Tag Archives: Rogers

Rogers and Vice announce new specialty channel Viceland and Canadian production studio

From a media release:

Rogers and VICE Media, the youth media brand and digital content studio, today announced details of the new 24-hour Canadian VICE channel, VICELAND, and unveiled the new VICE Canada production facility, located in the heart of Toronto.

The newest addition to the Rogers Media specialty portfolio, VICELAND will launch in Winter 2016, featuring hundreds of hours of new and exclusive programming developed and produced by the young creative minds that are the heart and soul of VICE. The license currently used for bio. will be rebranded to VICELAND. Additional details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Boasting the country’s brightest young talent and serving as an incubator for the next generation of Canadian creators, the VICE Canada studio, which operates under VICE’s creative direction and ownership, is currently in development and production on nine new, Canadian original series. Since the Rogers-VICE partnership was announced in October 2014, more than 100 writers, directors, editors, producers, and filmmakers have been hired to create sought-after, homegrown content for all screens, to be exported around the world.

VICELAND will launch with a full slate of prime-time shows, including Gaycation with Ellen Page (Freeheld) and friend and co-host Ian Daniel, and Black Market with Michael K. Williams (The Wire). Also a proud home to Canadian content, VICELAND will feature many series produced out of the VICE Canada studio, including Terror with VICE Media Co-Founder Suroosh Alvi.

Focusing on the often underreported issues and topics that matter most to today’s millennials, the world-class slate of Rogers commissioned Canadian-made programming ranges from hard-hitting documentary series – Cyberwar and RISE – to unscripted entertainment series – Abandonment IssuesDead Set on LifePayday, and Shroom Boom – to seminal pop culture guides – VICE Essentials CanadaVICE Guide to Comedy, and VICE Guide to Film. Additional broadcast details to be announced at a later date.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Package Deal tightens up for Season 2

Change is good, and for City’s Package Deal it may end up being great. The Canadian original sitcom is back for a second season on a new night–Fridays at 9 p.m.–a new promotional campaign and an evolution in the creative process.

“The writing is tighter and edgier than it was last season,” Randal Edwards says. The West Coast native is back as lawyer Danny White, straight man to brothers Sheldon (Harland Williams) and Ryan (Jay Malone) and boyfriend to Kim Mattingly (Julia Voth). As with the first season, Danny is still struggling to break free from Sheldon and Ryan and establish his own life with Kim. It doesn’t always work; Friday’s return, “Silverball,” spotlights the reaction the boys have when they discover Danny went to see the newest James Bond flick with Kim rather than keep up the tradition the trio had of seeing the spy movies together.

And while Season 1 of Package Deal was pitched to TV writers and the viewing public as a series to watch because it was a rare Canadian primetime laffer shot with multiple cameras, a rarity here though commonplace in the U.S., Season 2 is a focus on the characters. Now that creator and executive producer Andrew Orenstein and the writers know what the cast can do, Edwards explains, they’ve let ’em rip. Aside from the main cast, Jill Morrison (When Calls the Heart) has been upped from recurring to a full-time cast member as Nikki, Kim’s acerbic friend and co-worker.

Every series goes through some growing pains, and Season 1 of Package Deal was no different. You could see the cast getting more comfortable in their roles and in front of the live studio audience (a sitcom was a first for both Edwards and Voth) but by the end everyone was firing on all cylinders. Friday’s return is one of a cast that know their characters intimately and are game to play them.

Jumping into the sand box to play as guest stars are Amanda Tapping (Sanctuary) and Jason Priestley (Call Me Fitz).

“Amanda plays my boss, and she’s just fantastic. A total pro,” Edwards enthuses. He laughs when he admits to being a little in awe of Priestley, who comes on board to portray Storm Chambers, a slick, over-the-top TV weatherman.

“In one scene I’m in his face, yelling at him and I just kind of zoned out for a second, and Jason said to me, quietly, ‘I know, I know,'” Edwards recalls. “And he was saying that because he knew I was thrown off by working with him. This guy was on posters in my sister’s bedroom!”

Package Deal airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on City.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

City cancels Seed

It’s the end of the road for homegrown comedy Seed. Rogers made the decision official on Thursday morning via email.

“We are extremely proud of Seed and the two seasons that we were able to bring to our viewers,” the statement reads. “It was a privilege to work with the immense talent behind both the cast and creators involved in this quality Canadian production. It was a difficult decision, but, despite critical acclaim, the series was unable to connect with the audience it needed to continue. We thank Canadians for their support for Seed over the last two years and look forward to bringing them more original content in the future.”

The writing was on the wall. Late last month The CW–which had acquired it and CTV Extend series Backpackers for summer broadcast on the U.S. network–announced it was pulling both off the air for Arrow repeats and the next cycle of America’s Next Top Model. That move erased any chance of grabbing Seed some seed-money to help fund a third season.

Seed starred Adam Korson as Harry, a sperm donor who became involved in the lives of the three families he helped spawn. The cast included Carrie-Lynne Neales, Amanda Brugel, Stephanie Anne Mills, Laura De Carteret, Matt Baram, Vanessa Matsui, Abby Ross and William Ainscough.

Seed was created by Joseph Raso, who served as co-showrunner and executive producer alongside Mark Farrell, John Ritchie, Rob Bromley, Gillian Lowrey, Karen Wentzell and Paula J. Smith. Seed was produced by Force Four Entertainment and Waterstar Entertainment.

Rogers does have original comedies waiting in the wings. Package Deal returns for Season 2 next month, Meet the Family will be back in the coming broadcast season and the company has greenlit production of Sunnyside, a sketch comedy series created by Gary Pearson and Dan Redican and starring Pat Thorton, Lauren Ash and Kathleen Phillips.

Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail