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.

The Next Star Season 7 winner revealed

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From a media release:

Tonight, during a live telecast from Canada’s Wonderland, in front of a theatre of thousands and with 3.5 million votes cast from across the country, 15-year-old Jory Zechner from Nipigon, ON was crowned the winner of the seventh season of Canada’s longest running singing competition series, YTV’s The Next Star. After weeks of vocal and choreography challenges and mentoring from judges Dan Kanter, Tara Oram and Mark Spicoluk, Jory is taking home a prize package, which includes a $5,000 shopping spree courtesy of Sears, a recording deal with the chance to work with one of the industry’s top music producers and an Epiphone Masterbilt Acoustic guitar.

Jory’s been one of The Next Star’s biggest transformations and surprises this season. Hailing from Nipigon, ON, Jory drove 10 hours to audition and brought along her guitar to strum along to her own tunes. With her signature blue hair and trademark frames, Jory, a self-proclaimed nerd, has opened up to show a lot of sass. It’s hard to believe this small town girl with a unique, original sound once struggled with believing in herself. Now she inspires the world with her confidence.

“It’s been so exciting to have had a front row seat and a chance to contribute to the amazing progress Jory has made throughout The Next Star season,” said Dan Kanter, judge on The Next Star 7 and Musical Director and lead guitarist for Justin Bieber. “I can’t wait to watch her next steps in what is sure to be an exciting career, and look forward to continuing to participate and celebrate in her success.”

Jory, was one of the Top 6 finalists—including Kaleia (13, Edmonton, AB), Michaelah (15, Kelowna, BC), Nissita (13, Barrie, ON), Ryland (15, Deseronto, ON) and Shon (12, Surrey, BC)—who were chosen from thousands of hopefuls who auditioned across Canada. During the live finale Jory performed her new single “Up to Us.” The finale also included special performances from Shawn Mendes and Echosmith. The Next Star Season 7 album including singles from each Top 6 finalist is currently available on iTunes and the music videos can be seen on iTunes and NextStar.YTV.com.

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Super Channel Development Fund Call for Submissions

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From a media release:

Super Channel, Canada’s only national English pay-television network, is pleased to announce that submissions are now being accepted for the next round of funding through the Super Channel Development Fund.

Less than a year after its launch, the new development fund is an unqualified success. Since its November, 2013 start date, the Super Channel Development Fund has invested $1.5 million in 54 Canadian feature films, documentaries and TV series. To date, the selection process has involved 179 applications from coast to coast and three separate funding deadlines, each of which took an average of just six weeks to complete.

“We are frankly delighted to have supported such a diverse range of new and exciting film and television projects from all across Canada,” said Melissa Kajpust, Head of Creative Development for Super Channel. “We look forward to supporting many more and can’t wait to see what this next round of development funding brings.”

Super Channel’s next funding deadline is October 10, 2014, followed by a spring deadline ofMarch 27, 2015. For more information on criteria, eligibility and the selection process, please go to: http://superchannel.ca/producers.

In addition to Melissa Kajpust, the development team at Super Channel includes Julie Di Cresce, Director of Canadian Programming, Maureen Levitt, Creative Development Executive, Western Canada and the Territories, Richard Paradis, Creative Development Representative, Quebec, Carole Henson, National Liaison, in Edmonton and Development Assistant, Jane Clarke.

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Review: Haven says goodbye to fan favourite

Spoiler alert: Jennifer is dead. This wasn’t a surprise for die-hard Haven fans or loyal Twitter followers of actress Emma Lahana and her former co-star Eric Balfour. The duo had traded “miss you’s” on social media earlier this year when cameras began to roll on Season 5. Still, it was a bit of a bummer to have her exit confirmed during Haven‘s two-hour return on Thursday.

The implosion of the lighthouse–the third time that poor thing has been destroyed in five seasons–marked the start of “See No Evil.” Everyone who had been under there when the gateway door closed after sucking in William in the Season 4 finale–Nathan, Duke, Dave, Vince, Dwight, Mara/Audrey (a.k.a. Maudrey) and Jennifer–had been strewn across parts of the town and spent time meeting up again and accessing the damage. No one could find Jennifer and Duke made it his mission during “See No Evil” and the follow-up “Speak No Evil” to find her.

The ultimate realization she was dead–after several other corpses turn up thanks to a Trouble exuded by Duke that sewed up eyelids, ears and mouths as long as he was in denial about Jennifer’s fate–was crushing to the lanky entrepreneur. As a viewer, I was devastated. Lahana’s Jennifer was spunky, sarcastic and fun, the perfect match for Balfour’s Duke. The two made a fantastic couple and I’m going to miss that terribly. Of course, Haven is a sci-fi show and she could come back to life because of some twist in the plot, but I don’ t think that’s in the cards.

Meanwhile, Haven‘s other power couple are having Troubles troubles of their own. Audrey is still inside her body, but Mara is in full control. That’s a major issue for Nathan, who just wants his lady love back. I want them to be together too–five seasons is a long time to drag the relationship out–but I am liking Mara. Sure, she’s cold, bitchy and super-mean to puppy dog Nathan, but she’s also an interesting character. I’m sure actress Emily Rose is having a blast jumping back and forth between playing these gals, softening her features for the seconds Audrey comes through and hardening them for Mara.

Mara’s original plan was to leave Haven through one of several thin areas between dimensions–a popular Stephen King trope I might add–but she has been thwarted so far and is stuck in the town for the time being. In the interim, she’s going to make life hell for Nathan and the townsfolk, while new Guard leader Dwight–who took over for Vince by the end of Thursday’s episodes–figures out how to protect the town from Maudrey’s ongoing menace.

Haven airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on Showcase.

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Comments and queries for the week of Sept. 19

How many viewers must a CBC show have (on average) to warrant a renewal? Is there a trend or magic number?@staceyfarber18

Hey Stacey, thanks for the question and congrats on the Saving Hope gig. Can’t wait for your portrayal of Dr. Sydney Katz this season. Television ratings are complicated at the best of times what with the advent of live +7 ratings being taken into account thanks to PVRs and the fact that every network has different expectations from others.

I’m not saying the following are the case at the CBC, but there is certainly concern for a series that garners under 500,000 viewers per week. Another factor may be what a network has lined up in development or already in production; if the thought is that something new may grab viewers more than what’s currently on the air, that can spell the end of a series. An older-skewing television show with lower ratings is always going to be a target for cancellation before one comfortably in the 18-49 demo, a.k.a. the sweet spot for advertisers. And sometimes showrunners or stars decide that it’s time to move on to other things.

I am looking for all three series of Paradise Falls on DVD.Gary

I have some bad news for you Gary. Paradise Falls, which lasted for three seasons on Showcase, is currently unavailable for purchase on DVD.

While I would be happy to see any of these three remaining Amazing Race Canada teams win, I have to applaud Meaghan and Natalie for showing what true sportsmanship is all about. You did not mention in this article that the brother and sister had lost their clue with important information on the task. They asked other teams to help, and I suspect after the manner they had played the last few weeks two of the three other teams were not interested in providing an assist. The hockey ladies chose to share their clue, and possibly put themselves in jeopardy as they had not completed the task yet. These two are already winners in my mind.–Trina

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Review: Bachelor Canada returns with tears and twists

He’s muscular. He’s got three-day stubble. He looks pensively off into the distance while pausing during a walk on the beach. And he’s looking for love. Canada, meet Tim Warmels. Thus encapsulated the first 20 seconds of Thursday’s two-hour Season 2 return of City’s romantic reality series.

Before nary a limousine door had opened viewers were told things were going to be different. “Four girls, not two, will be going home,” he announced in a teaser clip. Audible gasps from the girls he was speaking to. Yup, Tim is dead serious about finding the girl of his dreams. And, after a quickie introduction where we learned Tim was a Bay St. trader turned tech company owner turned builder, our hero  jetted to Vancouver to start his journey. But not until he’d showered, pulled pants up over his boxer briefs and buttoned a crisp white shirt over his naked midriff.

Of course, there were 25 ladies battling for a few precious seconds of Tim’s time. Among them a 42-year-old lingerie model, a philosophy student whose philosophy outside of the classroom is to party, an ER nurse, a real estate agent with a troubled past, a burlesque dancer who waxes crotches, and an annoying blonde who boasts she’s a “joyologist.” Whatever that is.

At the mansion, the most notable of the ladies who spilled out of the limos and into Tim’s arms were Rileigh the philosophy student who presented Tim with a tray of shots (perhaps forgetting the mansion was stocked with libations); Sachelle, who gave Tim a seashell to remember her by (because the name Sachelle wasn’t unique enough?); Ritiuska, who was shocked Tim could converse with her in Spanish (of course Tim knows Spanish, he’s the Bachelor!); Sarah, who made Tim swear under his breath as she walked towards him and was playing the “mysterious” card; Natalie the French teacher who may very well be the crazy gal of the season; and April the burlesque dancer/wax artist who exited the limo in a spray of confetti. She’ll be sticking around for a few weeks just for laughs.

Kaylynn, a slow-talking ballerina, connected with Tim over their childhoods (they were both bullied) and he admitted to producers that he wanted to kiss her, as did Rileigh, who Tim confessed had hoped she would grab him for a few minutes. Most awkward exchange of the night went to Christine the music teacher who decided to sing to Tim. You could cut the uncomfortableness with the knife Kelsey used to open a bottle of bubbly. So imagine my surprise when Christine was given the First Impression rose from Tim and instantly made her the target for derision from the remaining girls.

Tim wasn’t done there, though. Tossing around roses like host Tyler Harcott had bushels of them backstage, Tim gave flowers to Natalie and Sachelle, which sent Kaylynn into a spiral of self-doubt and excess mucous. In the end Tim showed the door to 10 ladies, the most notable of who was Jennifer the joyologist, who struck me as a really good friend rather than a girlfriend and, sadly, Raelee, who Bachelor Canada fans voted into the competition.

An extended teaser for the coming season shows Tim entertaining the ladies in Italy and idyllic isles, the return of one competitor and Lisa being labelled the villain of the show.

The Bachelor Canada airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on City.

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