Tag Archives: Canada’s Worst Driver

Canada’s Worst Driver and Tougher Than It Looks crash onto Discovery

With the 13th season of Canada’s Worst Driver arriving Monday night on Discovery, I can’t help but wonder if the series can do more for the driving industry. Like Mike Holmes has done uncovering bad builders and lax rules in the housing industry, should Canada’s Worst Driver do the same for driving schools?

On its surface, Canada’s Worst Driver—back at 10 p.m. ET with Andrew Younghusband behind the wheel—continues to spotlight drivers from across the nation who shouldn’t be on the road in the first place. These are folks with bad habits all the way to the downright dangerous and I’ve gone from solely blaming those drivers to the including the people who have taught them. For me, Canada’s Worst Driver ceased to be fun to watch years ago because the contestants seem to be getting worse rather than better. Over 500 names were submitted for Season 13 before producers whittled the group down to eight who are ensconced in the CWD facility.

Once there, they go through a bevy of tests designed to not only entertain (or in my case frighten) viewers but also present the correct way to perform each tested task. The group includes Breanna, a 19-year-old who is, thanks to being involved in a car accident when she was younger, is convinced she’s going to die behind the wheel of a car; Joe, a reckless lad who has floors it at every opportunity and keeps his lawyer employed solely to defend his tickets; Ashley, who can’t drive without crying and was nominated by former CWD contestant Jillian; Shayne, who drives half the posted speed because he was hit by a car while walking; Melanie, who is convinced she can’t do anything; Adam, whose love of driving was derailed by one accident; Julie, who has been in 16 accidents thanks to distracted driving; and Travis, the most timid man behind the wheel of an automobile. All are determined to be better, safer drivers.

Clearly, some of this season’s contestants have major stress issues because of past traumas and are, hopefully, addressing those with a doctor. But all are shown simply not knowing what the rules of the road are. Again, how were they given licences to be behind the wheel of a vehicle that can kill themselves or others if they don’t know what to do at a stop sign?

Much more enjoyable for me is Season 2 of Tougher Than It Looks? which finds Younghusband taking on some of the oddest, strangest tasks in the world.

Monday’s back-to-back instalments, like in the first go-round, put Younghusband’s brain and body up for injury at our expense as he spends 24 hours trying to master something. Learning to ride the waves or a skateboard leads to the usual bumps and bruises on the road to success but being a rodeo clown (in Episode 2) could get you killed. But, unlike Canada’s Worst Driver, Tougher Than It Looks? puts the onus on Younghusband to do the work and, usually, get hurt. The Newfoundland native is game to do anything and it’s his positivity and sense of humour that makes Tougher Than It Looks? so easy to watch.

It’s entertaining to observe Younghusband learn how difficult it is to master balance, first in the controlled environment of a wave rider to the February chill of surfing the surging waves of Lake Huron. As for dropping into a skateboarding half-pipe? Let’s just say concrete and wood are harder than water.

In advance of Canada’s Worst Driver and Tougher Than It Looks? is the debut of Last Stop Garage at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET. The program spotlights the men and women who operate CRB Automotive, a family-owned garage in North West River, Labrador. Using the backwoods resourcefulness needed to get things done far away from the big city, the crew fix and build just about anything for anyone in their remote town of 553 residents.

Last Stop Garage airs Mondays at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Canada’s Worst Driver airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Tougher Than It Looks airs Mondays at 11 and 11:30 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

 

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Comments and queries for the week of December 9

Thank you, Canada’s Worst Driver

To Andrew Younghusband and Canada’s Worst Driver, I am not a bad driver but I am a frightened driver from a terrible car accident. I have watched your show since Season 3 and I want to thank you for the confidence your show has given me. Hints and instructions I have received while watching saved me the other night from another accident.

At first, when I returned to driving, I was probably a danger to myself and others from being so nervous. LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO is the key that saved me from hitting a huge buck while driving home after dark. If stressed while driving, I think of Andrew and your show to improve a positive thought pattern while I am driving in any weather or tense driving situation. I repeat only the secret to success, “look where you want to go.” When I returned to driving I pulled over on the shoulder every time an 18-wheeler was behind me. It took me a long time to get anywhere!

Your show changed my life and gave me freedom from fear and the ability to become a better driver. Your show has made a huge difference in my life and many others. Thank you sincerely from my heart. —Virginia


Is Heartland’s Gobi desert storyline a dud?

“Galvanizing” isn’t quite the word. It’s more like even a lot of the people who otherwise are enjoying the show think it outright stinks. It’s a dud. It’s nice that the actor is happy, but it’s pretty clear this was one of the worst story decisions, especially in timing, the show has ever made. —Kelly

The episode in which they introduced the Gobi bear storyline was horrendous. I like the show, but half the episodes are poorly written and eye rollingly idiotic. There’s probably four bad episodes for every one good episode. I think maybe certain writers think they have to dull things down for a family audience. I’ll watch this show to the end because it’s telling a rural Western Canadian story but it’s never been a favourite. It’s a shame too because in the episodes that are written well it is a great show. —Alicia

I love Heartland and the direction they are taking it into this season. It is great to see them stretch the relationship of Ty and Amy without breaking it. I love the reflections Amy places on her relationship with Ty over the past few seasons while driving to the doctor’s office. It would beautiful to see this from Ty’s end as well. Keep making a beautiful and enjoyable family show for all of us. —Steven

Great interview Graham, love your passion and commitment to Heartland. I work with dogs and the connection with animals is so very real, they struggle with emotions just like us, they have same medical problems we have, they have social issues, separation issues. For you wanting to show that hopefully next year will be awesome. I can see Ty working more in the reserve or more wild animals coming into the clinic. But whatever happens you are a great actor with a great love to telling the truth to every story. Hope you never leave Heartland. —Karen

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or @tv_eh.

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Andrew Younghusband returns to Discovery with Worst Driver and Tougher Than It Looks?

Andrew Younghusband has built himself quite the empire over on Discovery. I first spoke to the affable Newfoundlander when he was on Life Network’s (remember that channel?!) Tall Ship Chronicles. The next time we met up was during filming of Season 1 of Canada’s Worst Handyman. Now, with multiple seasons of that, Don’t Drive Here and Canada’s Worst Driver on his resumé, Younghusband returns with Season 12 of Driver and the debut of Tougher Than It Looks?

Airing back-to-back on Mondays, Younghusband hosts Driver’s usual passel of inept Canadians behind the wheel of automobiles before being front and centre doing some of the most bizarre—and taxing—jobs out there.

After a dozen years of Canada’s Worst Driver, we know exactly what to expect from the series: awful drivers who are oblivious to how dangerous they are behind the wheel going through challenges designed to teach them how to be better.

And, frankly, a dozen years of it, I’m pretty much done with the franchise. Clearly, I’m in the minority—the show was the network’s most-watched last season and the No. 1 specialty project in the key demographics—but my frustration at these unsafe folks who often have a blasé attitude about how much of a menace they are grows with every minute. Still, the show is doing a valuable service in educating the contestants and viewers in the rules of the road.

tougher

Tougher Than It Looks? is something entirely different from Younghusband in that he’s doing the Dirty Jobs thing … with a twist. Where Mike Rowe performed the grimiest gigs out there, Younghusband is tackling any occupation. The hook? He has just one day to practice and, hopefully, perfect.

There’s a reason Younghusband hosts so many programs. He’s not only charismatic, but he’s funny and can ad-lib. That comes into play in Episode 1 of Tougher when he attempts to best as many Guinness World Records as he can. First up? Being one of two people hauling three fire trucks using their bodies and lengths of rope. Alongside Younghusband is Rev. Kevin Fast, who has set several strength-related world records in the tome. It’s certainly a tough task, and at its most critical point it looks like Younghusband’s eyes are going to shoot out of his head and land in some poor spectator’s lap.

The rest of the first instalment shows Younghusband as he tries to break 20 Guinness records in one day, a pretty tall task and an opportunity to show how odd many of the records are. Some the categories he tries to best? Stacking coins, eating an onion, unravelling a roll of toilet paper, hula hoop revolutions and most jumps on a pogo stick. I have to say, Tougher is one heck of a good time and I’m sad it’s only a half-hour long. Maybe we’ll get an hour in Season 2.

Canada’s Worst Driver airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Tougher Than It Looks? airs Mondays at 11 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Andrew Younghusband returns with Discovery’s Canada’s Worst Driver and Tougher Than It Looks?

From a media release:

Notable host, creative producer, and writer, Andrew Younghusband is taking over primetime television Monday nights! Discovery, Canada’s most-watched entertainment specialty network, continues rolling out its biggest-ever fall lineup with the season premiere of CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, airing Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT followed by the network’s newest original Canadian series, TOUGHER THAN IT LOOKS? at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT, beginning Oct. 24.

Discovery introduces TOUGHER THAN IT LOOKS? starring Younghusband as he delves into the toughest jobs, attempts to tackle terrifying heights, extreme sports, small spaces, and strange hobbies. Shot in ultra-vivid 4K UHD, each 30-minute episode finds Younghusband on a mission to tackle wildly different experiences with minimal training, including working as a window cleaner on a dauntingly high skyscraper, wing walking on a bi-plane in mid-air, barefoot water skiing, setting world records, and even racing lawnmowers. Nothing is too scary – or obscure – for Younghusband to try … at least once.

But first, Younghusband is back at the Driver Rehabilitation Centre in Dunnville, Ont., for CANADA’S WORST DRIVER as eight disastrous Canadian drivers take on various challenges behind the wheel in Season 12. CANADA’S WORST DRIVER was Discovery’s most-watched series last season and ranked as the #1 Canadian series on entertainment specialty television among the key adult demos (A25-54 and A18-49). The series also saw a double-digit audience growth among the A25-54 (+15%) and A18-49 (+18%) demos, when compared to its previous season.

This year’s reckless and irresponsible drivers hail from Winnipeg, Edmonton, Hamilton, Ont., Kitchener, Ont., and beyond. Each nominated by a friend or family member, these truly terrible drivers are put through driving challenges in a controlled environment and evaluated by a panel of driving experts: CP24’s Cam Woolley, traffic expert and former OPP sergeant; Philippe Létourneau, a professional high-performance driving instructor; expert driving instructor Tim Danter; and registered psychotherapist Shyamala Kiru.

A first for CANADA’S WORST DRIVER this season, Younghusband examines and compares Canadian driving laws with the customs and driving cultures of other countries, all while administering the series’ trademark tried-and-tested challenges designed to push this year’s driver participants to their limits. Week by week, one driver graduates from the training centre, and merges back on to the open road with their head held high.

The season finale sees the remaining three drivers face the last challenge before one finalist is ultimately named this year’s “Worst Driver”. Viewers can catch up on all previous season finales of CANADA’S WORST DRIVER online now at Discovery.ca. Previous seasons of CANADA’S WORST DRIVER are streaming now on Discovery GO and CraveTV™.

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Discovery breaks new ground for fall with new series, specials and first-ever scripted series

From a media release:

– Jason Momoa stars in world debut of hotly aniticipated original Canadian series and Discovery’s first foray into scripted series, FRONTIER –
– Discovery star Andrew Younghusband introduces new series TOUGHER THAN IT LOOKS? –
– Discovery’s fall lineup features five new series including scripted project HARLEY AND THE DAVIDSONS, a three-part miniseries based on a true story about the history of the iconic motorcycle brand –
– New seasons of Top 10 returning series, headlined by Canadian hits HIGHWAY THRU HELL and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER –
– Schedule features debuts of brand-new EPI special DEATH ON A COMET and series MIGHTY TRAINS, plus premiere of original Canadian special BUILDING STAR TREK –

Discovery, Canada’s most-watched entertainment specialty channel, sets course on another #1 season, announcing today its 2016 Fall  lineup*. Discovery breaks new ground this year with its most robust lineup ever, featuring five new series, including the world debut of the network’s first original Canadian scripted drama series FRONTIER (Sunday, Nov. 6 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

But first, the fall schedule kicks off with the all-new “Boldly Go” theme week on DAILY PLANET (begins Monday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT), going behind the scenes to uncover new scientific revelations and technologies in celebration of the Season 22 premiere of the flagship daily science program.

Subscribers can access live streaming of the fall schedule through the Discovery GOapp, and catch up on full seasons of Discovery’s returning series on demand on the Discovery GO app and at Discovery.ca. Discovery GO features the largest Canadian specialty on demand library in Canada.

Starring Jason Momoa, FRONTIER debuts Nov. 6. Beginning Monday, Oct. 24 at 11 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT is new series TOUGHER THAN IT LOOKS? starring Andrew Younghusband, following the Season 12 of Discovery’s most-watched series last season among A25-54 and A18-49, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Canada’s most-watched series on entertainment specialty television last season among total viewers (P2+), GOLD RUSH premieres later this fall (date to be announced).

Final data for the 2015/16 broadcast year to-date confirms that Discovery is the most-watched entertainment specialty channel among adult viewers in the key A25-54 and A18-49 demos. Winning three of seven nights per week in primetime among A25-54 viewers, and with more than any other entertainment specialty network, Discovery also claims half of the Top 10 series on entertainment specialty television with CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, GOLD RUSH, HIGHWAY THRU HELL, DEADLIEST CATCH, and ALASKAN BUSH PEOPLE.

Among the highlights from Discovery’s Fall 2016 lineup:

Bold New Series (in chronological order)

MIGHTY TRAINS (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, beginning Oct. 16
Hosted by intrepid traveller and Space’s INNERSPACE co-host Teddy Wilson, MIGHTY TRAINS joins the lineup of Discovery’s MIGHTY series, riding the rails around the world to follow engineers and conductors as they navigate their way through busy rail yards, vie for priority departures, and deal with the unexpected. Train managers, load-masters, head chefs, track inspectors, rail traffic control officers, and passengers move the audience through an in-depth journey through the fascinating world of rail travel.

TOUGHER THAN IT LOOKS? (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Mondays at 11 p.m. PT/8 p.m. PT, beginning Oct. 24
From the makers of CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, host Andrew Younghusband delves into the world of terrifying heights, extreme sports, tough trades, small spaces, and strange hobbies. Younghusband’s wild quest takes him into the dangerous, weird, and just plain tough, as he meets people driven by passion, doing jobs and partaking in past-times that often look impossible. In each episode, Younghusband struggles to keep up with the pros and experts as they show him the ropes. With minimal training, Younghusband attempts working as a window cleaner on a dauntingly high skyscraper, wing walking on a bi-plane in mid-air, barefoot water skiing, and racing lawnmowers. Nothing is too scary or obscure for Younghusband to try…at least once.

FRONTIER
Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, beginning Nov. 6 (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Commissioned by Discovery Canada as its first-ever scripted series, the action-packed and authentic fiction series follows the chaotic and violent struggle to control wealth and power in the North American fur trade of the late 18th century. Rooted in Canadian history and told from multiple perspectives, FRONTIER takes place in a world where business negotiations might be resolved with close-quarter hatchet fights, and where delicate relations between Aboriginal tribes and Europeans can spark bloody conflicts. Starring Jason Momoa (GAME OF THRONES, Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice) along with Alun Armstrong (NEW TRICKS, Braveheart), Landon Liboiron (HEMLOCK GROVE, DEGRASSI), Zoe Boyle (DOWNTON ABBEY, SONS OF ANARCHY), and Allan Hawco (REPUBLIC OF DOYLE) who round out the international cast. The series also introduces Canadian newcomer, Jessica Matten.

Adventurous New Specials (in chronological order)

BUILDING STAR TREK (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Sunday, Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
Marking the 50th anniversary of the iconic series, and following the announcement of Bell Media’s licensing agreement for rights to STAR TREK: EXPLORER and the STAR TREK library in Canada, BUILDING STAR TREK tracks the restoration of the original Starship Enterprise and the unprecedented search for every remaining original part of the original 1966 TV show. The goal of the special: to reassemble the original series bridge around authentic artifacts. Meanwhile, every precious and slightly battered relic discovered in the film becomes a jump off point to tell the incredible stories behind a series that sent popular culture into warp drive. The hour-long BUILDING STAR TREK made its public debut last week during a panel presentation at San Diego Comic-Con.

highway

HIGHWAY THRU HELL Recap Special (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Jamie Davis reflects on the rocky road that brought him to the fourth season’s dramatic crossroads as viewers get a sneak peek at the twists and turns ahead. In Season 5, the risks for Jamie have never been greater and the wrecks never more extreme. Jamie Davis Towing and his competitor Quiring Towing face epic challenges of their own. Plus, viewers get an update on their favourite drivers and a look behind the cameras at how HIGHWAY THRU HELL is made.

DEATH ON A COMET (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
On the heels of Discovery’s most-watched special to date, JUPITER: CLOSE ENCOUNTER, and following the November 2014 special LANDING ON A COMET: ROSETTA MISSION, Discovery brings viewers its latest real-time space odyssey, anchored by DAILY PLANET’s Dan Riskin. Rosetta, the European Space Agency (ESA)-built spacecraft that took years to conceive and another decade to journey through space, has been travelling alongside its assigned comet for the last two years. Now the mission is coming to an end and the team that poured years into this project must say goodbye. DEATH ON A COMET takes viewers inside the control room as Rosetta ends its six billion-kilometre journey, transmitting one final postcard.

RETURN TO ATLANTIS (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
(Date to be announced)
From Executive Producer James Cameron comes a unique documentary featuring an exploration team assembled to investigate several new theories about the real Atlantis, from its location to its people, and the terrible disaster that wiped it from the planet more than three millennia ago.

DAILY PLANET YEAR IN SCI TECH (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Friday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
DAILY PLANET closes out 2016 with DAILY PLANET YEAR IN SCI TECH as co-hosts Ziya Tong and Dan Riskin recap the greatest technological feats and scientific breakthroughs of the year. Viewers are invited inside the control room as NASA heads to Jupiter and as ESA’s Rosetta ends a decade-long mission to a comet. From the Hyperloop test track in California to the artificial intelligence labs of Asia and beyond, viewers get an in-depth look at the people, places, and things shaping the future.

Bell Media

Returning Hit Series (in chronological order)

DAILY PLANET (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Weekdays at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, beginning Monday, Aug. 29
DAILY PLANET’s 22nd season kicks off with its all-new theme week, “Boldly Go”.  Viewers get a front-row seat at the world’s first concert inside a volcano, go deep in Silfra, Iceland – the only place in the world where divers can swim between two continental plates, and watch a rocket launch from a sailing platform in the Baltic Sea. DAILY PLANET also celebrates STAR TREK’s 50th anniversary during “Boldly Go Week” with interviews of the team who dreamed big 50 years ago and brought the series to life.

HOW IT’S MADE (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, beginning Sept. 12
Season 28 explores the manufacturing from handcrafted to factory-made products including everything from cereal, gas tanks, and work boots.

HIGHWAY THRU HELL (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, beginning Sept. 13
Returning for a milestone fifth season on Discovery, HIGHWAY THRU HELL is back and better than ever as it follows the men of Jamie Davis Heavy Rescue as they fight to keep open some of the most economically important, most-travelled – and most-inhospitable – trucking routes in North America. Big changes have blown into Hope, B.C., altering the course of legendary Heavy Rescue Operator Jamie Davis. After expanding his tow business into Alberta’s frozen north two seasons ago, a new reality has set in as Jamie has been forced to simplify his operation and shift his attention back to his mountain base in B.C. where it all began.

CANADA’S WORST DRIVER (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT, beginning Oct. 24
Season 12 of perennial favourite CANADA’S WORST DRIVER follows a new group of eight drivers. Each nominated by a friend or family member, these truly terrible drivers are put through their paces in a controlled environment and evaluated by a panel of driving experts. Hosted by Andrew Younghusband, each episode features tried-and-tested challenges designed to push the drivers to their limits. They must master basic training and more advanced techniques before graduating or they will be named Canada’s Worst Driver.

 

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