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Heartland’s “epic episode” tonight teased

HeartlandCBC

By Diane Wild of TV, eh?

Some of the Heartland cast were on hand at CBC Vancouver’s Open House and Food Bank Day on Friday, where more than $500,000 was raised for local food banks.

I spoke to Lower Mainland natives Graham Wardle (Ty), Jessica Amlee (Mallory) and Alisha Newton (Georgie) and will have more on our discussion in the new year. But tonight is a big episode. How big? Well, I don’t know, really, but I can guess. If you’re a regular viewer of Heartland you probably can — and have — too. The official blog is hyping this episode as “EPIC.” What could it be, what could it be? Hmm. Apropos of nothing, Ty and Amy sure have been dating for a while, haven’t they?

The cast revealed no actual spoilers, but we talked around the apparently epic episode and its epic scene. I mentioned that I had a feeling people were probably correct in their guessing.

“Probably,” Wardle sort-of confirmed.

“There’s a significant event that happens and while we were shooting the scene of this event, it was supposed to be a beautiful sunset but it was thunder and lightening,” said Wardle. “When you see it you won’t know all these things. We had to use special camera tricks to make it seem the opposite of what it was.”

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Bid now in the Flashpoint “Because Heroes Are Human” auction

By Diane Wild of TV, eh?

Flashpoint airs its final episode December 13, ending a five-season run that gave Canadians a homegrown show to be proud of — most importantly for its entertainment value and quality, but also for letting Toronto be Toronto and for cracking the US market on a major network in primetime, paving the way for other exports such as Rookie Blue, The Bridge, and even other non-cop shows. The show’s enthusiastic fanbase even named Flashpoint the best Canadian show ever in TV, eh?‘s Throwdown Showdown.

Creators Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern have used their Flashpoint voice to help advocate for the real-life heroes who inspired their show. Today, they launched an auction of Flashpoint memorabilia with proceeds to The Tema Conter Memorial Trust, an organization that assists emergency and military services personnel.

Check out the unique items up for bid – Spike’s uniform, Enrico Colantoni’s warm up Jacket, autographed DVDs and scripts, and so much more – at www.tv-eh.com/flashpoint-auction.

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Canadian TV’s Fall Hits and Misses

By Diane Wild of TV, eh?

Now that CBC has announced its winter season and other networks’ January premieres are starting to trickle in, it seems like a good time to look back at the hits and misses of Canadian television this fall. I’m picking three of each – feel free to add your own in the comments.

Hits

Flashpoint
It’s rare for a show to end on its own terms before microscopic viewing levels force cancellation, but Flashpoint’s producers decided to walk away after a long, successful five-year run, and the final season has been its most successful yet in terms of ratings. CTV is giving the much-loved series a big send-off with a two-part finale December 6 and 13, a screening in Toronto, an online chat and live after-show, and the opportunity for fans to win memorabilia. (P.S. watch for a special Flashpoint fundraising auction by the creators coming soon here, too.)

Murdoch Mysteries
One of the best feel-good news stories in Canadian TV this year – breaking a string of dismal news on cancellation after cancellation – was CBC reviving Murdoch Mysteries after its Citytv death. A surprising sequel to that happy news is the ratings season five has earned for CBC this fall – a season that had just completed a summer run on Citytv, yet in its replay is getting even more viewers. New episodes start on January 7, and my ratings expectations are high.

Citytv
I know, I know, they cancelled Murdoch Mysteries while the ratings were still good, but they did give it a five-season run, and after parent company Rogers launched FX Canada, Murdoch didn’t fit the brand anymore (“brand” in this case meaning shows that can be rerun in perpetuity across all of a company’s channels to begrudgingly fulfill Canadian content requirements.) And yes, Citytv inflicted The Bachelor Canada on us this fall. But they deserve some credit for having more scripted shows in the works than we’ve seen in a long time — Seed and Package Deal — and keeping that news coming over the fall. Yes, I’m giving them kudos for having two scripted series coming up. At least two is more than one.

Misses

Global
It’s hard to really argue with this strategy, but the network doesn’t even pretend it will send Canadian shows into battle with US fall premieres. Rookie Blue ended its season just in time to scoot out of the way. In this fall’s Friday Death Timeslots, with nothing else to simulcast, Global has been airing the scarcely promoted newsmagazine series 16×9 plus Bomb Girls reruns. Let’s hope in the future they will build on the success of Bomb Girls with more of their own content to spread thinly across all of parent company Shaw’s networks.

Strombo at 7
It seemed like a good idea at the time: move Canada’s Boyfriend earlier in the day where more viewers could date him. But 7 pm isn’t quite primetime either, and it turns out Strombo isn’t quite news-like or Coronation Street-like enough to thrive in that timeslot sandwich, and some of the show tweaks didn’t quite work for me, including the panel trying to be funny about random subjects. Ratings took a nosedive from the former Jeopardy/Wheel of Fortune heights … but at least Strombo is undeniably Canadian.

Over the Rainbow
Judging by my Twitter stream, the people who watched enjoyed the show. Judging by the ratings, not enough people watched. It’s the kind of show that shouldn’t be too expensive to produce so maybe it satisfied CBC’s expectations, but it was yet another reality show and no Battle of the Blades ratings-wise. Then again, how can you beat hockey players and figure skaters on Canadian television? The Dorothys didn’t do it.

So … what were your hits and misses in Canadian TV this fall?

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Flashpoint finale airs December 6 & 13 on CTV

From a media release:

The End of an Era: FLASHPOINT’s Mind-Blowing Two-Part Series Finale Marks the Conclusion of CTV’s Trailblazing Series, Thursday, December 6 and 13 on CTV

  • ETALK’s Ben Mulroney sits down with the entire cast on their last day on set in the all-new CTV tribute special FLASHPOINT: THE FINAL SALUTE, Dec. 13
  • Viewers can participate in a live online chat followed by the first-ever, live video after-show with the cast and creators on CTV.ca, Dec. 6
  • Fans invited to share their reflections on what the series has meant to them on CTV.ca to qualify to win exclusive FLASHPOINT memorabilia
  • CTV hosts the ultimate FLASHPOINT finale screening experience at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Dec. 13

Five seasons. 75 episodes. Too many memories to count. Since 2008, CTV’s trailblazing series FLASHPOINT has entertained millions of viewers in Canada and all over the world. It has inspired an industry, paving the way for the hit Canadian series that have followed. And now, on Thursday, Dec. 6 and 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, CTV presents the much-anticipated, two-part series finale of FLASHPOINT, fittingly entitled “Keep the Peace” (visit CTV.ca to confirm local broadcast times). In the mind-blowing, not-to-be missed final episodes, Team One faces its most deadly adversary yet – a brilliant serial bomber who takes an entire city hostage. Now, more than ever, their will is put to the ultimate test in the series’ shocking conclusion – one that changes Team One forever and will go down as the most action-packed Canadian television episode in memory.

With just three weeks to go until the final goodbye to the series, CTV is launching a massive promotional campaign that includes, on-air, radio, online and social media to generate awareness about the final farewell to FLASHPOINT. CTV invites viewers to celebrate the end of an era with the exclusive tribute special, FLASHPOINT: THE FINAL SALUTE, premiering Thursday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on CTV. CTV also presents complementary, interactive fan promotions, including a gala finale screening, all leading up to the highly anticipated final episode on Dec. 13.

The countdown to the final season began in May when Executive Producers Anne Marie La Traverse and Bill Mustos announced in a press release that they had chosen to end the hit series on a high note, following the conclusion of Season 5.

Leading up to the final episode, ETALK’s Ben Mulroney sits down with series’ stars Hugh Dillon, Enrico Colantoni, Amy Jo Johnson, David Paetkau, and Sergio DiZio on their last day on set together as a group. The poignant, all-new 30-minute CTV special, FLASHPOINT: THE FINAL SALUTE premieres Thursday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, just hours before the final episode airs. Shot on set at “SRU Headquarters”, the cast reflect on the past five seasons, their most memorable moments, what FLASHPOINT means to them, and more.

Immediately following Part 1 of the FLASHPOINT series finale (Dec. 6), viewers can log on to CTV.ca at 11 p.m. ET for the first-ever live video after-show with series’ stars Amy Jo Johnson, David Paetkau, Sergio Di Zio, and creators Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern. The live video stream allows viewers logged on to CTV.ca/LiveChat to watch and get their insider take on the episode and the series, while teasing the finale episode. Plus, a selection of hand-picked fan questions submitted through a live chat window starting at 10 p.m. ET will be put forward by CTV.ca to the FLASHPOINT team during the after-show, allowing for unprecedented user involvement. Before Part 2 of the series finale on Thursday, Dec. 13, visit CTV.ca/Flashpoint to view heartfelt video goodbye messages from the series’ stars.

With just three weeks to go until the final scene, the countdown to FLASHPOINT’s landmark series finale continues on CTV.ca with an exciting new contest. Starting now, viewers are invited to share their reflections on what the series has meant to them at flashpointcontest@ctv.ca (max 250 words). CTV will pass these notes along to the cast and producers and every submission will be entered in a random weekly prize draw for exclusive FLASHPOINT memorabilia, including signed cast photos, a locations poster signed by the producers, and a signed finale episode script. With a handful of messages posted to CTV.ca each week, fans can take this opportunity to bid farewell for five great seasons of incredible memories. The contest closes on Friday, Dec. 14 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET. For more information and for full contest rules, please visit CTV.ca/Flashpoint.

The celebration concludes Dec. 13 as CTV hosts the ultimate FLASHPOINT finale screening experience at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto. Fans will be able to watch the final two episodes hours before the live broadcast, followed by a special Q & A session with the cast and the producers. More information, including how to gain access to this exclusive event, will be available online soon at CTV.ca/Flashpoint and facebook.com/CTV.Flashpoint.

In the two-part series finale, entitled “Keep the Peace” (Dec. 6 and 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT), an explosive package planted at the 911 call centre is just the beginning of the most challenging call of Team One’s career. A series of bombs in public buildings tears the city apart with terror as the Team juggles high-risk rescues, multiple defusions, and fear for its members’ own loved ones. Just as they begin to grasp the chilling truth behind the bomber’s mission, a defusion takes a shocking and tragic turn. It’s all hands on deck as Team One joins forces with firefighters, paramedics, and the military to contain a devastating threat. As Jules (Amy Jo Johnson) and Parker (Enrico Colantoni) uncover the bomber’s true and dark origins, they realize this is not a man that can be talked down. In the Team’s final showdown, tragedy and triumph collide as the peace is kept… but at a painful cost.

FLASHPOINT stars Hugh Dillon (DURHAM COUNTY), Enrico Colantoni (VERONICA MARS), Amy Jo Johnson (FELICITY), David Paetkau (WHISTLER), Sergio Di Zio (JUST BURIED), and Olunike Adeliyi (BEING HUMAN).

Encore presentations of the two-part finale will air Sunday, Dec. 16 from 9-11 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and Monday, Dec. 10 and 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV Two. Viewers can also catch up on full episodes of FLASHPOINT across CTV’s digital platforms following its television broadcast on CTV.ca, the CTV App, the CTV Mobile channel, and through video on demand partners.

Continue reading Flashpoint finale airs December 6 & 13 on CTV

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