Tag Archives: Reality

Jesse Fawcett launches independent production company, Fireworks Media Group

From a media release:

Prolific award-winning television producer Jesse Fawcett has launched Fireworks Media Group, a North American-based production company to develop and produce premium unscripted and scripted content.

Fawcett is well known in the entertainment business as a co-founding partner of global content company Essential Media Group where he helmed North American operations until the company was successfully sold to Kew Media in 2018. In 2020, Fawcett and Greg Quail re-acquired the assets of Essential from Kew and relaunched as EQ Media Group. Now, Fawcett is poised to inaugurate his own venture, Fireworks Media Group, together with a cross-border team of veteran production professionals.

Under the new banner, the company is producing the new original series Pamela Anderson’s Home Reno Project (working title) for HGTV Canada with iconic Baywatch star Pamela Anderson returning to her Canadian roots to rebuild the family home of her dreams. The series is executive produced by Brandon Lee, Fawcett and Firework’s new President of Canada, Robert Hardy. Corus Studios will distribute the series internationally. Pamela Anderson is represented by Chris Smith at ICM Partners. Fireworks Media Group has also secured an exclusive first-look scripted development deal with social media sensation Kris Collins, who has amassed over 32 million followers and 1.4 billion likes.

In addition, Fireworks Media Group is currently in production on sophomore seasons of the real estate unscripted series Selling the Big Easy for HGTV in the US as well as Corus Studios’ Big Timber which airs on HISTORY in Canada and Netflix in the US and internationally. A top performer on HISTORY and Netflix, Big Timber. follows the high-stakes work of logger and sawmill owner Kevin Wenstob as he and his crew go to extremes to keep the family sawmill, and their way of life, alive.

Some of the other successful shows completed during Fawcett’s tenure at EQ Media Group include No Demo Reno which recently launched on HGTV as the #1 cable premiere in the Thursday 8-9pm timeslot, multi-season hit series Restored airing on Discovery+, the paranormal reality series Ghost Loop for Travel Channel and 165 episodes of Texas Flip N’ Move, perennial #1 series on DIY Network.

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Marblemedia goes big with miniatures in new competition series Best in Miniature for CBC and Discovery+

From a media release:

Leading international production company, marblemedia, is excited to announce the start of production on their latest competition series, Best in Miniature (10 x 60) a new original series for CBC, premiering later this year, and discovery+ in the UK and Ireland airing in 2022.

Trailblazing producers of global unscripted hits like Blown Away and Restaurants on the Edge for Netflix, as well as four seasons (and counting) of the award-winning sports competition All-Round Champion, marblemedia is once again breaking the mold with an all-new competition series that will tap into the viral sensation that is #miniatures; a world that has captured over 170 million views on TikTok alone.

Hosted by writer and stand-up comedian, Aba Amuquandoh (CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes), the brand-new series will welcome 11 highly skilled artists from across the world to compete in the ultimate challenge: building their dream home in miniature-form. The competitors will create their houses, in painstaking detail, room by room by shrinking life-size objects to 1:12 scale. While the objects may be small in stature, the stakes could not be higher.

Judged by UK Miniature Expert Emma Waddell, and esteemed Designer Micheal Lambie, precision and design technique will save the competitors from elimination. Week after week, the remaining miniaturists will continue to battle it out to stay in the game until only three remain for the last competition in the grand finale. The winner will receive a cash prize and the coveted title of Best in Miniature!

Best in Miniature is produced by marblemedia in association with CBC and discovery+ UK & Ireland. For marblemedia, Matt Hornburg, Mark Bishop and Diane Rankin are executive producers; Donna Luke and Marike Emery and are co-executive producers, and Jacqui Skeete is series producer and showrunner for the series; and created by development producer, Kelsey Espensen. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual and Sports; Jennifer Dettman is Executive Director, Unscripted Content; Alexandra Lane is Senior Director of Production; and Ann-Marie Redmond is Executive in Charge of Production. Matt Reid is Executive Producer for discovery+ UK. Distribution360 (D360) holds worldwide rights to the format and finished program.

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Corus Entertainment announces 35 greenlights and renewals for its iconic portfolio of specialty networks

From a media release:

Today, Corus Entertainment announced its slate of premium original content for 2021/22 with 35 impressive greenlights and renewals across its powerful portfolio of specialty networks and streaming platforms.

With over 500 hours of content sold this year, Corus Studios, a leading hit-maker in lifestyle and unscripted series in Canada, broadens its worldwide reach and scale with eight new series and 13 returning shows that will debut across Food Network Canada, HGTV Canada, and HISTORY®.

Celebrating 50 years as a world-leading international producer and distributor of children’s animated and live-action content, Nelvana has greenlit four brand new animated series and one returning fan-favourite with more to be announced soon. Nelvana-produced content is distributed in over 180 countries around the world with fresh new series and seasons landing in Canada on Corus’ leading kids’ networks, YTV and Treehouse, later this year.

Beyond Corus Studios and Nelvana, Corus also proudly announces its first-ever original series for Adult Swim with Psi Cops (26×11), while kid-favourite cartoon Toopy and Binoo has been greenlit to return in 2022 as an animated feature film of the same name (1×80).

Stay tuned for more Corus content announcements in the coming weeks including updates across scripted and new pickups for the 2021/22 season. For the latest updates, visit www.corusent.com.

HGTV Canada

The nation’s destination for home renovation and design, real estate and DIY projects, HGTV Canada introduces four new eye-catching Corus Studios series and six returning favourites.

Vibrant, fresh and fun, Styled (Working Title) (8×60), follows the staging and renovation adventures of dynamic design super-duo and BFF’s Nicole Babb and Caffery VanHorne. Then in Trading Up (10×60), Mandy Rennehan, celebrated builder, motivational speaker, blue-collar hero and proud founder and CEO of the women-owned LGBTQ+ business Freshco.ca, focuses on the trades as she mentors deserving apprentices while renovating three extraordinary properties in her hometown of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

HGTV Canada’s trusted coach and contractor, Sebastian Clovis, returns to the network in Gut Job (8×60) with his biggest mission to date – guiding homeowners through the biggest renovations of their lives. In a new spin-off, Scott McGillivray turns the tables and puts his rules to the test on his waterfront cottage in Scott’s Own Vacation House Rules (4×60). The stunt-series will debut alongside with the renewal of his Top 5* HGTV Canada Original series, Scott’s Vacation House Rules, Season 3 (12×60) set to debut in 2022.

The show that keeps on breaking records, Island of Bryan is back for a fourth season. HGTV Canada’s most-watched series in a decade continues to drive audiences beating its own records season after season, and currently primed to be the #1 specialty program this spring as Season 3 continues its run. Season 4 will play out in two parts in F22 (8×60) and F23 (8×60) with the Baeumler family continuing their tumultuous journey in Bahamas as they build and run their resort, plus add-on a whole new property in Florida to renovate.

This fall, the network sees the return of gorgeous transformations in Making it Home with Kortney & Kenny (10×60). Kortney Wilson brings her extensive flipping and real estate expertise to help desperate homeowners renovate their spaces. With keys and budget in hand, she and contractor Kenny Brain (Big Brother Canada), will transform each unloved house into a show-stopper. The #1 new Canadian show on specialty this spring, Rock Solid Builds (10×60) returns for a second season with the charming Randy Spracklin and his dedicated fun-loving team, as they take on historic renos and jaw-dropping builds in the heart of Newfoundland. Breathing new life into spectacular vintage spaces, siblings Carolyn and Billy come back for another season of Farmhouse Facelift (8×60). Canadian original series with fan-favourite brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott return, transforming houses into lifetime treasures in Property Brothers: Forever Home, Season 2 (17×60).

Food Network Canada

Top 10 specialty network this spring, Food Network Canada welcomes seven new and returning mouth-watering Corus Studios Originals as part of its 2021-2022 schedule.

‘The Wall’ has spoken! The exhilarating competition series, Wall of Chefs (10×60), hosted by Noah Cappe, that sees home cooks face off in front of a group of 12 intimidating and well-respected Canadian chefs, returns for a second season. Continuing the competition fever, Corus Studios introduces a deliciously divine spin-off of the series with Wall of Bakers (10×60). A fresh batch of baking series continue with the renewal of Top 10 program on Food Network Canada last spring, Great Chocolate Showdown (8×60), new episodes of The Big Bake (11×60) continue with spectacular, over-sized Halloween and Holiday-themed cakes, and Project Bakeover (10×60), the series that keeps on giving, as renowned pastry chef and entrepreneur Steve Hodge, alongside designer Tiffany Pratt, transforms struggling bakeries across North America into successful businesses.

Host Dylan Benoit invites pit masters and chefs into the arena for a third season of the fiery competition series Fire Masters (Set A 10×60 – F22, Set B 10×60 – F23). The search for the best eats across North America continues with John Catucci’s Big Food Bucket List (14×30) and out-of-bounds amusement park treats return with Noah Cappe on Carnival Eats (13×30).

HISTORY

HISTORY, the #2 specialty entertainment network this spring, sees four invigorating new and returning Corus Studios Originals added to its schedule. Attracting a massive fan-base for its unique approach to restoration, Rust Valley Restorers (6×60), a Top 10 program amongst Men 25-54, comes back for a fourth season. Previously announced, the logging and sawmill team out of Vancouver Island dig in with more high-stake jobs in Big Timber (8×60). New to the schedule is Lost Cars (Working Title) (6×60), where an ambitious team of classic car hunters scour the remote North to recover rare classics fabled to be hiding in the wilderness, before the cars are lost forever to history. Then in Deadman’s Curse (Working Title) (8×60), former MMA fighter Kru Pitt, and young Indigenous explorer Taylor Starr seek out the help of seasoned treasure hunter and mountaineer, Adam Palmer, to finally solve the mystery of Slumach’s lost gold mine. Hidden somewhere in the rugged terrain of the Pacific Northwest, its mysterious location has eluded prospectors for generations — and many have lost their lives searching for it. The treasure hunting threesome may have ancestral connections to the legend and the gold, but extreme weather, unforgiving terrain and a curse all stand in their way.

The network brings Canadian Black History to the forefront with two Canadian originals. This November, Black Liberators WWII (1×90) will shed light on the heroic stories and amazing acts of bravery of Black Canadian soldiers during World War II, who risked their lives for their country while facing racism at home and on the battlefield. Then in a four part series, BLK: An Origin Story (4×60) explores untold stories of Black Canadians, from the early settlers of Ontario to the gold rush era of BC; from the Maroons of Nova Scotia to Montreal’s vibrant Little Burgundy neighbourhood. The series aims to show that Black History is Canadian History.

ADULT SWIM

Hot on the heels of Adult Swim’s second anniversary, Corus has commissioned and greenlit its first original for the popular network. The animated Psi Cops (26×11) sees “out of the box thinkers” Agent Kyd and Agent Felix investigate spiritual phenomena, extraterrestrial life, and paranormal activity.

YTV

YTV is the place to be for non-stop Fam Fun, delivering another year of The Zone, The Zone Weekend and Big Fun Movies with beloved hosts Spencer, Tyra, Alex and Duhin. Plus, Spencer and Tyra are back for Season 2 of Kid Food Nation: The Show (8×11), where they embark on culinary missions with Canadian kid food nation heroes and answer questions like, “should I eat crickets?” or “are dandelions edible?.”

Nelvana continues to foster its partnerships with the best in kids entertainment, with the recently announced Best & Bester (52×11), a co-production between Nelvana, Eye Present and Gigglebug Entertainment, about two siblings and best friends obsessed with comparing the best things of all time while enjoying the power to transform themselves into anything they want, once a day – if only they can figure out what the best thing to be actually is!

ZJ Sparkleton (Working Title) (26×22) is an original creator-driven 2D-animated series produced by Nelvana in partnership with Nickelodeon that follows quirky 10-year-old vlogger Ruby and her tail-zapping space alien best friend as they film their daily mishaps and adventures around town.

Audiences will discover the magic of birthdays through the fantastical adventures in Super Wish (52×11), produced by Nelvana and Discovery’s joint venture, redknot, and created by Nelvana’s own Vanessa Esteves and Daytime Emmy® Award winning art director, Adrian Thatcher.

Treehouse

A new addition to Treehouse, the #1 overall kids specialty network**, is The Hamster Show (Working Title) (26×22) produced by Nelvana in partnership with Nickelodeon, where a crew of furry friends keep an eye on their owner, “King” Harry, saving him from daily doom, granting his wishes and keeping his life running smoothly. The pet-ventures continue as everyone’s favourite P.U.R.S.T. agents get ready for action in the second season of Agent Binky: Pets of the Universe (52×11), produced by Nelvana and Discovery’s joint venture, redknot, and based on the best-selling books by Ashley Spires, published by Corus Entertainment’s Kids Can Press.

Coming 2022 is the animated feature film Toopy and Binoo (1×80), based on the series of the same name that aired on Treehouse in the early aughts. Following the theatrical release, the movie will have its broadcast premiere on Treehouse.

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Blue Ant Media announces latest original slate for Cottage Life, T+E, Love Nature and Smithsonian Channel Canada

From a media release:

Blue Ant Media, an international producer, distributor and channel operator, announced from Prime Time Online today a series of greenlights for its suite of lifestyle and factual TV channels: Cottage Life, T+E, Love Nature and Smithsonian Channel Canada. The 2021-2022 programming slate underpins Blue Ant Media’s commitment to create compelling original content that appeals to viewers at home and on a global scale. Overseen by Sam Linton, Head of Original Content (Canada), the lineup includes four world broadcast premieres with several series available for licensing globally by Blue Ant International.

On Cottage Life, Blue Ant Media has greenlit three new series to premiere in spring 2022 during the channel’s nationwide free preview event, two of which are co-productions with APTN, Canada’s national Indigenous television network. The first co-production, Dr. Savannah: Wild Rose Vet (working title) (Season 1; Broadcast Premiere), profiles rural Alberta-based veterinarian and everyday hero Dr. Savannah Howse-Smith as she takes care of animals while also exploring her newly-discovered Métis heritage. Blue Ant and APTN will also co-produce the third installment of Merchants of the Wild (Season 3; Broadcast Premiere), which follows six Indigenous adventurers pitted against the perils of an ancient waterway trade route used by the Syilx People. Blue Ant Media has also acquired from APTN seasons 1 and 2 of the Merchants of the Wild franchise to air on Cottage Life. Finally, Blue Ant Media has greenlit Mysteries from Above (working title) (Season 1; World Broadcast Premiere) for Cottage Life, which is a 10-part original documentary series investigating mysterious phenomena from the vantage point of drones. The series provides an in-depth analysis of never-before-seen drone footage, from lost civilizations to curious animal behaviour.

As the home of paranormal programming in Canada, T+E has lined up two spine-tingling paranormal documentaries to scare viewers across the country. Scheduled to premiere this fall on T+E, the paranormal documentary special Bathsheba (Season 1; World Broadcast Premiere), follows the chilling true story of Bathsheba Sherman, a witch made famous by the hit horror film, The Conjuring. The special delves into the true tales that served as inspiration for the film and unearths the archives of well-known paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who attempted to help the Perron family from being terrorized by Bathsheba’s presence. Also new to T+E, Blue Ant Media has greenlit Eyewitness: UFO (working title) (Season 1; World Broadcast Premiere), an eight-part docuseries that breathes new life into the decades-long conversation as to whether or not extraterrestrials have visited Earth. The series weaves together powerful and credible first-hand accounts of UFO encounters with interviews, authentic visual footage and dramatic paranormal reenactments, while expert contributors explore the world-shattering realities of the witnessed events. The greenlight comes at a pivotal time when skepticism has shifted and people are open to new findings and evidence of interstellar visitors.

New on Love Nature, the 12-part documentary series Battle of the Alphas (Season 1; World Broadcast Premiere) offers viewers insight into the competitive world of animal life, giving an inside look into an important part of animal behaviour. Battle of the Alphas is a Love Nature global commission, slated to premiere in Canada and roll out worldwide on Love Nature’s branded linear and streaming platforms in early 2022.

Finally, on Smithsonian Channel Canada, the documentary special Treasures from the Maya (Canadian Broadcast Premiere), treks deep into the jungle to investigate the mysterious collapse of the ancient Maya civilization. Using the latest science and technology, Treasures from the Maya uncovers how an ancient civilization ruled by god-kings ended in warfare. The special is slated to air next spring 2022.

For a full list of original programming highlights, please see below.

Cottage Life

Dr. Savannah: Wild Rose Vet (working title) (9×30’; HD)
Scheduled for Spring 2022 • Broadcast Premiere
A Blue Ant Media and APTN Co-production • Producer: Wapanatahk Media in partnership with Great Pacific Media
The series follows the adventures of veterinarian Dr. Savannah Howse-Smith as she keeps rural Alberta’s pet and animal population healthy, all while learning more about her recently confirmed Métis bloodline and adjusting to her new cultural identity.

Merchants of the Wild, Season 3 (13×30’; HD)
Scheduled for Spring 2022 • Broadcast Premiere
A Blue Ant Media and APTN Co-production • Producer: Little Bear Big Wolf Pictures/Buck Productions
Merchants of the Wild is a vivid 13-part documentary series mixing culture, survival and adventure, as the cameras follow six Indigenous adventurers pitted against the perils of an ancient waterway trade route used by Interior Salishan People of the Colombia Plateau including the Secwepemc, Syilx, Kitunaxa and Sinixt Nations. In an attempt to reconnect to the land, the adventurers begin their journey with nothing and must survive 25 days in the wilderness using the teachings from Elders and Knowledge Keepers, who will be imperative to their success.

Mysteries from Above (working title) (10×60’; HD)
Scheduled for Spring 2022 • World Broadcast Premiere
Producer: Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company
Mysteries from Above is a compelling documentary series investigating mysteries from the unprecedented vantage point of drones. From remote, hard-to-reach locations, the drones explore strange geological occurrences, unique man-made structures, curious creatures, and even lost civilizations, revealing fascinating never-before-seen footage to the viewers. Each episode will answer the question “what is that?” with an in-depth analysis from the world’s leading experts. Distributed by Blue Ant International.

T+E

Bathsheba (2×60’; HD)
Scheduled for Fall 2021 • World Broadcast Premiere
Producer: Cream Productions
Inspired by the 2013 horror film, The Conjuring, which scared and scarred audiences worldwide, the paranormal documentary special, Bathsheba dives into the true tales that served as inspiration for the film. The storyline begins in the 1970s and follows the famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, founders of the New England Society for Psychic Research, as they attempt to help the Perron family who are terrorized by an evil paranormal presence, a witch named Bathsheba Sherman, at their remote Rhode Island farmhouse. Responding to the TV industry’s goal to achieve gender parity, Blue Ant Media and Cream Productions are committed to hiring an all-female production team with the aim to create training and mentorship opportunities for women in production. Distributed by Blue Ant International.

Eyewitness: UFO (working title) (8×60’; HD)
Scheduled for Summer 2021 • World Broadcast Premiere
Producer: Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company
The documentary series tells the stories of the most incredible UFO encounters of the modern era. Combining the most compelling audio and visual evidence of UFOs – mobile phone footage and photographs – with the first-hand accounts of those who were there, Eyewitness: UFO distills the biggest mystery of the modern era into riveting, experiential storytelling. Distributed by Blue Ant International.

Love Nature

Battle of the Alphas (12×30’; HD)
Scheduled for Early 2022 • World Broadcast Premiere
Producer: Yap Films
The battle of the alphas happens across the planet every day: babies compete for their mother’s milk, adolescents play-fight and adults become aggressive when their leadership is challenged or when they’re in search of a mate. From friendly competition to territorial battles, the all-new series delves into the science behind animal conflict. Distributed by Blue Ant International.

Smithsonian Channel Canada

Treasures from the Maya (1×60’; HD)
Scheduled for Spring 2022 • Canadian Broadcast Premiere
Producer: Zoot Pictures
Treasures from the Maya uses the latest science and technology (LiDAR laser imaging) to pull back the veil and help viewers see the ancient Maya civilization as they saw it centuries ago. The documentary special travels deep into the jungle, into ancient tombs and temples, to reveal stories of god-kings and their role in the collapse of the ancient Maya civilization.

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 nine international offices in Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, Japan, London, Dunedin, Washington DC and Beijing. Blueantmedia.com.

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Marblemedia’s Blown Away returns for Season 2

From a media release:

Returning for its highly-anticipated second season, marblemedia’s groundbreaking competition series, Blown Away is set to premiere January 22, 2021!

With a twist in season 2, the standout series has gone global!

Ten glass artists from around the world gather in North America’s largest hot shop to push themselves to creative extremes in the quest to be named Best In Glass. In each episode, the glassblowers must impress a panel of art experts or risk being eliminated. At stake is a life changing prize that will send their careers to new heights.

Back as host for the long-awaited second season is YouTube science influencer Nickpedia and former NBC’s America’s Got Talent contestant, Nick Uhas. Glass master, Katherine Gray also returns for season 2 as the show’s resident glass evaluator. 

The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY, is an esteemed partner of the series, offering the Blown Away winner a grand prize of an artist’s residency at their museum following the competition. The museum is also hosting an exhibit featuring 10 works created on the show, one by each contestant. The exhibit, Blown Away: Season 2, opens on January 22.

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