Everything about Reality, Lifestyle & Documentary, eh?

Aliya Jasmine and Teddy Wilson celebrate the world’s mega machines in Discovery’s The Mightiest

First, there was Mighty Ships. Then, Mighty Planes, followed by Mighty Cruise Ships and Mighty Trains. Now, there is simply The Mightiest.

Debuting on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Discovery, the latest in the Mighty franchise takes viewers on a six-episode adventure into some of the mega-ist of mega machines around the planet. Hosted by Teddy Wilson (Mighty Trains) and environmental journalist Aliya Jasmine, each installment focuses on one main machine surrounded by smaller stories. Each segment is tied together by Aliya Jasmine and Wilson, who converse while standing in Hanger 1 at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

“It’s the latest and the greatest in the Mighty franchise,” Wilson says, on the line during a recent media day with his co-host. “They wanted to take this amazing franchise and really kick it up a notch. This series focuses on planes, trains and ships. We’re going to take viewers on some amazing and epic adventures.”

For environmental journalist Aliya Jasmine, The Mightiest offered her many tales to tell.

“So many of these stories deal with nature and some of the world’s most destructive natural forces,” Aliya Jasmine says. “We were able to fly into the eye of a hurricane and over wildfires. [We’re] not only looking at these mighty machines and the innovation in science and engineering but also the actual humans behind them. There are incredible people who put their lives at stake to operate these machines.”

The adventure begins on Wednesday with “Launch Day,” where Wilson is aboard the U.S. Navy’s newest and largest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford. Updated with the latest in technology—including a switch from steam to electricity to launch and land aircraft—the Gerald R. Ford is a small town on the sea, to which The Mightiest crew were given unprecedented access.

“It was a mind-blowing experience,” Wilson recalls. “It was incredibly loud, incredibly dangerous… the deck of an aircraft carrier is one of the most dangerous places on earth. And, we had to arrive and leave the carrier via a military transport plane landing and taking off, which was one of the coolest experiences of my life.”

In addition to highlighting the USS Gerald R. Ford, Wednesday’s debut looks at the massive Airbus A-380’s first landing into a major North American hub, the re-launch of a flying telescope after being grounded for months, and final touches on a cruise ship three times bigger than the Titanic. And while Wilson says as cool as the aircraft carrier assignment was, he believes his co-star got a plum Season 1 assignment seated inside an F-18 as a member of the Blue Angels.

“The Blue Angels are the only F-18 pilots in the world that don’t wear G-suits and don’t have oxygen masks,” Aliya Jasmine says. “When you see Tom Cruise in Top Gun, he has a G-suit on that helps him stay conscious, keep his eyesight, help him breathe and not be nauseous.

“It takes them years to train, and they trained me in two minutes,” she continues with a laugh. “They did warn me that it’s not uncommon for people to pass out, momentarily go blind, pee or defecate themselves, or puke. My body has never gone through anything like that before.”

So, how did she do?

“We pulled 6Gs, broke the sound barrier, did a couple of loops and I did puke four times on camera.”

The Mightiest airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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All-new original competition series Cross Country Cake Off decorates CTV’s schedule beginning December 4

From a media release:

It’s cake time! CTV announced today that its all-new cake competition series, CROSS COUNTRY CAKE OFF, is set to make its debut December 4 with four holiday-themed episodes. Hosted by cookbook author and multiple Canadian Screen Award-winner Mary Berg and introducing celebrated pastry chef Andrew Han, the CTV Original series airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app, and features the country’s best cake makers as they bake to claim the $50,000 prize, and the title of CROSS COUNTRY CAKE OFF Champion.

Throughout four holiday-themed episodes, hosts Berg and Han judge the homemade cakes of 24 bakers from across Canada. During three regional qualifying rounds, eight bakers in each of the host cities – Vancouver, Toronto, and Halifax – present their creations to the judges. Four cake makers from each qualifier then move forward to compete in the CROSS COUNTRY CAKE OFF kitchen in a festive cake challenge. The Top 2 bakers representing each region move on to compete in the finale.

In a special two-night event beginning Sunday, Dec. 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app, the third and final qualifying round concludes leaving six cake makers to face off in two holiday challenges. The winner takes home the top prize of $50,000 and the title of CROSS COUNTRY CAKE OFF Champion during the finale on Monday, Dec. 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app.

Following the four-episode holiday season, CROSS COUNTRY CAKE OFF returns to CTV in spring 2023 with six all-new episodes featuring a new crop of 40 Canadian bakers vying for the top prize.

Viewers can stream new episodes of CROSS COUNTRY CAKE OFF on CTV.ca and the CTV app, which is also home to bonus content including exclusive video content and behind-the-scenes extras. In addition, viewers can follow @CTV’s social channels all season long for highlights, bonus content, and more.

About Mary Berg
Mary Berg is a three-time Canadian Screen Award-winner for Best Host, Lifestyle for her shows MARY MAKES IT EASY (2022) and MARY’S KITCHEN CRUSH (2020-21). MARY MAKES IT EASY was also named Best Lifestyle Program or Series at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards, following back-to-back wins for MARY’S KITCHEN CRUSH in 2020 and 2021. Berg is the Season 3 winner of CTV’s MASTERCHEF CANADA, as well as a cooking expert on CTV YOUR MORNING, THE SOCIAL, and THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW. Berg is the best-selling author of Kitchen Party: Effortless Recipes for Every Occasion, and Berg’s newest book Well Seasoned: A Year’s Worth of Delicious Recipes.

About Andrew Han
Chef Andrew Han is the owner and executive chef of the award-winning Kouign Café, located in the heart of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown. Chef Han discovered a love of cooking early on in life and received training in classical French and Italian culinary and pastry arts at the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. He began his career as executive pastry chef at several notable Vancouver restaurants and bakeries, merging his Korean-Vietnamese-Canadian upbringing with his passion for food to then create his whimsical and other-worldly creations at Kouign Café. While Chef Han is known for his masterful execution of combining sweet and savoury ingredients and his special selection of Kouign Amann, his most well-known menu item is the White Rabbit Cookie. This cookie went viral when he participated in a one-time Chinatown pop-up, drawing daily lineups of hungry foodies craving culinary nostalgia.

With just the right amount of authenticity, innovation, and imagination, Chef Han elevates the humble foods of his Chinatown upbringing and takes his guests to a magical place where he shares his childhood and heritage through unique and delectable bites.

CROSS COUNTRY CAKE OFF is developed and produced by Boat Rocker’s Proper Television, in association with Bell Media. Cathie James and Lesia Capone are Executive Producers and David Donohue and Meredith Veats are Series Producers.

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Preview: History’s Our War combines genealogy with war veteran stories

I’m a huge fan of genealogy series. Whether it’s Who Do You Think You Are? or Finding Your Roots, I can’t get enough of the tales of family from peoples’ pasts. I was excited to learn more about Lark Productions’ latest, Our War, which follows the descendants of Canadian war veterans as they learn what their family members did during the First and Second World Wars. Many stories have been forgotten; even more, have never been told.

Debuting Friday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on History Channel, the four-part Our War is a real-life genealogical investigation that reveals the past through a younger generation.

In the first installment, we follow Stephanie Watts, who is on a mission to learn more about her great-great-grandfather Samuel. Other than some scant information about him serving as an Army band member in the First World War and some photos, his life, and his role in the war are a blank. The quest begins in Calgary, where Stephanie, who is Caucasian, reflects on learning, as a child, that Samuel was Black. Then it’s off to learn more about a missing Memorial Plaque, also known as a “Death Penny,” in his name and given to families of those killed in the First World War. With help from Militaria Auctioneer Linda Baggaley and War Memorabilia dealer Marvin Taylor, Stephanie learns the story of the Death Penny and how rare they are.

Meanwhile, in Winnipeg, Chris Black is looking for some answers of his own. His grandfather, Edward Walter Drost, was injured in Anzio while fighting in Italy during the Second World War. One of Chris’ last conversations with his grandfather has led Chris on a quest to learn more about a word Edward uttered: Camino.

Then it’s back to Stephanie, who learns Samuel’s birthplace, and the circumstances he grew up in before coming to Canada on the promise of land in the Prairies from history teacher Christian Mbanza (above right, with Stephanie). It’s fascinating to learn about Canada circa 1907, when Samuel arrived in small-town Alberta, determined to make a go of it and to see Stephanie’s reaction when she’s presented with documents she’s never seen.

In the second episode, airing Friday at 10 p.m. ET/PT, a teenage descendant of legendary Onondaga runner Tom Longboat learns of his ancestor’s valiant, yet little-known, actions during the First World War.

Our War is an incredible, and exciting way, of telling the stories of these Canadian heroes. Fingers crossed there is another season of Our War to come next year.

Our War airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on History Channel.

Image courtesy of Lark Productions.

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New ZoomerMedia TV series Your Nation’s Table celebrates seafood from the West Coast of Canada

From a media release:

A new television series airing nationwide this fall is poised to make waves. ZoomerMedia’s Your Nation’s Table debuts Monday, November 14 with a season dedicated to six amazing BC seafood stories.

Over a year in the making, the series takes viewers on a voyage through communities across BC alongside hosts Carmen Ruiz y Laza and Chef Robert Clark. Each 30-minute episode focuses on a popular BC seafood and its journey from sea to table.

Your Nation’s Table provides a fascinating insight into the harvest of wild seafood along the rugged BC coastline, and the colourful characters who are responsible for catching, processing, and preparing it. Viewers will be inspired by their stories which illustrate how, by delivering the finest seafood to domestic and global markets, they are playing a vital role in the Canadian food economy.

As a decorated chef, member of the Order of Canada, and one of the founders of the sustainable seafood movement, Chef Robert Clark was delighted to co-host Your Nation’s Table. “What an honour, thrill, and amazing opportunity it is to introduce the producers of our food, supporters of our communities, and defenders of our food sovereignty into so many Canadian homes,” says Chef Clark.

With over two decades of television and film experience in production and hosting, Television Host Carmen Ruiz y Laza was excited to bring Your Nation’s Table to life.

“Your Nation’s Table was born out of my experience shopping for sustainable local seafood. At my neighbourhood grocery store, the fishmonger told me they didn’t have locally-caught wild BC salmon, but had only imported and farmed fish. At that moment, I decided to do something about it,” says Ruiz y Laza. “By advocating for, and giving a voice to our BC seafood producers, the aim of Your Nation’s Table is to raise the profile of a valuable and often underappreciated domestic food production system and steer consumers towards better tasting, more nutritional, and environmentally-friendly alternatives.”

The season’s six episodes, filmed in remote destinations across the BC coast, highlight how BC spot prawns, salmon, crab, geoduck, sablefish and tuna are harvested. Viewers will also be treated to tips by top chefs on how to shop for, and prepare these products, and which BC wines to pair them with.

The series is made possible by the generous support of its sponsors: Buy BC, Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association, BC Salmon Marketing Council, Underwater Harvesters Association, BC Tuna Fishermen’s Association, Canadian Sablefish Association, BC Crab Fishermen’s Association, Grundéns Fishing Apparel, Pacific Net & Twine, Mission Hill Family Estate, Liquidity Wines, CedarCreek Estate Winery, and Ocean Regenerative Aquaculture.

Broadcasted through the ZoomerMedia network, Your Nation’s Table will reach viewers across Canada. The series will air on JoyTV BC starting Monday, November 14, and FaithTV starting Saturday, November 26. Tune in on Mondays and Fridays at 5pm (PST) on JoyTV, or catch the show on Saturdays at 10:30am (PST) on FaithTV.

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Captivating Canadian original series reign supreme on Discovery this fall including debut of The Mightiest

From a media release:

This fall, Discovery delivers series with astounding stories of human strength, savvy, and adventurous spirit including the debut of the all-new Discovery Original THE MIGHTIEST. Premiering Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. ET, the six-episode, one-hour docu-series follows veteran adventure hosts Aliya Jasmine and Teddy Wilson as they take to the field to witness the mightiest of machines take on new missions. From re-engineered Chinook helitankers fighting wildfires 24/7 in Southern California, to a train that helps sustain life and connect communities, the series reveals the innovation and science that enable these machines to conquer nearly impossible challenges. Shot across Canada, Europe, and the U.S. in 2022, THE MIGHTIEST is produced in partnership with Bell Media Studios and Exploration Productions.

Leading up to the launch of THE MIGHTIEST is the highly anticipated Season 2 premiere of Discovery Original docu-series MUD MOUNTAIN HAULERS, Monday, Oct. 31 at 10 p.m. ET. Then, Season 2 of extreme adventure series LAST OF THE GIANTS kicks off on Thursday, Nov. 24 at 9 p.m. ET, and the two-part special event AFTER THE STORM, which features stories of last year’s widespread flooding in the Pacific Northwest, premieres on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 10 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, new episodes of beloved Discovery Original series HIGHWAY THRU HELL air Mondays at 9 p.m. ET throughout the year.

Discovery Canadian Original Series Premieres:

MUD MOUNTAIN HAULERS – Season 2

Mondays at 10 p.m. ET, beginning Oct. 31

In the new season of MUD MOUNTAIN HAULERS, brothers Craig and Brent Lebeau, third-generation loggers hoping for a successful logging season, and brothers Shane and Chad Glover, second-generation loggers based in the Kootenay region of B.C., along with their father Gary Glover, battle treacherous terrain, unpredictable weather, and complex machinery to get their logs to the mill.

In the season premiere “Let’s Get This Party Started,” Craig LeBeau and his crew set up camp in a remote part of the Shuswap Highlands, on the steepest, baddest block any of them has ever seen: Gollen. Things start out well, until bad weather and a stuck truck derail the entire operation. Meanwhile, Brent’s clearing a snowmobile trail for a local ski resort but, with so many jobs on the go, a mechanical oversight and impending snowfall may cost him the entire job.

MUD MOUNTAIN HAULERS is produced by Great Pacific Media.

THE MIGHTIESTSeries Premiere

Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET, beginning Nov. 23

THE MIGHTIEST takes to the field to witness mega machines take on all-new mighty missions, giving viewers an all-access pass to every aspect of the vessel and the people around it as it embarks on a new and dangerous journey.

In the series premiere “Launch Day,” host Teddy Wilson is aboard the U.S. Navy’s newest and largest aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford to document final training and tensions rising as the crew prepares for its long awaited first mission. The episode also looks at the massive Airbus A-380’s first landing into a major North American hub, the re-launch of a flying telescope after being grounded for months, and final touches on a cruise ship three times bigger than the Titanic.

LAST OF THE GIANTS – Season 2

Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET, beginning Nov. 24

After their action-packed adventures in North America and the Amazon, Cyril and the team are back with more high-adrenaline missions in Argentina, Nicaragua and the Marquesas Islands in the South Pacific.

In Argentina, searching for swamp-dwelling, deadly stingray, Cyril and the team venture into dangerous, uncharted rivers. Trekking through Nicaragua, the team skillfully evade deadly predators as they seek out the prehistoric giant Tarpon and the Goliath Grouper. Finally, journeying to the most remote islands in the South Pacific, Cyril leads a scuba dive through swarms of sharks and moray eels to find a giant trevally, an ocean predator capable of explosive attacks and even snatching birds from the sky.

LAST OF THE GIANTS is produced by Untamed Productions.

AFTER THE STORMTwo-Part Special Event

Thursday, Dec. 15 and 22 at 10 p.m. ET

In November 2021 an unprecedented storm slams into the Pacific Northwest, pummeling the region with a month’s worth of rain in just 48 hours. As rivers break their banks and landslides erupt from the coastal mountains,15,000 people flee their homes via crumbling highways and collapsing bridges. Many of those homes – and the land they sit on – are soon swept away.

AFTER THE STORM follows the events firsthand with the people who fought through this historic flood – from the first signs of trouble brewing over the ocean through the days of impact, with experts explaining the forces behind the disaster. In the aftermath engineers and towns race to rebuild vital infrastructure and roads connecting the coast to the rest of the country. Even when the trucks and trains are rolling again, the ongoing question is about the future: how to build back better in the face of more unpredictable weather – and more unforgiving storms to come.

Part 1 – “A River In The Sky” – Thursday, Dec. 15 at 10 p.m. ET

When the storm of the century hits the west coast, smashing rainfall records, no one is fully prepared. As the storm takes hold, landslides batter highways, trapping hundreds of drivers. Chelsey Hughes is heading home from a weekend getaway when a wall of debris slams into her car, throwing her into a river of mud and into a fight for survival. In the nearby Sumas region, community heroes like Gary Baars jump into action when rising water overwhelms the system of dikes and pumps that protects their land. Local farmers mount daring rescues of stranded workers and drowning livestock. As defenses collapse, one group of locals works through the night to save the pump station – their community’s last safeguard. In the storm’s aftermath workers race to rebuild dikes and reconnect important roads. Beyond the rush to fix what’s broken, experts explore new ways to manage life in vulnerable flood plains and adapt to the intensifying forces of nature.

Part 2 – “Hell or High Water” – Thursday, Dec. 22 at 10 p.m. ET

On the heels of the summer heat dome, which sparked catastrophic wildfires across southern B.C., November’s atmospheric river brings record-breaking rainfall. In the province’s desert-like interior, firefighter Dylan Bullock is still recovering from severe burns that he suffered in the wildfires. When parched mountains can’t absorb the rainfall, it pours into the rivers and into the city of Merritt. As floodwater submerges the nearby wastewater treatment plant, 7000 residents must evacuate – just as collapsing highways and bridges cut off escape routes. In small, isolated communities the raging Nicola River devours land and houses, stranding locals and triggering dramatic rescues. In the weeks that follow the storm, crews work tirelessly to fix the water plant and improvise repairs to let traffic and supplies start flowing, and engineers analyze what other countries are doing to mitigate flood damage and build more resilient infrastructure.

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