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.

Season 5 of The Marilyn Denis Show set

denis

From a media release:

She’s back! Coming off its highest-rated season to date, the #1 Canadian daytime lifestyle series THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW returns Weekdays at 10 a.m. ET, kicking-off its fifth season Monday, Sept. 8 on CTV and CTV GO. Canada’s reigning queen of daytime returns with an all-new season and new lifestyle superstars joining her already impressive team of experts, including entrepreneur and personal finance mentor Kevin O’Leary (SHARK TANK), famed interior decorator Debbie Travis, celebrity chefs Michael Bonacini (MASTERCHEF CANADA), Lynn Crawford, and Anna Olson, and interior makeover maven Cheryl Torrenueva. To view a complete list of MARILYN’s lifestyle team, click here.

Opening highlights for Season 5 include “MARILYN’s 100 Day Challenge” (Sept. 9) aimed at helping viewers live their best life – from eating well and losing weight, to achieving personal financial goals; MASTERCHEF Season 3 winner Christine Ha (Sept. 11) cooks up a plan on how to throw a dinner party on a budget, while interior designer Jane Lockhart saves one lucky viewer thousands of dollars with a $0 room makeover; real-estate expert Scott McGillivray (Sept. 15) shares innovative ways to boost property investments; famed psychic medium John Edward (Sept. 16) discusses the power of the mind, before conducting live psychic readings on in-studio audience members; Marilyn launches the program’s 4th Annual Breast Cancer Survivor Makeover (Sept. 19) episode during “Think Pink Week” in support of Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s CIBC Run for the Cure; design expert Amanda Forrest takes viewers inside her home transformation for Toronto Maple Leaf goaltender Jonathan Bernier (Sept. 25); and more.

Additional lifestyle and celebrity guests appearing this season include designer Tommy Smythe (Sept. 18), TV contractor Bryan Baeumler (Sept. 22), CRIMINAL MINDS star Kirsten Vangsness (Oct. 1), Tony® and Emmy® award-winning actress/comedian Andrea Martin (Oct. 21), Golden Globe®-nominated actress and New York Times best-selling author Marilu Henner (Oct. 22), and more.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Review: Race’s full Monty with Monty in Montreal

We may not know who the winners of The Amazing Race Canada will be at this point, but we do know one thing: Ryan and Rob are the luckiest guys of the season. The friends and co-workers were once again saved by host Jon Montgomery, who informed the last-to-the-mat duo that Tuesday’s Leg in Montreal was a non-elimination and they were still competing.

It was a stunning turn of fortune for the two and perhaps a little deserved in the eyes of fate. After all, they chose to try the Fast Forward despite knowing that Sukhi and Jinder were already doing it and gambling they would complete it before the siblings did. As a matter of fact, perhaps fate shone on both teams, allowing the brother a sister the first-place finish while giving the co-workers another shot at success. After all, they were the only teams bold enough to strip down all in the name of the Amazing Race Canada title.

Both teams raced to the Parisian Laundry for the Fast Forward, mistakenly assuming they would be washing some clothes. Instead, they were instructed to doff their tops, pants … everything but their underwear and pose for burgeoning artists who sketched them. The second phase of the Fast Forward challenged each to pose naked, which after a second of debate Jinder and Sukhi did.

“Don’t look forward!” Jinder told his sister.

“Don’t look backward!” she responded. What followed was the most entertaining and cringe-inducing moments of this season and perhaps the history of The Amazing Race franchise. Jinder’s wooden stare belied the horror going on inside of him. I can’t help but wonder if these two kids will be scarred for life. Since Jinder and Sukhi completed the Fast Forward first, Rob and Ryan had to get dressed–their nude pose meant Ryan’s genitals would have been dangling near Rob’s ear so perhaps this was for the best–and then complete one of the Detours. Their choice to make glass beads took them well into the night while the Fast Forward winners arrived on the mat in first place.

As for the rest of the teams, a seemingly enjoyable grilled cheese eating contest–the other Detour–slowed down, not to mention filled up, the remaining duos save Audrey and Alain who made beads. I’m a massive grilled cheese fan, but the idea of eating dozens of bites made from different varieties of cheese alternated with a 50-mentre sprint to a food truck to identify what I had just eaten would have left me heaving into the St. Lawrence River. Meaghan and Natalie in particular had a hard time of it and bickered back and forth while buds Mickey and Pete chowed down and then departed.

Here’s how the teams finished:

  • Sukhi and Jinder
  • Mickey and Pete
  • Meaghan and Natalie
  • Alain and Audrey
  • Rob and Ryan (non-elimination)

The Amazing Race airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

W Network launches fall food block

unnamed

From a media release:

This fall, Tuesdays get hot in the kitchen as W Network launches a new food programming block with the premiere of two new original series, Pressure Cooker, a primetime culinary competition show, and Million Dollar Critic, a critique of North America’s most enticing and interesting restaurants. The two series premiere back-to-back on Tuesday, October 7, with Pressure Cooker airing at 9 p.m. ET and Million Dollar Critic airing at 10 p.m. ET on W Network.

Pressure Cooker (10×60) illustrates the real-life pressures of cooking at home when time is tight and ingredients are scarce, pitting skilled home cooks against the clock – and each other. Million Dollar Critic (6×60) takes U.K. based restaurant critic Giles Coren to cities across North America to review up-and-coming or authentic food establishments to determine which will receive his million-dollar review.

“Everyone loves food, from cooking in to dining out, and W Network’s two new series give our audiences the best of both worlds,” said John MacDonald, Vice President, Head of Women’s and Family Television, Corus Entertainment. “The series are connected by foodie extraordinaire, Giles Coren, known in the U.K. for his outspoken opinions and spot-on reviews of restaurants and chefs. We are excited to introduce Canadian audiences to this food superstar.”

Pressure Cooker features Giles Coren (The F-Word, Million Dollar Critic), as the tasting expert alongside host Anne-Marie Withenshaw; an award-winning entertainment and live event TV personality. Each episode features four competitors vying for one of the largest weekly grand prizes in Canadian television – one year’s worth of fresh groceries from Walmart SuperCentres. Each week two celebrity guest chefs who will serve as coaches for the competitors as they show how creative you can be with the same ingredients. Guest chefs include: Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes, Iron Chef America), Hugh Acheson (Top Chef), Rocco DiSpirito (Top Chef), Stefano Faita (In The Kitchen With Stefano Faita), Alex Guarnaschelli (Chopped, Iron Chef America), Rodney Bowers (chef and owner, Hey Meatball!), Graham Elliot (Masterchef judge), Nadia Giosia (Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen), Anne Burrell (Secrets of a Restaurant Chef, Iron Chef America), Eric Greenspan (The Next Iron Chef) and DJ BBQ (YouTube star on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube).

On Pressure Cooker, home cooks are faced with the eternal dilemma – what do you cook when you have only a few random ingredients in the kitchen and not a lot of time to prepare them? In each episode, guest celebrity chefs are paired with skilled home cooks in a culinary contest combining great cooking and mischievous game show mechanics with a twist – home cooks must select their ingredients from a specially designed conveyor belt that kicks in at timed intervals, and whatever they choose, they must use. Pressure Cooker is produced by Bristow Global Media, in association with W Network and is based on an original concept created by Jamie Oliver’s Fresh One Productions.

Lead broadcast and grocery sponsor Walmart Canada provides food staples in the Great Value branded pantry as well as the fresh food on the Pressure Cooker conveyor belt. Canadians can find fresh and accessible meal ideas from Pressure Cooker at Walmart.ca/recipes to use in their own kitchens. ESKA Natural Spring Water has also signed on as the official water supplier for the season.

Million Dollar Critic also stars Giles Coren, the bitingly funny and controversial restaurant critic of one of the U.K.’s best-selling newspapers, The Times. His good opinion can bring as much as a million dollars of profit to those restaurants graced with his words of approval. He cannot be bought. He cannot be invited. If your place is good, then you hope he shows up. And if it is bad, then you better hope he doesn’t. And now he’s coming to North America. Giles doesn’t care about reputations. He isn’t interested in fancy or flashy or famous. He is simply looking for a place that offers him a drink when he sits down, that serves him a dish filled with love, and doesn’t play the music so loudly that he can’t have a proper conversation with his dinner companion. He’ll take everything the restaurants throw at him and throw it right back. And so, with his trusty researcher by his side helping him navigate this strange and tasty new world, Giles traverses cities and towns across Canada and the U.S., discovering the newest, freshest, and most authentic dining experiences. In each town, Giles visits five restaurants and grants one a million dollar review that could change the owner’s life forever. His reviews will also appear on Huffingtonpost.com and Wnetwork.com. Million Dollar Critic is produced by Temple Street Production and BBC America, in association with W Network, and will be distributed by BBC Worldwide.

 

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

The Social gals get chatting for Season 2

They’re back and they’ve got a lot more to say. Yup, those Social gals–news anchor Melissa Grelo, relationship expert and life coach Cynthia Loyst, gossip maven Lainey Lui and entertainment reporter Traci Melchor–return for Season 2 this week and they’re raring to go.

No topic is out of bounds for the quartet; they feel equally at home discussing the latest fashion trends, current news making headlines or spilling the dirt on the most recent celebrity breakup. And the foursome say they felt a chemistry between them from the get-go.

“The first time that they put us all together for auditions I said to myself, ‘This is it,'” Melchor explains. “None of the other formations felt as good as us.” It hasn’t been all smooth sailing on-air. As Loyst tells it, they’ve all become great friends but have argued on more than one occasion on the show. Of course, she explains, that not only makes for great TV but cements they are real people with differing opinions on subjects.

“We still get along, we’re like a weird sisterhood,” Loyst says with a laugh. “You fight, you make up and then you move on.”

They admit the hardest part of being the hosts of a daytime talk show has been pulling back the curtain on their personal lives and sharing them on-air with each other and the audience. For Grelo, that meant a shift in thinking and departing from the typical news anchor mentality of reporting without injecting any personal opinion.

At the other end of the scale is Lui: co-hosting The Social has just confirmed what she already knew.

“I already knew that I had no shame,” she admits. “I have talked about my bowel movements to the point that our viewers know my favourite thing to talk about is poo, and my sex life to the point that everyone knows who I would have casual sex with if I wasn’t married.” Revealing those intimate secrets–and bodily functions–has led to a connection with viewers none of the hosts anticipated. Sure, they knew fans would have opinions and feedback but they were still surprised. Loyst points to her Season 1 blog about breastfeeding as an example of a topic that stirred plenty of discussion.

“That is what makes this show so unique,” she says. “There is this constant conversation happening with our audience. Viewers have watched my son grow from three months to 15 months. People definitely feel and intimacy or kinship with me because they know my family.” Expect more of the same in Season 2, teases Grelo. This past year has been the ladies’ introduction to viewers. Any nervousness they had about connecting with an audience is gone; fans know who they are as broadcasters and people.

“I think people will be watching in an even more engaged way,” Grelo says. “There will be thoughtful discussion about interesting topics that are going to affect you in the bedroom, the boardroom, your living room and we’ll continue to engage with our viewers via social media and amazing celebrity interviews.”

Season 2 of The Social airs weekdays at 1 p.m. ET on CTV.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Omni greenlights Season 2 of Bollywood Star

628_bollywoodstar

From a media release:

Bollywood boot camp is back in session, as OMNI Television and Makan Media greenlight production on Season 2 of the dynamic original reality series Bollywood Star. Equal parts talent search and documentary, the six-part, half-hour series follows Canadian would-be Bollywood stars on their quest for the opportunity of a lifetime: a role in a Bollywood film, and a chance to become the next Bollywood sensation. Canadians can submit their auditions online at OMNITV.ca/BollywoodStar beginning today. Additional production and broadcast details will be announced at a later date.

“It was clear from last season that Canada boasts an immense wealth of talent across all cultures and communities,” said Paritosh Mehta, Director of Independent Production Development for OMNI Television Ontario, Rogers Media. “OMNI Television has always celebrated the Bollywood film industry, and we look forward to once again offering viewers this life-changing opportunity and delivering a fresh new season of this captivating series.”

OMNI Television’s nationwide search is open to all talented Canadian hopefuls over the age of majority. Beginning today, applicants can visit OMNITV.ca/BollywoodStar for more information on how to submit their application form and video audition.

“We are very excited to produce another season of Bollywood Star and to share the real-life experiences of Canadians trying to make it in biggest movie industry in the world,” said Shaam Makan, Executive Producer, Makan Media. “This season, our Bollywood hopefuls will not only experience the glamorous sights and sounds of India, but they’ll also tackle some of the hard-hitting issues that affect Indian society today.”

Surrey, B.C.’s 25-year-old Simran Sidhu was crowned Bollywood Star’s Season 1 winner in April. Beating out talented hopefuls from all over the country, Sidhu’s stunning performances during the competition’s Indian leg dazzled industry experts and led her to the ultimate prize: a role in an upcoming Bollywood film.

Bollywood Star follows the format of the successful Bollywood Star Australia and United Kingdom. The series is commissioned by OMNI Television’s original content team and produced by Makan Media Inc, with Shaam Makan (Restaurant MakeoverThe Next StarBollywood Star) serving as executive producer. Paritosh Mehta is Director of Independent Production Development for OMNI Television Ontario, Rogers Media.

 

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail