Tag Archives: Jonny Harris

Preview: “Shadows are Falling” on Murdoch Mysteries

The Murdoch Mysteries fans have spoken! Last week’s episode, “Game of Kings,” was a resounding favourite and I totally agree. Maureen Jennings’ script was jam-packed with history, humour and action; everything that makes for a great instalment.

That, of course, leads us to Monday’s new episode, “Shadows are Falling,” written by Mary Pedersen and directed by Sherren Lee. You may remember the last time Pedersen penned a Murdoch Mysteries storyline, “The Accident,” where she reduced us to tears. Will she do the same this time around? Here’s the official synopsis for “Shadows are Falling” from the CBC:

Murdoch and Ogden must put aside dealing with a personal matter when Nate Desmond is charged with murder.

And here are more morsels to chew on while you wait until Monday.

Congratulations Jonny Harris!
Jonny Harris and his writing crew captured their second Canadian Screen Award in a row for their work on Still Standing. The series took home the trophy for Best Writing, Factual.

Julia and William at their darkest
This is, after all, the penultimate episode of Season 11. You didn’t expect everything to be hunky dory, did you? Yannick Bisson and Hélène Joy put in performances of the season on Monday night. Keep your tissues close by.

Nate and Rebecca return
With Nate accused of murder, it only makes sense to have Rebecca James return to Toronto as well. The man collaring Nate is none other than the newly-promoted Horace McWorthy, played by Sean Bell, of Station House No. 1. That means Watts does some digging in his old stomping grounds. Meanwhile, parts of the investigation are particularly painful for William and Julia. The last several minutes of “Shadows are Falling” is shocking, sad and changes everything.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of Stephen Scott for CBC.




Emma Hunter and Jonny Harris to host 2018 Canadian Screen Awards

From a media release:

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (the Canadian Academy) and CBC today announced that Jonny Harris of CBC’s Still Standing and Murdoch Mysteries and Emma Hunter of The Comedy Network’s The Beaverton and CBC’s Mr. D, will co-host the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast Gala live on CBC on Sunday, March 11, 2018. The Canadian Academy also announced hosts for the three non-broadcast Canadian Screen Awards Galas and Family Fan Day.

The Canadian Academy and CBC also announced their new production partner for the Broadcast Gala: Insight Production Company. This year marks the inaugural year the Canadian Academy will work with the award-winning content producers to deliver one of the country’s biggest award shows. As part of the new partnership, Insight Productions is taking on the task of bringing the “Golden Era of Entertainment” to the Canadian Screen Awards stage.

Also taking on hosting duties during Canadian Screen Week this year are five very talented Canadian stars who will each bring their own flare and personality to the stage at the three non-broadcast Galas during Canadian Screen Week.

  • Canadian Screen Award nominee and co-anchor of The Comedy Network’s The Beaverton, Miguel Rivas, will host the Gala Honouring Excellence in Non-Fiction Programming Sponsored by Boat Rocker Media and Eagle Vision (March 6, 2018);
  • Award-winning actor and improv dynamo Andrew Phung, of CBC’s Kim Convenience, will host the Gala Honouring Excellence in Creative Fiction Storytelling Sponsored by Technicolor and Thunderbird Entertainment (March 7, 2018); and
  • Mind Fudge’s Jon Simonassi and Justine Nelson will serve as “virtual hosts” through the creation of content for the Gala Honouring Excellence in Digital and Immersive Storytelling Supported by the Independent Production Fund (March 8, 2018).

The three off-air Galas will be produced by e=mc2 events who are working with the Canadian Academy for the first time this year.

Additionally, ET Canada’s Carlos Bustamante will host Family Fan Day, presented by the Canadian Academy and the Shaw Rocket Fund, and supported by City of Toronto at the Sony Centre of Performing Arts on March 10, 2018, which coincides with the beginning of March Break in Toronto.




CBC’s A Christmas Fury reunites Hatching Matching and Dispatching crew for holiday laughs

I totally missed the boat when Hatching Matching and Dispatching came around back in 2006 on the CBC. The sitcom, starring Mary Walsh as Mamie Lou Furey, matriarch of the Cats Gut Cove, Newfoundland, family who ran an ambulance, wedding and funeral business was cancelled after just one season.

Now all old is new again as Walsh and the rest of the original cast in Mark McKinney, Susan Kent, Shaun Majumder, Jonny Harris, Sherry White, Joel Thomas Hynes, Adrianna Maggs and Rick Boland reunite for a follow-up TV movie called A Christmas Fury. I couldn’t find any of the original episodes online, but there is an extended trailer from 2006 worth checking out for no other reason than to see the baby-faced Jonny Harris even more baby-faced.

Since I didn’t see the original series, I went into A Christmas Fury—airing Sunday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. on CBC—with no preconceived notions or expectations other than being impressed by the all-star cast and looking forward to what I surmised would be a riot of sight gags and salty language. I was not disappointed. And I did not, as I feared, have to have seen Hatching Matching and Dispatching to know what was going on in A Christmas Fury.

When we catch up with the Furey family on Sunday they’re in the midst of assembling for a nativity scene with Troy (Harris) as the “baby Jeebus.” He’s surrounded by Nick Crocker (Hynes), Phonse Furey (Boland), Darlene Furey (Kent), Cyril Pippy (Majumder), Todd Meaney (McKinney), Mamie Lou (Walsh) and Myrna Furey-Meaney (White), who argue who should be playing the Chosen One. As the scene devolves into a all-out donnybrook, Mamie Lou reflects on her spoiled children and holidays past and plans to leave her stunned family (literally and figuratively) for good. The wrench in Mamie Lou’s plan? Troy announces he and his gal pal Alma (Maggs) have got a baby on the way.

Written by Walsh and Ed Macdonald, A Christmas Fury is full of laughs. No surprise, really, since much of the cast can be seen on 22 Minutes. Myrna, sure that Troy and his baby will inherit the family business, is determined to get pregnant or undermine Troy’s plot. Darlene, meanwhile, plans to win the prize for best yard decorations and Nick wants to fornicate in the manger. There’s a lot of heart too. Sprinkled amongst the insults are some truly touching moments like when Cyril delivers a present to Mamie Lou and the family connects with a troubled young girl. (And A Christmas Fury has a killer soundtrack.)

If you’re looking for a truly offbeat—and entertaining—holiday special to add alongside Rudolph, Frosty and Charlie Brown, add A Christmas Fury to your list.

A Christmas Fury airs Sunday, Dec. 3, at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of CBC.




CBC’s Still Standing kicks off Season 3 in Fort McMurray

It isn’t within Still Standing‘s guidelines to visit a place like Fort McMurray. After all, one of the stand-up/documentary hybrid’s keystones is to visit small communities across the country and Fort McMurray’s population is over 61,000. But the other rule is to focus on an area hit by hard times, and you don’t get much harder hit than the Alberta town which saw much of its area consumed by wildfires.

Returning with two back-to-back episodes on Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CBC, Harris and his crew stop in Fort McMurray during the first half-hour before jetting to Bell Island, Nfld, for the second instalment.

“We thought the story [in Fort McMurray] was so compelling and important that, with the one-year anniversary of the evacuation coming up [for filming], it was a story we could tell,” Harris told us during CBC’s upfront media day. Harris, his writers and producers spent several days in the area, interacting with folks and preparing original standup material to be performed for the community. Rewatching video of the events of May 3, 2016, brings the seriousness of the situation to light. It’s not, you’d think, something folks would want to laugh about. But they do, whether it’s at Harris’ suggestion some folks’ sins brought hell upon them or his own admission he’d freak out during an emergency.

But the episode is as much about joking about the situation as it is about the little triumphs and “disasterhood.” People offered up food, clothing, water and rooms to those affected by the conflagration. And, over a year later, the community is rebuilding, burgeoning and offering surprises.

“I was amazed by how multicultural it is there,” he Harris says. “I’ve met people from every corner of the globe in Fort McMurray and it doesn’t have that rough and tumble, work camp sort of feel. It’s got great restaurants and a healthier art scene than you might expect.”

The mark of a community getting back on its feet.

Still Standing airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.


Still Standing celebrates more Canadian small towns in Season 2

Jonny Harris is back with Still Standing, celebrating small-town Canada with big laughs. Returning Tuesday with what’s quickly becoming a summer staple for CBC, the likable Harris sheds his Constable Crabtree duds and spikes his hair to hit the road, shining a spotlight on communities of folks ekeing out a living in the place they call home.

Tuesday’s return finds the young Newfoundlander in British Columbia, where the 800 citizens of Skidegate are struggling to keep their Haida culture intact amid a history of boom and bust.

Shop owner Rose Russ discusses the local artisans, tourism and an economy that once did well thanks to fishing and logging; Haida elder Diane Brown gives a history of the area and reveals she is one of a mere handful who still know their ancient language; and Jags tells of the once-thriving community of Skedans that was decimated by smallpox.

As with Season 1, Harris successfully tells the history of the community he’s visiting without a hint of malice. He’s there to point out the hard and good times, but there’s no meanness in his comedy. There are references to Europeans arriving in the area and promptly stealing totem poles (“How are you going to show that off to your friends and not look like a complete a-hole?”). And it’s not all bad news in Skidegate: Ben Davidson is a renowned local artist creating Haidi works, a heritage centre promises to educate the youth on their history and language and the Skidegate Saints kick butt on the basketball court.

Upcoming stops in Still Standing‘s season include Omemee, Ont., Inuvik, NWT., and Georgetown, PEI.

Still Standing airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.