Tag Archives: CTV

CTV’s delectable new original series Mary’s Kitchen Crush begins production

From a media release:

CTV, in association with Proper Television, announced today that production has begun on MARY’S KITCHEN CRUSH. The all-new, thirty-episode, half-hour series will air on CTV, Gusto, and ultimately stream on demand from the new CTV Super Hub, as part of the new lifestyle brand, CTV Life.

MARY’S KITCHEN CRUSH features Canada’s culinary sweetheart and MASTERCHEF CANADA Season 3 winner Mary Berg as she shares her delicious twists on home-cooked classics inspired by her family and friends. The series, produced by Proper Television, is currently shooting in Toronto and will premiere as part of CTV’s 2019 midseason schedule. MARY’S KITCHEN CRUSH is currently available for customized brand partnership opportunities.

Mary Berg has spent most of her life cooking and baking for those she loves and building a strong appreciation for the connective powers of beautiful, home-cooked food. In each episode of MARY’S KITCHEN CRUSH, she demonstrates her culinary skill and creativity with three to four original recipes – inspired by someone who has made a meaningful impact on her life. The resulting meal is like an edible love letter for family members and close friends. We’ll hear about the memories that motivated her menu choices as she guides viewers clearly through her recipes, offering up plenty of illuminating tips, and take-aways.

Mary Berg’s meteoric culinary journey took off after capturing the Season 3 title of MASTERCHEF CANADA. She can be seen regularly as a food expert on CTV’s YOUR MORNING and THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW and can be found developing recipes for shows, food, beverage brands, and her blog A Small Stove. Berg has also started working on her first of two cookbooks to be released in September 2019 and Spring/Summer 2021.

MARY’S KITCHEN CRUSH is produced by Proper Television (MASTERCHEF CANADA). Cathie James, Allison Grace, and Lesia Capone serve as Executive Producers and Garrett Wintrip as Series Producer.

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Ryan Tedder, Sarah McLachlan, and Arkells’ Max Kerman confirmed as initial celebrity mentors for Season 2 of CTV’s The Launch

From a media release:

Days before production kicks off on the highly anticipated second season of its hit original series THE LAUNCH, CTV announced today the first wave of celebrity mentors on deck to guide this season’s round of hand-picked emerging artists vying for an opportunity to create a new hit single. Recording superstar Ryan Tedder, the creative force behind THE LAUNCH Season 1 certified platinum hit single “Ain’t Easy”, returns to the series in a dual role as celebrity mentor and producer, along with Grammy® Award-winning singer/songwriterSarah McLachlan and Max Kerman, the 4x JUNO-Award winning frontman for Hamilton rock band Arkells.

THE LAUNCH also announced today that Québec pop icon Marie-Mai (STAR ACADÉMIE, LA VOIX) joins the series’ as a permanent mentor on the weekly celebrity panel alongside music industry powerhouse Scott Borchetta. In addition, fan favourite entertainment reporter Liz Trinnear (ETALK) joins the show in a new hosting role. THE LAUNCH begins production on its second season Sept. 26 in Toronto. Audience tickets are now available; see details below.

THE LAUNCH heads into production for Season 2 on the heels of a breakthrough inaugural season that garnered an exclusive worldwide distribution deal with Sony Pictures Television (SPT). In addition, the series delivered a series of consecutive #1 hit songs amassing more than 21 million streams internationally to date, including certified platinum “Ain’t Easy” by Season 1 chosen artists Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine. The pop/hip-hop duo won the iHeartRadio MMVA for Best New Canadian Artist in August, and recently dropped their latest single “Better Off.”

As announced earlier this year, each super-sized episode of THE LAUNCH will now feature reduced commercial time, delivering even more music and extended insight into featured artists’ auditions, and the process of recording, performing, and launching a new hit song. Each hour-long episode provides custom advertising opportunities including 30-second “superpods.” Featuring one advertiser per break, the custom creative offers a more seamless and engaging viewer experience between the commercial content and the program.

Following its hit inaugural season, THE LAUNCH vetted thousands of emerging performers for Season 2 following a coast-to-coast-to-coast casting call this past May. More celebrity mentors, songwriters/producers, as well as the artists selected to perform on Season 2 of THE LAUNCH, will be announced soon.

In each stand-alone episode of THE LAUNCH, unsigned aspiring artists audition for the opportunity to learn, record, and perform their version of a new original song by a world famous songwriter/producer. The artists are mentored by a panel of internationally renowned music industry legends alongside Borchetta, who then decide which version of the song will be released across the country immediately following the broadcast of the episode each week. THE LAUNCH is set to premiere on CTV and VRAK in early 2019.

Marie-Mai is the undisputed Queen of pop in Québec. As a supremely talented singer-songwriter, Marie-Mai dominated the Québec live music scene for more than 15 years, with more than two million spectators flocking to her successful live shows. Her four platinum albums, 17 #1 hits, 10 Félix Awards (the highest honour in Québec music – including five for Female Artist of the Year), have solidified her status as a force in the music industry. As a successful songwriter in both French and English, Marie-Mai has won seven awards from SOCAN and was honored as Songwriter of the Year in 2014. Marie-Mai was a featured performer at the Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Building on her success, she took on a coaching role on the Québec version of THE VOICE (LA VOIX) and THE VOICE KIDS (LA VOIX KIDS). Marie-Mai is set to release her sixth French album on November 9, 2018. Her first single “Empire” shattered records on the Québec music charts and her most recent second single “Je décolle”, was released last week.

Liz Trinnear is a well-known face to music and entertainment lovers in Canada, who built her career connecting with audiences and artists in a genuine and authentic manner while in the role as reporter for ETALK, Canada’s most-watched entertainment news program (2015-18), and previously on the front lines of MUCH programming for nine years. Hailing from London, Ontario, Trinnear was voted “most likely to be a MuchMusic VJ” in high school and in 2009, beat out 4,000 candidates to hand herself a job at the legendary music station. The former co-host of THE MUCH MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS (2012-14) has also interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Lady Gaga, Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, Harry Styles, and Justin Timberlake.

Scott Borchetta is Founder, President and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, the #1 independent record label in the world and home to superstars such as Taylor Swift, Florida Georgia Line, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, and Thomas Rhett. Borchetta has led the charge on more than 50 million albums sold by Big Machine artists in addition to sending over 200 singles to #1 on the Country, Pop, and Rock charts. His groundbreaking business savvy, Borchetta has been included on Billboard’s Power 100 list and Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. During the final two seasons of AMERICAN IDOL, Borchetta served as in-house mentor and guided contestants throughout the competition as well as signing the winners to record deals.

THE LAUNCH Live Studio Audience!

CTV is giving viewers in the Greater Toronto Area an opportunity to experience the excitement first-hand by attending a taping of THE LAUNCH. The studio is located in downtown Toronto and those interested in tickets can go to CTV.ca/TheLaunch for more information. All audience members must be at least 11 years of age and an adult must accompany those under the age of 16.

  • Sept. 28: Max Kerman
    Fans in attendance will have an opportunity to meet Season 1 chosen artists Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, who will be on set to greet fans.
  • Oct. 7: Sarah McLachlan
  • Oct. 12: Ryan Tedder

**Additional celebrity mentors and in-studio live taping dates will be announced soon.

THE LAUNCH format was put into development in January 2016 and was co-developed by Randy Lennox and Bell Media in association with Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Label Group, and Paul Franklin of Eureka (MASTERCHEF, THE BIGGEST LOSER), in partnership with John Brunton and Lindsay Cox of Insight Productions (THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, CANADIAN IDOL, THE JUNO AWARDS).

THE LAUNCH is executive produced by Randy Lennox, Scott Borchetta, and John Brunton; Lindsay Cox and Paul Franklin are Executive Producers; Executive Producers for Bell Media are Robin Johnston and Corrie Coe, who is also Senior Vice-President, Original Programming, Bell Media.

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Amazing Race Canada: And the winners are…

This season of The Amazing Race Canada has seen its share of drama, joy, and tears both happy and sad. It also had a surprising number of close finishes in front of Jon Montgomery. That’s a testament, I think, to how evenly matched the teams have been.

Taylor and Courtney, the clear favourites after winning so many Legs, departed New Brunswick in the lead. They were confident. But confidence can be a killer, especially when you have a team like Courtney and Adam on your tail. Time and time again they dodged elimination; would this be the week they’d win their first—and the most important—Leg of all in their home province? And you couldn’t count out the late surge of Kwame and Dylan.

On the ground in Calgary, the pairs were faced with a Road Block: to enter the airport’s air traffic control tower simulator to memorize two weather reports and then relay them to the senior air traffic controller upstairs. Kwame and the Courtneys tackled the test. It was going to be tough. Taylor was confident his sister would pull it off. And it appeared she would thanks to a trick she’d used in the past: assigning acronyms to things she had to recall.

“Courtney and Taylor are not the team you want in the lead,” Dylan said. It was a huge understatement. The siblings beat it to a waiting helicopter that took them to Banff National Park and Mount Fable for their next clue. At 9,000 feet above sea level, it was one hell of a spot to grab a clue. The scenery was simply stunning; The Amazing Race Canada never disappoints with its choices of location to film at. I did wonder if the producers would let teams go off on their own to find the clue. They rightly erred on the side of caution and had a climber accompany them.

Meanwhile, Courtney and Kwame were stuck at the airport, one word separating each from advancing. Courtney finally said “inform” rather than “tell” and she and Adam left Kwame and Dylan behind. Kwame finally got “altimeter” and they headed out.

Sunshine Village Ski Resort was the next stop and another upward climb—via gondola—to the next clue. In the Leg’s Road Block, Racers had to master two extreme winter sports: skijoring (skiing and dog sledding) two laps and then sledding down a slushy course. The team member who didn’t perform the airport task had to do this one. That meant Taylor, Adam and Dylan had to complete it. With no one else to challenge him, Taylor was able to take his time and build up a routine with his canine companions. A hearty thank you to the producers for replaying Taylor’s faceplant and flip coming out of the slush pond.

The Banff National Park Administration Building was the next location and Courtney and Taylor believed they had a 45-minute lead on the first responders. The next test? A classic Amazing Race Canada memory recall with teams picking through 10 souvenir shops on Banff’s main street for trinkets representing the people, places and things experienced during Heroes Edition. Display them in the correct order and you get to move on. With almost half of the episode left to broadcast, it appeared this was going to determine who would win the season. (It was as Taylor and Courtney started shopping that I noticed the huge snow rash on Taylor’s face.)

Where Taylor and Courtney appeared to just grab and dash with their items, Courtney and Adam took the time to write them down and the countries they were assigned to. It appeared that would give them a huge advantage when it came to assembling them in order. Suddenly, the RCMP officers’ lead was gone as both teams were in the same shop. Dylan and Kwame caught up too … but then assumed there were single items in the stores. Ouch.

Taylor and Courtney were the first team back to the administration building but were short on items, meaning they had to go shopping. It was a tense time in the building as Courtney and Taylor and Courtney and Adam came up short on one tchotchke each. While Adam and Courtney swapped toys back and forth, placing the PEI zombies in a Mexico spot, Taylor and Courtney were grabbing the all-important helicopter.

Suddenly, Adam realized the zombies weren’t part of the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico. And just like that, he and Courtney were in first place and off to the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course via raft in search of Jon Montgomery and the final Pit Stop. Coming in fast were Courtney and Taylor. The only thing standing in the way of a first-place finish was the elusive fifth hole … on the 18-hole course.

And, in a stunning finale, it was Adam and Courtney who finished in first place, outrunning Courtney and Taylor for the title, vehicles, trip for two around the world, and $250,000.

Congratulations to the crew and cast of The Amazing Race Canada. You’re all heroes in my book.

Here’s how the teams finished the final Leg of the Race:

  1. Adam and Courtney
  2. Courtney and Taylor
  3. Kwame and Dylan

Were you happy with the season finale of The Amazing Race Canada? Who would you like to have seen won instead? What did you think of this season overall? Let me know in the comments below.

Flag image courtesy of Bell Media.

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CTV’s new original comedy Jann begins production

From a media release:

CTV, in association with Project 10 Productions and Seven24 Films, announced today that production has begun on the inaugural season of its new original comedy series JANN. Starring multi-platinum award-winning Canadian singer, songwriter, broadcaster, and author Jann Arden as a fictionalized version of herself, the six-episode comedy series takes viewers on “Jann’s” quest for renewed fame in the wake of a waning career, while also dealing with the obligations and pressures of her real life.

A comedy series with heart that bridges fame and family, the supporting cast joining the series includes Zoie Palmer (SEX AFTER KIDS, DARK MATTER), Patrick Gilmore (TRAVELERS; YOU, ME, HER), Deborah Grover (ANNE WITH AN “E”), Alexa Rose Steele (DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION), Jason Blicker (F/X: THE SERIES), Sharon Taylor (BAD BLOOD), and Elena Juatco (OPEN HEART), with surprise celebrity cameos as well.

Produced by Project 10 (SPUN OUT, Spirit Unforgettable), and Seven24 Films (WYNONNA EARP, HEARTLAND) JANN shoots in Calgary until October 4, 2018, and is set to premiere as part of CTV’s 2018/19 schedule.

In JANN, 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 may be showing the early signs 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.

Jann Arden is the celebrated multi-platinum award-winning artist who catapulted onto the Canadian music scene in 1993 with the release of her debut album Time For Mercy featuring the hit single, “I Would Die For You”. A year later with Living Under June, she would have her career breakout hit, “Insensitive,” that would solidify her position in the music world. In November 2017, Arden released the Canadian best seller Feeding My Mother – Comfort and Laughter in the Kitchen as My Mom Lives with Memory Loss, a book that shares insights, loss, irony, and yes humour, as mother and daughter face the journey together. Arden has released 14 albums with 19 Top 10 singles; her most recent album These Are the Days was released on March 16th, 2018. A proud recipient of a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame, she has been inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and has been given the Vantage Women of Originality Award.

JANN was put into development in Spring 2017. The comedy series was co-developed by Bell Media and Project 10 Productions and is produced in association with Project 10 Productions and Seven24 Films.

JANN is executive produced by Andrew Barnsley and Ben Murray for Project 10 Productions and Tom Cox and Jordy Randall for Seven24 Films. Jann Arden, Leah Gauthier, and Jennica Harper are co-creators of the series and will also serve as Executive Producers.

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Amazing Race Canada: Fitness and flying in Fredericton

OK, I admit it. I’ve only been to New Brunswick once in my life and it was driving through it to PEI. I didn’t stop, didn’t sleep and didn’t eat there. So I was thrilled The Amazing Race Canada devoted an entire Leg to the province so that I can make notes and right my wrong in the near future.

Dylan and Kwame, who pieced together one heck of a great Leg last week, departed in top spot. The military’s long history in Fredericton served as the first test of the Leg, as teams were driven to Officers’ Square in the Garrison District to observe two changing of the guards and figure out one subtle difference between each. That seemed easy, until Jon explained the two ceremonies were taking place blocks apart; plenty of time to forget what you saw. All four teams arrived at the same time and I wondered if any would help each other.  Phil and Marina chose to take their taxi to the second location, saving them time and keeping the routine fresh. Phil spotted the difference right away and they were off and, literally, running.

The Leg’s Detour featured CFB Gagetown, the second-largest military base in Canada. The two choices here were Fit (completing a fitness exam in under 18 minutes) or Fly (running a helicopter flight simulator and landing top of Montreal’s Bell Centre in under five minutes). I would have chosen Fly if you were wondering. Martina and Phil chose one of the two spots on Fly. Kwame and Dylan were next, picking one of two slots in Fit. While Phil and Martina crashed, Kwame and Dylan were having challenges of their own on what looked like a terribly hard physical test. Mike, Courtney and Adam’s cab driver, refused to take Taylor and Courtney to Gagetown, leaving them in last place. The first responders chose Fit, leaving the RCMP officers to either wait for another team to complete Fit or opt for Fly. The took Fly.

Martina was doing really well behind the controls, but they had to step out so Courtney and Taylor to give it a shot. Meanwhile, we got more background into Kwame’s upbringing and his own military ties. That and his exultations to Dylan got the pair past the physical pain as they completed the Detour. Adam’s full bladder caused him to stop short dragging the sandbags down the lane and he had to start all over again. Taylor’s video game playing skills was a major advantage and he and Courtney landed the helicopter in his first attempt. I felt so badly for Courtney; she was performing the last part of the Fit test and messed it up, sending them over to Fly. There the pair switched off with Martina and Phil between being lost in the air or skidding off the Bell Centre to simulated deaths.

The second Face Off of the season involved wheelchair basketball, as teams went head-to-head in a 15-minute half court game. The team with the most points moved on and the losers had to stay and play the next pair. Courtney and Taylor had a few minutes to practice before Dylan and Kwame arrived. Courtney, recognizing she didn’t have the strength to match either football coaches, played a brilliant defensive game, crowding Dylan and giving she and her brother the win. Dylan and Kwame made short work of Phil and Martina, leaving the siblings to take on Adam and Courtney. It was an evenly matched tilt that headed to sudden death: Courtney and Adam won.

In the Road Block, teams travelled to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. There, they had to work with an elder asking questions in Wolastoqey to identify six Indigenous paintings. Following a physical challenge with one using language was genius and the nonplussed look on Taylor’s face said it all: this would be a time-consuming test. But with no one else around to apply pressure, Taylor focused and had nailed five out of six paintings before Kwame arrived. He and Courtney left the gallery in first place and Government House, the site of the Pit Stop. Adam, sadly, at first thought it was an English-language challenge and wasted precious time before reading the clue over again and realizing his error. He rebounded quickly, leaving Martina at Beaverbrook.

The RCMP officers/siblings once again placed first, winning a trip to Buenos Aires. Kwame and Dylan and Courtney and Adam rounded out the final three heading into the season finale. Kudos to Phil and Martina, who refused to get down even though they knew they had been eliminated.

Who will win the final Leg of The Amazing Race Canada? What do you want to say to Phil and Martina? Let me know in the comments below.

Here’s how the teams finished this Leg of the Race:

  1. Courtney and Taylor (trip to Buenos Aires)
  2. Dylan and Kwame
  3. Courtney and Adam
  4. Martina and Phil (eliminated)

The Amazing Race Canada airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. MT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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