Tag Archives: CTV Sci-Fi

Links: SurrealEstate, Season 2

From Heather M. of TV Goodness:

Link: Previewing SurrealEstate Season 2 Premiere “Trust the Process”
We’re a week out from the return of our favorite supernatural real estate squad as SurrealEstate Season 2 begins on Syfy in the US and CTV Sci-Fi and Crave in Canada. It’s been a circuitous route – cancelled soon after the first season finale in October 2021 and then uncancelled with a surprise announcement in May of 2022. May you live in interesting times, y’all. Continue reading.

From Meredith Jacobs of TV Insider:

Link: ‘SurrealEstate’: Luke’s Struggling, Susan’s Taking Charge & More Season 2 Scoop (VIDEO)
The Roman Agency is once again open for business, but things are different. SurrealEstate is back for its second season on Syfy on October 4, though it almost didn’t get one. Continue reading.

From Greg Archer of Movieweb:

Link: Exclusive: Tim Rozon Says the Demons in Season 2 of Surreal Estate Are So Much Scarier Than Before
SyFy’s Surreal Estate has plenty of frights and mystery in escrow. The quirky hit show won audiences over in season one as real estate agent Luke Roman was bombarded with surprises at The Roman Agency. Continue reading.

From Heather M. of TV Goodness:

Link: Previewing SurrealEstate “The Butler Didn’t” with George R. Olson
“One of the things that makes Luke such a great character for me is that he has this combination of pragmatism and compassion. One of the really nice discoveries that we walked into or, or kind of found our way into about Luke, was that even without his powers, it doesn’t change the fundamental compassion of the guy and the way he looks at this other world, which he’s been given a rare glimpse into.” Continue reading.

From Heather M. of TV Goodness:

Link: Danishka Esterhazy talks SurrealEstate: “The Butler Didn’t”
“We [knew] the right actor can make this scene so amazing. Somebody who’s got great comic timing and a real personality and range. If you give this scene to just an average Joe, it won’t sing. We needed somebody who’s really, really special. So when we were casting, we found out Patrick was available.” Continue reading.

From Heather M. of TV Goodness:

Link: George Olson and Danishka Esterhazy Talk SurrealEstate “I Put a Spell on You”
“But I think because of a natural love of female-driven gothic horror, the penultimate scene in Kay’s attic was my favorite that I just loved putting together. I loved that set that we built. And I love Tara Yelland’s performance. I think she’s so charismatic and fascinating and scary and wonderful.” Continue reading.

From Heather M. of TV Goodness:

Link: Spencer Creaghan Talks SurrealEstate Season 2 Soundtrack Volume 1
“I come from a soundtrack background. I like soundtrack music. I listen to a lot of soundtrack music. A lot of the people that I listen to on a daily basis are film composers and TV composers. Growing up, I listened to The Lord of the Rings soundtracks and The Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks and all these kinds of things.” Continue reading.

From Heather M. of TV Goodness:

Link: Previewing SurrealEstate “Set Your Flag On Fire” + Talking Character with Spencer Creaghan
“And Luke was probably the most interesting because the piece that I wrote as my pitch was supposed to be Luke’s theme. But as I watched the show and as I spoke with George, I learned that Luke’s a pretty deep guy. Then that riff wasn’t gonna be enough to really capture who he was.” Continue reading.

From Heather M. of TV Goodness:

Link: Tim Rozon Talks SurrealEstate Season 2 + a Preview of “Dearly Departed”
With just two episodes left this season, SurrealEstate is entering the home stretch of its second season. Continue reading.

From Heather M. of TV Goodness:

Link: Spencer Creaghan Talks About Creating SurrealEstate’s Signature Sound
SurrealEstate is winding down its second season, with two episodes left, and just as in Season 1, Spencer Creaghan’s music continues to be a character unto itself. Continue reading.

From Heather M. of TV Goodness:

Link: George R. Olson, Tim Rozon, and Sarah Levy Talk the SurrealEstate S2 Finale
How’s everyone doing after the finale? As we close out the second season of SurrealEstate, some of our merry band of misfits are scattering to the winds–Zooey to law school, Phil to the Vatican, and Augie back to his think tank with Rochelle, while Lomax stays on in the new Roman Ireland Agency. Continue reading.


This October, CTV Sci-Fi Channel embraces spooky season with new and returning series

From a media release:

Beginning October 4, CTV Sci-Fi Channel’s October schedule is possessed by ghosts, vampires, some unlikely heroes, and…real estate agents! With a slate of new and returning series, first to hit the market is Season 2 of CTV Sci-Fi Original series SURREALESTATE, returning Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET beginning Oct. 4, with new original series PARANORMAL REVENGEhaunting Fridays at 9 p.m. ET beginning Oct. 6 on CTV Sci-Fi, CTV.ca, and the CTV app.

Joining SURREALESTATE on Wednesdays, and making its Canadian broadcast debut, REGINALD THE VAMPIRE sinks its fangs into the 9 p.m. ET timeslot beginning Oct. 11. DOOM PATROL also returns to the CTV Sci-Fi schedule beginning Oct. 12 as the final six episodes of the series air Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET.

New episodes of SURREALESTATE, PARANORMAL REVENGE, REGINALD THE VAMPIRE, and DOOM PATROL are available to stream on CTV.ca and the CTV app.

New and Returning Series:

Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET beginning October 4 

Without his special abilities to see, hear, and speak to the supernatural entities that complicate his clients’ real estate transactions, Luke Roman (Tim Rozon, WYNONNA EARP) leans heavily on his eccentric team, even as his associate Susan (Sarah Levy, SCHITT’S CREEK) becomes captivated – and captured – by a mysterious home of her own.

SURREALESTATE is produced by Blue Ice Pictures in association with Bell Media and SYFY with the participation of PictureNL. George Olson developed the series for television and serves as showrunner and executive producer. Lance Samuels, Daniel Iron, Armand Leo, Danishka Esterhazy, Neil Tabatznik, Cosima von Spreti, and Kevin Anweiler also serve as executive producers. For Bell Media, Sarah Fowlie is Head of Production, Original Programming; Carlyn Klebuc is General Manager, Original Programming; Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming. Justin Stockman is Vice-President, Content Development & Programming, Bell Media. Karine Moses is Senior Vice-President, Content Development & News, Bell Media and Vice Chair, Québec, Bell.

Season 1 of SURREALESTATE is available to stream on CTV.ca and the CTV app, beginning September 28

Fridays at 9 p.m. ET beginning October 6

PARANORMAL REVENGE offers a fresh approach to creepy, hair-raising stories that emanate from the dimension beyond. Each story unfolds from the perspective of a main storyteller – a victim – who has been targeted by a mysterious paranormal entity or entities. What follows is a truly original and compelling approach: a mash-up of the true-crime procedural and terrifying ghost stories.

PARANORMAL REVENGE is produced by Sphere Media in association with Bell Media. For Sphere Media, Robin Bicknell is the Series Producer; Bruno Dubé, Marlo Miazga, Corinna Lehr, Andrea Griffith, Aidan Denison, and Sean Connolly are Executive Producers. For Bell Media, Rachel Goldstein-Couto is Head of Development; Danielle Pearson is Senior Production Executive, Original Programming; Sarah Fowlie is Head of Production, Original Programming; Carlyn Klebuc is General Manager, Original Programming; Pat DiVittorio is Vice-President, CTV and Specialty Programming. Justin Stockman is Vice-President, Content Development & Programming, Bell Media. Karine Moses is Senior Vice-President, Content Development & News, Bell Media and Vice Chair, Québec, Bell.

REGINALD THE VAMPIRE *New Series, Canadian Broadcast Premiere*
Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET beginning October 11

Imagine a world populated by beautiful, fit, and vain vampires. Reginald Andres (Jacob Batalon, Spider-Man: No Way Home) tumbles headlong into it as an unlikely hero who will have to navigate every kind of obstacle – the girl he loves but can’t be with, a bully manager at work, and the vampire chieftain who wants him dead. Fortunately, Reginald discovers he has a few unrecognized powers of his own.

REGINALD THE VAMPIRE is produced by Great Pacific Media, Modern Story Company, December Films, and Cineflix Studios and executive produced by Harley Peyton, Jeremiah Chechik, Todd Berger, Lindsay Macadam, Brett Burlock, and Peter Emerson. Produced in Association with SYFY, the series is based on the on the Fat Vampire series of novels by Johnny B. Truant. Cineflix Rights acts as worldwide distribution partner.


Astrid & Lilly’s Alix Markman: “I’ve always really been drawn to what I would term horror-adjacent”

I first met Alix Markman when we were both helping spread the word about the Toronto Screenwriting Conference. Since then, I’ve kept tabs on her career, which has included working as a story coordinator for the tween series The Next Step, script coordinator for the animated Go Away, Unicorn!, writer for the video game Gotham Knights and, most recently, executive story editor for Astrid & Lilly Save the World.

Airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern on CTV Sci-Fi, Astrid & Lilly Save the World—about high school friends Astrid (Jana Morrison), Lilly (Samantha Aucoin), monsters and a portal to another dimension—is the perfect fit for Markman. With Wednesday’s new episode credited to her, we spoke to Alix about her career so far.

In your bio, you say there’s a fine line between horror and comedy and that’s exactly where you feel most at home. Did you grow up really liking humour and horror, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
Alix Markman: Very much so, I’ve always really been drawn to what I would term horror-adjacent. So think The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline and very much Buffy. Those types of things that really draw on the horror canon and are in a lot of ways, a love letter to the horror canon, but not traditional horror in and of themselves.

And then getting older, I was very drawn to things like Guillermo del Toro works and stuff like that. Again, very dark. Dark themes with almost a lighter access point.

At what point did you say, ‘OK, I want to do this for a living.’ Was there a light bulb moment?
AM: Sort of. It sounds deeply cliché, but I always wanted to be a writer. I knew from the time I knew what a job was that I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t know what type of writer. When I was quite young, I thought I would write books, I might be a novelist. And again, still in that sort of realm, growing up, I really loved fantasy and stuff, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter. I mean, I still love all these things.

And then when I was sort of a middle schooler, tween age, I got really into theatre and performing arts, so I thought I might be a playwright/performer. I kind of lost interest in performing, but never in the writing aspect. I was a theatre kid at the time when the movie musical was really making its comeback, Chicago and Dreamgirls and Rent and Hairspray.

I became very interested in what made a movie musical click. Why were some of these so successful, like Chicago? And why were some of these not quite as successful in their translation to the big screen? I went to the library, and it turns out there are no books about writing movie musicals—super rude—but there are tons of books about screenwriting. So I just picked up a bunch of screenwriting books and started reading about it. I really, really fell in love with the form. I just devoured these books and I started watching movies and doing breakdowns. I was like 14. I just completely fell in love with screenwriting as a craft. I thought I would primarily write films. And then, when I was about 15 or 16, my best friend sat me down. She told me, ‘OK, there’s this really weird show, but I absolutely love it. And I think if you give it a real shot, you’re going to love it too. We have to watch it. It’s called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.‘ She had the box set and we started watching it. That was my aha moment. I went, ‘Oh yeah. That, that is exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life.’

Astrid (Jana Morrison) and Lilly (Samantha Aucoin)

Writing a play or movie seems to be a solitary existence, as opposed to a TV show. Do you enjoy the collaborative aspect of writing TV?
AM: I love the collaborative aspect of it. Screenwriting, and writing for television in particular, has really circumvented that because you always have a team and if you are stuck on something, you can bring it to the room and say, ‘You know what? This scene worked on the board, but it’s just not working on the page. Let’s talk it out.’ And then in return, you get to be that person for other people. It’s really rewarding. And as much as we would all love to believe that we’re perfect writers, no, no, we’re not whatsoever. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

A really good room will take that into account. And maybe one person really excels at dialogue. No matter what they can put it in these characters’ voices, and maybe one person really excels at structure, no matter what kind of story you’re trying to tell, they know exactly where each of the beats need to fall. And then maybe one person is really good at mythology. But in the best writer’s room, it develops into this sort of synergy that is just really, really rewarding to be a part of. And it makes you a better writer to work with better writers. I feel like that is very important. I think a lot of young writers are sometimes intimidated by the idea of working with other people.

You could read every screenwriting book in the world, you could take every screenwriting class available to you and nothing can mimic the experience of being in the room and collaborating with those other people.

You’re on Astrid & Lilly as an executive story editor. What does that title entail?
AM: In Canadian live-action, story editor is essentially synonymous with ‘writer.’ You’re part of a team, the writers’ room, where you collaborate with the other writers on the project to pitch ideas, break stories, and solve problems in order to support and ultimately execute the showrunner’s creative vision on the page. You also read every draft of each script and offer feedback in collaboration with the rest of the writers’ room to make each episode the best it can possibly be.

The show has gotten rave reviews in outlets like Time, particularly about its casting and diversity in front of and behind the camera.
AM: It’s been surreal. I feel like this show was tailor-made for me in a lab somewhere. I remember reading the pilot prior to my meeting with [co-creators] Noelle [Stehman] and Betsy [Van Stone] and just thinking, ‘God, what do I have to do to get this job?’

In that first meeting with Betsy and Noelle, they told me how important it was for them to have diversity, both in the cast and the crew and the creative. So to hear that from the beginning, I just knew I had to be a part of this. The Time magazine article in particular really blew me away. And of course, to see the comparisons to Buffy, which is such a monumental show for me as an artist and as a person, it’s truly been incredible.

Astrid & Lilly Save the World airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV Sci-Fi Channel.

Featured image from Alix Markman. Astrid & Lilly image courtesy of Bell Media.


Links: Astrid & Lilly Save the World, Season 1

From Caitlin Chappell of CBR:

Link: Astrid and Lilly’s Showrunners Break Down High School Horrors & Heroes
“We are committed to creating dynamic, layered, complicated female characters. We don’t see enough of that. I mean, now more so for sure, but we wanted to bring some characters to life that embody all those things that we usually see in the male characters.” Continue reading.

Link: Astrid & Lilly Save the World’s Actors Reflect on Groundbreaking Season
“I love the way the writers wrote Lilly’s coming out because it was such a sweet moment. It was something that my character was, I think, nervous to tell her best friend and say out loud.” Continue reading.

From Brittney Bender of Bleeding Cool:

Link: Astrid & Lilly: Jana Morrison on SYFY Series & Friendship (Interview)
“I connect with her in so many ways. I think we’re both pretty confident girls, and what we get that from, I think maybe it’s from trying not to be unconfident. I think people like the feeling of being ourselves and just letting it all hang out, you know?” Continue reading.

From Mads Lennon of Hidden Remote:

Link: Astrid and Lilly post-mortem: Stars Samantha Aucoin and Jana Morrison talk season 2, FortWell and more
“I didn’t expect it. I honestly had so much trust in him, and it’s funny; I felt really upset for my character because she has trust issues and abandonment problems, right? So I felt really sad for Astrid. They didn’t deserve that. I’m excited about what the fans are going to think.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Astrid & Lilly Save the World director Jill Carter helps bring the new supernatural series to life
We all know high school is hard, but it’s especially hard when you’re different. That’s exactly how outcast BFFs Astrid (Jana Morrison) and Lilly (Samantha Aucoin) feel every day of their lives on the new SYFY and CTV Sci-Fi series Astrid & Lilly Save the World, premiering Wednesday, January 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Continue reading.

From Petrana Radulovic of Polygon:

Link: Astrid & Lilly Save the World embraces the weirdness of high school supernatural slayers
With big Buffy-sized shoes to fill in the high school students slay monsters genre, the creators of Syfy’s new series opted to take the template and make it weird. Very weird. Astrid and Lilly Save the World centers on two high school outcasts, who turn into unlikely heroes when they have to save their town from flesh-eating monsters. Continue reading.

From Judy Berman of Time:

Link: Astrid & Lilly Save the World is like Buffy minus the male gaze
But what makes Astrid & Lilly unique is the authenticity of its lovingly written, endearingly portrayed outsider heroines. Continue reading.

From Angie Han of The Hollywood Reporter:

Link: Syfy’s ‘Astrid & Lilly Save the World’: TV Review
The most obvious way to describe Syfy’s Astrid & Lilly Save the World is as a more lighthearted, less angsty Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Continue reading.

From Caroline Framke of Variety:

Link: Syfy’s ‘Astrid & Lilly Save the World’ Is ‘Buffy’ by Way of the Disney Channel: TV Review
Halfway through the pilot of “Astrid and Lilly Save the World,” best friends Astrid (Jana Morrison) and Lilly (Samantha Aucoin) stare down a mysterious stranger (Oliver Renaud) with awe and suspicion. Continue reading.

From Lauren Sarner of the New York Post:

Link: ‘Astrid and Lilly Save The World’ stars on new plus-sized heroine series
“When I got the audition, I was really excited about it because one of the things it was saying was the girls are supposed to be a little bit bigger – plus-sized people.” Continue reading.


SurrealEstate’s Tim Rozon: “The magic of the show is that group”

There’s a certain amount of scrutiny that comes with making the jump from one landmark TV show to another. For Tim Rozon, you can’t help but wonder if that scrutiny was even more intense.

After all, the Montreal native most recently starred on Schitt’s Creek, Vagrant Queen and a little show you may have heard of called Wynonna Earp. I’m happy to say that he’s hit a home run with SurrealEstate.

Airing Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV Sci-Fi Channel, George Olson’s creation is a perfect vehicle for Rozon, an opportunity to stay in the genre space while playing a very different character. His Luke Roman runs The Roman Agency, a real estate company whose team helps sell homes that are haunted and therefore tend to stay on the market. Along for the ride are co-stars Sarah Levy, Adam Korson, Maurice Dean Wint, Savannah Basley and Tennille Read.

We spoke to Tim Rozon about SurrealEstate, which films in St. John’s, haunted houses and his co-stars.

Was this a career path that you expected, that you’d follow one show with demons on it to a show with other demons on it?
Tim Rozon: In a way, yes, because I remember the moment I had this conversation with my wife and I said, ‘My dream is to be on a show that goes to Comic-Con, like one of these supernatural shows, I would just love that. And fast forward a year later, there we were, Wynonna Earp, at San Diego Comic-Con, and since then I’ve got to be on Vagrant Queen, and now SurrealEstate, so surreal is the feeling.

Had you considered at any point maybe taking a break after being on several seasons of Wynonna, or was the thinking the opposite, ‘I got to strike while the iron is hot’?
TR: A hundred percent. At the end of the day, we’re actors, actors want work. To be honest, I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been. It’s pretty difficult, I’ll tell you, there’s so much competition and so many great actors, and I feel very fortunate and I don’t take it for granted, that’s for sure. And then, especially on great shows that you really want to be a part of, I’m very fortunate in that sense, I’ve got to work a lot, but I’ve also got to work on shows that I really loved being on, and that’s from Instant Star to Schitt’s Creek, Wynonna Earp, Vagrant Queen, right into SurrealEstate, so I’ve been very fortunate.

I really like the humour George has established in the world of SurrealEstate.
TR: Yeah, we really lean into it as we start going. I think we really figured out what George’s vision was around Episode 3. We get it right off the bat, but I don’t think we really leaned into it until after, because he’s such a good writer, sometimes it’s so subtle, and at first we just showed up, we don’t know… You don’t know what show we’re making right off the bat. How do you not lean into the humour when you have someone like Sarah Levy there?

You couldn’t have picked a better location for your next project. Had you been to St. John’s before? What was it like shooting there?
TR: It was incredible. I’m lucky that I had been there before, when I was much younger, filming a movie called Screamers: The Hunting, and we filmed that all over St John’s and across the island down in the mines on Bell Island. So I was all over, and also I was Screeched In at that time, which is great because I don’t think I could have handled it now. Before we started [filming SurrealEstate], I was in no way a believer in ghosts at all. After filming in St. John’s, so many guest stars experienced something with ghosts at the hotel that production had them staying at. It was this old Victorian house where they brought in all the guest stars, and they would do their quarantine there and start filming.

But, supposedly, this house was haunted, and the crew and everybody are just like, ‘Yeah, all Newfoundland… all things are haunted, we all know that. I’ve got a ghost in my house. I got a ghost over here. My mom’s house has a ghost.’ It’s like the norm.

And I’m a non-believer, but after hearing the experience of so many guest stars, Sarah and I are like, ‘I don’t know, there’s got to be something, I don’t think anybody’s lying to us.’ Some guest stars actually left that house, they wouldn’t stay there. They had negative experiences with ghosts, and some of the people that I talked to had said they had had experiences before, and other people were kind of like me, it was their first experience. Now, saying all that, I didn’t have an experience while I was in there for mine. I personally didn’t, but it’s tough to call everybody a liar.

You already mentioned Sarah, and the great cast for this show. I haven’t seen Adam Korson in a while, so it was great to see him onscreen. Maurice Dean Wint, a legend in Canadian television and in film. Talk a little bit about this cast of characters that you got to play with.
TR: Yeah, I’m so happy you brought it up, because this truly is an ensemble piece, and the magic of the show is that group. Each episode we go into a new house, which means we get into a new ghost, which is super fun, but it’s the relationships between that group of people and how they deal with it that I think is the real magic of the show. Starting with Sarah Levy, I found out she was cast right away, and that was it, then I knew, ‘OK, I need to do this project because, A) she’s a great actor and B) she’s a great person.’ So I just couldn’t wait to work with her again. You just knew, both of us were like, ‘OK, this is going to be so good and chill.’

And so, you got to spend five months together, you want it to be with someone you really like. And then, as far as everybody else, I literally asked George and [director and executive producer] Danishka [Esterhazy] after, ‘How did you manage to do this?’ Because this was during COVID, and we didn’t have screen tests and chemistry tests. We didn’t get to meet because of COVID, there were no read-throughs or anything, so we met on set and our first scene was in the big room, the Roman Agency with everybody meeting Susan for the first time, and right there and then it felt like magic. It really did it, just immediately you could sense everybody’s character, and we all could connect and figure each other out, and it was great.

And then, for 10 episodes, we got to create that bond and chemistry. I can’t say enough about the cast, as people and actors.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about a couple of guest stars, Art Hindle and Jennifer Dale, playing Luke’s parents.
TR: Yeah, they knew each other, which was great, and I knew Art because I used to watch his show, E.N.G., when I was a kid. I knew that show, trust me, I only had two channels, we didn’t miss E.N.G., that was on in my house. So I knew exactly who he was, he was great. And Jennifer… I won’t get into too much, because of what I’m allowed to say or not say, but of course I knew who that was too, so incredible. And they obviously know each other, which was very nice.

Surreal Estate airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV Sci-Fi Channel.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.