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.

SurrealEstate haunts CTV Sci-Fi Channel, July 16

From a media release:

When there’s something strange in the neighbourhood, CTV Sci-Fi Channel calls in The Roman Agency from the all-new original series SURREALESTATE, to face down the paranormal. The 10-episode, one-hour spectral series hits the market Friday, July 16 at 10 p.m. ET.

Produced by Blue Ice Pictures, and shot last summer in St. John’s, Newfoundland, SURREALESTATE depicts real estate agent Luke Roman (Tim Rozon, WYNONNA EARP and SCHITTS CREEK) and his eclectic team of associates who correct unconventional problems in “metaphysically engaged properties” – aka haunted houses. New episodes will be available to stream weekly, on-demand at CTV.ca and CTV app.

What makes the team at The Roman Agency unique and in demand, is their uncanny ability to investigate and explain the truly inexplicable. The agency services include solving mysteries, closing portals, expelling demons, putting tortured souls to rest, and achieving the ultimate end: a sale.

Joining Rozon on this supernatural venture is his SCHITT’S CREEK co-star Sarah Levy as Susan Ireland, the neurotic real estate agent with a secret; Adam Korson (TEACHERS) as research specialist and former Catholic priest Father Phil Orley; Savannah Basley (WYNONNA EARP) as the no-nonsense office manager, Zooey L’Enfant; Maurice Dean Wint (DIGGSTOWN) as the resident “MacGyver” technology specialist; and Tennille Read (WORKIN’ MOMS) as client Megan Donovan. WYNONNA EARP star Melanie Scrofano also directs two episodes of the series and guest-stars in one. Check out a sneak peek.

In the premiere episode of SURREALESTATE (Friday, July 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV Sci-Fi), Luke Roman (Rozon), president of The Roman Agency, a boutique real estate residential brokerage with a whispered reputation for their ability to sell properties no one else can, checks in on a big, scary house in which he has a personal interest. New hire Susan Ireland (Levy) is thrown into the deep end on her first day.

SURREALESTATE is produced by Blue Ice Pictures in association with Bell Media and SYFY. George Olson developed the series for television and serves as showrunner and executive producer. Lance Samuels, Daniel Iron, Armand Leo, and Danishka Esterhazy also serve as executive producers.

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2021 Rockie Awards International Program Competition winners announced

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2021 Rockie Awards International Program Competition. Hosted by one of Canada’s most popular comedic talents and YouTube personality Jasmeet Raina, the virtual edition of the Rockie Awards was streamed live celebrating excellence in television and digital media content from around the world.

The Rockie Awards International Program Competition is one of the largest awards programs of its kind, juried by an esteemed panel of 150 international industry professionals and covering all major genres. The Rockie Awards Grand Jury chooses the coveted Grand Jury Prize, selected from the top-scoring programs across the entire field of nominees.

The competition featured 142 nominations from 37 countries including the UK, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, and The Netherlands.

Countries taking home top Rockies honours include:
UK: 11 awards
USA: 10 awards
Canada: 5 awards
Australia & France: 4 awards each

International Program Competition winners include:

Drama Series: English Language
Killing Eve
Sid Gentle Films Limited, BBC America (UK)

Comedy Series: English Language
The Flight Attendant
Berlanti Productions, Yes, Norman Productions, Warner Bros. Television (USA)

Limited Series
I May Destroy You
Various Artists Ltd, FALKNA Ltd, HBO (UK)

Drama Series: Non-English Language
Caliphate (Kalifat)
Filmlance International AB, SVT, Film Capital Stockholm (SWEDEN)

Comedy Series: Non-English Language
El Presidente
Gaumont, Amazon Studios (ARGENTINA, CHILE, USA)

Live Action: Children
First Day
Epic Films, ABC Australia (AUSTRALIA)

Live Action: Youth
War Stories (Oorlog-Stories)
EO Broadcasting, Stepping Stones Productions (THE NETHERLANDS)

Competition Series & Game Shows
Alone
Leftfield Pictures for History (USA)

Docuseries
Filthy Rich & Homeless
Blackfella Films, SBS (AUSTRALIA)

Lifestyle
Love on the Spectrum
Northern Pictures, Netflix (AUSTRALIA)

Podcast: Fiction
Hindsight
Kelly&Kelly, Al Jazeera Podcasts, Audible (CANADA, QATAR, UK)

Podcast: Non-Fiction
Where Is George Gibney?
Second Captains for BBC Sounds (IRELAND, UK, USA)

History & Biography
Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade
Associated Producers Ltd., Cornelia Street Productions, UppiTV, Anonymous Content, EPIX (CANADA, UK)

Science & Technology
Cosmos: Possible Worlds
Possible Worlds, LLC in association with Fox for National Geographic (USA)

Sports Documentary
The Last Dance
Mandalay Sports Media Production, NBAEntertainment, ESPN Films, Netflix (USA)

TV Movie
Roald & Beatrix, the Tail of the Curious Mouse
Hartswood Films, Sky Studios (UK)

Program of the Year
Winner: It’s a Sin, Red Production Company For Channel 4 and HBO Max in association with All3Media International (UK)

Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content
Winner: Happily Married (C’est comme ça que je t’aime), Cineflix Media, Casablanca Productions, Ici Tou.tv (CANADA)
The $25,000 Rogers Prize is awarded to the highest-scoring Canadian program or property in the Rockies International Program Competition across two rounds of independent jury review.

Francophone Prize
Winner: Brazen (Culottées), Silex Films, France Télévisions (FRANCE)
The Francophone Prize is awarded to the jury’s highest-scoring French-language video submission.

Grand Jury Prize
Winner: I May Destroy You, Various Artists Ltd, FALKNA Ltd, HBO (UK)
The Grand Jury Prize recognizes the “best in show” from all Rockies International Program Competition winning entries.

The full list of Rockie Awards International Program Competition Winners.

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marblemedia goes into development on a new scripted television drama adaptation of business mogul, Arlene Dickinson’s bestselling book Persuasion

From a media release:

marblemedia is expanding its primetime slate by going into development on a new one-hour drama series, Persuasion, based on the national best-selling business book from powerhouse Canadian entrepreneur and TV personality, Arlene Dickinson.

Featuring a cast and creative team of empowered women, both behind and in front of the cameras, this brand-new series will take a much different approach than other scripted series about business. Instead of showcasing the ruthless underbelly of business where the end justifies the means, Persuasion will take inspiration from Dickinson’s determination, dedication, tenacity and brilliance in her rise to success to dramatize a fresh & powerful approach to being effective in business.

marblemedia has optioned the rights to Persuasion, published by HarperCollins. Dickinson will serve as an executive producer on the series, her first scripted television series, along with marblemedia’s Matthew Hornburg, Mark Bishop and Carrie Paupst Shaughnessy, and Alexandra Zarowny is attached to write and executive produce.

Inspired by Arlene Dickinson’s book of the same name, the fictional series will explore the exhilarating high-octane, fast-paced world of marketing, public relations, and entrepreneurship where, through a dynamic and diverse cast of characters, the battle to do business ethically and honestly is fought every day. Through the lens of Rachel Nicholson’, a tough, fiery, innovative marketing mastermind, and her team at Trailblazer, we join Rachel as she journeys through two different periods of her life – as a tenacious young mother with no formal education in the 1990s, and a marketing maven and celebrity in present day. The series recognizes women’s leadership and the power of their unstoppable influence – motivating others around them, breaking glass ceilings and paving their own path – all while lifting up and setting the example for the next generation.

Best-selling author, investor and renowned entrepreneur, Arlene Dickinson is widely recognized for her role as a ‘Dragon’ on the multi-award-winning television series, Dragons’ Den. Arlene is also an inductee in Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame, amongst many other accolades. Arlene has become an icon for doing business with integrity.

“I am humbled and thrilled to be working with Arlene, a personal hero of mine who continues to smash through glass ceilings. Her rise from rock bottom to renowned business maverick is truly inspiring.” adds Alexandra Zarowny, writer and executive producer. “Persuasion will be filled with do-or-die drama and revel in the aspirational glamour of a woman who achieved success and power while remaining true to herself and her ideals.”

Most recently, Zarowny served as an Executive Producer and Showrunner on Global’s popular Private Eyes starring Jason Priestly and Cindy Sampson. Other producing credits include CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries and Republic of Doyle, Showcase’s Lost Girl and Syfy’s Wynonna Earp.

Persuasion joins marblemedia’s previously announced adaptation of The Other Boy, a best-selling novel by M.G. Hennessey, and Holding Still, a Toronto-set novel by celebrated author, poet and screenwriter, Zoe Whittall. These projects will all foster a new generation of stories driven by perspectives that need to be shared, heard and celebrated.

About marblemedia
A global award-winning media company, marblemedia is anchored in original storytelling, innovation, and content that celebrates unique characters and perspectives through an inspiring lens. In addition to their critically acclaimed competition series and renowned award-winning family content, the leading production company is forging their way into the scripted television space by expanding their repertoire of scripted series with a handful of new acquisitions.

Founded in 2001 by co-CEOs Mark Bishop and Matt Hornburg with a vision of creativity, partnership and innovation, the company has offices in Toronto, London and L.A., with a 50-acre production facility located 90 minutes north of Toronto.

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The official beer of Letterkenny, Puppers Golden Lager is back

From a media release:

Puppers Golden Lager, inspired by the fictional beer in Crave’s award-winning original comedy series Letterkenny, will be available in Ontario by July 1st, announced today by Mark Montefiore, President, New Metric Media.

Made with pale and caramel malts and German Perle hops, Puppers is perfectly in balance between malt and hops and sweetness and bitterness. Slightly grainy and yeasty, this dark golden lager is perfectly balanced with a slightly drying, sulfur-toned finish

Available on streaming platforms Crave in Canada and Hulu in the U.S., Letterkenny revolves around the dustups “Wayne” (Jared Keeso) and his pals get into with their small-town rivals. For the hicks, skids and hockey players of Letterkenny, getting your ass kicked is a legitimate concern on a day-to-day basis.

Created by Keeso who is also executive producer, co-writer and star, Letterkenny is produced by New Metric Media, in partnership with WildBrain and Playfun 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. Jacob Tierney is executive producer, director, and co-writer and Mark Montefiore is executive producer for New Metric Media. For Bell Media, Chris Kelley is Production Executive; Sarah Fowlie is Head of Production, Original Programming; Carlyn Klebuc is General Manager, Original Programming; Tory Jennings is Director, Content, Crave; Justin Stockman is Vice President, Content Development & Programming, Bell Media. Karine Moses is Senior Vice President, Content Development & News, Bell Media.

Puppers will be available in select Sobeys, beer stores and the LCBO in Ontario. Please visit the LCBO website for availability.

Follow @officialpuppers on Facebook and Instagram for updates on where to buy the beer, fun Puppers related content, merchandise announcements, contests and more.

ABOUT NEW METRIC MEDIA
Based in Los Angeles and Toronto, New Metric Media is an award-winning production company focused on creating brand defining, memorable and authentic content for global audiences. The prodco is behind the hit Hulu/Crave original comedy Letterkenny, the Netflix/CityTV premium drama series Bad Blood, the half-hour comedy What Would Sal Do? and the upcoming all-new CTV comedy series Children Ruin Everything.

In 2018, New Metric Media was named winner of the Banff World Media Festival’s Innovative Producer Award. The Company is also recognized as a leader in brand marketing for its success with Letterkenny off-screen extensions including beer and collectible merchandise via its recent licensing deals with Funko, Ripple Junction and High Roller Games; as well as a Bad Blood-branded escape room activation with a national immersive entertainment franchise; and Letterkenny LIVE!, a North American theatre tour with the stars of the series.

ABOUT LABATT BREWERIES OF CANADA
Established by John Kinder Labatt in London, Ontario in 1847, Labatt Breweries is one of Canada’s founding businesses and its leading brewer. The company today has more than 3,500 employees, six breweries, four stand-alone craft brewers, a BC distillery and a portfolio of 60 quality beers, including Budweiser, Alexander Keith’s, Labatt Blue, Kokanee, Stella Artois and Corona. Brands also include ready-to-drink beverages such as Palm Bay and Mike’s Hard Lemonade and NÜTRL VODKA SODA. As part of the Anheuser-Busch InBev family, Labatt is committed to Bringing People Together for a Better World, making a positive contribution through multiple programs that support its communities, promote responsible drinking and protect the environment.

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CTV Comedy Channel heads back to Dog River for the fourth and final season of Corner Gas Animated, July 5

From a media release:

CORNER GAS ANIMATED heads to the pump one last time as the fan-favourite CTV Comedy Channel Original returns for its fourth and final season, Monday, July 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The latest chapter in the 17-year long history of the iconic CORNER GAS franchise is set to conclude with 13, all-new half-hour episodes packed full of guest stars and a series finale featuring a soon-to-be-revealed Hollywood A-lister.

New episodes of CORNER GAS ANIMATED are available to stream on CTV.ca and the CTV app.

The fourth and final season sees Brent (Brent Butt) impose a ban to keep his father from entering the gas station. Emma (Corrine Koslo) and Oscar (Eric Peterson) face off in a battle of impressions, but Emma is annoyed when everyone loves Oscar’s impression of her the most. Hank (Fred Ewanuick) discovers a bird’s nest, and sets up a livestream so everyone in town can watch the eggs hatch. Lacey (Gabrielle Miller), Wanda (Nancy Robertson), and Karen (Tara Spencer-Nairn) struggle to get noticed on a dating app, and Davis (Lorne Cardinal) and Karen are excited to do some bona-fide police work when an escaped convict is on the loose.

This season of CORNER GAS ANIMATED also features a lineup of star-studded cameos including: prolific Canadian actress and member of the Order of Canada, Tantoo Cardinal; SON’S OF ANARCHY’s Kim Coates; Marvel superhero Simu Liu from the upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings; KIDS IN THE HALL’s Mark McKinney; iconic Canadian satirist Rick Mercer; and Steven Page, founding member of The Barenaked Ladies.

In the season premiere, “Parachute the Messenger,” (Monday, July 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT), Brent and Wanda help Lacey achieve her dream of skydiving by working through her fears, but Wanda seems more excited about the possibility of pushing Lacey out of the plane. Mark McKinney makes a special guest appearance as pilot Frank Shoddy.

Launching in April 2018, CORNER GAS ANIMATED quickly established itself as a ratings hit, with the premiere episode debuting as the most-watched series premiere in the history of CTV Comedy Channel, and the entire first season concluding as CTV Comedy Channel’s most-watched series of the broadcast year among total viewers, and in all key demos. The second season of CORNER GAS ANIMATED saw its overall audience increase by 41%. Season 3, which premiered October 2020, is currently the most watched show on CTV Comedy Channel, this broadcast year among the key adult demos.

CORNER GAS ANIMATED has received 13 Canadian Screen Award nominations, taking home six trophies in the last three years, including back-to-back wins for Best Animated Program or Series in 2020 and 2021; and Best Writing, Animation in 2019 and 2020.

For viewing looking to revisit the entire CORNER GAS catalogue, the franchise is exclusively available to stream on Crave, CTV.ca and the CTV app.

CORNER GAS ANIMATED is an inter-provincial co-production produced by Prairie Pantoons (BC), comprised of Brent Butt from Sparrow Media and David Storey from Aslan Entertainment; and Moving Mountoons (ON), comprised of Virginia Thompson and Robert de Lint from Vérité Films, in association with Bell Media, Canada Media Fund, Bell Fund, Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit, Film Incentive BC Tax Credit, Digital Animation, Visual Effects and Post Production Tax Credit, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and Prairie Pants Distribution. Animation is produced by Prairie Pantoons, Moving Mountoons, and Smiley Guy Studios. For Bell Media, Chris Kelley is Production Executive; Sarah Fowlie is Head of Production, Original Programming; Carlyn Klebuc is General Manager, Original Programming; Sarah Weaver is Director of Programming; Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming. Justin Stockman is Vice-President, Content Development & Programming, Bell Media. Karine Moses is Senior Vice-President, Content Development & News, Bell Media.

CORNER GAS ANIMATED is distributed worldwide by executive producers Virginia Thompson and Brent Butt through Prairie Pants Distribution which also holds the distribution rights to CORNER GAS: THE MOVIE and the sales agency rights to the original 107-episode comedy series.

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