Tag Archives: Jonny Harris

Still Standing returns for Season 7 on CBC

I’ve been waiting for years to have Still Standing film in a small town close to me. And then, when it finally did, I missed the whole thing.

I’ll blame COVID-19 for that, as Season 7 of Jonny Harris’ cross country standup series had to adjust to changing audience numbers and community health recommendations on the fly. Returning on Wednesday at 8 p.m. on CBC, Harris and his crew drop in on Hope, B.C., where they divulge the history and people of that small Canadian community.

And, like hundreds of other television productions, the pandemic delayed everything and put the heart of the show—Harris’ live performances in front of the communities he was in—in jeopardy.

“At first, we were just grounded,” Harris says. “And then we were going to do shows, but the capacity was going to be greatly reduced, like 30 people in the audience. I was devastated. I thought, ‘It won’t feel like the show.’ And then, I turned on the TV, and there was Jimmy Fallon telling jokes, basically, in front of The Tonight Show crew. And I realized everyone had to eat some crow during the pandemic.”

Despite crowd restrictions and wildly fluctuating social distancing rules from province to province, Still Standing still looks great. Thanks to creative camera angles and editing, you really can’t tell how many people are in each audience. Those outside, community shots and interviews are still intact, weaving personal and business stories around small communities struggling to make ends meet.

As for the episode filmed in my area, the Wakefield, QC, instalment (just a 10-minute drive from my home) airs on January 19 and finds Harris traipsing around a community embracing its railway past to drive tourism to the area.

“It’s such a gorgeous area, and close enough to Gatineau and Ottawa that it’s accessible but far enough away that’s it’s never going to be a suburb.”

Still Standing airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem.

Images courtesy of CBC.


Photo Gallery: Murdoch Mysteries, Season 14

Murdoch Mysteries fans have clearly been good little girls and boys this year. Not to mention patient. I was perusing the CBC’s media site so that I could start prepping for Season 14 previews and interviews and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but brand-new cast images! Please enjoy them, courtesy of CBC.


Preview: Murdoch Mysteries, “Prodigal Father,” features Colm Feore

It’s hard to believe that Colm Feore hasn’t appeared on Murdoch Mysteries before. According to the veteran actor of both stage and screen, he’d been ready and willing. Check out Melissa Hank’s great story on how Feore ended up on Murdoch Mysteries, as well as some additional story information.

Here’s what the CBC says about Monday’s episode, “Prodigal Father,” written by Simon McNabb and directed by Yannick Bisson.

A death at an investment event leads Crabtree to the father he never knew.

And here are more tidbits from me after watching the episode.

Colm Feore is fantastic
After wondering what George’s father looked like and what kind of man he was for 13 seasons, we finally find out. He’s dashing, well-spoken, charming and loves a good scotch. He’s also a big thinker, something his son has obviously inherited—and has big plans for Toronto. And how George finds out who his father is, well, it’s classic Simon McNabb fun. As for Feore, the actor? He commands every scene he is in.

Crabtree is puzzled
But is George ready for a relationship with his dad? He seeks Murdoch’s advice, but William has had his own complicated relationship with his father. Of course, Higgins has opinions on what George should do too.

Guest stars galore
In addition to Mr. Feore are appearances by Nabeel El Khafif (Ransom, Private Eyes) and Janine Theriault (Bellevue) in great little roles.

Murdoch’s crime scene mental walkthrough … with a twist
I won’t spoil it; I will say I laughed out loud.

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

Images courtesy of CBC.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Preview: Five seasons later Still Standing is still going strong

Back when Still Standing debuted, I remarked that Jonny Harris was becoming the next Wayne Rostad. Now, five seasons in, he really has. Like Rostad—who spoke to Canadians from regions of the country from 1987 to 2007—Harris has the wit and charm to win over strangers and get them talking, and a genuine warmth. You can’t help but like him.

Returning Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CBC, Season 5 follows Harris to a little part of the country I’d never heard of: Campobello Island. The New Brunswick community’s only year-round and direct access to the mainland is a bridge to the U.S. This, of course, makes for a unique Canadian/American cultural blend and many challenges.    Including, as Harris points out in the first minute, worrying about having your passport. If the ferries are running, you catch one from mainland New Brunswick to Deer Island and another to Campobello Island. If they aren’t you have to go through Maine.

It’s a unique trait not shared with the rest of the country. And, like the places showcased in Still Standing, makes Campobello Island’s 850 citizens unique. And, like those other communites, this one has fallen on hard times. A decline in fishing has seen the population drop; children are reluctant to stay if the area isn’t prosperous.

But while times are tough on Campobello Island, there’s lots to laugh about. And that, of course, is what Harris helps them do, whether it’s over outlandish border import rules or a wayward brining shed that made international new. Over the course of their visit in each episode, Harris and his writers craft fresh material based on the community and the people in it before entertaining them with a stand-up performance. The result? A funny, folksy look at smalltown Canada.

Future episodes include stops in Schreiber, Ont., and Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.

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

Image courtesy of CBC.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Still Standing and The Amazing Race Canada among the winners at Night 1 of the Canadian Screen Awards

From a media release:

This evening, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television kicked off 2019 Canadian Screen Week with the Canadian Screen Awards: The CTV Gala Honouring Non-Fiction Programming. Comedian Aisha Alfa (CTV’s THE BEAVERTON) hosted the Gala, which was held at Heritage Court, Exhibition Place in Toronto and streamed on CTV.ca.

The television and film industry’s finest left tonight’s Gala with several accolades, including James Duthie (Best Sports Host, sponsored by MLSE); TSN’s Reborn – Basketball & Reconciliation in Rwanda (Best Sports Program or Series); CTV National News with Lisa LaFlamme (Best National Newscast); Dawna Friesen (Best News Anchor, National); Adrienne Arsenault (Best Host or Interviewer in a News or Information Program or Series); HGTV’s Property Brothers (Best Lifestyle Program or Series, sponsored by Corus Entertainment); The JUNO Awards (Best Live Entertainment Special); and TVOKids’ Science Max: Experiments at Large (Best Children’s or Youth Non-Fiction Program or Series).

Niobe Thompson and Caroline Underwood won the Rob Stewart Award for Best Science or Nature Documentary Program or Series for Equus: Story of the Horse, receiving $25,000 in addition to being honoured with the Canadian Screen Award.

Producer and visual researcher Elizabeth Klinck received the Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute.

The CTV Gala Honouring Non-Fiction Programming was supported by event partners Crave, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), and VICE Studios.

2019 Canadian Screen Awards: The CTV Gala Honouring Non-Fiction Programming Winners

Best Host or Interviewer in a News or Information Program or Series
CBC News: The Royal Wedding: Harry & Meghan

Best News Anchor, Local
CTV News Toronto at 6, Michelle Dubé

Best News or Information Segment
CBC News: The NationalThe Ruins of Raqqa

Best News or Information Program
CBC News: MarketplaceFake Degrees

Best Local Reporter
CBC Winnipeg News at SixMinister Tickles, Katie Nicholson

Best Local Newscast
CTV News Toronto at 6

Best Sports Analyst
Raptors Basketball on TSN, Jack Armstrong

Best Sports Host
Free Agent Frenzy, James Duthie

Best Sports Play-by-Play Announcer
2017 Grey Cup, Chris Cuthbert

Best Writing, Factual
Still StandingCarcross, Jonny Harris, Fraser Young, Graham Chittenden, Steve Dylan

Best Writing, Lifestyle or Reality/Competition
The Great Canadian Baking ShowBread Week, Elvira Kurt

Best Writing, Documentary
the fifth estate: The Truth Smugglers, Gillian Findlay

Rob Stewart Award for Best Science or Nature Documentary Program or Series
Equus: Story of the Horse, Niobe Thompson, Caroline Underwood

Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program
Quiet Killing, APTN, Michèle Rouleau

Best Biography or Arts Documentary Program or Series
Jumbo: The Life of an Elephant Superstar

Best Factual Series
The Detectives, CBC

Best History Documentary Program or Series
The Nature of Things: Ice Bridge, CBC

Best Documentary Program
You Are Here, HBO Canada

Best Children’s or Youth Non-Fiction Program or Series
Science Max: Experiments at Large, TVO

Best Variety or Entertainment Special
Gord Downie’s Secret Path in Concert, CBC

Golden Screen Award for TV Reality Show
The Amazing Race Canada, CTV

Best Lifestyle Program or Series
Property Brothers, HGTV

Best News or Information Series
the fifth estate, CBC

Best Host in a Program or Series
Still Standing, CBC, Jonny Harris

Best News Anchor, National
Global National, Global, Dawna Friesen

Best National Newscast
CTV National News With Lisa LaFlamme, CTV News

Visit www.academy.ca to view a full list of winners.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail