Tag Archives: Bell Media

MasterChef Canada returns with a special two-hour premiere, April 8 on CTV

From a media release:

Who will be named Canada’s next MasterChef? CTV today revealed the Top 18 MASTERCHEF CANADA home cooks competing for a chance to be one of six in the elite group of title holders and take home the $100,000 cash prize. A 2019 Canadian Screen Award nominee, Season 6 of MASTERCHEF CANADA kicks off with a special two-hour premiere on Monday, April 8 beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV before settling into its regular Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT timeslot. Viewers can then stream all episodes anytime on CTV.ca and the CTV app.

Keeping the heat on high for this season’s Top 18 are esteemed judges Michael Bonacini (O&B restaurant empire), Alvin Leung (Bo Innovation in Hong Kong), and Claudio Aprile (Copetin Restaurant & Bar). With only a limited number of white aprons up for grabs, the home cooks have to prove they have the culinary skills to cut it in the MASTERCHEF CANADA kitchen. In a new twist this season, each judge selects six home cooks to invite to the Top 18, with each member receiving personal invitations delivered via courier.

Below are the Top 18 home cooks vying for a white apron and ultimately contending for the MASTERCHEF CANADA title.

  • Alyssa LeBlanc, Former Public Servant, from Tusket, N.S.
  • Andre Bhagwandat, Hospital Housekeeper, from Scarborough, Ont.
  • Chanelle Saks, Entrepreneur, from Calgary, Alta.
  • Cliff McArthur, IT Support Analyst, from Scarborough, Ont.
  • Colin Buckingham, Car Salesman, from St. John’s, N.L.
  • Cryssi Larocque, Former Airline Agent, from Thunder Bay, Ont.
  • Jamie Mayer, Healthcare Portfolio Manager, from Toronto, Ont.
  • Jennifer Crawford, Senior Policy Analyst, from Kingston, N.S.
  • Jenny Miller, Stay-at-Home Mom, from Havre Boucher, N.S.
  • Josh Miller, Youth Care Home Manager, from Regina, S.K.
  • Kimberly Fitzpatrick, Writer, from Ottawa, Ont.
  • Laurie Dingwall, Retired, from Lac Saguay, Qué.
  • Lena Huynh, Lash Technician, from Burnaby, B.C.
  • Marie Le Bel, Entrepreneur, from Westmount, Qué.
  • Mark Hamilton, Firefighter, from Mission, B.C.
  • Rozin Abbas, Digital Marketer, from Toronto, Ont.
  • Steven Lapointe, International Figure Skater, from Acton Vale, Qué.
  • Tony La Ferrara, Soccer Coach and Retired Teacher, from Whitby, Ont.

In each episode of MASTERCHEF CANADA, the home cooks have their culinary expertise tested through a series of Mystery Box Challenges, Team Challenges, and Pressure Tests, with the judges providing direction and feedback throughout the process. At the end of each episode, at least one home cook is eliminated from the competition until only two remain, culminating in a battle during the finale for a chance to take home $100,000 and the sought-after title of MASTERCHEF CANADA

Throughout the season, fans are invited to visit CTV.ca/MasterChefCanada for exclusive content, including background on the Season 6 finalists and the MASTERCHEF CANADA judges, as well as interviews, highlights, recipes, and more. CTV.ca also offers viewers a behind-the-scenes look at this season’s challenges, delectable dishes, victories, and defeats.

Before Canadians take a bite into the new season, CTV invites viewers to relive all the culinary action from previous editions of MASTERCHEF CANADA, now streaming on Crave and available on demand at CTV.ca and on the CTV app. New episodes of MASTERCHEF CANADA are available on-demand the day following the broadcast premieres on CTV.

The MASTERCHEF format and finished programs are represented internationally by Endemol Shine Group. This includes MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, which airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT beginning March 12 on CTV2. With over 60 local adaptations broadcast in more than 200 countries, MasterChef is the world’s most successful cookery television format. MasterChef was created by Franc Roddam.

MASTERCHEF CANADA is produced by Proper Television in association with CTV. Proper’s Co-President Cathie James is the Executive Producer and Showrunner and Co-President Lesia Capone is Executive Producer.

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Exclusive: Season 3 of CTV’s Cardinal returns on January 24

A new year. A new season of Cardinal.

CTV announced that Season 3 of Cardinal—starring Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse—returns Thursday, Jan. 24, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Cardinal: By the Time You Read This picks up following the shocking finale of Blackfly Season when John Cardinal (Campbell) arrived at the scene of a suicide and discovered the body was that of his wife, Catherine (Deborah Hay).

CTV says the latest six-episode instalment begins in autumn in Algonquin Bay. And while the leaves and changing, the fall colours can’t mask a shocking double murder. Cardinal and Lise Delorme (Vanasse) investigate and come dangerously close to a doomsday cult in the process. Returning characters include Det. Jerry Commanda (Glen Gould), Staff Sgt. Noelle Dyson (Kristen Thomson), Dr. Frederick Bell (Stephen Ouimette) and Kelly Cardinal (Alanna Bale). New faces to the story are Sharlene “Mama” Winston (Rya Kihlstedt), Randall Wishart (Aaron Ashmore), Jack (Alex Ozerov), Nikki (Sophia Lauchlin), Lemur (Nick Serino), Lloyd Kreeger (Tom Jackson), Wendy Doucette (Jennifer Podemski), Susan Bell (Susan Coyne) and Sam Doucette (Devery Jacobs).

Patrick Tarr is the head writer and executive producer on Cardinal alongside co-executive producer Noelle Carbone and story editors Shannon Masters and Aaron Bala. Executive producer Daniel Grou a.k.a. Podz directed all six episodes.

As if that isn’t all great news, Cardinal has been renewed for a fourth season with production beginning on six more instalments in Toronto and North Bay, Ont. in January.

eTalk will give viewers an exclusive peek at the making of Cardinal with eTalk Presents: Investigating Cardinal; it will be broadcast every Friday following the Thursday episode. If you missed Seasons 1 and 2 of Cardinal, you can catch up via CTV.ca, the CTV app, Crave and on demand.

Cardinal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

How excited are you about the return of Cardinal? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.

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Amazing Race Canada: And the winners are…

This season of The Amazing Race Canada has seen its share of drama, joy, and tears both happy and sad. It also had a surprising number of close finishes in front of Jon Montgomery. That’s a testament, I think, to how evenly matched the teams have been.

Taylor and Courtney, the clear favourites after winning so many Legs, departed New Brunswick in the lead. They were confident. But confidence can be a killer, especially when you have a team like Courtney and Adam on your tail. Time and time again they dodged elimination; would this be the week they’d win their first—and the most important—Leg of all in their home province? And you couldn’t count out the late surge of Kwame and Dylan.

On the ground in Calgary, the pairs were faced with a Road Block: to enter the airport’s air traffic control tower simulator to memorize two weather reports and then relay them to the senior air traffic controller upstairs. Kwame and the Courtneys tackled the test. It was going to be tough. Taylor was confident his sister would pull it off. And it appeared she would thanks to a trick she’d used in the past: assigning acronyms to things she had to recall.

“Courtney and Taylor are not the team you want in the lead,” Dylan said. It was a huge understatement. The siblings beat it to a waiting helicopter that took them to Banff National Park and Mount Fable for their next clue. At 9,000 feet above sea level, it was one hell of a spot to grab a clue. The scenery was simply stunning; The Amazing Race Canada never disappoints with its choices of location to film at. I did wonder if the producers would let teams go off on their own to find the clue. They rightly erred on the side of caution and had a climber accompany them.

Meanwhile, Courtney and Kwame were stuck at the airport, one word separating each from advancing. Courtney finally said “inform” rather than “tell” and she and Adam left Kwame and Dylan behind. Kwame finally got “altimeter” and they headed out.

Sunshine Village Ski Resort was the next stop and another upward climb—via gondola—to the next clue. In the Leg’s Road Block, Racers had to master two extreme winter sports: skijoring (skiing and dog sledding) two laps and then sledding down a slushy course. The team member who didn’t perform the airport task had to do this one. That meant Taylor, Adam and Dylan had to complete it. With no one else to challenge him, Taylor was able to take his time and build up a routine with his canine companions. A hearty thank you to the producers for replaying Taylor’s faceplant and flip coming out of the slush pond.

The Banff National Park Administration Building was the next location and Courtney and Taylor believed they had a 45-minute lead on the first responders. The next test? A classic Amazing Race Canada memory recall with teams picking through 10 souvenir shops on Banff’s main street for trinkets representing the people, places and things experienced during Heroes Edition. Display them in the correct order and you get to move on. With almost half of the episode left to broadcast, it appeared this was going to determine who would win the season. (It was as Taylor and Courtney started shopping that I noticed the huge snow rash on Taylor’s face.)

Where Taylor and Courtney appeared to just grab and dash with their items, Courtney and Adam took the time to write them down and the countries they were assigned to. It appeared that would give them a huge advantage when it came to assembling them in order. Suddenly, the RCMP officers’ lead was gone as both teams were in the same shop. Dylan and Kwame caught up too … but then assumed there were single items in the stores. Ouch.

Taylor and Courtney were the first team back to the administration building but were short on items, meaning they had to go shopping. It was a tense time in the building as Courtney and Taylor and Courtney and Adam came up short on one tchotchke each. While Adam and Courtney swapped toys back and forth, placing the PEI zombies in a Mexico spot, Taylor and Courtney were grabbing the all-important helicopter.

Suddenly, Adam realized the zombies weren’t part of the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico. And just like that, he and Courtney were in first place and off to the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course via raft in search of Jon Montgomery and the final Pit Stop. Coming in fast were Courtney and Taylor. The only thing standing in the way of a first-place finish was the elusive fifth hole … on the 18-hole course.

And, in a stunning finale, it was Adam and Courtney who finished in first place, outrunning Courtney and Taylor for the title, vehicles, trip for two around the world, and $250,000.

Congratulations to the crew and cast of The Amazing Race Canada. You’re all heroes in my book.

Here’s how the teams finished the final Leg of the Race:

  1. Adam and Courtney
  2. Courtney and Taylor
  3. Kwame and Dylan

Were you happy with the season finale of The Amazing Race Canada? Who would you like to have seen won instead? What did you think of this season overall? Let me know in the comments below.

Flag image courtesy of Bell Media.

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CTV’s new original comedy Jann begins production

From a media release:

CTV, in association with Project 10 Productions and Seven24 Films, announced today that production has begun on the inaugural season of its new original comedy series JANN. Starring multi-platinum award-winning Canadian singer, songwriter, broadcaster, and author Jann Arden as a fictionalized version of herself, the six-episode comedy series takes viewers on “Jann’s” quest for renewed fame in the wake of a waning career, while also dealing with the obligations and pressures of her real life.

A comedy series with heart that bridges fame and family, the supporting cast joining the series includes Zoie Palmer (SEX AFTER KIDS, DARK MATTER), Patrick Gilmore (TRAVELERS; YOU, ME, HER), Deborah Grover (ANNE WITH AN “E”), Alexa Rose Steele (DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION), Jason Blicker (F/X: THE SERIES), Sharon Taylor (BAD BLOOD), and Elena Juatco (OPEN HEART), with surprise celebrity cameos as well.

Produced by Project 10 (SPUN OUT, Spirit Unforgettable), and Seven24 Films (WYNONNA EARP, HEARTLAND) JANN shoots in Calgary until October 4, 2018, and is set to premiere as part of CTV’s 2018/19 schedule.

In JANN, Arden plays a fictionalized version of herself: a singer songwriter of a “certain age” dealing with the harsh reality that her former music career is now on a slow, relentless slide into obscurity. But it’s not just Jann’s career that’s on life support – she’s newly single, her sister may disown her, and her mother may be showing the early signs of dementia. Although Jann’s personal life is in shambles, she’s convinced that the cure-all is to rebrand her image in order to reclaim her celebrity status, so she embarks on a quest to return to greatness but gets tangled in the pressures of her ‘real’ life. Jann is at the crossroads between who she was and who she wants to be – if she can just figure out what’s really important.

Jann Arden is the celebrated multi-platinum award-winning artist who catapulted onto the Canadian music scene in 1993 with the release of her debut album Time For Mercy featuring the hit single, “I Would Die For You”. A year later with Living Under June, she would have her career breakout hit, “Insensitive,” that would solidify her position in the music world. In November 2017, Arden released the Canadian best seller Feeding My Mother – Comfort and Laughter in the Kitchen as My Mom Lives with Memory Loss, a book that shares insights, loss, irony, and yes humour, as mother and daughter face the journey together. Arden has released 14 albums with 19 Top 10 singles; her most recent album These Are the Days was released on March 16th, 2018. A proud recipient of a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, she has been inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and has been given the Vantage Women of Originality Award.

JANN was put into development in Spring 2017. The comedy series was co-developed by Bell Media and Project 10 Productions and is produced in association with Project 10 Productions and Seven24 Films.

JANN is executive produced by Andrew Barnsley and Ben Murray for Project 10 Productions and Tom Cox and Jordy Randall for Seven24 Films. Jann Arden, Leah Gauthier, and Jennica Harper are co-creators of the series and will also serve as Executive Producers.

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Amazing Race Canada: Muertos and mercado in Mexico City

I admit it. I had cheerleaders Mar and Leanne as one of the favourites to win this season of The Amazing Race Canada. But one tight-fitting helmet derailed the pair in PEI, setting up what should be very interesting remaining episodes of the Race.

Nancy and Mellisa, who went from worst to first last week (and suffered a few speed bumps along the way) departed for Mexico City in high spirits. But with a population of 21 million, it was going to be a daunting Leg. The first stop upon arriving? The Monumento a la Revolución and a very special clue. Every season of The Amazing Race Canada features messages from loved ones and it took place above Mexico City. There were tears, runny noses and promises to complete the Race. (Tola’s message to Kwame was very emotional, and we got his backstory.) Courtney and Taylor and Adam and Courtney arrived within minutes of each other and were directed to Frontón, Mexico, for their next clue. It was hilarious to see Courtney and Taylor ask to be driven there, only to have the driver point across the street.

In the Road Block, one team member was challenged to don the huge arm scoop of Jai Alai and land one serve. I’ve always wanted to play Jai Alai … not so much after seeing the struggle everyone went through. (I’m pretty sure Jon Montgomery missed his serve.) It only took Dylan a second set of attempts for him to land his serve correctly and the mentors were off in first place, followed by athletes Mel and Nancy. Martina, who is becoming a stronger competitor every week, beat out the Courtneys and she and Phil departed in third. Courtney and Adam completed the task next, leaving the RCMP officers behind. It was sad to see Courtney get down on herself after countless attempts, but she got it after switching to underhand.

The Leg’s Detour was a choice between Mercado (purchasing four ingredients from stalls in a 2,000 shop market and making pico de gallo) or Muertos (going to a park and painting a Day of the Dead mask on their partner’s face). Dylan and Kwame opted for face painting, as did Martina and Phil, Courtney and Adam and Courtney and Taylor. Mellisa and Nancy chose to go shopping and quickly regretted it. Dylan and Kwame did an amazing job on each other’s makeup and left the challenge first. Meanwhile, Mel and Nancy found an angel in Mary, who helped them shop and they were done in no time. Taylor and Courtney remained in last place.

Next up? Learning lines for a faux telenovela The House of Shame and Passion. Yikes. Kwame’s moustache was killer. The Racers embraced their inner scene-chewer as they took turns portraying over-the-top characters. Kwame and Dylan struggled, but gutted it out and departed with their heads held high. Phil’s performance was horrible but the director approved anyway. The pressure was on the remaining duos.

The Leg’s Pit Stop was located in Alameda Central and Kwame and Dylan arrived as the No. 1 team, scoring a trip to Sydney, Australia. Yes, the pair finally came out on top. Martina and Phil continued to impress, followed by Mel and Nancy. It came down to who could remember their lines … and Taylor and Courtney pulled it off, leapfrogging Courtney and Adam. But, as sometimes happens, flagging a taxi can be a challenge. That meant a stressful few moments for viewers leading into the last commercial break of the episode. Who would make it to the mat in time and who would be going home?

Safe: Courtney and Taylor, in a stunning reversal of fortune.

Safe: Courtney and Adam.

Eliminated by mere steps: Mel and Nancy.

Yes, this is a Race, but it was still touching to hear Adam say, “No!” and apologize to Mel and Nancy.

Next week teams fly to New Brunswick. Who do you think has the best chance of winning The Amazing Race Canada? Let me know in the comments below.

Here’s how the teams finished this Leg of the Race:

  1. Dylan and Kwame (trip for two to Sydney)
  2. Martina and Phil
  3. Courtney and Taylor
  4. Courtney and Adam
  5. Mel and Nancy (eliminated)

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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