Tag Archives: Blue Ant Media

Blue Ant Media unveils its 2019/2020 programming slate of new and returning original series

From a media release:

Blue Ant Media unveils its 2019/2020 schedule of new and returning Canadian original productions for some of its most popular channels, T+E, Cottage Life, Smithsonian Channel, and Makeful. Haunting paranormal programming, cottage and outdoor lifestyle series, intriguing documentaries, and creative competition series dominate the schedule, with several programmes available for licensing globally by Blue Ant International. Overseen by Sam Linton, Head of Original Content, Blue Ant Media, the new and returning series start hitting airwaves in fall 2019, with the majority of programs being world broadcast premieres.

Popular paranormal programming dominates T+E’s new slate. New series include Hotel Paranormal (world broadcast premiere), a series that brings encounters with hotel-lurking paranormal entities to life. The previously announced series, The Witches of Salem (Canadian premiere), also joins the schedule as a four-part series about the mass hysteria surrounding America’s 17th-century witch trials. Returning favourites include Haunted Hospitals (season two, Canadian premiere), and Paranormal 911 (season two, Canadian premiere).

The love of all things cottaging and the outdoors feature heavily on Cottage Life’s new programming grid. New series include the previously announced series, Life Below Zero: Canada (world broadcast premiere), the Canadian version of the hit BBC Studios format. Additionally, a new short-form digital web series Cottage Coach (world premiere), sees DIY expert Adam Holman give useful how-to tips with a cottage lifestyle vibe. Returning series include viewer favourite Hope For Wildlife (world broadcast premiere) who is back for an impressive tenth season of rehabilitating animals. Meanwhile, even freakier weather gets the spotlight on season two of The Weather Files (world broadcast premiere).

The honourable way of the samurai leads Smithsonian Channel’s new schedule with the premiere of Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan (Canadian premiere), a new docudrama series that highlights Japan’s Golden Age of the Samurai. Also new is High Maintenance (Canadian premiere), a series that takes a look at the death-defying work of the crews who keep our roads, bridges, and highways safe.

The competition series Landscape Artist of the Year Canada (world broadcast premiere), showcasing the unique work of talented artists who vie for the coveted title, heats up Makeful’s schedule. Handmade Hotels (world broadcast premiere) also returns for a second season of even more creative short-term rentals.

For a full list of programming highlights, please see below.

T+E

New Original Series 

Hotel Paranormal (8×60’; HD) (spring 2020) (world broadcast premiere)
Real-life accounts, dramatic recreations, and expert insight, bring encounters with ghosts to life in this new thrilling series. Every year, millions of people book hotel rooms. But most are unaware that some hotels hold dark secrets connected to a tragic past. Get shivers as guests and staff alike recall their spooky occurrences on camera. Produced by Saloon Media, part of Blue Ant Studios. Distributed by Blue Ant International.

The Witches of Salem (4×60’; HD) (October 2019) (Canadian broadcast premiere)
The Salem Witch Trials is one of the most gripping real-life dramas in history. It began in February 1692. A group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, claimed to be possessed by the devil. Then, they started accusing 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. This four-part documentary series draws on historical documents and court records to bring this gripping drama to life. Sociologists, psychologists, and cultural historians also illustrate how communities are susceptible to the same hysteria today. Produced by Saloon Media, part of Blue Ant Studios, in association with Talos Films, Travel Channel, and T+E. Distributed by Blue Ant International. (previously announced)

Returning Series 

Haunted Hospitals (season two; 13×60’; HD) (winter 2020) (Canadian broadcast premiere)
Hear the chilling stories of paranormal activity inside hospitals, nursing homes, and morgues. In each episode, doctors, nurses, and patients give first-hand accounts of the supernatural, such as deceased patients who come back from the grave. Dead doctors who insist on tending to their patients. Spirits who stalk corridors to warn of impending danger. As the personal stories unfold, the mysteries behind the troubled souls and hauntings become more alive than ever. Produced by Bristow Global Media.

Paranormal 911 (season two; 13×60’; HD) (spring 2020) (Canadian broadcast premiere)
Each year, first responders rush to over 250 million 911 calls in North America. But what happens when these emergencies lead to paranormal encounters? Find out in season two of Paranormal 911. Hear the first-person accounts of first responders who came face-to-face with the supernatural. Produced by Bristow Global Media.

COTTAGE LIFE

New Original Series

Life Below Zero: Canada (8×60’; HD) (spring 2020) (world broadcast premiere)
Long, dark, frozen winters. Sweltering, bug infested summers. Canadians who live ‘off the grid’ grapple each day with limited means to find food, water, and shelter. Life Below Zero: Canada captures the rugged day-to-day trials of Canadians who live in the remote Canadian north. Find out how they survive in the most unforgiving environments using various means, from makeshift problem solving to traditional survival skills. This is the Canadian version of the hit BBC Studios format Life Below Zero. Life Below Zero: Canada is produced by Saloon Media, part of Blue Ant Studios. (previously announced.)

Cottage Coach (digital series; 6×7’) (fall 2019) (world premiere)
Cottagelife.com DIY expert Adam Holman coaches viewers on how to tackle cottage issues in this exclusive new short-form series. From fixing a broken pipe to replacing a rotten deck board, each episode offers essential tips. And in true cottage lifestyle form, Adam mixes in some fun in the process. Fishing anyone?

Returning Series

Hope For Wildlife (season 10; 10×60’; HD) (summer 2020) (world broadcast premiere)
Fan-favourite wildlife advocate Hope Swinimer and her team are back. This season, the team continues to rescue animals in need. They use her Halifax-based wildlife refuge to rehabilitate them. Once they are strong enough, the team releases the animals back into the wild. Produced by Arcadia Content. Distributed by Blue Ant International.

The Weather Files (season two; 8×60’; HD) (spring 2020) (world broadcast premiere)
This season of The Weather Files puts the most unusual and freakish weather on the planet in the spotlight. First-person testimony and actual footage combined with scientific insight give viewers an in-depth and up-close and personal look at the dangers of extreme and unusual weather. Produced by Saloon Media, part of Blue Ant Studios. Distributed by Blue Ant International.

SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL 

New Original Series

Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan (6×60’; HD) (winter 2020) (Canadian broadcast premiere) This series follows the life of legendary samurai, Date Masamune, an iconic figure, known as the One-Eyed Dragon, who fought alongside the three founding fathers of Japan. Together, these warlords led fierce armies of samurai against each other to unite the nation. This series brings this extraordinary era to life. It shows how powerful warriors, master swordsman, and lethal ninjas came together in deadly battles to create Japan’s golden age of the Samurai, a period that still resonates today. Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan is produced by Cream Productions.

High Maintenance (8×60’; HD) (winter 2020) (Canadian broadcast premiere)
From subways to bridges to power dams, High Maintenance is about the hard-working crews who do the death-defying work to keep these structures safe. The series features engineering feats including the Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Generating Stations in Niagara Falls, the Montreal Metro, and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway in California. Each episode profiles two such structures or systems – and the brave, behind-the-scenes workers who run them. Co-produced by Frantic Films and Kew Media Distribution.

MAKEFUL 

New Original Series

Landscape Artist of the Year Canada (4×60’; HD) (winter 2020) (world broadcast premiere)
Professional and amateur Canadian artists vie to win the title of Landscape Artist of the Year in this new Makeful competition series. Each episode features a different landscape painting challenge. Expert judges determine the winner of each competition until the best landscape artist remains. Time-lapse segments ensure viewers don’t miss any of each artist’s progression from blank canvas to finished work. Based on the UK format distributed by Banijay Rights and originally produced by Storyvault Films. Landscape Artist of the Year Canada is produced by marblemedia. (Previously announced.)

Returning Series 

Handmade Hotels (season two; 6×30’; HD) (spring 2020) (world broadcast premiere)
Viewers get to peek inside even more unique and charming short-term rentals in season two of this series with host and professional house flipper, Katie Herbert. In each episode, Katie explores three unique spaces that showcase the creativity of homeowners and give viewers inspiration on how they can add artistic touches to their own homes. Produced by Architect Films. Distributed by Blue Ant International.

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Preview: Makeful’s Handmade Hotels explores luxury rentals

Unless I’m travelling for work, I refuse to stay in a hotel. I much prefer Airbnb for the convenience, homeyness and prices to what hotel chains offer. And, after watching Handmade Hotels, Katie Herbert has opened my eyes when it comes to booking a hotel for a group.

Debuting Tuesday with back-to-back episodes at 10 and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on Makeful, Herbert takes viewers on a journey to see a trio of short-term rentals designed for larger groups. A renovation specialist who isn’t afraid to think outside the box in her day-to-day gig, Herbert knows a unique design when she sees it. And Handmade Hotels has plenty to offer when it comes both whimsy and wow factor.

After a bit of a history lesson—short-term rentals date back to boarding houses of the 19th century when workers and their families came to the city and needed somewhere to stay when they weren’t on the job—Herbert visits the first location, a home dating from 1880. After renovating it for her family, homeowner Abigale now offers it as a short-term property for up to nine guests. One of the unique and eye-catching items in the property is a clawfoot tub in the kitchen with a very cute story behind it. As Herbert says, that tub is just the type of item to garner attention when folks search online for somewhere to stay and makes for a great conversation piece.

Herbert’s next stop is a 6,000-foot place, The Darling Mansion, that can easily host 10. Among the highlights in Tanya’s former doctor’s home turned art spaces are antiques and visual curiosities, a room called “The Opium Den” with open shower, and “The Magic Carpet Ride,” boasting a bed suspended from the ceiling.

Upcoming instalments spotlight hidden rooms, eco-friendly homes, tiny homes and historic properties, all part of the short-term rental market.

Handmade Hotels is the latest original production from Blue Ant Media and it’s the perfect fit to a brand offering great homegrown shows like Blown Away, Great Canadian Cottages and Brojects. I’m looking forward to seeing more.

Handmade Hotels airs Tuesdays at 10 and 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on Makeful.

Images courtesy of Blue Ant Media.

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Danielle Bryk renovates her family’s getaway in The Bryk Cottage

When Danielle Bryk agreed to renovate her family cottage, she had no clue that—partway through the project—cameras would arrive on the scene to capture everything for a television show. She’d been consulting on the renovation of sister Terry and brother-in-law Norman’s dilapidated, outdated Georgian Bay property but Norman had been running the project. Then a television producing job came calling and Norman had to leave.

“He said, ‘Oh god, you need to take over. You need to help Terry out,” Bryk (Home to Win) says over the phone. “I’m the resident renovator in the family, so I couldn’t really refuse.” Then, totally by coincidence, Cottage Life came calling and asked if Bryk had any projects on the go. She mentioned the cottage reno and they jumped on board.

The Bryk Cottage, debuting Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life, isn’t your typical renovation series. This is a true documentary that, over the course of six episodes, shows Bryk organizing and executing the project under the watchful eye of Terry. Episode 1 introduces the folks involved and expectations; Terry and Norman bought the property years ago and it’s served as a homey getaway for the burgeoning family. Now it’s time for an upgrade. Terry has high-end plans for the home and it’s up to Bryk to keep costs down and the project on schedule.

“My sister is such a great sport,” Bryk says. “She has no filter. We finished filming one bit and she said, ‘Great, I’m probably going to come off as a total b-word!’ I said, ‘Dude, you knew they were rolling!’ She is a great sport and she knows it does make for great TV.” It certainly does.

But aside from the siblings butting heads over materials and budgets, The Bryk Cottage is educational. Constructing a passive building is explored for Terry and Norman. Bryk first heard of the concept about 20 years ago in a book by Sir Terence Conran. The idea of keeping a home heated or cooled passively stuck with her and she jumped at the chance to capture and utilize the sun’s heat to its full advantage through the use of windows and insulation. She recalls filming The Bryk Cottage through the winter and the building being nice and toasty thanks to just a small space heater the drywall guy was using. The Bryk Cottage is educational and entertaining, but it’s also telling a story many can relate to.

“The crux of all this is family and of connection,” Bryk says. “It’s so important these days to carve out spaces and time to do that kind of thing. To me, it’s the only thing that matters.”

The Bryk Cottage airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Cottage Life.

Image courtesy of Blue Ant Media.

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Intervention Canada premieres on T+E, April 1 at 9 p.m. ET

From a media release:

As announced today, the next season of the powerful docu-series Intervention Canada will premiere on its new home, T+E, beginning April 1 at 9 p.m. ET. In each episode, viewers get an up-close and personal look at the life of an addict and their family who are desperately trying to help them. The series premieres on T+E during its current free preview, which began March 4 and runs until May 4.

Intervention Canada provides an unflinching glimpse at the horrifying reality of the life of an addict, as well as the gut-wrenching toll their addiction takes on their family and friends. With the help of professional interventionists Andrew Galloway, Maureen Brine, Jesse Hanson, and Geri Bemister, each episode culminates in a dramatic intervention where the subject must make a life-and-death decision – continue their descent to rock bottom alone, or accept the offer of a clear path to recovery in one of Canada’s top addiction treatment facilities. This season, the series looks at addictions and dependencies on alcohol, crystal meth, cocaine, opioids, and eating disorders. Intervention Canada is based on the hit A+E format and is now in its fifth season.

Select storylines on this season of Intervention Canada include:

  • An expectant mother in BC who is determined to free her partner from a deadly fentanyl addiction before the birth of their child;
  • Three Ontario born siblings struggling to save their father from the grips of crippling alcoholism;
  • A four-time Canadian MMA fighting champion grappling to overcome an addiction to crystal meth both for the sake of his son, and ultimately his own life.

Intervention Canada is produced by Open Door Co. and Insight Productions, in association with Blue Ant Media. Executive Producers are Tom Powers for Open Door Co. and John Brunton and John Murray for Insight Productions. The Series Producer is Thomas Chenoweth. Sam Linton is Head of Original Content at Blue Ant Media.

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Cottage Life celebrates spring with seven new and returning series

From a media release:

After a long winter, Cottage Life is celebrating spring with an eight-week, national free preview running until May 5, with a slate of brand new series that showcase weekend and lakefront living. Headlining the new lineup is The Bryk Cottage (6×30), a documentary series that follows professional contractor and TV contractor and designer, Danielle Bryk, as she knocks down and rebuilds her sister’s beloved, but dilapidated cottage with thoughtful design and eco-friendly materials. Also new this spring, the channel gives audiences an advanced look at the first episode of the fan favourite series Life Below Zero: Canada (1×30), which will air in full in 2020. Popular Canadian-shot series Lakefront Luxury (10×30) and Hope For Wildlife (10×60) are both back with new seasons and Bondi Vet: Coast to Coast (10×60) introduces new vets to Bondi Vet fans.

As an added springtime bonus, Cottage Life fans in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton have the chance to meet Danielle Bryk, Hope Swinimer, two of the Australian Bondi Vets, as well as Sue Aikens from the original Life Below Zero series at different upcoming Cottage Life consumer shows. For more information on the TV talent lined up for each Cottage Life Show visit shows.cottagelife.com.

Free Preview Premieres on Cottage Life

World’s Wildest Weather (Canadian Premiere, season two)
Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT starting March 11
From freak tornadoes to hailstones the size of footballs, this fast-paced, adrenaline-filled documentary series charts some of the most extreme weather from around the world with first-hand, witness statements and personal footage, bringing viewers right into the panic and drama of being caught up in a storm.

Lakefront Luxury (World Premiere, season two)
Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT, starting March 14
The second season of this aspirational series, gives viewers more stunning views, gorgeous waterfronts and serene sunsets. With unlimited budgets and endless wish lists, each episode explores three opulent properties, which a featured buyer chooses from.

Bondi Vet: Coast to Coast (World Premiere, season one)
Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT, starting March 27
Fan favourite series Bondi Vet has been revamped and will introduce five new Australian vets from across the Australia who offer a myriad of exciting animal stories, ranging from the exotic and wild to our favourite domestic creatures.

The Bryk Cottage (World Premiere, season one)
Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT, beginning March 28
This documentary series follows contractor and designer Danielle Bryk as she knocks down and rebuilds her sister and brother-in-law’s much-loved, but dilapidated cabin into a new stunning vacation home. Danielle deals with real-life issues as she works with a team of local contractors to use passive building standards that create a low carbon footprint cottage and a new getaway the entire family can cherish for generations.

Hope for Wildlife (World Premiere, season nine)
Friday at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, beginning April 5
A brand new season follows beloved nature advocate Hope Swinimer and her team as they rescue animals at her Halifax-based wildlife refuge and release them back into the wild. In this season, Hope forges a new partnership with an expert rescue crew.

Log Cabin Fever (Canadian Premiere, season two)
Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m PT, starting on April 6
New episodes follow southern jack of all trades Charlie Norman, as he and his crew travel throughout Tennessee and the Carolinas to salvage log cabins, barns, churches and old mills. To the Log Cabin team, they are hidden gems waiting to be mined for rare raw materials or carefully resurrected.

Life Below Zero: Canada (30-minute premiere episode; World Premiere Sneak Peek) This 30-minute, premiere episode airs Sunday, April 21 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
Based on BBC’s successful format, Life Below Zero: Canada is an observational documentary series about people who live off the grid in remote regions of northern Canada. The new series is being shot on location in Canada with a focus on Canadian people and stories. The full series airs on Cottage Life in 2020.

Engage with Cottage Life: @cottagelife #cottagelife

Cottage Life, is a Blue Ant Media multi-platform brand, celebrating the people, activities and places that make leisure time special. Exclusive content covers real estate, food, DIY projects and much more. Both informative and entertaining, no one captures the essence of weekend living like this.

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