Tag Archives: The Comedy Network

Corner Gas Animated becomes the most-watched series premiere in the history of The Comedy Network

From a media release:

In advance of its second episode airing tonight, The Comedy Network confirmed today that the series premiere of CORNER GAS ANIMATED has become the highest-rated debut in The Comedy Network’s history. With just four days of preliminary playback data for the premiere, Numeris data confirms that 360,300 viewers so far have watched the April 2 debut episode “Bone Dry”.

With final playback data still to come, the premiere episode of CORNER GAS ANIMATED surpasses the series premiere of ANGER MANAGEMENT, which was previously the top-rated series debut on Comedy, dating back to 2012. In addition to setting a record for Comedy, CORNER GAS ANIMATED was the #1 entertainment specialty program on Monday, April 2 among all key demos (A18-34, A18-49, and A25-54).

In the all-new episode “Squatch Your Language,” (Monday, April 9 at 8 p.m. ET/PT), Wanda (Nancy Robertson), Hank (Fred Ewanuick), and Lacey (Gabrielle Miller) attempt to trick Brent (Brent Butt) with a Sasquatch hoax. Davis (Lorne Cardinal) and Emma’s (Corrine Koslo)  obsession with the fantasy TV show THRONE STRIFE forces Karen (Tara Spencer-Nairn) and Oscar (Eric Peterson) to spend time together.

Viewers can catch up on past episodes of CORNER GAS ANIMATED on demand through Comedy GO and TheComedyNetwork.ca. All 107 episodes of the original six-season series CORNER GAS, as well as the feature film, CORNER GAS: THE MOVIE, are streaming now on CraveTV.

CORNER GAS ANIMATED is an inter-provincial co-production produced by Prairie Pantoons (BC), comprised of Brent Butt and David Storey from 335 Productions; and Moving Mountoons (ON), comprised of Virginia Thompson and Robert de Lint from Vérité Films, in association with Bell Media, Canada Media Fund, Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit, Film Incentive BC Tax Credit, Digital Animation, Visual Effects and Post Production Tax Credit, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. Animation is produced by Prairie Pantoons, Moving Mountoons, and Smiley Guy Studios.

 

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Corner Gas returns with “magic and sorcery” in Animated series

When I first read the news Corner Gas would be returning—this time as an animated version—I scratched my head and asked myself a few questions. Why are they doing this? Didn’t everyone do what they wanted over six seasons of live action? What would make this different?

“I didn’t want to do something for the sake of doing something,” creator, writer, actor and executive producer Brent Butt says of Corner Gas Animated, debuting Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The Comedy Network. “The legacy of it was too important to me. I’m up for a shameless cash grab—don’t get me wrong—but it had to feel right.”

“I honestly thought that the movie was it because Brent is a man of his word and said that was it,” Tara Spencer-Nairn says. “But then I busted Virginia Thompson one day in a Shoppers Drug Mart shortly after the movie came out. I was in line and saw Virginia and she was on her phone saying loudly, ‘I don’t like how the Oscar character looks.’ I was like, ‘Virginia, I’m right here!'”

Thompson, the show’s executive producer alongside Butt and executive producer David Storey, admits the idea for an animated take on the lives of the folks living in small-town Saskatchewan has been in the works for years, but really gained momentum following the success of 2014’s Corner Gas: The Movie. After six seasons on CTV and a final farewell to fans with a feature film, Thompson figured that was it. But an outpouring of support—and demand for more stories from Dog River—caused the trio to recall something they’d kicked around as a joke years ago: an animated series.

“Brent, David and I got together and had lunch and said, ‘What do we want to do?’” Thompson recalls. “The animated concept kept popping up. We’re really excited about this because it really does come from Brent’s imagination and brand of comedy. It’s a different angle to Corner Gas.” Butt’s love of comic books—he and a friend started a publishing company and his first comic, Existing Earth, was nominated for a Golden Eagle Award before he left that for a standup career—and skills as an illustrator (he designed Corner Gas’ station logo) means that the world can expand beyond the limitations of physical television production.

“I think graphically,” Butt says. “I think in cartoon terms. Corner Gas was always written to be a live-action series because it was loosely based on what I imagined my life would be like if I hadn’t pursued stand-up comedy.” During production of the original Corner Gas, some of the ideas he came up with were dismissed as “too cartoonish.” Butt jokes he spent six years de-cartooning Corner Gas; now he can let Dog River and its citizens go wherever he wants with no live action constraints.

 

Being unfettered pays off within minutes in Monday’s debut “Bone Dry,” when Brent and Oscar Leroy (Eric Peterson) argue over Brent having forgotten to order more fuel for Corner Gas’ tanks. They’re dry, leading Oscar to surmise the small town will devolve into a world where people fight to the death for gas. Cut to the elder Leroy’s imagination and a riff on The Road Warrior with Oscar, hilariously, as The Humungus. Butt and Peterson are reunited with the rest of the original Corner Gas cast—Gabrielle Miller as Lacey Burrows, Fred Ewanuick as Hank Yarbo, Lorne Cardinal as Davis Quinton, Spencer-Nairn as Karen Pelley, Nancy Robertson as Wanda Dollard—with Corrine Koslo taking over the role of Emma Leroy following the death of Janet Wright.

With half of the cast based in Vancouver and the other half in Toronto, a unique way of capturing their voices for the first season’s 13 episodes was decided on. The technology is good enough that each group could enter a recording studio in their perspective city and do a group read of the scripts.

“We had this lightning in a bottle with these people who were cast to populate this world and interact,” Butt says. “We had that magic chemistry that sometimes happens. That chemistry is a big reason for the success of Corner Gas. Having the actors from each city together means they can react to each other and react over the phone line in Vancouver.”

“We all play off each other,” Spencer-Nairn says. “I feel like if we didn’t do it this way we’d miss a lot of beats. There would be so much comedy lost if we weren’t working together this way and able to react to what the other person is saying live.”

“We could have done it piecemeal,” Butt says. “But there is an intangible chemistry and magic that these people have when they get together and the way they interact is magic and sorcery.”

Corner Gas Animated airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The Comedy Network.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

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Bell Media announces MasterChef Canada return; The Detail and Corner Gas Animated debuts

If you were watching the Super Bowl on NBC—or skipped watching the game altogether—you missed a trio of big announcements made during the game broadcast on CTV.

Bell Media revealed the return date of MasterChef Canada and the debut dates for cop drama The Detail and the animated version of Corner Gas called, simply, Corner Gas Animated.

MasterChef Canada
The fifth serving of MasterChef Canada kicks off on Tuesday, April 3 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. MT, with the return of stalwart judges Michael Bonacini, Claudio Aprile and Alvin Leung. Casting for Season 5 took place last summer followed by production on the top-secret 12 episodes. Edmonton’s Trevor Connie took home the Season 4 title, beating out Vancouver’s Thea VanHerwaarden in the finale.

The Detail
Cop drama The Detail (above) bows Sunday, March 25 at 9 p.m. ET/MT, on CTV. Starring Shenae Grimes, Wendy Crewson, Angela Griffin, Ben Bass, David Cubitt and Al Mukadam, the 10-episode project centres on three fiercely talented female homicide investigators who work tirelessly to solve crimes while navigating the complicated demands of their personal lives.

Produced by Ilana Frank (Burden of Truth), The Detail was developed by co-showrunner and co-executive producer Ley Lukins alongside Adam Pettle. Executive producers are Ilana Frank, John Morayniss, and Linda Pope, with co-executive producers Jocelyn Hamilton, Sonia Hosko and Gregory Smith. The writer’s room includes Naledi Jackson, Sarah Goodman, Graeme Stewart, Katrina Saville, Joe Pernice and Matt Doyle. Directors on The Detail include Gregory Smith, Jordan Canning, Kelly Makin, Sara St. Onge, Grant Harvey, John Fawcett and James Genn.

Corner Gas Animated
Finally, Corner Gas Animated debuts Monday, April 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, on The Comedy Network. The 13 half-hour episodes will return to Dog River for more adventures with all of the original cast—Brent Butt, Fred Ewanuik, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Gabrielle Miller, Lorne Cardinal, Nancy Robertson and Corrine Koslo replacing the late Janet Wright—voicing the beloved characters.

“Fans of Corner Gas are going to see a similarity to the series and movie that they love,” co-executive producer Virginia Thompson told us back in December of 2016. “But we can expand the fantasy sequences and get into the characters’ heads and see what’s going on in there.” (Or, perhaps in the case of Hank, what isn’t going on in there.)

Which of the three Bell Media series will you be watching? Which are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments below. Keep track of Canadian TV debuts, returns and finales with our handy calendars.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

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Corrine Koslo cast as Emma Leroy for The Comedy Network’s Corner Gas: The Animated Series

From a media release:

As announced earlier today by CORNER GAS creator, executive producer and star Brent Butt, The Comedy Network confirms that actor and long-time friend of Janet Wright, Corrine Koslo, has been cast as the voice of the series’ beloved character, Emma Leroy, for the upcoming animated reboot. Koslo joins original CORNER GAS cast members, Butt, Gabrielle Miller, Eric Peterson, Fred Ewanuick, Lorne Cardinal, Tara Spencer-Nairn, and Nancy Robertsonin the voicing of their respective characters Brent, Lacey, Oscar, Hank, Davis, Karen and Wanda. Voice recordings are currently underway in Vancouver and Toronto, with the animation process slated to begin in May. The 13-episode, half-hour series is expected to premiere on The Comedy Network in 2018.

A versatile actor born in France, Corrine Koslo grew up in Halifax, Manitoba, and Edmonton. She is a graduate of the Vancouver Playhouse Acting School and has performed on stages across Canada for the last three decades, and has been a member of the Shaw Festival acting ensemble for twelve years. She received two Dora Mavor Moore Awards for her roles in the Young People’s Theatre productions Seussical The Musical and Bunnicula in Toronto; Jessie Richardson Awards for in Love And Angels (Vancouver Playhouse) and Sweeney Todd (Arts Club) in Vancouver; and a Sterling Award for her portrayal of Madame Arcati in Blyth Spirit at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. On television, Corrine is known for her memorable voice work as Lady Rataxes in the popular children’s series, BABAR. Most recently, Corrine joined the cast of the series ANNE where she plays the indomitable Rachel Lynde.

The new series comes from CORNER GAS executive producers Brent Butt and David Storey from Prairie Pantoons (335 Productions), and Virginia Thompson from Moving Mountoons (Vérité Films), in association with The Comedy Network. Animation will be produced by Prairie Pantoons, Moving Mountoons, and Smiley Guy Studios. The series began pre-production this month in Vancouver and Toronto, with the main cast confirmed to return. In December, producers confirmed that the character of Emma will live on in the animated world with the blessing of the late Janet Wright’s family.

CORNER GAS brings together Butt’s comedy style and love for comic books. Before pursuing his passion as a stand-up comedian, Butt and a friend started a publishing company – Windwolf Graphics. His first comic, Existing Earth, was nominated for a Golden Eagle Award. Windwolf Graphics published two issues before Butt hit the stand-up circuit full time. Butt’s passion for comics lived on through his work, a common theme in the CORNER GAS franchise. Bringing CORNER GAS into the animated world allows Butt’s comedy to be as limitless as his imagination.

CORNER GAS: THE ANIMATED SERIES is an inter-provincial co-production produced by Prairie Pantoons (BC), comprised of Brent Butt and David Storey from 335 Productions; and Moving Mountoons (ON), comprised of Virginia Thompson and Robert de Lint from Vérité Films, in association with Bell Media, Canada Media Fund, Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit, Film Incentive BC Tax Credit, Digital Animation, Visual Effects and Post Production Tax Credit, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

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Link: Corner Gas creator lives his cartoon dream

From Lauren La Rose of the Toronto Star:

Link: Corner Gas creator lives his cartoon dream
Before pursuing a successful career in comedy, Corner Gas creator and star Brent Butt had designs on a career in animation.

But after Butt was accepted into the animation program at Ontario’s Sheridan College, he opted instead to forge forward with his dream of standup stardom. Continue reading.

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