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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

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.

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Links: SurrealEstate, Season 1

From Victoria Ahearn of the Canadian Press:

Link: ‘Schitt’s Creek’ actors Tim Rozon, Sarah Levy reunite as co-stars on ‘SurrealEstate’
When the CBC sitcom “Schitt’s Creek” finished its run in April of last year just as the pandemic ramped up, cast member Sarah Levy anticipated a dry spell on the work front. Continue reading.

From CBC:

Link: New supernatural TV show shot in N.L. continuing to push production in province
The housing market in St. John’s has seen a boom over the past year and a half, but what if the houses for sale were haunted? That’s the premise of the latest TV show to be filmed in Newfoundland and Labrador, which will hit the airwaves later this month. Continue reading.

From Stephanie Webber of Us Weekly:

Link: Sarah Levy Reunites With ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Costar Tim Rozon in ‘SurrealEstate’: He’s a ‘Great Actor and Human Being’
Twyla and Mutt together again! Sarah Levy couldn’t put the “pilot script down” for SYFY’s SurrealEstate — and wanted to join the show even more once she learned her former Schitt’s Creek costar Tim Rozon was already attached as the star. Continue reading.

From Meredith Jacobs of TV Insider:

Link: ‘SurrealEstate’ Stars Tim Rozon & Sarah Levy on Why Their Characters Work Well Together
If you’re having problems selling your house because it’s haunted or possessed, you need look no further than the Roman Agency on SurrealEstate. Real estate agent Luke Roman (Tim Rozon) and his team of specialists handle the problem houses, the ones that scare would-be buyers (and sellers). Continue reading.

From Jeff Pfeiffer of Main Street Nashvile:

Link: Tim Rozon and Sarah Levy reteam for Syfy’s fun and frightening ‘SurrealEstate’
It’s been said to be a “seller’s market” for real estate lately. But even under such favorable conditions, the owners of the places featured in Syfy’s fun and frightening new scripted series SurrealEstate, premiering Friday, would find it impossible to unload their properties. A leaky roof or a crack in a foundation may not be deal breakers for motivated home buyers; poltergeists, demon dogs and portals to hell in a cellar, on the other hand, certainly are. Continue reading.

From Debra Yeo of the Toronto Star:

Link: From gunslinger on ‘Wynonna Earp’ to paranormal real estate agent in new series, it’s all surreal
Doc Holliday’s moustache almost came between Tim Rozon and Luke Roman. Rozon, the Montreal-born actor who played immortal gunslinger Doc for four seasons on supernatural dramedy “Wynonna Earp,” was on the phone earlier this week describing how he got the part of Luke, a realtor who specializes in haunted houses in “SurrealEstate,” which debuts Friday on Syfy and CTV Sci-Fi Channel. Continue reading.

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Global Announces Casting Details For Big Brother Canada Season 10

From a media release:

The search for Canada’s next batch of houseguests starts now! Today, Global and Insight Productions announced that casting is open across the country for Season 10 of Big Brother Canada. Coming to Global in 2022, Big Brother Canada is calling Canadians far and wide to apply at BigBrotherCanada.ca for their chance to win big on Canada’s award-winning reality show.

Beginning today, Canadians can apply online at BigBrotherCanada.ca for their chance to become a #BBCAN10 houseguest, competing in a series of extreme challenges in one of the most high-stakes social experiments ever. Fans can also nominate friends on social media by tagging @bigbrotherca and using #FutureHOH for a chance to get noticed by Big Brother Canada’s casting team.

Apply in three simple steps:

  • Record a short video of yourself explaining why you have what it takes to be one of the next houseguests on Big Brother Canada
  • Visit the official casting site at BigBrotherCanada.ca
  • Upload a photo of yourself, along with your video and some basic information

To qualify, houseguest hopefuls must be 19 years of age by February 1, 2022 and submit their applications by November 19, 2021. For more information, including a full list of rules and eligibility, head to BigBrotherCanada.ca.

Commissioned by Corus Entertainment, Season 10 of Big Brother Canada is produced by Insight Productions Ltd. (a Boat Rocker company) in association with Corus Entertainment and Banijay. Executive Producers are John Brunton, Erin Brock, Eric Abboud, and Arisa Cox.

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Production begins on the third season of CBC Gem’s Detention Adventure

From a media release:

Award-winning producer LoCo Motion Pictures is proud to announce that production on the third season of its CBC Gem original scripted tween series Detention Adventure commenced on July 5th in Toronto. In addition, Blue Ant International has secured the worldwide distribution rights to the third season of the series (outside of Canada).

In the new season, Carolyn Taylor (Baroness Von Sketch Show) will guest star in five episodes and up-and-coming singer, dancer and actor Danté Prince has been tapped to co-star as “Dash” alongside returning series regulars Simone Miller Castoro-Qualizza as “Raign Westrook,” Tomaso Sanelli as “Brett Austin,” Alina Prijono as “Joy Jayadi,” Jack Fulton as “Norman ‘Hulk’ Bean,” Lilly Bartlam as “Kelly Darnell,” Andrew Moodie as “Principal Lounsberry,” Rodrigo Fernandez-Stoll as “Coach Rod,” and Stacey McGunnigle as “Miss Marner.” Benjamin Ayres will also return as a guest star as “Bruno Black.”

In season 3, the Detention Adventure Team is at it again working to uncover the secret hidden in Lawren Harris’ painting given to them by none other than Principal Lounsberry. Their investigation is interrupted after learning they will be spending one of their final weeks of school at Island School! Unimpressed when Island School proves to be a dilapidated camp, the kids soon realize that the camp is more than it appears and might just hold the answers they’re looking for. With the help of the charismatic new art school student, Dash, the team explores what Lawren Harris’ painting could mean through different art forms while forging new bonds with their fellow Island School students. But with the crew heading off to high school, does growing up mean growing apart?

Co-created by Joe Kicak and Carmen Albano, Detention Adventure is written by Kicak, Albano, Lisa Rose Snow, Jay Vaidya and Cassie Cao. The series is executive produced by Lauren Corber, Kicak and Albano. Ryan West is producer.

Detention Adventure launched in 2019 as CBC’s first original kids scripted series for CBC Gem. Since then, the series has received numerous awards and accolades including Kidscreen Award winner for Best Web/App Series: Kid and CSA winner for Best Writing, Children’s & Youth and Best Original Music. Blue Ant International has licensed the first two seasons of the series to platforms in more than 125 territories, including the US, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Latin America, the Nordics and Hong Kong.

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Headspinner Productions has begun production on re-imagining of classic Canadian TV series Hilarious House of Frightenstein entitled Happy House of Frightenstein!

From a media release:

Headspinner Productions announces they have started production on the preschool animated series HAPPY HOUSE OF FRIGHTENSTEIN based on the beloved characters from the 1971 Canadian Classic series Hilarious House of Frightenstein. Timed with the 50th anniversary of the original series, 10 x 3 minute episodes will launch this fall for Halloween on the marbleKids YouTube channel, with the Canadian linear broadcast announcement to follow.

Headspinner principals Michelle Melanson (The Next Step, Fangbone!) and Ken Cuperus (Hudson and Rex, The Stanley Dynamic) will produce the series alongside creative partner Sandy Jobin-Bevans (Just Like Mom and Dad, The Parker-Andersons/Amelia Parker). Also on board as executive producer is original series producer and actor, Mitch Markowitz. Writers on the series include Diana Moore, Nisha Khan, Jan Caruana and Kara Harun. Original Art Design by Aaron Hong and Animation Services by Keyframe Digital Studios in St. Catharines, Ontario. Happy House of Frightenstein follows the misadventures of COUNT JR., WOLFIE, IGGY, AND GRIZ – the beloved characters from the original Hilarious House of Frightenstein, reimagined as wee children of the night – as they play, laugh, and grow together in the Happy House of Frightenstein, a giant castle-like play structure located in the charmingly spooky backyard of the iconic Castle Frightenstein.

The series was made possible with funding from the Canada Media Fund and the Shaw Rocket Fund through the CMF-SRF Kids Digital Animated Series program and support from marbleKids YouTube Channel and Distribution360, who will handle global distribution.

130 x 60 min episodes of Hilarious House of Frightenstein were produced in 1971 by brothers Riff and Mitch Markowitz in Hamilton, Ontario. It went on to be one of the longest running children’s shows in history, airing on CHCH, YTV, Showcase, Space and Drive In Classics in Canada alone. It currently airs on CRAVE in Canada. It also aired throughout the US and many European countries. Popular character actor, Billy Van, played most of the characters in the original, and legendary horror icon, Vincent Price, was also a major part of the original series.

Where to watch HAPPY HOUSE OF FRIGHTENSTEIN: marbleKids YouTube Channel.

marbleKids is an entertainment channel dedicated to delivering a variety of premium kids content.

Headspinner Productions is a full-service production company based in Toronto, Ontario helmed by award winning creator/writer/producers Ken Cuperus and Michelle Melanson.

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