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.
Hilariously irreverent homegrown comedy star Darcy Michael headlines a sermon where no topic, including gay parenting and casual drug use, is too taboo in CraveTV’s first commission of original stand-up comedy, DARCY MICHAEL GOES TO CHURCH. The one-hour special, developed in partnership with Just For Laughs, begins streaming on Friday, March 9 and joins CraveTV’s popular Stand-Up Comedy Collection.
As was announced last September, CraveTV, Just For Laughs, and Counterfeit Pictures have partnered to create three original stand-up specials showcasing some of Canada’s funniest comedy talents. Darcy Michael, Debra DiGiovanni, and Graham Chittenden hit the stage at Toronto’s Berkeley Church during last fall’s JFL42 Festival to tape the one-hour specials which mark CraveTV’s debut original stand-up specials.
An engaging presence on the Canadian comedy scene for over 10 years, Darcy Michael has 10 national televised comedy galas under his belt, and appeared opposite Dave Foley on the CTV comedy series SPUN OUT. A two-time Canadian Comedy Award-nominee, Darcy has also appeared on The Comedy Network’s MATCH GAME and CBC Radio’s The Debaters.
Following DARCY MICHAEL GOES TO CHURCH, DEBRA DIGIOVANNI: HERE’S THE THING streams in April and features the original cat lady and master of fast-talking comedy as she explains her love of otters, male models, and TV shows about murder, GRAHAM CHITTENDEN: RELUCTANT ADULT follows in May and showcases Chittenden as he hilariously laments the responsibilities of adult life.
DARCY MICHAEL GOES TO CHURCH, DEBRA DIGIOVANNI: HERE’S THE THING, and GRAHAM CHITTENDEN: RELUCTANT ADULT are co-produced by Just For Laughs Television and Counterfeit Pictures, in association with Bell Media’s CraveTV. Executive producers are Bruce Hills from Just For Laughs, as well as Dan Bennett, Shane Corkery, and Anton Leo from Counterfeit Pictures. The specials are directed by Shelagh O’Brien.
After a two-week break for the Winter Olympics, Murdoch Mysteries roars back onto CBC’s schedule with an interesting and unique episode.
“Murdoch Schmurdoch,” written by Robert Rotenberg and Lori Spring and directed by Sherren Lee, isn’t your traditional Murdoch episode. Well, yes, there is a crime and most of the major characters are involved, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Here’s what the CBC has revealed in their official synopsis:
Murdoch investigates a murder with connections to vaudeville entertainers Harry and Al Jolson and Watts unravels a mystery about his own family.
And, as always, a few more tidbits from me after watching a screener.
John Brackenreid returns
After several episodes away, John is back in Station House No. 4 where he spends a lot of time alongside Higgins, working the main murder case. And, while working it, someone catches John’s eye. Is yet another romantic relationship in the cards for a Murdoch character?
Al and Harry Jolson visit Toronto
My research—OK, Google—shows Al did indeed perform in Toronto, though not exactly during Murdoch Mysteries‘ timeline. No matter, he and his brother make an immediate impact. Kudos to Sayer Roberts for the great performance as Al, who connects with Detective Watts in a major, and surprising, storyline.
Detective Watts gets spiritual
Daniel Maslany gets major screen time on Monday night and I couldn’t be happier. Not only is the slightly dishevelled detective on point during the murder investigation, but he and Al Jolson spend numerous scenes together, rounding out Watts in a fascinating way.
Investment property specialist, Scott McGillivray, is taking his passion to the next level by teaming up with renovation rookies for the opportunity of a lifetime in the new Canadian original series Buyers Bootcamp with Scott McGillivray (10×60). Premiering Sunday, April 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada, the series follows Scott as he works with first-time house flippers and invests his own money and expertise to renovate rundown homes. Along with his new partners, Scott will work night and day to get each renovation completed on time and on budget. If they succeed, they split the profits, and if they fail, they fail together.
After years of successfully transforming properties into income-generators, this time Scott is offering his knowledge to newbies in a high stakes, real-life training ground. In each episode, Scott tours two potential partners’ homes to identify what needs to be done to earn top dollar when it hits the market. Scott takes into account the total budget, the time required, as well as the skills and sweat-equity each homeowner can offer. Once the partner is selected, Scott puts his money where his mouth is and personally invests in the project. He then leads the charge in tackling the renovation, giving his new partners invaluable hands-on lessons to successfully overhaul a home in time for an open house.
CIBC continues its five-year partnership with HGTV Canada and Scott McGillivray as the series’ exclusive sponsor. The financial institution will provide viewers with helpful tips on how they can make the most of their own home investments through digital content on the series’ website and weekly videos posted on HGTV Canada’s social media platforms, in addition to organic integrations throughout the show.
New episodes of Buyers Bootcamp with Scott McGillivray will be available On Demand and at HGTV.ca each week after broadcast. Later this spring, catch Scott as he returns for Season 3 of HGTV Canada’s Home To Win, premiering Sunday, April 29 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Buyers Bootcamp with Scott McGillivray is produced by McGillivray Entertainment in association with Corus Entertainment’s HGTV Canada and Scripps Networks Interactive.
It may be March Break for most fans, but class is back in session at Keaton School of the Arts as Family Channel’s popular tween drama Backstage returns for its second season. Premiering Monday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT, the highly anticipated second season debuts as a full week event, with new episodes airing daily at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT until Friday, March 16, and an advance preview on The Family Channel App. The all-new season headlines Family’s March Break programming lineup, which includes the return of the out-of-this-world competition series, Massive Monster Mayhem and new movies every day!
Backstage follows a group of exceptionally talented teenagers as they face the challenges that come with attending the prestigious Keaton School of the Arts. Season two welcomes a brand new school year for the students with the emergence of new rivalries, friendships and a multi-school arts competition. The series, which is filmed in Toronto, features an all-Canadian cast and all-original musical score, with episodes directed by some of today’s most notable music video directors including RT! (Snoop Dogg, Sean Paul), Director X (Drake, Rihanna, Zayn), Wendy Morgan (Dragonette, Janelle Monáe) and Warren Sonoda (Johnny Reid, George Canyon). Following premiere week, Backstage moves to its regular timeslot, Fridays at 6:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Season two of Backstage premieres as part of Family Channel’s March Break lineup, a can’t-miss programming event for the entire family. The fun officially begins on Friday, March 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT with the network premiere of Daddy’s Home (starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell) and features must-see movies daily at 7 p.m. ET/PT, from March 10 – 18. Movie titles include: The Smurfs, Astro Boy, Hotel Transylvania, Monster House, Zathura: A Space Adventure, Away & Back, Open Season 3, Surf’s Up and The Peanuts Movie. The festivities also include the return of Massive Monster Mayhem, a laugh-out-loud comedy that pits real-life kids against all-star monsters in the most grueling and toughest challenges known to mankind. New episodes will debut on Monday, March 12, Wednesday, March 14, and Friday, March 16 at 9:30 a.m. ET/PT, before the series moves to its regular timeslot on March 24, Saturdays at 9 a.m. ET/PT.
Family Channel’s multi-platform offerings will also be joining the March Break celebrations with new episodes of Backstage available on the The Family Channel App beginning March 9. Immediately following each episode’s broadcast premiere, fans can head to the App to watch the next episode of Backstage, one day early! Those looking to catch up on past episodes can take advantage of the App’s Free Preview, which currently offers the entire first season of Backstage and the first part of Massive Monster Mayhem to users without a subscription throughout February and March. New episodes will also be available on Family OnDemand, with a sampling on Family.ca.
Backstage stars Josh Bogert as Miles; Aviva Mongillo as Alya; Mckenzie Small as Scarlett; Devyn Nekoda as Vanessa; Alyssa Trask as Carly; Colin Petierre as Sasha; Matthew Isen as Jax; Julia Tomasone as Bianca; Romy Weltman as Kit, Kyal Legend as Julie, Adrianna Di Liello as Jenna and Madison MacGregor as Cassandra. Joining the cast for season two are: Thomas L. Colford (Center Stage: On Pointe) as Beckett; Joshua Kilimnik (Odd Squad, Bruno & Boots movies) as George; Stephanie La Rochelle (Heartland) as Frances; Sydney Kuhne (Dino Dan) as Azadehl; Robert Bazzocchi as Aidan; Corteon Moore as Matteo; and Hailey Fauchere as Mindy.
Commissioned by DHX Television, Backstage was created and developed by Fresh TV. The series’ executive producers are Brian Irving, who also serves as producer; Lara Azzopardi, the series’ co-creator, show runner, writer and director; Jennifer Pertsch, also co-creator; Tom McGillis and George Elliott. Mario Azzopardi (Stargate SG-1, The Outer Limits, Degrassi) also directs. Backstage is internationally distributed by DHX Media.