Tag Archives: Saloon Media

Saloon Media acquires rights to Shaun Hamill’s debut novel A Cosmology of Monsters

From a media release:

Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Media production company, announced today it has acquired the rights to Shaun Hamill’s highly-reviewed, debut novel, A Cosmology of Monsters. The scripted and factual producer will adapt the book into an ongoing one-hour dramatic series (8×60), expanding the company’s growth into scripted development.

A Cosmology of Monsters follows the Turner family as they operate an immersive haunted house experience. While struggling to keep their business afloat, dealing with the challenges of adolescence, and fighting to keep their family united, the Turners begin to realize there is something more sinister at their door … real monsters.

Named one of the best books of 2019 by Esquire, The Nerd Daily and The New York Public Library, Shaun Hamill’s horror debut received critical acclaim with Stephen King’s endorsement: “If John Irving ever wrote a horror novel, it would be something like this. I loved it.”

Serving as Creator and Executive Producer on the series is Caitlin D. Fryers (Wynonna Earp, Endlings, Private Eyes). Fryers is best known for writing on all four seasons of SYFY’s fan favourite Wynonna Earp. She was the first Canadian to win the Sir Peter Ustinov Award for Scriptwriting from the International Emmys. Nominated for two Writers Guild of Canada Awards, Fryers has written for SYFY, Lifetime, Global, CBC, Hulu and Hallmark. Fryers is represented by Meridian Artists. Also serving as Executive Producer are Melissa Williamson and Michael Kot of Saloon Media and author, Shaun Hamill.

Shaun Hamill received his BA in English from the University of Texas at Arlington and his MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His debut novel, A Cosmology of Monsters, was published in 2019 and his second novel, The Dissonance is forthcoming from Pantheon books. Hamill is represented by Echo Lake on behalf of Kent Wolf of Neon Literary.

Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Media company, is a leading producer of scripted and unscripted content. Based in Toronto, Canada, Saloon Media has an international track record for delivering successful, award-winning programs.


Blue Ant Media commissions Hoarders: Canada, produced by Saloon Media

From a media release:

Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Media company, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with A+E Networks to produce the format of the critically acclaimed series, Hoarders, marking the first-ever format commission for the series outside the USA. Under the title Hoarders: Canada, the series has been greenlit by Blue Ant Media for its Canadian programming slate. Hoarders: Canada follows a team of experts as they tackle some of Canada’s most challenging hoards, giving viewers an in-depth look at the emotional stories of those dealing with compulsive hoarding behaviours. Produced by the award-winning Saloon Media, nationwide casting for Hoarders: Canada will begin this month.

Hoarders: Canada will explore the world of extreme hoarding and provide an in-depth look at real-life stories of those directly affected by compulsive hoarding. Each episode will introduce viewers to individuals from across Canada as a team of experts try to help clean out massive hoards and assist with setting these individuals up for future success. Leading Canadian psychologists will work in tandem with extreme cleanup experts in an effort to help these families deal with a hoarding crisis of epic magnitude. Hoarders: Canada will premiere on Blue Ant Media’s specialty channel Makeful in late 2022.

Hoarders: Canada joins a roster of original TV formats commissioned by Blue Ant Media for its Canadian specialty channels, including Makeful’s Landscape Artist of the Year: Canada and Cottage Life’s highest-rated original series, Life Below Zero: Canada, produced by Saloon Media and now in its second season. Casting for Hoarders: Canada is now open and is accepting applications nationwide via hoarderscanadacasting.com.

Hoarders: Canada is based on the critically acclaimed A+E Networks series Hoarders. Franklin Cumberbatch and Peter Tarshis serve as executive producers for A+E Networks. Hoarders: Canada is produced by Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Media company. Shannon McKinnon serves as the Series Producer and Deborah MacDonald is the Supervising Producer. Michael Kot, Betty Orr and Pam Mcnair serve as Executive Producers.


Cottage Life captures a rare glimpse into vibrant cultures, landmarks and landscapes with new original investigative series Mysteries from Above

From a media release:

Cottage Life’s new original investigative series Mysteries from Above (10×60’; HD) takes to the skies to offer Canadian audiences a chance to see the world from fresh and exhilarating perspectives. The series explores remote, hard-to-reach locations as drones explore strange geological occurrences, unique man-made structures, curious creatures and lost civilizations, revealing fascinating insights and never-before-seen footage to the viewers.

Each episode follows four unique storylines from developed and isolated aerial vantage points, with in-depth analysis and narration from world-leading experts including Dr. Karen Bellinger, Anthropologist and Historical Archaeologist; Dr. Cylita Guy, Ecologist and Data Scientist; Dr. Dan Riskin, Evolutionary Biologist; Anthony Morgan, Science Communicator; Dr. Jean Li, Archaeologist; George Kourounis, Explorer-in-Residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society; and many more.

The world broadcast premiere of Mysteries from Above airs Sunday, March 27, 2022, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, exclusively on Cottage Life during the channel’s eight-week free preview event, running now until May 1 across 8 million Canadian households.

Engage with Cottage Life: @cottagelife #MysteriesFromAbove

The first two episodes of Mysteries from Above include:

Episode 1 – Accidental Discoveries
March 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Using drone operators and satellite imagery enthusiasts find a vanished Neolithic structure in an Irish farmer’s field, an ancient oasis in the remote reaches of a Chinese desert, a centuries-old buried treasure in the UK and a dreaded predator makes nice in the Pacific Ocean. All of these events are discovered by accident.

Episode 2 – Military Mysteries
April 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Military mysteries are revealed from above; a Nazi weapon designed to turn the tides of WWII in Northern France, a secret Russian military tower in the shadow of the Chernobyl disaster, a forgotten Australian tunnel rumoured to hide a nuclear lab and something shocking buried under San Francisco’s infamous Alcatraz Prison.

Mysteries from Above is a Cottage Life original series, produced by Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Media company. Sarah Zammit serves as the Series Producer. Michael Kot, Betty Orr, Pam McNair and Tara Elwood serve as Executive Producers. Suzan Yum serves as Director on the series.


T+E explores the unexplained as new original series Encounter: UFO premieres Tuesday, August 10

From a media release:

A national survey, commissioned by Canada’s leading paranormal television broadcaster T+E and conducted by market research firm Ipsos, reveals one in 10 Canadians claim to have seen an unidentified flying object. Among the 1,000 Canadians polled, more than half (56%) believe in UFOs, while a majority 65% believe intelligent extraterrestrial life exists. The belief that aliens exist is more prevalent among men (70%) than women (61%), and among Millennials (69%) and Gen X’ers (71%) than Boomers (58%).

The survey was commissioned by T+E ahead of the premiere of the broadcaster’s new original series Encounter: UFO. The eight-part docuseries weaves together powerful and credible first-hand accounts of UFO encounters and abductions, authentic video evidence and dramatic paranormal reenactments, while expert contributors explore the world-shattering realities of the witnessed events. The world broadcast premiere of Encounter: UFO airs Tuesday, August 10 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, exclusively on T+E.

According to the survey results, close encounters of the alien kind are most likely to happen in the Prairies: 16% of Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents claim to have seen a UFO, compared to 10% of Quebecers, 9% of Ontarians, 8% of Albertans, 7% of British Columbians, and just 5% of Atlantic Canadians. Men (64%) are significantly more likely than women (48%) to believe in UFOs and to claim they have seen one (11% vs. 7%).

Acclaimed Canadian science writer, ufologist and expert contributor in T+E’s new series Encounter: UFO, Chris Rutkowski says the survey results are in line with his own research. Rutkowski has collected and analyzed Canadian UFO report data since the 1970s and published the Canadian UFO Survey since 1989. “Canada has a long history of UFO sightings; they are more common than we think. About 1,000 UFO reports are filed in Canada every year, and there were more reports during the pandemic,” says Rutkowski. “When it comes to speculating about aliens visiting earth, most Canadians expect interstellar visitors to be friendly like E.T., and unlike the villainous aliens you see in films like Independence Day.”

Audiences who watch T+E’s all-new original series Encounter: UFO will hear from over 24 eyewitnesses from across the globe who swear they’ve seen unidentified flying objects, high-speed saucers and flashing bright lights in the night sky. One episode explores one of Canada’s most infamous UFO encounters, the case of Stefan Michalak, who reported being burned by a UFO in the wilderness of Falcon Lake, Manitoba, and features an in-depth interview with Stefan’s son, Stan Michalak. Encounter: UFO also delves into Canada’s best-documented UFO sighting in Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia. This paranormal event involves a UFO crash landing in the waters off Shag Harbour that was witnessed by several onlookers and resulted in a series of RCMP reports. UFO researcher and author Chris Styles, who played an integral role in the investigation, speaks about this mysterious incident in the docuseries.

Encounter: UFO is produced by Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company. Michael Kot, Betty Orr, Nick Crowe, Pam McNair and Paul Kilback serve as Executive Producers. Brian Rice is the Director and Series Producer.


Preview: T+E’s Hotel Paranormal checks in with more spooky tales

A little over a year ago, Season 1 of Hotel Paranormal launched on T+E. Narrated by Dan Aykroyd—who hosted PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, whose great-grandfather was a spiritualist and whose father published a book called A History of Ghosts—retraces the terrifying, true stories of those who have come face-to-face with otherworldly hotel guests.

Now the series is back for more scares in Season 2.

Returning Friday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on T+E with the ominously titled “Touched by Evil,” Aykroyd guides viewers through some twisted tales.

First up is a trip to Jefferson, Texas, in 2018, where new hotel owners Jeromy and Pam learn there are supernatural goings-on in their Jefferson Hotel. Built in the 1850s, the building had seen a lot of history and, apparently, contained some dark tales within its walls. It didn’t take long for Jeromy and Pam to witness clunks, clanks and exploding light bulbs. Were these the hallmarks of iffy plumbing and elderly electrical work or something more sinister? Without giving anything away, things get much, much worse.

As with Season 1, paranormal experts complement the stories told by witnesses, offering suggestions and clues as to what—and why—spookiness is going on. Many believe the fact hotel rooms, which see thousands of guests, are the perfect places to house spirits. 

Tune in to Hotel Paranormal and see if you agree.

Hotel Paranormal airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on T+E.

Image courtesy of Blue Ant Media.