Everything about Blood and Water, eh?

Blood and Water: Fire & Ice’s Diane Boehme: “We’re going out on a high note. This is our best season ever”

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the television industry—as it has our lives—into disarray. It hit production of Blood and Water: Fire & Ice particularly hard, splitting the Omni drama’s production in two. That extended break of almost a year meant a loss of some actors to other projects, all of the locations to film in and some crew. But, as Blood and Water: Fire & Ice creator and showrunner Diane Boehme tells it, the pandemic was also a creative blessing.

“I had a chance to sit down and say, ‘You know, I think I’d like to see a little more of this character… what would he think about this, what would she think about that,’ and really catch my breath,” Boehme says. “I think that the series is richer for all of that input and the time we had to implement it. This might be our final season, but by god, we’re going out on a high note. This is our best season ever.” Catching her breath meant a massive re-write and a focus on the locations they did have—in Hamilton and Brantford, Ont.—a story that fit and juggling COVID safety protocol costs. The result, from the first two episodes I’ve seen, has made for an even tighter and engaging story.

Back for a final season Sunday nights at 10:30 p.m. ET on Omni, Blood and Water: Fire & Ice‘s final chapter of eight half-hour episodes follows disgraced former Vancouver cop Michelle Chang (Selena Lee)—now a Toronto-based private detective—as she hunts down Norris Pang (Sean Baek), the man who has kidnapped her daughter. Pang is also the mastermind behind a money laundering scheme happening at the Xie family’s casino, where Anna Xie (Elfina Luk) is attempting to expand the family business, much to her father’s chagrin.

Lee, as Michelle, is mesmerizing to watch. Her eyes emote so much of what Michelle is feeling—the pain of getting close to her daughter, only to have her taken away—and she wields a weapon with the best of them.

“She is so focused, a great leader and a lovely person to work with,” Boehme says. “She is a big star in Asia and I’m glad that our show had a chance to repatriate her back to Canada.”

Blood and Water: Fire & Ice airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET on Omni.

Images courtesy of Breakthrough Entertainment.

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Canada’s Got Talent returns with Simon Cowell to headline Citytv’s 2021/22 original programming slate

From a media release:

Add equal parts universally-proven formats, diverse Canadian storytelling, and tremendous talent, garnish with the most dramatic twists (ever!), and serve with a side of serious canine cuteness and you have the perfect mix for Citytv’s 2021/22 original lineup, announced today at the Rogers Sports & Media Upfront.

Citytv is building on the global success of the Got Talent and Bachelor franchises with the launch of Canada’s Got Talent, Bachelor in Paradise Canada, and The Bachelor After Show. And there’s more, with the return of Citytv’s highest-rated original scripted series Hudson & Rex and the newest chapter of OMNI Television’s Blood and Water.

Created by Simon Cowell, the Got Talent franchise holds the Guinness World Records title as the most successful reality TV format, and now Canadians can once again take the stage and hear the golden buzzer as Citytv has commissioned Canada’s Got Talent in partnership with Fremantle, SYCO Entertainment, and McGillivray Entertainment Media Inc. The show begins production this Fall in Niagara Falls, ON, and premieres in Spring 2022 with nine original episodes. Canada’s Got Talent celebrates home-grown hopefuls from across the country as young and old, from every corner of the nation, show the country what they’ve got.

Keep the bubbly flowing, Bachelor Nation. As announced earlier this year, Bachelor in Paradise Canada is coming exclusively to Citytv this Fall, airing Sundays at 8 p.m. ET. The drama continues beyond the rose ceremony with the launch of The Bachelor After Show, airing Sundays at 10 p.m. ET. Hosted by KiSS 92.5’s Deepa Prashad and Daryn Jones, the two will dish on all the juicy gossip and drama from the Bachelor universe – The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise – and across Bachelor Nation.

Citytv’s #1 original scripted hit series Hudson & Rex, which experienced 77% audience growth since Season 1*, is back with more bark as production for Season 4 begins in St. John’s later this month and will air in mid-season. New this year, in partnership with Access Reelworld and Rogers Sports & Media, Citytv announces Level UP, a new mentoring initiative which provides on-the-ground set experience to emerging writers and directors who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour. This year’s program sponsors are Hudson & Rex producers Shaftesbury and Pope Productions, who welcome successful applicants to their set and writers room to shadow the crew, hone their skills, and develop additional training.

On OMNI Television, private detective Michelle Chang (Selena Lee, Forensic Heroes IV, Once More) is back on the case as Blood and Water: Fire & Ice, the original Chinese-Canadian drama, returns for a compelling third and final season, premiering Sunday, June 13 at 10:30 p.m. ET. Season 3 continues the saga of the billionaire Xie family in which Michelle finds surprising allies as she hunts down Norris Pang, the ruthless criminal who kidnapped her daughter. Produced by Breakthrough Entertainment, in association with OMNI Television, the eight 30-minute episodes star Selena Lee, Elfina Luk, Sean Baek, Loretta Yu, Fiona Fu, and Oscar Hsu.

Rounding out Citytv’s original content offering are popular schedule staples Breakfast Television, two-time CSA winner as Best Morning Show, and Cityline, the longest-running and most successful Canadian daytime show for women.

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2020-21 Canadian TV season renewal scorecard

Well, things are just a little bit different this time around. With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on television production around the world, the Canadian networks—like others—have been a little late in announcing their primetime schedules.

But they’re gradually doing that, so we’ve put together a handy list of what will air between the summer of 2020 and the end of spring in 2021.

Check back often to see if your favourites have been renewed; we’ll be updating this list as we get more information.

Renewed

APTN
Tribal
Tribal Police Files
The Other Side

Tribal

CBC
Still Standing
Murdoch Mysteries
Frankie Drake Mysteries
Workin’ Moms
Baroness Von Sketch Show (final season)
Heartland
The Nature of Things
Marketplace
The Fifth Estate
Battle of the Blades
Family Feud Canada
Just for Laughs: Galas
Ha!ifax Comedy Fest
You Can’t Ask That
Coroner
Kim’s Convenience
Tallboyz
Dragons’ Den
22 Minutes
The Great Canadian Baking Show
Diggstown
Burden of Truth

Tallboyz

Citytv
Hudson & Rex

CTV
Corner Gas Animated
JANN (renewed for Season 3)
The Amazing Race Canada
Transplant
MasterChef Canada: Back to Win

Crave
Letterkenny
Canada’s Drag Race

Discovery
Heavy Rescue: 401
Disasters at Sea
Highway Thru Hell

Nurses

Food Network Canada
Big Food Bucket List
Carnival Eats
Wall of Chefs
Great Chocolate Showdown 
Junior Chef Showdown 
Fire Masters
The Big Bake 

Global
Nurses 
Private Eyes
Big Brother Canada
Departure

Backyard Builds

HGTV Canada
Backyard Builds 
Island of Bryan 
Property Brothers: Forever Home 
Scott’s Vacation House Rules  
Save My Reno 

History
Vikings (final season)
Rust Valley Restorers  
History Erased 
Salvage Kings 

Netflix
Another Life

Omni
Second Jen
Blood and Water

T+E
Hotel Paranormal
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Preview: Omni’s Blood and Water returns for fantastic second season

Blood and Water is one of the best—and groundbreaking—series on Canadian television. And, sadly, it’s been one of the hardest to find.

The second block of Season 1’s half-hour episodes were broadcast on Omni Television back in November of 2016 at 10:30 p.m. ET. Now Season 2 is set to bow … on Sundays at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Omni. It’s hard enough to gain traction as a television show in this country. But to throw in an almost two-year absence coupled with a 7:30 p.m. timeslot? It’s a shame, really, because Breakthrough Entertainment, creator and executive producer Diane Boehme and the cast and crew have created something really special and unique in this drama.

Blood and Water is the first trilingual series (English, Mandarin and Cantonese) produced by Canadian television and was celebrating diversity in its cast and storylines before Kim’s Convenience made such a splash. (Fun fact: Kim’s actor Simu Liu starred in Season 1. Listen to his 2015 podcast chat, along with then co-star Loretta Yu, with Anthony Marco.)

But enough of my bitching. Let’s get into Season 2.

Friday’s new adventure begins with a bloody, cold-blooded murder and a phone call from Teresa Fai (Loretta Yu) to Detective Jo Bradley (Steph Song). Teresa’s boyfriend, Jimmy (Andy Yu) witnessed the killing of his uncle and is now on the run. Can she look for Jimmy before he’s killed too? Jo and Detective Evan Ong (Byron Mann) help Teresa and, quickly, they’re pulled back into a case that involves a mysterious envelope and, once again, Ron Xie (Oscar Hu).

I continue to be amazed at how much evolving story and character development Boehme and her team can pack into just over 22 minutes of broadcast time. Once again, Song and Mann crackle on-screen; you can’t look away when they share scenes. New this season are cast members in Yu, Amanda Zhou and Selena Lee. Lee is a Hong Kong-born Canadian actress who has collected a bunch of awards and is a stalwart of TVB in Hong Kong. She’s wonderful here as Michelle Chang, a deadly and complicated character who factors into Jo and Evan’s investigation.

Add in a soundtrack that hints at dread around every turn and a  dark, spooky visual palette—via director of photography Fraser Brown and director Felipe Rodriguez—and Blood and Water is a feast for the senses. Please watch the second season. You’ll be glad you did.

Blood and Water airs Sundays at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Omni Television.

Images courtesy of Rogers Media.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail