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TV, Eh? Podcast Episode 250: Celebrating 250 and Bell Media’s Upfront Announcement, Part 2

After saluting Diane and Anthony for starting the podcast in the first place, Greg and Amy go through debuts and returns on the Canadian TV calendar.

Then, we cover the latest Canadian TV news, including CBC’s fall debut and return dates; CBC’s newest reality series, Canada’s Ultimate Challenge; CTV’s new drama, The Spencer Sisters; the chainsaw welding competitors of A Cut Above and Bell Media’s pact with Lilly Singh.

We finish off with Part 2 of Bell Media’s upfront announcement, noting factual programming.

This podcast brought to you by coffee and some kind of alcohol.


How you can follow Canada’s return to the FIFA World Cup

It’s an exciting time to be a follower of Canadian sports, with the national soccer team qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2022. This will be the team’s first appearance at this level since 1986, making it a cause for celebration. This winter’s tournament will be the first of two World Cups Canada will play a part in as they are guaranteed to qualify for World Cup 2026 due to being one of three host nations alongside the United States and Mexico. The entire country will get behind the boys.

All previous instalments of FIFA’s showpiece tournament have been played during the months of June and July. This is to maximize the good weather while taking advantage of all major European club competitions, such as the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League and the Spanish La Liga, being in their off-season. But things will be different this year, and there are a few changes Canadian soccer lovers should know about before making predictions at the best sports betting sites in Vegas and planning your viewing.

A competitive renewal
This promises to be one of the most competitive renewals of the World Cup we have witnessed in a generation, and there’s no reason why Canadian fans shouldn’t dream big. At this stage of preparations, Canada has as much chance of lifting the trophy as Brazil, England, defending champions France, the USA or any other team that secured their involvement in Qatar.

Canada went into the draw for the tournament group stages in pot four of four, meaning they were expected to be the weakest team in their pool. At this level of soccer, there are tough groups and near-impossible groups of a team like Canada. But which did they get, and how are they expected to handle themselves when things get moving in November with the opening round of matches?

Canada was added to Group F alongside Belgium, Morocco and Croatia. Escaping that bracket in one piece will be no mean feat as Canada mixes it with a Belgian side which is one of the pre-tournament favourites to win the World Cup, and Croatia, who finished as runners-up behind France in 2018. They will open against Belgium on 23rd November at Amad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Ryaan. Let’s look at three ways you can see Les Rouges in action.

The best way to get the full Qatar 2022 experience is to purchase a ticket, travel to the World Cup and enjoy the match from the stadium. This allows you to share in all the emotions of Canada’s quest for three points as they aim to upset the betting odds and silence the critics. You can get as close to the action as possible, but remember to only purchase matchday tickets from official avenues, such as the FIFA smartphone app or by registering your interest for a ticket with the Canadian FA.

Perhaps you prefer to enjoy the matches from the comfort of your home. You can do just that, thanks to the live coverage provided by Bell Media. This gives you a chance to enjoy the tournament without having to travel across the globe during the festive period. For many casual soccer fans, shelling out for flights, hotels and matchday tickets, as well as food, drink and merchandise, just isn’t an option.

One criticism of Qatar being awarded the World Cup is that it will price many supporters out of attending, especially on the approach to Christmas. Save cash and watch from home or, better yet, create a watch party and invite your friends, family, neighbours and fellow soccer lovers around to create a personalized fan zone.

Live streaming
The leading online betting apps allow registered members to watch the World Cup for free on their Android or iOS device. Simply register an account and place a bet for a minimum of $1 to watch the match.

The live streams are 100% legal with HD quality, expert commentary, in-play betting apps, predictions, live scores from around the grounds and more. This is perfect if you are away from home during the play. Using your mobile, you can turn everyday situations into an opportunity to watch live sports.

Images courtesy of Google Images Creative Commons Licences.


CBC announces fall 2022 premiere dates for new and returning series

From a media release:

CBC today announced broadcast and streaming premiere dates for its fall 2022 slate of new and returning programming, including 26 original series and specials from Canadian creators, producers, and storytellers reflecting people, places and perspectives from across the country. The new fall primetime schedule launches Monday, September 12 on CBC TV and CBC Gem.

CBC and CBC Gem Fall 2022 Primetime Schedule launching Monday, September 12:
All following times are local. For Newfoundland and Labrador, please add half an hour to all times.

7 PM – CORONATION STREET (continuing weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m. beginning September 16)
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA Season 4 (104×30) Mondays to Thursdays; premieres the week of September 12
8 PM – MURDOCH MYSTERIES Season 16 (24×60) premieres September 12
9 PM – THE NORTH WATER (6×60) premieres September 12
9 PM – RIDLEY ROAD (4×60) premieres October 24

7 PM – CORONATION STREET (continuing weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m. beginning September 16)
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA Season 4 (104×30) Mondays to Thursdays; premieres the week of September 12
8 PM – THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES Season 30 (24×30) premieres September 13
8:30 PM – STRAYS Season 2 (10×30) premieres September 13
9 PM – COMEDY NIGHT WITH RICK MERCER (8×60) premieres September 13
9 PM – SORT OF Season 2 (8×30) premieres November 15 with back-to-back episodes

7 PM – CORONATION STREET (continuing weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m. beginning September 16)
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA Season 4 (104×30) Mondays to Thursdays; premieres the week of September 12
8 PM – SUMMIT ‘72 (4×60) premieres September 14
8 PM – DIGGSTOWN Season 4 (6×60) premieres October 12
9 PM – WAR OF THE WORLDS Season 3 (8×60) premieres September 14

7 PM – CORONATION STREET (continuing weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m. beginning September 16)
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA Season 4 (104×30) Mondays to Thursdays; premieres the week of September 12
8 PM – DRAGONS’ DEN Season 17 (10×60) premieres September 15
9 PM – THE FIFTH ESTATE Season 48 (16×60) premieres September 29

7 PM – CORONATION STREET (continuing weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m. beginning September 16)
7:30 PM – CORONATION STREET (weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m.)
8 PM – THE PASSIONATE EYE (9×60, 1×120) premieres September 16 with Jennifer Baichwal’s INTO THE WEEDS before moving to its regular 9 PM timeslot
8 PM – MARKETPLACE Season 50 (16×30, 1×60) premieres October 7 with a one-hour 50th anniversary special
8:30 PM – TRAVEL MAN: 48 HOURS IN… (8×30) premieres October 14
9 PM – THE PASSIONATE EYE (9×60, 1×120) continues September 23 in its regular 9 PM timeslot

Afternoons – CBC SPORTS
Evenings – Canadian feature films continue
Evenings – HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA beginning in October

7 PM – HEARTLAND Season 16 (15×60) premieres October 2
8 PM – THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW Season 6 (9×60) premieres October 2
9 PM – MOONSHINE Season 2 (8×60) premieres October 2


TV, Eh? Podcast Episode 249: Bell Media’s Upfront Announcement

This week, Greg and Amy go through debuts and returns on the Canadian TV calendar.

Then, we cover the latest Canadian TV news, including CTV announcing the cast of its new comedy, Shelved, and AMI announcing its Accessible Writers’ Lab.

We close out the podcast by looking at CTV’s upfront announcement, which includes, literally, almost 100 titles.

This episode is brought to you by tap water through a Brita filter and Minute Maid lemonade.


The Amazing Race Canada’s Jon Montgomery teases Season 8

After two years, it finally feels like we are getting back to a sense of normalcy, that all is right in the world. Why? Because that Canadian TV summer staple is back on our screens.

Returning Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, The Amazing Race Canada is back with Jon Montgomery as its host and 10 new teams of two vying for two first-ever Chevrolet Silverado ZR2s, a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two around the world, a $250,000 cash prize and the coveted title of champions.

We spoke to Olympic gold medallist Jon Montgomery about the upcoming season.

It must be just so exciting just to be back talking about this show and being involved with this show again.
Jon Montgomery: That’s the greatest treat that I could have been given at the end of this. I mean, if they were going to dangle the proverbial carrot in front of me, it was the show. It’s one of those reasons to get out of bed in the morning, when you get to connect, when you get to celebrate, when you get to be proud of what is ultimately home, then that is the framing that you need for perspective. And man, it helps when you get to be a part of something that is so celebratory.

What have you been doing until they hit the green light on another season?
JM: It’s the reinvention of all of this. I’m now fairly seamlessly talking into a camera and connecting with you through time and space. But we’re still sharing. We’re still affected by each other’s energy, by the words that come through our little speakers here. It’s all vibration. And whether we’re in each other’s space or communicating this way, it’s been the ability to forge new pathways and areas that I myself wouldn’t have otherwise ventured down because of a technological aversion.

What I’ve been doing is figuring out what next? What do I want life to look like? What am I supposed to be doing with myself? And one of those things is celebrating Canada, and the power of connectivity and connection and each other. That’s what I can do, will do, and intend to do.

I know that some people may say that there isn’t a lot of heavy lifting that goes into hosting The Amazing Race Canada because it’s about all those teams. Still, you make the most out of your camera time and people love you for who you are, beginning with you winning Olympic gold and chugging beer from a pitcher. Is that something that just always come naturally? You haven’t had to create a Jon Montgomery character to host The Amazing Race Canada, have you?
JM: No. And in fact, I was discouraged from trying to be anybody other than myself. Nobody ever said, ‘I really liked it when you went hell-bent for leather through corner 16, it was so cool.’ Nobody could relate to that at all. It might as well have not happened. I could have been a pole vaulter, could’ve been a shot putter. Nobody gives a shit what the medium was. But what everybody liked and appreciated was what was just authentically me, and that part of each of us that sees themselves celebrating an achievement.

The Season 8 cast of The Amazing Race

Mine was tobogganing face-first down a frozen toilet chute, but everybody’s got their moment. But when you embrace somebody’s generosity, that’s the connective meat, that’s the connective tissue that everybody sees themselves at that moment, or at least a dude that they want to hang out with that would show the appreciation that way. And that’s what I try to do with this role that’s asked of me. It’s just about being authentic and not trying too hard to be anybody else, but taking what I do seriously, but not myself.

Were there COVID restrictions during the filming of the season?
JM: No, we didn’t have anything. It was just going crazy. We will both take everybody’s individual health and wellness at the utmost of importance while respecting the law and whatever else was going on in our environment.

Did you go outside of Canada this season?
JM: No, we didn’t. We got to stay home, once again, and explore more of Canada, and I think that’s what people have asked for.

The casting of The Amazing Race Canada is always a microcosm of the diversity and the inclusion that goes on in this country. Are there any teams that you think that people should be keeping an eye out for?
JM: Well, obviously it’s that whole adage, you can’t judge a book by its cover. You could try, but then you’d be wrong. These teams, they’re for real. You always have to put a certain level of importance on familiarity, how well do you know one another. I look at that relationship as a starting point to do further investigation.

And you need luck too. You need luck on your side and you’ll create that, you’ll earn that. But as a starting point, that relationship is the foundation, that’s the hole you’re digging to build your skyscraper.

Are you constantly surprised by how the producers put together these challenges every season?
JM: Big time. They surprise me, and I’m there year over year. Wherever they go for the 11 months of the year, they’re going to places to be inspired, to bring challenges that can be erected nearly anywhere while we pick a beautiful place in which to do a fun challenge or game. Some of them are geographically dependent. Some of them are specific to a culture within a region. So for all those bits and pieces, I’m always amazed. I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but I am. I’m like, ‘What? This is here? We get to do this?’

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.