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Bell Media announces first wave of 2018/19 original Canadian entertainment productions with 42 new and returning series and specials

From a media release:

− New original comedy JANN and Season 3 of THE BEAVERTONjoin CTV’s winning schedule, as acclaimed event series CARDINAL is renewed for Season 4 in advance of Season 3 premiere −
CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS returns to CTV –
− Bell Media Studios renewals include ETALK, THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW, THE SOCIAL, and YOUR MORNING –
− Three new titles join Discovery’s 10 returning original series for 2018/19 −
− New six-pack of LETTERKENNY slated for Crave TV –
− The Comedy Network renews CORNER GAS ANIMATED for Season 2 and returns to Montréal for new Just For Laughs projects –
−MASTERCHEF CANADA winner and celebrity chef Mary Berg stars in new lifestyle series MARY MAKES IT EASY for Gusto –
− Animated shorts series LITTLEKENNY joins interactive stand-up series JOKEOFF on Snackable TV −

In advance of today’s #CTVUpfront, Bell Media confirmed today its first wave of new and returning, English-language, original entertainment programming for 2018/19. A total of 13 new and 29 returning original series and specials are confirmed to- date, produced in partnership with independent producers and international content companies, as well as Bell Media Studios, the company’s in-house production arm.

Bell Media once again plans to spend nearly $900 million overall on French and English programming in 2018/19, all promoted by the Bell Media megaphone, including Canada’s most-watched television network, CTV.

More Canadians make Bell Media’s original programs their choice for homegrown viewing than any other media company. As Canada’s most-watched network in primetime for 17 years in a row, CTV is home to:

  • THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, the most-watched Canadian series for the 5th year in a row
  • CARDINAL, the #1 Canadian drama for A18-49 and A25-54 on broadcast television Bell Media Studio’s THE SOCIAL and THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW, the most-watched Canadian daytime programs in daytime
  • ETALK, the top-rated Canadian entertainment news program
    Further, Bell Media has three of the Top 5 Canadian series on entertainment specialty television among viewers A25-54 with Discovery’s HIGHWAY THRU HELL, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, and HEAVY RESCUE: 401. Through the last broadcast year, 12 of Bell Media’s specialty channels increased their rank among all Canadian specialty channels.

NEW Bell Media Original Series and Specials for 2018/19 (by channel):

CTV

JANN
JANN is an original comedy series starring Jann Arden. 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 is clearly suffering from the early stages 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. (Project 10 Productions; 6 x :30)

CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS
CTV announced this morning a multi-year partnership with Canada’s Walk of Fame to become the official and exclusive broadcaster of the CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS in time for the awards’ 20th anniversary this December. CTV’s broadcast of THE 2018 CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS is a celebration of Canadians who have excelled on the national and international stage in their respective fields, including music, sports, film and television, literary, visual and performing arts, science, innovation, philanthropy, and social justice. The star-studded 2018 CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS broadcast will feature must-see performances and inspiring stories from previous and new inductees. (Insight Productions)

The Comedy Network

Just For Laughs
The Comedy Network returns to Montréal for the Just for Laughs Festival this summer, shooting a new stand-up series and specials for the 2018-19 broadcast year. (Just For Laughs Television)
CraveTV

NEW EDEN
CraveTV’s latest original production is NEW EDEN. Going into production this fall, the darkly funny mockumentary is a “true crime” anthology from two of Canada’s hottest comedic voices, Evany Rosen (PICNICFACE, BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW) and Kayla Lorette (THE BEAVERTON, SPACE RIDERS). (Peacock Alley Entertainment; 8 x :30)

Discovery

VINTAGE TECH HUNTERS
VINTAGE TECH HUNTERS follows a fascinating journey across North America in search of amazing pop culture and tech memorabilia. (Crooked Horse Productions/Boat Rocker Studios; 14 x :30)

DISASTERS AT SEA
New docudrama series DISASTERS AT SEA highlights the most mysterious and unexpected marine disasters in recent history. (Exploration Production Inc.)

ALBERTA FLOODS: ROGUE EARTH
Marking the fifth anniversary of the catastrophic “flood of floods,” ALBERTA FLOODS: ROGUE EARTH joins Discovery’s ROGUE EARTH documentary series. (Pixcom Productions; :60)

Gusto

MARY MAKES IT EASY
Mary Berg has a gift for making irresistibly delicious food. Her signature style is beautiful, but approachable; impressive, but never pretentious. For Mary, cooking is about fun and family and a strategic lack of fuss. When it comes to cooking science, Mary is an unapologetic food nerd who loves to demystify the process and break down techniques. Whether it’s an elegant party or an everyday dinner, Mary shows viewers how to dial down their stress with time-saving tips and easy-to-follow advice. (Proper Television; 30 x :30)

SnackableTV

LITTLEKENNY
There are 500 kids at Letterkenny Central School, and these are their problems. Based on CraveTV’s smash-hit LETTERKENNY, LITTLEKENNY is a series of animated, short-form extensions of the award-winning Canadian comedy program, and marks SnackableTV’s first foray into original content. Written and created by Jared Keeso, LITTLEKENNY includes the Hick’s origin story: how standing up for each other on the schoolyard resulted in their friendship. (New Metric Media/ DHX Media/ Playfun Games; Animation services provided by Little Blackstone Inc.; 6 episodes)

JOKEOFF
SnackableTV has commissioned its first interactive content. JOKEOFF is a new series that pits some of the world’s top comedians against each other in the ultimate stand-up competition. The short-form, bracket-style elimination series features a renowned mix of incredible comedic talent – from Kevin Hart, Joan Rivers, and Debra DiGiovanni, to Gilbert Gottfried, Jay Pharaoh, and Kevin James – as they go head-to-head in daily match-ups with some of their best material curated from the unparalleled Just For Laughs stand-up archives. The audience votes on the best jokes from each matchup and the winner from each round moves forward. The JokeOffs continue until there’s just on comedian standing! (Just For Laughs; 32 match-ups)

2018/19 Original Bell Media Studios Productions

Producing some of Canada’s most-watched daily programs, Bell Media Studios continues to offer a robust and unrivaled lineup of flagship series and national specials, along with factual and lifestyle series, including:

  • YOUR MORNING (CTV) kicking off CTV’s leading original daytime lineup
  • The country’s #1 and #2 Canadian daytime series, THE SOCIAL (CTV) and THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW (CTV)
  • Canada’s most-watched entertainment news program, ETALK (CTV)
    The 2018 IHEARTRADIO MMVAs (CTV/Much)
  • WE DAY 2018 (CTV/MTV)
  • THE SANTA CLAUS PARADE (CTV)
  • ETALK AT THE OSCARS (CTV)
  • Joining DISASTERS AT SEA for Discovery, the fan-favourite MIGHTY TRAINS (Discovery) hits the rails for a second season while MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS (Discovery) sets sail for Season 3 (Exploration Production Inc.)
  • Half-hour docu-series WHERE TO I DO? (Gusto) – starring Canadian property and design expert Tommy Smythe and currently the most-watched new series on Gusto – is back for a second season of wedding venue hunts (Bell Media Studios/Motion Content Group)
  • Half-hour docu-series DOG TALES RESCUE (Gusto), following the day-to-day operation of a dog rescue and horse sanctuary, returns for a second season (Bell Media Studios/Motion Content Group)

Returning Bell Media Original Series Confirmed to Date for 2018/19 (by genre):

Drama

  • Ahead of its Season 3 premiere on CTV, internationally successful, critically acclaimed, and award-winning drama CARDINAL (CTV) has been renewed for Season 4 with stars Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse. (eOne/Sienna Films)
  • Season 3 of international dramatic adventure series FRONTIER (Discovery), starring Jason Momoa, returns to the schedule this winter. (Take the Shot Productions/ASAP Entertainment)
    Comedy
  • New to CTV in midseason, the half-hour satirical news sensation THE BEAVERTON has been greenlit for Season 3. (Pier 21 Films)
  • The Comedy Network’s most-watched series debut of all-time CORNER GAS ANIMATED returns for Season 2. (Prairie Pantoons/335 Productions/Moving Mountoons/Vérité Films/Smiley Guy Studios)
  • Smash hit comedy LETTERKENNY (CraveTV) begins production on a new Season 4 six-pack in Sudbury this July. (New Metric Media/DHX Media/Playfun Games)

Sci-Fi

  • The most-watched original series in Space’s history, sci-fi adventure series KILLJOYS has been renewed for a fifth season ahead of its Season 4 premiere on July 20 at 10 p.m. ET. (Temple Street)

Reality

  • Original series and international format THE LAUNCH (CTV) returns for a second season, showcasing a new group of aspiring artists vying for a shot at stardom. Featuring world-renowned record executive Scott Borchetta, internationally acclaimed music industry legends will once again join the series as mentors. (Bell Media Studios/Big Machine Label Group/Eureka/ Insight Productions; 6 x :60)

Factual

  • Entertaining and educational hit series HIGHWAY THRU HELL (Discovery) returns for Season 7. (Great Pacific Media)
    Discovery’s most-watched original series of all time, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER (Discovery) enters its 14th (Proper Television)
    The road angels of hit series HEAVY RESCUE: 401 (Discovery) returns for Season 3. (Great Pacific Media)
  • 2018 Canadian Screen Award winner for Best Factual Series, MAYDAY (Discovery) returns for Season 19. (Cineflix Productions)
  • The Bunce family is back for more mining adventures for the Season 5 return of JADE FEVER (Discovery). (Omnifilm Entertainment)
  • Labrador’s rag-tag team of “MacGyver”-like mechanics returns for the second season of LAST STOP GARAGE (Discovery). (Proper Television)
  • The resilient crews of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Ontario Northland Railway keep Canada’s critical freight and passenger trains rolling in Season 2 of ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAILROAD (Discovery). (Cineflix Productions)

Lifestyle

  • Italian cooking series BONACINI’S ITALY (Gusto), starring MASTERCHEF CANADA’S Michael Bonacini, returns for a second season. (Gusto Worldwide Media)
  • Season 2 of SPENCER’S BIG 30 (Gusto) showcases healthy, hearty meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes. (Gusto Worldwide Media)
  • Host Jessica McGovern returns to share her love of baking in Season 2 of FLOUR POWER (Gusto). (Gusto Worldwide Media)
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Spiral, Anne, Letterkenny and Cardinal top 22nd Annual WGC Screenwriting Awards

Writers for Spiral, Anne, Letterkenny and Cardinal were among the winners at the 22nd Annual Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards in Toronto on Monday night.

The event, held at the Telus Centre for Performance and Learning’s Koerner Hall, celebrated the country’s screenwriting talent in television, web series and film. Spiral writer Karen McClellan (pictured above) won in the Shorts & Webseries category for her script “The Girl in the Dream.”

“Writers don’t get here on their own,” McClellan said. “I want to say a special shout-out to some writers who have taken a chance on me in the past: Susin Nielsen, Shelley Eriksen, Bruce Smith and a dear friend who is not here tonight but always in my heart, Denis McGrath.”

Letterkenny‘s Jared Keeso and Jacob Tierney won the TV Comedy category for their Season 2 script, “Relationships,” while Cardinal‘s Aubrey Nealon took home the TV Drama trophy for the Season 1 episode, “John Cardinal.”

Gavin Crawford, comedian, writer and host of CBC Radio’s Because News hosted, starting the night off with a surprise appearance by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne a.k.a. Crawford. As Wynne, Crawford extolled the virtues of Canadian television and film writers while taking a jab at recent adaptations of Anne of Green Gables and Alias Grace.

“I’m particularly excited about Kale & Prune, a six-hour CBC miniseries adapted from a Margaret Atwood’s Whole Foods receipt,” he joked.

Alison Lea Bingeman, Marsha Greene, Rachel Langer, Joseph Kay, Cynthia Knight, Adriana Maggs, Elize Morgan, Jiro Okada and Sugith Varughese presented the night’s categories.

Mark Ellis was the recipient of The Denis McGrath Award for his service to the Writers Guild of Canada, Michael MacLennan was given The WGC Showrunner Award, Sarah Dodd the Sondra Kelly Award and Sherry White the Alex Barris Mentorship Award. WGC president Jill Golick, whose term has ended after eight years, had the final say of the night with an impassioned plea to the group’s members.

“Stories are the best way to change hearts and minds,” Golick said. “Keep writing my friends. Keep finding ways to bring truth to light. ”

The category winners are:

Shorts & Webseries
Spiral, Episode 101 “The Girl in the Dream,” written by Karen McClellan

Children’s
Mysticons, Season 1 “Sisters in Arms,” written by Sean Jara

Movie of the Week & Miniseries
Alias Grace, written by Sarah Polley

Best Script from Season 1
Anne, Season 1 “I Am No Bird, And No Net Ensnares Me,” written by Moira Walley-Beckett

TV Comedy
Letterkenny, Season 2 “Relationships,” written by Jared Keeso and Jacob Tierney

TV Drama
Cardinal, Season 1 “John Cardinal,” written by Aubrey Nealon

Tweens & Teens
The Stanley Dynamic, Season 2 “The Stanley Cheer,” written by Matt Kippen

Feature Film
Entanglement, written by Jason Filiatrault

Documentary
The Hundred-Year-Old Whale, written by Mark Leiren-Young

 

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2018-19 Canadian TV season renewal scorecard

With the 2017-18 Canadian television season ending soon, the networks are putting the finishing touches on their primetime lineups for 2018-19. That means celebrations for fans of shows that have been renewed and sadness for programs that won’t return.

To help keep track of what’s been renewed or ending, we’ve put together a handy list for you of what will air between the summer of 2018 and the end of spring in 2019. Check back often to see the status of your favourites.

Renewed

  • Pure (Super Channel)
  • Still Standing (CBC)
  • Letterkenny (CraveTV)
  • Murdoch Mysteries (CBC)
  • Frankie Drake Mysteries (CBC)
  • Highway Thru Hell (Discovery)
  • Heavy Rescue: 401 (Discovery)
  • Dragons’ Den (CBC)
  • Frontier (Discovery)
  • Vikings (History)
  • Private Eyes (Global)
  • Cardinal (CTV)
  • Schitt’s Creek (CBC)
  • Anne with an E (CBC)
  • Killjoys (Space)
  • Tribal Police Files (APTN)
  • Eyes for the Job (AMI-tv)
  • Employable Me Canada (AMI-tv)
  • Mind Set Go (AMI-tv)
  • The Great Canadian Baking Show (CBC)
  • Bad Blood (City)
  • Kim’s Convenience (CBC)
  • Mr. D (CBC, final season)
  • Workin’ Moms (CBC)
  • Baroness Von Sketch Show (CBC)
  • Burden of Truth (CBC)
  • Travelers (Netflix)
  • Top Chef Canada (Food Network Canada)
  • When Calls the Heart (Super Channel)
  • The Stats of Life (CBC)
  • 22 Minutes (CBC)
  • Little Dog (CBC)
  • Paranormal Survivor (T+E)
  • The Other Side (APTN)
  • Wynonna Earp (Space)
  • Second Jen (City)
  • Blood & Water (Omni)
  • Heartland (CBC)
  • Mayday (Discovery)
  • Backyard Builds (HGTV Canada)
  • The Launch (CTV)
  • Carnival Eats (Food Network Canada)
  • Save My Reno (HGTV Canada)
  • Love It or List It Vancouver (HGTV Canada)
  • Property Brothers (HGTV Canada)
  • Property Brothers: Buying and Selling (HGTV Canada)
  • Worst to First (HGTV Canada)
  • Border Security: America’s Front Line (HGTV Canada)
  • Just Like Mom & Dad (YesTV)
  • The Detectives (CBC)
  • The Nature of Things (CBC)
  • Exhibitionists (CBC)
  • Marketplace (CBC)
  • The Fifth Estate (CBC)
  • Mighty Trains (Discovery)
  • Mary Kills People (Global)
  • Big Brother Canada (Global)
  • Sarah Off the Grid (HGTV Canada)
  • Holmes + Holmes (HGTV Canada)
  • Entertainment Tonight Canada (Global)
  • Odd Squad (TVO)
  • The Beaverton (Comedy Network)
  • Jade Fever (Discovery)
  • etalk (CTV)
  • The Social (CTV)
  • The Marilyn Denis Show (CTV)
  • Your Morning (CTV)
  • Mighty Cruise Ships (Discovery)
  • Dog Tales Rescue (Gusto)
  • Corner Gas Animated (The Comedy Network)
  • Canada’s Worst Driver (Discovery)
  • Last Stop Garage (Discovery)
  • Rocky Mountain Railroad (Discovery)
  • Bonacini’s Italy (Gusto)
  • Flour Power (Gusto)
  • Crazy Beautiful Weddings (Makeful)
  • Intervention Canada (T+E)
  • Lakefront Luxury (Cottage Life)
  • Hope for Wildlife (Cottage Life)
  • Hellfire Heroes (Discovery)
  • Ransom (Global)
  • MasterChef Canada (CTV)
  • Slasher

Awaiting confirmation

  • Degrassi: Next Class (Family Channel)
  • One World Kitchen (Gusto)
  • Wild Archaeology (APTN)
  • Bake with Anna Olson (Food Network)
  • Bryan Inc. (HGTV Canada)
  • Nirvanna The Band The Show (Viceland)
  • Mighty Planes (Discovery)
  • Tougher Than It Looks (Discovery)
  • Love It or List It (HGTV Canada)
  • Mighty Ships (Discovery)
  • Backstage (Family Channel)
  • Yukon Gold (History)
  • First Dates (Slice)
  • Hockey Wives (W Network)
  • Buying the View (W Network)
  • Max & Shred (YTV)
  • The Stanley Dynamic (YTV)
  • Drive Me Crazy (YTV)
  • Massive Monster Mayhem (Family Channel)
  • Crawford (CBC)
  • The Baker Sisters (Food Network)

Not Returning

  • Rick Mercer Report (CBC)
  • The Goods (CBC)
  • Ghost Wars (Netflix)
  • 21 Thunder (CBC)
  • Interrupt This Program (CBC)
  • Daily Planet (Discovery)
  • Innerspace (Space)
  • Hello Goodbye (CBC, on hiatus)
  • The Detail (CTV)
  • On the Money (CBC)
  • Guilt Free Zone (APTN)
  • Mysticons (YTV)
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TV Eh B Cs podcast 80 — Getting the story from Gemma Holdway

Gemma Holdway is a British-Canadian writer. She has worked as a story editor on Syfy/Netflix’s Ghost Wars and Season 2 of CTV’s hit series Cardinal. Together with Cardinal showrunner Sarah Dodd, Gemma is currently developing a one-hour drama for Bell Media and Omnifilm Entertainment. She has previously developed series with Front Street Pictures, Reality Distortion Field and Riverside Entertainment.

Gemma also worked as a script/story coordinator on Ghost Wars, Gracepoint, Killjoys, Power Rangers, High Moon and Poor Richard’s Almanack. She was a 2016 recipient of the Corus Entertainment Writer’s Apprenticeship and is currently enrolled in the National Screen Institute’s Totally Television Program. Gemma’s TV pilots have been shortlisted by the Sundance Episodic Storytelling Lab. Four of her TV movies have been produced. Her shorts have premiered at Edmonton International Film Festival and Whistler Film Festival. She holds a bachelor of journalism and a minor in politics from Ryerson University. Gemma is represented by the Alpern Group.

Listen or download below, or subscribe via iTunes or any other podcast catcher with the TV, eh? podcast feed.

Want to support TV, eh?’s work? Become a Patreon!

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Super Channel commissions second season of Pure from Two East Productions and Cineflix

From a media release:

Super Channel is pleased to announce that it has commissioned a second season of PURE, the critically acclaimed, Canadian Screen Award-nominated series from Two East Productions and Cineflix.

The six-part Super Channel Original Production will tell the continuing story of Noah and Anna Funk, Mennonites trying to protect their family and preserve their faith while battling drug trafficking within their community. The second season is scheduled to begin production in Nova Scotia later this spring and anticipated to premiere on Super Channel in early 2019.

“We are thrilled to be working with Michael Amo and the team at Two East and Cineflix to bring PURE back for Canadian fans of the series,” said Melissa Kajpust, Vice President, Programming for Super Channel. “We jumped at the chance to bring this compelling drama set in a unique world to a pay-tv audience. There is so much more to the story to be told and we are excited the creators will have the creative freedom to take the story in new directions.”

Showrunner Michael Amo said: “As a storyteller, I couldn’t ask for better creative partners or more compelling characters. Noah’s path will lead him to redemption or perdition, while Anna, exiled by her community, will be forced to outsmart the new cartel kingpin all by herself. It’s going to be a fun ride.”

“We could not be more pleased and thankful to work with Super Channel to bring audiences a second season of PURE in which Michael is taking Anna and Noah on an even more conflicted and perilous journey,” added Cineflix President, Peter Emerson.

PURE takes us deep inside a closed, secretive subculture through the eyes of a conflicted, good-hearted Mennonite couple trying to protect their family and preserve their faith.

Inspired by actual events, PURE is the journey of Noah and Anna Funk, determined to rid their community of the scourge of drugs and its nefarious ties to a transborder smuggling alliance with ruthless Mexican cocaine cartels. But just when they believe the danger is behind them, they are pulled back into a world of violence, greed, and betrayal. Returning cast for season two include Ryan Robbins (Arrow, The Killing) as Noah Funk and Alex Paxton-Beesley (Cardinal, Copper) as Anna Funk.

Produced by Two East Productions and Cineflix in association with Super Channel, WGN America, Hulu and the CBC, PURE is created and written by Michael Amo (The Listener) with Ken Girotti (Orphan Black, Vikings) as the series Director. Amo and Girotti serve as executive producers for the second season, along with Brett Burlock, Peter Emerson and David MacLeod (Call Me Fitz, Haven). Cineflix Rights has the exclusive worldwide distribution rights to PURE.

 

 

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