Everything about Kim’s Convenience, eh?

Kim’s Convenience comes to an end after five seasons

After five seasons on CBC, Kim’s Convenience is closing its doors.

The news came on Monday afternoon via producers.

“Authenticity of storytelling is at the centre of the success of Kim’s Convenience,” the show’s producers said in a statement. “At the end of production on Season 5, our two co-creators confirmed they were moving on to other projects. Given their departure from the series, we have come to the difficult conclusion that we cannot deliver another season of the same heart and quality that has made the show so special. Kim’s Convenience has meant so much to our cast, writers, crew, and audiences around the world. Despite the restrictions and complications of shooting during the pandemic, Season 5 is our finest season to date. It’s been a privilege and a very great pleasure to work with the Kim’s family of gifted writers and performers for the last five years. Thank you to our fans for the love and support you’ve given this show.”

The statement was followed by messages from the cast on social media. The series had previously been earmarked for Season 6.

“It was announced today that the current season of #kimsconvenience will be our last and we will not make a season 6,” Andrew Phung posted on Twitter. “It’s a bittersweet end to one of the greatest experiences of my life. I’m so proud of what we’ve done and want to reflect and thank those who made it possible.

“We were the little show that could,” he continued. “Based on a fringe fest play that major theatres passed on. Ins Choi took this from an idea, to the stage, and w/ Kevin White to the TV screen. Few gave us a chance but we were a breakout hit. Thank you Ins and Kevin for your ideas and stories.”

You can read the rest of Phung’s heartfelt message, and feedback here, as well as Twitter posts by co-stars Simu Liu, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Jean Yoon.

This fifth season has seen the Kim family face one of its toughest challenges yet, with a difficult medical diagnosis for Umma (Jean Yoon), Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) stepping up as the primary caregiver, and recently-graduated Janet (Andrea Bang) moving back home. Meanwhile, Jung’s (Simu Liu) trip to business school has tested his relationship with Shannon (Nicole Power) and Kimchee (Andrew Phung) reconnected with his family, and his high school crush.

Recently, Kim’s Convenience was recognized by TV Guide as one of the best “feel good” streaming series available and a perfect quarantine distraction by Oprah magazine.

Awards it has collected include Canadian Screen Award wins for Phung, Sun-Hyung Lee, Amanda Brugel and the series, and nominations for Bang, Yoon and Power. The series has also received nominations for awards from the Writers Guild of Canada, and the Directors Guild of Canada.

In addition to airing in Canada on CBC and CBC Gem, the series also streams on Netflix and is watched on cable and VOD platforms around the world, including in Japan and Korea.

The news comes a week after it was announced Frankie Drake Mysteries would not return for Season 5 on CBC.

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Links: Kim’s Convenience, Season 5

From Ron Johnson of TRNTO:

Link: Kim’s Convenience star on the premiere of the show’s fifth season and his dream role in the Mandalorian
“The character of Appa was always very, very special to me because I’d never seen before my father represented or my culture, my community represented or embodied in one character before.” Continue reading.

From Josh Walker or Complex Canada:

Link: Kim’s Convenience’s Andrew Phung May Be Calgary’s Biggest Sneakerhead
You likely know Andrew Phung as Kimchee, Simu Liu’s happy-go-lucky best friend on the wildly popular CBC sitcom Kim’s Convenience. His role on the stereotype-shattering series, which premieres its fifth season on January 19, garnered him the award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards last year. Continue reading.

From Melissa Hank of Postmedia:

Link: Kim’s Convenience stars Simu Liu, Andrew Phung share epic bromance
If two guys are bros, and they don’t have a special handshake to celebrate their bromance, are they really bros to begin with? Luckily, Kim’s Convenience actors Simu Liu and Andrew Phung have an epic one. Continue reading.

From From Norman Wilner of Now Toronto:

Link: Video: Kim’s Convenience cast talks season 5, Marvel, Star Wars and COVID
“Our producers – especially Sandra Cunningham – really thought thoroughly through the way we work and every single possible way of mitigating COVID.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Kim’s Convenience stars on the magic behind one of TV’s best friendships
“We begin to see his exploration into his relationship with Appa, which in turn is a triangle with Jung. We see Kimchee in his relationship with Gwen.” Continue reading.

From Melissa Girimonte of The Televixen:

Link: Jean Yoon and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee bring more light to the world with Kim’s Convenience Season 5
“With Appa, it always starts with what he thinks is right, and with the best of intentions. He never diabolically sets out to abuse this privilege or take advantage of a loophole.” Continue reading.

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Kim’s Convenience: Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Jean Yoon preview Season 5

To say a lot has happened between Seasons 4 and 5 of Kim’s Convenience would be an understatement.

Aside from COVID-19 safety measures, there were two other major behind-the-scenes events. The first was Simu Liu landing the role of Shang-Chi in the Marvel movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The second was Paul Sun-Hyung Lee scoring a multi-episode arc on a little Star Wars spinoff called The Mandalorian. Luckily, all three events failed to derail Season 5 of Kim’s Convenience.

Returning Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CBC, we spoke to Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Jean Yoon about the family facing one of its toughest challenges yet as they navigate a difficult medical diagnosis for Umma.

How did the pandemic affect production on Kim’s Convenience?
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee: Shooting during a pandemic, it’s not business as usual. The mere fact that we were able to go back to work, I think, was a huge win. I have to give huge props to the production team and the producers of Kim’s Convenience for creating a protocol, a COVID protocol designed with safety first. They had systems where the different departments were separated into different pods. There were different points of access for everybody where there wasn’t any cross mingling. We had PPE, checking procedures, all these different things that we had to go to these hoops to ensure our safety. And it was really, it was quite an adjustment period. It’s a different energy on set, your timing’s a bit thrown off. You can’t see anybody’s faces. As an actor, on top of having to play a scene, you’ve got to do your own final makeup touches and you have to reset your own props and you have to think about blocking … all these extra things. You’re doing three or four different jobs sort of at the same time.

Jean Yoon: [Before the pandemic] between shots, you’d have grips moving the lights at the same time, hair and makeup is chasing around trying to powder you, wardrobe, the director and the assistant directors. [During COVID-19 protocols] it was easier to keep your train of thought as an actor, which is really good because with all of these protocols, I do think on average we had fewer takes. And so you really wanted to make sure that you were right on.

Umma has a medical situation this season. Jean, what can you say about it?
JY: Any medical situation for a character in our age bracket is an opportunity to explore stories that are grounded in truth. The uncertainty of one’s health is something that is just … you pass 50 and the next thing you know, you’ve got to start watching your cholesterol and your sugar and how much exercise you’re getting. So that raises some real questions and the opportunity for those sorts of storylines based in that kind of dilemma is pretty rewarding. One thing about this show is that its strength is the relationships between family members and any kind of medical situation is going to bring up, it raises the stakes and it’s going to bring up questions and stories and emotions that are worth exploring.

There is a scene between yourselves and Andrea Bang that killed me. It was so emotional.
JY: Thank you. Yeah. Working with Andrea at any time, she’s so good. Oh, my god. She’s so good.

PSHL: You’re no slouch yourself, Jean.

JY: Let’s talk about how amazing Andrea Bang is, though. She’s got this ability to tap into this well of vulnerability that just blows me away. And I remember even in the first audition, like with we were camera testing a few people and Andrea had it right from the get-go.

Paul, what can you say about some of the storylines that are coming up in some of the things that this family is going to run into?
PSHL: Without giving away too much of the storylines. One of the things Andrew Phung and I always bug the writers about is like, we want more scenes together. We want to see Kimchee hang out a little bit more and not for only selfish reasons, although they are, because he’s my best friend. But it’s this whole idea of us hanging out together puts a bit of a strain on his relationship with Chung. It’s this neat little triangle that sort of happens. It’s always a pleasure to work with Andrew. I’m happy to say that there are scenes with Andrew this season that I’m quite happy about. But there are also some scenes with Simu that happened this season that I’m very, very happy about. With Simu going away and shooting that little boutique movie and then coming back, it was just like, ‘Hey, the family’s back together again.’ It just felt like, for that period of time, all was right in the world despite it being a dumpster fire in 2020. It was just this moment of happiness, where we were sitting there like, ‘Our son is home and that’s a lovely thing.’ So in terms of storylines, this is a season that is focused on the family, the relationships with each other and character growth.

JY: Simu came back and quarantined for two weeks and the way it worked out is we ended up having a week hiatus which was great. But then he had to shoot nine days in a row, basically 10 episodes of scenes. They had to bring in all three directors back and there were days where the morning would be one director and the afternoon would be another. He had to be incredibly disciplined and prepared, and boy was he ever. Yeah, it was great to have the family back together.

Kim’s Convenience airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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CBC Announces Winter 2021 Premiere Dates

From a media release:

CBC today announced broadcast and streaming premiere dates for its winter 2021 slate of original programming, including over 20 new and returning Canadian series reflecting a diverse range of storytelling and perspectives. The new winter primetime schedule launches Monday, January 4 on CBC TV and the free CBC Gem streaming service.

MONDAYS:
Mystery Mondays return on January 4 with new seasons of hit detective series MURDOCH MYSTERIES (Season 14) and FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (Season 4).

New weeknight primetime program CANADA TONIGHT WITH GINELLA MASSA launches Monday, January 11 at 8 p.m. on CBC News Network.

TUESDAYS:
CBC’s Tuesday night comedy lineup continues on January 5 with new episodes of THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES and BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW The Final Season: Bonus Episodes, featuring never-before-aired sketches, followed by irreverent new series HUMOUR RESOURCES, starring Jon Dore and featuring comedians including Sarah Silverman, Aisha Brown, Tom Green, Scott Thompson and Ronny Chieng.

KIM’S CONVENIENCE returns with Season 5 beginning January 19.

New seasons of WORKIN’ MOMS (Season 5) and TALLBOYZ (Season 2) debut on February 16.

WEDNESDAYS:
British drama QUIZ, based on the true story of a former British army major who was caught cheating on the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and starring Matthew Macfadyen (Succession), premieres January 13.

Season 3 of procedural crime drama CORONER starring Serinda Swan, followed by new buddy-cop drama series PRETTY HARD CASES (formerly Lady Dicks), starring Meredith MacNeill (Baroness von Sketch Show) and Adrienne C. Moore (Orange Is The New Black), premiere February 3.

THURSDAYS:
documentary Channel originals Fear of Dancing, Clydesdale: Saving the Greatest Horse and The Oslo Diaries premiere on CBC TV, January 7 through 21.

Beginning January 28, legal drama BURDEN OF TRUTH starring Kristin Kreuk returns with Season 4, and THE FIFTH ESTATE continues on a new night.

FRIDAYS:
MARKETPLACE continues on January 8, featuring an ongoing series, “Face Racism,” hosted by Asha Tomlinson, which follows people in search of justice in their communities, the marketplace and the workplace, often bringing them face-to-face with company executives and government officials.

The landmark 60th season of THE NATURE OF THINGS returns on January 8 with an ambitious archeological dig that peels away myths surrounding the last queen of Egypt in SEARCHING FOR CLEOPATRA, and the following week, a special five-part series, WILD CANADIAN WEATHER, showcasing a cinematic journey through Canada’s most extreme and spectacular weather.

New docuseries ANYONE’S GAME (formerly Orangeville Prep), offering an inside look at the competitive, high-pressure world of basketball’s most successful preparatory program at The Athlete Institute in Orangeville, Ontario, launches on January 15, with all episodes available that day to stream on CBC Gem.

New family-friendly series ARCTIC VETS, offering an up-close look at the wildlife that inhabits Canada’s north and the veterinarians at the Assiniboine Park Conservancy who work tirelessly to keep them safe, premieres February 26.

SUNDAYS:
Audience favourite HEARTLAND returns with a new season on January 10, followed by a four-week special event featuring back-to-back episodes of BBC’s acclaimed LES MISÉRABLES dramatic miniseries, starring Dominic West, David Oyelowo, Lily Collins and Olivia Colman.

Starting on Valentine’s Day, February 14, Season 4 of THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW welcomes a new batch of amateur bakers and two new hosts, Second City alumni Alan Shane Lewis and Ann Pornel, followed by the exclusive Canadian premiere of BELGRAVIA, highlighted in Vanity Fair’s Five New Juicy Costume Dramas to Add Glamour to Your Quarantine, centering on secrets and scandals amongst the upper echelon of London society in the 19th century.

CBC KIDS:
CBC Kids’ refreshed weekday lineup begins Monday, January 4 with new seasons of PJ MASKS, KIRI AND LOU, and TRUE AND THE RAINBOW KINGDOM. New CBC Kids and Radio-Canada original preschool animated series DINO RANCH, produced in partnership with Disney, premieres on Saturday, January 16, featuring the adventures of the Cassidy family as they tackle life in a fantastical, “pre-westoric” setting where dinosaurs still roam. CBC Kids original tween sci-fi drama ENDLINGS, produced in partnership with Hulu, returns for a second season, launching on CBC Gem Friday, January 15, with episodes released weekly.

SUNDAYS

7 PM – HEARTLAND Season 14 (10×60) premieres January 10

8 PM – LES MISÉRABLES (8×60) the BBC miniseries premieres January 10 with back-to-back episodes

8 PM – THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW Season 4 (8×60) premieres February 14

9 PM – BELGRAVIA (6×60) Julian Fellowes’ historical drama premieres February 14

10 PM – THE NATIONAL CBC News’ flagship program continues Sunday to Friday each week

MONDAYS

7 PM – CORONATION STREET continues weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA Season 2 (104×30) continues Mondays to Thursdays

8 PM – MURDOCH MYSTERIES Season 14 (11×60) begins January 4

9 PM – FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES Season 4 (10×60) begins January 4

TUESDAYS

7 PM – CORONATION STREET continues weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA Season 2 (104×30) continues Mondays to Thursdays

8 PM – KIM’S CONVENIENCE Season 5 (13×30) premieres January 19

8:30 PM – THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES Season 28 (19×30) continues January 5

9 PM – BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW (5×30) The Final Season: Bonus Episodes featuring never-before-aired sketches premiere January 5

9 PM – WORKIN’ MOMS Season 5 (10×30) premieres February 16

9:30 PM – HUMOUR RESOURCES (6×30) a new irreverent comedy premieres January 5

9:30 PM – TALLBOYZ Season 2 (8×30) premieres February 16

WEDNESDAYS

7 PM – CORONATION STREET continues weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA Season 2 (104×30) Mondays to Thursdays

8 PM – CORONER Season 3 (10×60) premieres February 3

9 PM – QUIZ (3×60) the British drama starring Matthew Macfadyen (Succession) premieres January 13

9 PM – PRETTY HARD CASES (formerly Lady Dicks, 10×60) a new female-driven buddy-cop series premieres February 3

THURSDAYS

7 PM – CORONATION STREET continues weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA Season 2 (104×30) Mondays to Thursdays

8 PM – documentary Channel originals Fear of Dancing, Clydesdale: Saving the Greatest Horse and The Oslo Diaries premiere January 7 through 21

8 PM – BURDEN OF TRUTH Season 4 (8×60) premieres on January 28

9 PM – THE FIFTH ESTATE Season 46 (7×60) continues January 28 on a new night

FRIDAYS

7 PM – CORONATION STREET continues weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

7:30 PM – CORONATION STREET continues weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

8 PM – MARKETPLACE Season 48 (22×30) continues January 8

8:30 PM – ANYONE’S GAME (formerly Orangeville Prep, 6×30) a new factual series about basketball’s most successful preparatory program premieres January 15

8:30 PM – ARCTIC VETS (10×30) a new factual series featuring the wildlife of Canada’s north premieres February 26

9 PM – THE NATURE OF THINGS Season 60 (13×60) continues with an ambitious archeological dig in SEARCHING FOR CLEOPATRA on January 8

SATURDAYS

Afternoon – ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES Season 6 continues

6:30 PM – HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA begins January 16

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Thunderbird Entertainment announces start of production on Season 5 of CBC original comedy Kim’s Convenience

From a media release:

Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TSXV: TBRD) (OTC: THBRF) (“Thunderbird” or the “Company”) is thrilled to announce that production of the next season of its hit CBC original comedy series Kim’s Convenience begins today in Toronto. One of Canada’s most-watched homegrown comedies, the fifth season is set  to premiere on CBC TV and CBC Gem  in Winter 2021. As previously announced, CBC has also renewed the series for a sixth season.

In season five, the Kim family faces one of its toughest challenges yet, as they navigate a difficult medical diagnosis for Umma (Jean Yoon). With Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) stepping up as the primary caregiver, and a recently graduated Janet (Andrea Bang) moving back in, boundaries are inevitably crossed. Meanwhile, Jung’s (Simu Liu) brief trip to business school tests his relationship with Shannon (Nicole Power) as Kimchee (Andrew Phung) reconnects with his family, and his high school crush.

Earlier this year, Kim’s Convenience was recognized by TV Guide as one of the best “feel good” streaming series available. It was also recently dubbed as a perfect quarantine distraction by Oprah magazine. Additional accolades include numerous Canadian Screen Awards, Leo Awards, ACTRA Awards and a Canadian Comedy Award. The series has also received nominations for awards from the Writers Guild of Canada, and the Directors Guild of Canada. In addition, the series has received international acclaim, winning a 2019 award for “Most Popular Foreign Drama” at the 2019 Seoul International Drama Awards in South Korea.

In addition to airing in Canada on CBC and CBC Gem, the series also streams on Netflix and is watched on cable and VOD platforms around the world, including in Japan and Korea.

A CBC original series, Kim’s Convenience is based on the award-winning play by Ins Choi, who also adapted it for television. The series is produced by Ivan Fecan and co-created by Ins Choi and Kevin White on behalf of Thunderbird Entertainment in association with the Soulpepper Theatre Company. Executive Producers are Ivan Fecan, Alexandra Raffé, Ins Choi and Kevin White, and Sandra Cunningham is Supervising Producer.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail