All posts by Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.

Link: The Jim Henson Company boards fantasy drama ‘Knights of Panterra’

From Etan Vlessing of The Hollywood Reporter:

Link: The Jim Henson Company boards fantasy drama ‘Knights of Panterra’
The Jim Henson Company, the puppet-based production house behind Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, has come on board Knights of Panterra, a Canadian live-action series based on the Dino Knights kids books by Jeff Norton. Continue reading. 

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Colin and Justin return to their roots in Great Canadian Cottages

Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan’s recent Canadian television programming has seen them up to their elbows in rotten wood, bugs and questionable style choices in three seasons of Cabin Pressure. In that series, the duo purchased and renovated their own cottages while offering tips and tricks to DIY projects.

Now the pair is back with a new series—Great Canadian Cottages, debuting Thursday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life—that harkens back to their early days in the business.

“This is really us going back to Colin and Justin, Stage 1,” McAllister says over the phone. “Our background is newspapers and magazines and we’ve interviewed stars and celebs about their homes. We’ve always been in the market to listen to people and share their stories. We’ve done it in print media for years but this gave us the opportunity to do it on-camera.”

McAllister says Great Canadian Cottages is a natural evolution from Cabin Pressure. In that program, episodes followed their story from destruction and renovation to completion. Great Canadian Cottages turns the cameras on other cottage owners as they explain the inspiration for their getaways and digs deep into the nuts and bolts of building outside of big cities. There are also experts on hand who weigh in on some of the construction choices made. In Episode 1, that includes the windows utilized in a shimmering glass block built for a professional photographer so he could make the most of natural light.

Each 30-minute episode finds McAllister and Ryan telling the stories of distinctive cottages with amazing architectural flair, uncovering the carefully crafted design features of each home and learning more about the geographic regions they are built upon. (Fans of the pair can meet them in person at the 2018 Cottage Life Show in Toronto this weekend. Click here for more details.)

There have been plenty of surprises in Season 1. Among them are a getaway made out of straw and clay that has no 90-degree angles and the abode built by former Toronto Maple Leafs great Wendel Clark. It turns out the gritty goal scorer has a knack for gardening and a flair for fashionable homes.

“He’s a real bruiser, so we figured [his cottage] would be like a sports bar with a giant TV,” McAllister recalls. “We get to this beautiful house and gardens that you would pay money to visit. Wendel and his wife, Denise, are the most humble, down-to-earth lovely people. He talked us through the house they made, the garden that they do themselves with their own four hands. And he talks about transitional furniture and just bloody owns it.”

“Colin and I walked away from that saying, ‘If a hockey player can become an interior designer, do you think an interior designer can become a hockey player?” he continues. “I think it’s time for Colin and Justin to take up the puck!”

Great Canadian Cottages airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life.

Image courtesy of Blue Ant Media.

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Discovery’s newest original Canadian series Vintage Tech Hunters premiering Nov. 5

From a media release:

This fall, Discovery takes viewers on a nostalgic journey through the history of technology in the all-new original Canadian series VINTAGE TECH HUNTERS, with back-to-back episodes airing Mondays at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT beginning Nov. 5 on Discovery and the Discovery app.

Viewers are invited to join technophile co-hosts Bohus Blahut and Shaun Hatton as they sift through dusty barns, liquidation sales, and back country antique auctions to reveal rare treasures from decades past. Produced by Crooked Horse Productions (a division of Boat Rocker Studios) each 30-minute episode follows Hatton and Blahut on their quest to uncover “rare, weird, and nostalgic” tech, pursuing the most valuable items, and working to connect with the right collector to drive sales. Taking a cross-continental road trip from an e-waste recycling facility in Los Angeles all the way to a flea market in rural Nova Scotia, the 14-part series showcases the unique combination of tireless dedication and offbeat sense of humour required to unearth these ultra-rare pop culture collectibles.

Seeking out classic consumer technology and pop culture items, spanning forgotten fads to technology still in use today, this effervescent duo turn up a slew of throwback collectibles, including the world’s first talking pinball machine, a Robert the Robot, a Minox B Spy Camera, a Speak ‘n Spell toy, and an Apple I computer.

Episode highlights from the debut season of VINTAGE TECH HUNTERS include:

“Bohus and Shaun… Go on an Odyssey”
Monday, Nov. 5 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
During a road trip along the coast of Southern California, Shaun Hatton and Bohus Blahut stumble upon a vintage jukebox in dire need of repair. They take it to an expert in L.A. where they desperately hope to have it restored to mint condition. While in the City of Angels, the hosts hunt for vintage tech items at a local flea market and browse around an e-waste recycling facility, uncovering several former technology marvels including a Lasonic TRC 931 boombox from the 1980s and a Corona 3 typewriter originally built in 1913.

“Bohus and Shaun…Talk to Gorgar”
Monday, Nov. 5 at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT
Passing through Illinois and Wisconsin, Hatton and Blahut discover a Magnavox Odyssey, officially known as the world’s first commercial video game. To dramatically increase the game’s monetary value, they need to sell it as a complete package. While rummaging for missing parts, they also uncover antique exercise equipment, including the Vitamaster Model 35 Vibrator Belt Exercise Machine from the 1950s, complete with a Vitamaster Roller Massager from the same era.

“Bohus and Shaun… Buy a Jukebox”
Monday, Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT
Hatton and Blahut take their newest acquisition, the world’s first talking pinball machine (nicknamed Gorgar), to Dallas, where they arrange for a much-needed restoration. While in Texas, they unearth rare musical instruments at a swap meet, including a 1951 Shure 55S Microphone and a 1960s electronic Zeetar. Before trekking on to their next destination, the hosts find themselves hunting through a massive and crowded liquidation sale, meeting numerous compelling characters in the process.

VINTAGE TECH HUNTERS is produced by Crooked Horse Productions in association with Discovery Canada and Boat Rocker Studios. The series is co-financed by Boat Rocker Studios with Boat Rocker Rights distributing the series internationally and managing the global brand and licensing. Executive Producers for Boat Rocker Studios are Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier, along with David Lerech and Bree Tiffin from Crooked Horse. From Boat Rocker Rights, Jon Rutherford is President and Series Producer is Robert Scott.

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Jennifer Podemski’s Future History premieres November 13th on APTN

From a media release:

Jennifer Podemski, President of Redcloud Studios Inc. is pleased to announce that Future History, a doc series (13 x .30) celebrating Indigenous knowledge reclamation, will premiere November 13th at 7:30 pm ET exclusively on APTN East & HD and 7:30 pm MT on APTN West.

Future History follows two passionate, and polar opposite, Anishinaabe (Ojibway) hosts Sarain Fox and Kris Nahrgang as they venture into their community to gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous Knowledge and the movement of cultural revitalization. For generations across North America, Indigenous People have been reeling from the devastating effects of colonialism that has left children, language, ceremony and culture at risk. But today, a movement of reclamation and revitalization is being led by Indigenous People who are harnessing Indigenous Knowledge as a way to shift the colonial paradigm and build a brighter future for the next generation. From Arts and Science to the Justice System, the resurgence of Indigenous Knowledge is stronger than ever. Future History is a journey of discovery through an Indigenous lens, a journey that will inspire and enlighten all audiences.

Future History is produced by Geoff Ewart and Jennifer Podemski. Executive Producers are Janice Dawe and Kathy Avrich-Johnson of Bizable Media. Directed by Jennifer Podemski. Series made possible by the generous support of Canada Media Fund (CMF), Rogers Documentary Fund and APTN

Jennifer Podemski has been acting since she was a teen. Her career blossomed when she landed the role of Pique in The Diviners and then a starring role in Bruce McDonald’s Dance Me Outside. Of mixed First Nations and Israeli descent, she soon noticed the lack of First Nations people writing, producing and directing screened entertainment. At 25, she opened Big Soul Productions with Laura Milliken, which produced three seasons of the award-winning dramatic television series Mocassin Flats. In 2005, Podemski branched out on her own and founded Redcloud Studios Inc, an independent production company dedicated to pushing forward Indigenous narratives across all platforms. Her work as a producer also includes the paranormal documentary series The Other Side, The Indspire Awards, and the award-winning, critically acclaimed feature film Empire of Dirt for which Jennifer was nominated for a 2015 Canadian Screen Award for both supporting actress and producer. She has maintained a successful career as an actor with roles in Degrassi: TNG, The Rez (Gemini nomination), Republic of Doyle, Take This Waltz, Jimmy P., Blackstone, Sensitive Skin, FireSong, Hard Rock Medical and the upcoming fourth season of Cardinal on CTV and Hulu.

Kris Nahrgang is Mississauga (Ojibway) with Treaty Status held at Curve Lake. A multi-disciplinary artist working in wood, stone and traditional oil mediums, Kris’s work can be found in numerous private and corporate collection including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, singer Anne Murray, comedian Bill Cosby, singer Keech Rainwater (of Lonestar), Nik Antropov (Atlanta Thrashers), Brian Skinner (Phoenix Suns). Kris is an archeologist by training who has advocated on behalf of First Nations across Ontario for over 20 years. An experienced diver, Kris began an undergraduate degree in anthropology at Trent University, and has worked in a close relationship with underwater archaeologists at Parks Canada, mainly along the Trent Severn. Kris has attempted to establish a cultural heritage/archaeological research and curatorial facility that will serve the needs of a large group of the smaller southern Ontario native communities. He served as a member of the advisory committee struck by the Ministry of Culture to contribute to the development of new Stage 1-4 archaeological assessment technical guidelines. Recently Kris was commissioned by the Canadian National Exhibition to produce a 36’ UNITY POLE (Totem). The Pole was unveiled at the CNE in August of 2017, receiving national and international acclaim from both the public and media.

Of Anishinaabe lineage, Sarain Fox is a multi-disciplinary performer and passionate spokesperson for her community and culture. Sarain studied at the Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre, the Quinte Ballet School and the Alvin Ailey Bachelor of Fine Arts Program in New York City. She has performed at The Canada Dance Festival 2008, The Barrie Jazz and Blues Festival VIII, the 2002, 2007 and 2012 Aboriginal Achievement Awards, and two summers with the Ajkun Ballet Theatre Company in New York City. As a member of Kahawaii Dance theatre, Sarain has attended three indigenous dance residencies at The Banff Centre, which allowed her to work with Neil Iremia of Black Grace and Javier Dezule of Dezule dance. Sarain is currently the newest member of Untitled Collective; a NYC based Australian aboriginal modern dance collective. On and off the dance floor, this stellar entity of artistic expulsion is truly always on her toes. Other endeavors for Sarain include the debut of her first play entitled Ashes which appeared at the Weesageechak Festival in Toronto and most recently; Sarain completed The New York Film Academy’s, acting for film program. Sarain is currently the host of RISE on VICE Canada.

Redcloud Studios Inc. is an independent production company owned and operated by award winning actor and producer, Jennifer Podemski. Redcloud Studios is dedicated to strengthening aboriginal visibility in the film and television industry, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. Jennifer has traveled to over 2,000 Native communities throughout Canada and the US, using her media empowerment module to encourage youth to use the medium to speak out and effect change. Whether it’s mainstream drama, provocative documentary, intensive training or live theatre, Redcloud Studios is committed to breaking down barriers and paving the way for the future generation of media makers.

APTN launched in 1999 as the first national Indigenous broadcaster in the world, creating a window into the remarkably diverse mosaic of Indigenous Peoples. A respected non-profit, charitable broadcaster and the only one of its kind in North America. Sharing our stories of authenticity in English, French and a variety of Indigenous languages, to approximately 11 million Canadian TV subscribers. With over 80% Canadian content, APTN connects with its audience through genuine, inspiring, and engaging entertainment through multiple platforms.

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Preview: Frankie Drake Mysteries explores the civil rights movement

Frankie Drake Mysteries‘ Monday night CBC partner, Murdoch Mysteries, explored racism directed at Greek immigrants in the city circa 1906. This week’s newest instalment of Frankie Drake Mysteries did the same by delving into the civil rights movement in this country in the 1920s.

Here’s what the CBC has revealed as an episode synopsis for “Emancipation Day,” written by Andrew Burrows-Trotman and directed by Ruba Nadda:

When donations are taken from a coloured girls’ orphanage, civil rights hero Marcus Garvey (Ryan Allen) hires the team to catch the thief and find the cash.

And, as always, a few more facts I gleaned after watching a screener.

Do some research on Marcus Garvey
Garvey is a fascinating figure and well worth you doing more digging into. And yes, he did really visit Toronto, though a little later in real life than the Frankie Drake timeline. Every August 17 is celebrated in Toronto as Marcus Garvey Day.

Trudy sings
This isn’t the first time Chantel Riley has gotten to show off her singing skills on Frankie Drake and I’m sure it won’t be the last. If you want to hear more of her music, search for Riley on your favourite music platform.

Karen Robinson stops by
Yes, you already guessed it from the above image. Mildred Clarke and her side-eye are in full effect on Monday night and she plays a key part in the main storyline. Also, look for 19-2‘s Richard Chevolleau and Defiance‘s Dewshane Williams in guest roles.

Frankie Drake Mysteries airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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