cup Alpine, Cross Country, Freestyle Skiing, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined; IBSF World Cup Bobsleigh and Skeleton; and the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2019 from Saitama, Japan.
  • More than 100 buzzworthy Canadian feature films, representing the best of contemporary Canadian film, available ad-free in partnership with Telefilm Canada. Titles include: Barney’s Version(2010, Richard J. Lewis), Cairo Time (2009, Ruba Nada), Meditation Park (2017, Mina Shum), Midnight’s Children (2012, Deepa Mehta) and Mommy (2014, Xavier Dolan), with upcoming titles including Jean of the Joneses (2016, Stella Meghie) and Canadian Screen Award-winning Maudie (2016, Aisling Walsh) as well as Oscar®-nominated films Brooklyn (2015, John Crowley) and Incendies (2010, Denis Villeneuve). New homegrown films will be added each week, spanning a wide range of genres and featuring diverse, accomplished filmmakers.
  • French programming from ICI Tou.TV streaming service including #DANSLATOILE, 1001 NUITSand TRANSFORMATRUC.
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Link: Meet the Rizzuto Family, the subject of Netflix’s Bad Blood

From Madison Medeiros of Refinery29:

Link: Meet the Rizzuto Family, the subject of Netflix’s Bad Blood
Crime lovers, rejoice. If you’ve caught up on Narcos: Mexico and are itching for more organized-crime stories, Netflix has the cure for you in its latest series, Bad Blood. The show, which originally aired on City TV in Canada, loosely tells the true story of a Montreal mafia led by infamous gangster, Vito Rizzuto. Continue reading. 

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Comments and queries for the week of December 7

I’ve been desperately trying to watch Seasons 1 and 2 of Frontier online since you mentioned they were available. I’ve been really enjoying the series so far and I expect Season 3 will be just as great. One of my favourite characters is Jessica Matten’s Sokanon. She is such an unpredictable character and I never know where she will go in any scene. I hope Sokanon makes it to the end of Frontier! —John


I agree that the showrunners should stick to the original format of [Murdoch Mysteries], in terms of showing the main four and covering their backstory. William, Julia, Brack and George are the only characters that I like to see have the main focus of each show. I actually wrote a letter to Peter Mitchell telling him that the show has too many characters since S9; Nina, Louise, Marilyn Clark, Ruth, Watts and even put more focus on Henry, John and Margaret. I told PM that I hoped Louise would get murdered, because that be the most interesting story with her in it. I also said that I didn’t like that H, J and M were getting more screen time. The point that I was trying to make with you was that, if this season is doing something a bit “fresh,” by having episodes that give more of a backstory to the main four, then I’m OK with that. Watts is an OK character but yeah, I could’ve done without an ALL Watts episode. Basically, I don’t think the writers will be doing these kinds of episodes in S13 (fingers crossed). —Crystal

I think it’s selfish of viewers to expect the same product in every episode of any show. Creative people feel boxed in when they can’t follow their instincts. I like the profile stories of Watts and Brackenreid for the depth and enrichment of the characters, for the stretching of the writers’ imaginations, for the challenge to the actors. Doing the same thing with minor variations and over is BORING. For them and for me. One reason I’m such a fan of MM is their all-over-the-place unpredictability. Obviously this fluidity works for most of us since MM is on its 12th season with only a few changes to cast. They’re happy, let them do their thing. —Sadie

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

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