Everything about Reality, Lifestyle & Documentary, eh?

Home makeover hits light up HGTV Canada’s fall programming slate

From a media release:

HGTV Canada is hammering into fall with a full slate of fan-favourite programming and brand-new Canadian original series, highlighting the connections people have with the places they call home. This fall, HGTV Canada continues to showcase the ups and downs of jaw-dropping transformations, off-the-grid renovations, and intense property pursuits with beloved design, reno and real estate experts guiding homeowners along the way. Aligned with the start of its entertaining fall schedule, HGTV Canada will be available on a national free preview for the month of September.

Anchoring the fall slate is HGTV Canada’s new original series Worst to First, starting Monday, September 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Meet contractors Mickey Fabbiano and Sebastian Sevallo – best friends and family members who help 10 Vancouver families transform the most undesirable homes on the block into the envy of the neighbourhood. These shabby homes come with their challenges, but the handy duo is up for the task, turning each family’s dream into a reality in one of the hottest real estate markets in the world.

HGTV Canada’s fall lineup is filled with new and familiar faces as Canada’s beloved twins, Drew and Jonathan Scott, return with brand-new episodes of Property Brothers: Buying and Selling starting Monday, August 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Then, on Wednesday, August 30 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, the network gives audiences a taste of small-town charm with Home Town, as creative couple and Mississippi locals, Ben and Erin Napier help their community refurbish their homes, ensuring their small town’s future is as bright as its past. Plus, as previously announced, fan-favourite Sarah Richardson returns with her new Canadian original series Sarah Off The Grid and Mike Holmes’ launches his new series Holmes: Buy It Right on Sunday, September 10.

Fans will flip this fall as the Flip or Flop franchise expands in a big way. First, veteran series, Flip or Flop, returns for a new season starting Wednesday, August 30 at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, then on September 27 at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, meet family business owners, Ken and Anita Corsini, as they revitalize metro Atlanta neighbourhoods in the new series Flip or Flop Atlanta. Texas-sized flips will join the network’s schedule later this season with the premiere of Flip or Flop Fort Worth.

October brings returning seasons of makeover mavens, starting with mother-daughter duo, Mina and Karen, in Season 2 of Good Bones on Monday, October 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Restoration specialist, Nicole Curtis, is also back for a new season of rescuing run-down rejects in Rehab Addict, premiering Sunday, October 22 at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Stay tuned for remarkable reveals later this fall with the Scott brothers’ most personal project to date, Property Brothers at Home: Drew’s Honeymoon House, and a new season of Fixer Upper starring Chip and Joanna Gaines.




Canadians fight to find jobs in AMI-tv’s inspiring Employable Me

Finding a job is challenging enough, particularly so for folks who have a physical disability or condition. AMI-tv’s latest series spotlights Canadians who want to work despite being in situations that—at first glance—would seem to make them unemployable.

Debuting Friday with back-to-back episodes beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Employable Me—adapted from the British series by Thomas Howe Associates Inc.—introduces viewers to Canadians who are willing to work but are held back because of their health status. The first instalment introduces Becca and Riley, two people willing and able to work on the road to independence.

They both face a rocky road and I admit to assuming failure was in the cards. Becca’s Tourette Syndrome causes her to yell out “Roar!” several times a minute, and even more frequently and at increasing volume when she’s stressed. Becca has plenty keeping her on edge: bills to pay, including rent, and neighbours who complain about her roaring. Cameras capture the free-spirited gal as she gamely drops off resumés for interviews that almost never happen. The same is true for Riley, whose Asperger Syndrome keeps him living at home with his mother and dreaming of the day he can move out.

But rather than focusing on what’s not working and those stacks of job applications that went nowhere, Employable Me sides with the positive as specialists work with Becca, Riley and others to find them suitable employment. Turns out Becca’s got a flair for flowers, which leads to a gig at a florist’s shop. Riley, who loves pizza, is perfectly-matched for a role at Pizza Nova. Future episodes focus on job applicants with autism, blindness, OCD, Down Syndrome and ADHD.

What Employable Me proves is that anyone can find a job, if the time is taken to focus and figure out what the applicant’s strengths are, regardless of their health condition. It’s inspiring stuff.

Employable Me airs Fridays at 9 and 10 p.m. ET/PT on AMI-tv. Check AMI’s website for channel information in your area.

Image courtesy of Accessible Media Inc.



Sarah Off the Grid breaks ground Sept. 10 on HGTV Canada

From a media release:

This fall one of Canada’s top designers, Sarah Richardson, returns to HGTV Canada for her most ambitious project yet: building and designing an off-the-grid family home in the country. Premiering Sunday, September 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada, Sarah Off The Grid follows Sarah and her family – husband Alex and their two young daughters Fiona and Robin – as they build a family home meant to last for generations to come in Creemore, Ontario. Together, they marry off-the-grid living with Sarah’s signature style, resulting in a sustainable dream home filled with the greatest design hits from her 25-plus year career.Offering an unvarnished look at Sarah’s life, the six-part series dives deep into the designer’s day-to-day as she juggles being a mother, a business owner, and now, the unique challenges of sharing the role of

Offering an unvarnished look at Sarah’s life, the six-part series dives deep into the designer’s day-to-day as she juggles being a mother, a business owner, and now, the unique challenges of sharing the role of general contractor with her husband Alex on this latest build. Taking the lead on designing each room, Sarah enlists her co-conspirator and longtime collaborator, Tommy Smythe, for support as she takes on this year long project. Tommy, or as the kids call him “Uncle Tommy,” helps Sarah find design solutions that stand the test of time while staying true to her classic and casually elegant design esthetic. Fellow HGTV Canada stars Mike Holmes, Mike Holmes Jr., and Colin Hunter, also make guest appearances throughout the series providing Sarah and the family with much needed advice to finish their forever home.

Building a home off the main power grid which can service the needs of an entire family requires clever design decisions and innovative materials. Together, Sarah and Alex create the infrastructure to run the home, while leveraging unique sources of heat and lighting throughout, utilize a rebuilt heritage barn to house both the garage and the solar panels to generate electricity, and overcome the challenges of digging a well to pull enough water to service the family’s needs.

Sarah Off The Grid is produced by Alibi Entertainment Inc. in association with Corus Entertainment’s HGTV Canada. Exclusive bonus content including design tips from Sarah, sustainable living and lifestyle content, and extended reveals can be found at hgtv.ca throughout the series run. Episodes of Sarah Off The Grid are available online the day following broadcast.



CBC News announces new Sunday morning talk show starring Wendy Mesley

From a media release:

CBC News today announced a new Sunday morning talk show to be hosted by award-winning journalist Wendy Mesley. Launching in early 2018, the interactive program will focus on the intersection of media, technology and politics and be broadcast live on CBC and CBC News Network every Sunday morning, with further details to be confirmed at a later date.

In the new program, Mesley will put players from both media and politics in the spotlight as she pushes for answers and transparency, and provides critical analysis on how the newsmakers of the week are delivering their messages. The show will broadcast live from CBC in Toronto and feature a wide range of Canadian and global contributors and guests.

Mesley began her broadcast journalism career in 1979, first with CTV’s CFCF in Montreal before moving to CBC as a legislative reporter for local news and The National, based in Quebec City. During this six-year period, she covered the first referendum on sovereignty and some of the most fascinating politicians of our times, including René Lévesque and Pierre Trudeau. In 1985, Mesley moved to Ottawa as CBC’s first female correspondent to cover the prime minister from the parliamentary press gallery for The National. During this intensely political time, Mesley reported on such stories as the battles over free trade, the GST and the constitution, and soon after became the anchor of The National on Sundays. In 1994, Mesley helped create and hosted CBC’s award-winning news program Undercurrents, which examined the media and marketing world. Mesley currently hosts The National on Friday and Sunday evenings, and is also the host of CBC’s acclaimed documentary program The Passionate Eye. Mesley has won multiple Gemini Awards and this year won Best News Host or Interviewer at the Canadian Screen Awards. In 2006, Mesley was honoured with the John Drainie Award for her contribution to Canadian broadcasting.


Discovery’s Daily Planet dives into Shark Week

Shark Week certainly knows how to make a splash with big-name hosts and special events. The American Chopper cast (remember them?!), Les Stroud, Craig Ferguson and Andy Samberg have all taken a turn hosting; this year it’s actor-producer-director Eli Roth. The tentpole event for 2017 takes place on Sunday when former Olympic medal-winning swimmer Michael Phelps gets into the water for Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White. Me? I’m more interested in what the folks at Daily Planet are doing.

Daily Planet‘s Shark Week coverage airs Monday, July 24, to Friday, July 28, at 7 p.m. ET on Discovery and features hosts Ziya Tong and Dan Riskin at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto presenting truly compelling segments during special episodes of their nightly science series. One preview segment next week finds Tong in the water with the toothy critters.

“I’ve gone diving enough times with sharks that I don’t think my heart rate changed at all,” Tong says alongside her co-host after completing filming at Ripley’s for the day. “I was more concerned with getting the right shot than the fact there were these massive animals around me. I love them and they’re so beautiful.”

“This really drives home that we practice what we preach,” Riskin says of Tong jumping in the water with sharks. “We want to show that, for the most part, sharks are not vicious killers. We put the more valuable co-host in the water to prove that she wasn’t going to get hurt.” Debuting in 1988, Shark Week has become a must-see event thanks to show titles like Shark: Maneater or Myth?, Teeth of Death and Anatomy of a Shark Bite. This year boasts programs like Great White Shark Serial Killer Lives, Great Hammerhead Invasion and Shark VortexThose outrageous titles may attract eyeballs, but the truth about sharks is much more mundane.

“The truth is, we have lots of stories this week about people who are in the water with great white sharks without a cage and they’re fine,” Riskin says. “They know what they’re doing and they would never throw the kid from the Nirvana album into the water with a shark.” He adds these experts know how the predatory fish posture and communicate what their intentions are. The result? The charisma and fascination surrounding them is still there, but the fear drops. Segments that Tong and Riskin introduce on Daily Planet include “Touching Great Whites,” as Jean-Marie Ghislain and Martin Kochling leave their dive cages behind to swim with sharks off the coast of Guadalupe Island; “Liverless Sharks,” regarding the mystery surrounding sharks washing up on South African shores with their livers expertly removed; and “Dead Whale Feast,” which—from its description—could be the gross-out of the whole lineup.

“Marine biologist Choy Aming is on a whale carcass bobbing in the middle of the ocean and all of these different species of sharks start coming up and feeding on the carcass while he’s sitting on it,” Tong teases.

“It’s in the sun, it’s baking and it’s decomposing,” Riskin adds. “He said it was like standing on a school bus made of tissue paper and covered in olive oil. A carcass is full of calories and animals need calories. A carcass in the ocean; what a great place to be.”

Daily Planet‘s Shark Week coverage airs Monday, July 24, to Friday, July 28, at 7 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.