Tag Archives: This Hour Has 22 Minutes

CBC and Lionsgate reunite with Andrew Barnsley and Project 10 for Mark Critch’s original comedy Son of a Critch

From a media release:

CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster, and global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) are partnering with “Schitt’s Creek” Emmy® and Golden Globe® winning producer Andrew Barnsley and comedian-actor-writer Mark Critch to bring “SON OF A CRITCH” (13×30) to audiences in Canada, the U.S. and around the world. Created by Critch and Tim McAuliffe (“The Office,” “Last Man on Earth,” and the upcoming “MacGruber” series) and based on Critch’s award-winning, best-selling memoir Son of a Critch: A Childish Newfoundland Memoir, the CBC original series will premiere on CBC TV and CBC Gem in Canada in January 2022, with Lionsgate handling U.S. and international distribution rights.

“Son of a Critch” is the hilarious and very real story of 11-year-old Mark coming of age in St. John’s, Newfoundland in the 80’s. It’s a heartfelt window into the life of a child – much older inside than his 11 years – using comedy and self-deprecation to win friends and connect with the small collection of people in his limited world. With production starting today in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the comedy stars Mark Critch as his father and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth (Pinocchio) as young Mark. Ainsworth can currently be seen as one of the leads in the limited series “The Haunting of Bly Manor” for director Mike Flanagan on Netflix, and stars as Pinocchio opposite Tom Hanks in Walt Disney Pictures’ upcoming live action remake of Pinocchio for director Robert Zemeckis. Additionally, Claire Rankin (Molly’s Game) has been cast as Mark’s mother, Mary, alongside newcomers Sophia Powers and Mark Rivera, who are cast as classmates of young Mark. Golden Globe nominee Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) to star as Pop.

The project is a very personal one for both Critch and McAuliffe, as the two have been friends dating back to working on “This Hour has 22 Minutes” together.

A CBC original series, “Son of a Critch” is an inter-provincial co-production between Barnsley’s Project 10 Productions Inc. and Newfoundland-based Take the Shot Productions in association with CBC and Lionsgate Television, and executive produced by Critch, McAuliffe, Barnsley, Ben Murray and Allan Hawco. Renuka Jeyapalan and Anita Kapila serve as co-executive producers with Jeyapalan directing the first four episodes of the series.

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Radio One’s Because News brings laughs to primetime TV

When it came to creating Because News, Gavin Crawford looked across the pond.

“When we were first figuring out what will it be and what will we do, I was like, ‘Let’s steal the British ideas,’ because those are the shows I like,” Crawford recalls. Created by Crawford, Elizabeth Bowie and David Carroll, the long-running Radio One program recently made the jump to a new platform.

Airing Sundays at 7 p.m. on  CBC (and Saturdays at 11 a.m. on Radio One), Because News features host Crawford and a rotating panel of comedians, sketch performers and funny people who make games out of the week’s news.

Last week’s radio and TV episode welcomed Andrew Phung (Kim’s Convenience), Jennifer Whalen (Baroness Von Sketch Show) and comedian Martha Chaves, and poked fun at Halloween amid the pandemic, COVID-19 itself and the U.S. election. Best known for his work on The Hour Has 22 Minutes and  The Gavin Crawford Show on The Comedy Network, we spoke to the Second City alum and Gemini Award-winner about adding TV cameras to Because News, how the show is written and tight-turnaround times.

Did you always hope Because News would become a television show?
Gavin Crawford: When we first started doing the show, I always thought there was a possibility if it worked out it could translate, just simply because there are so many British ones that fulfill those same things. When we were first figuring out what will it be, what will we do, I was like, ‘Let’s steal the British ideas,’ because those are the shows I enjoy watching. And so we always tried to model it that way, that it would be modular. Then, I guess, partly because it’s me and I like to do voices and characters, we would end up making things like fake movie trailers. But I guess I always had in the back of my mind, if CBC ever wants to do cross-platform stuff, it’s something they could actually manage to do.

Was it you and Elizabeth Bowie who developed the show together?
GC: Yeah. Basically, Liz and David Carroll came to me and said, ‘We’ve got a green light to make a pilot of a news quiz, and we think you’d be a good host for that. Is that something you’d want to do?’ Once we had established, ‘OK, it’s going to be me,’ we tried to figure out what we wanted to do. In my experience of watching those shows, I wanted it to be about the comradery of the panellists.  wanted us to be able to tease each other. I don’t want the answers to be necessarily that hard or important. I don’t want to try and solve a refugee crisis. We want to take the ball of news that everyone has and have fun with it where we can and make fun of the people in power. But, in a weird way, they are less game shows than they are talk shows.

I always tell the panellists, ‘You don’t have to get the right answer. You can say wet socks and a cat, for all I care. Let’s be able to take the time to riff with each other and take up ideas and improvise, the way that a lot of the people on the show are improvisers and comedians.’ So that’s what we like to do and to try and make sure that there’s enough space for that.

How difficult was it to take this show that’s made for the radio and translate it to TV? 
GC: There are definitely difficulties that you don’t have on radio. But it wasn’t too hard, because we made a conscious decision not to reinvent the wheel. I like the show the way it is, and if it was on TV, I still want it to be that. The hardest thing was how do we get people in a studio together, with the pandemic, knowing that we have to space everybody eight feet apart?

There are little technical things like how do you just keep a comradery going when you know they’re going to cut to a wide shot, and it’s going to look very wide. Those are things that you have to think of. And then there are weird technical things. If you show a graphic or TV, everything has to be triply sourced and thrust through legal. The hardest thing is clearing everything from the team of lawyers, and being like, ‘We need this clip of Trump saying this funny thing.’ Whereas on the radio, that’s a five-minute job. And on TV it’s a day and a half.

I listened to the most recent episode on the radio and noted there were a few segments there that weren’t on the TV episode.
GC: The radio is always five minutes longer, so just from a time standpoint, there’s always going to be an extra round or something on the radio that doesn’t make it to the TV. I don’t actually mind, because it gives you a reason to see things on different platforms, as opposed to a show that would be the same from one to the other, and you just pick and choose where you listen to it.

You record and film the show on Thursday, and then you’re turning this around to be ready for television broadcast on a Sunday. 
GC: It’s a very quick turnaround. That’s why those British panel shows look like that because they’re very quick. You don’t get a lot of time to edit it and things like that. There’s a number of things that I’d love to be able to do that we just can’t do time-wise. So, we try to filter in what we can do. But it’s tricky because sometimes the news doesn’t even set itself until Wednesday night. And you’re pulling graphics on a Tuesday afternoon. And of course, everybody wants the most heads up they can get on everything.

You’re having to keep on top of things happening in Canada and around the world for the show. Do you ever just feel overwhelmed?
GC: Oh yeah. I call it Bad Mood Tuesday, where after a weekend of combing through what’s going on to see what we’ll have the next week, I’m always in a bad mood on Tuesday. Then we try and lift ourselves out of it. ‘OK, what will put us in a good mood?’ And then we get to joke around about things, and the other writers come in, and then we’re like, great. I feel that’s maybe how the audience also feels. Our job is to be like, ‘OK, well, here’s your good news,’ Sunday night or Saturday morning when all these things you’ve been hearing about all week. Here’s the way you can hear about them that maybe doesn’t make you want to hide in the woods.

Because News airs Saturdays at 11 a.m. on Radio One and Sundays at 7 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem.

Images courtesy of CBC.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

TV Eh B Cs Podcast 87 — In the director’s chair with Jordan Canning

Jordan Canning was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She has been exposed to the world of filmmaking from a very young age through her mother who worked as a production designer.

Her television credits include directing all 23 episodes of the CTV digital series Space Riders: Division Earth. The show won the 2014 Canadian Screen Award for Best Digital Series and four Canadian Comedy Awards, including Best Director. She has also directed on multiple TV series, including hour-long dramas—Saving Hope (CTV/NBC), The Detail (CTV), Burden of Truth (CBC/CW)—and half-hour comedies Baroness Von Sketch Show (CBC/IFC), Schitt’s Creek (CBC/PopTV/Netflix), This Hour Has 22 Minutes (CBC) and Little Dog (CBC).

Her first feature, We Were Wolves, premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Her second feature, Suck It Up, premiered at Slamdance 2017 and won Best Feature Film at the 2017 B3 Frankfurt Biennale. Her third feature, an omnibus film called Ordinary Days, won Best Director at the 2018 Canadian Film Festival.

Coming up next, Jordan’s work can be seen in Season 4 of Baroness Von Sketch Show (CBC/IFC), the brand-new show Nurses (Global) and the upcoming season of the hit comedy television series Schitt’s Creek (CBC/PopTV/Netflix).

Image courtesy of Shlomi Amiga.

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Link: This Hour has 22 Minutes in ‘existential crisis,’ say sources, losing Shaun Majumder and key writers, including Greg Thomey

From Tony Wong of the Toronto Star:

Link: This Hour has 22 Minutes in ‘existential crisis,’ say sources, losing Shaun Majumder and key writers, including Greg Thomey
The abrupt departure of star Shaun Majumder from CBC’s 22 Minutes heralds some significant changes to the upcoming season of the sketch comedy show, even as insiders point to what they say is an “existential crisis” at the long-running and beloved Canadian series.

In exclusive interviews with the Star, producers outlined for the first time plans for a revamped 22 Minutes that will showcase four nights of 10-minute digital-only shows. The series is also adding two new “correspondents” in Toronto and Vancouver leading up to the weekly broadcast premiering Sept. 18 on CBC. Continue reading.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Link: Shaun Majumder’s departure from This Hour has 22 Minutes is all about CBC arrogance

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

Link: Shaun Majumder’s departure from This Hour has 22 Minutes is all about CBC arrogance
There has been a bloodless coup at CBC and the nitwits have taken over again.

That is this column’s take on the bizarre departure of Shaun Majumder from CBC’s This Hour has 22 Minutes. The situation also stands as a reminder that CBC TV has a longstanding problem with recognition of talent and that the faceless bosses matter more than those who create at the network. It’s an arrogance problem. Continue reading.

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