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TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

MasterChef Canada: Tony’s not so great at leadership in first Team Challenge

Weddings can be one of the biggest events in a couple’s relationship. The clothes, flowers, venue, music and weather is, hopefully, perfect and leaves the couple and their guests with longlasting positive memories. Another huge component of a wedding is the food, which led to an incredible amount of pressure on the MasterChef Canada home cooks, who prepared a two-course meal for a Caribbean-inspired wedding. (I wonder if the pair had to audition and if the show’s production company helped pay for any part of the wedding?)

Tony, who has impressed judges Claudio, Michael and Alvin with his Italian dishes, served as the Red Team leader. Opposite him was Chanelle, leading the Blue Team. The location of the wedding? Madsen’s Greenhouse in Newmarket, Ont., where Chloe and Jeremy were set to say their “I do’s” in front of 121 family and friends. The Team Challenge? To make an appetizer and main for everyone. At first blush, the team with Andre—and his Caribbean expertise—on it appeared to have an advantage. That meant Tony’s team, which also included Jenny, Alyssa and Cryssi. Chanelle may have had the second pick on people, choosing Jennifer, Roz, Colin and Josh, but she was given the first choice at protein, getting shellfish and chicken and leaving fish and beef for Tony et al.

Tony’s team got off quickly, leaning on Andre’s plan of fried fish with ackee followed by stewed beef and dumplings. Tony’s soccer coach knowledge came into play early as he jumped from person to person, checking that everyone was on task. But then the stress of frying fish threatened to derail the appetizer, with a lot of yelling between Tony and Cryssi happening until Andre stepped in to help Alyssa. But Tony kept at it with Cryssi, and then Andre, and it definitely hurt team morale.

Chanelle’s group was more of a team effort with everyone weighing in until seafood soup with coconut and jerk chicken with beans and salsa. Chenelle’s squad was in a bit of disarray, and without Andre to help them, a little out to sea. Josh’s jerk chicken marinade seemed to be too heavy on the Scotch bonnet peppers but his teammates seemed to like it.

The happy couple and their guests were served appetizers and it appeared as though blue’s soup was a little too bland compared to red’s fish. And, to make things worse, Roz ran out of the soup, a major planning gaffe. They quickly thinned out the remaining soup they had with shrimp stock but received thumbs down from guests.

With just an hour left to prep, cook and serve the main dish, things went awry when Josh dropped a pan of jerk chicken on the floor. (Was it just me or did Chef Claudio seem to take great delight in that?) The five-second rule does not apply in the MasterChef Canada kitchen, but luckily Josh has prepared extra meat so they weren’t going to run short.

Chloe wasn’t impressed with the red team’s beef stew, saying it lacked a lot of flavour, while she loved the blue team’s chicken. In the end, Team Red won by just three votes. So while Andre was a help in his team’s success, Tony’s leadership style and losing track of time caused what might have been a landslide victory much closer. Chanelle and her team lost but I hope held their heads high. The red team was saved from the Pressure Test and elimination.

Back in the kitchen, Chenelle, Jennifer, Roz, Colin and Josh were fighting to stay in the competition, but not before they were allowed to pick one home cook to be saved from elimination. They chose, rightly, Josh. He owned the jerk chicken from start to finish and the guests liked it. In the Pressure Test, Chenelle, Jennifer, Roz and Colin were tasked with creating one sweet and one savoury cheesecake in 80 minutes. (If anyone is interested, I would have gone with a brownie swirl cheesecake for my sweet and made a buffalo chicken blue cheese for my savoury.)

With time running out, Colin’s watery strawberry cheesecake filling seemed destined to send him home before it got into the oven. As for Chanelle, hers came out of the oven intact but collapsed during plating. Incredibly, each cheesecake was completed and, overall, looked amazing. Jennifer’s everything bagel was enjoyed by Chef Michael and Chef Claudio deemed her chocolate attempt to be great; Chef Alvin didn’t enjoy Colin’s scallop lemon offering but Micheal loved his sweet strawberry concoction; Alvin liked the light taste of Chanelle’s goat cheese creation and, while Michael did like the flavour of her sweet matcha cheesecake, he pointed out its horrible collapse; Michael enjoyed Rozin’s Stilton cheesecake but opined it was a little heavy-handed, and Alvin refused to comment (on camera at least) about his tahini-themed plate.

In the episode’s closing moments, Alvin, Claudio and Michael awarded Jennifer top marks for her cheesecakes. Rozin overreached in his ambition but was saved from elimination. That left Colin and Chanelle, with Colin being shown the door. It wasn’t entirely unexpected—Colin was middle of the road in last week’s two-hour debut—but I was sad to see him go and thought his East Coast-inspired recipes would have been neat to see evolve.

MasterChef Canada airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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First wave of Global’s summer premiere dates announced; includes Mary Kills People and Private Eyes

From a media release:

Global announced today the first wave of premiere dates for its 2019 summer schedule. Featuring a fresh lineup combining standout original series, a newly acquired Royal special, two new dramas, and returning fan favourites, Global’s schedule is packed with thrilling mystery, provocative storytelling, and comedic relief.

 Headlining the new summer lineup are two of Global’s highly anticipated returning original series. Following two successful seasons which received great critic acclaim across North America, the third and final chapter of 2019 Canadian Screen Award-winning drama Mary Kills People kicks off the summer schedule beginning Sunday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. From Entertainment One (eOne) and Cameron Pictures, Season 3 picks up five months after last season’s shocking finale that left the fate of Detective Ben Wesley (Jay Ryan) up in the air. Dr. Mary Harris (Caroline Dhavernas), along with her partner Desmond “Des” Bennett (Richard Short), return to face the complications of running their newly established “death retreat”. In anticipation of the final chapter, viewers can watch the first and second season of Mary Kills People on GlobalTV.com or Global GO (available for Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV).

Then, Shade and Angie are back on the case as last summer’s #1 Canadian scripted series Private Eyes, which grew its audience year-over-year (19% for A25-54 and 25% for 2+) returns with 12 new episodes beginning Wednesday, May 29 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Following the shocking arrest of wisecracking PI Angie Everett (Cindy Sampson), Season 3 begins with her behind bars where she meets an intimidating inmate played by guest star, Canadian icon Jann Arden. The new season also welcomes notable guest stars including Big Brother Canada host Arisa Cox, award-winning actor Gordon Pinsent, and William Shatner, who reprises his role as rival PI Norm Glinski. Returning for Season 3 are familiar faces including Samantha Wanas Zoe, Ennis Esmer as Detective Mazhari, Jordyn Negri as Jules, Barry Flatman as Don, and joining the cast Ruth Goodwin as Officer Danica Powers.

This summer Global also brings its Royal fans Meghan and Harry Plus One, a one-hour special airing Friday, May 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Hosted by CBS This Morning Co-Host Gayle King, Meghan and Harry Plus One looks at the changes in the life of American-born Meghan Markle since marrying Prince Harry, and the arrival of the couple’s royal heir who will be the first British-American child to be in line for the throne. Plus, the special will go behind the headlines and the rumors, and includes interviews with royal insiders and Meghan’s friends to learn how the couple has adapted to their new lives together and how they have navigated the positive and negative aspects that come with being royal.    

Also new to Global’s schedule is action-adventure series Blood & Treasure, premiering with a special two-hour episode Tuesday, May 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Moving to its regular time slot at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning Tuesday, May 28, the serialized, globe-trotting drama stars Matt Barr (Sleepy Hollow) and Sofia Pernas (The Brave) as a brilliant antiquities expert and a cunning art thief, respectively, who team up to catch a ruthless terrorist who funds his attacks through stolen treasure. Mystery and suspense continue this summer on Global with new series The Inbetween airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning May 29. The character-driven drama follows Cassie Bedford (Harriet Dyer, Love Child), who was born with a rare ability to see and communicate with the dead and now helps detectives solve murder cases.

Rounding out the schedule are Global’s returning hits including the seventh and final season of the modern day Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson drama, Elementary, which begins its farewell season Thursday, May 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Meanwhile Season 2 of Instinct starring Alan Cumming and Bojana Novakovic returns Sunday, June 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and then summer’s favourite gameshow The Wall hits new heights with Season 3 in a special two hour premiere Thursday, June 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT 

Series Production Credits:

Mary Kills People is produced by eOne and Cameron Pictures Inc., in association with Corus Entertainment, and with the financial participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. The series is executive produced by Tassie Cameron (Ten Days in The ValleyRookie Blue), Amy Cameron (The Book of Negroes), Marsha Greene (Ten Days in the ValleyPrivate Eyes), Jocelyn Hamilton (Private Eyes), Tecca Crosby (Private Eyes), and Caroline Dhavernas (Hannibal).

 Private Eyes is produced by eOne in association with Corus Entertainment, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and IPF’s Cogeco TV Production Program. Season 3 is executive produced by Jocelyn Hamilton and Tecca Crosby for eOne, Shawn Piller and Lloyd Segan for Piller/Segan, Jason Priestley, James Thorpe, Alan Mccullough, James Thorpe, Alexandra Zarowny, Derek Schreyer and Tassie Cameron. 

 Meghan and Harry Plus One is produced by the team at 48 HOURS and is executive produced by Judy Tygard and Patti Aronofsky. Blood & Treasure is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Propagate Content. Matthew Federman, Stephen Scaia, Taylor Elmore, Ben Silverman, Marc Webb, Mark Vlasic, Howard T. Owens and Michael Dinner serve as executive producers. Elementary is executive produced by Rob Doherty, Carl Beverly, Sarah Timberman, Jason Tracey, Robert Hewitt Wolfe and Robert Goodman for CBS Television Studios. Instinct is produced by CBS Television Studios, Michael Rauch, Marc Webb, Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kadin (Secret Hideout), James Patterson, Bill Robinson, Leopoldo Gout and Alan Cumming serve as executive producers. Meghan and Harry Plus OneBlood & TreasureElementary, and Instinct are all distributed internationally by CBS Studios International.

The Inbetween is produced by Universal Television, NBCU International Television Studio and Heyday Television. Moira Kirland, David Heyman, Nancy Cotton, Matthew Gross executive produce. Charlotte Sieling executive produced and directed the pilot. While “The Wall” is a collaboration between Glassman Media and SpringHill.

The Wall was developed by Glassman Media in conjunction with CORE Media and produced in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio. LeBron James, Chris Hardwick, Maverick Carter and Andrew Glassman executive produce.

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Screen Nova Scotia announces 2019 award nominees

From a media release:

Screen Nova Scotia is pleased to announce the nominees for the 5th annual Screen Nova Scotia Awards Gala, taking place Friday, May 3rd at 8:00 p.m. in the Schooner Room at Casino Nova Scotia. The awards recognize and celebrate the incredible talent, creativity, and passion that are the trademarks of Nova Scotia’s film, television and animation industry.

The event will be co-hosted by a star-studded cast, and a diverse audience of Nova Scotia’s brightest and most creative talents will be in attendance. Individual tickets and group tables are on sale now via Screen Nova Scotia’s website: www.screennovascotia.com. Please note that tickets are limited and last year’s show was a sold-out event.

Notable awards include the ACTRA Awards for Outstanding Performances, the Film Crew Excellence Award, the Digital Animators of Nova Scotia Award, the Women in Film & Television Atlantic Award, and the Community Recognition Award, along with Screen Nova Scotia awards for best television, film, and animation.

New this year, Paul Bronfman and William F. White International Inc. will be receiving the inaugural Industry Champion Award in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the production services company setting up shop in Halifax, and our appreciation of their continued and unwavering support of the Nova Scotia screen industry.

THE NOMINEES FOR THE 2018 SCREEN NOVA SCOTIA AWARDS GALA ARE:

Screen Nova Scotia Awards:

Best Feature Film
Aliens With Knives (Winter Light Productions)
Halloween Party (Northeast Films)
Hopeless Romantic (Northeast Films / LJH Films)
Splinters (Emotion Pictures)

Best Documentary Film
In French, S’il Vous Plaît! (Les Productions du 4e Mur)
Needles (Clerisy Entertainment)
The Social Shift (Mirror Image Media)
The Trauma Toll (Clerisy Entertainment)

Best Short Film
Bernie Langille Wants To Know…Who Killed Bernie Langille (Peep Media)
Borscht & Fresh Bread (Sarah Gignac)
Duck Duck Goose (Shelley Thompson)
It’s Only Monday (Nicole Steeves)

Best Television Series
Forgive Me – Season 3 (Emotion Pictures)
Mr. D – Season 8 (Topsail Entertainment)
This House Has 22 Minutes – Season XXV (DHX – Hour Productions)
Trailer Park Boys – Season 12 (Sunnyvale Productions)

Best Animated Series
Addison (Boulevard Productions)
Care Bears (Copernicus Studios)
Spaceman and Robotron (Lujo Films Inc. / Connections Productions)

ACTRA Maritimes Awards for Outstanding Performances:

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Female Role
Francine Deschepper (Duck Duck Goose)
Bette MacDonald (Mr. D)
Shelley Thompson (Splinters)

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Male Role
Callum Dunphy (Splinters)
Bailey Maughan (Splinters)
Jordan Poole (Creeped Out)
T. Thomason (Halloween Party)

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Female Role
Francine Deschepper (Hopeless Romantic)
Marietta Laan (Halloween Party)
Kathryn MacLellan (Hopeless Romantic)
Shelley Thompson (Halloween Party)

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Male Role
Jeremy Ackerman (Forgive Me)
Taylor Olson (Hopeless Romantic)
Jordan Poole (Birthmarked)
Bill Wood (Mr. D)

WIFT-AT Award for Best Director:
Nicole Steeves (It’s Only Monday)
Shelley Thompson (Duck Duck Goose)
Jackie Torrens (Bernie Langille Wants to Know…Who Killed Bernie Langille)
Andrea Vandenboer (Climate Change and the Human Prospect)

DANS Award for Outstanding Achievement in Animation:
Gwyneth Christoffel (Radical Age)
Paton Francis & Krista MacKinnon (Addison)
Don Pinsent & Team (Spaceman and Robotron)

Industry Champion Award:
Paul Bronfman, Chairman/CEO, William F. White International Inc.

Winners of the Community Recognition Award and the Film Crew Excellence Award will be announced live during the event.

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Links: Schitt’s Creek, Season 5 finale

From Chris Harnick of EOnline:

Link: Schitt’s Creek lets Catherine O’Hara be ridiculous—and she’ll be forever grateful
“When it’s a word like ‘amazing’ or like ‘astonish,’ it’s just fun to break up the syllables with way too much pausing in between, like, ‘a-stonish,’ just for no good reason…There are certain words that beg to be stretched out or beg to be destroyed.” Continue reading.

From Carrie Courogen of Garage:

Link: How ‘Schitt’s Creek’ turned Catherine O’Hara into a couture queen
“Moira Rose is such a wonderful example of how fashion has no age limit. This is a woman who loves her legs and has no qualms about showing them off. She knows what she likes and is so free in her approach to how she gets dressed every day. I love Moira for that.” Continue reading.

From Christine Linnell of the Advocate:

Link: Emily Hampshire shines in Schitt’s Creek season finale
“Speaking for myself, this show has changed my life — not just in terms of getting a job that pays and being on a TV show, but my life has just opened my heart in ways I didn’t think existed.” Continue reading. 

From Lea Palmieri of Decider:

Link: Emily Hampshire on her huge ‘Schitt’s Creek’ moment: “I got my dream in the best way possible”
“Stevie breaks my heart. Mr. Rose breaks my heart. When I read it, and just even reading on the page, it just gets me. All of her relationships really hit a nerve for me. So I was glad that she got to express herself more rawly.” Continue reading.

From Justin Kirkland of Esquire:

Link: For Dan Levy, the end is just the beginning
“I stand behind the idea of never taking advantage of the audience you’ve built and putting 110 per cent into the show until you’re finished.” Continue reading. 

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Saloon Media announces the greenlight of Witches of Salem for Travel Channel and T+E

From a media release:

Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Media company, announces the greenlight by Travel Channel (US) and T+E (Canada) of The Witches of Salem, a new four-part docudrama series about America’s infamous 17th-century witch trials. The series will be produced by Saloon Media in association with Talos Films, Travel Channel, and T+E.

The Salem witch trials is one of the most gripping real-life dramas in history. It began in February 1692, after a group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft. In just 220 days, 200 were accused and 20 were executed. It was a period of mass hysteria that opens a window into the darkest side of human nature.

The Witches of Salem (4 x 60’) draws on extensive historical documents and court records to bring this gripping drama to life. Sociologists, psychologists, and cultural historians also illustrate how communities are still susceptible to the same hysteria today.

The Witches of Salem is Executive Produced by Michael Kot, Julie Chang, Julian P. Hobbs and Elli Hakami. Executive in Charge for Travel Channel is Charles Nordlander and the Head of Original Content for T+E is Sam Linton. The series is produced by Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Media company, in association with Talos Films, Travel Channel (US), and T+E (Canada). International content distributor Blue Ant International Ltd has exclusive worldwide rights to the series.

Blue Ant Media is a privately held, international content producer, distributor and channel operator.

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