Everything about Reality, Lifestyle & Documentary, eh?

New tonight: King, Marketplace, The Fifth Estate

foralison fifth

The Fifth Estate, CBC – “Fearless”
“Citius, Altius, Fortius” is the Olympic motto – “Faster, Higher, Stronger.” But for today’s athletes, when does pushing the envelope cross the line into recklessness and the very real risk of serious injury or death? That’s the question to be explored Friday (February 24) at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT), as CBC’s the fifth estate presents “Fearless.” Family and friends – and fellow freestyle skiers – share personal stories and video footage of Sarah Burke, the champion skier who died last month from injuries sustained during a manoeuvre that she had done many times before but was nevertheless tricky. Danger goes hand-in-hand with sports like freestyle skiing – and the combination of thrilling action and potential peril generates huge TV ratings. But are participants being pushed too far?

Marketplace, CBC – “Framed”
The materials they are made of are downright cheap. Even crafting the lenses is hardly labour-intensive. So why are prescription eyeglasses so darned expensive? In an eye-opening report, Tom Harrington focuses in on the outrageously high price of spectacles. In Framed, Friday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC Television, MARKETPLACE compares a pair of eyeglasses ordered online with a comparable pair purchased in an eyewear store. We send a hidden camera into a number of stores to reveal the pressure to purchase a wide range of extras, all of which further add to the price of a pair of glasses. And we document the huge disparity of choice between what’s available to people in need of glasses in British Columbia compared to other provinces – and meet the Ontario optician who ended up in jail because he tried to give people the same kind of choice.

King, Global – Season 1 finale “Scout Winter”
When an anti-racist activist is assaulted, Jess discovers her prime suspect, a skinhead leader, is actually an undercover federal agent. When new evidence emerges, Jess discovers the true criminal has a more personal motive against the activist and his family.


New tonight: Doc Zone, The Nature of Things, The Firm, Undercover Boss

Sext up KIDS tween photo

Doc Zone, CBC – “Sext Up Kids”
The powder keg that is porn culture has exploded in the lives of North American children. The often-devastating consequences are explored in the new film Sext up KIDS, premiering Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 9 pm on CBC’s main network documentary showcase, “Doc Zone”. Directed by award winning documentary filmmaker, Maureen Palmer (Leaving Bountiful, How to Divorce & Not Wreck the Kids), Sext up KIDS is produced by Rick LeGuerrier and Timothy M. Hogan of Dream Street Pictures (Canada Russia ’72, Sticks and Stones).

The Nature of Things, CBC – “Journey to the Disaster Zone”
One year later, as Japan grapples with the aftermath of the triple disaster—earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown—David Suzuki travels to the country to learn how the people most affected are responding. Featuring dramatic footage of the tsunami never seen outside Japan, Journey to the Disaster Zone: Japan 3/11 airs on CBC-TV’s THE NATURE OF THINGS WITH DAVID SUZUKI, Thursday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT).

The Firm, Global – “Chapter Nine”
Mitch and Ray probe the death of a sergeant’s son when the case becomes a national security matter. Meanwhile, Tammy lands a new job with the hope of breaking new ground in the Sarah Holt case.

Undercover Boss, W Network – Brian Scudamore, founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT- JUNK?
Brian goes undercover as a driver and junk collector, hauling loads of unwanted clutter in the world’s largest junk removal franchise, 1-800 –GOT-JUNK?, which was founded in Vancouver. During the episode, he works alongside Calgary franchise office manager, Dani, who not only runs the day-to- day in the office, but actually gets out there to haul junk when they are short staffed on truck crews.


Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan in production for OLN

From a media release:


  • New original travel series follows actor Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings, Lost) as he hunts for the most dangerous and elusive critters known to man
  • Co-production features eight, one-hour episodes to air on OLN and in the U.K. on BBC America and Channel 5 later this broadcast year

OLN, BBC America and Channel 5 in the U.K. announced today that production is underway for their newest original travel-adventure series, Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan. Exploring some of the most remote corners of the globe, the series follows actor Dominic Monaghan (Lost, Lord of the Rings) as he searches for the biggest, baddest and weirdest insects on the planet. A co-production commissioned by OLN, BBC America and Channel 5, the series is produced by Cream Productions and Wildfire Television and is distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment. It is scheduled to film in Ecuador, Venezuela, Cameroon, Namibia, Thailand and Borneo. Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan will premiere later this year on OLN.

In each episode, Monaghan takes the viewer along on an intimate, action-packed quest as he struggles to track down and get up-close-and-personal with some of the planet’s most rare and life-threatening insects. Whether he’s on the hunt for a few million flesh-slicing army ants in the steamy rainforests of Ecuador, searching for a giant venomous centipede in the caves of Venezuela, or facing off with a deadly scorpion in the arid deserts of Namibia, each episode of Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan takes viewers on a heart-pumping adventure.

“I have been obsessed and interested in nature all my life,” said Dominic Monaghan. “This show brings together years of excited preparation by finally creating a series that demonstrates my love for travel, animals, adventure and people.”

Dominic Monaghan is best known for his role in the movie adaptations of Lord of the Rings and as Charlie Pace in Lost. A true nature lover, Monaghan’s knowledge and love for insects and reptiles developed during his childhood and remains to this day.

Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan is an OLN original production and produced by Cream Productions and Wildfire Television, in association with BBC America and Channel Five. Executive Producers are Dave Brady and Co- Executive Producer Jenn Kuzmyk Ruch for Cream Productions and Philip Clarke and Simon Raikes for Wildfire Television. Paul Kilback is the Series Producer. Claire Freeland is Director of Original Programming, Rogers Media Television and Marni Goldman is Production Executive for Rogers Original Programming. Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan will be distributed internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.


David Suzuki journeys to Japan’s tsunami disaster zone one year later

From a media release:



One year later, as Japan grapples with the aftermath of the triple disaster—earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown—David Suzuki travels to the country to learn how the people most affected are responding. Featuring dramatic footage of the tsunami never seen outside Japan, Journey to the Disaster Zone: Japan 3/11 airs on CBC-TV’s THE NATURE OF THINGS WITH DAVID SUZUKI, Thursday, Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT).

For David Suzuki, it’s a very personal journey, as he explores the impact of the earthquake and tsunami and sees whether the Japanese people are re-thinking their nation’s approach to nuclear energy—and the entire idea of a high-consumption lifestyle.

“I found lots of ideas bubbling to the surface, focused on sustainable communities, food and energy,” Suzuki says. “The challenge for the Japanese is that the great strength of the people—orderliness, discipline and stoicism—demonstrated during the terrible time after 3/11, also presents a hurdle. That is, there is a great reluctance to rise up and demand change. Where will Japan go in the years to follow?” 

Suzuki presents his quest for answers and finds that innovative technology and the re-assessment of conventional thinking might turn a cataclysm into a blueprint for the future.

Journey to the Disaster Zone: Japan 3/11 was produced and directed by Michael Allder. Executive producer is Gordon Henderson. This 90th Parallel Production for The Nature of Things is produced in association with Japan’s NHK. The documentary will be broadcast in Japan in March.


Gerry Dee hosts Canada’s Smartest Person

From a media release:


  • CFL player, scientist, poet and teacher vie for title; viewers can play along in real time with CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON app

Gerry Dee, the award-winning comedian and star of CBC Television’s MR. D, will host CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON, the groundbreaking two-hour television special that will reveal that there is more to intelligence than having a high IQ score or being a whiz at math or trivia. CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON airs on CBC Television on Sunday, March 18 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT).

In 2011, Canadians had the opportunity to nominate themselves, or someone they know, as CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON. Drawing on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, show producers used interviews and tests to narrow the field to four participants with well-rounded intelligence profiles.

Airing on Sunday, March 18 at 8 p.m., CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON will feature Hamilton Tiger Cats offensive linesman, Peter Dyskowski; high school science teacher, Dr. Marshall Carroll; 23-year-old student and gamer, Laura Suen; and spoken word poet, Greg Frankson participating in a series of fun and spectacular challenges aimed at testing six areas of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. The person who proves that they have the most versatile smarts will earn the title of CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON.

CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON will also feature a lineup of special guest appearances by Arlene Dickinson (DRAGONS’ DEN), comedians Naomi Sniekus, Matt Baram and Sean Cullen.

Play along during the broadcast

On the night of the broadcast, CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON viewers can put their own wits to the test and play along simultaneously with the challenges online at cbc.ca/smartestperson or with an innovative app (for Apple iOS) created for the show. Available in early March, the play along app will help audiences discover more about their own intelligence and see how they compare to the four TV participants.

Participant info

  • Vancouver-born Peter Dyskowski is a 27-year-old offensive linesman for the Hamilton Tiger Cats. The first Canadian-born athlete to sign a scholarship with Louisiana State University, Dykowski balances his athleticism with his Mensa qualified intelligence.
  • At just 23 years old, Laura Suen from Mississauga already has a double major Honours BSc in physics and cellular and molecular biology as well as a minor in mathematics. In her free time, Suen plays video games competitively and has won over $30,000 in gaming competitions.
  • Dr. Marshall Carroll is a high school science teacher from Winnipeg who is educated as a theoretical quantum chemist. Also a singer-songwriter and a stand-up comedian, Carroll has been inspiring students for over 20 years.
  • With an ability to create poetry at the drop of a noun, Toronto’s Greg Frankson is a spoken word artist. Following a career in education in Montreal, Frankson moved to Ottawa where he became a policy analyst for the Federal Government before pursuing a full-time career as a performance artist, emcee, mental health advocate and arts educator.