Everything about The Nature of Things, eh?

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: The Nature of Things celebrates the fun and fearsome world of fungi

To me, there is nothing better than a nice pile of sauteed mushrooms nestled up against a grilled steak. But those buttery morsels merely scratch the surface on the beautiful, dangerous and important world of fungi.

The Kingdom: How Fungi Made Our World, airing as part of The Nature of Things on Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBC, is the result of a three-year journey by science documentary director Annamária Tálas that digs deep into fungi, those odd-shaped, sometimes colourful things that are neither plant nor animal and exist much of the time out of sight. Some facts to get you thinking … and possibly freak you out: a fungus in Oregon is 3.4 square miles large and is 2,400 years old. The mushroom you see poking out of the ground is merely the fungi’s fruiting body; the main body is a mass of filaments underground that form the mycelium, a fungal network tied to water, minerals and sugars with trees. Also? Fungi spores are everywhere. Like, on you right now. Yeah.

All of this is revealed in The Kingdom: How Fungi Made Our World thanks to folks like Professor Lynne Boddy, Dr. Mark Fricker, Dr. Anne A. Madden and Professor Rob Dunn, and stunning still and time-lapse photography from Steve Axford. Through their words and images, we learn how fungi have evolved to survive by consuming and recycling matter to feed itself, defending itself against harm, and that experts have only identified less than one per cent of the estimated five million fungi species.

Fungi have been on Earth for a long time. About a billion years ago, the planet began to be populated by microbes that contained bacteria and, eventually, fungi. Those first critters consumed the minerals contained in rocks and established a foothold on the planet. Later, land-bound fungi and marine algae swapped nutrients to start the process of plant-life evolution and the greening of the planet. And, on the opposite end of the life cycle, fungi consume dead plant life that in turn enriches the soil and encourages new growth.

Meanwhile, the fact we’re mammals seems to be the reason why most fungi haven’t killed us already. The Kingdom: How Fungi Made Our World is a truly fascinating, and admittedly creepy, peek at an alien lifeform that has been integral to all life on Earth.

The Kingdom: How Fungi Made Our World airs as part of The Nature of Things on Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of Stephen Axford.

 

 

 

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Preview: The Nature of Things explores the captivating “Science of Magic”

I distinctly remember performing my first-ever magic trick. It involved a plastic tube, a plastic stick and a penny. Remember pennies? Anyway, the trick was to place the penny inside the tube so that it filled the tube crossways. It appeared to be solid, but wait! A quick poke with the plastic stick and—poof!—the penny allowed the stick to go through it. The fact the stick turned the penny on its side didn’t matter. I had tricked my endlessly patient parents. I suspect they knew the truth but were just being polite.

That memory has led to a fascination with magic that has never abated, so I was thrilled to see The Nature of Things would be devoted to magic in Sunday’s newest instalment at 8 p.m. on CBC. Indeed the aptly-titled “The Science of Magic” follows researchers and scientists who are bringing magicians’ tricks into the laboratory.   This extraordinary exploration peeks behind the curtain into a fascinating world where ancient magic meets modern science.

Produced by Reel Time Images, directed by Donna and Daniel Zuckerbrot and with host Julie Eng as our guide, the episode not only delves into the exploration of the human mind through the eyes of magicians but throws a few tricks in for good measure. Eng dropped a card trick in the first two minutes of the broadcast that had me scratching my head. The reason she was able to do it? As Gustav Kuhn of Goldsmiths, University of London explains, Eng and fellow magicians are exploiting limitations in human cognition. Turns out choosing a random playing card from a deck is anything but random; we’re being manipulated. Digging deep into what’s called the magician’s force has given scientists insights into human free will.

As an added bonus, “The Science of Magic” performs several on-air tricks for viewers to try out while watching The Nature of Things as a way of demonstrating how—and how easy it is—to mess with us. Jay Olson, a performer of magic since he was a kid, is completing his PhD in psychiatry at McGill University in Montreal and takes magic to a whole other level; we witness his amazing demonstration involving an MRI machine that seems not only to read minds but manipulate thought. The MRI machine doesn’t do anything—the magnets aren’t in it—but serves to show how easily the human mind is to the power of suggestion.

Meanwhile, Professor Ronald Rensink at the University of British Columbia believes that magicians’ practical knowledge about how to fool the eye and the mind can lead to new research with regard to how small distractions can blind automobile drivers to obvious dangers. Then Kuhn works with Canadian magician Billy Kidd on an experiment into how we can be blind to even our own choices via tricks that fool us despite nothing actually happening.

“The Science of Magic” is an engrossing and, yes, magical episode of The Nature of Things.

The Nature of Things airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of Andy Lee.

 

 

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Link: William Whitehead, 86, was a great CBC documentary writer who lived a life of devotion

From Judy Stoffman of The Globe and Mail:

Link: William Whitehead, 86, was a great CBC documentary writer who lived a life of devotion
Viewers might not have caught his name in the closing credits, but William Whitehead – versatile, brainy, witty, loyal, hugely productive – helped create many of the CBC’s most acclaimed documentary programs in a career spanning five decades. Continue reading.

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Link: Ice Bridge Is Worth Watching

From James Bawden:

Link: Ice Bridge Is Worth Watching
“I suppose more people will be watching,” laughs veteran director Robin Bicknell whose compelling new documentary Ice Bridge premieres on CBC-TV’s The Nature Of Things Sunday night at 8.

Bicknell spent 25 days over a longer period filming on location veteran archeologists trying to determine whether Ice Age peoples came to North America from Europe via a land bridge. I watched the hour just before controversy enveloped the project via an incendiary story in The National Post. Continue reading.

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