Everything about Murdoch Mysteries, eh?

2020-21 Canadian TV season renewal scorecard

Well, things are just a little bit different this time around. With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on television production around the world, the Canadian networks—like others—have been a little late in announcing their primetime schedules.

But they’re gradually doing that, so we’ve put together a handy list of what will air between the summer of 2020 and the end of spring in 2021.

Check back often to see if your favourites have been renewed; we’ll be updating this list as we get more information.

Renewed

APTN
Tribal
Tribal Police Files
The Other Side

Tribal

CBC
Still Standing
Murdoch Mysteries
Frankie Drake Mysteries
Workin’ Moms
Baroness Von Sketch Show (final season)
Heartland
The Nature of Things
Marketplace
The Fifth Estate
Battle of the Blades
Family Feud Canada
Just for Laughs: Galas
Ha!ifax Comedy Fest
You Can’t Ask That
Coroner
Kim’s Convenience
Tallboyz
Dragons’ Den
22 Minutes
The Great Canadian Baking Show

Tallboyz

Citytv
Hudson & Rex

CTV
Corner Gas Animated
JANN (renewed for Season 3)
The Amazing Race Canada
Transplant
MasterChef Canada: Back to Win

Crave
Letterkenny

Discovery
Heavy Rescue: 401
Disasters at Sea
Highway Thru Hell

Nurses

Food Network Canada
Big Food Bucket List
Carnival Eats
Wall of Chefs
Great Chocolate Showdown 
Junior Chef Showdown 
Fire Masters
The Big Bake 

Global
Nurses 
Private Eyes 

Backyard Builds

HGTV Canada
Backyard Builds 
Island of Bryan 
Property Brothers: Forever Home 
Scott’s Vacation House Rules  
Save My Reno 

History
Vikings (final season)
Rust Valley Restorers  
History Erased 
Salvage Kings 

Netflix
Another Life

Omni
Second Jen
Blood and Water

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CBC announces new and returning series in 2020-21 programming slate

From a media release:

[Editor’s Note: Fridge Wars, Diggstown and Burden of Truth are on hold at the moment given COVID-19 production delays. The Detectives has not been renewed.]

At CBC’s 2020 virtual upfront presentation today, Canada’s public broadcaster revealed its 2020-21 slate of original programming, led by a strong fall schedule featuring 1,300 new hours for television spanning 22 new and returning series across all genres.

FALL 2020

ENSLAVED (6×60 Documentary, Associated Producers/A CBC Gem and documentary channel co-production with Epix in the United States) is a blue-chip documentary series led by Samuel Jackson and directed by Canadian filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici (The Naked Archaeologist) that charts the history of slavery through underwater archaeology. The series coincides with the 400-year anniversary of the first African brought to the New World as a slave, and will retrace the harrowing sea voyage that brought millions to a life of slavery. ENSLAVED is produced by Felix Golubev and Ric Bienstock and executive produced by Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Jackson, Eli Selden, Rob Lee, Simcha Jacobovici and Yaron Niski. International distribution by Fremantle.

ORANGEVILLE PREP (6×30 Factual, Orangeville Hoops Inc.) is a character-driven factual series that offers an inside look at the competitive, high-pressure world of basketball’s most successful preparatory program. Tucked away on farmland in Orangeville, Ontario lies the sport’s best kept secret – The Athlete Institute (AI). This high school basketball program has produced more Division 1 College and NBA players in the last five years than any other program in the world.

The Sounds

THE SOUNDS (8×60 Drama, Canada/New Zealand co-production, Shaftesbury and South Pacific Pictures) is a striking take on the relationship-driven thriller. Welcome to Pelorus Sounds, New Zealand – the sleepy settlement where nothing, including the visiting Cabbotts, is quite what it seems. Grieving wives, cheating husbands, epic embezzlement and historic crime all collide to weave a complicated web stretching through the Sounds’ hidden valleys and deep waters. Created by New Zealand-based author Sarah-Kate Lynch and directed by Peter Stebbings (Frankie Drake Mysteries, The Disappearance), the series stars Rachelle Lefevre (Mary Kills People, Under the Dome) as Maggie Cabbott and Matt Whelan (Narcos, The Luminaries) as Tom Cabbott.

TRICKSTER (6×60 Drama, Streel Films and Sienna Films) is based on the best-selling novel Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson, with CBC confirming today that it has been renewed for a second season. Starring newcomer Joel Oulette, this unique series is created by award-winning filmmaker Michelle Latimer (RISE, Nuuca) and Tony Elliott (Orphan Black), and directed by Latimer. Oulette plays Jared, an Indigenous teen struggling to keep his dysfunctional family above water, holding down an after-school job and selling ecstasy to support his partying mom, Maggie (Crystle Lightning), who self-medicates an undiagnosed mental illness, and his unemployable dad, Phil (Craig Lauzon) and his new girlfriend. But when Jared starts seeing strange things — talking ravens, doppelgängers, skin monsters— his already chaotic life is turned upside down. Additional cast includes Kalani Queypo (Jamestown), Anna Lambe (The Grizzlies), Joel Thomas Hynes (Little Dog), Gail Maurice (Cardinal) and Georgina Lightning (Blackstone).

SERIES RETURNING THIS FALL

  • BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW (Season 5, Frantic Films) – Finale Season
  • BATTLE OF THE BLADES (Season 6, Insight Productions) Following its remergence on the ice last year that reached over 1.5 million Canadians each episode, the factual hit will return this fall.**
  • DRAGONS’ DEN (Season 15, CBC)
  • FAMILY FEUD CANADA (Season 2, Zone 3/Fremantle) Following its inaugural season that reached 2.6 million viewers each week with a nightly average audience of over half a million including 30 percent in the key 25-54 demo, the hit series hosted by Gerry Dee is confirmed to return four nights per week this fall with 104 new episodes as a nationwide virtual search for new Canadian families now begins.***
  • HA!IFAX COMEDY FEST (Season 24, Pilot Light Productions)
  • JUST FOR LAUGHS: GALAS (Just For Laughs TV)
  • MARKETPLACE (Season 48, CBC News)
  • THE NATIONAL (CBC News, ongoing)
  • THE NATURE OF THINGS (Season 60) The landmark 60th season of THE NATURE OF THINGS will kick off with STATE OF THE PLANET, a unique documentary featuring a one-on-one conversation between David Suzuki and Sir David Attenborough that takes the pulse of our planet and asks whether humans can change their ways in time.
  • PURE (Season 2, Two East Productions/Cineflix)
  • ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES (Season 6, CBC Sports)
  • STILL STANDING (Season 6, Frantic Films)
  • THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (Season 28, Wildbrain)
  • YOU CAN’T ASK THAT (Season 2, Pixcom)
Trickster

WINTER NEW SERIES

LADY DICKS (10×60 Drama, Cameron Pictures) is a fun and honest portrayal of two radically different female detectives in their early 40s. The buddy cop drama series follows Guns and Gangs detective, Samantha (Meredith MacNeill, Baroness von Sketch Show) and Drug Squad detective, Kelly (Adrienne C. Moore, Orange is the New Black), who by day are true action heroes in their own particular way: skilled, tough, determined, and ruthless. But by night, they’re both grappling with loneliness, dysfunctional families, screwed-up love lives, and a sense that their professional ambitions may not be totally in line with their personal needs. Their friendship could help to balance each other out, if only they didn’t drive one another utterly insane. LADY DICKS is co-created by Tassie Cameron (Mary Kills People, Ten Days in the Valley, Rookie Blue, The Robber Bride) and Sherry White (Little Dog, Frontier, Ten Days in the Valley, Rookie Blue).

ARCTIC VETS (10×30 Factual, eOne) takes viewers up close with the remarkable wildlife that inhabits Canada’s frozen north and the team of veterinarians that works tirelessly to keep them safe. With around 40 patients per week, no two days are the same for the team at Assiniboine Park Arctic Animal Hospital in Manitoba. From muskox to seals, wolverines to reindeer, treating Arctic animals is often dangerous, but always rewarding. Whether they’re performing life-saving surgery on a polar bear, or tending to a snowy owl with a broken wing, the mission of the vet team is the same – save the lives of sick and injured Arctic species.

SERIES SET TO RETURN THIS WINTER

  • CORONER (Season 3, Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films and Cineflix Studios)
  • FAMILY FEUD CANADA (Season 2 continues, Zone 3, Fremantle)
  • THE FIFTH ESTATE (Season 46)
  • FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (Season 4, Shaftesbury)
  • THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW (Season 4, Proper Television)
  • HA!IFAX COMEDY FEST (Season 24 continues, Pilot Light Productions)
  • HEARTLAND (Season 14, Seven24 Films and Dynamo Films)
  • KIM’S CONVENIENCE (Season 5, Thunderbird Entertainment) – also renewed for Season 6
  • MARKETPLACE (Season 48 continues)
  • MURDOCH MYSTERIES (Season 14, Shaftesbury)
  • THE NATURE OF THINGS (Season 60 continues)
  • ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES (Season 6 continues)
  • TALLBOYZ (Season 2, Accent Entertainment)
  • THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (Season 28 continues, Wildbrain)
  • WORKIN’ MOMS (Season 5, Wolf & Rabbit Entertainment)

KIDS PROGRAMMING

New original series for kids on CBC Kids and CBC Gem this upcoming year include:

  • REMY & BOO (Industrial Brothers/Boat Rocker, in association with Radio-Canada, 52×11 – Fall 2020), an animated preschool series about a unique friendship between an adventurous little girl and a squishy pink robot called Boo.
  • DINO RANCH (Industrial Brothers/Boat Rocker, 52×11 – 2021), an action-packed animated preschool series that follows the Cassidy family as they tackle life in a fantastical “pre-westoric” setting where dinosaurs still roam.
  • GARY’S MAGIC FORT (CBC Kids, 13×11 – Spring 2021), a welcoming enchanted pillow fort where CBC Kids’ host Gary the Unicorn plays with his friends.
Enslaved

CBC FALL SCHEDULE

CBC’s Fall 2020 broadcast and streaming schedule on CBC TV and CBC Gem is as follows:

(For Newfoundland and Labrador, please add one half-hour for all times)

MONDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *Season 2*
8 PM – THE SOUNDS *New Drama Series*
9 PM – PURE *Season 2*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

TUESDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *Season 2*
8 PM – STILL STANDING *Season 6*/ JUST FOR LAUGHS
8:30 PM – THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES *Season 28*/ JUST FOR LAUGHS
9 PM – BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW *Season 5 – Finale Season*
9:30 PM – CATASTROPHE *Seasons 3 and 4*/ HA!IFAX COMEDY FEST
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

WEDNESDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *Season 2*
8 PM – WAR OF THE WORLDS *Exclusive Canadian Premiere*
9 PM – TRICKSTER *New Drama Series*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

THURSDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *Season 2*
8 PM – BATTLE OF THE BLADES *Season 6*
9 PM – DRAGONS’ DEN *Season 15*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

FRIDAYS
8 PM – MARKETPLACE *Season 48*
8:30 PM – YOU CAN’T ASK THAT *Season 2* / ORANGEVILLE PREP *New Factual Series*
9 PM – THE NATURE OF THINGS *Season 60*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

SATURDAYS
Afternoon – ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES *Season 6*

SUNDAYS
Afternoon – ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES *Season 6*
8 PM – THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW *Season 10*
9 PM – ENSLAVED *New Documentary Series*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

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Comments and queries for the week of April 24

Murdoch Mysteries is by far, the best series my husband and I have ever watched! It’s what is helping us through our quarantine time, providing great entertainment! Yannick is brilliant as Murdoch and is my favourite! Looking forward to many more seasons! —Char

I am a 74-year-old from Ohio. I can’t say how much I love Murdoch Mysteries. I watch the show over and over again waiting on the next season. I can’t get it on the TV, so I have to wait and watch the new shows when they come on Hulu. I like that it is a clean, no sex, no cussing show. Also, I would love for the old episodes of Sue Thomas F. B. Eye to come on Hulu. Thank you for Murdoch Mysteries. —Elizabeth

I became a Murdoch fan about five years ago. First saw the show as The Artful Detective and have been following the show since. Because I reside south of the Canadian border, it was tough getting the show on TV, so I had to rent DVDs until I discovered AcornTV. I like the entire cast and will miss the show after I finish the final three episodes of Season 13. Great job CBC. —Leo

I am an 83-year-old lady from the UK and want to say Murdoch Mysteries has been a life saver to watch during lockdown/isolation because of COVID-19. Icame to the series late but am so grateful to all involved over the years to produce such an intelligent and interesting program. Long may it continue! —Sylvia

I’m a 73-yr-old Ohio Buckeye. Been watching Murdoch for years on the Ovation Channel. Just a tremendous cast and talented writers! Please keep this gem in production! —Jennie

I am an American, and I love all of Yannick Bisson’s movies that we are able to see here. I think his acting is superb! I wish we were able to see all of his work, but we only have the Murdoch Mysteries. I love his work! And I am a 72-year-old African American! —Marva

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@ami.ca or via Twitter @tv_eh.

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A Career Retrospective for Yannick Bisson

Born in Montreal, Quebec, back in 1969, Yannick Bisson landed his first significant television role at the age of 15 when he played the part of Spear Kozak in Hockey Night. Since then, the Canadian actor has gone on to establish himself as a pivotal figure in the country’s entertainment sector. So, let’s take a look at Bisson’s career.

Murdoch Mysteries and his move into directing
Having found his feet on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s television network in 1984, the now 50-year-old actor went on to have an active role in several Canadian productions. Although he has featured in a wide array of different shows, Bisson is most well-known for being the main protagonist in the award-winning series, Murdoch Mysteries.

Premiering back in 2008, the drama has been running for 13 seasons, but reports suggest that the much-loved Canadian series is set to return to screens for another season in the future. Crucially, the show’s longevity has, at the time of writing, provided Bisson with his longest-active role throughout his career in television. Playing Detective William Murdoch, the Canadian recently reached 200 episodes in a production that has, by the actor’s own admission, become part of modern-day Canadian culture. It’s a testament to Bisson’s leading role in the now 12-year-old series that he claimed the Canadian Screen Awards Fan’s Choice Award in 2016, while the show itself received the Golden Screen Award for the most-watched drama in both 2017 and 2018.

Although the Murdoch Mysteries star is widely recognized for his on-screen contributions to the show, the series’ success gave him the foundation to broaden his horizons within the industry. During the fourth season, Bisson used his abilities on the other side of the camera to direct six episodes so far. Furthermore, his contributions to Canadian television, including his roles in Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy, Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye, and The Adventures of Napkin Man!, as well as Murdoch Mysteries, resulted in him being given the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists’ Toronto Award of Excellence in 2017 for his continued dedication to the industry.

The Canadian’s growing role within the film industry
During the early years of his career, Bisson only sporadically played roles in films. However, shortly before the turn of the new millennium, the award-winning actor landed a role in Velocity Trap, where he played the part of Franklin J. Robinson. Although the film didn’t reach the heights of other titles that were released in the same year, such as Fight Club and The Blair Witch Project, it did provide the Canadian actor with his first serious film role.

Eleven years after the release of Velocity Trap, Bisson was cast in Casino Jack as Oscar Carillo, alongside Barry Pepper, Kevin Spacey, Rachelle Lefevre, and many more. The comedy-drama, which is a true-to-life tale centred around the career of Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist and businessman from Washington, generated a box office total of $1.1 million upon release. Essentially, the movie acquires its title from Abramoff’s cunning plan against casino owners for his own sizeable financial gain. In reality, while casinos are legal throughout Canada, including online casinos where players have a wide choice of games, they are only available under strict supervision and when in line with the country’s implemented legislation.

Following Casino Jack, Bisson’s most recent venture into film came in the 2017 Canadian comedy horror movie, Another WolfCop. The title varies in genre to some of the previous workings that the 50-year-old has been a part of, with it offering light-hearted, gory entertainment as opposed to real-life tales of corruption.

Bisson has become an icon of Canadian television
Ultimately, there can be no doubt that Bisson is more than worthy of his Award of Excellence, given how much he has contributed to Canada’s entertainment industry. Aside from being the focal point of one of the country’s most iconic shows, the actor’s dedication has resulted in him being cast along some of the world’s biggest stars, which is a testament to his career success.

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Link: Yannick Bisson talks reaching his 200th episode of Murdoch Mysteries

From Heather M. of TV Goodness:

Link: Yannick Bisson talks reaching his 200th episode of Murdoch Mysteries
“The fact that it’s gone beyond just being my job to being part of the Canadian culture that we represent [to the world] is certainly not lost on me. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and I think that’s the magic ingredient.” Continue reading.

From Megan Elliott of Cheat Sheet:

Link: ‘Murdoch Mysteries’ star Yannick Bisson says he had ‘No Idea’ the show would be such a hit ahead of milestone 200th episode
“At the end of the day, he’s going to do his duty. Though as the years have gone on, I think that’s been chipped away a little bit, like the layers of an onion, just a little bit at a time. Things are not all black and white. And sometimes there are judgment calls that have to be made. And that’s been the biggest evolution for him.” Continue reading. 

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