Tag Archives: Industry News

Canadian Screenwriters and Producers Extend Agreement

From a media release:

Canadian screenwriters and producers have agreed to extend the current agreement governing English-language screenwriting in Canada. The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC), the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), and the Association Québécoise de la Production Médiatique (AQPM) announced today that all parties have ratified an eighteen-month extension to the Independent Production Agreement (IPA), which will come into effect Jan. 1, 2018. This agreement maintains the current terms of engagement, with an increase of minimum script fees, and now expires on June 30, 2019.

All parties agree that screenwriters and producers are best positioned to face a time of industry flux by continuing to work under the terms of the current IPA in order to focus on issues that impact the entire industry. The extension includes a one per cent script fee increase in 2018.

WGC President Jill Golick says, “From contentious CRTC decisions to the government’s Canadian Content in a Digital World policy review, there’s a lot of uncertainty in our industry, making it a less than ideal time for labour negotiations. For now, our top priority is ensuring a healthy future for Canadian screenwriters. We are hopeful that in 18 months the situation will have improved significantly.”

CMPA Senior Counsel and Vice-President of National Industrial Relations Warren Ross says, “Today’s announcement means Canada’s independent producers and the country’s talented writers can continue to focus on what they do best — bringing compelling stories to life on screen that entertain audiences here at home and around the world.”

AQPM President and CEO Hélène Messier says, “The AQPM is confident that the agreement reached by the associations and the Guild will allow for the continued success of Canadian writers and producers. Canadian writers, with their remarkable ideas and distinct sensibilities, are an integral part of the Quebec television and film industry and the AQPM is glad to count on their continued services for the foreseeable future.”




Link: Arnold Amber was CBC TV’s behind-the-scenes mastermind

From Fred Langan of The Globe and Mail:

Link: Arnold Amber was CBC TV’s behind-the-scenes mastermind
Most viewers never knew his name, but Arnold Amber, who died in Toronto on Labour Day at the age of 77, was the brains behind TV programs that millions of Canadians watched. For a decade and a half, he was the man in charge of special news broadcasts at the CBC, covering elections, leadership conventions, the first Quebec referendum and the Meech Lake crisis. He was also a passionate union leader, representing fellow journalists at the CBC. Continue reading.





Award-WinningWriter/Producer Dennis Heaton to Lead Story Room for the 2017 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program

From a media release:

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Bell Media are pleased to welcome renowned writer/producer Dennis Heaton as the Executive Producer in Residence of the 2017 Bell Media Prime Time TVProgram, presented in association with ABC Signature Studios. From September to December 2017, Heaton will lead the story room as well as the soon-to-be-announced television writers selected to participate in this year’s program as they work together to develop Heaton’s original series.

Dennis Heaton is an award-winning writer and producer whose work spans multiple genres and formats, from animation to live-action, web series to feature film, half hour comedy to hour-long drama. Heaton is currently executive producing and writing for Ghost Wars, a new horror series for SyFy and Netflix. Heaton recently completed showrunning the internationally renowned police procedural Motive. His additional live-action credits include Call Me Fitz, The Listener, JPod, Blood Ties and the feature film Fido. When not working on live-action projects, Heaton sneaks off to write episodes of animated shows, create web series and write and direct short film projects. Motive and Call Me Fitz have both received multiple Canadian Screen Awards nominations, including Best Drama Series and Best Comedy Series, respectively, which Call Me Fitz won in 2014. Heaton has also been nominated for four Gemini Awards, four WGC Screenwriting Awards (winning for his Yvon of the Yukon animation script, “The Trouble With Mammoths”) and nine Leo Awards (of which he won five). His 2009 web series, My Pal, Satan, won Best Web Series and Best Theme Song at the New York Television Festival. His 2006 short film, Head Shot, premiered in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, won Best Canadian Short Film at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, and went on to play in film festivals around the world. Heaton has multiple projects in development, including Damage Control, a new police procedural with Lark, NBCU and Corus Entertainment, and the feature comedy Larry’s Awesome Kegger, which he hopes will be his directorial debut.

The Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, presented in association with ABC Signature Studios, 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, Graeme Manson, Avrum Jacobson, Peter Mohan, Shelley Eriksen, Karen Walton and Brad Wright. Alumni of the program have gone on to create their own series and write for hit TV series, including Tara Armstrong, whose is currently in production on Season 2 of her series Mary Kills People (Global TV); Andrew De Angelis, whose first comedy series, What Would Sal Do?, aired on CraveTV in March 2017; Blain Watters, who wrote for Season 1 of Between (Netflix); and Karen Nielsen, who is set to write an episode of the next X-Files revival season. The program also helped develop smash-hit Emmy Award-winning series Orphan Black, which recently saw its series finale, in the 2008 story room, and Travelers, whose second season is set to premiere this Fall on Netflix, began its development during the 2014 Prime Time TV Program.

The 2017 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program participants will be announced in the coming weeks, with the program getting officially underway on September 18, 2017. To learn more about the program, please visit:http://cfccreates.com/programs/15-bell-media-prime-time-tv-program




Bell Media Licenses Its Original TV Series Format Just Like Mom; plus casting details

From media releases:

Bell Media announced today a deal to license the series format rights to its original series JUST LIKE MOM to leading Canadian production company marblemedia. The deal provides the exclusive Canadian and U.S. rights for the series to marblemedia, who has a greenlight from broadcasters Yes TV and BYU TV respectively, to re-launch the show in 2018. The multi-year format deal provides robust multi-platform and ancillary rights for JUST LIKE MOM, which will be rejuvenated, modernized and renamed to JUST LIKE MOM AND DAD and launched to a new generation of viewers.

The original JUST LIKE MOM was a popular 1980s children’s game show that was commissioned for CTV’s flagship station, Toronto’s CFTO-TV. It ran for more than five seasons between 1980 and 1985 before going into syndication.

Filmed before a live studio audience at CTV’s Agincourt studios, JUST LIKE MOM tested which mother and child knew each other best through answer-matching, the memorable bake-off challenge, and the bonus round which saw the winning team spin a wheel for the chance to win a grand prize.

Today’s announcement represents the second original format deal for Bell Media this year, following the announcement earlier this year that it has created a new, multi-platform, music series format, THE LAUNCH for CTV, its leading national network, for distribution around the world.

More information on JUST LIKE MOM AND DAD, its production, and casting can be found at http://www.justlikemomanddad.com.

Via marblemedia:

Award-winning global media production and distribution company marblemedia announced today it will begin production this fall on Just Like Mom and Dad, an exciting remake of the 80s hit game show Just Like Mom. Produced in association with YES TV in Canada and BYUtv in the US, the 20-episode primetime family game show will premiere across North America in January 2018.

A popular part of Canadian TV pop culture nostalgia, the original series Just like Mom ran over 600 episodes over five seasons from 1980 to 1985 on CTV. marblemedia secured all remake and development rights in an agreement with Bell Media. This multi-year format deal includes worldwide program and format distribution rights to the series through marblemedia’s distribution arm, Distribution360 (D360), along with digital and ancillary rights.

Just Like Mom and Dad, shot in front of a live studio audience on a bright, digital set with brand new hosts, explores how well families really know each other. Each episode will feature three parent-kid pairs competing in two interactive trivia rounds and a final bake-off round in a new kitchen coliseum. The winning team gets the chance to spin the big prize wheel.

Additionally, marblemedia will be releasing digital media components, produced inhouse by marblemedia Interactive, to support the Just Like Mom and Dad series, including an exciting mobile App.

marblemedia has partnered with Segal Licensing, who’s handling licensing and merchandising for the series and is currently in discussion with a number of brand integration partnerships for participation in the series.  Just Like Mom and Dad is financed with the participation of the Bell Fund and Shaw Rocket Fund.

Producers for the series include Mark Bishop, Matt Hornburg, Steve Sloan, Stephen Turnbull, alongside Rob Sheppard for YES TV, Jim Bell for BYUtv and Adam Iversfor Omnicom’s Highway Entertainment.





Link: Cancon television regulations need updating in the age of streaming

From Kate Taylor of The Globe and Mail:

Link: Cancon television regulations need updating in the age of streaming
Shows such as the crime drama Cardinal, distinctively Canadian by virtue of its Northern Ontario setting and plot surrounding the disappearance of an Indigenous girl, would seem to be the sweet spot: It has sold into Britain and several European countries and is seen on Hulu in the United States. That’s great, but why should Canadians sacrifice the likes of Letterkenny just because foreigners may not get it? Continue reading.