Tag Archives: CBC

CBC renews original comedies Run the Burbs, Son of a Critch and This Hour Has 22 Minutes

From a media release:

Reinforcing its status as Canada’s go-to destination for Canadian comedy, CBC today announced the renewal of popular original series RUN THE BURBS and SON OF A CRITCH for their third seasons, and long-running sketch comedy series THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES for its 31st season. These series join Peabody Award-winning comedy SORT OF, which was renewed for a third season in December 2022 by CBC and HBO Max, as part of CBC’s 2023-24 comedy slate. CBC comedies were recently recognized with 54 Canadian Screen Award nominations, including Best Comedy Series for SORT OF and Best Sketch Comedy Program or Series for THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES. SON OF A CRITCH is also among the Top 5 series currently in the running for the 2023 Cogeco Fund Audience Choice Award.

Created by comedian, writer and actor Andrew Phung (Kim’s Convenience) and his best friend and collaborator, filmmaker Scott Townend (The Secret Marathon), RUN THE BURBS follows the Phams, a young, bold Vietnamese-South Asian-Canadian family taking a different approach to living life to the fullest, while changing the way we think about contemporary family values and life in the burbs. The series is produced by Pier 21 Films and distributed by Fifth Season. The Season 2 finale of RUN THE BURBS airs Wednesday, March 29 at 8:30 p.m (9 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem.

Based on Mark Critch’s award-winning, best-selling memoir, SON OF A CRITCH is the hilarious and very real story of 12-year-old Mark coming of age in St. John’s, Newfoundland in the 80s. Created by Critch (This Hour Has 22 Minutes) and Tim McAuliffe (The Office, Last Man on Earth and MacGruber) and produced by Emmy® and Golden Globe® winning producer Andrew Barnsley (Schitt’s Creek), the series is an inter-provincial co-production between Barnsley’s Project 10 Productions Inc. and Newfoundland-based Take the Shot Productions in association with CBC and Lionsgate Television, which handles worldwide distribution rights outside Canada. This season, SON OF A CRITCH is the most-watched English Canadian comedy series and CBC’s most-watched program with 18-49 and 25-54 audiences.* The Season 2 finale of SON OF A CRITCH airs Tuesday, March 28 at 8:30 p.m. (9 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem.

Canada’s longest-running TV comedy series, THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES continues to push the boundaries of provocative satire, targeting politics, culture and world events with biting parodies and an unrelenting skewering of the weekly news. Produced by IoM Media, the series remains a beloved sketch comedy staple for audiences across the country after three decades, and has featured some of Canada’s greatest comedians – and most of the country’s political leaders. The finale of THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES’ 30th anniversary season airs Tuesday, March 28 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem.

In addition, CBC continues its commitment to showcasing emerging and established Canadian stand-up talent with returning specials and series for the 2023-24 broadcast season. Recently captured at Just For Laughs Vancouver and produced by Just For Laughs TV, Season 4 of THE NEW WAVE OF STANDUP showcases Canada’s hottest new comedians (Season 3 debuts Friday, March 24 on CBC Gem). Also from Just For Laughs TV, Season 20 of JUST FOR LAUGHS GALAS will offer the best-known international and Canadian stand-up comedians, alongside exciting breakout performers, from the world’s biggest comedy event in Montreal. WINNIPEG COMEDY FESTIVAL (Season 22, Frantic Films) and HALIFAX COMEDY FEST (Season 27, Pilot Light Productions) round out CBC’s comedy lineup for the upcoming broadcast season, capturing some of the most dynamic performers on today’s circuit.

*Source: Numeris TV Meter, September 12, 2022 – March 5, 2023, CBC Total, Total Canada, Based on AMA, Confirmed Audience Data, generated by InfoSys+TV.


Paramount+ and CBC announce start of production for the second season of Skymed

From a media release:

Paramount+, CBC and Piazza Entertainment today announced that production has begun on the sophomore season of the high-stakes medical drama series SKYMED. Filming in Ontario and Manitoba, Canada, the young medics and pilots flying air ambulances return for more life, death and drama in the skies of remote Northern Canada.

The original series will be available in Canada on CBC TV and CBC Gem, and streaming exclusively on Paramount+ in the U.S. and internationally in the UK, Australia, Latin America, Brazil, Italy, France, and Germany.

Produced by Piazza Entertainment in association with CBC and CBS Studios, SKYMED’S second season promises new hookups, break ups and heartbreaks as the medevac service expands into new territory, throwing the flight crew into intense new emergencies at work and in their personal lives.

The series is created by Julie Puckrin and inspired by her sister and brother-in-law who met flying air ambulances. Returning to SKYMED is Natasha Calis as ‘Nurse Hayley Roberts,’ Aason (Ace) Nadjiwon as Golden boy pilot ‘Captain Austen Bodie,’ Morgan Holmstrom as no-nonsense ‘Nurse Crystal Highway,’ Praneet Akilla as ‘First Officer Chopper,’ Thomas Elms as icy-cool pilot ‘Captain Nowak,’ Mercedes Morris as ‘First Officer Lexi Martine,’ and Kheon Clarke as ‘Nurse Tristan Green’. Braeden Clarke reprises his recurring role as Crystal’s charming on-again-off-again love interest, ‘Jeremy Wood,’ and Aaron Ashmore returns as ‘Wheezer,’ the wise-cracking big brother that everyone looks up to.

Cast joining the second season includes Sydney Kuhne (“Ginny & Georgia”) as fiery new flight medic ‘Stef,’ Ryan Ali (“The Hummingbird Project”) as handsome young pilot ‘Reese,’ and Nadine Whiteman-Roden (“Faith Heist”) as Dr. Yana Noah.

SKYMED is produced by Piazza Entertainment in association with CBC, Canada’s national public broadcaster, and CBS Studios. The series is created by Julie Puckrin, who also serves as Executive Producer along with Gillian Hormel and Vanessa Piazza. Outside of Canada, SKYMED will be distributed internationally by Paramount Global Content Distribution.


Patrick J. Adams and Karine Vanasse explore the pitfalls of relationship choices and do-overs in Plan B

Who, honestly, hasn’t wondered what it would be like to hop in a time machine for a life do-over? I certainly have. If only I could go back to high school and take things more seriously, tell that certain someone how I felt, or reverse a decision I made. But, would doing any of those things change how my life ultimately ended up?

That’s the premise of Plan B, debuting Monday on CBC.

Adapted from the original Quebecois French-language series Plan B that premiered on Ici Radio-Canada Télé n 2017, the English version stars Patrick J. Adams (Suits) and Karine Vanasse (Cardinal) as Philip Grimmer and Evelyn Landry, a couple whose lives are literally in disarray. Whether it’s the clutter of the home renovation going on around them, to the erosion of their relationship, things are not good for the pair.

So, when Philip—after an evening out drinking and commiserating about his lot in life with his brother-in-law and business partner Patrick (François Arnaud, X Company)—enters a bar bathroom and sees a flyer for a company named Plan B promising to allow you to go back in time and right wrongs, he jumps at the chance. Make no mistake though, Plan B is not a sci-fi drama.

“I’m not fascinated with time travel,” says co-creator and co-writer Jean-François Asselin. “I’m fascinated with human beings. What was interesting to me was, when co-creator Jacques Drolet and I started writing [the French version], we were questioning the choices we made in life. When I watch a TV show or movie, I’m involved as a human being and question what I would do in my personal life. I want people, when they watch Plan B, to reflect on their own lives.”

In Monday’s debut, Philip is trying desperately to keep his relationship with Evelyn intact. After annoying her during their daily commute to the office they work in—he’s a lawyer and she’s suffering in silence as a paralegal/secretary—and stuck in Montreal’s gridlock, Evelyn hops out of the car, opting to take public transit. Things only go down from there. As a viewer, those scenes of conflict are hard to watch. But they’re incredibly real.

“This is a couple that struggles,” Asselin says. “The challenge was, how are we going to root for them and follow them through six episodes?”

That all comes down to the performances by Adams and Vanasse.

“We can all connect to that fear of losing something when you thought that everything was going well,” Vanasse says. “Viewers really want Philip to find that solution so that he doesn’t fuck up this time, and that everything is going to be OK.”

But, in trying to make everything OK between him and Evelyn, or he and the team renovating his home, or the relationship he has with his brother, Andy (Josh Close), things just get worse. The result? Going further back in time.

“He clearly loves this woman,” Adams says. “He clearly wants this to work and has this idea of what the ‘right thing’ is and he wants everyone to be happy and goes to extreme lengths to ensure that’s the case. He’s just also deeply flawed because he doesn’t ask a question or take a minute to listen in the moment.

“Philip is such a doer,” Adams continues. “I can relate to that. What do I need to do? How do I fix this? How can I make this better? I’ve lived long enough to know that half the time when I do that in my own relationship the answer is, ‘How about you just listen to what I’m saying or how I’m feeling?'”

Plan B airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem.

Images courtesy of CBC.


Link: Acclaimed CBC/BET drama ‘The Porter’ will not receive a second season

From Noel Ransome of the Canadian Press:

Link: Acclaimed CBC/BET drama ‘The Porter’ will not receive a second season
The creative team behind the CBC and BET Plus series “The Porter” says there’s not going to be a Season 2 of the acclaimed historical drama. Executive producer Jennifer Kawaja commented on the state of “The Porter” shortly after the series scored a leading 19 nominations for the Canadian Screen Awards on Wednesday. Continue reading.


CBC, BIPOC TV & Film and CFC announce participants for second year of Showrunner Catalyst Program

From a media release:

CBC, BIPOC TV & Film and the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) today announced the participants for the second year of the CBC-BIPOC TV & FILM SHOWRUNNER CATALYST, an accelerator program that supports the career advancement of senior writers who identify as Indigenous, Black or People of Colour through hands-on and personally tailored on-set experience. Designed through an anti-racist and equity-focused lens, the Catalyst provides participants with additional tools and support systems necessary to reach a showrunner level in the Canadian film and television industry, including a dedicated showrunner-mentor throughout the process. The six participants for the second year of the program, which is now underway, are Vance Banzo, Nelu Handa, Amanda Joy, JP Larocque, Robina Lord-Stafford, and Shannon Masters.

“BIPOC TV & Film is thrilled to partner again with CBC and CFC to elevate these talented and experienced writers,” said Kadon Douglas, Executive Director, BIPOC TV & Film. “Amanda, JP, Nelu, Robina, Shannon, and Vance have broken barriers, paid their dues, and contributed to some of the most memorable and exciting moments in contemporary Canadian TV. Their unique perspectives and narratives illuminate a diversity of experiences that are rarely seen on screen but resonate with audiences in Canada and across the globe. With the support of the Showrunner Catalyst and our industry partners, these creative leaders are ready to take up their well-deserved space in the Pantheon of great Canadian storytellers.”

“The past year of collaboration has further demonstrated the importance and impact of elevating senior-level Black, Indigenous and racialized creative talent and setting up these future leaders for success. We are honoured to once again work with BIPOC TV & Film and the CFC on this unique partnership,” said Trish Williams, Executive Director, Scripted Content, CBC. “Building on our learnings from the first year of the program, we look forward to supporting this year’s talented participants in their continued development, with the shared goal of nurturing and advancing more creative leaders who reflect the changing face of Canada.”

“We’re thrilled to be back for year two of this groundbreaking program with our partners BIPOC TV & Film and CBC, and to be supporting these six talented creators in their journey to becoming leading showrunners in our industry,” added maxine bailey, executive director, CFC. “This unique program brings us one step closer to a more just and equitable Canadian film and TV landscape, where equity, access and authentic representation are the standard, not the exception.”

The 2023 participants are as follows:

Vance Banzo (he/him) is a Saulteaux/Cree comedian, actor, and writer born and raised in Edmonton. Currently residing in Toronto, Banzo is a proud member of award-winning sketch comedy troupe and former CBC series, TallBoyz. In addition to writing and starring in the series, he was also a contributing director in the third season, which won four Canadian Screen Awards. As a comedian, he has performed on many stages across the country, including Just For Laughs Toronto and the Gchi Dewin Indigenous Storytelling Festival.

“My ultimate goal is to create an environment for indigenous people to learn and mentor, while ensuring they have the tools and skills needed to succeed at a professional level in this industry.” – Vance Banzo

Nelu Handa (she/her) has written for multiple seasons of award-winning comedy series, including JANN, The Odd Squad, The Beaverton, TallBoyz, and A Little Late With Lilly Singh. Most recently, she’s written for both seasons of Run the Burbs and served as Co-Executive Producer on season two. In 2021, she earned a Best Writing Canadian Screen Award for her work on Baroness von Sketch Show and a Peabody Award for her contribution to the groundbreaking first season of Sort Of. As an actor, she’s been featured in many series, including all of the previously named shows, Star Trek: Discovery, and Workin’ Moms, where she played recurring character Jade. And finally, it’s pronounced ‘knee-loo’, like the body part and a British toilet.

“I love being a writer – breaking a season of stories, writing scripts, punching up, and contributing my point of view into the DNA of a show. I thrive on bringing my full self to the table, and having the chance to voice my opinion on matters of representation and advocacy.” – Nelu Handa

Amanda Joy (she/her) is an Asian-Canadian screenwriter and performer based in Toronto, best known for co-creating the City/OMNI original series, Second Jen. Joy was nominated for Writers Guild of Canada Awards for the Second Jen scripts “Like a Girl” and “Couch Surfing,” and won a WGC Award in 2022 for her work on Amelia Parker. She was also nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for best comedy series for Second Jen Season 2. Her additional credits include Son of a Critch Season 2 (CBC/Lionsgate), Second Jen (City/OMNI), Take Note (NBC/Peacock), TallBoyz (CBC), Overlord and the Underwoods (CBC/Nickelodeon UK), Amelia Parker (BYU-TV), and The Parker Andersons (BYU-TV). She also has several projects currently in network development.

“I want to create spaces where people from all walks of life can have their voices heard and their stories told.” – Amanda Joy

JP Larocque (they/them) is a television writer and producer with experience in comedy (CBC’s Sort Of, CTV’s JANN), procedural drama (CBC’s Coroner, Diggstown and SkyMed), youth (HBO Max’s Home Sweet Rome, YTV’s Popularity Papers) and genre programming (Netflix’s Another Life, Shudder’s Slasher). A proud member of the 2SLGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities, JP is committed to diversity and inclusion in all their work.

“I’m at a point in my career where my ability to understand every aspect of showrunning and obtain more meaningful on-set production experience is vital to my future success. Gaining both skills can make the difference between me remaining a support player on other people’s projects versus me having the opportunity to lead my own shows. And I want to have the freedom to do both — a freedom enjoyed by generations of writers before me.” – JP Larocque

Robina Lord-Stafford (she/her) is a Jamaican-Canadian mother, historian, feminist and award-winning screenwriter. She is the co-creator of a half-hour dramedy (based on a bestselling memoir) in development with a global streamer, a co-executive producer on a drama series in development with CBC, and a mentor for NYWIFT’s prestigious The Writers Lab (supported by Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman) and for BIPOC TV + Film’s Episodic Lab. She also has an original drama series in development with eOne, and is the co-creator and co-showrunner of a new drama in development that sheds light on a shameful piece of Canadian history.

In 2022, Lord-Stafford was a co-executive producer and writer on Macy Murdoch (CBC Gem), a co-producer and writer on Season 3 of Pretty Hard Cases (CBC), and a writer on Hudson & Rex (Rogers). Previously, she was a co-producer and writer on Season 2 of Moonshine (CBC), and a writer on Blood and Water (Rogers) and Frankie Drake Mysteries (CBC).

“I’m passionate about writing characters that I want to see, racialized people who’ve either been relegated to the margins, haven’t made it onto the page, or have been the standard stereotyped tropes. Daily, I’ll work diligently to achieve my writing and career goals, and once established in the industry, I’ll hold that still-elusive door wide open so my BIPOC sisters and brothers can also enter.” – Robina Lord-Stafford

Shannon Masters (she/her) is an award-winning film and television writer. Her feature film Empire of Dirt premiered at TIFF in 2013. That same year, Masters was nominated and won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Screenplay. She then made the transition from film to television as story editor on the fourth season of APTN’s half-hour comedy Mohawk Girls and has since gone on to write for CTV’s dark investigative drama Cardinal, Global Television’s hit series Private Eyes and multiple seasons of CBC’s drama series Burden of Truth and Coroner. Originally from Saskatchewan, Masters is Cree Métis and Ukrainian and is a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario.

“I believe showrunning requires patience and the ability to stick-handle a million different personalities and get them to work together harmoniously. It’s managing the doubts of others. More than simply having a creative vision, you’ve also got to be diplomatic while still having the ability to be the boss when you have to be, because let’s face it, if the show fails, that’s on you.” – Shannon Masters

The first part of the Catalyst, which began last month, consists of a series of substantive and hands-on masterclasses covering topics related to the role and responsibilities of a showrunner, including anti-oppressive leadership, people management, mental health, building relationships with network, studios, creative and crew, and all facets of bringing a show to life, from the writing room to prep, production, post and delivery. Participating speakers include Floyd Kane (creator, showrunner and executive producer of Diggstown), Morwyn Brebner (creator and executive producer of Coroner, Saving Hope and Rookie Blue), Noelle Carbone (co-executive producer and writer on Wynonna Earp, Coroner, Cardinal), and Jennifer Podemski (founder and CEO of Shine Network Inc.).

Through the context of a senior writing and producing role on a Canadian-produced series, the second part of the Catalyst will see each participant building upon their foundational skills in showrunning by working with an experienced showrunner and participating in all key elements of production: from prep meetings to running the floor, managing set, and taking a block of episodes through to post. Throughout the process, each participant will also be paired with an external showrunner, who will serve as a mentor. The program will be highly tailored for the needs of each writer and participating production, offering wellness and advocacy support through an anti-racism, anti-oppression lens. The second year of the program will run through the fall of 2023. This is the second year of an initial three-year commitment to the program made by CBC, BIPOC TV & Film and the CFC, with the opportunity to renew.

Catalyst participants are nominated by showrunners, producers, production companies or broadcasters, in consultation with BIPOC TV & Film and the CFC, based on their experience and readiness to further progress in their career. In order to qualify for participation, each potential candidate must be a Canadian Citizen or permanent resident of Canada (as recognized by CAVCO), and a Writers Guild of Canada member in good standing with a minimum of three episodes of “written by” credits on 30 or 60-minute prime time television or streaming platform productions in the last seven years, and at least one “co-producer” credit in the last three years, or equivalent experience. For more information on the qualification and nomination process, visit bipoctvandfilm.com/showrunner-catalyst.