Everything about Reality, Lifestyle & Documentary, eh?

HGTV Canada pays it forward with all-star cast in new Canadian original series Family Home Overhaul

From a media release:

HGTV Canada pays it forward with an all-star cast in the powerful, heartwarming new Corus Studios original series, Family Home Overhaul (8×60), premiering Sunday, April 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Viewers will get a first look at the series with a special sneak peek on April 19 during the season finale of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Hosted by ET Canada‘s Cheryl Hickey, the debut season will see 14 of the network’s top contractors and designers pair up in each episode to transform the homes of eight inspirational families nominated by their communities.

Whether it’s providing shelter to those in need, overcoming life-altering health issues, or donating all of their time and resources to support a cause close to their heart – these eight homeowners are always the first to give back to their communities, despite the personal hardships they encounter. With little time for the four walls around them, these families could use a major home renovation.

Together with Cheryl Hickey, HGTV Canada contractors and designers Kate Campbell, Sebastian Clovis, Dave Coleman, Joey Fletcher, Sarah Keenleyside, Dave Kenney, Brian McCourt, Scott McGillivray, Mia Parres, Tiffany Pratt, Samantha PynnTommy Smythe, Kortney Wilson and Dave Wilson, work together to provide these selfless families with life-changing renovations.

Enlisting the help of friends and neighbours, each project is customized to perfectly reflect the unique needs of each family. While the renovation is underway, the family gets whisked away on a well-deserved one week vacation. Upon their return, the remarkable reveal of their newly renovated home is celebrated by the community and team that made it all happen.

Family Home Overhaul is produced by Proper Television in association with Corus Entertainment’s HGTV Canada.


Preview: Samantha Pynn joins Sebastian Clovis on Save My Reno

I first spoke to Sebastian Clovis back in 2014. Then, the former CFLer was promoting his first-ever home makeover program, Tackle My Reno. Sure, the title was cutesy and a nod to his days as a defensive back for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Grey Cup-winning B.C. Lions. Since then, Clovis has become a bonafide member of HGTV Canada’s stable of talent, joining Scott McGillivray, Bryan Baeumler and the Scott Brothers as go-to dudes to swing hammers and do great work. Heck, they’ve all worked together on a couple of seasons of Home to Win.

Now Clovis is back with a new season of Save My Reno … and a new co-star. Samantha Pynn, who has starred in her own series Pure Design and Summer Home, as well as Home to Win, joins Clovis when Save My Reno returns on Tuesday with back-to-back episodes at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET on HGTV Canada.

Simply put, the pairing works. Clovis and Pynn know their stuff when it comes to renovating and decorating, and their ease helping homeowners get over the stress of figuring out both is palpable. Watching them turn the first episode’s cramped quarters into a stunning space is entertaining, fun and a teaching moment. You don’t have to break the bank to freshen up a space, and this pair shows you how.

And, just as important at the pair are skilled, they get along like gangbusters. The result is a season of Save My Reno that is a good time … and a good lesson in renovations on a budget.

Save My Reno airs Tuesdays at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

Image courtesy of Corus Entertainment.


CTV confirms March 22 premiere for new unscripted wedding series, I Do, Redo starring Jessica Mulroney

From a media release:

As announced last night during its broadcast of ETALK LIVE AT THE OSCARS®, CTV confirmed today that all-new unscripted and inspiring wedding and lifestyle series I DO, REDO – starring and executive produced by internationally acclaimed wedding expert and stylist Jessica Mulroney – is set to premiere on Sunday, March 22 at 7 p.m. ET/PT. I DO, REDO is the latest lifestyle series to join CTV’s original programming slate.

The MADE®-in-Canada CTV original series offers couples whose weddings were devastatingly ruined by circumstances beyond their control another chance to say “I do.” At the helm is Mulroney who, together with design and floral expert Caspar Haydar, design and plan every redo wedding, while guiding each couple on a transformative journey beyond the extreme weather conditions, disapproving family members, and life-threatening illnesses that ruined their original nuptials. I DO, REDO follows Mulroney and Haydar’s thoughtful and creative work beginning from the first meeting with each couple through to delivering the day they always dreamed of having.

I DO, REDO tells the emotional and extraordinary stories of the following couples in wedding locations in Canada, the U.S., and the Caribbean (in no particular order):

  • Mark & Mia: After spending 27 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, Mark gets the chance to properly marry the woman who stood by him the whole time.
  • Brandy & Miletus: Their wedding was washed away by a violent flash flood. Now it’s time to restore balance in their relationship, with some help from their community of friends.
  • Jayne & Audrey: When Jayne first married the love of her life, she was Jay. Now Jayne and Audrey are getting married as their true selves and still completely in love.
  • Kit & Jourdan: Jessica and Caspar plan an intimate wedding for a couple who after a life-threatening illness forced them apart on their wedding day, discovered what really matters.
  • Jacob & William: Jessica and Caspar bring together the formerly disapproving families of this head-over-heels couple for a family wedding they will cherish forever.
  • Jolicia & Adrian: When enlisting in the army became Adrian’s only option to care for his ailing wife, this couple had abandoned their dreams of a big family wedding until Jessica and Caspar came along.
  • Rob & Tamra: Tamra spent her wedding day in a hospital – giving birth. Now Jessica is giving her the fairy tale wedding she always dreamed of having.
  • Vanessa & Jordan: They tried two attempts to get married, both ending in disappointment. This time, Jessica makes sure this bride grieving the loss of her mother will finally walk down the aisle with a full heart.
  • Troy & Robin: A case of food poisoning wiped out this couple and their guests before they could tie the knot. Now Jessica and Caspar help them replace their regrets with romance.
  • Amanda & Jeff: Sometimes the only way to realize how much you love someone is to lose them. After separating, this couple has rediscovered their love and are ready to say “I do” again.

I DO, REDO is produced by Insight Productions in association with CTV and distributed internationally by Boat Rocker Studios. John Brunton is Executive Producer and Erin Brock serves as both Executive Producer and Showrunner. Jay Peterson, of Matador Content (a Boat Rocker company), also serves as Executive Producer.


Noah Cappe brings his love of food to the Wall of Chefs kitchen

Meeting Noah Cappe for the first time, his love of food is palpable and infectious (though trust me, I’ve never met a platter of chicken wings I didn’t like). But for his latest Food Network Canada gig, instead of venturing into more carnivals and fairs around North America, Cappe is swapping his shorts and Ts for dapper suits as the new host of Wall of Chefs.

It’s a perfect fit for the actor, whose love and passion for food is strictly “on the eating side,” though he admitted he didn’t get to sample as much here as he did on Carnival Eats. That being said, upon first hearing about the project, Cappe knew it was going to be good—and good for him.

“I think I’m a good conduit between the world of home cooks and celebrity chefs,” said Cappe, who gave a shoutout to the show’s casting and executive teams for recognizing his potential to handle the hefty task. “In a weird way I look at myself as a player for both of those teams so to be that connecting piece, it’s really a beautiful balance and I got to live on both sides of the fence a little bit.”

But Cappe, who is familiar with many of the 33 culinary geniuses up for grabs on the series, acknowledged there were “eye-opening” moments of just how extraordinary the world-class chefs truly are. “No matter how much culinary training, experience, knowledge you have, when you’re there with 12 of the country’s best, you realize, ‘Man, I know nothing.’ They’re at another level. They’re celebrity chefs for a reason.”

Wall of Chefs features four home cooks battling it out in three rounds in front of a dozen iconic chefs, who themselves are no strangers to culinary challenges and high-pressure stakes—be it as judges or competitors.

“There are chefs on this panel that if you’ve never watched a minute of cooking programming in your life, you still know them,” raved Cappe. “There are some of the biggest Canadian names in the culinary world on this show but there’s also this amazing opportunity for a lot of young, fresh, new faces. Each episode, there are 12 chefs but we’ve got 33 that we’re working with so you’re getting different combinations and it brings a little individual life every time.”

As for the competitors, it takes a special kind of person—one with ambition, bravery and confidence—to compete in a kitchen like this in front of these big names.

“Even if it’s only an hour, these home cooks are on a bit of a journey,” said Cappe, who went on to describe the three rounds they have to endure. Up first, the four contestants make their own crowd-pleaser before one is eliminated; during Round 2, they’re challenged to create a dish using staple ingredients from the home fridge of one of the chefs; and in the final head-to-head, the Top 2 create something inspired by a chef’s signature dish. “They’re going from home cooks to having to make a restaurant-worthy dish in those three rounds so hopefully with each round comes a bit more confidence, a bit less nervousness.”

The Great Canadian Cookbook star did concede, however, that the energy on set will throw even the fiercest, most fearless of competitors.

“There’s no way you can ever prepare yourself for the moment when the wall is revealed,” said Cappe. “I don’t care how many times you’ve made a dish, or how many times you’ve stood under lights or in front of a camera when that wall is revealed you’re looking at 12 of the best this country has to offer. You can instantly feel the air, it’s intense.”

That tension is to be expected when it comes to a cooking competition of this calibre but for Cappe, his favourite part of Wall of Chefs is how it showcases Canada’s diversity.

“I literally watched four home cooks over 10 episodes and every single person, the different backgrounds, different backstories, their families, their histories, the food they grew up on, the flavours that they used, it was all super-cool because our chefs are such a diverse panel as well,” gushed Cappe, who added that what will also draw in audiences is seeing these real people in these unreal situations.

“I always wondered as a viewer about these shows, how much of it is editing, is the plating really always happening in the last 30 seconds? It is. That’s the environment, it is that intense, that rushed and chaotic and frenetic and I think people can expect to see people that they can relate to in a situation that they never could have imagined.”

Wall of Chefs premieres Monday, February 3, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network Canada.

Image courtesy of Corus Entertainment.


Preview: HGTV’s Hot Market showcases the GTA’s loftiest properties

Back in 2016, I did a write up on Buying the View, W Network’s documentary peek into high-end homes being purchased in the Toronto area and across Canada.

Now Corus Entertainment is back with a new series along the same vein. Debuting Monday at 11 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada, Hot Market spotlights buying and selling expensive abodes in Southern Ontario. What sets Hot Market apart from its fellow Corus creation?

The cast. Whereas Buying the View featured more buttoned-down agents letting the properties be the star, Hot Market—from Architect Films, the folks behind Custom Built, Fire Masters and Home to Win—celebrates the agent as much as it does the properties. Rana, for instance, has become a successful real estate agent as her second career. Rizwan, meanwhile, is the youngest senior vice-president of sales at his luxury real estate company. And Odeen is a real estate agent and real estate developer.

After driving home that the Greater Toronto Area is chockfull of buyers and a dearth of sellers, we follow Odeen as she shows off a 2,000 square foot home in the Roncesvalles area. It’s unique, modern, sun-drenched … and $3 million. She meets up with Brittney and Luke, a young couple with a $3.5 million budget. A hideaway kitchen and 23-foot ceilings appear to have hooked the pair, but will a skinny lot size scare them off?

Listen, Hot Market isn’t for everyone. I’m moving out of the city because, among other reasons, it’s getting too expensive to live here. And seeing people swan around a place I’ll never be invited to for dinner, let alone own, can be a put-off. But if you like seeing how the other half lives and want to plan ahead for that dream home when your lottery numbers come up, give Hot Market a shot.

Hot Market airs Mondays at 11 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

Image courtesy of Corus Entertainment.