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Casino Confidential – Should There Be More Programming Like the 2012 Series?

It has been seven years since the release of Casino Confidential on TVtropolis, and memories of the reality series set in Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel in Las Vegas live long in the hearts of Canadian casino fans. The documentary series only ran for ten episodes, but its success in the North American country led TLC to pick it up and broadcast it to USA citizens. In the years since 2012, the gambling industry has boomed further. Indeed, revenues have surpassed $45 billion and are continuing to grow exponentially. Now could be the perfect time to revisit Binion’s, or perhaps create a similar series. Canadians, who love gambling and reality TV, would be sure to be grateful for a sequel.

What Was Casino Confidential About?
Casino Confidential was a fly-on-the-wall documentary centred on the players and staff at Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel, a bustling Las Vegas hotspot. The aim of the series was to provide viewers with a number of different perspectives within the casino. In the early episodes, there was heavy focus on one of the blackjack dealers. These are key staff members, and they need to have specific knowledge and training in order to do their jobs. When playing online, players can refer to information pages such as the Betway online blackjack guide. It tells them what to do in certain situations, such as when to double and split and how. When you’re playing in a land-based casino though, it is down to the dealer to give advice to players on what to do. For this reason, blackjack dealers are fountains of knowledge about the game in addition to great people skills.

By putting an emphasis on the dealers and croupiers, Casino Confidential was able to show a wide range of different customers sitting and playing the games at Binion’s. The Nevada city is renowned for attracting an eclectic mix of clientele, who come from all over the world. Over 42 million people visit Las Vegas each year, and all these different visitors from far-flung corners of the Earth make for interesting viewing. Some of the other segments of the documentary followed the dining staff, security, and the famous cowgirls who operate some of the table games.

Casino Confidential went down well in Canada, but it wasn’t to everyone’s taste. It pulled no punches and showed both the good and bad sides of the day-to-day running of a casino. When it aired in the USA, it wasn’t quite as popular. This is perhaps part of why the show wasn’t renewed for another season.

Canada Has a Lot of Similar Programming
Casino Confidential was always going to go down well in Canada, as Canadians love reality television. In fact, there have been 145 different reality TV shows on various networks throughout the 2010s. Big Brother Canada and Property Brothers are both vastly popular among the population.

Property Brothers from Cineflix has been running for 136 episodes since 2011 on W Network initially and then HGTV Canada from 2017. The series, which features Drew and Jonathan Scott as real estate and renovation experts, averages 2 million viewers per week and is one of the highest-rated shows on the network. It has sprouted a franchise which includes a web series, short films, an app and a radio show. Meanwhile, Big Brother Canada has been through seven editions since first airing in 2013. The series which is now hosted by Global has been consistently viewed by an average of over 1 million people per season since 2015.

These successful programs show how popular reality TV is in Canada and suggest that there is a market for more of the same. If another casino show was to come about, it could decide to take elements from these highly viewed shows. Big Brother has an element of competition to it, which could easily be replicated in the gaming scene. Property Brothers is all about turning ramshackle residences into extravagant abodes. This could be done with rundown casinos as well. Perhaps there’s a gap in the market for an Apprentice-style competition to see who can create and run the best casino?

What Other Casino-Based TV Series Have Been Successful?
Despite being one of the most popular pastimes in the world, casinos haven’t been represented well in television. There have been other documentaries such as The Player: Secrets of a Vegas Whale, and Bet Raise Fold, but none have been worldwide hits.

Las Vegas is one of the most notable series to have taken place in a casino. The series starred James Caan as head of operations at a fictional casino on The Strip. It was hugely popular, and lasted for five seasons before being cancelled by NBC. The series focused on the glitz and glamour of the casino world but also featured plenty of intrigue and action.

Casino Confidential may not be getting resurrected, but it does seem as though the time is ripe for a similar series. There have been a lot of developments in the industry since the documentary aired, and it would be interesting to see advancements in technology, such as virtual reality games, depicted on television. There is always a market for reality television in Canada, and something that involves gambling is sure to be well received.

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Corus Entertainment reveals its outstanding roster of new and returning Canadian original programming

From a media release:

Corus Entertainment announced today its powerhouse programming lineup of bold, new and returning Canadian original hits for its 2018/2019 schedule. Commissioning more than 37 series this year, Corus is dedicated to developing extraordinary content across its suite of premium networks, emphasizing outstanding, Canadian original productions and building an unrivalled roster of Canadian talent.

Globally, Corus Studios continues to broaden its footprint with sales of original series in more than 150 territories to date. This year, Corus Studios introduces a diverse range of programming including docu-series, fashion, home renovation, and competition series that make up six new Canadian productions and three returning series. In the kids space, Nelvana, Canada’s world-leading producer and distributor of children’s content and premier animation company, ushers in four new original series and one returning show, which are set to premiere on Corus’ kids networks in 2018/2019 and are available for international sale.

Below is a breakdown of Corus’s new and returning original series:

GLOBAL
Global renews seasons of the Canadian Screen Award-winning series Mary Kills People, juggernaut reality series Big Brother Canada, and more for the 2018-2019 season. Additional announcements regarding Global’s new originals slate will be revealed at a later date.

Mary Kills People – Season 3 (6×60) – NEW SEASON
Returning for its third and final chapter airing in spring 2019, Mary Kills People follows Dr. Mary Harris (Caroline Dhavernas) and her exploits as she balances her family and her day job while also helping terminal patients end their lives on their own terms (produced by Entertainment One (eOne) and Cameron Pictures Inc.).

Big Brother Canada – Season 7 (30×60) – NEW SEASON
On the heels of a successful Season 6 which grew its audiences year-over-year***, the smash hit reality series hosted by Arisa Cox is back for another season in 2019. As a Top 10 performer across key demos***, Season 7 will feature a group of hand-picked strangers, sequestered from the outside world, living in a house with cameras and microphones that capture their every move (produced by Insight Productions).

Entertainment Tonight Canada – Season 14 (260×30) – NEW SEASON
Returning for another star-studded season is the nation’s entertainment powerhouse, ET Canada delivering in-depth and breaking celebrity, film, television, and music news both on-air and online. Airing weeknights at 7:30 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, ET Canada is hosted by Cheryl Hickey along with Sr. Reporter Roz Weston, and Reporters Sangita Patel and Carlos Bustamante. (Produced by Corus Entertainment for Global Television in association with Paramount Domestic Television).

Previously announced series include:

Private Eyes – Season 3 (12×60) – NEW SEASON
In Season 3 of Private Eyes, Shade (Jason Priestley) and Everett (Cindy Sampson) become more intertwined into the antic adventures of their world, taking on Toronto’s most difficult and unusual cases. Multi-platinum, award-winning singer-songwriter Jann Arden guest stars, making a special cameo appearance in the first episode (produced by eOne).

Border Security: America’s Front Line – Season 2 (10×30 – winter 2019, 10×30 – winter 2020) – NEW SEASON
Securing the longest border in the world is the work of the men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Season 2 of Border Security: America’s Front Line follows CBP officers as they search for illegal travelers, weapons, and contraband (produced by eOne in association with Netflix).

LIFESTYLE

Food Network Canada takes culinary competitions to the next level as it serves up the first-ever Iron Chef Canada, along with the blazing grilling competition series Fire Masters. Comedian John Catucci returns to the network as host of the all-new food adventure series Ultimate Food Bucket List (wt).

 Iron Chef Canada – Season 1 (10×60 – fall 2018, 10×60 – fall 2019) – NEW SERIES
This fall, Food Network Canada brings the world’s biggest, boldest food competition series north of the border for its own homegrown edition of Iron Chef Canada. In this Canadian version, renowned chefs from across the country face off against celebrated Canadian Iron Chefs in epic culinary battles. Each chef has 60 minutes to prepare five dishes using a featured “secret ingredient”. Their dishes are judged on taste, presentation and originality by a panel of culinary experts and industry professionals. The chef with the highest score wins that battle and supreme bragging rights. Cast will be announced at a later date (produced by Proper Television).

Fire Masters – Season 1 (10×60 – spring 2019, 10×60 – spring 2020) (Corus Studios) – NEW SERIES
Debuting in spring, new food competition series Fire Masters puts teams of open-flame fanatics in a battle for fire supremacy and a cash prize. In every episode, three teams of chefs face off in three culinary challenges, pushing their talents to the limit to cook up mouth-watering flame-kissed dishes. One team is eliminated in each of the first two rounds and the last team standing faces an epic throw-down with a Fire Master’sjudge. The final team has a chance to walk away with $10,000 and the coveted Fire Master title (produced by Architect Films).

Ultimate Food Bucket List (wt) – Season 1 (14×30) (Corus Studios) – NEW SERIES
In Ultimate Food Bucket List, host John Catucci (You Gotta Eat Here!) takes viewers on one-of-a-kind food adventures across North America, as he checks off the most drool-worthy dishes and must-see culinary stops along the way. The new series premieres spring 2019 (produced by Lone Eagle Entertainment).

Top Chef Canada – Season 7 (8×60) – NEW SEASON
Canada’s most esteemed culinary competition and Canadian Screen Award-nominated series, Top Chef Canada returns for its seventh season off the heels of earning the title of Food Network Canada’s #1 show this spring ** (produced by Insight Productions).

Previously announced series include:

Carnival Eats – Season 5 (13×30) – NEW SEASON
Host Noah Cappe is back on the hunt for the most mouth-watering and outrageous foods famously found at fairs and amusement parks in Carnival Eats, giving audiences an inside look at the wacky characters who create them and the culinary thrill-seekers who devour and delight in them (produced by Alibi Entertainment).

HGTV Canada 
builds on the best in home renovation and design programming this fall with returning fan-favourites and heavy-hitting personalities including Sarah Off The Grid and Holmes and Holmes. This winter, Bryan and Sarah Baeumler take audiences to Bahamas as the family sets out to turn a rundown resort into a new business in new original series Island of Bryan.

Sarah Off The Grid – Season 2 (6×60) – NEW SEASON
In the first season of Sarah Off The Grid, Sarah Richardson and her husband Alex took on their biggest project yet – a 5,000 square-foot off-the-grid house – and became HGTV Canada’s #1 program this fall*. Now they’re taking on a brand new challenge in Season 2 as Sarah plans to convert a 19th century historic home in the charming small town of Creemore into a seasonal off-the-grid rental property (produced by Alibi Entertainment).

Holmes + Holmes – Season 2 (12×60) – NEW SEASON
Kicking off fall is dynamic father-and-son duo Mike Holmes and Mike Holmes Jr., who are on a mission to renovate homes and ‘make it right’. In the second season of Holmes + Holmes, the pair go into business together, testing their relationship as they buy, renovate, and re-sell three houses for profit (produced by The Holmes Group).

Previously announced series include:

Island of Bryan – Season 1 (13×60) (Corus Studios) – NEW SERIES
Coming off of a successful second season of Bryan Inc. – the #1 specialty entertainment program on HGTV Canada this winter** – fan-favourite contractor Bryan Baeumler, his wife and designer, Sarah Baeumler and their family return with a new adventure in Island of Bryan as they head to the Bahamas to overhaul a rundown beachfront resort and turn it into a booming business (produced by Si Entertainment).

Backyard Builds – Season 2 (14×30) (Corus Studios) – NEW SEASON
Backyard Builds showcases the endless opportunities outdoor areas can provide. Contractor Brian McCourt and designer Sarah Keenleyside work with homeowners to extend their living spaces and maximize their backyard’s potential by creating one-of-a-kind structures and clever designs (produced by Frantic Films).

Love It or List It Vancouver – Season 5 (26×60) – NEW SEASON
Love It or List It Vancouver is the home renovation series with the eternal question: “should I stay or should I go?” Each episode features a family in B.C. who is struggling with a home that no longer suits their needs. Interior designer Jillian Harris is pitted against west coast realtor Todd Talbot as they each present their plans to solve the homeowner’s dilemma (produced by Big Coat Media).

Property Brothers – Season 6E (7×60) and Season 7 (18×60) – NEW SEASONS
Drew and Jonathan support couples across the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary and Las Vegas to find, buy, and transform extreme fixer-uppers into incredible dream homes. First, real estate specialist Drew tracks down hidden gems with untapped potential, and then it’s up to identical twin brother and contractor Jonathan to expertly overhaul these ramshackle properties (produced by Cineflix).

Property Brothers: Buying and Selling – Season 6 (8×60) – NEW SEASON
In Property Brothers: Buying and Selling, Jonathan and Drew Scott help homeowners take their next step up the real estate ladder. Jonathan renovates the family’s home for a successful sale, while Drew hunts down the best options for their next property and oversees the selling and buying (produced by Cineflix).

$ave My Reno – Season 2 (14×30) (Corus Studios) – NEW SEASON
Cash-conscious homeowners catch a break when Sebastian Clovis, the savvy contractor, and Sabrina Smelko, the resourceful designer, toss out overpriced reno quotes and make dreams come true through smart spends, upcycling, DIY and a little bit of elbow grease from the homeowners themselves (produced by Great Pacific Media).

Worst to First – Season 2 (10×60) (Corus Studios) – NEW SEASON
Worst to First sees best friends, professional contractors and family members Sebastian and Mickey take on the challenge of transforming the most undesirable house on the block into a stunning forever home (produced by Great Pacific Media).

HISTORY® introduces four new Canadian original productions including the recently announced series below and welcomes the return of an epic new season of historical drama and Top 5 entertainment specialty program*, Vikings, later this fall.

Rust Valley RestorersSeason 1 (8×60) (Corus Studios) – NEW SERIES
Debuting this fall, Rust Valley Restorers follows a unique Rocky Mountain garage with a team of charismatic car-lovers as they transform abandoned heaps of rust into collectible classics to sell, trade or ride (produced by Mayhem Entertainment).

Big Rig Warriors – Season 1 (10×30) (Corus Studios) – NEW SERIES
A new docu-series coming this winter, Big Rig Warriors, follows five dynamic truckers and the families and friends who support them during the exciting racing season on their quest to cross the finish line and be crowned the “fastest”. They all share a common obsession: They race big trucks and they race them fast (produced by Attraction Images).

History Erased 
(formerly World Without) – Season 1 (8×60) (Corus Studios) – NEW SERIES
Coming this winter, History Erased examines the world without a specific country in order to highlight its contributions to global culture and human history (produced by Cream Productions).

100 Days to Victory
– (2×60) – NEW SPECIAL

As part of HISTORY’s Days of Remembrance programming in November, the two-part special 100 Days to Victory, tells the gripping story of the Allies’ collaborative efforts to end the First World War and Canada’s crucial role within those victories (produced by Bristow Global Media and Electric Pictures).

Vikings
– Season 5B (10×60) – NEW SEASON

Multiple Canadian Screen Award-winning series Vikings returns with the highly-anticipated second part of Season 5 coming later this year (Canada/Ireland co-production by Take 5 Productions and TM Productions Limited).

Slice™ continues to deliver jaw-dropping moments, big personalities and high-stakes situations, upping the ante with previously announced original fashion competition series STITCHED this fall.


STITCHED – Season 1 (12×60) (Corus Studios) – NEW SERIES
STITCHED is the fierce new original fashion competition series where designers go thread-to-thread in epic high-stakes-meets-high-style challenges under tight deadlines for a $10,000 cash prize. Set to debut this September, the series features host and fashion model Kim Cloutier alongside and resident judges, style expert Joe Zee and ELLE Canada’s Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Craft (produced by FORTÉ Entertainment).
                                                                         

KIDS
Family-friendly powerhouse network YTV welcomes two new original series and one returning this fall.

Star Falls – Season 1 (20×30) – NEW SERIES
Premiering in September, Star Falls is a single camera family comedy set in an idyllic small town. The show revolves around a mom and daughter who are best friends, but whose lives are upended when a big Hollywood movie shoots in their quaint town and the daughter schemes to create a romance between her mom and the film’s superstar male lead. Only the daughter’s plan works a little too well and suddenly she’s forced to share a house with not only the actor, but his three celebrity children as well! (produced by Breakthrough Entertainment in association with Nickelodeon).

Go Away Unicorn – Season 1 (52×11) – NEW SERIES
Slated this fall, Go Away Unicorn follows the adventures of a little girl named Alice as she tries to avoid an unwanted unicorn that simply won’t go away (produced by Nelvana for Sonar Entertainment in association with Disney).

This fall, TELETOON brings best-in-class animation with the premiere of four new original animated series.

Cupcake & Dino: General Services – Season 1 (52×11) – NEW SERIES
Debuting this September, Cupcake and Dino are two bros trying to make a name for themselves in the super competitive general services business in the big city (produced by eOne in association with Netflix).

Total DramaRama – Season 1 (52×11) – NEW SERIES
This October, Total DramaRama is the outrageous, unexpected and totally random prequel to Total Drama Island that everyone’s been waiting for. You thought the teens were manipulative? Meet the toddlers (produced by Fresh TV in association with Cartoon Network).

Chop Chop NinjaSeason 1 (20×30) – NEW SERIES
In October, Iro, an exuberant young ninja, along with his three friends – fellow classmates at the Ninja Academy – protect his island home from a steady onslaught of treacherous and not so treacherous villains, in hopes of proving that he deserves the legendary title of Chop Chop Ninja (produced by Sardine Productions).

Spaceman & Robotron Season 1 (2×11) – NEW SERIES
Coming this November to TELETOON and TÉLÉTOON, Spaceman and Robotron is a crazy adventure in space and time that follows the flight of a bickering duo paired against their will: Spaceman, a human kidnapped by aliens, and Robotron, his “smart” bionic spacesuit (produced by Luckas Cardona).

Previously announced series include:

Bravest Warriors – Season 1 (26×30) (Nelvana) – NEW SERIES
Scheduled for September, Bravest Warriors is set in the year 3085 and follows four teenage heroes-for-hire as they warp through the universe to save adorable aliens and their worlds using the power of their emotions (produced by Nelvana and Frederator).

Preschool network Treehouse, is delighted to debut three brand new original series plus a new season of the lovable bunny siblings, Max & Ruby.

Snow Snaps Season 1 (26×11 & 52×5) – NEW SERIES
Premiering in September, Snow Snaps takes four very different little kids, opens the gate to the great outdoors, covers everything with snow, and let’s ‘em go! (produced by Carpe Diem).

Miss Persona – Season 1 (52×3) (Nelvana) – NEW SERIES
This October, Miss Persona is a wonderful live-action pre-school show about an industrious little lady with a big imagination who encounters tricky problems that she solves through imaginative dress-up role playing (produced by Nelvana).

Corn & Peg – Season 1 (40×11) (Nelvana) – NEW SERIES
Slated for later this year, the hilarious adventures of Corn & Peg follows inseparable best friends, a young Unicorn and Pegasus sharing an unbridled excitement and enthusiasm to help make their community of Galloping Grove a better place (produced by Nelvana in association with Nickelodeon).

Max & Ruby – Season 7 (52×11) (Nelvana) – NEW SEASON
This fall, with an ever growing family in an ever changing world, Max and Ruby celebrates the biggest and littlest challenges in a preschooler’s life! (produced by Nelvana).

Previously announced series include:

Esme & Roy – Season 1 (52×11) (Nelvana) – NEW SERIES
Esme & Roy are best friends and the best monster-sitters! This pre-school series brings little viewers along on relatable monster adventures and is packed with playful learning, humour, heart, and musical monster-y fun (produced by Nelvana in association with Sesame Workshop).

 

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Link: Twenty years later, Twitch City is a work of genius and a reminder of what Canadian TV lacks

From Calum Marsh of the National Post:

Link: Twenty years later, Twitch City is a work of genius and a reminder of what Canadian TV lacks
Just about 20 years ago, the CBC inconspicuously broadcast the pilot episode of what remains, two decades later, perhaps the finest program in Canadian television history. It was called Twitch City, and with near-miraculous daring, it defied every trapping and convention of mainstream TV. Conceived by Don McKellar, who stars, in collaboration with Bruce McDonald, who directs, the series was, broadly speaking, an “anti-sitcom” — a misanthropic comedy that seemed actively hostile to the form. Continue reading.

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Link: Canadian born game show host Monty Hall dies at 96

From The Canadian Press:

Link: Canadian born game show host Monty Hall dies at 96
If not for the prejudice of the times, Monte Halperin, the Jewish butcher’s kid from Winnipeg’s north end, might have entered medical school and Monty Hall would never have been born.

Hall, the engaging, smooth-talking host of “Let’s Make Deal” for 23 years on all three U.S. broadcast TV networks was 96. Continue reading. 

 

[themoneytizer id=”12602-28″]

 

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Link: Finally, the Canadian classic Intelligence has come to Netflix

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

Link: Finally, the Canadian classic Intelligence has come to Netflix
Intelligence (now streaming) is a joy to behold again. It ran on CBC from 2005 to 2007 and should never have been cancelled. That mistake happened during one of those periods when CBC was dallying with light and fluffy fare. Look where that got them. “Compulsively watchable” was The New York Times’ review of Intelligence, connecting it to The Sopranos and The Wire for its “novelistic richness.” All true. Continue reading.

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