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Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town “a game changer”

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You have to expect people involved in a TV show to sing its praises to the media. But when someone who’s not doing a press junket is moved to reach out to me about a project, my skepticism drops a little. And when I see a screener of the project that confirms its worth, I ask if I can quote him singing its praises.

OK, it’s now happened once, so it might be too early to call it a trend.

Peter Keleghan is one of the huge ensemble cast bringing to life the reimagining of Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, tonight on CBC. In his words:

“My rose colored glasses were broken so I think I’m right in saying it’s one of the best things I’ve seen in years. Seriously. It might be one of the consistently best entities of writing, directing, editing, laughs, cries, etc. I’ve ever been involved with. Knowing it was a labour of love when we shot it; we all thought it was going to be great. We may have underestimated it. I’m not one for hyperbole (except for today I guess!) but I think it’s a game changer for Canadian TV.”

I won’t place bets on game changing in a slash-the-CBC mentality era, but Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town feels like the perfect story at the perfect time on the perfect network.

Keleghan also pointed out a couple of highlights to look out for: Keshia Chanté’s anachronistic version of Burton Cummings’ “I’m Scared” and Colin Mochrie’s mug to the camera, which made it into the final cut.

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Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town’s Malcolm MacRury on making “Anne of Green Gables on Acid”

Malcolm MacRury (Cra$h & Burn, ZOS: Zone of Separation, Republic of Doyle, Deadwood, The Man Without a Face) is the screenwriter and an executive producer on Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, based on Stephen Leacock’s classic book as well as the author’s life. MacRury recently answered some questions on this literary reimagining, airing Sunday, February 12 on CBC.

In the television movie, co-produced with Movie Central, the elder Stephen Leacock (Gordon Pinsent) narrates the tale of his boyhood self at age 14 (Owen Best). The movie combines two key stories from Leacock’s comic masterpiece: the sinking of The Mariposa Belle steamer with its holiday crowd in the perilously shallow waters of Lake Wissanotti, and the frantic campaign to save Mariposa’s hotel and bar from the Liquor Commission’s shutdown.

Why this book at this time for you?

I’ve loved Stephen Leacock ever since I fled academia to write comedy. Here was a genius who could do both — write best-selling humour books that went around the world and also teach political economy at McGill. I’ve been on a mission to bring his comic masterpiece, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, to TV for about 20 years. The stars finally aligned when the centenary of his book and the 75th anniversary of the CBC coincided. Timing is everything!

Continue reading Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town’s Malcolm MacRury on making “Anne of Green Gables on Acid”

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TV, Eh? Industry Update – DVD, Apple iTV, CTS, More

Canadian TV-on-DVD news

Flashpoint‘s third season debuts on DVD in Canada May 22, 2012, through Phase 4 Films. A Blu-ray set has not yet been announced.

More information on the Rookie Blue second-season DVD/Blu-ray set. The set was first mentioned at TV, Eh? last Friday.

Apple iTV to launch in Canada?

Rogers and/or Bell might partner with Apple for iTV in Canada. Essentially, iTV is a television version of Apple’s iPad. Prototypes of the device are in Rogers and Bell’s possessions.

This should not be confused with Apple TV, a five-year-old product already available in Canada. Apple TV mainly streams online content from iTunes, and other selected sources, to television screens.

According to Best Buy’s American branch, a 42-inch Apple iTV, with a built-in webcam and iCloud support, will hypothetically retail for $1499 US. As the product is still in testing stages, prices may vary if/when Apple iTV actually hits the market.

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TV, Eh? Industry Roundup: The Mostly-CRTC Edition

Astral executive shuffle

Astral’s Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, Claude Gagnon, has left the company after more than twenty years. Gagnon joined Astral in July 1991, announcing his retirement effective January 31, 2012. Taking Gagnon’s place as SVP/CFO is Robert Fortier, Astral’s Vice-President, Finance.
Continue reading TV, Eh? Industry Roundup: The Mostly-CRTC Edition

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