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.

Comments and queries for the week of June 14

[Bad Blood] should have a show with a female mobster and use Teresa. [Anna Hopkins] is great in the role. —Paul


It is great to see John Catucci back on TV. He has a great handle on good eats and puts it across in a way that we all can enjoy. —Ian 


Not hearing even a hint of one of the Newfoundland and Labrador accents [on Hudson & Rex] was very surprising. I suspect too many broad accents would create a limited audience but none at all seems strange given there is some emphasis on the fact that the story takes place in St. John’s. —Victoria

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.

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Kristin Kreuk and Jonathan and Drew Scott win 2019 Rockie Awards

Canadians Kristin Kreuk and  Drew and Jonathan Scott were among the winners celebrated during the Rockie Awards gala on Tuesday night at the Banff World Media Festival.

Hosted by Jann Arden—who kept the night light and upbeat with tales of bad relationships and once suffering from diarrhea onstage during a performance in Berlin—the festival honours outstanding talent and executives from the industry.

“We want to extend a giant thank you to all of the people who made this possible for us,” Jonathan Scott said. The pair were given the Innovative Producer Award, which recognizes the entrepreneurial excellence and achievements of an independent producer in TV/digital media. The Scott Brothers have amassed an empire of television programs through Property Brothers and spinoffs, as well as launching programs under their production banner like Menu Match-up, Reno, Set Go and Half Price Paradise. Past honorees of the Innovative Producer Award include New Metric Media, Wolf + Rabbit, Don Carmody and marblemedia.

“The reason that I am standing here today is in large part due to luck/privilege and other people who could see more of the playing field than I could,” Kreuk said. The star and executive producer of CBC’s Burden of Truth was given the Canadian Award of Distinction for a body of work that exemplifies outstanding achievement in the entertainment industry. Past honorees include Sheila Hockin, Just For Laughs, Eric McCormack and Kim Cattrall.

“I never really set out with a plan to do any of this, and along the way, I have made some good decisions and some terrible ones,” Kreuk said. “There are times that I just wanted to leave and times I’ve been devasted by the toxicity of this business. And without good, solid people around me, professionally and personally, I would not have made it this far.”

Here is a complete list of the winners:

CANADIAN AWARD OF DISTINCTION:
Kristin Kreuk (Burden of Truth, EuroTrip, Smallville)

INNOVATIVE PRODUCER AWARD:
Scott Brothers Entertainment Inc.

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR:
Surviving R. Kelly

THE GRAND JURY PRIZE:
Sharp Objects

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE:
Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Freaks and Geeks, Ghostbusters, The Heat)

SHOWRUNNER OF THE YEAR:
Jed Mercurio (Bodyguard, Line of Duty)

A+E INCLUSION AWARD:
Kitti Jones, survivor and author, Brie Miranda Bryant, SVP and Executive Producer, Lifetime, dream hampton, executive producer, Tamra Simmons, executive producer (Surviving R. Kelly)

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER IMPACT AWARD:
Justin Simien (Dear White People)

SIR PETER USTINOV COMEDY AWARD:
Bill Hader (Barry, Trainwreck, Saturday Night Live)

Image courtesy of Kristian Bogner.

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Netflix announces partnerships with Canada’s leading Indigenous screen organizations

From a media release:

Today, at the 2019 Banff World Media Festival, Netflix joined imagineNATIVE, The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) and Wapikoni Mobile to announce a suite of partnership programs that aim to develop the next generation of Indigenous creators across Canada. These programs range from screenwriting intensives to apprenticeship programs, joining the 11 existing partnership programs Netflix has funded to nurture the next generation of Canadian creators from underrepresented communities.

“Indigenous communities in Canada are rich with unique stories, and organizations like imagineNATIVE, The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) and Wapikoni Mobile are vital to ensuring these voices are heard,” said Stéphane Cardin, Director of Public Policy, Netflix Canada. “Netflix is proud to help launch these three programs, which will reach Indigenous communities across the country.”

imagineNATIVE
The game-changing Netflix-imagineNATIVE partnership will demonstrate an unprecedented level of support for Indigenous filmmakers in Canada, who have urgent needs for professional development programming designed from Indigenous perspectives and delivered within Indigenous contexts by an Indigenous-run organization. Over the next three-and-a-half years, imagineNATIVE will undertake or expand six distinct activities aimed at Indigenous screenwriters, directors and producers through its Institute department:

  • Indigenous Producers Lab
  • Indigenous Directors Lab
  • Indigenous Screenwriting Intensive
  • ‘imagineNATIVE Originals’ Mentorship Commissions
  • Original Storytellers Series Incubator
  • Festival Industry Days & Year-Round Institute Series.

“We are thrilled to partner with Netflix to offer an unprecedented series of professional development initiatives at imagineNATIVE,” says Jason Ryle, executive director of imagineNATIVE. “This funding is a significant investment in opportunities for Indigenous directors, producers, and screenwriters in Canada, and marks one of the largest sponsorships in imagineNATIVE’s history.”

The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO)
The ISO-Netflix Production Mentorship and Apprenticeship Program will provide second phase support for Indigenous projects that may have received development support through other programs such as those offered by imagineNATIVE Institute, Hot Docs, Banff World Media Festival, or Whistler Film Festival, as well as others. The Program will include two streams: Key Creative Apprenticeships and Cultural Mentorships for directors, producers, screenwriters and showrunners.

“ISO spent the last year in consultations with Indigenous creators and this fund responds to their expressed need for new funding opportunities that will advance work and career opportunities, as well as allow them to follow protocols and practices that are central to Indigenous ways of working,” says Jesse Wente, director of the Indigenous Screen Office.

Wapikoni Mobile
Mentoring and coaching are at the heart of the unique Wapikoni Mobile development experience, and increased accessibility of tools, spaces and trainers are offered through the mobility of its studios. Wapikoni’s approach is centred around the belief that it is essential for the next generation to be inspired by the success of their community. With this new partnership, Wapikoni will be able to coordinate its important collective of emerging filmmakers, organize the numerous opportunities, and structure a program of both continuing education and professional coaching which will have a profound and lasting impact on the next generation of Indigenous creators.

At the centre of Wapikoni’s priorities is the intent to highlight a significant collection of audiovisual works and an immeasurable cultural heritage of artistic expression and Indigenous identity while promoting:

  • Mediation, dialogue
  • Awareness, education
  • Building bridges between Nations, Peoples and generations.

“At Wapikoni, we believe that many young Indigenous artists are isolated from opportunity. When travelling to them locally to offer tools and resources to create short films, we discovered that this journey also leads to supporting the development of talented, emerging filmmakers. Learning from the creative process is at the heart of important social transformations, especially in terms of personal growth, community development, community involvement. We are proud to support the emergence of unique artistic and cultural signatures which will have an invaluable contribution to new audiovisual productions,” explains Odile Joannette, from the Pessamit First Nation of Quebec, and executive director at Wapikoni. “The support from Netflix will allow us to continue to foster narrative sovereignty and cinematographic excellence, and we are absolutely thrilled to count Netflix as a partner, not only for our organization but also for the voices of Indigenous youth,” she added.

Netflix’s support of these programs comes from its fund to develop the next generation of Canadian creators and talent, focused on underrepresented communities in the screen industry. This announcement marks the 11th, 12th and 13th partnerships since the fund was announced in September 2017. Other recent announcements in 2019 include partnerships with the Inside Out Film Festival, RIDM (Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal), and the Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada (APFC).

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Baroness von Sketch Show and Employable Me win 2019 Rockie Awards

From a media release:

The 40th Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is proud to announce the winners of the 2019Rockie Awards International Program Competition and the $25,000 Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content.

Canadian actor/writer, Juno Rinaldi (Workin’ Moms), hosted the Rockie Awards International Program Competition at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Top international media executives gathered to recognize and celebrate excellence in television and digital media content from around the world. One of the largest competitions of its kind, the Rockie Awards International Program Competition presented awards in twenty-six(26) categories spanning Documentary & Factual, Arts & Entertainment, Children & Youth, Scripted, as well as the Rockies Francophone Prize and the Jury Prize.

International Program Competition winners include:

Drama Series: English Language
Bodyguard
World Productions/BBC
UK

Comedy Series: English Language
Barry
HBO/Alec Berg/Hanarply
USA

Limited Series
Sharp Objects
HBO/eOne/Tiny Pyro/Blumhouse/Fourth Born/crazyrose
USA/Canada

Lifestyle Series
Employable Me
Thomas Howe and Associates
Canada

Drama Series: Non-English Language
Can You Hear Me?
Trio Orange
Canada

Comedy Series: Non-English Language
Arthur’s Law
good friends Filmproduktions/TNT Comedy
Germany

Children & Youth Fiction Series
Katy
BBC
UK

Reality Program
RuPaul’s Drag Race
World of Wonder
USA

Comedy & Variety Program
Baroness von Sketch Show
Frantic Films
Canada

Science & Technology Program
One Strange Rock
Nutopia/National Geographic
USA/UK

History & Biography Program
The Clinton Affair
Jigsaw Productions/Instinct Productions/A&E
USA

Serials, Soaps & Telenovela
Tangled Lives
SP Televisão/SIC
Portugal

Sci-Fi & Genre-Based Series
Doctor Who
BBC Cymru/BBC One
UK

Check out the full list of winners.

Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content
Winner: Baroness von Sketch Show (Frantic Films)

The 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.

Grand Jury Prize
The Grand Jury Prize recognizes the “best in show” from all Rockies International Program Competition winning entries. The winner will be unveiled Tuesday, June 11 at the Rockie Awards Gala, hosted by multi-platinum, award-winning singer/songwriter, actor, Jann Arden (JANN).

The 2019 Grand Jury Prize finalists are:

  • Barry
  • Bodyguard
  • Dynasties
  • One Strange Rock
  • Sharp Objects
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APFC, Netflix, Telefilm Canada and The Canada Media Fund launch a professional development plan like no other

From a media release:

The Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada (APFC) and Netflix, lead partner, are very pleased to partner with Telefilm Canada and the Canada Media Fund in launching the first-ever Professional Development Program in Film and Television for francophone producers and creators in minority communities across Canada.

This intensive internship program will allow Canadian francophone scriptwriters, directors, and producers to benefit from support in their regions for the development of original works representative of the country’s diversity, and to ensure the transfer of knowledge to other creators in these regions.

The APFC will also benefit from the support of many academic partners, Canadian francophone cultural organizations, and the audiovisual sector for the implementation of this ambitious project, scheduled to run from 2019 to 2022 in the Atlantic, Ontario, and Western Canada regions, where francophone creators will be able to develop their projects through three components: Feature film scriptwriting and development (Component 1), Accelerator program for the development of series with international potential (Component 2), and Support program – master classes, bootcamps, and microprograms (Component 3). Details of the project will be announced at a later date.

The implementation of this development program is made possible thanks to the significant contribution of Netflix, Telefilm Canada’s commitment to invest $150,000 in the first year, and the Canada Media Fund, which will allocate $50,000 for the same period. Both funding agencies intend to commit for the full three years of the program. With this unique program, the APFC aims to increase the development of original works that can stand out in national and international markets. To this end, more than 50 feature film and series scripts with international potential will be available for submission to the production stage by 2022. APFC Executive Director Carol Ann Pilon says she is “eager to get this historic project off the ground for the benefit of our film and television creators.”

“Netflix is proud to partner with the Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada, Telefilm Canada, and the Canada Media Fund in supporting this totally new professional development program,” said Stéphane Cardin, Netflix Director of Public Policy for Canada. “This significant investment in francophone creation in a minority setting is the tenth partnership Netflix has made in Canada.”

“Telefilm is well aware of the challenges faced by creators from francophone minority communities. One of our priorities is to support francophone talent. So, I am particularly proud to announce the launch of this new program today to facilitate the professional development, implementation, and recognition of their projects across Canada. It’s the perfect initiative to mark the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act,” said Telefilm Canada Executive Director Christa Dickenson.

“The Canada Media Fund supports creators from across the country, from many cultural and linguistic backgrounds,” said Canada Media Fund President and CEO Valerie Creighton. “We’re delighted to further invest through this partnership in the development of French-language content by creators in linguistic minority situations.”

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