TV, eh? | What's up in Canadian television | Page 2
TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Preview: Murdoch Mysteries, “Kill Thy Neighbour”

After the fun of last week’s Murdoch Mysteries episode “Fox Hunt,” this one definitely takes a dark turn. And it also seems to rehash some much-traipsed ground.

Here’s what the CBC has released for the main storyline for “Kill Thy Neighbour,” written by Mary Pedersen and Noelle Girard, and directed by Craig David Wallace.

Suspicions fall on Murdoch when his unpleasant neighbour is murdered.

And here are a few observations from me after watching a screener.

Paul Braunstein = big payoff
When I first spotted Paul Braunstein as Raymond Huckabee earlier this season, I knew fans were in for more than just a casual storyline. Braunstein, who has appeared on Baroness Von Sketch and Burden of Truth is just a little too high-profile for a small B-story. He created such a big—albeit annoying—character in Raymond that it would make sense an angry William could be accused of his death.

Murdoch is out of sorts
Due to some emergency work being done at the house, William and Julia are back at the hotel. A lack of sleep has made William grumpy, short-tempered, distracted and more than a little paranoid. Not good traits to have when you are accused of murder and need to keep calm.

Guests aplenty
Jonelle Gunderson, Marc Senior, Sebastian Spence, Bea Santos and Clare McConnell all stop by to play.

Walking a worn trail?
As soon as I read this week’s synopsis I thought, “Again??” I feel like every major Murdoch Mysteries‘ character has been accused of someone’s murder and spent time behind bars. Heck, wasn’t Julia there twice and William once already? Why go there again? After watching the instalment … I loved it. Mainly thanks to a certain guest who is integral to making this week’s murder mystery so appealing.

I well-planted Easter egg
Look for a nod to grip Joe Strazzeri around the 37-minute mark.

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

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Timely and emotionally charged new CTV original drama Transplant premieres Feb. 26

From a media release:

CTV announced today that new MADE®-in-Canada series TRANSPLANT is set to air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT beginning Feb. 26 exclusively on CTV and everywhere CTV content can be found. The CTV Original drama comes from Sphère Média Plus, the producers behind Bell Media’s multiple award-winning and International Emmy-nominated drama series 19-2, in association with NBCUniversal International Studios. NBCUniversal is also handling global distribution.

TRANSPLANT is about Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq, THE INDIAN DETECTIVE), a Syrian doctor with battle-tested skills in emergency medicine who makes the difficult decision to flee his country with his younger sister Amira. Together they struggle to build a new life in Canada, as Bash strives to rebuild his career in medicine.

Shot in Montréal and set in Toronto, the first season of TRANSPLANT consists of 13 one-hour episodes and stars an ensemble cast anchored by Haq and also starring Laurence Leboeuf (19-2) as Dr. Magalie “Mags” Leblanc, an empathetic ER resident seeking perfection, along with John Hannah (MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., Four Weddings and a Funeral) as Dr. Jed Bishop, the hospital’s Chief of Emergency Medicine.

TRANSPLANT also features Jim Watson (MARY KILLS PEOPLE) as Dr. Theo Hunter, a pediatric fellow in the emergency department; Ayisha Issa (Polar, Immortals) as Dr. June Curtis, an ambitious surgical resident; Sirena Gulamgaus (ORPHAN BLACK) as Bash’s sister Amira; Torri Higginson (DARK MATTER, THIS LIFE) as head ER nurse Claire Malone; Linda E. Smith (19-2) as Dr. Wendy Atwater; Grace Lynn Kung (THE INBETWEEN, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES) as social worker Vivian Barnes; and Sugith Varughese (KIM’S CONVENIENCE) as senior surgeon Dr. Aajay Singh.

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Crave packs in the laughs with four new original stand-up specials for 2020

From a media release:

Crave is laughing its way through the coldest months of the year, one hilarious hour at a time! Marking Crave’s largest order ever for stand-up comedy specials in one year, four all-new, one-hour specials are set to join the service beginning Friday, February 14 with AISHA BROWN: THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN EVER.

Additional specials rolling out on Crave over the next three months include: THE EL-SALOMONS: MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE (March); GRAHAM KAY: STUPID JOKES (April); and TOM HENRY: 66 JOKES (May).

Filmed in front of a live audience during the 2019 Just for Laughs Festival in Montréal, the new specials expand Crave’s existing collection of Crave Original stand-up specials featuring Canadian comics like Mark Forward, Graham Chittenden, Debra DiGiovanni, and more.

This new batch of specials builds on Crave’s ongoing partnership with Just For Laughs, which also includes the Just for Laughs Collection. With more than 80 titles, the collection features some of the best comics to have graced the JFL stage, and includes specials like Trevor Noah @ JFL, HOWIE MANDEL’S 5TH ANNUAL ALL-STAR COMEDY GALA, JEFF DUNHAM @ JFL, and more.

AISHA BROWN: THE FIRST BLACK WOMAN EVER
No one, and nothing, is off-limits for comedian Aisha Brown, as she takes on her boyfriend’s penis, racism, clinical depression, and Donald Trump, in this hilarious one-hour comedy special.

Aisha Brown is a Toronto-based stand-up comedian, writer, actress, and extremely casual satirical rapper. She recorded her third televised set at the Just For Laughs festival in 2018, and was a featured performer on Kevin Hart’s LOL Network and the ALL ACCESS special, which aired on The Comedy Network (now CTV Comedy) in 2016. Brown has also written for BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW, THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES, and more. She’s also been a featured performer on THE BEAVERTON and BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW, as well as a writer-performer for CBC Radio’s The Debaters, Because News, and Day 6. Along with two other comedians, Brown was featured in the 2017 TVO documentary STAND-UP TORONTO, about up and coming POC comics in the GTA. In 2016 she was named one of The Torontoist’s “Local Ladies Who Make Us Laugh,” and won “Female Breakout Comic of the Year” at the I Heart Jokes Awards. Brown has recorded two albums with Toronto based comedy hip-hop collective, Runnin’ at The Mouth for Comedy Records.

THE EL-SALOMONS: MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE
Quick-witted comedy duo Jess Salomon and Eman El-Husseini hilariously take on today’s politics from their perspectives as a Jewish and Palestinian same-sex married couple. From peace in the Middle East, Donald Trump, marriage, and Eman’s reckless driving, this one-hour comedy special is sure to leave you in stitches.

The El-Salomons take the motto ‘make love not war’ very personally. Jess Salomon and Eman El-Husseini met and fell in love at a comedy club in Montréal nearly a decade ago when a friend of theirs suggested, “you two broads should kiss.” Jess is Jewish and Eman is Palestinian (basically enemies); one is a Taurus and one is a Leo (ENEMIES!!), but they somehow make it work. It’s probably the hummus. Salomon has appeared on THE TONIGHT SHOW and El-Husseini has opened for Patton Oswalt, and now based in New York, the accomplished comedians have been performing as a duo. From the prestigious Just for Laughs Festival in Montréal, to San Francisco Sketch Fest, to the Boston Women in Comedy Festival, and even to the Arctic, they have been making people laugh, spreading love, and trying not to get a divorce. The El-Salomons have been featured on NowThis and PBS NEWS HOUR, as well as in Curve Magazine, The Huffington Post, and The Washington Post.

GRAHAM KAY: STUPID JOKES
Graham Kay brings his observational humour and sarcastic charm to Just For Laughs, where he takes on everyday topics from surviving a breakup in NYC to tracing-paper pornography in this hilarious one-hour stand-up comedy special.

Graham Kay won the coveted Just for Laughs 2015 Homegrown Comic Competition and was runner-up at the 2016 Seattle International Comedy Competition. He was also nominated for Best Male Stand Up at the 2016 Canadian Comedy Awards. Kay has hosted the popular Sirius satellite radio show and podcast, The Sport Brahs, featured on CBC-TV’s Halifax Comedy Festival special, and the iChannel’s No Kidding. He was a regular on Much’s VIDEO ON TRIAL and wrote for the popular CTV sitcom SPUN OUT, starring comedy legend Dave Foley. Kay’s performances at the 2014 and 2015 Just For Laughs Festival were featured on The Comedy Network. In 2018 Kay made his film debut in Broken Lizard’s Super Troopers 2 and most recently performed on THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT.

TOM HENRY: 66 JOKES
From vegan cupcakes to tap dancing, comedian Tom Henry brings his hysterical brand of understated observational humour to Just For Laughs in this one-hour, 66 joke-filled stand-up special.

Toronto-based comedian Tom Henry has appeared on The Comedy Network and at festivals such as Just For Laughs, San Francisco Sketchfest, and Bridgetown Comedy Festival. He has opened for comics such as Tim Meadows, Nikki Glaser, and Todd Barry, and has been a regular on Andy Kindler’s Alternative Show. Kindler also chose him as “The Next Big Thing in 2017” stating “Tom Henry is a comic who you could say he’s a little bit like Mitch Hedberg, a little bit Steven Wright, but he’s in a category by himself.” He was also named one of LA Riot Fest’s “Comics to Watch” in 2017 and was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for “Best Stand-Up Newcomer” in 2012. Last year his debut album, Tom Henry Kills reached number one on the iTunes comedy charts.

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Link: Coroner’s Nicholas Campbell on Gordon’s upcoming struggles

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Coroner’s Nicholas Campbell on Gordon’s upcoming struggles
“This one has been really something special. When I had my meeting for it, Serinda was there and I thought she was one of the producers. I was being extra solicitous, and had I known she was just the actor, I would’ve been more rude and probably wouldn’t have gotten it.” Continue reading.

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All-new supersized season of Big Brother Canada premieres March 4

From a media release:

Canada’s most iconic social TV experiment is upping the ante as Global announces a supersized eighth season of Big Brother Canada kicking off with an epic two-night premiere Wednesday, March 4 at 7 p.m. ET/PT and Thursday, March 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the dramatic fallout on Sunday, March 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. With series host Arisa Cox and a new cast of unsuspecting houseguests, the series returns three nights a week with all-new episodes Wednesdays (7 p.m. ET/PT), Thursdays (8 p.m. ET/PT), and Sundays (8 p.m. ET/PT), in addition to free live feeds from inside the house at BigBrotherCanada.ca. Last season, Big Brother Canada averaged 1.2 million viewers (Ind. 2+) per episode, making it the highest-rated season to date. So just how supersized is this season? Fans will find out during the season premiere on March 4!

Building on the deluxe season ahead, and for the first-time ever, ET Canada is producing a jam-packed, one-hour Big Brother Canada Season 8 special premiering Sunday, March 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Big Brother Canada’s Supersized Season 8 Preview with ET Canada will feature sit-down interviews with this season’s cast, an exclusive tour of the new BBCAN house with host Arisa Cox, retrospectives on past seasons, and the biggest look-ahead with the official reveal of the show’s Season 8 theme.

Now entering its eighth season, Big Brother Canada hand-picks a group of strangers from across the country, sequesters them from the outside world, and places them inside a house outfitted wall-to-wall with cameras and microphones to capture their every move. Competing for a grand cash prize, each week the houseguests battle in a series of challenges that give them power or punishment, voting each other out until the fate of the final two is decided by a jury of fellow houseguests.

Big Brother Canada offers one of the most content-driven experiences for TV lovers, and Global has made past seasons available on both GlobalTV.com and the Global TV App. Coinciding with the season premiere, BigBrotherCanada.ca serves fans free live feeds, hit and miss moments from the show, houseguest interviews, live show votes, and more, beginning early March.

Commissioned by Corus Entertainment, Season 8 of Big Brother Canada is produced by Insight Productions Ltd. in association with Corus Entertainment and Endemol Shine. Executive Producers are John Brunton and Erin Brock.

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