Tag Archives: PBS

Nish Media’s documentary series Skindigenous sold to PBS & international broadcasters

From a media release:

The documentary series Skindigenous, which airs on APTN, the Aboriginal People’s Television Network, has been licensed by PBS. The 13-episode x 26-minute series, which explores Indigenous tattooing traditions around the world, is produced by Gatineau’s Nish Media and is internationally represented by Filmoption International Inc. Skindigenous has been selected as an official 2020 Rockie Awards nominee in the Arts & Entertainment: Arts & Music category. The Rockie Awards will be streaming live today (June 15) at 3pm EDT on Youtube.

Season 1 of Skindigenous has been purchased by networks around the world: NITV (SBS) in Australia, RSI Switzerland and MAORI TV in New Zealand. UR Sweden and USHUAIA in France has purchased both seasons of the series.

Season 2 of the series is currently airing on APTN in both English and Dene until July 15, 2020. Season 3 is currently in production.

Skindigenous is a 13-part documentary series exploring Indigenous tattooing traditions around the world. Each episode dives into a unique Indigenous culture to discover the tools and techniques, the symbols and traditions that shape their tattooing art. In this series, the art of tattoo becomes a lens for exploring some of the planet’s oldest cultures and their unique perspectives on life, identity, and the natural world.

About Nish Media
The series is produced by Nish Media, a multi-award-winning production company based in the Ottawa-Gatineau area. Over the past years, producer Jason Brennan has produced over 220 hours of television for various networks such as APTN, CBC, Radio-Canada, Ici ArtTV, Canal D, TV5 and CBC Docs, including Mouki, Wapikoni, La Fosse aux tigres and seven seasons of Hit The Ice, nominated in prestigious television festivals including the Banff World Media Festival and Italy’s FICTS. Its first feature film, Le Dep, was selected to play in several film festivals including the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in the Czech Republic, the Vancouver Film Festival, the Raindance Film Festival, ImagineNative and the American Indian Film Festival. Filmmaker Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s new feature film, Rustic Oracle was presented in several festivals over the last few months. Nish Media currently has several TV projects in the works, including Season 3 of Skindigenous, the dramatic miniseries Pour toi Flora as well as the documentary Non réclamé. 


Canada Files interview series will air on U.S. public television

From a media release:

A new series of television interview programs focusing on outstanding Canadians will launch on several Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations in the United States, beginning in February.  The series, entitled CANADA FILES, will be hosted by veteran Toronto broadcaster James Deeks, and produced by his Toronto-based production company.

Initially accepted for broadcast by WNED-TV, the Buffalo, NY, affiliate of PBS, CANADA FILES is currently in production.  Confirmed guests include Booker Prize-winning novelist Margaret Atwood, former CBC National News anchor Peter Mansbridge, Vancouver business tycoon Jim Pattison, rock legend Robbie Robertson, and several others.

One of the underlying purposes of CANADA FILES is to make American audiences aware and appreciative of the Canadian heritage of so many of the guests they would recognize.  As well, to provide a better understanding of the role that so many Canadians play on the North American stage.

The initial series will consist of 13 half-hour episodes, featuring one-on-one discussions between Deeks and his guests.  Production of the series has been underwritten by private Canadian donors, and by the Central Canadian Public Television Association (CCPTA), a registered Canadian charitable organization.  CCPTA’s mission is to advance education through the production, distribution, and promotion of non-commercial television programs, films and other communications that are educational in nature.

A former television journalist and news anchor at CTV Toronto, Jim Deeks most recently co-hosted a program on RogersTV Toronto called Toronto Files.  He’s also well-known to WNED viewers as one of its regular, on-air Pledge Drive fundraisers.

CANADA FILES will be aired on WNED on Sunday evenings at 6:00 pm, starting on February 9th.  Other PBS affiliates will determine their own broadcast times for the series.  The programs will also be streamed online on www.canadafiles.ca.


Link: ‘Odd Squad’ deploys new team for old mission: getting kids to tune in

From Brian Steinberg of Variety:

Link: ‘Odd Squad’ deploys new team for old mission: getting kids to tune in
The kid cast of the PBS series “Odd Squad” is gearing up for its usual challenge, teaching kids about math and science. While the four new members of the team tape scenes in New York’s Central Park, however, a bigger threat looms. Continue reading.


TVO’s Odd Squad’s winning formula: education + inclusivity = award-winning TV

To walk onto the set of Odd Squad is to be immediately immersed in the world occupied by the heroes of TVO’s kid’s show. A slide from the second floor here, a trophy room there, a hallway filled with a riot of coloured doors is steps away from a ball pit. It’s all designed, says co-creator Tim McKeon, to aid in the ease of filming, something he was inspired by when he was an intern on The West Wing during Season 2. Those legendary walk-and-talks brought viewers into President Bartlet’s world, so why not do it with Odd Squad?

TVO’s math-centred series is on a hot streak of late: Season 2 just wrapped production in Toronto’s west end and the program won five Daytime Emmys last week and McKeon captured a Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award for the second season script “Drop Gadget Repeat.” Not bad for what McKeon refers to as “a workplace comedy for kids” that incorporates the education angle to include math.

Ms. O’s desk hearkens back to President Bartlet’s

“You never see their home life,” McKeon says from Odd Squad‘s production offices. He’s just taken a group of families on a set tour in support of Make-A-Wish Canada. “That’s very deliberate and you never see them in school.” PBS approached McKeon (Adventure Time) and Adam Peltzman (The Backyardigans) about creating a math series for kids. Their first challenge? Not to make it lame. They sought to create a program about a secret world where kids were powerful and figured out strange, X-Files-esque math problems as detectives. Making the kids professional by dressing them in suits was the next step. The key for the pair was to have the agents—played by Millie Davis, Sean Michael Kyer, Dalila Bela, Filip Geljo, Anna Cathcart and Isaac Kragten—solve the problems for the adults rather than the other way around.

“Our secondary goal, along with PBS and TVO, was to put girls in charge and show diversity,” McKeon says. “This [second] season, we have four leads and three of them are girls.” What makes a program like Odd Squad unique—and children’s television overall—is how non-dramatic having female leads and a diverse cast is. Where primetime television is being criticized for a lack of those things, Odd Squad has been doing it for two seasons. It’s a natural part of the storyline and accepted by viewers without fanfare. Also natural? The math. There are no blackboards being pulled out with long division on them.

(l-r) Isaac Kragten as Agent Otis and Anna Cathcart as Agent Olympia

“I think the role of educational TV is to teach kids, but more specifically, to help them over bumps,” McKeon says. “We’re going to try our hardest to get across a concept so that kids can then go into the classroom and say, ‘I kind of already know this.'”

“It’s not only that Odd Squad is funny and has clever scripting, characters and wardrobe, they’ve made math the solution to all of the cases the agents have to solve,” says Marney Malabar, director of kids TV at TVO. “They didn’t make math a bad thing. They made it, organically, normal. It’s never a token learning moment. It’s of course, everybody should use math, rather than let’s just show you that math is important. Math is used to further the story because if they didn’t use it. they’d never be able to solve their problems.

Aside from working math into each episode, McKeon and Peltzman, knew one key to successfully writing for children is to never talk down to them or do “kid” jokes; strive to be funny for adults and the kids will get it too. The Odd Squad writer’s room has been an established core that includes co-executive producer Mark De Angelis and writer Robby Hoffman and a massive list of freelancers.

“Oddness is a pretty open idea,” Peltzman says of the writing process. “And once you’ve set this concept where there is oddness in the world—whether it’s dragons, dinosaurs or made-up creatures and weather phenomena—you’ve created a box where you can go to all of these different places.”

Odd Squad airs weekdays at 4:55 p.m. ET on TVO and online at TVO.org.


Odd Squad and Beat Bugs win Creative Arts Daytime Emmys

Canadian television productions Odd Squad and Beat Bugs took home several trophies Friday night at the 44th annual Creative Arts Daytime Emmys, held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Isaac Kragten of TVO’s Odd Squad won for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s, Preschool Children’s or Family Viewing Program. Series co-creators Tim McKeon and Adam Peltzman and executive producer Mark De Angelis won Outstanding Writing Special Class for Odd Squad: The Movie. McKeon’s win comes days after his Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards win for his Season 2 episode “Drop Gadget Repeat.”

Odd Squad‘s Christine Toye won a Creative Arts Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Costume Design/Styling, Liz Roelands for Outstanding Hairstyling and Jenna Servatius for Outstanding Makeup. Odd Squad is a co-production between Sinking Ship Entertainment and The Fred Rogers Company for TVO and PBS.

Beat Bugs, produced by Vancouver’s Thunderbird Films, was awarded Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program.