Everything about Still Standing, eh?

Preview: Jonny Harris showcases more Canadian communities in Still Standing

At long last, Jonny Harris and Still Standing are back on our television screens. In a bit of a shakeup, the programming folks moved Still Standing—and its Tuesday night partner Baroness Von Sketch Show—from summer until fall. That gives folks of Harris a double dose of the baby-faced comedian in this and his long-running gig on Murdoch Mysteries.

In the Season 4 return, Harris arrives in Tignish, PEI, a small community to—as is the series formula—showcase the place, the people, the struggles they’re enduring and then celebrate them through laughs and anecdotes. It’s a formula that works by playing to Harris’ strengths as a storyteller and wry observationalist. Still Standing isn’t a “woe is me” tale but one of making the best of things and/or striving to make them better.

That’s certainly the case in Tignish, located on the western tip of the province. Far away from the Confederation Bridge and Anne of Green Gables is this group of just over 700 citizens. The area, it turns out, was a favourite stomping ground for Stompin’ Tom Connors. The legendary singer-songwriter even wrote of the area in his tune “The Song of the Irish Moss.” The moss industry may have long gone, but the memory remains in that song and hoping to cash in on that Tignish built the Stompin’ Tom Centre. The facility, in addition to including Connors’ boyhood home and the one-room schoolhouse he attended, houses a concert hall where his gold and platinum records, guitar and hat and boots are on display.

Also keeping Tignish on the map is, of course, the lobster industry, which Harris gets an education on, and the life of dew worms. Both make it into his stand-up act and are very, very funny.

Upcoming locations on Harris’ journeys include Carcross, Yukon; Rogersville, Nova Scotia; Fraser Lake, British Columbia; Cobalt, Ontario; and New Denmark, New Brunswick.

Still Standing airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of CBC.

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CBC announces new and returning programming slate for 2018-19 season

From a media release:

Canada’s public broadcaster today announced its robust 2018-19 slate, including 17 new series and 36 renewed titles – one of CBC’s largest returning lineups to date. CBC’s upcoming year of original Canadian programming includes drama, comedy, factual, arts, music, kids, sports, news and documentary programming across television, radio and digital platforms, showcasing both new and established homegrown voices and creators.

NEW ORIGINAL SERIES

New CBC original Canadian series confirmed for the 2018-19 season include:

Comedy:

CAVENDISH (8×30, Winter 2019 – Temple Street), from the minds of Picnicface comedy troupe founders Mark Little and Andrew Bush, along with Garry Campbell (Kim’s Convenience). Bush and Little star as two bickering brothers who return to their PEI hometown to take care of their grumpy and ailing father, only to collide with the eccentric townsfolk and their even stranger superstitions.

Drama:

CORONER (8×60, Winter 2019 – Back Alley Films, Muse Entertainment), a procedural drama created for television by Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope), based on the best-selling book series by M.R. Hall. The series follows Jenny Cooper, a former ER doctor and newly appointed coroner investigating suspicious deaths. Suffering from clinical anxiety and recently widowed with a teenage son, Jenny is a woman of action driven by an intense desire for the truth.

DIGGSTOWN (6×60, Winter 2019 – Circle Blue Entertainment), a legal drama created by Floyd Kane (Across the Line) and set in the gritty arena of legal aid, focusing on Marcie Diggs, a star corporate lawyer who reconsiders her priorities after her beloved aunt commits suicide following a malicious prosecution. Landing at a legal aid office in Dartmouth, Marcie is driven by one thing – to never again allow innocent lives to be destroyed by the justice system. DIGGSTOWN is the first original Canadian drama series featuring a black female lead character.

NORTHERN RESCUE (10×60, 2018/19 – Don Carmody Television, CBC and Netflix co-production), a heartwarming family drama starring William Baldwin (MacGyver) and Kathleen Robertson (Bates Motel).  After the death of his wife Sarah, John (Baldwin), a Search & Rescue officer, packs up his three children and moves from their hectic urban life to a small northern town, where they all struggle with their new surroundings, new friends, and accepting Sarah’s death.

STREET LEGAL (6×60, Winter 2019 – IGP and Broken Clown Productions), the iconic character-driven legal drama returns with both familiar faces and new characters, and a focus on how the law is practised in Canada today, including contemporary themes and issues. Bringing STREET LEGAL into the 21st century, we pick up 25 years later with Olivia Novak (Cynthia Dale), now a named partner at a major Bay Street law firm.

UNSPEAKABLE (8×60, Winter 2019 – Mezo Entertainment), a searing depiction of the tainted blood scandal that began in the early 1980s. The limited series is told through the stories of two families severely affected by the worst public health disaster in Canadian history, with a strong cast including Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead), Shawn Doyle (Bellevue), Michael Shanks (Saving Hope) and Camille Sullivan (The Disappearance).

Factual & Arts:

CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON JUNIOR (6×60, Fall 2018 – Media Headquarters), hosted by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Kim’s Convenience), will see 12 remarkable kids take on exciting challenges in the six categories of intelligence – Physical, Musical, Social, Linguistic, Logical, and Visual – in front of a live studio audience, in the hopes of being crowned the first-ever title of Canada’s Smartest Person Junior.

FROM THE VAULTS (working title) (6×60, Fall 2018 – Banger Films), a visually exciting and entertaining cultural exploration using CBC Archive recordings as a window into Canadian history and music. Hosted by Amanda Parris and Tom Power, this archive series features musical performances and candid interviews, shedding a bright light on Canada’s musical journey.

HIGH ARCTIC HAULERS (working title) (8×60, 2019 – Great Pacific Media, a Thunderbird Company), a look at Canada’s resilient, vibrant northern communities and the determined men and women who help provide their lifeline to the outside world. These groups are linked together by the summer sealift, when ships loaded with critical cargo travel each year to the farthest reaches of the north to deliver food, clothing, supplies and vital pieces of infrastructure.

IN THE MAKING (8×30, Fall 2018 – White Pine Pictures), an immersive journey inside the artistic process. Host Sean O’Neill travels the globe alongside some of Canada’s most extraordinary creators as they bring new work to life and face moments of opportunity, challenge and reward.

UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT(4×30, Winter 2019 – Proper Television), a factual entertainment series featuring budding entrepreneurs as they shop for the business of their dreams.

CBC Kids:

BECCA’S BUNCH (52×11, Jam Media), a must-see children’s comedy that combines live action, puppetry, and 3D animation.

BIG BLUE (52×11, Guru), an underwater comedy-adventure series about siblings Lettie and Lemo and the oddball crew of their submarine.

ENDLINGS (12×30, Sinking Ship), a sci-fi adventure series about four foster kids making a startling discovery that affects the entire universe.

KINGDOM FORCE (52×11, Industrial Brothers/Boat Rocker), an action series about animals protecting their community from danger with their unique skills that combine to form a giant robot.

MOLLY OF DENALI (38×30, Atomic Cartoons, CBC co-production with PBS), an adventure-comedy series about a 10-year-old Indigenous girl.

This fall, CBC will also broadcast the Canadian premiere of the new adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s literary classic VANITY FAIR (7×60, Mammoth Screen, ITV and Amazon Studios) starring Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One) as Becky Sharp, an ambitious social climber desperately trying to escape poverty and scale the heights of English society.

RETURNING SERIES:

CBC’s returning slate of scripted, factual and arts titles for 2018/19 is as follows:

ANNE WITH AN E (10×60, Season 2, fall 2018)

BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW(10×30, Season 3) – *moves to fall 2018*

BURDEN OF TRUTH (8×60, Season 2, winter 2019)

CBC ARTS: EXHIBITIONISTS (26×30, Season 4, fall 2018)

CBC KIDS new seasons of original Canadian series DOT, ADDISON, and OLLIE THE BOY WHO BECAME WHAT HE ATE

CORONATION STREET (Season 20, fall 2018)

THE DETECTIVES (8×60, Season 2, fall 2018)

DRAGONS’ DEN (20×60, Season 13, fall 2018)

THE FILMMAKERS (8×30, Season 2, summer 2018 starting July 28)

FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (10×60, Season 2, fall 2018)

THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW (8×60, Season 2, fall 2018)

HALIFAX COMEDY FEST (6×30, Season 23, fall 2018)

HEARTLAND (11×60, Season 12) – *moves to winter 2019*

JUST FOR LAUGHS: GALAS (2018-2019)

KIM’S CONVENIENCE (13×30, Season 3) – *moves to winter 2019*

LITTLE DOG (8×30, Season 2, winter 2019)

MR. D (8×30, Season 8) – *moves to Wednesdays – final season*

MURDOCH MYSTERIES (18×60, Season 12, fall 2018)

SCHITT’S CREEK (14×30, Season 5, winter 2019)

THE STATS OF LIFE (8×30, Season 2, winter 2019)

STILL STANDING (13×30, Season 4, now in production on Season 5 for 2019) – *moves to fall 2018*

THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (19×30, 1×60, Season 26)

WHEN CALLS THE HEART (Season 4, summer 2018 starting June 17)

THE WINNIPEG COMEDY FESTIVAL (5×60, Season 17, winter 2019)

WORKIN’ MOMS (13×30, Season 3, winter 2019)

CBC’s award-winning news and documentary programming also returns:

CBC DOCS POV (Season 3) – *moves to Friday evenings*

THE FIFTH ESTATE (Season 44) – *moves to Sunday evenings*

THE INVESTIGATORS WITH DIANA SWAIN (Season 3) *moves to Thursdays*

MARKETPLACE (Season 46)

THE NATIONAL

THE NATURE OF THINGS (Season 58)

TAKEN (Season 2, summer 2018 starting June 22)

THE WEEKLY WITH WENDY MESLEY (Season 2)

SPECIALS:

CBC’s annual lineup of specials and awards programming celebrating Canadian creators, artists and storytellers also includes:

INDSPIRE AWARDS (June 24)

CANADA DAYCELEBRATION (July 1)

CANADIAN COUNTRY MUSIC ASSOCIATION AWARDS (September 9, hosted by Shania Twain)

POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE GALA (September 17) – streaming via CBCMusic.ca

SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE (November 19)

AIR FARCE NEW YEAR’S EVE (December 31)

CANADA’S NEW YEAR’S EVE (December 31)

CANADA READS (March 2019)

CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS (March 2019)

THE JUNO AWARDS broadcast live from London and MUSIC DAY ON CBC (March 17)

 ORIGINAL DIGITAL PROGRAMMING:

CBC’s diverse slate of digital original series and award-winning CBC SHORT DOCSincludes the following new titles that will stream on the CBC TV App and cbc.ca/watch:

ART IS MY COUNTRY, riveting profiles of 10 Canadian artists from various cultural backgrounds who are redefining and reshaping Canadian art.

OFF KILTER, a mockumentary that documents the remaking of failed up-and-coming choreographer Milton Frank into the critically acclaimed jerk he never got to be in the ‘90s.

WINSTON ROWNTREE’S PEOPLE WATCHING (Season 2, July), a comedy series featuring humorous and heartfelt short stories about 20-somethings searching for acceptance and romance.

FARM CRIME (August), a true-crime docu-series investigating unconventional offences in the world of farming and agriculture.

SEEN AND HEARD (September), uniting a mixed group of deaf and hearing performers to mount a unique adaptation of The Little Mermaid.

RED BUTTON (winter), the ongoing documentary project returns to provide remarkably candid perspectives of marginalized and misunderstood youth.

CBC SHORT DOCS:

FAST HORSE (Alexandra Lazarowich), exploring the return of the bareback horse-racing tradition to Blackfoot country.

QUEER PRIEST (Nicholas Bradford-Ewart), three docs following the lives of openly queer individuals who have chosen to become or remain priests despite the trauma that the Christian community has inflicted upon them.

SEDRA (Sura Mallouh), observing a 17-year-old and her family as they rebuild their lives in Canada after fleeing the Syrian war.

THE HOLE IN RESERVOIR HILL (Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson), a timely revisiting of the decommissioned nuclear bunker in North Bay, Ontario and the individuals who know its secrets.

In addition to making all television series available to stream live or on-demand via its digital platforms, spanning more than 4,000 hours of programming, CBC is also investing in new content exclusive to the CBC TV App and cbc.ca/watch including 250 hours of new programming. Featuring Canadian content as well as a curated selection of best-in-class drama, comedy, lifestyle and documentary content from around the world, new titles streaming in the upcoming year include PORTLANDIA, MOONE BOYand the Canadian premiere of Australian comedy RONNY CHIENG: INTERNATIONAL STUDENT.

 

PRIMETIME BROADCAST SCHEDULE

CBC’s 2018-19 primetime broadcast schedule is as follows:

All series will also be available to stream on the CBC TV App and at cbc.ca/watch.

(For Newfoundland and Labrador, please add one half-hour later for all times)

MONDAYS
8 PM MURDOCH MYSTERIES *Season 12*(FALL/WINTER)

9 PM FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES *Season 2* (FALL)/ CORONER*NEW SERIES* (EARLY WINTER)/ STREET LEGAL*NEW SERIES* (LATE WINTER)

10 PM THE NATIONAL

TUESDAYS
8 PMSTILL STANDING*Season 4*(NEW TO FALL)/KIM’S CONVENIENCE*Season 3* (NEW TO WINTER)

8:30 PMTHIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES*Season 26* (FALL/WINTER)

9 PM BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW *Season 3* (NEW TO FALL)/ SCHITT’S CREEK*Season 5* (WINTER)

9:30 PMWORKIN’ MOMS*Season 3* (WINTER)

10 PM THE NATIONAL

WEDNESDAYS
8 PMTHE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW*Season 2*(EARLY FALL)/ CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON JUNIOR*NEW SERIES* (LATE FALL)/ BURDEN OF TRUTH*Season 2* (EARLY WINTER)/ DIGGSTOWN*NEW SERIES* (LATE WINTER)

9 PM VANITY FAIR*NEW SERIES*(EARLY FALL)/ MR. D*Season 8* (LATE FALL) – New Night/

UNSPEAKABLE*NEW SERIES* (WINTER)

9:30 PMHALIFAX COMEDY FESTIVAL(LATE FALL)

10 PM THE NATIONAL

THURSDAYS
7 PM  THE INVESTIGATORS WITH DIANA SWAIN*Season 3* (FALL) – New Night

8 PMDRAGONS’ DEN*Season 13* (FALL/WINTER)

9 PMTHE DETECTIVES*Season 2*(EARLY FALL)/ FROM THE VAULTS*NEW SERIES* (LATE FALL)/ CAVENDISH*NEW SERIES* (WINTER)

9:30 PMLITTLE DOG*Season 2*(WINTER)

10 PM THE NATIONAL

FRIDAYS
8 PMMARKETPLACE*Season 46*(FALL/WINTER)

8:30 PMIN THE MAKING*NEW SERIES* (EARLY FALL)/ THE STATS OF LIFE*Season 2* (EARLY WINTER)/ UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT*NEW SERIES* (LATE WINTER)

9 PM CBC DOCS POV*Season 3* (FALL/WINTER) – New Night

10 PM THE NATIONAL

11:30 PM CBC ARTS: EXHIBITIONISTS(FALL/WINTER)

SATURDAYS
AfternoonROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES*Season 4* (FALL/WINTER)

6:30 PMHOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA(FALL/WINTER)

SUNDAYS
AfternoonROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES*Season 4* (FALL/WINTER)

7 PMANNE WITH AN E*Season 2*/HEARTLAND*Season 12* (WINTER)

8 PMTHE NATURE OF THINGS*Season 58* (FALL/WINTER)

9 PMTHE FIFTH ESTATE*Season 44* (FALL/WINTER) – New Night

10 PM THE NATIONAL

 

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Preview: “Shadows are Falling” on Murdoch Mysteries

The Murdoch Mysteries fans have spoken! Last week’s episode, “Game of Kings,” was a resounding favourite and I totally agree. Maureen Jennings’ script was jam-packed with history, humour and action; everything that makes for a great instalment.

That, of course, leads us to Monday’s new episode, “Shadows are Falling,” written by Mary Pedersen and directed by Sherren Lee. You may remember the last time Pedersen penned a Murdoch Mysteries storyline, “The Accident,” where she reduced us to tears. Will she do the same this time around? Here’s the official synopsis for “Shadows are Falling” from the CBC:

Murdoch and Ogden must put aside dealing with a personal matter when Nate Desmond is charged with murder.

And here are more morsels to chew on while you wait until Monday.

Congratulations Jonny Harris!
Jonny Harris and his writing crew captured their second Canadian Screen Award in a row for their work on Still Standing. The series took home the trophy for Best Writing, Factual.

Julia and William at their darkest
This is, after all, the penultimate episode of Season 11. You didn’t expect everything to be hunky dory, did you? Yannick Bisson and Hélène Joy put in performances of the season on Monday night. Keep your tissues close by.

Nate and Rebecca return
With Nate accused of murder, it only makes sense to have Rebecca James return to Toronto as well. The man collaring Nate is none other than the newly-promoted Horace McWorthy, played by Sean Bell, of Station House No. 1. That means Watts does some digging in his old stomping grounds. Meanwhile, parts of the investigation are particularly painful for William and Julia. The last several minutes of “Shadows are Falling” is shocking, sad and changes everything.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of Stephen Scott for CBC.

 

 

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CBC’s Still Standing kicks off Season 3 in Fort McMurray

It isn’t within Still Standing‘s guidelines to visit a place like Fort McMurray. After all, one of the stand-up/documentary hybrid’s keystones is to visit small communities across the country and Fort McMurray’s population is over 61,000. But the other rule is to focus on an area hit by hard times, and you don’t get much harder hit than the Alberta town which saw much of its area consumed by wildfires.

Returning with two back-to-back episodes on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CBC, Harris and his crew stop in Fort McMurray during the first half-hour before jetting to Bell Island, Nfld, for the second instalment.

“We thought the story [in Fort McMurray] was so compelling and important that, with the one-year anniversary of the evacuation coming up [for filming], it was a story we could tell,” Harris told us during CBC’s upfront media day. Harris, his writers and producers spent several days in the area, interacting with folks and preparing original standup material to be performed for the community. Rewatching video of the events of May 3, 2016, brings the seriousness of the situation to light. It’s not, you’d think, something folks would want to laugh about. But they do, whether it’s at Harris’ suggestion some folks’ sins brought hell upon them or his own admission he’d freak out during an emergency.

But the episode is as much about joking about the situation as it is about the little triumphs and “disasterhood.” People offered up food, clothing, water and rooms to those affected by the conflagration. And, over a year later, the community is rebuilding, burgeoning and offering surprises.

“I was amazed by how multicultural it is there,” he Harris says. “I’ve met people from every corner of the globe in Fort McMurray and it doesn’t have that rough and tumble, work camp sort of feel. It’s got great restaurants and a healthier art scene than you might expect.”

The mark of a community getting back on its feet.

Still Standing airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

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