Everything about Reality, Lifestyle & Documentary, eh?

Thunderbird Entertainment’s Great Pacific Media announces production is underway on new lifestyle series Gut Job starring Sebastian Clovis

From a media release:

Great Pacific Media (GPM), the unscripted division of Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TSXV: TBRD, OTCQX: THBRF), in partnership with Corus Studios, is pleased to announce principal photography has started on HGTV Canada’s Gut Job in Toronto.

Gut Job (8×60) will see the return of fan-favourite Canadian contractor Sebastian Clovis from the popular lifestyle series $ave My Reno. In the new series, Clovis will guide property owners through the biggest home renovations of their lives. Gut Job will air on HGTV Canada in 2022, and casting is underway in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Gut Job was born from Clovis’ years of coaching homeowners through all types of housing and renovation issues. Through this new series, Clovis will use his experience and skills to guide overwhelmed homeowners through the gut-wrenching gauntlet of surprises and decisions that come with renovations. Viewers will have a front row seat watching Clovis help homeowners gut, design, build and beautify problematic properties into jaw-droppers.

For information on Thunderbird and to subscribe to the Company’s investor list for news updates, go to www.thunderbird.tv. Corus Studios will lead distribution for the series internationally.

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Epic eight-part Black Canadian history docuseries, Black Life: A Canadian History, greenlit by CBC

From a media release:

Black Life: A Canadian History, a sweeping eight-part docuseries exploring the rich history of the Black experience in Canada has been greenlit by CBC, showrunner Leslie Norville and CBC announced today. In addition to Norville and Northwood Entertainment’s Miranda de Pencier, an exceptional cadre of creative talent, activists, and historical and cultural consultants helm this epic television event. Philanthropist and NHL All-Star P.K. Subban (Ugly Duck Productions) is on board to executive produce as is multi-hyphenate Nelson George, and co-executive producer and Black Lives Matter (Canada) co-founder Sandy Hudson. Norville and de Pencier have also assembled an unparalleled team of consulting producers and writers to bring this complex and riveting story to life. The consulting producers, who have a substantial and ongoing role in shaping the series, include former Governor General the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, rapper and broadcaster Shad (Shadrach Kabango), and activist Ravyn Wngz. The producers will partner with eight Black Canadian directors, one for each episode, who will bring their unique approach and style to the series. Black Life: A Canadian History (8×60) premieres on CBC and CBC Gem in 2023.

Black Life: A Canadian History seeks to inform audiences of the vital role that Black Canadians have played in shaping our country while presenting an unvarnished examination of the picture mainstream culture has painted of Canada as a sanctuary. While tracing the complex and hopeful stories of Black Canada, the series reveals the truths of a history fraught with violence, racism, hardship, and perseverance. Black Life: A Canadian History illuminates the struggles and triumphs of Black Canadians, and celebrates the contributions of both famous and lesser-known individuals. Epic in scope, the series spans more than 400 years with an eye towards contemporary issues, culture, politics, music, art, and sports.

“The docuseries will be an honest and nuanced look at Black Canadian history – and while some may find this uncomfortable, it’s critical to understand and grapple with the complexities of Canada’s past,” said Leslie Norville, showrunner and executive producer. “I couldn’t ask for a more talented team to help bring this rich history to audiences and to explore and celebrate the stories and people whose contributions have shaped the country we know today. Miranda and I are delighted that Black Life: A Canadian History has found a home at CBC and value their support and enthusiasm for the project.”

Additionally, Studio 112 and Northwood Entertainment have gathered a preeminent group of historical/cultural consultants, academics, and writers to faithfully render the story of Black Canada, including David Austin, Dr. Claudine Bonner, Dr. Afua Cooper, Annette Henry, Issac Saney, Dr. Rinaldo Walcott, Dr. Dorothy W. Williams, and top writer Jael Richardson.

“One of the many things that attracts me to this project is that it connects events across 400 years of history to the present day,” said Sandy Hudson, co-executive producer. “Reckoning with the past and confronting our present can be a foundation through which we imagine and build liberatory Black futures.”

“I can’t wait to share the educational and engrossing stories of Black Life: A Canadian History,” said P.K. Subban, executive producer. “We’re pushing the boundaries of conventional storytelling to create a series that is gripping and dramatic in a way that audiences haven’t seen before. The inclusion of everything from civil rights to sports, and justice to music, is sure to engage viewers across the country and around the globe.”

“CBC is honoured to partner with this remarkable team to bring the untold history of Black Canadians to audiences across the country with authenticity and depth, led by the lived experiences, insight and perspectives of Black storytellers,” said Sally Catto, General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports, CBC.

SELECT CREATIVE AND PRODUCING TEAM BIOS:

Leslie Norville is an award-winning producer and alumnus of the prestigious Sundance Documentary Creative Producing Fellowship. Select credits include A Ballerina’s Tale; Brooklyn Boheme; Disdain The Mundane; Finding The Funk; Any Given Day; and the upcoming The First Wave.

Miranda de Pencier is an award-winning producer and director. Select credits include the critically acclaimed and award-winning Anne with an E, The Grizzlies, Beginners, and Thanks For Sharing.

P.K. Subban is one of the most dynamic athletes and personalities in sports. Known not only as an All-Star NHL defenseman for the New Jersey Devils, Subban is also an ardent philanthropist, entrepreneur, producer, and fashion enthusiast. Subban launched Ugly Duck Productions in 2019.

Nelson George (Good Hair, The Get Down, A Ballerina’s Tale, Finding the Funk, Dear Mama: The Life and Times of Afeni and Tupac Shakur) is a best-selling author, columnist, music and culture critic, journalist, and filmmaker who has specialized in documenting Black culture in North America for more than 40 years.

Sandy Hudson is an activist, multidisciplinary creative, and an award-winning author with a talent for inspiring others to imagine just futures. She founded the Black Lives Matter movement presence in Canada; co-founded Black Lives Matter (Toronto) and the Black Legal Action Centre; and co-authored the best-selling anthology, Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada.

The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean is Canadian stateswoman, diplomat, and former journalist who served as the 27th Governor General of Canada. She became the UNESCO Special Envoy to support reconstruction efforts in Haiti, and later served as Chancellor of the University of Ottawa and the third Secretary General of La Francophonie (OIF). She is also the co-chair, alongside her husband, filmmaker Jean-Daniel Lafond, the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, whose programs support vulnerable young people in Canada through the power of the arts and culture, education, and training.

Shadrach Kabango is an award-winning Canadian rapper and broadcaster. He hosts HBO’s Peabody Award-winning doc series Hip-Hop Evolution and is the former host of CBC’s q.

Ravyn Wngz is an African, Bermudian, Mohawk, 2Spirit, queer and transcendent individual. She is a member of the Toronto Black Lives Matter (BLM-TO) Steering Committee; a co-founder of ILL NANA/DiverseCity Dance Company; and the artistic director of OVA (Outrageous Victorious Africans Collective).

Jael Richardson is the author of Gutter Child and The Stone Thrower: A Daughter’s Lesson, a Father’s Life – a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. She is a book columnist, guest host on CBC’s q, and is the founder and executive director of the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD).

David Austin, in addition to producing and writing radio documentaries, is a professor and an award-winning author of Fear of a Black Nation: Race, Sex, and Security in Sixties Montreal. He currently teaches in the Humanities, Philosophy, and Religion Department at John Abbott College and the McGill University’s Institute for the Study of Canada.

Dr. Claudine Bonner is a member of the Sociology Department and Women’s and Gender Studies program at Acadia University. Her research is grounded in African Canadian history, and broadly applied in analyses of race, gender, education, and identity in contemporary Canada.

Dr. Afua Cooper is a Jamaican-born Canadian historian, author, poet, and professor of Black Canadian studies at Dalhousie University where she led the creation of a program in Black and African diaspora studies. She was named poet laureate for the city of Halifax in 2018 and has released several collections and albums of poetry.

Annette Henry is an author and professor at UBC in the Department of Language and Literacy Education and cross-appointed to the Institute for Race, Gender, Sexuality and Social Justice. Her scholarship examines race, class, language, gender and culture in socio-cultural contexts of teaching and learning in the lives of Black students, Black oral histories, and Black women teachers’ practice in Canada, the U.S., and the Caribbean.

Isaac Saney is a professor and author; he holds a PhD in history from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in the UK. His teaching has encompassed courses on Africa, the Caribbean, Cuba, and Black Canadian history. He is also an Adjunct Professor in history at Saint Mary’s University.

Dr. Rinaldo Walcott is an author and a professor of Black Diaspora Cultural Studies at the University of Toronto. His teaching and research is focused on Black diaspora cultural studies and postcolonial studies with an emphasis on questions of sexuality, gender, nation, citizenship, and multiculturalism. Walcott is the author/editor of several books including Black Like Who: Writing Black Canada.

Dr. Dorothy Williams is a historian and author who specializes in Black Canadian history. She has authored three books including Blacks in Montreal: 1628-1986 An Urban Demography and The Road to Now: A History of Blacks in Montreal.

Black Life: A Canadian History is produced by Studio 112 in association with Northwood Entertainment, and Ugly Duck. The executive producers are Leslie Norville, P.K. Subban, Miranda de Pencier, Nelson George, and with Sandy Hudson serving as co-executive producer. Consulting producers are the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Shadrach Kabango, and Ravyn Wngz.

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Blue Ant Media celebrates 10-year anniversary with 10 new and returning original productions for its Canadian broadcast channels

From a media release:

To mark Blue Ant Media’s 10-year anniversary this September, the international producer, distributor and channel operator announced today 10 new and returning originals to premiere on its portfolio of Canadian specialty networks. The new premium programming lineup includes outdoor lifestyle and survival shows, paranormal anthology series, compelling documentaries and relevant specials with several programs available for licensing globally by Blue Ant International. Overseen by Sam Linton, Head of Original Content, Blue Ant Media, the new commissioning slate will begin airing on the media company’s Canadian channels this fall and into 2022, with several series premiering during nationwide free preview events.

Cottage Life’s highest-rated original, Life Below Zero: Canada (Season 2; World Broadcast Premiere), has been renewed for a second season. Based on the Emmy® Award-winning format Life Below Zero, created and produced by BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production arm, the Canadian adaptation follows a diverse group of individuals surviving in the coldest and most remote regions of Canada. The second installment is co-produced by Blue Ant Media, Quebecor Content and APTN. Also returning to Cottage Life, the Blue Ant Media and APTN co-production Merchants of the Wild (Season 4; Broadcast Premiere) has been renewed for a fourth season. The series follows six Indigenous Adventurers who spend 25 days living off the land in the vast territory known to the L’nu (Mi’kmaq) people as Kespukwitk (lands end), and known to non-Indigenous people as the Southern Nova Scotia. They must use the teachings from the L’nu Elders and Knowledge Holders, who they meet along the way, to help them on their journey and reconnect to who they are as Indigenous Peoples. Finally, Blue Ant Media has greenlit a third installment of Ice Vikings (Season 3; World Broadcast Premiere), which follows fearless descendants of Icelandic Vikings as they battle the elements to keep ice fishing alive on Manitoba’s Lake Winnipeg, reeling in big fish and fat paycheques along the way. Blue Ant Media has also acquired Seasons 1 and 2 of the Ice Vikings franchise to air on Cottage Life. Both Life Below Zero: Canada, Season 2 and Ice Vikings, Season 3 are scheduled to premiere on Cottage Life during the channel’s nationwide free preview event in spring 2022.

On T+E, Canada’s home to paranormal programming, the new original anthology series Eli Roth Presents: A Ghost Ruined My Life (Season 1; Canadian Broadcast Premiere) examines horrifying real-life stories of hauntings experienced by everyday people. Executive produced by the award-winning film director, producer, writer and actor Eli Roth (Inglourious Basterds, Hostel, The Last Exorcism) and Cream Productions, the Blue Ant Media and discovery+ co-production features chilling eyewitness accounts and dramatic reconstructions reminiscent of Roth’s vivid cinematic masterpieces. Also new on T+E, The Lost Colony of Roanoke (Season 1; Canadian Broadcast Premiere), follows a team of archaeologists as they dig for evidence that could help solve one of America’s oldest and most controversial mysteries: what happened to the English colony on Roanoke Island? Featuring exclusive interviews, never-before-seen archaeological evidence and cutting-edge scientific analysis, the series offers compelling theories on the fate of the first European colony in the Americas, who settled on Roanoke Island in 1587 and suddenly vanished without a trace. The Lost Colony of Roanoke will premiere in spring 2022 during T+E’s nationwide free preview event.

The new documentary series Griff’s Great Canadian Adventure (Canadian Broadcast Premiere) marks the first original commission for BBC First in Canada since Blue Ant Media launched the channel in partnership with BBC Studios in March 2021. The six-part series, co-produced by Nikki Ray Media Agency and EQ Media Group, in association with Blue Ant Media, Channel 4, Abacus Media Rights, Quiver Entertainment, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The History Channel (NZ), follows Welsh comedian and travel enthusiast Griff Rhys Jones on an epic journey across the commonwealth country as he explores Canadian cultures and traditions.

Blue Ant Media has greenlit two new Canadian documentary specials, The Digital Divide (working title) (Season 1; World Broadcast Premiere) and Strange Creatures (working title) (Season 1; World Broadcast Premiere), for its premium factual channel, BBC Earth. This is the first time Blue Ant Media has commissioned originals for BBC Earth in Canada since the channel launched in partnership with BBC Studios in 2017. The Digital Divide (working title) explores the growing chasm between the have and have-nots of digital, mobile and satellite technology. The timely documentary special looks at how COVID-19 exposed the underlying reality that not everyone can afford essential digital devices and examines the significant implications it has on society when there is not an equal playing ground to access technology. The special will have a digital premiere on the MobileSyrup website, a Blue Ant Media-owned company and Canada’s leading technology news website, before airing on BBC Earth. Strange Creatures (working title, a nature and wildlife documentary, is a one-hour spinoff special to Blue Ant Media’s hit YouTube series, Animalogic. Hosted by Animalogic’s scientific illustrator, Danielle Dufault, the special explores Canada’s unusual and fascinating creatures. Both documentary specials are scheduled to premiere in spring 2022 on BBC Earth during the channel’s nationwide free preview event.

On Smithsonian Channel in Canada, the Blue Ant Media and Channel 5 co-production, World’s Most Scenic River Journeys (Season 2; Canadian Premiere) has been renewed for a second season. Narrated by Golden Globe®, Tony and BAFTA award-winning actor Bill Nighy (Love Actually, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), the documentary series takes audiences on a visually stunning trip alongside some of the most beautiful and famous rivers around the world. Also new is History by the Numbers (Canadian Broadcast Premiere), an energetic, fast-paced 20-part series about the extraordinary and often overlooked numbers that help us decode world history. Each episode delves into the numbers to give audiences unimaginable numerical facts and top stats behind a different subject – from the massive growth of the global fast-food empire to the wealth and bloodshed of the world’s top crime bosses, the herculean numbers behind Mount Everest, the lives of the richest people on earth, and so much more. The series offers a fresh perspective on how the world adds up today. History by the Numbers is scheduled to premiere in winter 2022 on Smithsonian Channel in Canada during the channel’s nationwide free preview event.

Additional original commissions will be announced by Blue Ant Media in the coming months.

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Season 5 of The Great Canadian Baking Show premieres October 17 on CBC

From a media release:

CBC today revealed the ten amateur bakers who will participate in the upcoming fifth season of THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW, premiering Sunday, October 17 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service. Ten Canadians from across the country will bake off in the iconic tent and put their culinary chops on display in an attempt to win The Great Canadian Baking Show title.

Season five of the series will consist of eight episodes and be hosted once more by comedians, actors, writers and Second City alumni, Ann Pornel and Alan Shane Lewis. Esteemed pastry chefs Bruno Feldeisen and Kyla Kennaley return to the judges’ table to sample the bakers’ scrumptious offerings.

Based on the beloved British format, each episode will feature the bakers competing in three challenges – the Signature Bake, the Technical Bake, and the Show Stopper – during which they will rely on their personal interests and backgrounds to ensure that their delectable dishes stand out. Once their sweet creations have been tasted and critiqued, the judges will decide who will be the week’s Star Baker and who will be sent home. In the final episode, the remaining three bakers will face off for the title of Canada’s best amateur baker.

This season, audiences will get acquainted with the show’s most innovative batch of bakers yet. Meet the ten contestants who are ready to whisk it for the biscuit:

Aimee DeCruyenaere, 23, an industrial design student from Ottawa, ON

Alina Fintineanu, 30, an orthodontic dental hygienist from Toronto, ON

Amanda Muirhead, 45, a paralegal from Westmoreland, P.E.I.

Caron Lau, 26, an occupational therapist from Richmond, B.C.

Dougal Nolan, 31, a mental health researcher from Dartmouth, N.S.

Kunal Ranchod, 30, a choreographer from Montreal, QC

Marian Castelino, 41, a designer from Ottawa, ON

Stephen Nhan, 30, a health administrator from Regina, SK

Steve Levitt, 54, a small business owner from Aurora, ON

Vincent Chan, 55, a graphic designer from Toronto, ON

Season four winner, Raufikat Oyawoye, a 35-year-old IT support engineer of Milton, ON took home the title after competing against semi-finalists Mahathi Mundluru from Markham, ON and Tanner Davies of Winnipeg, MB. Fans wanting to satisfy their sweet tooth can catch up on seasons one through four on CBC Gem leading up to the season five premiere.

THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW is produced by Boat Rocker’s Proper Television in association with CBC and Love Productions. The executive producers are Cathie James and Lesia Capone, and the series producer is Mark Van de Ven.

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Double Tap TV returns for its fourth season on AMI-tv

From a media release:

Double Tap TV, AMI’s popular television program focusing on tech from an accessibility point of view, returns September 14th 2021 for its fourth season on AMI-tv. Airing every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern, Double Tap TV hosts Steven Scott and Marc Aflalo  offer viewers an in-depth dive into the consumer tech industry – always asking, “Is this accessible to people with disabilities?”

“Last season we really hit our stride bringing our viewers really compelling interviews with some of the biggest names in the industry,” says co-host Steven Scott. “Not only do we talk to the Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Google’s of the world, but we also shine a spotlight on some of the lesser-known companies developing amazing new tech. We are excited to bring viewers even more this.”

“Double Tap TV is one of our most popular shows. We are thrilled to have Steven and Marc back for another great year, which will include some really special broadcasts as we keep the tech conversation going,” said John Melville, Vice-President, Content Development & Programming, AMI-audio/AMI-tv.. “Double Tap TV Town Halls will be back, hopefully in person, as the show aims to bring Steven and Marc directly to their audience.”

Season 4 of Double Tap TV, hosted by Steven Scott and Marc Aflalo, debuts September 14th at 8 p.m. Eastern on AMI-tv. Stream past episodes and seasons on AMI.ca and the AMI-tv App for Apple and Android.

Viewers and listeners can follow Double Tap TV and Double Tap Canada on Twitter @DoubleTapCanada.

About Double Tap TV
Double Tap TV features the latest tech news, product reviews and compelling interviews around consumer and accessible technology. Double Tap TV is produced by Double Tap Productions a Montreal-based production company which also produces Double Tap Canada on AMI-audio, a weekly audio program and podcast, YourTechReport, a weekly radio program and podcast on SiriusXM as well as some exciting new projects currently in production.

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