CITYTV & OMNI TELEVISION ORIGINAL SERIES (PREMIERING ON SUNDAY, JUNE 11):
Premiering on OMNI Television this Sunday, June 11 are two new original series, including the comedy Our Big Punjabi Family and five-part documentary series Katiba Banat: Sisters in Arms, plus an all-new season of Filipino sketch comedy ABROAD.
Starting at 7:30 p.m. ET is Our Big Punjabi Family, a mixed Punjabi and English-language comedy series about a family therapist Sitara (played by Arshdeep Purba) and her family who are forced to move in with her husband’s traditional Punjabi in-laws after they lose their money in a bad investment. Following Our Big Punjabi Family is a new season of ABROAD. Produced in collaboration with Longhope Media Inc., Season 2 of ABROAD – the hit Filipino sketch comedy series – will premiere with eight, all-new 30-minute episodes in English and Tagalog at 8:30 p.m. ET. Co-created by and starring Filipina comedian Isabel Kanaan (Second Jen, Air Farce NYE, This Hour Has 22 Minutes), ABROAD is a Canadian Screen Award-nominated series based on the immigrant experience in Canada. Then, at 9:30 p.m. ET, the premiere of Adhel Arop’s Katiba Banat: Sisters in Arms – a five-part docuseries that uncovers the previously hidden stories of Canadian women who helped to liberate South Sudan.
As announced on Monday, Citytv has greenlit the all-new, one-hour crime drama Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent, an adaptation of the legendary Law & Order brand, slated to air on Citytv in Spring 2024.
And, as announced earlier this year, Citytv has greenlit an all-new season of Canada’s Got Talent – Citytv’s most-viewed original series in over a decade – in partnership with McGillivray Entertainment Media Inc., Fremantle, and SYCO Entertainment. New for next season, the winner of Canada’s Got Talent Season 3 will receive $1,000,000 – the biggest cash prize in Canadian television history – courtesy of Rogers. That’s not all! CIBC is awarding each of the six Golden Buzzer recipients next season with $25,000 each, totalling $150,000, to help realize their ambitions. Plus, CIBC will provide the Season 3 winner with financial advice. Applications are open now on Citytv.com.
This week, Greg and Amy go through debuts and returns on the Canadian TV calendar.
Then, we cover the latest Canadian TV news, including CBC, BIPOC TV & Film and CFC’s new showrunner catalyst, Global’s original scripted series Robyn Hood begins production, Super Channel’s documentary on Bif Naked and a first look at the OUTtv horror-comedy series, Ezra.
We close out the podcast by looking at Rogers’ upfront announcement, which includes more Hudson & Rex, Canada’s Got Talent, Bachelor in Paradise Canada and one new show: Wong & Winchester.
For the most part, reality TV gets a bad rap. At best, it’s described as a guilty pleasure. At worst, it’s simply dismissed. But look a little deeper into a series like Bachelor in Paradise Canada, and you realize something. These people are putting themselves out there to find love, on-camera and sharing things most would only tell their closest friend.
“This is a show that dives deep into feelings,” executive producer Claire Freeland says. “What you want for your life, what you want for your life partner. A lot of these people leave transformed and having learned things about themselves. Whether or not you leave Paradise, The Bachelor or The Bachelorette with a life partner, you leave having been impacted by the experience.”
Freeland’s Good Human Productions brought The Bachelor Canada and The Bachelorette Canada to viewers years ago. Now they’re back with Bachelor in Paradise Canada.
Debuting Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv, Bachelor in Paradise Canada (followed by The Bachelor After Show: After ParadiseCanada at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT with Deepa Prashad and Daryn Jones) is distinctive for a couple of reasons. First, it’s in northern Ontario in a camp setting very different from the U.S. version fans are used to. And, secondly, the cast of 26 participants is made up of Canadian Bachelor alumni, U.S. Bachelor alumni and members of the Bachelor Nationâ€”Canadian fans of the franchiseâ€”a series first. Freeland, a fan of the franchise overall, has grown to love Paradise because it gives her the opportunity to check on a bunch of relationships rather than just one.
“We always knew we wanted to do a Canadian version of Paradise, but there was always the conundrum about how to attack it,” Freeland says. “And I feel like we’ve cracked the nut.”
Familiar names from the Canadian series include Bianka Kamber, David Pinard and Stacy Johnson, while the U.S. franchise offers up Caitlin Clemmens, Alex Bordyukov and Brendan Scanzano. Guiding the ship is host Jesse Jones (featured image) and serving up drinks and advice to these love-lorn folks? Kevin Wendt.
“We’ve remained friends with Kevin over the years,” Freeland says. “When we thought about who could be the bartender, but also be a symbol of this process working, it was pretty easy that we arrived at Kevin.
“When that guy is on the beach, on the other side of the bar, and you’re looking for someone to give you some advice or share your feelings with, Kevin is the ultimate person.”
Bachelor in Paradise Canada airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv.