Tag Archives: Hard Rock Medical

TVO’s Hard Rock Medical graduates to a final season beginning Jan. 2 at 9 p.m.

From a media release:

TVO’s popular series Hard Rock Medical kicks off a fourth and final season with back-to-back episodes Tuesday, January 2 at 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.  Inspired by the world-renowned Northern Ontario School of Medicine, the dramatic and entertaining fictional series brings to life the distinct challenges of delivering quality healthcare in Northern Ontario.  The opening episodes will be available to stream on tvo.org starting January 3, with additional episodes posted each week.

Facing challenging life circumstances and demanding courses, the students at Hard Rock U will now work through their fourth year of offbeat medical training. A big question remains:  Who has the determination and resilience to earn the coveted White Coat? Canadian icon Eric Peterson joins the already stellar ensemble cast of Canadian actors including Patrick McKenna, Angela Asher, Jamie Spilchuk, Tamara Duarte, and Northern Ontario favourite Stéphane Paquette.

Key storylines of this final season will follow the continuing trials and tribulations of Hard Rock’s beloved Northern Ontario medical students. After donating bone marrow to Mylo, Eva convalesces at home on the Rez. A judge orders Gary into reconciliation classes with a racist cop. Charlie struggles to keep it all together as his wife undergoes chemo treatments and his family is forced to move into his father’s home. Gina and Melanie are placed with an elderly doctor (Eric Peterson) who has a drug dependency and a healthy dislike of their youthful energy. The death of a friend and lover sets Cameron off on a self-destructive path. And Nancy and Farida are seconded to pediatrics in the North Bay hospital – while both of them work to carefully define the line between caring and over-sharing.

Co-created by Smith Corindia and Derek Diorio, Hard Rock Medical is produced by Distinct Features.  The series is filmed entirely in Northern Ontario.

Hard Rock Medical repeats Fridays at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. beginning January 5, and Sundays at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. beginning January 7.




Comments and queries for the week of March 10

For Hard Rock Medical producers/directors … I’m very disappointed that Danielle Bourgon seems to have only eight-second parts to play in this series. She is a superb actor and I do wish you would write her into the series much more than you are doing. HRM is becoming increasingly uninteresting to watch because of “key” players not being featured. Sometimes Danielle isn’t in an episode at all! Why waste this woman’s time? She’s a very skilled actor and not being utilized. Thanks. —Terry

My husband and I used to LOVE watching the Leave it to Bryan show! We loved seeing how he fixed things and the renovation part gave us a lot of how to do it yourself ideas! Since his wife joined the show, we never watch it anymore and we miss it! We don’t watch it because we don’t want to waste our time seeing them argue back and forth about this and that and see all the drama! We just want to see how building and renos are done! Please, just cut out all the “reality TV drama” and get back to showing Bryan do what he does best (by himself!). —Karen

How can we in the U.S. see or purchase DVDs of X Company? —Patty

Unfortunately, you can’t watch X Company anywhere in the U.S. yet but you can buy Season 1 and 2 on Amazon

We love this series. So sad but so part of our history; both my father and father-in-law were part of this horrid war. My father-in-law until this day, at 97, will not talk about it even if he could. He was on the frigate boat that sunk one of the last of the German U-Boats. I have thanked them for many years for making our life what it is today. —Bett


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


TVO’s Hard Rock Medical embraces North Bay in Season 3

Derek Diorio uses the word “talent” a lot when talking about North Bay, Ont. The city, almost four hours up Highway 11 from Toronto, was the new home for Season 3 of TVO’s Hard Rock Medical.

Returning on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 8 p.m. ET on the network, Diorio not only sings the praises of the city and its environs but the folks who live and work there too. After two seasons of filming in Sudbury, Ont., the medical drama decamped for a couple of reasons, one of which was a partnership with Canadore College.

As with previous seasons, these new nine instalments follow the adventures of medical students enrolled in the fictional Hard Rock U, loosely based on Lakehead University and Laurentian University’s Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Sunday’s debut and the second episode boast some intriguing storylines: Gary (Mark Coles Smith) and Charlie (Stéphane Paquette) are embedded with an EMS team, Eva (Andrea Menard) and Melanie (Melissa Jane Shaw) are placed on a First Nations reserve, and Dr. Healy (Patrick McKenna) begs to return to work. We spoke to Hard Rock Medical co-creator Diorio about the move to North Bay and what fans to expect from Season 3.

Season 3 was filmed in North Bay, Ont., after being in Sudbury for two seasons. Why the change?
Derek Diorio: There is always a bit of a gap in production of about 18 months. And in the interim, Sudbury really got hot. The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation has put funding into a lot of productions and just as we were about to go into production, they also financed Cardinal. That was a big, huge, production and they sucked up a lot of the local resources and shooting days. If they were shooting for 50 days we were shooting for 30.

In previous seasons, I had built a relationship with Canadore College and the students in two of the programs there, Television and Digital Cinema. It was such a great experience working with the kids in the program. Conversations took place and I was asked if I would move production to North Bay. It was an ideal fit. I cannot say enough good things about the people running the program at Canadore. There are really good programs in Toronto at Ryerson and here in Ottawa with the Algonquin program, but there is something special going on in North Bay. The people who are there really care about what they’re doing and there is money because of the NOHFC and an industry. We had so much talent there, and it raised the game of the show.

I love the fact that, through this partnership with Canadore, the students are not only getting paid to do the work but are getting a hands-on education working on a television series.
What I keep stressing is that Canadore is unique. You can attend their programs and you can graduate with a television or film credit. I don’t think there are any other programs in North America that come close. It’s a small college, but it has a really good program.

We’re a small production and our budget is extremely low. There are lots of great actors in Toronto that I don’t really have access to because I can’t bring a day player in from there because it costs me $3,000. We designed the show, very heavily this year, around actors that were available to us in the North Bay area. I think we put 45 actors from North Bay in continuing roles. And the music that we use in the show are from acts in the area; our music is composed by a guy from North Bay. I think the area has improved the show.

A storyline that struck me in Episode 1 was Eva and Melanie out on Nipissing First Nation and a patient with cancer. It’s a very timely storyline.
There are two things we try to do with the show. Every year we loosely follow the curriculum of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. It’s great because it gives us structure. We also look at what the school does and come up with our own premise or torn from the headlines stories. The whole First Nations storyline began torn from the headlines and we drifted off into a completely different storyline. We’re writing for the environments that are easily accessible to us, so 80 per cent was shot in and around Canadore and the edge of Nipissing First Nation is about five minutes from the campus. We were driven a lot by location and made it Eva’s reservation. And then you just start exploring what can happen on a reserve. The idea of bringing Melanie into the storyline was very much a fish out of water. Part of our theme for Eva this year is that it’s tough to go home. She has the ambitions to do it, but it turns out to be a lot harder than she thought it would be.

Gary and Charlie are embedded with the EMS. I was surprised to see Charlie break down following the scene of a car accident.
Charlie is the least likely to succeed and he’s our comic foil as well. We want to show his scope and the reality of students who have three or four kids and decide to go back to school. The pressure is unbelievable and one of the things that comes up is marriages are really tested by medical school. Most people who enter medical school are doing it coming out of university and are footloose and fancy-free and very few are connected. But what happens with Charlie is actually pretty funny too.

So, it’s just you and co-creator Smith Corindia doing all of the writing?
That’s it. We don’t have a choice, dude. But there is a huge advantage to that. We pound out a story arc for a character or two characters and go through all of the episodes. And then it’s lather, rinse and repeat for the rest of the characters. And then you assemble them all into the episodes and you find that one episode has 40 scenes in it and other has 15 and you adjust. You adjust the outlines and then you go to script and it’s actually quite a fast process.

Hard Rock Medical airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on TVO. All of the episodes will be available on TVO.org beginning on Jan. 9.

Hard Rock Medical airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on APTN beginning on Feb. 8.

Images courtesy of TVO.


APTN brings new stories for the New Year

From a media release:

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) announced its new winter schedule today. The fresh lineup blends exciting new shows with returning favorites.

Hard Rock Medical, Season 3 – A diverse group of students navigate their way through a dramatic four-year adventure in the most unusual medical school in the world.

Guilt Free Zone, Season 2 – Derek Miller and the GFZ Tallboys will unveil a brand new song on every episode of their comedic music/variety show series.

Les Sioui-Bacon, Season 5 – The Sioui-Bacon clan are stronger than ever and under the same roof.

Tribal Police Files – Officers share the most dangerous moments they have faced in the line of duty while stressing the importance of cultural practices. Ride along as the real-drama unfolds.

Dene A Journey, Season 2 – A documentary series following urban Indigenous individuals undertaking the task of discovering their traditional Dene roots.

underEXPOSED, Season 4 – Grace Dove gets her final crack at becoming a successful action sports photographer.

Taken – Continuing the search for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada, Taken airs in Cree as part of the Aboriginal-language programming.

Be sure to tune in every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 9:00 p.m. for APTN Movies. See aptn.ca/movies for the star-studded movie schedule!

APTN’s 2017 winter programming season launches on January 2. See the full schedule at aptn.ca/schedule!


Ride along as the real-life drama unfolds with the Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police Service. This docu-series explores the challenges faced by officers serving on BC’s only tribal police force.

aptn e Friday, March 3 7:30 p.m. ET
aptn w Friday, March 3 7:30 p.m. MT
aptn n Friday, March 3 7:30 p.m. CT
aptn hd Friday, March 3 7:30 p.m. ET

Set against a harsh Northern landscape at the most unusual medical school in the world. Multiple plotlines will gravitate towards one ultimate question: Do these students have what it takes to make it in the North?

aptn e Wednesday, February 8 8:30 p.m. ET
aptn w Wednesday, February 8 8:30 p.m. MT
aptn n Friday, February 10 1:30 p.m. CT
aptn hd Wednesday, February 8 8:30 p.m. ETBack-to-back episodes

Anchored by the comic stylings of some of Canada’s best comedic/improv actors and JUNO winner and host Derek Miller. From mad scientists to double agent janitors and more, the situations are anything but common at this fictitious urban speakeasy.

aptn e Saturday, March 18 11:30 p.m. ET
aptn w Saturday, March 18 11:30 p.m. MT
aptn n Saturday, March 18 11:30 p.m. CT
aptn hd Saturday, March 18 11:30 p.m. ET

Trek with Indigenous urbanites on a journey to connect with their culture, discovering themselves along the way.

aptn e Tuesday, March 7 7:00 p.m. ET
aptn w Tuesday, March 7 7:00 p.m. MT
aptn n Saturday, March 11 1:00 p.m. CT
aptn hd Tuesday, March 7 7:00 p.m. E

Find out what it takes to capture extreme athletes in action. From the waves to the slopes, aspiring action sports photographer Grace Dove shows how it’s done.

aptn e Tuesday, January 3 4:30 p.m. ET
aptn w Tuesday, January 3 4:30 p.m. MT
aptn n Saturday, January 7 11:00 a.m. CT
aptn hd Tuesday, January 3 4:30 p.m. ET

See dreams come true as the best young male Aboriginal hockey players compete at an intense training camp. Not everyone will make the team! Who will make the cut?

aptn e Thursday, February 2 4:30 p.m. ET
aptn w Thursday, February 2 4:30 p.m. MT
aptn n Thursday, February 4 11:30 a.m. CT
aptn hd Thursday, February 2 4:30 p.m. ET