Everything about The Porter, eh?

Link: CBC/Radio-Canada boss Catherine Tait: “We developed ‘Schitt’s Creek’, Simu Liu and The Kids In The Hall and we’re open for business”

From Jesse Whittock of Deadline:

Link: CBC/Radio-Canada boss Catherine Tait: “We developed ‘Schitt’s Creek’, Simu Liu and The Kids In The Hall and we’re open for business”
“We can’t be that big, generalist television network; we have to focus on truly authentic Canadian stories.” Continue reading.


Links: The Porter, Season 1

From Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post:

Link: Labour of love: Sabryn Rock’s latest acting job was a life-changing experience
“It was this interesting kind of synchronistic thing … having this huge life event of motherhood happen and then portraying somebody who all she wants is to be a mother.” Continue reading.

From Debra Yeo of the Toronto Star:

Link: CBC’s ‘The Porter’ sheds light on part of Canadian history with ‘energy,’ ‘sexiness’ and ‘fun’
If you want to know what CBC’s historical drama “The Porter” is about, there’s a lot to be gleaned from the television series’ opening minute and 10 seconds. Continue reading.

From Sadaf Ahsan of the Toronto Star:

Link: CBC’s ‘groundbreaking’ new drama series ‘The Porter’ is a story of Black ambition
When CBC’s “The Porter” debuts Monday, it will become one of the network’s largest Black-led television series, ringing in Black History Month in a “powerful” way, says Toronto star Ronnie Rowe Jr., who adds that he’s “honoured to be a part of history.” Continue reading.

From Heather M. of The Televixen:

Link: Previewing CBC’s The Porter with the creative team
A rich, wide-ranging story of Black Canadians during the 1920s, the series follows the story of the titular porters who work the railways and their extended community of family and friends in Montreal. Continue reading.

From Johanna Schneller of The Globe and Mail:

Link: The Porter is an overdue win for Black representation on Canadian TV
When the cast wall went up, everyone got a lump in their throats. Headshots of the actors playing the 100-odd characters in The Porter, an eight-part CBC series in partnership with BET. Row after row of faces. Ninety-five per cent of them Black. Continue reading.

From Eric Volmers of the Calgary Herald:

Link: The Porter takes a rare look at the injustices, triumphs of Canada’s Black Diaspora in the 1920s
In the new CBC series, The Porter, part of the action takes place in a lively night spot called Club Stardust. It’s a gathering place for many of the characters in the series, a hotspot in Montreal’s Black neighbourhood of St. Antoine in the roaring 1920s. Continue reading.

From Alicia Cox Thomson of Chatelaine:

Link: How CBC’s The Porter Made Me Reexamine My Own History
The Porter takes place in 1921 when train travel for wealthy white people was the height of luxury; train porters were always male and Black. Continue reading.

From Sherlyn Assam of Broadview:

Link: ‘The Porter’ showcases Black Canadian train workers’ historic fight for equality
CBC’s new original series The Porter tells the fascinating story of how Canadian train porters helped organize North America’s first Black labour union. Continue reading.

From Bill Brownstein of the Montreal Gazette:

Link: Brownstein: CBC-TV’s The Porter revisits the Black experience of 1920s Montreal
Some had just returned from fighting overseas for Canada during the First World War. Others were recent immigrants from the Caribbean. They had dreams of finding promising jobs and earning the respect of their fellow countrymen. Continue reading.

From Etan Vlessing of The Hollywood Reporter:

Link: ‘The Porter’ Creators Talk Black Representation and Canadian TV’s Culture Shift: “It’s a Pretty Powerful Moment”
Canada is making a giant step forward in representation with the civil rights drama The Porter, to air on the CBC and BET+ stateside. Continue reading.

From Carolyn Hinds of The Gate:

Link: Loren Lott and Aml Ameen talk The Porter on CBC
“Colorism has affected me all my life, you know? But it’s something that I always swept under the rug, just like I think the Black community has.” Continue reading.

From Norman Wilner of NOW Toronto:

Link: The Porter gives Black Canadian history a new look
Mostly, the show is about the path to social justice for its idealistic characters, which is paved with tragedies, betrayals and setbacks. But it makes room for Black joy, and that feels important. Continue reading.

From Bill Brioux of Brioux.tv:

Link: The Porter is a dazzling train ride 100 years into Canada’s past
Set 100 years ago in the early 1920s, the Canadian railway drama tells the story of train porters Junior Massey and Zeke Garrett (Ami Ameen and Ronnie Rowe Jr.) and their families as they strive against fierce resistance to form North America’s first Black labour union. Continue reading.

From Charles Trapunski of Brief Take:

Link: Interview: The cast and creators of The Porter
It was extremely resonant hearing from Marsha Greene, in particular, about the ways in which The Porter developed along the way, finding the correct track, so to speak. Continue reading.

From Heather M. of The Televixen:

Link: The Televixen chats with the women of The Porter
In the final part of my chat with The Porter team during the press day, series stars Mouna Traoré (Marlene), Loren Lott (Lucy), and Oluniké Adeliyi (Queenie) discuss working on the show. Continue reading.


Preview: CBC’s The Porter is an important story of Black history in Canada

The first thing that struck me about The Porter, CBC’s newest series—debuting Monday at 9 p.m.—was the sound. The flick of a lighter, the crackle of a tobacco cigarette igniting, the scrape of glass on a wooden bar. Then, it was the colour of the clothing, a peacock of brights, followed by the music. This, I told myself, was going to be different. And I was right.

Co-created by Arnold Pinnock and Bruce Ramsay, showrun by Marsha Greene and Annmarie Morais, and based on true events, The Porter delivers a rich and dramatic look at the Black community in St. Antoine, Montreal—known at the time as the Harlem of the North—the key characters who live in it and the relationship the community has with the train line between Montreal and Chicago.

The eight-episode journey begins in Montreal in 1921 and follows train porters Junior Massey (Aml Ameen) and Zeke Garrett (Ronnie Rowe, Jr.). While Zeke fights the railway to change how Black porters are treated by unionizing them, Junior takes advantage of the existing structure to pursue money and power through gambling and bootlegging. Meanwhile, Junior’s wife, Black Cross nurse Marlene (Mouna Traore), and club performer Lucy (Loren Lott) are set on different paths to a better life after an awful tragedy.

In CBC’s press material for The Porter, series creator, executive producer and writer Pinnock, an avid reader and history buff, first came across the story of the sleeping car porters and the first Black Labour Union. It resonated with him, and the first seeds of The Porter grew in his mind.

I’m a history buff as well, and a series like The Porter not only tells a story from Canada’s past but an important Black story from this country’s past. The Porter has been grabbing a ton of headlines for its storytelling, creative team, cast and crew. So, is it worth the hype? Absolutely.

The Porter airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.


CBC announces winter premiere dates

From a media release:

CBC today announced broadcast and streaming premiere dates for its winter 2022 slate of programming, including over 20 new and returning original series from Canadian creators, producers and storytellers across all genres. The new winter primetime schedule launches Sunday, January 2 on CBC TV and the free CBC Gem streaming service.


All following times local with the exception of Newfoundland, please add half an hour to all times.


8PM – MURDOCH MYSTERIES; Season 15 continues January 3

9PM – THE PORTER premieres February 21

8PM – THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES; Season 29 continues January 4

8:30PM – SON OF A CRITCH premieres January 4

9PM – WORKIN’ MOMS returns for Season 6 on January 4

9:30PM – The TALLBOYZ are back for a third season on January 25,

8PM – STILL STANDING returns for Season 7 on January 5

8:30PM – RUN THE BURBS premieres January 5

9PM – PRETTY HARD CASES returns for Season 2 on January 5

8PM – CORONER Season 4 premieres January 6

9PM – THE FIFTH ESTATE continues January 6

8PM – MARKETPLACE continues on January 7

8:30PM – ARCTIC VETS returns for a second season on January 7

9PM – THE NATURE OF THINGS continues on January 7


Hosted by Madison Tevlin, WHO DO YOU THINK I AM? begins streaming Friday, January 7, featuring Maddie as she chats with guests one-on-one and connects with people who, like herself, are often misinterpreted and misperceived.

TRUE DATING STORIES returns with Season 3 on Friday, January 28. Whether it’s true romance or a night gone horribly wrong, this series offers the greatest real dating stories ever told, reenacted by performers with all the drama, romance and comedy they deserve.

BEST IN MINIATURE is a unique competition series premiering Friday, February 11. Hosted by Aba Amuquandoh (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), the show follows 11 competitors from around the world as they build their dream homes in miniature form.


As Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic Network, CBC will provide the compelling coverage and award-winning storytelling that audiences have come to expect, leading up to, during and after the OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES BEIJING 2022 (February 4 – 20) and PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES (March 4 – 13). In addition to Olympic coverage, CBC SPORTS will continue to keep Canadians connected to the world of high-performance sport through weekly staple ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES, available on CBC TV and CBC Gem, as well as live streams of key competitions on cbcsports.ca and the CBC Sports app. Upcoming events include: The Alpine Skiing World Cup, kicking off this weekend in Lake Louise; and the Canadian National Figure Skating Championships in January where Canada’s Olympic Team will be determined.


Hosted by musician Melanie Doane and premiering Saturday, January 8, new original series UKULELE U encourages young viewers at home to sing, move, and learn along with a cast of kids known as the UKE TROUPE.


Award-Winning ​Alfre Woodard joins ‘The Porter’ cast and serves as executive producer

From a media release:

BET+ and CBC series THE PORTER (8×60), from Inferno Pictures and Sienna Films (a Sphere Media company) announces the addition of multiple award-winning actor Alfre Woodard to their first season as part of the cast and as executive producer. THE PORTER is currently shooting in Winnipeg, Canada.

Woodard will play the role of ‘Fay’, who runs the local brothel in St. Antoine – she’s sexy, direct and takes great pride in living life on her own terms. She joins Aml Ameen (I May Destroy You, Yardie), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Star Trek: Discovery, Pretty Hard Cases), Mouna Traoré (Self Made, The Umbrella Academy), Oluniké Adeliyi (Titans, American Gods) and Loren Lott (American Idol, Tag).

Recently listed in a NY Times article featuring ‘The Greatest 25 Actors of the 21st Century’, Woodard has been nominated for 17 Emmy Awards (winning four), seven SAG Awards (winning three), three Golden Globe Awards (winning one), 21 NAACP awards (winning nine) and two Independent Spirit Awards (winning one). Her Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress was for her performance in Martin Ritt’s Cross Creek.

Woodard recently starred in the feature film Clemency. Among the critical praise she received for her lead role in the film, she received a BAFTA Award nomination and a Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead.

Other recent film appearances include the blockbusters Captain America: Civil War for Marvel and AnnaBelle for New Line. On the small screen, she most recently starred as the fierce ‘Mariah Dillard’ in Marvel’s Luke Cage and as the title character in the Netflix Original film Juanita, which she also developed and produced. Woodard next appears in another Netflix Original film titled Fatherhood alongside Kevin Hart, and she also stars opposite Jason Mamoa in the Apple TV+ series See, created by Steven Knight. Woodard recently wrapped on the Joe and Anthony Russo directed film The Gray Man with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans.

Acclaimed dramatic performances include her roles in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, John Sayles’ Passion Fish, Maya Angelou’s Down In The Delta, Peter Bratt’s Follow Me Home, Gina Prince-Blythwood’s Love And Basketball, Spike Lee’s Crooklyn, Lawrence Kasdan’s Grand Canyon and Mumford, Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys, Billie Woodruff’s Beauty Shop with Queen Latifah, Richard Donner’s Scrooged opposite Bill Murray, as well as Mandela and Miss Evers’ Boys (both for HBO Films).

Set in the early 1920s, THE PORTER offers a dramatic and compelling look at the Black community in St. Antoine, Montreal — known, at the time, as the “Harlem of the North”. The story is told through the eyes of two Black train porters taking very different paths to liberation. One pushes to create the first Black union in existence, the other chases power on the wrong side of the law, but both have the same goal: to free themselves and their families from oppression. They’re young, gifted and Black, from Canada, the Caribbean, and the U.S., and over the course of the series they find themselves thrown together north and south of the color line. In an era that boasts anything is possible, if change isn’t coming for them, they will come for it.

From Montreal to Chicago and at every stop in between, in a time of extraordinary social and political change, THE PORTER tells the story of the people who fought to ignite the civil rights movement in North America.

A CBC and BET+ original series, THE PORTER is originated and created by Arnold Pinnock (Altered Carbon, Travelers) and Bruce Ramsay (19-2, Cardinal), with Annmarie Morais (Killjoys, Ransom, American Soul), Marsha Greene (Ten Days In The Valley, Mary Kills People) and Aubrey Nealon (Snowpiercer, Cardinal), and produced by Winnipeg-based Inferno Pictures Inc. and Sphere Media’s Sienna Films. Morais and Greene are showrunners and executive producers. Charles Officer (Akilla’s Escape, Coroner) and R.T. Thorne (Blindspot, Utopia Falls) will direct the series, and are executive producers. Pinnock also serves as an executive producer, and Ramsay a co-executive producer. Jennifer Kawaja serves as Executive Producer for Sienna Films and Ian Dimerman as Executive Producer for Inferno Pictures. The series is written by Morais, Greene, Andrew Burrows-Trotman, Priscilla White, Pinnock and Ramsay, with Thorne participating in the writers’ room. The series is funded with the support of the Canada Media Fund and Manitoba Film & Music and is distributed internationally by Abacus Media Rights (AMR) and Sphere Distribution.