Tag Archives: Mayday

Class action lawsuit a big step toward fairness in factual and reality TV

From a media release:

The Canadian Media Guild / CWA Canada is welcoming a $35-million class action lawsuit [http://www.cavalluzzo.com/factual-televison-classaction] filed by law firm Cavalluzzo on behalf of hundreds of reality and factual TV workers who have worked at Cineflix Canada, which produces such TV shows as Property Brothers and Mayday.

The legal action follows a five-year campaign by CMG and its parent union CWA Canada to bring fair working conditions to this part of the entertainment industry.

“Reality and factual TV are the wild west of the entertainment world,” said Lise Lareau, a co-ordinator of the CMG’s Fairness in Factual TV campaign. “People working in this area of production are cut out of labour laws. They don’t have the rights of other employees, and historically they’ve been left out of union contracts enjoyed by the rest of the entertainment industry.”

Most reality and factual TV production companies make their workers set up their own corporations or sign contracts saying they are “independent contractors” and then don’t provide overtime pay, vacation pay and paid holidays. The failure to pay these basic entitlements is the basis for the Cavalluzzo class action lawsuit.

The statement of claim for the suit is based on the experience of Anna Bourque, a production worker whose most recent contract at Cineflix was September 2017 to February 2018.

“Picture editors and story editors work together taking hundreds of hours of footage and sharpening it into 43 minutes or so of entertaining television, but as schedules get squeezed our hours expand and there is never compensation for that, so our pay becomes inversely proportional to the hours worked,” Bourque said.

The ‘Fairness in Factual TV’ campaign began five years ago when a group of reality and factual TV workers decided enough was enough and sought the support of the Canadian Media Guild / CWA Canada. More than 400 people have signed up as supporters since the campaign began.

“Since these workers aren’t covered by union contracts, production companies often use them as a way to create less expensive but still lucrative programming,” said CMG organizer Denise O’Connell, who has spent 20 years in the industry.

Kat Lapointe, an organizer with CMG / CWA Canada, said the fact that you sign a contract that calls you an independent contractor does not mean that you are not entitled to basic minimum employment standards.

“It is not that simple. Treating people as outside of employment laws keeps people vulnerable and unable to build sustainable careers.  It means they’re forced to deal one-on-one with the company — putting each individual worker at a disadvantage — rather than having a collective voice to win fairness and respect at work.”

The Guild is urging people in the industry to talk about this issue at work and join our campaign www.fairnessinfactualtv.ca. If you feel your work conditions have been unfair, contact the union at factualtv@cmg.ca. Write a few lines about your experience and attach a recent contract. It will be held in complete confidence.

Those who have worked at Cineflix, Boat Rocker Media, Insight Productions or other companies who want more information about class action lawsuits can visit the Cavalluzzo LLP website at [http://www.cavalluzzo.com/factual-televison-classaction] or email factual-televison-classaction@cavalluzzo.com.


Poll: Which returning summer Canadian TV shows are you looking forward to?

Spring is in full swing, with summer right around the corner. And with the coming of blooming flowers, the buzz of lawn mowers and the slap of flip-flops on tarmac comes a handful of returning Canadian television series.

Be it the light sleuthing on Private Eyes, the badassery of sci-fi via Killjoys and Wynonna Earp, the hilarity of Baroness Von Sketch Show or the all-out scramble that is The Amazing Race Canada, summer TV has a lot to offer.

To celebrate, we’re asking you to check off the three returning television series you’re most looking to watching in the coming months. Have fun, and cheers to a great summer!

[socialpoll id=”2501767″]



Discovery announces 2017/18 original programming slate; Canadian hits headline network’s 2017 fall lineup

From a media release:

Discovery, primetime’s most-watched entertainment specialty network in Canada among total viewers and key adult demos, announced its 2017 fall lineup today, headlined by an unrivaled 2017/18 original Canadian programming slate. Discovery’s primetime schedule continues to be underpinned by an unprecedented array of wildly popular homegrown programs for fall and winter, produced both in-house and in partnership with some of the country’s most successful independent production companies. In all, Discovery features six brand new programs joining 13 returning original series to headline its schedule for the 2017/18 broadcast year.

New to Discovery’s production slate are character-driven series LAST STOP GARAGE, airing Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 23; ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAILROAD (Winter 2018); and HELLFIRE HEROES (Spring 2018). These series are complemented by one-of-a-kind original specials, including the Exploration Production Inc. (EPI)-produced SATURN: INSIDE THE RINGS (Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT), featuring DAILY PLANET’s Dan Riskin, as well as the cutting-edge mystery solver from Discovery’s popular “DRAIN” series, DRAIN ALCATRAZ, coming this November.

Following the network’s first foray into original scripted drama last fall, Discovery features the exclusive and thrilling world debut of FRONTIER’s second season, airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 18. Featuring international film star and Canadian Screen Award nominee Jason Momoa (Justice League), the new season sees new alliances threatening to topple the established power dynamic, as loyalties shift and old wounds fester.

But first, the Fall 2017 schedule kicks off with Season 23 of Discovery’s flagship series DAILY PLANET – currently enjoying its most-watched year in series history –continuing to go where no one else dares. Kicking off a new season with “Boldly Go Week”, airing Monday, Aug. 28 through Friday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, the original series currently reaches more than 1.4 million viewers each week, and continues to win its 7 p.m. ET timeslot versus other Canadian entertainment specialty channels among key adult demos.

The 2017 fall season follows a highly successful broadcast year for Discovery’s original Canadian programs, which featured the debut of HEAVY RESCUE: 401 in January as the #1 original Canadian series launch of the season on entertainment specialty television, followed by last fall’s world debut of the network’s new scripted series FRONTIER. In 2016/17, Discovery was also home to the most-watched unscripted specialty series in Canada among A18-34 and A18-49, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER.

Winning three of seven nights per week in primetime among A25-54 viewers – more than any other entertainment specialty network – Discovery also claims four of the Top 10 series on entertainment specialty television in the current broadcast year withCANADA’S WORST DRIVER, HEAVY RESCUE: 401, GOLD RUSH, and HIGHWAY THRU HELL.

Looking forward to Discovery’s 2017/18 original programming slate, below are key programming highlights in chronological order:

Fall 2017 Original Programming Highlights

  • Internationally recognized winner of the Canadian Screen Award for Best News or Information Series, DAILY PLANET returns for its 23rd season – Monday-Friday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT beginning Aug. 28.
  • Top 10 Entertainment Specialty program HIGHWAY THRU HELL returns for Season 6 – Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 5.
  • Investigating the stories and science behind major aviation crashes, Season 17 of MAYDAY – Fridays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 8.
  • Exploring the genius of flight technology with the aid of high-end CGI is Season 4 of MIGHTY PLANES – Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 10.
  • Long-time international favourite, HOW IT’S MADE returns for Season 30 –Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 11.
  • Traveling the world to explore how everyday objects can be deconstructed and reimagined in incredible ways, MADE BY DESTRUCTION returns for Season 2 – Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 11.
  • **NEW SPECIAL** As its final act, Cassini – the largest interplanetary spacecraft NASA has ever built – will dive into Saturn’s atmosphere, collecting unprecedented science to end its 13-year mission orbiting the ringed jewel of the solar system. The one-hour special SATURN: INSIDE THE RINGS(Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT) unveils the engineering of the mammoth spacecraft, while shining a light on the team that responsible for a range of incredible discoveries.
  • As new alliances threaten to topple the established power dynamic, loyalities shift and old wounds fester in the thrilling second season of FRONTIER (Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 18), headlining Discovery’s fall schedule with a six-episode broadcast event.
  • **NEW SERIES** LAST STOP GARAGE (Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 23) follows the often hilarious antics of CRB Automotive, the sole auto repair shop at the end of the only road left before hitting the most remote North American wilderness.
  • Discovery’s most-watched original series among key adult demos, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER (Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 23) enters its 13th season.
  • Season 2 of TOUGHER THAN IT LOOKS (Mondays at 11 p.m. ET and 11:30 p.m. ET/8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 23) stars CANADA’S WORST DRIVER’s Andrew Younghusband in search of wildly different experiences in each episode.
  • **NEW SPECIAL** The world’s most infamous prison was also its most inescapable. But why? Many have tried to solve this mystery, but none have searched beneath the waves…until now. DRAIN ALCATRAZ (November 2017) uses cutting-edge CGI and sophisticated technology to “drain” the seas and scrub the sediments, revealing once and for all why Alcatraz was so difficult to escape.
  • **NEW SPECIAL** Inspired by the best-selling book from author and DAILY PLANET co-host Dan Riskin, MOTHER NATURE IS TRYING TO KILL YOU (Fall 2017) takes viewers on a lively romp through the underbelly of the natural world. With a unique combination of animation and live action footage, Mother Nature has never looked so twisted. The one-hour special brings to life the sordid tales of insects, animals, and creatures behaving in such shocking fashion that viewers will surely never think of nature in the same beautiful, pleasant way again.
  • Long-running international hit MIGHTY SHIPS (December 2017) sets sail on a new high-stakes voyage for Season 10, taking viewers on the journey and below the surface to explore places and technologies that are usually off-limits to land lovers.

Additional NEW Original Series Coming in 2017/18

  • ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAILROAD (Winter 2018) takes viewers on an action-packed journey to discover an extraordinary Canadian way of life, meeting everyone from off-gridders whose sole source of resupply is the rail to the hardy crews who do whatever it takes to keep these extreme railroads running.
  • Character-driven docuseries HELLFIRE HEROES (Spring 2018) gets up-close-and-personal with firefighters who’ll do just about anything to keep their community safe in the bullseye of the forest fire danger zone, Alberta’s remote Slave Lake.

Additional Returning Original Canadian Series Coming in 2017/18

  • Last season’s most-watched Canadian program debut, HEAVY RESCUE: 401(Winter 2018) returns for a second season to follow Heavy Rescue operators as they keep some of North America’s busiest highways moving.
  • Following the adventures of the jade-mining Bunce Family in northern B.C. is Season 4 of JADE FEVER (Winter 2018).
  • Season 31 of HOW IT’S MADE (Winter 2018) returns for a second helping this broadcast year, continuing to look behind the scenes at how everyday things are manufactured during Season 31.
  • Returning to investigate more major aviation disasters is Season 18 of MAYDAY (Winter 2018).

Mayday flies into Season 15

I’m always conflicted about watching an episode of Mayday. I’m fascinated by how airplanes work and the unfortunate circumstances that bring them down, but I also love to fly, so seeing a flaming ball of wreckage on a runway sends shivers up my spine. Of course, the point of Mayday‘s real stories isn’t just to focus on the accidents themselves but how such incidents go a long way to improving airplane safety.

Season 15 kicks off Friday at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery with “Fatal Transmission,” the tale of a fiery collision between a United Express commuter flight and a small private plane in Quincy, Ill., that leaves investigators flummoxed. Did the fact the pilot and first mate had been working for 12 hours straight figure into what happened? Did having no flight attendant present during the 20-minute jaunt contribute to the death toll? Have pre-recorded in-cabin safety instructions become merely background noise?

Throughout the course of the episode, the impact multiple takeoffs and landings have on a flight crew, the common practice of letting first mates control the bulk of a flight to acquire hours of experience, and a lack of air traffic control at small airports are all offered as possible reasons for what occurred next: a deadly conflagration that claimed 14 lives.

Mayday‘s strength in storytelling remains the eyewitness accounts, and that continues Friday as flight instructor Paul Walker provides a dramatic and tragic account of what happened. Heartrending news footage continues the story until the National Transportation Safety Board and lead investigator Tom Haueter arrives. It doesn’t take long until the shocking reasons for the accident are revealed.

Mayday airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Discovery.


Jade Fever, Mayday and Cold Water Cowboys return to Discovery

From a media release:

Fresh on the heels of December’s “Holiday Bash” schedule filled to the brim with premiere programming, Discovery today unveiled the network’s 2016 winter schedule. Canada’s most-watched primetime entertainment specialty network rings in the New Year with an abundance of fresh hit programming, including the season premieres of ALASKAN BUSH PEOPLE (Jan. 4), RAILROAD ALASKA (Jan. 5), and MAYDAY (Jan. 15) right out of the gate, along with HOW IT’S MADE (Feb. 22), JADE FEVER (Feb. 23), and COLD WATER COWBOYS (March 8),  premiering through the winter. Also set to debut in January is a slew of new episodes from current seasons of hit series, including GOLD RUSH (Jan. 5),MOONSHINERS (Jan. 6), and ALASKA: THE LAST FRONTER (Jan. 10). Viewers can also catch up on full episodes of Discovery series live and on demand on the Discovery GO app and at Discovery.ca.

Also in January, Discovery raises a glass for a special goodbye toast to Co-Hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage as they stage their final gonzo experiments during the concluding season of the perenial favourite, MYTHBUSTERS, beginningSunday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. ET. Additionally, Discovery’s jam-packed winter schedule also features the  previously announced “Future Tech Week” on DAILY PLANET(Jan. 4-8), followed by returning Canadian turbo favourites VEGAS RAT RODS andMEGASPEED headlining Thursday nights,beginning Jan. 7.

Discovery’s full suite of top entertainment brands also features extensive winter schedule highlights and happenings beginning Jan. 5, including:

Free Previews:

Viewers are invited for an extended stay in Animal Planet’s backyard jungle to explore the extraordinary relationship between humans and animals. Viewers are also welcome to park in Discovery Velocity’s lot – Canada’s only home for Factual Turbo programming – for all things automotive, as well as diverse travel, survival, and cultural world content. In the holiday spirit of giving, Discovery today announced a nationwide 36-day free preview from Jan. 20 – Feb. 24 of both Animal Planet andDiscovery Velocity, available to subscribers of participating television service providers.

Animal Planet winter highlights:

Animal Planet brings in the New Year with an all-star, all-adorable cast returning on Super Bowl Sunday for Animal Planet’s pup-culture phenomenon PUPPY BOWL. Viewers can expect a winning combination of terrier tackles, canine touchdowns, puppy penalties, and Fido first downs on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. The canine entertainment continues with live coverage of WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB 140TH ANNUAL DOG SHOW, Feb. 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. ET. New series 100 MILES FROM NOWHERE (Jan. 24) and AFRICA (Feb. 14), make their debut. Returning favourites ALASKA MONSTERS (Jan. 5), RUGGED JUSTICE (Jan. 5),NORTH WOODS LAW (Jan. 7), ICE LAKE REBELS (Jan. 8) premiere. TANKED(Jan. 6), REDWOOD KINGS (Jan. 6), TREEHOUSE MASTERS (Jan. 6), FINDING BIGFOOT (Jan. 7), and PIT BULLS AND PAROLEES (Jan. 8) return with all-new episodes.

Discovery Velocity winter highlights:

Discovery Velocity buckles up, leaves last year in the dust, and takes off to Scottsdale, Arizona for BARRETT-JACKSON, the world’s greatest collector car auctions, Jan. 26-31. Additional turbo programming takes a spin with all-new seasons of HOW IT’S MADE: DREAM CARS (Jan. 5), BITCHIN’ RIDES (Feb. 4), GEAR HEADS (Feb. 5), CAR FIX (Jan. 4), WHEELER DEALERS USA (Jan. 4), and new episodes of CHASING CLASSIC CARS (Jan. 4).

Investigation Discovery winter highlights:

New Year’s resolutions for 2016: less crime and more justice? Investigation Discovery’s fresh start includes new seasons of FATAL ENCOUNTERS (Jan. 5),TRUE NIGHTMARES (Jan. 9), DISAPPEARED (Jan. 13), HOUSE OF HORRORS: KIDNAPPED (Jan. 14), NIGHTMARE NEXT DOOR (Jan. 15), and new episodes of HOMICIDE HUNTER: LT. JOE KENDA (Jan. 5).

Discovery Science winter highlights:

Questioning everything in the New Year, Discovery Science dives deep into 2016 with new series ALL-AMERICAN MAKERS: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? (Jan. 4), season premieres of HOW THE UNIVERSE WORKS: EXPANDED EDITION (Jan. 5), MONSTERS INSIDE ME (Jan. 22), STRIP THE CITY (Jan. 27), STRIP THE COSMOS (Feb. 15), and new episodes of HOW DO THEY DO IT? (Wednesdays) and GHOST STALKERS (Fridays).