Everything about Baroness von Sketch Show, eh?

Baroness Von Sketch Show c-creators announce show’s fifth and final season

From a media release:

BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW co-creators Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen, today announced that their acclaimed CBC original sketch comedy series will return for its fifth and final season in Fall 2020. The series finale season (8×30) was filmed in Toronto last fall.

The Baronesses shared the following statement regarding their decision:

After five fantastic years, we have decided that Season 5 of Baroness von Sketch Show will be our last. We are so grateful to have been given the opportunity to share our deepest embarrassments, existential angst and daily observations with you, our fans. 

We hope you’ll enjoy Season 5 of Baroness von Sketch Show. 

Love, 

Carolyn, Meredith, Aurora and Jennifer.

BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW is currently nominated for five Canadian Screen Awards including Best Sketch Comedy Show & Ensemble Performance, Best Direction and Best Writing. Winners for these categories will be announced virtually on Wednesday, May 27 beginning at 7 p.m. ET. The virtual presentation will be live-streamed on the Canadian Academy Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channels, as well as at academy.ca.

Canadians looking to revisit Seasons 1-4 of BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW before the premiere of the fifth and final season this fall can watch on the free CBC Gem streaming service.

Fast paced and irreverent, BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW celebrates the absurd, mines the embarrassing and satirizes our daily lives. Shot entirely on location, this single-camera comedy series takes a fresh look at our navel-gazing, contemporary culture. From marriage equality to screen addiction, Airbnbs to ultrasounds, this satirical sketch show captures the banalities and absurdities of modern life.

A CBC original series, BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW is developed and produced by Frantic Films. Drawing on 16 years of comedy experience and multiple collaborations, the award-winning, talented team of Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen are the writers, stars and executive producers. For Frantic Films, Jamie Brown is CEO & Executive Producer. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager of Entertainment, Factual and Sports; Trish Williams is Executive Director, Scripted Content; Michelle Daly is Senior Director, Comedy, Scripted Content; Greig Dymond and Karen Tsang are the Executives in Charge of Production.

The series is also broadcast on IFC in the U.S.

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Link: ‘Baroness Von Sketch Show’ producer buys back company from embattled Kew Media Group

From Manori Ravindran of Variety:

Link: ‘Baroness Von Sketch Show’ producer buys back company from embattled Kew Media Group
“Baroness Von Sketch Show” producer Frantic Films has bought back the company from embattled parent Kew Media Group.

Frantic Films founder Jamie Brown has personally financed the deal to reacquire 100% ownership of the firm, which was bought by Kew in March 2017. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Continue reading. Continue reading. 

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They’re Back: Baroness Von Sketch Show is Filming Season 5

From a media release:

Frantic Films today announced that principal photography has begun on Season 5 of the multiple award-winning CBC original sketch comedy series, Baroness von Sketch Show. Filming is currently underway in Toronto.

The fifth season will be helmed by award-winning directors Vivieno Caldinelli (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss by Passing Through the Gateway Chosen by the Holy Storsh) and Joyce Wong (Wexford Plaza, Running with Violet). Co-creators and stars Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen will also direct select sketches. Whalen also serves as Showrunner.

Since its debut, Baroness von Sketch Show has received 27 award nominations and 21 wins to date, being recognized by the Canadian Screen Awards, Canadian Comedy Awards, Banff Rockie Awards, DCG Awards and ACTRA Awards.

Fast-paced and irreverent, Baroness von Sketch Show celebrates the absurd, mines the embarrassing and satirizes daily life. Shot entirely on-location, this single-camera comedy series takes a fresh look at navel-gazing, contemporary culture. From marriage equality and screen addiction, to Airbnbs and ultrasounds, this satirical sketch show captures the banalities and absurdities of the modern world.

Season 4 is currently airing Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. (10 NT) on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service. The series also airs Wednesdays at 12 a.m. ET/PT on IFC in the U.S.

A CBC original series, Baroness von Sketch Show is produced by Frantic Films and consists of the talented and award-winning team of Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen. For Frantic, Jamie Brown serves as Executive Producer and Jeff Peeler is Supervising Producer. Sally Karam also serves as Supervising Producer and Executive Producer.

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Aurora Browne dishes on Baroness Von Sketch and Great Canadian Baking Show

There are three big changes viewers will notice when they tune in to The Great Canadian Baking Show on CBC this Wednesday night.

Gone is judge Rochelle Adonis, replaced by Kyla Kennaley. And co-hosts Dan Levy and Julia Chan have been swapped out in favour of Aurora Browne and Carolyn Taylor. Browne and Taylor are also, as legions of fans already know, the writers, stars and executive producers of Baroness von Sketch Show, which returns this Tuesday night to CBC.

And while I will miss Levy and Chan’s roles on Baking Show, I was immediately smitten by Browne and Taylor’s witty cold opening and their natural rapport with the 10 new contestants.

We spoke to Browne ahead of both programs’ debut.

How did yourself and Carolyn Taylor end up hosting The Great Canadian Baking Show in the first place?
Aurora Browne: The Great Canadian Baking Show approached us, at the beginning of this year. Carolyn and I have known each other for a very long time, obviously. Long before Baroness, even. It worked out in our schedule to be able to do it with only minimal overlap. Why not? It’s such a fun show. It’s fun and lovely and to be honest, being paid to taste things is like a dream come true. I don’t think that was difficult for either of us.

We actually spoofed it on Baroness. There’s a scene in the third season with Jen and Meredith. The patient is talking about her existential angst and how she can’t let go of any of her anxiety. The psychiatrist advises her to watch a gentle British baking show. We had a little, 10-second insert. Of course, it takes two hours to film, so Carolyn was like the Mary Berry character and I was a contestant. On the day that we were doing that, we were saying, ‘Oh gosh, I could do that all day,’ just talking about food and looking at food.

Two women smile into the camera.Was what you did as hosts scripted?
AB: They do have a very talented writer Elvira Kurt who has been our friend for a long time. She has actually worked on Baroness as well. A bit of the show is scripted. We don’t come up with all those puns on our own, that’s the job of a talented person. We were doing the cold opens of the show. That kind of stuff is scripted. Also sometimes, to be totally honest, there is so much technical stuff for some of the baking things, especially the French patisserie, I really needed that in the script. It’s like texty sci-fi shows you are remembering all these things. Thank goodness for the script on those parts, but the rest of it is just us interacting with the bakers. I think the best training that Carolyn and I could have had for the show is just attending a bunch of parties because it’s a party in a way.

Starting off with 10 people and then fewer as weeks progress you just have to be comfortable going in and chatting to them, it’s just like that part in the party where you wander into the kitchen and the host is trying to get something done or trying to get something in the oven and you ask them questions. Except here on the show they must answer our questions.

They were very easy to get to know, they were just such lovely, lovely people. They are in the middle of this very stressful situation with cameras in their faces and we were just there to encourage them and Carolyn and I didn’t find it hard at all. We were just encouraging them to do what they loved and to sometimes have a good laugh with them, and occasionally commiserate with them if they were having a stressful moment, which of course happens.

Let’s switch things up and let’s talk about season four of Baroness von Sketch Show. What was it like having Jennifer Whalen as the showrunner this season?
AB: Jen Whalen is exceptional. I mean it’s a massive job because you’re the one person who goes between all the departments. All four of us worked very closely on the creative and talking with each other about everything. Jen Whalen, I see her being the CEO of something, before very long. But we also have been doing this for several years now, so we have how we handle the editing and that’s in place, how we work out the sketches that are in place. I’m always just like thankful and in awe of Carolyn and Jennifer being showrunners and how willing they are to just always take those calls and emails. I personally need a little bit of time at the end of the day where I just won’t pick up the phone. I need to not answer emails. I’m always very grateful that those two have been willing to helm such a busy, busy show because we are all so involved.

But they are both fantastic at it and I hope someday that Jen Whalen is captaining the starship and I get to be her XO, I would happily be her second in command for anything.

Two women on a climbing apparatus.There are some great sketches in the first episode. Binge-watching television and translating that into kids’ years. Tony Nappo in the sketch where he uses his kind words to make women smile. The blood pressure cuff. All great relatable stuff. The end credits featured a large group of writers and story editors.
AB: We have a structure that really allows us to welcome in voices and ideas even for a short amount of time because we have a core group of four of us are always there. Then we have some staff writers who are with us all the way through. For Season 4 we had Jen Goodhue who has been with us for every season. We had Monica Heisey in and then Allison Hogg, who had also written for us before. Then with the other people sometimes they will only come in for say three days or four days. That fresh set of eyes is really invaluable and it makes for a really fun room. I don’t think there was one person that came in that one of us didn’t know already.

It’s a pretty joyous thing. Even though it’s a large group it was manageable and it just means that you have these really funny, really talented people who are really thoughtful and interested in the world and are really ready to sit and roll around an idea to get at what’s the essence of this, what’s the funniest take we can take on it. And we were so happy always to be able to offer a paycheque at the very least to our talented colleagues who live and work in this city and the country.

We are very happy to be able to make this show where we live, and other people can too.

Baroness von Sketch Show airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.

The Great Canadian Baking Show airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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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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