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.

Crave confirms Season 3 of Shoresy is going, May 24

From a media release:

Following a breaking news exclusive revealed by SHORESY’s “Hitch” (aka former NHL legend Terry Ryan) on last night’s episode of SC WITH JAY ONRAIT, Crave confirms that its smash-hit original series SHORESY returns for a six-episode, third season on Friday, May 24 with two episodes. Following the premiere, one new episode drops on subsequent Fridays.

Created by and starring Jared Keeso, and produced by New Metric Media in association with Play Fun Games, SHORESY sees the foul-mouthed, chirp-serving, mother-loving, fan favourite character, Shoresy (Keeso), and the Sudbury Blueberry Bulldogs of the Northern Ontario Senior Hockey Organization (The NOSHO), continue their quest to never lose again.

In Season 3, Shoresy and the Sudbury Blueberry Bulldogs compete in the National Senior Tournament, facing off against teams from across Canada, like the Charlottetown Reds, Brooks Barrelmen, Vaughan Canadesi, and SOO Hunt.

Returning cast starring alongside Keeso are: Tasya Teles (THE 100) as Nat; Harlan Blayne Kytwayhat (Prey) as Sanguinet; Blair Lamora (Paranormal Nightshift) as Ziigwan; and Keilani Rose (FLIMSY) as Miigwan. From, Montréal, QC, rapper Jonathan-Ismael Diaby stars as Dolo; and former NHL player, author, and actor Terry Ryan stars as Hitch. Ryan McDonell (THE CROSSING) stars as Michaels; Max Bouffard (LETTERKENNY) is JJ Frankie JJ, and former Kahnawake Condor and MMA fighter Andrew “The Canon” Antsanen returns as Goody. Legendary all-time tough guy Jon “Nasty” Mirasty, former Carolina Hurricanes centre Brandon Nolan, and three-time Stanley Cup winner, Jordan Nolan star as Jim, Jim, and Jim, respectively. North Bay’s Bourke Cazabon stars as Cory, Listowel’s Keegan Long as Liam, Jacob Smith as Fish, Camille Sullivan as Laura Mohr, Neil Clark as Schnurr, Alex Penner as Palmer, Frederick Roy as Delaney, and Maclean Fish as Jory.

Guest stars appearing in SHORESY, Season 3, include (in order of appearance): Kim Cloutier (LETTERKENNY); Tessa Bonhomme (SPORTSCENTRE); Jay Onrait (SC WITH JAY ONRAIT); Rear Admiral (Spittin’ Chiclets podcast); Marie-Mai; Steve Bossé; Pierre-Luc Létourneau-Leblond; Danick Paquette; Laurence Leboeuf (TRANSPLANT); Michala Brasseur (THE HANDMAID’S TALE); Celeste Ziegler (UPLOAD); Amélie McGarrell (Coeur vintage); Eliana Jones (HEARTLAND); Eva Shaw; Scott Thompson (THE KIDS IN THE HALL); Jordana Lajoie (THE BOYS); Lysandre Nadeau (Sexe Oral podcast); Vanessa Matsui (LETTERKENNY); Marjorie St-Onge (OCCUPATION DOUBLE); Brad Bonello; Nick LaPorte; and Maxim Roy (19-2).

Developed by Bell Media for Crave, SHORESY is produced by New Metric Media, in partnership with Play Fun Games in association with Bell Media, with the participation of Canadian Media Fund, OMDC Tax Credits, and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, and is distributed by New Metric Media. Jared Keeso is executive producer, writer, star, and creator. Dan and Sean Skene are directors. Kaniehtiio Horn is producer. Mark Montefiore and Kara Haflidson are Executive Producers for New Metric Media.

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The Squeaky Wheel: Canada set to debut June 24 on AMI-tv and AMI+

From a media release:

Be Loud. Be Disabled. Be Squeaky. AMI is pleased to announce that Season 1 of The Squeaky Wheel: Canada will debut Monday, June 24, at 9 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv and AMI+.

Based on Steven Verdile’s popular web publication The Squeaky Wheel and produced by Hitsby Entertainment, The Squeaky Wheel: Canada is an eight-episode satirical, half-hour news format which pokes fun at the ableist society people with disabilities face every day.

Directed by Lucy Belgum and Tobi Abdul, the series stars Graham Kent and Gaitrie Persaud as lead anchors Grant Gewürztraminer and Arianna Salara. The ensemble cast of Margaret Rose, Samantha Wyss, Sivert Das, Wesley Magee-Saxton and Yousef Kadoura are on the scene, ready to take on absurd situations and characters, including flipping the script and embodying obnoxious able-bodied/neurotypical personalities.

Rounding out the troupe is stand-up comedian Courtney Gilmour (Canada’s Got Talent) as the cantankerous January Knougho from Organizational Operations Practices and Standards (a.k.a. O.O.P.S.) to give Arianna and Grant the what’s what from the control room.

Each week, Canadian guest stars from the disability community make a splash, including social media influencers Taylor Lindsay-Noel (Mind Your Own Business), who portrays a pivotal witness to a porch pirate theft; Madison Tevlin (Champions, Who Do You Think I Am?), playing a frustrated marketing executive; and Lil’ Gabi D (Fashion Dis) as a winner of “Little in Public Bingo,” setting a record for most ableist experiences in a day.

Additionally, AMI’s own Kelly MacDonald, co-host of Kelly & Ramya, appears in two Season 1 sketches. In the first, he appears in an action film trailer spoof—alongside stand-up comedian and writer Daniel Barra-Berger—as one of two men who cross paths, and canes, as white cane users. In the second, Kelly puts his voice skills to use as a home buyer in a sketch that pokes fun at adding described video to adult movies.

As previously announced, the series is presented by Canada’s top writers and performers from the disability community. The Squeaky Wheel: Canada’s irreverent perspective flips tropes and clichés upside down by showcasing disability in a humorous way. Its clever blend of social commentary and provocative humour will leave audiences laughing hysterically and feeling pleasurably guilty about it.

The eight-episode series introduces a fresh perspective to the entertainment landscape with its disability-led creative team, fronted by series producer Michelle Asgarali.

The writing team includes D. Cole, Daniel Barra-Berger, Jenny Lee-Gilmore and Sierra Haynes, and many story contributors with diverse perspectives across the disability community.

The Squeaky Wheel: Canada debuts Monday, June 24, at 9 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv and available for streaming on AMI+.

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Preview: Tripping the French River is the latest episode in TVO’s successful franchise

The advent of spring marks several things. Warmer weather. Flowers growing and trees budding. It also means a new instalment in the excellent Tripping franchise.

And, after previous jaunts on the Rideau Canal, the Bruce Peninsula, the Niagara River and Train 185, the French River is getting the spotlight in Tripping the French River.

Airing Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern on TVO, TVO’s website and YouTube channel, executive producer Mitch Azaria’s franchise has become hugely popular thanks to its “slow TV” approach of taking viewers on a trip through Ontario in real-time.

The three-hour instalment begins with a babbling waterfall and chattering birds before a long drone shot joins a couple paddling a cedar-stripped canoe on Lake Nipissing at the mouth of the French River. The duo traversing the first part of the river, called Canoe Pass, are retracing those of European explorers (guided by Indigenous peoples who had used the waters for millennia) 400 years ago. And, much like it must have been back then, the only sounds here are birds, a breeze in the trees and the soft kerplunk of paddles dipping into the water.

It isn’t all just languid strokes on the river to Georgian Bay. Some rapids require a portage that follows trails established by generations of wildlife, and side trips that use animation to explore other facts about flora and fauna along the way.

As with past Tripping excursions, facts about the river, its environs, and the people who used it are spelled out with facts shown on screen. Among them:

  • In 1986, the French River was named the first Canadian Heritage River, in recognition of its place in Indigenous history and role in shaping Canada
  • Its waterways are protected within the boundaries of a provincial park
  • The French River was a vital travel and trading link between Quebec City, Lake Superior and points west
  • The pictographs on Kennedy Island were created hundreds of years ago and are one of three pictograph sites on the river

The 100-kilometre paddle is marked by several stops along the way, most notably the aforementioned pictographs, Dokis First Nation, Five Finger Rapids, Recollet Falls, Old French River Village and Old Voyageur Channel.

If you don’t have access to a canoe to do this trip yourself, Tripping the French River is the next best thing to being on the water.

Tripping the French River airs Sunday at 8 p.m. Eastern on TVO. Stream it TVO.org and the TVO YouTube Channel.

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Banff announces key speakers for its growing programming lineup

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is pleased to announce a distinguished lineup of industry leaders set to headline the 45th edition of the Festival taking place June 9 – 12, 2024 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

Key sessions at the Festival will feature:

In Conversation With Amy Reisenbach, CBS Entertainment
CBS Entertainment President, Amy Reisenbach, will join BANFF for a special ‘in conversation with’ session as she speaks about the network’s 2024/25 programming strategy, the art of building procedural franchises and CBS’ important role in the evolving TV ecosystem.  Reisenbach has served as President since 2022, where she now leads all primetime, daytime and late-night creative departments at the CBS Television Network, and supervises all comedy and drama development, alternative, specials and current programming, scheduling and casting.

International Media Leaders
Charting the Course Forward: Join our esteemed international media leaders as they delve into the currents reshaping the media landscape. From technological convergence to the imperative of diversity and inclusion, they’ll navigate the challenges and opportunities of an ever-evolving industry, sharing innovative strategies driving success in the face of disruption.

Speakers:

  • Bing Chen, CEO & Co-Founder, Gold House
  • Sandra Dewey, COO, Media Res
  • Lisa Kramer, President, International TV Licensing, Paramount Global Content Distribution
  • Asif Sadiq, Chief Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery
  • Cori Wellins, Partner, William Morris Endeavor

Disrupt or Be Disrupted: The Media Industry in the Age of Enshittification
Adam Cunningham, Chief Strategy Officer, Allied Global Marketing

Enshittification, the gradual decline into irrelevance faced by media platforms that fail to evolve with their audience, is the sword hanging over every media owner’s head. This era, characterized by rapid tech growth, domination and control, threatens to diminish your value, compelling an urgent shift from legacy approaches to innovative engagement. In this gritty guide, we challenge you to overhaul your strategy, placing the audience’s preferences at the core. It’s a clear call: disrupt your own models or be side-lined by those who will. For those daring to adapt, the future is bright; for the rest, irrelevance awaits.

“We’re thrilled to welcome these outstanding global entertainment thought leaders to the BANFF stage,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director (pictured above). “Now is not the time to be timid. The industry is at an inflection point. We’re programming a provocative lineup of speakers and this year’s Festival is poised to be a cornerstone event for media professionals navigating the complexities of our rapidly growing landscape.”

As previously announced, Channing Dungey, Warner Bros. Television Group Chairman and CEO and Rob Wade, CEO, FOX Entertainment are confirmed as Summit Series keynotes. The Festival will again include more than 1,200 facilitated networking opportunities, in addition to over 25,000 meetings connecting the global media industry to ignite new projects and support business growth.

This year, international financing and co-production will be a major focus.  BANFF will also debut new conference content focused on music on screen.   Technology, AI and entertainment content on social media and online platforms will also be a key focus.

Also returning to the BANFF stage in June is the Rockie Awards International Program Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious screen industry competitions, with participation from more than 45+ countries annually including an international jury of 150 industry professionals. Category winners, including the Grand Jury Prize, the Rogers Prize for Canadian Content, the Emerging Talent Prize, the Francophone Prize, and other special prizes, will be announced during the Festival on June 11th.

In addition, taking place on the evening of June 10th, the industry-favourite Rockies Gala will return to recognize the best content and most influential entertainment industry executives, talent and creators in the world.

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Industry veterans Michelle Mama and Bill Taylor launch new production company Gay Agenda

From a media release:

Industry veterans and award-winning producers Michelle Mama and Bill Taylor today announced the launch of their boutique production company GAY AGENDA. With an aim to foster, mentor, and produce from a defiantly queer lens, and to discover and amplify the next generation of queer voices, the company is currently in various stages of development and production on a robust slate of feature films and scripted and factual TV and digital series. Production is currently underway throughout Canada and the U.S on the feature-length documentary AntiDiva: The Confessions of Carole Pope.

“Everything just clicked when I met Bill and I knew we could build something meaningful together. We share the same vision, work ethic, and commitment to giving back to the community,” said Michelle Mama. “We’re passionate about empowering talented queer creatives who have been misunderstood by the mainstream, and about depicting representations of queer people not in peril, grief, or living through tragedy – we’re in the business of creating and sharing queer joy.”

“Forming GAY AGENDA at a time when the world feels increasingly divisive, it’s important for us to tell our own stories that foster empathy, build bridges, and celebrate forgiveness and redemption,” said Bill Taylor.

Featuring interviews with music industry titans, making use of never-before-seen archival footage, and with exclusive access to Carole Pope today, AntiDiva: The Confessions of Carole Pope chronicles the fascinating career and current life of a queer maverick. Challenging mainstream notions about sex and sexuality with her band Rough Trade in a time when it was dangerous to be gay, the now 78-year-old icon is navigating a new chapter of her life – still gigging, working on a musical, and recording fresh new music with young artists in her thrall. Produced by Michelle Mama, Bill Taylor, and Allison Grace of Fall From Grace Productions, and written and directed by Michelle Mama, AntiDiva: The Confessions of Carole Pope is slated for release in 2025 on CBC Documentary Channel.

AntiDiva: The Confessions of Carole Pope was made possible with the support of the Canada Media Fund POV Program, the Ontario Creates Film Fund, the Hot Docs-Slaight Family Fund, and the Rogers Documentary Fund.

Additionally, GAY AGENDA is currently in various stages of development on the following projects:

  • That’s Just Super (8×30) – queer superhero series created by Julianna Notten (Erin’s Guide to Kissing Girls) and co-showrun by veteran writer Anthony Q. Farrell (The Office, Shelved)
  • Queer Elders (working title, 6×30) – documentary series directed by Maya Bastian (Farm Crime, Tigress)
  • Daygamers (8×30) – adult animated series created by Lester Trips (Content Farm)
  • My Fabulous Gay Orgasm (6×30) – comedic series created by Scott Jones
  • Change Your Life Forever in 60 Days (6×16) – comedy web series created and produced by Ink Cap Productions
  • 2 x formatted queer dating series – additional details to be released at a later date

MICHELLE MAMA is an award-winning, five-time Canadian Screen Award nominee who has been producing and directing in the factual and doc space for over two decades. Her most recent credits include executive producing doc feature Summer Qamp (TIFF ’23) Canada’s Drag Race Season 3 and “Canada vs. The World” (Crave), directing the trans makeover series Shine True (VICE), and show-running two seasons of the award-winning arts documentary series In The Making (CBC). Michelle most recently directed celebrated comic Mae Martin hosting of a special episode of The Nature of Things “Fluid: Beyond the Binary” (CBC) and had the pleasure of directing two 2024 Governor General Award films, produced by the National Film Board, honouring comedy icon Andrea Martin and puppeteering legend Ronnie Burkett.

BILL TAYLOR is an award-winning queer filmmaker who is committed to telling stories deeply rooted in the human condition. He began his career as a writer/director making several films that screened at festivals worldwide, including Silver Road (CBC, Iris Prize Nominee, MTV Logo), The Young Prime Minister (Bravo!), and Don’t Get Killed In Alaska. After directing, producing and writing his first feature, Bill turned his attention to television production, working on hundreds of hours of scripted and unscripted shows.

For more information, follow @we_are_gay_agenda and visit gay-agenda.ca.

Image courtesy of Lulu Wei.

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