Tag Archives: Rogers Media

Roger Petersen leaves Breakfast Television Toronto

After replacing the departed Kevin Frankish on Citytv’s Breakfast Television in Toronto, Roger Petersen has departed too.

Toronto Mike broke the news late on Monday afternoon, stating the veteran broadcaster was fired from the long-running morning program.

Petersen made it official via his Twitter account on Tuesday.

“I’m no longer with Breakfast Television,” he began. “It was wonderful, it was an incredible time. Wonderful people to work with, a wonderful crew who put that show together. When you look at all the work they do, it’s all behind the scenes and they don’t get enough credit for it.

“Thank you, the two years that I had with you guys was amazing,” he continued. “Dina, it was wonderful sitting on that couch with you. We had some magnificent laughs, beautiful laughs, genuine laughs.” Petersen rhymed off memorable interviews, including with Prime Minister Trudeau, Danny DeVito, Steve Earle and the people in Toronto “that make this city go.”

“I want to say a big thank you to all of you, the viewers, for joining us over the last two years,” he said. “It has been incredible … I will miss you all.”

In addition to Kevin Frankish, Breakfast Television has said goodbye to Winston Sih, Adam Wylde and Jennifer Valentine.

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Shaftesbury’s Dead Still premieres Friday, May 15 on Citytv

From a media release:

Take yourself to a whole other place and time with Dead Still, a six-part one-hour Victorian-era drama, premieres Friday, May 15 on Citytv at 10:00 p.m. The Canadian/Irish co-production by award-winning Shaftesbury (Murdoch Mysteries, Frankie Drake Mysteries) and Deadpan Pictures (Moone Boy, Trivia) brings us to 1880 Dublin. The cameras are cheap and the country is flourishing with photo studios. However, the practice of post-mortem photography is not doing so well.

Enter Brock Blennerhasset, renowned memorial photographer. Together with his assistant Conall Molloy and estranged niece Nancy Vickers, they are struggling to revive his business, but it appears someone more sinister is getting in on the death photography game. When a string of strange murders that appear to be attached to Blennerhasset take place, Detective Frederick Regan is on the case. Regan suspects that a killer may be cashing in on a developing taste for a different type of memorial imagery, in this case, pictures of people in their death throes. As the body count begins to escalate, Blennerhasset and his team have to stop a murderer intent on ruining not just their business, but their lives.

In the first two episodes:

“Photochemistry” – Blennerhasset, Conall and Nancy are thrown together in a story of a family feud, a vengeful husband and a stolen photograph.

“Development” – Blennerhasset and Molloy are trapped in a coastal town during a storm where some ghostly occurrences make them feel most unwelcome.

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Links: Vagrant Queen, Season 1

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Vagrant Queen Danishka Esterhazy on breaking down genre barriers
“It’s pretty exciting to see how many women have been hired recently. I’m just hoping that this will open up to more women directors that are passionate about telling these types of stories.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Vagrant Queen proves nothing’s gonna stop this trio
Throughout its first two episodes, SYFY’s Vagrant Queen has already made it abundantly clear that it never takes itself too seriously, is always down for a joke, and is ready to subvert whatever viewers think they know about the space genre. Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Vagrant Queen brings an all-female lens to the space opera
“We don’t have enough female voices in genre, in action, and in sci-fi. So it was very important for me, when I was put in this position of power as a showrunner, to amplify those voices.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Vagrant Queen’s Adriyan Rae on what it was like tackling the role of a badass space queen
“I was really interested in being a part of something that had a black female lead who was badass and is not defined by her sexuality. She’s just this badass character who pushes the envelope and is looking for her mom. It really resonated with me.” Continue reading.

From Josh Bell of CBR:

Link: Vagrant Queen is a fun, scrappy space adventure
The low-fi feel is part of the show’s charm, and the characters often joke about how unreliable their equipment is. The Winnipeg is constantly breaking down and losing parts, and the heroes’ blasters are always running out of batteries when they need them most. Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Vagrant Queen: Tim Rozon’s comedic skills shine in his goofiest role yet
“When Vagrant Queen came along, I was in Florida. I drove up to Orlando to do a self tape and loved the audition. If anyone has heard me talk about my first experience with Doc Holliday, it reminded me of that and just one of those parts I thought, ‘I can be this guy. I gotta get this guy. I can do this.’” Continue reading.

From Adam Buckman of MediaPost:

Link: Syfy space series boldly goes where others have gone before
There are enough shootouts, perils and narrow escapes to satisfy fans of these kinds of shows, and vex the rest of us. Continue reading. 

From Raffy Ermac of Pride.com:

Link: ‘Vagrant Queen’ is the diverse, queer show the sci-fi world needs right now
“We were excited to tell this sort of more intimate story about this former queen going on a rescue mission, and it not being a story about necessarily good and evil, monarchy versus the revolution. It was just a very kind of more intimate story about this young woman trying to find her place in the world, and reconnect with her long-lost mother.” Continue reading. 

From Eric Amaya of Rotten Tomatoes:

Link: Vagrant Queen: Your new Guardians of the Galaxy-style TV obsession
“I haven’t felt so right for a part pretty much since Doc Holliday. Doc can be pretty intense, whereas Isaac is just a bumbling fool, and I feel like I’m a little closer to that at times.” Continue reading.

From Charles Trapunski of Brief Take:

Link: Interview: Vagrant Queen’s Adriyan Rae
“It’s my dream role and I’m surrounded by amazing people, from Jem [Garrard] to my castmates, to the cameramen, to the grip, to all the cast and crew. It’s a story of how equality is equality, love is love, how it’s okay to be a free thinker, it empowers women, it’s woke without pushing it down your throat, it’s entertaining while still funny and it will still pull on your heartstrings.” Continue reading.

From Nicole Hill of Den of Geek:

Link: Vagrant Queen: A fresh take on the hero’s journey
“I really love the idea of this space opera that really focused in on a very kind of personal and intimate journey and that you don’t really get to see much in this genre.” Continue reading.

From Cynthia Vinney of CBR.com:

Link: Vagrant Queen’s Adriyan Rae celebrates her “dream role” in the sci-fi show
“I started working on her mental and how it would feel to be an orphan, how it would feel to be on the run for so many years, how it would feel to feel as though both of your parents have died and then to hear that one of them hasn’t.” Continue reading.

From Russ Burlingame of Comicbook.com:

Link: Vagrant Queen star Adriyan Rae hopes they could get a second season that goes beyond the existing comics
“They made our outfits so that they weren’t super, super tight leather, and they were materials that could move with us. The costume is department is amazing. They made it distinctly so I could do all these great things in the outfit.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Vagrant Queen’s Alex McGregor on what draws everyone to Amae
“She’s really good at heart and has a lightness about her that shines through. People often confide in her because she’s so open. She loves people and is open to any alien or being. I feel that she’s like a therapist in many ways because people that generally wouldn’t be speaking about their issues do so with her.” Continue reading. 

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The Wedding Planners brings much-needed nostalgia to primetime TV

In a world full of turmoil and seeking comfort, Beth Stevenson’s creations couldn’t be more timely.

If you’ve tuned in to a Harlequin or Hallmark holiday movie, you’ve likely seen her stuff. Stevenson’s IMDB page is chockfull of such seasonal fare as Snowbound for Christmas, A Christmas Recipe for Romance, Twinkle all the Way or Christmas with a Prince. They’ve quickly become holiday classics. Now Stevenson, Brain Power Studio founder and executive producer, jumps into primetime TV with a new series.

The Wedding Planners, debuting Friday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv, introduces us to the Clarkson Wedding Essentials, a family-run business that is a one-stop spot for wedding planning. The business is headed up by Marguerite (Michelle Nolden), who hopes her children—Paige (Kimberly-Sue Murray), James (Michael Seater) and Hannah (Madeline Leon)—will one day carry on the business. When that day comes suddenly, the siblings are forced to work together to pull off the perfect wedding.

We spoke to Beth Stevenson about The Wedding Planners, and why shows like it are the perfect salve for uncertain times.

How did The Wedding Planners come about?
Beth Stevenson: Some of Marguerite is actually a lot to do with my mom was such a big part of my life. The reason I’m in the film and television business is because she was actually studying to go into the film and television business after she had raised all of us. I come from a family with siblings and Brain Power is actually a family company and a lot of my siblings do work in the company. My stepsons work in the company. We have that familial connection together with the fact that we’re building something and we’re working on something together. There’s a lot of comparison to how Marguerite has grown the business and expropriated bedrooms. We thought, ‘This will be a really nice location to base a series out of.’

What about the partnership with Rogers?
BS: Nataline Rodrigues, who’s the director of original programming, has this beautiful timeslot that’s called Fall In Love Fridays. We were doing many Harlequin films and most were Canadian content productions that we were doing for various Canadian networks. But predominantly, we were exporting them. She found me and said, ‘Hey, I see you’re doing romcoms and things that would work really well for our network.’ And we said to her, ‘We’re working on this nice limited series that is going to be about a family of wedding planners.’ We continued to talk and then we started to quickly move it through development and she believed in the concept and we went into production.

When it comes to putting together a project like this, a limited series as opposed to a two hour TV movie, it would seem there would be more space to play around. 
BS: It’s definitely nice to build worlds and to look at maybe a dynasty of characters that are together that can continue on. It’s good to do that two-hour movie to make sure you get the chemistry right in the casting, that you’re bringing these worlds together. With The Wedding Planners, we get the best of both worlds because we have this definitive storyline which is the bride and groom that we’re following that episode. And then you have this beautiful enriching family drama that’s flowing underneath it.

The TV-movies you have made have quickly become kind of go-to programming during the holidays. What is it that we love about these so much? Is it escapism?
BS: I go towards more of the word nostalgia. The holiday season has grown to a place of we want this comfort, we want this nostalgia, we want to have these moments where it’s that Christmas tingle people get. The nice thing from our adaptations is they’re coming from Christmas novels in many instances.

A lot of our movies are on Amazon Prime where we get the analytics every week. And it is phenomenal. It doesn’t stop in January I will tell you. Because I think again, people need that in these times. I think the barrage and the digital world can be very exhausting. So if you can get that comfort to come back and to follow a family or to follow a couple and to root for them and to have a little bit of a break, that’s, I think, making a big difference right now in the world.

The Wedding Planners airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv.

Images courtesy of Rogers Media.

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Link: ‘Hudson & Rex’: Charming canine actor challenges us to look at animal labour

From Kendra Coulter of The Conversation:

Link: ‘Hudson & Rex’: Charming canine actor challenges us to look at animal labour
As the show wraps up its second season, it’s clear that Rex/Diesel has charmed audiences. His work also invites us to think more about animals’ minds, work and contributions to our shared communities. Continue reading.

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