Tag Archives: Julie Bristow

From award-winning comedian, producer and actor Carolyn Taylor, the Crave original comedy I Have Nothing premieres on September 23

From a media release:

Crave’s Original docu-comedy series, I HAVE NOTHING, drops Saturday, Sept. 23 at 9 p.m. ET with all six episodes, immediately following a special screening event at the Just for Laughs Festival in Toronto featuring star Carolyn Taylor and special guests. Created by Taylor, and produced by Catalyst and Blue Ant Studios, in association with Bell Media, the series follows Carolyn (BARONESS VON SKETCH) on a comical quest to choreograph the perfect, full-length pairs figure skating routine to Whitney Houston’s 1992 iconic hit song, “I Have Nothing.” The series will be available to Crave audiences in English and French.

Motivated by a teenaged obsession for the 1988 Calgary Olympics that also sparked Carolyn’s queer awakening, I HAVE NOTHING begins as a lighthearted nostalgic comedy and quickly morphs into a high-stakes, real-life mission for Carolyn, with a few wild detours along the way. Joining Carolyn on her mission are legends from the world of figure skating including Sandra Bezic, David Pelletier, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Brian Orser, Kurt Browning, Paul Martini, Barbara Underhill, Katarina Witt, Tara Lipinski, Kristi Yamaguchi, Adam Rippon, Elladj Baldé, and Elizabeth Manley, as well as award-winning comedian, actor, and writer, Mae Martin. Guest stars include Jully Black, Sabrina Jalees, and Elvira Kurt.

The season culminates in a performance of Carolyn’s one-of-a-kind routine, performed in front of a live audience of figure-skating royalty, die-hard skating fans, and Carolyn’s teen idols.

Episodic synopses are outlined below:

Episode 1 – Package For The Bird
After years of dreaming, Carolyn finally begins her quest to choreograph a pairs figure skating routine to Whitney Houston’s 1992 iconic hit song, “I Have Nothing”. First step: find her skaters.

Episode 2 – Do You Know About The Cold War
Carolyn gets a reality check from some Olympic medalists, but finds her groove with a social media superstar.

Episode 3 – Love is Pain
Carolyn tries to learn everything she can before her first rehearsal, with the help of some 1988 Olympic skating royalty.

Episode 4 – No Longer A Joke
It’s the first rehearsal, and Carolyn is struggling to convince her Olympic skaters that any of this is a good idea.

Episode 5 – Today Is Wednesday
With two days left to choreograph, Carolyn throws the skaters an Olympic curveball. Then, suffers separation anxiety when they leave.

Episode 6 – Buffoon Makes Good
Dream and reality collide as Carolyn and her skaters prepare for the final skate. As the night draws closer and the audience loads in, Carolyn tries to stay calm.

I HAVE NOTHING is produced by Catalyst and Blue Ant Studios, in association with Crave. The series is created, directed, and executive produced by Carolyn Taylor, and directed and executive produced by Zack Russell. For Catalyst, Vibika Bianchi and Julie Bristow are executive producers. For Blue Ant Studios, Laura Michalchyshyn, Aileen Gardner, and Sam Sniderman are executive producers.


Content Catalyst Fund makes triple hire and reveals first development slate

From a media release:

Content Catalyst Fund (CCF) — the development and funding company that focuses on content developed, delivered and designed by women, about women — has announced three new hires to support both its growing portfolio of in-development projects and its rapidly expanding network of partnerships.

In order to realise these premium projects at speed, CCF has appointed a trio of unscripted specialists: Vibika Bianchi, Maria Farano and Heather Findlay as executive producers. CCF, which entered into a non-scripted co-production joint venture with international producer, distributor and channel operator Blu Ant Media in late February, has also announced its first slate of female-generated unscripted projects for the global marketplace.

Vibika is a respected curator, format creator and executive producer, who has delivered countless hours of top-tier unscripted content for the likes of HGTV, Food Network, Discovery and CBC. In addition to guiding the creation of lifestyle hits Property Brothers and Love it or List It, she has overseen local adaptations of some of the world’s most successful formats, including Undercover Boss, Come Dine With Me, How to Look Good Naked and Jamie Oliver’s Pressure Cooker. Her genre experience spans food programming (Chuck & Danny’s Road Trip), docusoap (Cupcake Girls), premium reality (Hockey Wives), scripted (Davinci’s Inquest) and true crime (Murder She Solved). Vibika’s CV includes SVP roles at Our House Media and Entertainment One, as well as nearly 11-years at Corus Entertainment, where she led the commissioning strategy for several channels including W Network, OWN Canada and CMT. 

Storyteller, executive producer and creative executive Maria Farano has 20 years of experience in developing and producing unscripted content for the global market. She brings with her a wealth of experience gained from producing critically acclaimed and commercially successful content for, among others, HGTV, History, W Network, SLICE, OWN, Discovery, ABC Spark and CMT. Farano’s career highlights include serving as Corus Entertainment’s director of original unscripted programming, during which time she developed a string of successful formats, including The Bachelorette Canada/The Bachelor Canada, Game of Homes, To Catch a Killer, Undercover Boss Canada, The Real Housewives of Toronto, Tornado Hunters and My Mom’s A Medium.

Creative executive and producer Heather Findlay, has a proven track record in developing strong concepts into ratings-generating content. Over the past 20 years, Findlay has played a key role in the development and production of hundreds of hours of content for Discovery, CBC, W Network, T&E, CMT, HGTV, Travel Channel, Science Channel and Food Network. Her genre experience also spans factual, kids and food programming, with credits including Canada’s Worst Driver, Chuck and Danny’s Road Trip, The Great Canadian Baking Show and Keeping Canada Alive.

CCF founder Julie Bristow said: “This powerhouse trio of unscripted executives brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, both domestic and international, to the CCF team. In addition to being inspirational leaders with razor-sharp creative instincts, all three are exceptional in that they have experience of both the buying and selling side of the business. With Vibika, Maria and Heather on board, CCF is in the best possible shape as it begins to give voice to the best female stories and storytellers.”

To coincide with the announcement of its new creative team, CCF has also unveiled its first slate of in-development projects, which span true-crime, ‘occu-doc’ and comedy.

Highlights include Darkness in Daylight, developed in collaboration with producer/actor Folklaur Chevrier, which revists the brutal murder of nine-year-old Christine Jessop in 1984. After 36 years without justice and a wrongful conviction, a killer has finally been identified — but the Jessop family is still a long way away from closure. Home Made with Kara Beckmann is a renovation series featuring savvy real estate investor, builder and designer Kara Beckmann, who’s not afraid to take risks as she flips properties for profit. Also in development is factual comedy I Have Nothing, on which CCF is collaborating with creators Carolyn Taylor (Baroness Von Sketch) and Zack Russel. The show follows Carolyn’s quixotic quest to choreograph a figure-skating routine inspired by her (unhealthy) obsession with the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

About CCF
Content Catalyst Fund is a mission-driven, for-profit business dedicated to catalysing the creation of commercially viable content for an underserved global market by powering female creators and investing in their ideas. CCF partners with female creators and producers to advance their projects from inception through to full monetisation of content. The company invests strategic, business and creative power in the best ideas, with the aim of ensuring that they are realised in the shortest possible time frame.


Blue Ant Media and Content Catalyst Fund kickstart creative engine for female-generated unscripted content

From a media release:

International producer, distributor and channel operator, Blue Ant Media and Content Catalyst Fund (CCF), a development and funding company recently launched by producer and media executive Julie Bristow, jointly announced today that they are joining forces to develop female-generated, unscripted programming for the global marketplace. Together, the two companies will combine their collective expertise and resources to develop, produce and distribute series and documentaries for domestic and international markets.

As part of this deal, CCF will identify unique and inspired unscripted ideas for development and production across several genres including lifestyle, crime and high impact documentary series. Blue Ant Studios, the global production arm of Blue Ant Media, will produce projects in collaboration with CCF and Julie Bristow as Executive Producer. Blue Ant International will serve as the preferred global distribution company.

Laura Michalchyshyn, CCO and co-president, Global Content Production, Blue Ant Media said: “Partnering with CCF and Julie Bristow offers us a unique opportunity to bring new voices and projects to Blue Ant Media and the world. Not only will this joint venture allow us to grow the unscripted side of our business, specifically in popular genres like lifestyle, docu, reality and format programming, but it will also position us at the forefront of progressive, brilliant new content created by women. The partnership gives us access to seasoned and up-and-coming creative talent and inspired content development.”

Julie Bristow, Founder, Content Catalyst Fund said: “CCF’s curation and development expertise, and the production and distribution clout of Blue Ant Media, offers female creators a powerful new opportunity to turbocharge their ideas and roll them out internationally. This announcement is just the beginning: CCF plans to bolster its executive production capacity with talent that will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that includes buying and selling exciting projects in North America and around the world. This will allow us to give our new pipeline of female-generated, unscripted programming the very best start in life.”

Blue Ant Media is a privately held, international content producer, distributor and channel operator. We own and operate numerous production companies in North America and Asia-Pacific under the Blue Ant Studios banner, creating content for broadcasters and streaming platforms in multiple genres including factual entertainment, natural history, documentary, adult animation and drama. Our distribution business, Blue Ant International, offers a substantial catalogue of content, including one of the world’s largest 4K natural history offerings. Blue Ant Media operates channels under nine brands including Love Nature, Smithsonian Channel Canada, BBC Earth (Canada) and more. Blue Ant Media is headquartered in Toronto, with eight international offices in Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, Tokyo, London, Dunedin, Washington and Beijing. Blueantmedia.com

About CCF
Content Catalyst Fund is a mission-driven, for-profit business dedicated to catalysing the creation of commercially viable content for an underserved global market by powering female creators and investing in their ideas. CCF partners with female creators and producers to advance their projects from inception through to full monetisation of content. The company invests strategic, business and creative power in the best ideas, with the aim of ensuring that they are realised in the shortest possible time frame. http://contentcatalystfund.com/


Bad boy Brit food critic gets slice of Canadian TV pie

Giles Coren has been a restaurant food critic for The Times for over 20 years, so it’s pretty safe to say he’s sampled some pretty good–and bad–stuff. He’s therefore the natural fit to star in not one, but two, new Canadian series debuting back-to-back Tuesday night on W Network.

The first is Pressure Cooker, a cooking competition show from former CBC executive Julie Bristow and her Bristow Media Company. Each week, four Canadian home cooks face off against one another in timed battles using items used not only from the show’s ample pantry but ingredients grabbed from a moving conveyor belt. Every contestant must choose a minimum of items from the belt which have to be used in the final dish. Adding another level of stress are guest sous chefs of the celebrity stripe. Graham Elliot (Masterchef), Nadia G. (Bitchin’ Kitchen), Rocco DiSpirito (Top Chef, below with Coren), Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes) and Hugh Acheson (Top Chef) are just a sampling of the high-profile chefs who drop by to help the competitors chop, blend, mix and offer counsel (they cannot take over for the competitor) as the ingredients roll in and the time rolls down.


Coren scribbles notes madly into a notepad while the cooking is going on, sometimes muttering something to Pressure Cooker host Anne-Marie Withenshaw, before tasting each dish and declaring a winner. Each episode’s grand prize winner heads home with a massive haul: one year of fresh groceries from Walmart.

“I’m amazed that everyone has been able to put a plate of food in front of me so far,” Coren says with a chuckle. “It’s fun to see the competitors use the belt. Someone is running down the belt and they have to choose between salmon and chicken. And then they grab chocolate and say, ‘Oh shit, what am I going to do with chocolate?!'”

Coren’s dry sense of British humour is served in pinches on Pressure Cooker; it’s ladled on during Million Dollar Critic. The premise of that program–from Temple Street Productions and Coren–sends him (above with his assistant Julia) on a weekly mission to various North American cities where he eats at five restaurants. After noshing at each, Coren then decides which place will receive a glowing review from him. As the title of the show suggests, a kind word from Coren can mean $1 million in revenue from flocking patrons.

His first stop? Toronto, where he samples fare from high-end eatery Opus, Pakistani plates at King Place, platters of meat at Small Town Food Co., Mexican at Agave y Aguacate and off-beat stuff like geranium soup and crickets at The Atlantic. Aside from his critique of the local food, Coren welcomes a couple of guests too. Robyn Doolittle, the former Toronto Star reporter who uncovered the video of Mayor Rob Ford doing something naughty, dines with Coren at Small Town Meat Co., though the edited chat only mentions Ford in passing and focuses more on the fact Doolittle is vegetarian. And Ford himself is featured in a short clip as he welcomes Coren to City Hall before taking him down to Queen St. to grab a hot dog where they’re surrounded by media.

“I want to bring my knowledge of what restaurants should be like to a wider audience, to TV,” he says. “In this show it’s not all about the food. It’s about the cool environment and the revival of an area. I think of lot of food TV is pompous, and I want this to be travel and food and sexy people.”

Pressure Cooker airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on W Network.

Million Dollar Critic airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on W Network.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail