From a media release:
Thunderbird Entertainment Group Inc. (TSXV: TBRD) (OTC: THBRF) (Thunderbird or the Company) announced today that production is currently underway on the new original factual series, a second spin-off of the global hit Highway Thru Hell franchise. Bell Media’s Discovery has ordered eight one-hour episodes of Mud Mountain (working title).
Mud Mountain (wt) is set in the high mountains of British Columbia, just down the road from the Highway Thru Hell, where giant logs and bigger pay days beckon men to take huge risks. And no one is willing to go deeper in the mud than the Lebeau brothers, Craig and Brent, who are third generation family loggers, with very different styles, and separate operations. Now, wicked weather, and an even more frigid economy, has forced the brothers to bury the hatchet, and work together to survive road building, logging and brotherhood on the steepest, muddiest mountains anywhere.
Thunderbird has implemented strict health and safety cultures on all of its shows, which has enabled the Company to remain fully operational throughout COVID-19. These protocols and measures were key to the safe development and production of the new Mud Mountain series.
Mud Mountain will be distributed around the world by Bell Media.
The series is produced by Great Pacific Media, Thunderbird’s factual division, and Bell Media Studios. Executive Producer is Mark Miller. The Series Producer is Jeff Kinnon.
From a media release:
Bell Media confirmed today the new and returning original prime time entertainment series, documentaries, and specials fueling its English-language services and produced in partnership with independent production partners.
Bell Media’s English-language original programming is some of the most watched and most awarded in the country:
- THE AMAZING RACE CANADA is not only last year’s #1 Canadian series, but also Canada’s most-watched summer program for seven years straight in the A25-54 demo. The fan-favourite series won six 2020 Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Reality/Competition Program or Series.
- TRANSPLANT quickly became the most-watched Canadian drama during its first season on CTV, while JANN was the #1 new Canadian comedy of 2018-19, and received three 2020 Canadian Screen Award nominations, including Best Comedy Series.
- CORNER GAS ANIMATED reigned as the #1 series on CTV Comedy Channel last broadcast year and won three 2020 Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Animated Program or Series.
- Discovery hit DISASTERS AT SEA was named Best Factual Series at the Canadian Screen Awards, while HEAVY RESCUE: 401 is a Top 5 series for the channel among total viewers across all seasons.
Among today’s announcements:
- CTV announced today along with NBCUniversal International Studios that a Season 2 renewal is underway for TRANSPLANT, the #1 Canadian drama and Top 20 hit from Sphere Media, hot on the heels of NBC’s earlier acquisition of the series’ first season.
- As well, hit comedy series JANN, starring Jann Arden, has been renewed for Season 3 ahead of its second season premiere this fall on CTV, announced earlier today.
- The CTV Originals slate also includes the previously confirmed comedy CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING from the producers of LETTERKENNY; new paranormal series THE SURREALTOR from the producers of SPINNING OUT and VAGRANT QUEEN; music documentary series THIS IS POP, recounting the most pivotal moments in pop music history; the newly retitled series HOLMES FAMILY EFFECT; and new seasons of CORNER GAS ANIMATED, THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, and WYNONNA EARP, along with the special all-star edition of MASTERCHEF CANADA: BACK TO WIN.
- In addition to a strong roster of original documentaries (see below), Crave confirmed today that fan-favourite series LETTERKENNY is returning for Season 9.
- Discovery Networks adds MUD MOUNTAIN HAULERS (working title) from the producers of returning hits HIGHWAY THRU HELL and HEAVY RESCUE 4O1, as well as two additional new series marking a new partnership between fishing adventurer Cyril Chaquet and Discovery. A new season of DISASTERS AT SEA is also set to return.
- Plus, Bell Media confirms new documentaries BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: POWER IN THE BLOOD and HOWIE MANDEL: BUT, ENOUGH ABOUT ME, along with new Crave Original documentaries THE NEW CORPORATION, the unfortunately necessary sequel to 2003’s THE CORPORATION; THE GRIZZLY TRUTH about the former NBA team the Vancouver Grizzlies; and INCONVENIENT INDIAN, based on the stinging bestseller by Thomas King.
Bell Media’s English-language prime time Original Entertainment Productions slate from independent producers includes:
- CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING – New Series
As previously announced, CTV’s new, half-hour comedy showcases one couple’s efforts to maintain a piece of their old lives which are continually thwarted by their young children in surprising and absurd ways. But somewhere in the toy-filled, pee-stained wreckage of what they once had, they find a new life that’s pretty good, too. Produced by New Metric Media, CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING is created by veteran comedy writer and producer Kurt Smeaton (SCHITT’S CREEK) and executive produced by Chuck Tatham (MODERN FAMILY) and Mark Montefiore (LETTERKENNY). (New Metric Media)
- CORNER GAS ANIMATED – Season 3
As previously announced, the Canadian Screen Award-winning series CORNER GAS ANIMATED is back for Season 3, and sees the return of the beloved ensemble cast starring Brent Butt, Gabrielle Miller, Eric Peterson, Fred Ewanuick, Lorne Cardinal, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Nancy Robertson, and Corrine Koslo. Season 3 also features a varied and star-studded list of guest-stars including comedy icon Andrea Martin, Jason Priestley, TSN’s Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, Canadian country singer Brett Kissel, Grammy-winning rock band Arcade Fire, and professional wrestlers Lance Storm, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, and Trish Stratus. (Prairie Pantoons, Moving Mountoons, and Smiley Guy Studios)
- HOLMES FAMILY EFFECT – New Series
Featuring Canadian TV icon and professional contractor Mike Holmes, along with his daughter Sherry, and son Michael, the brand-new inspirational series follows the Holmes family as they tackle their most ambitious projects to date. Each heart-warming episode focuses on the Holmes family as they transform the working spaces of inspiring organizations dedicated to making a difference in their communities. (Make It Right Productions)
- JANN – Season 3
CTV’s hit comedy series JANN returns for a third season. Starring multi-platinum award-winning Canadian singer, songwriter, broadcaster, and author Jann Arden as a fictionalized version of herself, Season 3 will see Jann’s hilarious and self-deprecating, attention-drawing antics continue, as she struggles to balance the demands of her family, career, and love life. Today’s announcement comes ahead of the Season 2 premiere of the series this fall. Season 1 of the critically acclaimed comedy reigns as the most-watched new Canadian comedy series of the 2018-19 broadcast year. (Project 10 Productions and SEVEN24 Films)
- MASTERCHEF CANADA: BACK TO WIN
In the all-new, special all-star edition of hit culinary competition series MASTERCHEF CANADA, judges Michael Bonacini (O&B restaurant empire), Alvin Leung (Bo Innovation in Hong Kong), and Claudio Aprile (Xango Toronto), are back for MASTERCHEF CANADA: BACK TO WIN, which offers some of the country’s best competitors from the past six seasons a second chance at winning $100,000 and the life-changing MASTERCHEF CANADA title. (Proper Television)
- THE AMAZING RACE CANADA – Season 8
As previously announced, multiple Canadian Screen Award-winning THE AMAZING RACE CANADA returns for an eighth season on CTV. Hosted by Olympic Gold Medallist Jon Montgomery, the adventure continues as an all-new cast of racers head to the starting line to push themselves out of their comfort zones in a non-stop, action-packed race. Season 7 of THE AMAZING RACE CANADA was the most-watched in four years, with a season average of 1.9 million viewers, earning the title of Canada’s most-watched program for a seventh year in-a-row with A25-54. (Insight Productions Inc.)
- THIS IS POP – New Music Documentary Series
From the Brill Building to Auto-Tune, from Boyz II Men to ABBA, from Orville Peck to Shania Twain: the biggest names in music tell the untold stories of the most pivotal moments in pop music history. Each director-driven episode is a documentary film with its own style, voice, and one goal in common: to look at how these game-changing moments unfolded, and why their impact on pop music and culture continues today. (Banger Films)
- THE STAND-UP SHOW WITH JON DORE – New Series
Filmed at the 2019 Just For Laughs festival in Montréal, renowned Canadian comic Jon Dore steps up to the mic to thrill audiences and spotlight some of the biggest and up-and-coming names in comedy, including Sasheer Zamata, Kyle Brownrigg, LETTERKENNY’s Mark Forward, and Jackie Pirico. (Just For Laughs)
- THE SURREALTOR – New Series
In THE SURREALTOR, realtor Nick Roman and an elite team of specialists handle the cases that no one else can: haunted and possessed houses that literally scare would-be buyers away. Researching, investigating, and “fixing” the things that go bump in the night, the team works to create closure – and closings – even as they struggle with demons of their own. Executive produced by Lance Samuels and Daniel Iron (SPINNING OUT, VAGRANT QUEEN), along with George Olson who will also serve as showrunner. (Blue Ice Pictures)
- TRANSPLANT – Season 2
A second season renewal is underway for TRANSPLANT, the most-watched Canadian drama. The series will continue to follow Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq, THE INDIAN DETECTIVE), a Syrian doctor with battle-tested skills in emergency medicine who made the difficult decision to flee his country with his younger sister Amira. Together they build a new life in Canada, as Bash rebuilds his career in medicine at York Memorial Hospital. The series just wrapped its first season, generating an average audience of 1.4 million viewers. 1.7 million Canadians also watched the season finale.Season 2 will see the return of Hamza Haq, Laurence Leboeuf (19-2), John Hannah (MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.), Jim Watson (MARY KILLS PEOPLE), and Ayisha Issa (Polar). It will be produced by Sphere Media, in association with CTV and NBCUniversal International Studios, a division of Universal Content Group.
- WYNONNA EARP – Season 4
This back-by-popular demand cult-hit sees the return of stars Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Katherine Barrell, and of course the inimitable Melanie Scrofano as the titular star. In Season 4, the Earp Curse is broken, and witty and wild demon hunter Wynonna Earp would love to be celebrating with cold whisky and hot donuts. Too bad she has to rescue everyone she loves, save the town of Purgatory, and take on her most diabolical, Earp-hating enemy yet – all without her trustworthy gun, Peacemaker. And that’s just Monday. (SEVEN24 Films / Crave)
- LETTERKENNY – Season 9
The multiple award-winning and international sensation Crave Original series, LETTERKENNY, returns for its much-anticipated ninth season. Starring Jared Keeso and produced by New Metric Media, the half-hour, small-town comedy revolves around the dustups Wayne (Keeso) and his buds get into with their small-town rivals. The Hicks, The Skids, and The Hockey Players get at each other about the most mundane things, often ending with someone getting their ass kicked. Keeso is executive producer, co-writer, and creator, Jacob Tierney is executive producer, director, and co-writer, and for New Metric Media are Mark Montefiore as executive producer and Kara Haflidson as producer. (New Metric Media)
Discovery Networks Originals
- CHASING MONSTERS – New Series
From giant barracudas to 500lb stingrays, CHASING MONSTERS takes viewers on a high adrenaline quest to seek out the world’s most colossal underwater creatures in remote and dangerous corners of the planet. Hosted by extreme angler and adventurer Cyril Chauquet, this high-stakes series explores the elusive monster fish living in the hidden depths of the oceans, lakes, and rivers. (Untamed Productions)
- DISASTERS AT SEA – Season 2
DISASTERS AT SEA from Bell Media Studios’ Exploration Productions Inc. features experienced and dedicated marine investigators tracking down new evidence and solving the mysteries behind some of the most devastating and unexpected real-life marine disasters in recent history. (Exploration Productions Inc.)
- HEAVY RESCUE: 401 – Season 5
Smash-hit original series HEAVY RESCUE: 401 returns for Season 5 with new episodes featuring compelling extreme winter wrecks and roadside rescues on Ontario’s notorious 400-series highways – extending from Windsor in the west to the Québec border in the east. The series takes viewers on a riveting ride through tense situations in intense environments. (Great Pacific Media)
- HIGHWAY THRU HELL – Season 9
Featuring stories of remarkable strength and fearless dedication, HIGHWAY THRU HELL chronicles the lives of heroic rescue teams who often put their own lives at risk to help keep vital transport highways open and communities safe. Dropping everything to respond, it is their duty to remove the often-dangerous cargo, clean up the twisted metal, clear the road, and get traffic rolling again for thousands of drivers. (Great Pacific Media)
- MUD MOUNTAIN HAULERS (Working Title) – New Series
From the producers of HIGHWAY THRU HELL and HEAVY RESCUE: 4O1, MUD MOUNTAIN HAULERS (working title) is a new eight-episode, one-hour docu-series that follows Craig LeBeau and his three-generation LeBeau Bros. family logging business through the steepest, muddiest conditions in North America. The series focuses on brothers Craig and Brent Lebeau, two men willing to go onto the steepest frozen mountains to make a living, supply the world with lumber and paper, and keep the family business alive. They face blizzards, machine breakdowns, mountain-side roll-overs, all while in a race to beat the hellacious mud of spring breakup. The crew must work steeper, higher, and more treacherous terrain than others dare, just to make it through an industry in an epic slump. (Great Pacific Media)
Documentaries and Specials
- BUFFY SAINTE MARIE: POWER IN THE BLOOD – New CTV Original Documentary
For more than 50 years, Buffy Sainte-Marie has been a star. Her songs are legendary, her impact undeniable. One of Canada’s most-respected Indigenous leaders, she’s a pioneer of music and activism, and has left an indelible mark on the world. From the producers of the Crave Original Documentary ONCE WERE BROTHERS: ROBBIE ROBERTSON AND THE BAND, BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: POWER IN THE BLOOD is the dramatic, powerful story of one of the most important personalities of our time. The film is a unique collaboration between the singer and filmmaker Alex Lazarowich that tells Buffy’s incredible story through exclusive access, rare archives, insightful interviews, and great music. BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: POWER IN THE BLOOD celebrates Buffy’s extraordinary achievements, dispels myths, sets the record straight, and illustrates that in a time of chaos and division, we’ve never needed Buffy more than now. (White Pine Pictures)
- HOWIE MANDEL: BUT, ENOUGH ABOUT ME – New CTV and Crave Original Documentary
Directed by Canadian film director and producer Barry Avrich, and featuring Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell, David Dobrik, and more, this new documentary explores Mandel’s rise from Toronto carpet salesman to Hollywood star as viewers get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Canadian comedian, actor, and TV host. (Melbar Entertainment Group)
- FANNY: THE RIGHT TO ROCK – New Crave Original Documentary
Revealing the untold story of a Filipina American founded garage band that morphed into the ferocious rock group Fanny, the first all-female band to release an LP with a major record label (Warner/Reprise/1970). Despite releasing five critically acclaimed albums and counting David Bowie as one of their biggest fans, Fanny’s groundbreaking impact in music has been lost in the mists of time…until bandmates reunite 50 years later with a new rock record deal and chance to right the wrongs of music history. Also featuring Bonnie Raitt, Joe Elliott, Kate Pierson, John Sebastian, Kathy Valentine, Charles Neville, Cherie Currie, Todd Rundgren, and other music icons. (Director: Bobbi Jo Hart / Adobe Productions International Inc.)
- INCONVENIENT INDIAN – New Crave Original Documentary
This feature documentary from Michelle Latimer takes viewers on a journey into the mind of Thomas King: one of the world’s foremost intellectuals, and one of our greatest storytellers. Inspired by his stinging bestseller, this sumptuous film journeys across the continent to explore the ways Indigenous peoples continue to inconvenience colonial states with their existence and their resistance. (Director: Michelle Latimer / 90th Parallel Productions Ltd and the National Film Board of Canada)
- KINGS OF COKE – New Crave Original Documentary
This feature documentary film is about the rise and fall of Montréal’s infamous West End Gang and mob lawyer Sidney Leithman’s unsolved murder. Documenting the ascent of the West End Gang, from a rag tag group of thieves to international drug importers. With multiple timelines, searing testimony, and a unique visual approach, KINGS OF COKE will create points of tension, mystery, and suspense by trying to answer the question “Who killed Sidney Leithman?”; a question that can only be answered by examining the bloody rise of the West End Gang over two decades. It’s a tale of a massive criminal conspiracy, corrupt cops, tons of cocaine, and millions of dollars all pointing in one direction – a lawyer’s office in Montréal. (Connect3 and Urbania)
- THE GRIZZLY TRUTH – New Crave Original Documentary
From the team behind Finding Big Country and The Carter Effect, THE GRIZZLY TRUTH follows superfan Kat Jayme’s search for truth and redemption for her hometown NBA team, the Vancouver Grizzlies … who mysteriously disappeared after just six seasons. Through Kat’s unwavering devotion, this documentary explores the unique and remarkable story of how Vancouver won an NBA franchise against all odds, only to lose the team in record time. This is the untold story of the gone, but far from forgotten, Vancouver Grizzlies. Full of heart and humour, THE GRIZZLY TRUTH is much more than a sports story; it’s a mystery, a comedy of errors, and an underdog epic. (Director: Kat Jayme / Grizz Films in partnership with Uninterrupted).
- THE NEW CORPORATION – New Crave Original Documentary
THE CORPORATION (2003) examined the institution of the corporation and its role within society; THE NEW CORPORATION – an unfortunately necessary sequel – reveals a society now engulfed by that institution, wholly captured and seduced into adopting corporate values, serving corporate interests, and slowly, unwittingly ceding our independence. The documentary looks at how we got here and what can be done to regain, revitalize, and reimagine our democracy. (Directors: Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan / Grant Street Productions in association with Screen Siren Pictures Inc.)
From a media release:
Discovery’s Canadian original series Highway Thru Hell returns for Season 8 and moves to a new day and time, premiering Monday, October 7th 2019 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The international hit series, which is Discovery’s top-rated series for audiences of all ages, will also return for an 18-episode ninth season, its largest ever. Season 9 goes into production this fall.
Produced by Thunderbird Entertainment’s Factual Division, in partnership with Discovery Canada, Highway Thru Hell follows the lives of the men and women who fight to keep traffic moving on BC’s mountain highways through vicious winter storms. The program’s broad appeal has made it a Canadian staple, and an international hit. It is watched in 200 territories, in more than 12 languages.
Highway Thru Hell is a top-rated series on Discovery. It airs globally in more than 12 languages, including Discovery (Canada), The Weather Channel (United States), ABC (Australia), National Geographic (Norway, UK and Ireland), RMC Découverte (France) and IRIB Mostanad (Iran). It also streams worldwide on Netflix.
Season 8 of Highway Thru Hell consists of 17 all-new episodes, documenting the trials of Jamie Davis and his fellow hardworking and heroic heavy recovery operators, as they fight to keep the roads open through British Columbia’s Coquihalla and Cascade mountains. Following the season premiere on October 7 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery, Thunderbird invites viewers to join a Facebook Live event to celebrate along with its production partners.
From a media release:
Gripping roadside rescue operations, thrilling train adventures, fearless firefighting heroes, and thought-provoking insights into hate and the human experience are all part of a jam-packed lineup of hit series this fall on Discovery, and everyone has a chance to check it out.
On the heels of Discovery’s free preview, the channel also announced today new seasons of two marquee Canadian original series. Continuing its reign as Discovery’s most-watched series, HIGHWAY THRU HELL begins production on Season 9 this fall. Discovery’s Exploration Production Inc. (EPI) is also currently in production on a fourth season of MIGHTY TRAINS, with filming taking place in exotic locations around the world including Peru, Japan, Serbia, and more.
Below is a closer look at Discovery’s new and returning programming highlights during the free preview. All programming is subject to change (visit Discovery.ca to confirm local broadcast times and to view the full schedule).
HIGHWAY THRU HELL, Season 8
Premieres Monday, October 7 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT (new day and time) and continues with all-new episodes during the free preview
- Discovery’s smash-hit original Canadian series returns for another epic season, with 17 all-new episodes following the hardworking and heroic heavy recovery operators who fight to keep the roads open through British Columbia’s Coquihalla and Cascade mountains. This season, Jamie Davis continues to lean on his classic collection of “old iron” to tackle some of the toughest recoveries, but his crew is buzzing with excitement at the prospect of something shiny and new coming to the yard. Change is also in the air for lead-operator Colin Mclean, when developments in his personal life lead him to question his future in the tow business. Then, 100 kilometres north of Hope, B.C., Reliable Towing’s resilience is tested like never before when one of their own is caught up in a terrifying event on the highway. Quiring Towing’s Al Quiring and Gord Boyd tackle some of the heaviest off-road jobs imaginable, while down in the Fraser Valley at Aggressive Towing, Jamie’s brother Jason and his top man Chris ‘Merv’ Mervyn’s modern rotators are in high demand. Just down the road, 63-year-old heavy rescue legend Ken Duperon continues to lead Mission Towing, but when he’s struck down by an urgent medical crisis, his son-in-law and lead-driver Dylan Greenwood must step up. HIGHWAY THRU HELL marks its milestone 100th episode this season, before just-announced Season 9 begins production.
MIGHTY TRAINS, Season 3
Premieres Sunday, October 13 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
- Host Teddy Wilson whisks viewers around the world to witness the inner workings of six exceptional trains and their scenic locomotive routes. This season, Teddy rolls along Norway’s scenic Bergen Line, and uncovers how some of the fastest trains in the world are built at an Italian train company owned by the chairman of Ferrari. Then, it’s off to the Indian Pacific train for a bucket-list journey across southern Australia, and on to the colourful trains of the Thailand State Railway to traverse beautiful but deadly landscapes. This season’s adventures are capped off by a trip through historic routes and impressive scenery aboard South Africa’s most luxurious train, the Pride of Africa, and a wintery journey aboard Switzerland’s Bernina Express, one of the most beautiful train trips on earth. Produced by Discovery’s Exploration Production Inc. (EPI), MIGHTY TRAINS is set to air in more than 100 countries around the world, spanning the U.K., Germany, Australia, France, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and throughout Asia, with Season 4 now in production.
HITLER’S MOST WANTED
Premieres Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
- This original Canadian docuseries presents a new perspective on how and why a generation of men and women living in a European society became the leaders of one of the most terrifying regimes of all time, responsible for starting a world war that resulted in more than 60 million deaths. Visiting the villages and towns where these elite Nazi leaders grew up, as well as the sites of their worst atrocities, dedicated young historian James Ellis explores the defining moments which transformed everyday Germans into mass murderers. As knowledge of the Third Reich recedes from society’s collective memory, this docu-series examines the key personalities of the Third Reich to determine what happened and ensure that the lessons of history are never forgotten.
HELLFIRE HEROES, Season 2
Premieres Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
- In the coastal towns, wildlands, and prairies of the Canadian West, there lives a special breed of firefighter. These are the men and women who serve and protect the communities in which they live with bravery and devotion. The stress is high and there’s no room for error as each fire department responds to a relentless battery of emergency calls. With remote and unmarked roads, fast-flowing rivers, roaming wildlife, and a steady stream of transport trucks and freight trains barreling through their towns, these firefighting teams face life-altering challenges on a daily basis. Returning with a fresh batch of eight episodes, Season 2 of this Discovery original series sees the return of Chief Albert Bahri and Chief Jamie Coutts from Northern Alberta, as well as two new fire departments from Port Alberni, British Columbia and Swift Current, Saskatchewan.
When does the new season of Highway Thru Hell start? I live in the States and I like to watch that show and what station will carry the show? —Jack
Highway Thru Hell is currently in production on a new season. Its spinoff, Heavy Rescue: 401 returns for Season 3 of January 8 on Discovery.
[The Det. Watts-centred] episode [of Murdoch Mysteries] speaks to the versatility and depth of a very young and competent actor. The role is very well written and [Daniel] Maslany does each performance more than justice. Everyone is still figuring out where he fits in the Murdoch Matrix. That’s OK. No matter what, this talented young craftsman bears watching. I will be following his career. Daniel, you have yourself another fan. Keep up the good work. —Patricia
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