TV, Eh? Industry Roundup: Children’s TV-on-DVD, CMPA, CanCon, more

Canadian TV-on-DVD news

According to Alliance Home Entertainment’s media site, Metal Evolution, Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen’s heavy metal/hard rock documentary series, comes out May 1, 2012, on DVD. The release covers the first eleven episodes. The show airs on MuchMore in Canada, and VH1 Classic in the United States.

A three-disc Franklin set hits United States DVD May 8, 2012, through kaBOOM! Entertainment. Franklin was in production by Nelvana from 1997-2004, in its first incarnation. The Phase 4 Films web site claims “44 complete episodes;” Franklin‘s video and DVD releases treat each standalone story as an episode, so keep that in mind.

As for Franklin and Friends, Nelvana’s current (2011- ) version of Franklin, “Super Cluepers” appears on DVD May 15, 2012, through kaBOOM! Entertainment. This is the fourth release of the Franklin and Friends series; the third release, “Franklin’s Earth Day,” debuts on DVD March 20, 2012.

Other upcoming, non-Franklin children’s DVD titles from kaBOOM! Entertainment include:

The Great, Unending CanCon Debate

Pierre Juneau, as the first chairman of the Canadian Radio-Television Commission, ushered in Canadian content regulations for music and television. These content regulations have long been the subject of debate, and The National Post‘s Marni Soupcoff…is one of its debaters.

Soupcoff’s article argues that the free market and new delivery systems make government-mandated Canadian content obsolete, and that CanCon was never good, from a moral and ethical standpoint. Then again, Soupcoff’s article never mentions the broadcaster’s role in releasing a profitable overall product, while still adhering to CanCon regulations.

Do CanCon regulations hurt the television business, or are Canadian broadcasters just not creative enough in exploiting those regulations? That’s a question I’d like to see answered. For instance, Toronto’s Citytv, which put out indigenous shows like FashionTelevision, MediaTelevision, and Electric Circus, managed profitability during its CHUM Limited ownership. It can be done in this country.

More public subsidies for online series?

The Canadian Media Production Association wants more public subsidies available for standalone online series. The report, prepared by Duopoly Inc. president Catherine Tait, argues that the Independent Production Fund is the only subsidy currently available for standalone online series. The dominant funding model is do-it-yourself, no-budget, and non-union.

According to the CMPA, most of the online eyeballs go to Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, MyDamnChannel, and other non-Canadian players. In addition, the Bell New Media Fund and Canada Media Fund merely bring traditional television producers into the digital realm, rather than produce unique online content, in what CMPA sees as a burgeoning market.

The report was released two days before CMPA’s 21st Prime Time in Ottawa networking conference.

Odds and sods

Akron Beacon Journal‘s pop culture writer, Rich Heldenfels, answers a question about former Global show The Guard. The Guard aired in the United States, on the ION program service, from March-April 2010. It eventually moved to ION’s sister service, ION Life.

Twitter scoops TSN and Sportsnet during the NHL’s trade deadline day…which is something a crowd-sourced, 140-character medium should excel in, by design. At least the ten hours of pomp and circumstance brought in healthy afternoon ratings for TSN, so the promotion for TradeCentre 2012 worked.