Tag Archives: Baroness Von Sketch Show

They’re Back: Baroness Von Sketch Show is Filming Season 5

From a media release:

Frantic Films today announced that principal photography has begun on Season 5 of the multiple award-winning CBC original sketch comedy series, Baroness von Sketch Show. Filming is currently underway in Toronto.

The fifth season will be helmed by award-winning directors Vivieno Caldinelli (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss by Passing Through the Gateway Chosen by the Holy Storsh) and Joyce Wong (Wexford Plaza, Running with Violet). Co-creators and stars Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen will also direct select sketches. Whalen also serves as Showrunner.

Since its debut, Baroness von Sketch Show has received 27 award nominations and 21 wins to date, being recognized by the Canadian Screen Awards, Canadian Comedy Awards, Banff Rockie Awards, DCG Awards and ACTRA Awards.

Fast-paced and irreverent, Baroness von Sketch Show celebrates the absurd, mines the embarrassing and satirizes daily life. Shot entirely on-location, this single-camera comedy series takes a fresh look at navel-gazing, contemporary culture. From marriage equality and screen addiction, to Airbnbs and ultrasounds, this satirical sketch show captures the banalities and absurdities of the modern world.

Season 4 is currently airing Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. (10 NT) on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service. The series also airs Wednesdays at 12 a.m. ET/PT on IFC in the U.S.

A CBC original series, Baroness von Sketch Show is produced by Frantic Films and consists of the talented and award-winning team of Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen. For Frantic, Jamie Brown serves as Executive Producer and Jeff Peeler is Supervising Producer. Sally Karam also serves as Supervising Producer and Executive Producer.

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Aurora Browne dishes on Baroness Von Sketch and Great Canadian Baking Show

There are three big changes viewers will notice when they tune in to The Great Canadian Baking Show on CBC this Wednesday night.

Gone is judge Rochelle Adonis, replaced by Kyla Kennaley. And co-hosts Dan Levy and Julia Chan have been swapped out in favour of Aurora Browne and Carolyn Taylor. Browne and Taylor are also, as legions of fans already know, the writers, stars and executive producers of Baroness von Sketch Show, which returns this Tuesday night to CBC.

And while I will miss Levy and Chan’s roles on Baking Show, I was immediately smitten by Browne and Taylor’s witty cold opening and their natural rapport with the 10 new contestants.

We spoke to Browne ahead of both programs’ debut.

How did yourself and Carolyn Taylor end up hosting The Great Canadian Baking Show in the first place?
Aurora Browne: The Great Canadian Baking Show approached us, at the beginning of this year. Carolyn and I have known each other for a very long time, obviously. Long before Baroness, even. It worked out in our schedule to be able to do it with only minimal overlap. Why not? It’s such a fun show. It’s fun and lovely and to be honest, being paid to taste things is like a dream come true. I don’t think that was difficult for either of us.

We actually spoofed it on Baroness. There’s a scene in the third season with Jen and Meredith. The patient is talking about her existential angst and how she can’t let go of any of her anxiety. The psychiatrist advises her to watch a gentle British baking show. We had a little, 10-second insert. Of course, it takes two hours to film, so Carolyn was like the Mary Berry character and I was a contestant. On the day that we were doing that, we were saying, ‘Oh gosh, I could do that all day,’ just talking about food and looking at food.

Two women smile into the camera.Was what you did as hosts scripted?
AB: They do have a very talented writer Elvira Kurt who has been our friend for a long time. She has actually worked on Baroness as well. A bit of the show is scripted. We don’t come up with all those puns on our own, that’s the job of a talented person. We were doing the cold opens of the show. That kind of stuff is scripted. Also sometimes, to be totally honest, there is so much technical stuff for some of the baking things, especially the French patisserie, I really needed that in the script. It’s like texty sci-fi shows you are remembering all these things. Thank goodness for the script on those parts, but the rest of it is just us interacting with the bakers. I think the best training that Carolyn and I could have had for the show is just attending a bunch of parties because it’s a party in a way.

Starting off with 10 people and then fewer as weeks progress you just have to be comfortable going in and chatting to them, it’s just like that part in the party where you wander into the kitchen and the host is trying to get something done or trying to get something in the oven and you ask them questions. Except here on the show they must answer our questions.

They were very easy to get to know, they were just such lovely, lovely people. They are in the middle of this very stressful situation with cameras in their faces and we were just there to encourage them and Carolyn and I didn’t find it hard at all. We were just encouraging them to do what they loved and to sometimes have a good laugh with them, and occasionally commiserate with them if they were having a stressful moment, which of course happens.

Let’s switch things up and let’s talk about season four of Baroness von Sketch Show. What was it like having Jennifer Whalen as the showrunner this season?
AB: Jen Whalen is exceptional. I mean it’s a massive job because you’re the one person who goes between all the departments. All four of us worked very closely on the creative and talking with each other about everything. Jen Whalen, I see her being the CEO of something, before very long. But we also have been doing this for several years now, so we have how we handle the editing and that’s in place, how we work out the sketches that are in place. I’m always just like thankful and in awe of Carolyn and Jennifer being showrunners and how willing they are to just always take those calls and emails. I personally need a little bit of time at the end of the day where I just won’t pick up the phone. I need to not answer emails. I’m always very grateful that those two have been willing to helm such a busy, busy show because we are all so involved.

But they are both fantastic at it and I hope someday that Jen Whalen is captaining the starship and I get to be her XO, I would happily be her second in command for anything.

Two women on a climbing apparatus.There are some great sketches in the first episode. Binge-watching television and translating that into kids’ years. Tony Nappo in the sketch where he uses his kind words to make women smile. The blood pressure cuff. All great relatable stuff. The end credits featured a large group of writers and story editors.
AB: We have a structure that really allows us to welcome in voices and ideas even for a short amount of time because we have a core group of four of us are always there. Then we have some staff writers who are with us all the way through. For Season 4 we had Jen Goodhue who has been with us for every season. We had Monica Heisey in and then Allison Hogg, who had also written for us before. Then with the other people sometimes they will only come in for say three days or four days. That fresh set of eyes is really invaluable and it makes for a really fun room. I don’t think there was one person that came in that one of us didn’t know already.

It’s a pretty joyous thing. Even though it’s a large group it was manageable and it just means that you have these really funny, really talented people who are really thoughtful and interested in the world and are really ready to sit and roll around an idea to get at what’s the essence of this, what’s the funniest take we can take on it. And we were so happy always to be able to offer a paycheque at the very least to our talented colleagues who live and work in this city and the country.

We are very happy to be able to make this show where we live, and other people can too.

Baroness von Sketch Show airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.

The Great Canadian Baking Show airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Baroness von Sketch Show and Employable Me win 2019 Rockie Awards

From a media release:

The 40th Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is proud to announce the winners of the 2019Rockie Awards International Program Competition and the $25,000 Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content.

Canadian actor/writer, Juno Rinaldi (Workin’ Moms), hosted the Rockie Awards International Program Competition at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Top international media executives gathered to recognize and celebrate excellence in television and digital media content from around the world. One of the largest competitions of its kind, the Rockie Awards International Program Competition presented awards in twenty-six(26) categories spanning Documentary & Factual, Arts & Entertainment, Children & Youth, Scripted, as well as the Rockies Francophone Prize and the Jury Prize.

International Program Competition winners include:

Drama Series: English Language
Bodyguard
World Productions/BBC
UK

Comedy Series: English Language
Barry
HBO/Alec Berg/Hanarply
USA

Limited Series
Sharp Objects
HBO/eOne/Tiny Pyro/Blumhouse/Fourth Born/crazyrose
USA/Canada

Lifestyle Series
Employable Me
Thomas Howe and Associates
Canada

Drama Series: Non-English Language
Can You Hear Me?
Trio Orange
Canada

Comedy Series: Non-English Language
Arthur’s Law
good friends Filmproduktions/TNT Comedy
Germany

Children & Youth Fiction Series
Katy
BBC
UK

Reality Program
RuPaul’s Drag Race
World of Wonder
USA

Comedy & Variety Program
Baroness von Sketch Show
Frantic Films
Canada

Science & Technology Program
One Strange Rock
Nutopia/National Geographic
USA/UK

History & Biography Program
The Clinton Affair
Jigsaw Productions/Instinct Productions/A&E
USA

Serials, Soaps & Telenovela
Tangled Lives
SP Televisão/SIC
Portugal

Sci-Fi & Genre-Based Series
Doctor Who
BBC Cymru/BBC One
UK

Check out the full list of winners.

Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content
Winner: Baroness von Sketch Show (Frantic Films)

The Rogers Prize is awarded to the highest-scoring Canadian program or property in the Rockies International Program Competition across two rounds of independent jury review.

Grand Jury Prize
The Grand Jury Prize recognizes the “best in show” from all Rockies International Program Competition winning entries. The winner will be unveiled Tuesday, June 11 at the Rockie Awards Gala, hosted by multi-platinum, award-winning singer/songwriter, actor, Jann Arden (JANN).

The 2019 Grand Jury Prize finalists are:

  • Barry
  • Bodyguard
  • Dynasties
  • One Strange Rock
  • Sharp Objects
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Family Feud Canada and Fortunate Son among CBC’s new series; Workin’ Moms, Diggstown and 22 Minutes renewed

A Canadian version of Family Feud with Gerry Dee at the helm, a drama based on Eden Robinson’s award-winning Trickster novels and a spy drama based on Heartland, Wynonna Earp and Jann executive producer Tom Cox were among the new series announced by CBC at the network’s Upfront presentation on Wednesday.

The network confirmed that Halifax-based legal drama Diggstown, sketch comedy 22 Minutes and comedy Workin’ Moms have all been renewed for new seasons.

Some sad news: CBC confirmed that Little Dog, Cavendish and Crawford have not been renewed.

Adapted from Eden Robinson’s novels and co-created by Michelle Latimer and Tony Elliot, The Trickster—from Sienna Films (Cardinal)—is described as a darkly humorous coming-of-age story that combines dysfunctional family drama with supernatural thriller. Jared, an Indigenous teen, meets Wade, a mysterious stranger who turns Jared’s life upside down.

Based on the real-life of Tom Cox’s family experience, Fortunate Son—created by Andrew Wreggit—is an eight-episode drama from Seven24 Films and Lark Entertainment about the matriarch of an American activist family who helps smuggle Vietnam war deserters and draft dodgers across the border. He is pursued by the FBI.

Gerry Dee is back on the CBC as the host of Family Feud Canada. Airing weekdays at 7 p.m., the 60-episode program showcases homegrown families from across the country competing to guess the most popular answers to fun, family-friendly survey questions from a sample of Canadians.

The Sounds, a co-production between Canada and New Zealand created by author Sarah-Kate Lynch, is being billed as a relationship drama about the goings-on in Pelorus Sounds, where nothing is quite as it seems. Peter Stebbings will direct all eight episodes.

New and returning unscripted series include Back in Time for Winter, Fridge Wars, High Arctic Haulers and Tallboyz.

CBC also made some casting announcements, noting Great Canadian Baking Show is swapping out Daniel Levy and Julia Chan for Baroness Von Sketch Show‘s Aurora Brown and Carolyn Taylor. As much as I’ll miss Levy and Chan, Brown and Taylor are going to be amazing.

And finally, Kurt Browning has been named head judge for Battle of the Blades with Ron MacLean back as the host. Olympians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will participate as guest judges. Those confirmed to take to the ice for the competition include figure skaters in Violetta Afanasieva and Vanessa James, and hockey players Sheldon Kennedy and Natalie Spooner.

The new series announcement comes just over a month after CBC revealed the projects returning for new seasons this fall and winter, including Murdoch Mysteries, Frankie Drake Mysteries, Heartland, Still Standing, Baroness Von Sketch Show, Anne with an E, Coroner, The Detectives, Kim’s Convenience and Schitt’s Creek.

Which new shows are you planning to check out this fall and winter? Let me know in the comments below.

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TV Eh B Cs Podcast 87 — In the director’s chair with Jordan Canning

Jordan Canning was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She has been exposed to the world of filmmaking from a very young age through her mother who worked as a production designer.

Her television credits include directing all 23 episodes of the CTV digital series Space Riders: Division Earth. The show won the 2014 Canadian Screen Award for Best Digital Series and four Canadian Comedy Awards, including Best Director. She has also directed on multiple TV series, including hour-long dramas—Saving Hope (CTV/NBC), The Detail (CTV), Burden of Truth (CBC/CW)—and half-hour comedies Baroness Von Sketch Show (CBC/IFC), Schitt’s Creek (CBC/PopTV/Netflix), This Hour Has 22 Minutes (CBC) and Little Dog (CBC).

Her first feature, We Were Wolves, premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Her second feature, Suck It Up, premiered at Slamdance 2017 and won Best Feature Film at the 2017 B3 Frankfurt Biennale. Her third feature, an omnibus film called Ordinary Days, won Best Director at the 2018 Canadian Film Festival.

Coming up next, Jordan’s work can be seen in Season 4 of Baroness Von Sketch Show (CBC/IFC), the brand-new show Nurses (Global) and the upcoming season of the hit comedy television series Schitt’s Creek (CBC/PopTV/Netflix).

Image courtesy of Shlomi Amiga.

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