Tag Archives: Industry News

Jesse Fawcett launches independent production company, Fireworks Media Group

From a media release:

Prolific award-winning television producer Jesse Fawcett has launched Fireworks Media Group, a North American-based production company to develop and produce premium unscripted and scripted content.

Fawcett is well known in the entertainment business as a co-founding partner of global content company Essential Media Group where he helmed North American operations until the company was successfully sold to Kew Media in 2018. In 2020, Fawcett and Greg Quail re-acquired the assets of Essential from Kew and relaunched as EQ Media Group. Now, Fawcett is poised to inaugurate his own venture, Fireworks Media Group, together with a cross-border team of veteran production professionals.

Under the new banner, the company is producing the new original series Pamela Anderson’s Home Reno Project (working title) for HGTV Canada with iconic Baywatch star Pamela Anderson returning to her Canadian roots to rebuild the family home of her dreams. The series is executive produced by Brandon Lee, Fawcett and Firework’s new President of Canada, Robert Hardy. Corus Studios will distribute the series internationally. Pamela Anderson is represented by Chris Smith at ICM Partners. Fireworks Media Group has also secured an exclusive first-look scripted development deal with social media sensation Kris Collins, who has amassed over 32 million followers and 1.4 billion likes.

In addition, Fireworks Media Group is currently in production on sophomore seasons of the real estate unscripted series Selling the Big Easy for HGTV in the US as well as Corus Studios’ Big Timber which airs on HISTORY in Canada and Netflix in the US and internationally. A top performer on HISTORY and Netflix, Big Timber. follows the high-stakes work of logger and sawmill owner Kevin Wenstob as he and his crew go to extremes to keep the family sawmill, and their way of life, alive.

Some of the other successful shows completed during Fawcett’s tenure at EQ Media Group include No Demo Reno which recently launched on HGTV as the #1 cable premiere in the Thursday 8-9pm timeslot, multi-season hit series Restored airing on Discovery+, the paranormal reality series Ghost Loop for Travel Channel and 165 episodes of Texas Flip N’ Move, perennial #1 series on DIY Network.

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Morwyn Brebner and Andrew Akman launch Husk Media in partnership with Cineflix Media

From a media release:

Cineflix Media is teaming up with award-winning showrunner Morwyn Brebner and TV executive Andrew Akman to launch Husk Media, a new television production company.

Toronto-based Husk Media will develop and produce programming for broadcasters and streamers worldwide. With Brebner spearheading creative efforts and Akman leading commercial affairs, the company will focus on projects created by Brebner, as well as projects in partnership with emerging and established writers and showrunners.

Cineflix will provide Husk Media with start-up financing and operating support, and has a first-look to distribute the shingle’s content internationally. The new production company joins Cineflix’s growing joint venture lineup which includes Mirage producer Connect3 Media and International Emmy® Award-winning Marcella producer Buccaneer Media.

Most recently honoured as 2021 Showrunner of the Year by the Writers Guild of Canada, Morwyn Brebner has produced premium scripted television for networks and platforms around the world, and is behind some of the longest-running, most successful dramas ever produced in Canada. Brebner’s credits include creating global hit Coroner (CBC/The CW Network/NBCUniversal International Networks), as well as co-creating supernatural medical series Saving Hope (CTV/ION) and police drama Rookie Blue (ABC/Global Television).

Andrew Akman brings more than 20 years of experience in production, distribution, and broadcasting. He has held senior management positions at some of Canada’s largest media and entertainment companies and will be transitioning out of his current role as COO at Cineflix Media.

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Hollywood Suite and WIFT Toronto launch Indigenous writer program

From a media release:

Today, Hollywood Suite is pleased to announce a partnership with Women in Film & Television Toronto (WIFT Toronto) to launch the WIFT Indigenous Writers Program. This career accelerator program is designed specifically for Indigenous writers at the mid-stage of their careers to provide them with networking, industry insight training and mentorship opportunities.

We are thrilled to collaborate with WIFT Toronto on this important initiative to support and amplify Indigenous creators as they take the next steps in their careers,” said Julie Kumaria, SVP, Marketing & Content Distribution at Hollywood Suite. “We are proud to support Indigenous storytellers and help them bring their unique perspectives to the screen.”

“Over the past number of months, we have been listening and learning in dialogue with our Indigenous colleagues and collaborators to identify ways to be a further ally to champion Indigenous voices”, said Karen Bruce, Executive Director, WIFT Toronto. “We are grateful to Hollywood Suite for their support in the creation of this crucial program and are thrilled that this new initiative will support our ongoing commitment to identifying and supporting Indigenous artists in Canada.”

The free, intensive four-day program will include two full-time mentors, industry guest speakers, case studies, writing and pitching workshops, and peer-to-peer mentorship. By engaging key partners including industry leaders, experienced creators, writers, broadcasters, funders and more, the program aims to bring the best education and career opportunities to Indigenous creators whose stories need to be heard.

The application portal will open on August 9, 2021, and all WIFT Toronto members who are First Nations, Métis, or Inuit are encouraged to apply. Applicants who are First Nations, Métis, or Inuit who do not currently have a WIFT Toronto membership may still apply. Anyone chosen for the program that is not a member will be granted a one-year complimentary membership thanks to donations made to the Foundation for WIFT Toronto.

Detailed information on the program including the application process and deadlines will be available shortly.

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Saloon Media starts production on History By The Numbers

From a media release:

Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company, has started production on a new 20-part docu-series, History By The Numbers, to be produced in association with US-based Jupiter Entertainment. This upbeat and fast-paced series looks at the world’s collective global history by revealing surprising and unimaginable numerical facts about major historical events. Episodes explore iconic moments in history through a unique context of scale, volume and percentages, offering fresh perspectives of how the world adds up today. History By The Numbers is an original commission for global factual streaming service, CuriosityStream, where it will roll out across the U.S. and select territories internationally, while in Canada, the series will premiere on Blue Ant Media’s Smithsonian Channel Canada. Blue Ant International oversees international licensing for the series outside of the commissioned territories.

History by The Numbers is an energetic, fast-paced series taking an exploratory global dive into the extraordinary and often overlooked numbers that have created our world’s history. Each episode will delve into the numbers and over the top stats behind a different subject – from the massive growth of the global fast food empire to the wealth and bloodshed of the world’s top crime bosses, the herculean numbers behind Mount Everest, the lives of the richest people on earth and so much more.

History By The Numbers is produced by Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company, in association with Jupiter Entertainment. From Saloon Media, Michael Kot serves as Executive Producer and Steve Gamester as Series Producer. Also serving as Executive Producers are Julie Chang, EVP of International Co-Productions, Blue Ant Media and Patrick Reardon and Ben Pagel for Jupiter Entertainment.

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Renowned entertainment personality, Teri Hart, joins Super Channel as entertainment producer and host

From a media release:

Super Channel is set to put the sizzle in summer with a nationwide free preview across all four of its channels (Fuse, Heart & Home, Vault and GINX Esports TV Canada) plus Super Channel On Demand beginning June 14. The free preview will be available on all major cable providers across the country for 10 days, ending on June 23 (start times may vary, some exceptions apply, check with local provider for details).

Adding even more sizzle to the free preview, renowned entertainment reporter/producer and on-air personality, Teri Hart, joins Super Channel as Entertainment Producer and Host. In this role, Teri will host and produce regular weekly IGTV video content outlining her hand-picked programming highlights from the network’s Fuse and Vault channels. “Teri Hart’s Super Channel Super Picks” will debut during the free preview both on-air and via social media platforms, providing Canadians with engaging insights into Super Channel’s exciting content.

Prior to joining Super Channel, Teri was Reporter and Senior Producer for the entertainment division of Rogers Television where she regularly conducted interviews with artists from movies, TV and music for Entertainment City and Your World This Week. She was also the face of The Movie Network for 18 years where she became a favourite with viewers and celebrities alike, connecting fans with all aspects of the world of movies. As one of Canada’s most renowned multi-platform entertainment personalities, Teri has become a fixture at press junkets and TV and film premieres around the world, interviewing Hollywood’s superstars including Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg, to name just a few. She is an ardent champion of the Canadian film and television industry and staunch supporter of many of Canada’s most important cultural institutions, from TIFF to the Canadian Film Centre and the Canadian Screen Awards. Her knowledge and enthusiasm for film and television is second to none, making her an in-demand host of high-profile industry events and a regular contributor to a host of radio shows, as well as entertainment news program etalk.

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