Tag Archives: TVO

TVO to End Production of Gisèle’s Big Backyard

From a media release:

Today TVO announced that while it will continue to air the daily Gisèle’s Big Backyard program block, in-house production of the short interstitial segments will end in May. With an inventory of over 800 interstitial segments for Gisèle’s Big Backyard, there is sufficient content to provide a quality educational experience to pre-school viewers during the 6am to 3pm program block.

“I would like to thank the cast, puppeteers, production team and crew of Gisèle’s Big Backyard, especially host and namesake Gisèle Corinthios, for unwavering dedication in inspiring our youngest minds to be successful in school and in life,” said Marney Malabar, Director, Kids TV.

“With limited resources, TVO must make difficult choices. Regrettably, in-house production of the short interstitial segments will cease, but we will be able to continue to serve our two to four year old pre-school audience with our inventory of Gisèle’s Big Backyard for years to come,” added Malabar.

This announcement impacts approximately six employees and seven hours of in-house production per year.

There will be no visible changes to viewers, with children still able to enjoy favourites like Paw Patrol, Hi Opie!, Doozers and Alphabet Goop each day, introduced by learning lessons from Gisèle and the team.

This announcement does not affect The Space, TVO’s afternoon programming block designed for school-age children.

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Hard Rock Medical moves to North Bay for Season 3

Hard Rock Medical is back, and with a new backdrop. Season 3 was officially announced on Thursday via press conference from Canadore College’s Studio 1 in North Bay, Ont., where filming will take place. The first two seasons of the medical drama were shot in Sudbury, Ont., but an educational partnership with the support of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) meant a shift in cities.

“I am here to announce an NOHFC investment of $825,000 to TVO and its production partners for their production of Season 3 of Hard Rock Medical,” said Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, and chair of the NOHFC. “We’re really excited about it, and that will support the production of nine half-hour episodes.”

“I feel honoured that so many institutions are squarely behind Hard Rock Medical,” said co-creator/director Derek Diorio. “Thank you to the city of North Bay, that has been so welcoming to our production. Without all of you here, there is no Hard Rock Medical.” Diorio explained over 50 per cent of Season 3 will be shot at Canadore College. Seventy-five students from the Digital Cinema Program, Television Program and Theatre Arts Program, are currently working on pre-production and will be an integral part of the six-week shoot. A local warehouse and medical centre location will also be used for filming. Post-production will take place at Canadore as well.

“I want to thank Derek,” George Burton, President and CEO of Candore College said. “You have provided an incredible opportunity for learning to our students, which means so much to them. I want to thank everyone on Hard Rock Medical for being such wonderful role models to our students. You bring a level of professionalism to our campus which will hold them in good stead long after graduation.”

All local crew and musicians will be used and over 30 local actors will have lead roles this season, including North Bay native Jamie Spilchuk, who plays Cameron Cahill on the series. Hard Rock Medical follows a group of medical students training in Northern Ontario and is loosely based on the curriculum of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Shooting begins next week and continues until the middle of March.

Co-created by Smith Antonio Corindia and Diorio, Hard Rock Medical stars Patrick McKenna, Angela Asher, Danielle Bourgon, Rachelle Casseus, Tamara Duarte, Kyra Harper, Christian Laurin, Andrea Menard and Stephane Paquette.

Season 3 of Hard Rock Medical will be broadcast on TVO and APTN.

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Link: TVO’s ‘The Agenda’ born again

From Martin Knelman of the Toronto Star:

TVO’s ‘The Agenda’ born again
Research confirmed that young audiences like what TVO does and know who Paikin is but rarely watch the broadcast. So starting now, instead of being a seamless one-hour program, The Agenda becomes a magazine, typically with three 15-to-20 minute items. That way, people who rely on their mobile devices to discover what’s new and interesting can have a brief encounter with one segment. Plus there will be clips on Facebook and Twitter, which link back to the full version on TVO’s website. Continue reading. 

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Hi Opie! takes Toronto by storm

It’s one thing to be told Opie is a smash with kids, but it’s entirely another to see it up close and personal.

That was the case Sunday at Toronto’s Word on the Street Festival celebrating literacy and the printed word. TVOKids’ superstar Opie was on hand alongside Gisele to encourage imagination through storytelling—Opie starred in his own bedtime story as Opie-naut, where he encountered aliens called Purple Lurples—and the kids in attendance ate it up. While some preschool aged kids bopped, bounced and bellowed, others stood in rapt attention as Opie, sporting a helmet constructed of aluminum pie plates, told of his otherworldly adventures.

Those adventures extend to Season 2 of Hi Opie! Currently airing on TVO, City Saskatchewan and The Knowledge Network (see airtimes below), Hi Opie! continues to educate and entertain as he helps children transition from home to school. A creation of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the orange-skinned kindergartner is voiced and operated by Jordan Lockhart. It’s quite a kick to hear Opie’s voice come out of the mouth of the lanky, sunglass-wearing Lockhart; he says it took time for him to figure out how Opie would sound and act.

“There was a lot of sweat, blood and tears put into finding the voice and the character,” Lockhart admits. “I think we started shooting [Season 1] before we really landed on what it is now. I’m really happy with the way the character has developed over these last two years and I’m excited to see where he goes from here.” Lockhart landed the plum gig after meeting with legendary puppeteer Rob Mills at an event. Mills told Lockhart to introduce himself to longtime Henson show producer Lawrence Mirkin; the two connected and struck up a relationship. A year later, Mirkin contacted Lockhart to send in an audition tape, followed by reading a script and then a callback for his latest production: Hi Opie!

Lockhart is constantly amazed not only by the quality of scripts he encounters on the set—the series expands to multiple classrooms this year—but by the child actors he interacts with on-set. Unlike most actors, he’s quite happy crouched down and out of a camera’s line of site and takes pride in an odd circumstance unique to puppeteers.

“It’s incredible to see these little people but into the illusion and it’s enormously gratifying to me,” Lockhart explains. “They are completely unaware of my presence and are locked into Opie. You have to really be present and listen to these people, and what you end up seeing is a complete abandonment of reality.”

Hi Opie! airs weekdays at 6:15 a.m. ET, 10:30 a.m. ET and 1:50 p.m. ET on TVO, weekdays at 9 a.m. CST and 11 a.m. CST on City Saskatchewan and weekdays at 11:50 a.m. PT on The Knowledge Network.

 

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