Tag Archives: Industry News

Link: Writers Guild of Canada confronts criticism over inclusion: “There’s No Hidden Agenda”

From Etan Vlessing of The Hollywood Reporter:

Link: Writers Guild of Canada confronts criticism over inclusion: “There’s No Hidden Agenda”
After the Writers Guild of Canada took to social media to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, the Canadian screenwriters union has had to defend its policies on diversity and inclusion. Continue reading. 

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CBC announces new and returning series in 2020-21 programming slate

From a media release:

[Editor’s Note: Fridge Wars, Diggstown and Burden of Truth are on hold at the moment given COVID-19 production delays. The Detectives has not been renewed.]

At CBC’s 2020 virtual upfront presentation today, Canada’s public broadcaster revealed its 2020-21 slate of original programming, led by a strong fall schedule featuring 1,300 new hours for television spanning 22 new and returning series across all genres.

FALL 2020

ENSLAVED (6×60 Documentary, Associated Producers/A CBC Gem and documentary channel co-production with Epix in the United States) is a blue-chip documentary series led by Samuel Jackson and directed by Canadian filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici (The Naked Archaeologist) that charts the history of slavery through underwater archaeology. The series coincides with the 400-year anniversary of the first African brought to the New World as a slave, and will retrace the harrowing sea voyage that brought millions to a life of slavery. ENSLAVED is produced by Felix Golubev and Ric Bienstock and executive produced by Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Jackson, Eli Selden, Rob Lee, Simcha Jacobovici and Yaron Niski. International distribution by Fremantle.

ORANGEVILLE PREP (6×30 Factual, Orangeville Hoops Inc.) is a character-driven factual series that offers an inside look at the competitive, high-pressure world of basketball’s most successful preparatory program. Tucked away on farmland in Orangeville, Ontario lies the sport’s best kept secret – The Athlete Institute (AI). This high school basketball program has produced more Division 1 College and NBA players in the last five years than any other program in the world.

The Sounds

THE SOUNDS (8×60 Drama, Canada/New Zealand co-production, Shaftesbury and South Pacific Pictures) is a striking take on the relationship-driven thriller. Welcome to Pelorus Sounds, New Zealand – the sleepy settlement where nothing, including the visiting Cabbotts, is quite what it seems. Grieving wives, cheating husbands, epic embezzlement and historic crime all collide to weave a complicated web stretching through the Sounds’ hidden valleys and deep waters. Created by New Zealand-based author Sarah-Kate Lynch and directed by Peter Stebbings (Frankie Drake Mysteries, The Disappearance), the series stars Rachelle Lefevre (Mary Kills People, Under the Dome) as Maggie Cabbott and Matt Whelan (Narcos, The Luminaries) as Tom Cabbott.

TRICKSTER (6×60 Drama, Streel Films and Sienna Films) is based on the best-selling novel Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson, with CBC confirming today that it has been renewed for a second season. Starring newcomer Joel Oulette, this unique series is created by award-winning filmmaker Michelle Latimer (RISE, Nuuca) and Tony Elliott (Orphan Black), and directed by Latimer. Oulette plays Jared, an Indigenous teen struggling to keep his dysfunctional family above water, holding down an after-school job and selling ecstasy to support his partying mom, Maggie (Crystle Lightning), who self-medicates an undiagnosed mental illness, and his unemployable dad, Phil (Craig Lauzon) and his new girlfriend. But when Jared starts seeing strange things — talking ravens, doppelgängers, skin monsters— his already chaotic life is turned upside down. Additional cast includes Kalani Queypo (Jamestown), Anna Lambe (The Grizzlies), Joel Thomas Hynes (Little Dog), Gail Maurice (Cardinal) and Georgina Lightning (Blackstone).

SERIES RETURNING THIS FALL

  • BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW (Season 5, Frantic Films) – Finale Season
  • BATTLE OF THE BLADES (Season 6, Insight Productions) Following its remergence on the ice last year that reached over 1.5 million Canadians each episode, the factual hit will return this fall.**
  • DRAGONS’ DEN (Season 15, CBC)
  • FAMILY FEUD CANADA (Season 2, Zone 3/Fremantle) Following its inaugural season that reached 2.6 million viewers each week with a nightly average audience of over half a million including 30 percent in the key 25-54 demo, the hit series hosted by Gerry Dee is confirmed to return four nights per week this fall with 104 new episodes as a nationwide virtual search for new Canadian families now begins.***
  • HA!IFAX COMEDY FEST (Season 24, Pilot Light Productions)
  • JUST FOR LAUGHS: GALAS (Just For Laughs TV)
  • MARKETPLACE (Season 48, CBC News)
  • THE NATIONAL (CBC News, ongoing)
  • THE NATURE OF THINGS (Season 60) The landmark 60th season of THE NATURE OF THINGS will kick off with STATE OF THE PLANET, a unique documentary featuring a one-on-one conversation between David Suzuki and Sir David Attenborough that takes the pulse of our planet and asks whether humans can change their ways in time.
  • PURE (Season 2, Two East Productions/Cineflix)
  • ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES (Season 6, CBC Sports)
  • STILL STANDING (Season 6, Frantic Films)
  • THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (Season 28, Wildbrain)
  • YOU CAN’T ASK THAT (Season 2, Pixcom)
Trickster

WINTER NEW SERIES

LADY DICKS (10×60 Drama, Cameron Pictures) is a fun and honest portrayal of two radically different female detectives in their early 40s. The buddy cop drama series follows Guns and Gangs detective, Samantha (Meredith MacNeill, Baroness von Sketch Show) and Drug Squad detective, Kelly (Adrienne C. Moore, Orange is the New Black), who by day are true action heroes in their own particular way: skilled, tough, determined, and ruthless. But by night, they’re both grappling with loneliness, dysfunctional families, screwed-up love lives, and a sense that their professional ambitions may not be totally in line with their personal needs. Their friendship could help to balance each other out, if only they didn’t drive one another utterly insane. LADY DICKS is co-created by Tassie Cameron (Mary Kills People, Ten Days in the Valley, Rookie Blue, The Robber Bride) and Sherry White (Little Dog, Frontier, Ten Days in the Valley, Rookie Blue).

ARCTIC VETS (10×30 Factual, eOne) takes viewers up close with the remarkable wildlife that inhabits Canada’s frozen north and the team of veterinarians that works tirelessly to keep them safe. With around 40 patients per week, no two days are the same for the team at Assiniboine Park Arctic Animal Hospital in Manitoba. From muskox to seals, wolverines to reindeer, treating Arctic animals is often dangerous, but always rewarding. Whether they’re performing life-saving surgery on a polar bear, or tending to a snowy owl with a broken wing, the mission of the vet team is the same – save the lives of sick and injured Arctic species.

SERIES SET TO RETURN THIS WINTER

  • CORONER (Season 3, Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films and Cineflix Studios)
  • FAMILY FEUD CANADA (Season 2 continues, Zone 3, Fremantle)
  • THE FIFTH ESTATE (Season 46)
  • FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (Season 4, Shaftesbury)
  • THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW (Season 4, Proper Television)
  • HA!IFAX COMEDY FEST (Season 24 continues, Pilot Light Productions)
  • HEARTLAND (Season 14, Seven24 Films and Dynamo Films)
  • KIM’S CONVENIENCE (Season 5, Thunderbird Entertainment) – also renewed for Season 6
  • MARKETPLACE (Season 48 continues)
  • MURDOCH MYSTERIES (Season 14, Shaftesbury)
  • THE NATURE OF THINGS (Season 60 continues)
  • ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES (Season 6 continues)
  • TALLBOYZ (Season 2, Accent Entertainment)
  • THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (Season 28 continues, Wildbrain)
  • WORKIN’ MOMS (Season 5, Wolf & Rabbit Entertainment)

KIDS PROGRAMMING

New original series for kids on CBC Kids and CBC Gem this upcoming year include:

  • REMY & BOO (Industrial Brothers/Boat Rocker, in association with Radio-Canada, 52×11 – Fall 2020), an animated preschool series about a unique friendship between an adventurous little girl and a squishy pink robot called Boo.
  • DINO RANCH (Industrial Brothers/Boat Rocker, 52×11 – 2021), an action-packed animated preschool series that follows the Cassidy family as they tackle life in a fantastical “pre-westoric” setting where dinosaurs still roam.
  • GARY’S MAGIC FORT (CBC Kids, 13×11 – Spring 2021), a welcoming enchanted pillow fort where CBC Kids’ host Gary the Unicorn plays with his friends.
Enslaved

CBC FALL SCHEDULE

CBC’s Fall 2020 broadcast and streaming schedule on CBC TV and CBC Gem is as follows:

(For Newfoundland and Labrador, please add one half-hour for all times)

MONDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *Season 2*
8 PM – THE SOUNDS *New Drama Series*
9 PM – PURE *Season 2*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

TUESDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *Season 2*
8 PM – STILL STANDING *Season 6*/ JUST FOR LAUGHS
8:30 PM – THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES *Season 28*/ JUST FOR LAUGHS
9 PM – BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW *Season 5 – Finale Season*
9:30 PM – CATASTROPHE *Seasons 3 and 4*/ HA!IFAX COMEDY FEST
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

WEDNESDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *Season 2*
8 PM – WAR OF THE WORLDS *Exclusive Canadian Premiere*
9 PM – TRICKSTER *New Drama Series*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

THURSDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *Season 2*
8 PM – BATTLE OF THE BLADES *Season 6*
9 PM – DRAGONS’ DEN *Season 15*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

FRIDAYS
8 PM – MARKETPLACE *Season 48*
8:30 PM – YOU CAN’T ASK THAT *Season 2* / ORANGEVILLE PREP *New Factual Series*
9 PM – THE NATURE OF THINGS *Season 60*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

SATURDAYS
Afternoon – ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES *Season 6*

SUNDAYS
Afternoon – ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES *Season 6*
8 PM – THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW *Season 10*
9 PM – ENSLAVED *New Documentary Series*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

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Scott Brothers Entertainment partners with Sinking Ship Entertainment on animated pre-school series Builder Brothers’ Dream Factory

From a media release:

Sinking Ship Entertainment and Scott Brothers Entertainment are pleased to announce a deal to co-develop a new preschool animated series, Builder Brothers’ Dream Factory, based on HGTV stars and New York Times bestselling authors, Drew and Jonathan Scott, or as they are most commonly known, the Property Brothers. The series will be distributed by Sinking Ship Entertainment’s growing distribution arm.

Builder Brothers’ Dream Factory centers around 10-year-old twins, Drew and Jonathan. A pair of regular kids whose extraordinary imagination, creativity, grit and heart – coupled with a big dose of “twin-spiration” – help solve problems in their neighborhood by dreaming big…..really big…sometimes too big! Along with their dog Moose and best friends Mel, Cee-Cee and Aiden, the Builder Brothers navigate the highs and lows of trying to make the world a better place – one big dream at a time.

Though it’s a character-driven comedy series at heart, the series doesn’t shy away from real kids’ issues and what they go through in navigating life’s ups and downs. It encourages kids to share their ideas, dream big, and not to be disheartened. That element of resilience and problem-solving is what sets the show apart.

About Sinking Ship Entertainment Inc.
Sinking Ship Entertainment is an award-winning production, distribution and interactive company specializing in family and kids’ live action and CGI blended content. Since opening its doors in 2004, Sinking Ship has produced over 500 hours of content, and through their globally recognized in-house distribution division, has sold to over 200 countries internationally. In 2019 they set their sights on growth and launched a new animation series division. The company has rapidly earned a global reputation for high quality, ground-breaking original series and companion interactive experiences. Overall, Sinking Ship has won 17 Daytime Emmy® Awards and a variety of other international awards including Canadian Screen Awards, Youth Media Alliance Awards, Fan Chile Awards, Parents Choice Awards, the Shaw Rocket Prize, and the Prix Jeunesse International. In addition to production, Sinking Ship operates a cutting edge VFX and Interactive Studio, creating multi-platform digital experiences and interactive content for audiences around the world. The Toronto-based company is home to over 175 shipmates. www.sinkingship.ca.

About Scott Brothers Entertainment.
Scott Brothers Entertainment (SBE) is a multifaceted production company that strives to develop cutting-edge entertainment by combining years of experience in film, television, and digital media. Winner of the Most Innovative Producer of the Year Award at the 2019 Banff World Media Festival, SBE is the brainchild of co-founders Drew and Jonathan Scott and has evolved from start-up to competitive content creator with a laser-sharp focus on innovation, expansion, and working with like-minded partners. For more information, visit www.sbentertainment.com.

About Drew and Jonathan Scott
Entrepreneurs, authors and twin television personalities, Drew and Jonathan Scott are co-founders of Scott Brothers Global, which includes Scott Brothers Entertainment, the home furnishing company Scott Living, and the design-inspiration e-commerce platform, Casaza. Best known as the hosts of multiple top-rated HGTV series including the Emmy-nominated and Canadian Screen Awards-winning Property Brothers and Brother vs. Brother, among others, Drew and Jonathan’s shows are enjoyed by millions of viewers in over 160 countries. Dream HomeIt Takes Two: Our Story, and their children’s lit series Builder Brothers are all New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers. In 2017, the brothers were named Habitat Humanitarians, the highest recognition offered by Habitat for Humanity. Most recently, they launched a top-rated mobile game, Property Brothers Home Design, and a quarterly lifestyle magazine, Reveal, published by Meredith Corporation. For more information, please visit thescottbrothers.com or follow @MrSilverScott and @MrDrewScott.

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Broadcasting & Telecommunications Panel releases Canada’s Communications Future: Time to Act

From a media release:

Today, the federal Broadcasting & Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel (BTLRP) released Canada’s Communications Future: Time to Act, its final report and recommendations to government.

Created in June 2018, by the Ministers of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and Canadian Heritage, the six-member Panel reviewed Canada’s decades-old Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Radiocommunication Acts and made recommendations for modernizing the legislation and regulatory framework.

“Advanced technology is transforming the ways we communicate, entertain and inform ourselves as well as driving economic opportunities and new business models that enhance competitiveness domestically and internationally. These unprecedented opportunities also expose us to significant risks including the growing – and global – threat of privacy breaches, the spread of harmful content and the impact of Big Data on all dimensions of our lives,” said Janet Yale, Chair of the Broadcasting & Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel. “A Canada, where everyone benefits from the social, creative and economic potential this new world presents, requires a legislative framework that responds to the challenges of today, while also being flexible enough to address the unknown challenges of tomorrow. Our recommendations for reform are practical and actionable providing the legislative powers and regulatory tools necessary to seize the opportunities and address the risks of the digital age.”

“The legislation we were asked to review is foundational to our ability as a country to ensure that, in a world of endless choices and voices, there is space for Canadian culture, stories and perspectives including the ability to showcase our diversity,” said BTLR Panelist Monique Simard. “Our recommendations enshrine the right to a free and open Internet while creating an appropriate framework for the support and promotion of Canadian content.”

The Panel’s work was informed by a diverse range of people and organizations from across the country, in addition to a series of original research. In response to the Panel’s Call for Comments on how the country’s legislative framework for communications should be updated, more than 2,000 letters and written submissions were received, many of which included concrete recommendations which have been incorporated into the final report. The Panel also held in-person meetings across the country.

“By engaging with such a diverse range of industry players, creators, Indigenous and official language minority communities, public interest and accessibility groups we gained the insights needed to provide government with practical recommendations that will be adaptable to change in an increasingly borderless digital world,” added Yale.

Canada’s Communications Future: Time to Act contains 97 specific recommendations touching on four themes:

  • Reducing barriers to access by all Canadians to advanced telecommunications networks;
  • Supporting the creation, production and discoverability of Canadian content;
  • Improving the rights of the digital consumer; and
  • Renewing the institutional framework for the communications sector.

The submission of Canada’s Communications Future: Time to Act fulfills the Panel’s mandate and brings to a close its work for the federal government. The Panel thanks the government for the opportunity to put its experience and expertise in the service of Canadians on these increasingly important matters. Continue reading. 

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Award-winning writer/producer Bruce Smith to lead story room for 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program

From a media release:

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Bell Media are pleased to welcome one of Canada’s top drama showrunners Bruce Smith as the Executive Producer in Residence of the 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program. From September to December 2019, Smith will lead the story room as well as the six television writers selected to participate in this year’s program as they work together to develop Smith’s original series.

Bruce Smith was most recently creator and showrunner of Street Legal on CBC. Previously, he was the showrunner of CTV’s award-winning drama 19-2 and of Cracked (CBC). Over its four-season run, 19-2 earned more than 30 Canadian Screen Awards nominations, including the win for Best Dramatic Series in 2016, when it was also nominated for an International Emmy in the same category. Additionally, Smith has worked as a writer/producer on numerous dramas, including Durham County (HBO CANADA), and has penned multiple award-winning MOWs and miniseries, including The Sleep Room (CBC), Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story (CBC), The Investigation (CTV), and John A: Birth of a Country (CBC), for which he won a 2013 Canadian Screen Award. Smith has received three WGC Screenwriting Awards, including the WGC Showrunner Award in 2015 and the McGrath Service Award in 2019.

The 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program participants are:

  • Henry Campbell (BC)
  • Imogen Grace (ON)
  • Amy Halloran (QC)
  • Rose Napoli (ON)
  • Lori-Ann Russell (ON)
  • Ian Steaman (ON)

This year’s program begins on September 23, 2019. The Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, now in its 20th year, delivers a real-world story room experience and an intense professional and project development process for six TV writers a year. The program has attracted some of Canada’s most prolific and successful showrunners to lead the story room as Executive Producer in Residence, including Michael MacLennan, Karen Walton, Brad Wright, Dennis Heaton and Alexandra Zarowny. The program has played a vital role in developing numerous hit series through its story room, including Travelers and the Emmy Award-winning series Orphan Black. Learn more about the program here.

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