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.

CBC unveils winter schedule; sets debut date for X Company

GemCBC

From a media release:

This winter, find the best in Canadian programming on CBC Television with a roster of returning hit series and seven new titles. Featuring Donald Sutherland’s animated coming of age tale PIRATE’S PASSAGE on Jan. 4, the gripping adaptation of Lawrence Hill’s novel THE BOOK OF NEGROES premiering Jan. 7, BBC’s LIFE STORY, a compelling nature series by David Attenborough on Jan. 11  and the hilarious stand-up  comedy specials from the WINNIPEG COMEDY FESTIVAL beginning Jan. 11. The CBC is also proud to present the highly-anticipated comedy series SCHITT’S CREEK which debuts with back-to-back episodes Jan. 13 , the critically acclaimed sci-fi drama ASCENSION that launches Feb. 9,  World War II spy thriller X COMPANY premiering Feb. 18 and the four-part crime drama CHASING SHADOWS starting on Mar. 23.

Plus, catch all-new episodes of returning prime-time hit series MR.DMURDOCH MYSTERIES, DRAGONS’ DEN, HEARTLAND, 22 MINUTES, THE RICK MERCER REPORT, STRANGE EMPIRE, MARKETPLACE, the fifth estate, THE NATURE OF THINGS, DOC ZONE, JUST FOR LAUGHS GAGS: 15 YEARS and CBC’s flagship daytime series STEVEN AND CHRIS returns with all-new episodes Monday –Friday at 2 p.m. (2:30NT) starting January 5.

Please see broadcast schedule below:

SUNDAY
7 p.m. (7:30 NT)
 – HEARTLAND (returns with new episodes Jan.11)
8 p.m. (8:30 NT)
 – LIFE STORY (premieres Jan.11)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – WINNIPEG COMEDY (premieres Jan.11)
10 p.m. (10:30 NT) – THE NATIONAL

*PIRATE’S PASSAGE airs January 4 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT)
*JUST FOR LAUGHS Gags: 15 YEARS airs January 6 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT)

MONDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT)
 – MURDOCH MYSTERIES (returns with new episodes Jan.12)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – STRANGE EMPIRE (returns with new episodes Jan.12)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – ASCENSION (premieres Feb.9)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – CHASING SHADOWS (premieres Mar.23)
10 p.m. (10:30 NT) – THE NATIONAL

TUESDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT)
 – THE RICK MERCER REPORT (returns with new episodes Jan. 6)
8:30 p.m. (9 NT) – 22 MINUTES (returns with new episodes Jan. 6)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – SCHITT’S CREEK (premieres Jan.13)
9:30 p.m. (10 NT) – MR.D (premieres Jan.20)
10 p.m. (10:30 NT) – THE NATIONAL

WEDNESDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT)
 – DRAGONS’ DEN (returns with new episodes Jan.7)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – BOOK OF NEGROES (premieres Jan.7)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – X COMPANY (premieres Feb.18)
10 p.m. (10:30 NT) – THE NATIONAL

THURSDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT)
 – THE NATURE OF THINGS (returns with new episodes Jan.8)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – DOC ZONE (returns with new episodes Jan.8)
10 p.m. (10:30 NT) – THE NATIONAL

FRIDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT)
 – MARKETPLACE (returns with new episodes Jan.9)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – the fifth estate (returns with new episodes Jan.9)
10 p.m. (10:30 NT) – THE NATIONAL

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Food Network dishes up Season 2 of Chopped Canada

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From a media release:

The mystery baskets are restocked, the knives are sharpened and the chopping block is ready for the savoury second season premiere of Chopped Canada on January 10 at 9pm ET/PT. After a record-breaking series premiere with the highest audience in the network’s history*, season two returns to Food Network Canada with 13 mouth-watering episodes. Culinary experts Eden Grinshpan (Eden Eats), Toronto’s Massimo Capra (Restaurant Takeover) and Montreal’s Antonio Park (PARK Restaurant) join the rotating panel of all-star judges. Celebrity chefs Susur Lee, Lynn Crawford, Michael Smith, Roger Mooking, John Higgins and Anne Yarymowich return to the judging panel while Dean McDermott reprises his role as host.

Chopped Canada’s sophomore season features a hearty new batch of Canadian competitors representing British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. The competitors have to be quick on their feet – and even quicker with their hands – if they want to plate a dish using the mystery ingredients to impress the all-star judging panel. Each episode begins with four ambitious chefs. Course-by-course, one competitor is chopped from the competition until only one remains and walks away with $10,000 and the title of Chopped Canada champion. For a full list of chefs competing in the first 13 episodes, including biographical information, please visit choppedcanada.ca. The second half of the season returns in fall 2015 with more of Canada’s culinary talent taking on the Chopped Canada kitchen.

New this season are special themed episodes peppered throughout the schedule, including the viewers’ choice episode airing February 7 at 9 pm ET/PT. Fans were invited to weigh in with their ideas through the Chopped Canada Twitter and Facebook pages. Viewers showed no mercy suggesting ingredient combinations that are more difficult than ever. From the Canadian staple ketchup chips to the outright daring prairie oysters, the four competing chefs will have to be on their A-game to survive.

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Tonight: Dragons’ Den, Republic of Doyle, Saving Hope

Dragons’ Den, CBC
A chic entrepreneur makes a big splash in the Den and gets one Dragon’s temperature rising; a romantic pitch tries to get the Dragons swooning over their business; and a handy entrepreneur hopes his Major League partnership will help him construct the perfect pitch.

Republic of Doyle, CBC
When a tense strike at the docks turns violent, the Doyles team up with Jimmy and Wolf to protect a witness but uncover something more sinister in the process; Jake faces off with Saul again to dangerous results; Rose encounters a surprise from Sloan’s past; Jake receives some shocking news.

Saving Hope, CTV
Dr. Shahir Hamza and Dr. Alex Reid try to save the memory of a young woman suffering from Alzheimer’s with a radical surgery, but it’s another one of Hope Zion Hospital’s doctors whose life is threatened, requiring immediate medical attention.

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Preview: TVO’s kooky, crazy Odd Squad adds up to fun

Call them CSI: Kids. Or maybe Children in Black. Meet the Odd Squad, TVO’s latest kids series designed to educate as well as entertain. The team, consisting of agents with names all starting with the letter “o,” investigate math mysteries in their small town.

Wednesday’s first case? “Zero Effect,” which finds partners Otto (Filip Geljo) and Olive (Dalila Bela) reporting to their boss, Ms. O (Millie Davis), after an art installation of 1,000 pieces of chewed-up bubble gum is reduced to just one piece. After zipping through clear tubes from Odd Squad’s super-secret headquarters and into the town, they learn friend Polly has lost a zero off the 50 cent price of the hot chocolate she’s selling, cutting into her profits. Using math–and super-cool CGI–Olive explains how taking away zeroes affects numbers using tenths, hundredths and thousandths.

Turns out the lack of zeroes is due to a suspected Number Hog that is unwittingly consuming the digits from the world. The Odd Squad urgently tries to figure out who–or what–is doing it because Otto’s birthday is tomorrow and he’s supposed to turn 10. If they don’t stop the Hog in time he’ll lose that zero and turn back into a baby.

Created Tim McKeon (Adventure Time) and Adam Peltzman (The Backyardigans), each half-hour episode of the Toronto-shot Odd Squad is geared towards kids in Grades 1 and 2 and aims to strengthen math skills. It certainly does that but–unlike some math classes–has fun doing it. The agents are smart and sassy (Ms. O is an over-the-top hoot) and HQ is a riot of colours, sounds and interesting beasts. Floating monster fish, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, super-cool climbing wall and … wait for it … a unicorn all call the joint home.

Odd Squad debuts Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. ET on TVO. It then airs Mondays at 5:30 p.m. ET and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. ET on TVO.

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