Everything about Industry News, eh?

Link: The Kids in the Hall reunite for a new season on Amazon Prime

From Garnet Fraser at the Toronto Star:

Link: The Kids in the Hall reunite for a new season on Amazon Prime
Amazon’s news release not only says that all five kids — Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney and Scott Thompson — will be back, but so will fan-favourite characters in this “continuation of the original show.” Continue reading.


Canada Files interview series will air on U.S. public television

From a media release:

A new series of television interview programs focusing on outstanding Canadians will launch on several Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations in the United States, beginning in February.  The series, entitled CANADA FILES, will be hosted by veteran Toronto broadcaster James Deeks, and produced by his Toronto-based production company.

Initially accepted for broadcast by WNED-TV, the Buffalo, NY, affiliate of PBS, CANADA FILES is currently in production.  Confirmed guests include Booker Prize-winning novelist Margaret Atwood, former CBC National News anchor Peter Mansbridge, Vancouver business tycoon Jim Pattison, rock legend Robbie Robertson, and several others.

One of the underlying purposes of CANADA FILES is to make American audiences aware and appreciative of the Canadian heritage of so many of the guests they would recognize.  As well, to provide a better understanding of the role that so many Canadians play on the North American stage.

The initial series will consist of 13 half-hour episodes, featuring one-on-one discussions between Deeks and his guests.  Production of the series has been underwritten by private Canadian donors, and by the Central Canadian Public Television Association (CCPTA), a registered Canadian charitable organization.  CCPTA’s mission is to advance education through the production, distribution, and promotion of non-commercial television programs, films and other communications that are educational in nature.

A former television journalist and news anchor at CTV Toronto, Jim Deeks most recently co-hosted a program on RogersTV Toronto called Toronto Files.  He’s also well-known to WNED viewers as one of its regular, on-air Pledge Drive fundraisers.

CANADA FILES will be aired on WNED on Sunday evenings at 6:00 pm, starting on February 9th.  Other PBS affiliates will determine their own broadcast times for the series.  The programs will also be streamed online on www.canadafiles.ca.


Just For Laughs’ Stand Up & Pitch ’20 launches

From a media release:

Submissions are now open for the largest and longest-running comedy pitch program, the 11thannual Just For Laughs’ Stand Up & Pitch in Montreal. Project 10 Productions and Tubefilter return as presenters of this unique program, running from July 22-25, 2020 during ComedyPRO, Just For Laughs’ elite comedy industry conference.

With submissions being accepted from all over the world, Stand Up & Pitch: The Comedy Content Search will offer five finalists in each category the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch their digital, TV or OTT concept to a panel of seasoned development and production executives, in a room filled with over 100 comedy industry tastemakers and accredited industry professionals. One winner will be selected from each session format and will be invited back for the 2021 edition of Just For Laughs ComedyPRO. They will receive one (1) free trip to the Just For Laughs Festival, including flight, a hotel room for up to three (3) nights, and a festival pass.

Stand Up & Pitch showcases projects from across the comedy spectrum, from a diverse range of comedy creators. Projects have come from creators such as festival favourites Andy Kindler and Jay Oakerson, YouTube sensation Epic Lloyd Ahlquist (Epic Rapp Battles), notable Netflix performers Keisha Zollar and Dwayne Perkins, JFL New Face Leonard Chan, Award-winning producer Lauren Corber and First Nation Canadian star Darrell Dennis.

Open to comedians, writers, producers and creators, Stand Up & Pitch offers two (2) formats for submission:

From Set to Screen: TV, OTT, SVOD and More
Presented by Project 10 Productions, submissions are now being accepted for single or multi-camera scripted sitcoms, game shows, reality shows, variety, sketch or animated series. These pitches are intended for television programs running 30mins. This year’s prestigious panellists confirmed to date include Devin Griffin (Executive Vice President & General Manager of BET+), Kate Adler (Executive Vice President of Comedy Development, CBS Television Studios) and Chris Kelley (Production Executive, Original Programming, Comedy, Bell Media), moderated by Ben Murray (President of Project 10 Canada). Previous panellists for this program have included executives from other esteemed companies including Amazon, Comedy Central, FOX, HBO and more.

Beyond the Box: Playing It Short
Presented by Tubefilter, submissions are now being accepted for digital-first shows aimed for YouTube or other digital platforms, including scripted, animation, factual, variety and sketch. These pitches are intended for shows running 15mins or less. This year’s prestigious panellists include Deniese Davis (COO of ColorCreative), Ally Engelberg (Director of Development and Production at Above Average), Jennifer Danielson (Senior Vice President of Digital Content at Comedy Central) and Zadi Diaz (Founder of Major Digital Studios), moderated by Drew Baldwin (Founder and CEO of Tubefilter, Creator and Executive Producer of the Streamy Awards).

Deadline to submit projects for this year’s event is May 8, 2020 at 11:59pm PST.

For additional details, full submission guidelines, and to submit for the 11th annual Stand Up & Pitch program, visit the Just For Laughs ComedyPRO website at www.comedypro.hahaha.com/submissions.


Shaftesbury and Company Pictures option Birder Murder Mysteries

From a media release:

Shaftesbury, the award-winning production company behind the global hit TV series Murdoch Mysteries, is partnering with the BAFTA-winning U.K. producer Company Pictures (Wolf Hall, Inspector George Gently, Shameless) to option Canadian author Steve Burrows’ book series Birder Murder Mysteries. The international partnership, which will bring together a roster of both Canadian and U.K. screenwriters, is the first joint venture for the two production companies.

The series’ protagonist is Domenic Jejeune, a Canadian detective and avid birdwatcher who has been transplanted to the town of Saltmarsh, in Norfolk, U.K. Domenic has become a poster boy for the U.K. police service, using clues from the world of birding to give him a unique perspective on the most complex crimes.


Citytv’s new original drama series, The Wedding Planners, premieres March 27

From a media release:

Cozy up with your love and say “I do” to an all-new original drama The Wedding Planners, available on Citytv and Citytv NOW. Produced by Brain Power Studio in association with Citytv, the romantic scripted series follows the Clarkson siblings as they plan dream weddings for new couples-to-be, but not without their own behind-the-scenes family drama, as they work through their own complicated relationships. Citytv ties the knot on Friday, March 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, followed by six one-hour weekly episodes.

In the two-hour premiere event, The Wedding Planners opens as the siblings face the loss of their mother and wedding-planner extraordinaire Marguerite (played by Michelle Nolden). They quickly pick up the pieces and discover that before passing away, Marguerite had planned for many years of weddings for her children to fulfill. For better or for worse, the siblings reconnect and commit themselves to the family business. With new hope and inspiration, they work to tackle one wedding at a time, no matter how challenging the couple or budget, with a goal to honour their mother’s legacy.

Featuring an all-Canadian ensemble cast, the romantic drama follows the ups-and-downs of the Clarkson siblings: Paige (Kimberly Sue-Murray), the young mom balancing work and family, pressured to be perfect under not-so-perfect circumstances; James (Michael Seater), the New York City fashion designer with a troubled past; and Hannah (Madeline Leon), the peacekeeper with a kind heart and adventurous spirit who is also looking for love.

The Wedding Planners is produced by Brain Power Studio in association with Citytv, a division of Rogers Sports & Media. From Brain Power Studio, Creator and Executive Producer is Beth Stevenson, followed by Executive Producer Nancy Yeaman, and Producer Myles Milne.