August 30, 2014

TV News | Fall 2014 premieres for APTN, Teletoon, Family Channel Canadian series

Gloryosky readers might wonder why I list the three television services like this. Simply put, these are three historical scripted-series heavyweights. APTN’s output alone makes the major non-CBC program services/networks look paltry.


Teletoon (English)
Chop Chop Ninja (shorts): November 2014, time TBD (debut)
Dr. Dimensionpants: November 2014, time TBD (debut)
Total Drama: Pahkitew Island: September 4, 7:30 PM ET/PT (second half of fifth season)

Existing Teletoon shows with new episodes for fall 2014 include Johnny Test, The Day My Butt Went Psycho, Camp Lakebottom, Totally Spies!, and Packages From Planet X. In an odd departure from the Corus/Astral era, Corus-owned Teletoon doesn’t list when the new seasons premiere, with the exception of the latest Total Drama installment.


APTN (English)
Amy’s Mythic Mornings: September 6, 9:00 AM ET [HD, East]/9:00 AM CT [North]/9:00 AM MT [West] (debut)
Blackstone: November 11, 10:00 PM ET [HD, East]/10:00 PM MT [West]; November 16, 10:00 PM CT [North] (fourth season)
Cashing In: November 18, 8:00 PM ET [HD, East]/8:00 PM MT [West]; November 23, 8:00 PM CT [North] (fourth season)
Catch the Dream: September 4, 8:30 PM ET [HD, East]/8:30 PM MT [West] (debut)
Mohawk Girls: November 25, 9:00 PM ET [HD, East]/9:00 PM CT [North]/9:00 PM MT [West] (debut)
Native Planet: September 3, 7:00 PM ET [HD, East]/8:00 PM CT [North]/7:00 PM MT [West] (debut)
Warrior Games: September 6, 4:30 PM ET [HD, East]/4:30 PM CT [North]/4:30 PM MT [West] (debut)

APTN (Inuktitut)
Qanurli: September 1, 7:00 PM CT (fourth season)
Takuginai: September 7, 8:30 AM CT (fourteenth season)

Cashing In will air two episodes on APTN North for its fourth-season premiere.

Mohawk Girls’ normal time on APTN North is Sunday, 9:00 PM CT; the time listed is for the two-episode series premiere.

Native Planet will only be shown on APTN North in Cree.


Family Channel
The Next Step: September 12, 7:30 PM ET (second half of second season)

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August 29, 2014

DVD News | Cybersix complete series DVD set out now through Discotek Media

Cybersix aired on Teletoon from 1999-2000, based on the more violent/sexually explicit Argentine comic book. The series was a Canada/Japan co-production between two Vancouver, British Columbia studios (Network of Animation, Ocean Productions), and Tokyo Movie Shinsha. In the United States of America, Cybersix aired on Fox Kids in fall 2000.

Cybersix’s main character is Cyber-6 (Cathy Weseluck), an artificial human created by former Nazi/Schutzstaffel member Dr. Von Reichter (Terry Klassen). Cyber-6 is the last fully-intact, surviving member of the Cyber series, which Von Reichter wants to destroy due to the Cyber series’ possession of free will. The Nazism is toned down in the animated series, but not fully eliminated.

During the series’ run, Cyber-6 fights Von Reichter’s monsters in the city of Meridiana. The monsters include Fixed Ideas (big green humanoid mooks), Technos (normal-seeming artificial humans), and Types (like Technos, but teenaged and more monstrous). Cyber-6 survives by taking their “Sustenance” – essentially, a way to suggest vampirism without being blatant about it. José (Alex Doduk), Von Reichter’s “son”/clone, is the show’s main on-screen antagonist, carrying out his “father’s” orders. Cyber-6 is helped by Data-7, a panther with the brain of Cyber-6’s “brother” Cyber-29.

By day, Cyber-6 assumes the identity of teacher Adrian Seidelman. Biology teacher/big eater Lucas Amato (Michael Dobson) is the designated Lois Lane, capable of holding his own against normal people, but not the villains Cybersix deals with. Julian (Andrew Francis) is a street kid who tries to help Cybersix at times – emphasis on tries. Lori Anderson (Janyse Jaud) is one of Seidelman’s students. Lori has a crush on Seidelman, and is the main focus of the fifth episode, “Lori is Missing”.

Cybersix is an atypical animated series, due to its being Japanese animation with the Cybersix comics’ European look. The theme song (see below) is excellent; Cybersix’s scores aren’t as good, and the show mostly goes with a monster-of-the-week format. Cybersix’s main strengths are its production values, character designs, and gender flip of the Clark Kent/Superman dynamic. Cybersix is a reminder of the early, more freewheeling days of Teletoon.

Discotek Media released this complete series DVD set August 26, 2014; it retails for USD$34.95 at its website. Extras include commentary on the first and final episodes, by Cathy Weseluck and Discotek Media graphic artist/Cybersix fan Brady Hartel. The set only includes the English dub, in its original 1.33:1 aspect radio.

I can’t complain about this set. In today’s Canadian TV-on-DVD world, the fact this title is out at all after fifteen years is a minor miracle. Frankly, I think Cybersix is Teletoon’s best-ever original series. I don’t claim Cybersix is perfect, as the monster-of-the-week format limits it more than anything. I still prefer Cybersix for adapting seemingly questionable source material, and adapting it well. Teletoon never took as big a chance as with Cybersix; I doubt it will again.

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August 28, 2014

Article | The ones behind the One in Entertainment One

The problem with proclaiming one company the “last great independent” in its category is that the next one might be close behind, ready to rabbit punch. In this case, Canadian television ten years ago could not have seen the growth of Entertainment One, who acquired Force Four Entertainment on August 28, 2014. Those who watch Saving Hope, Haven, Bitten, Call Me Fitz and/or Rookie Blue watch an eOne show. eOne is a major home entertainment company in Canada, possibly the independent in this country.

I will update this article to correct errors, and as further acquisitions happen. While I’m ambivalent about eOne – I respect its television division, hate its aggressive acquisition strategy, and lament that it’s the only home entertainment company as active as it is in the Canadian TV-on-DVD market – I think it’s important to chart eOne’s growth. Given its summer 2014 run obtaining a film/home entertainment distributor and two production companies, eOne’s been on a tear lately.

I realize the company used E1 as shorthand, before adopting the current eOne branding. I call the company eOne for convenience.

For readers confused by the article’s title, I paraphrase Paul Heyman’s current catchphrase; eOne has distributed WWE Home Video titles for years. Those WWE Home Video titles made me jump to my feet, took my breath away, and left me in amazement!


1973: Vito Ierullo and Don Ierullo found Records on Wheels Limited, with a focus on retail sales of recorded music (initially from a bus, hence the name). By the late 1970s, ROW Limited/ROW Entertainment expands into music distribution, and expands into home entertainment by the 1980s/1990s.

2001(?): ROW Entertainment acquires CD Plus’ assets. The CD Plus site still does business, as Play Stop. Darren Throop comes to ROW Entertainment from CD Plus; he is eOne’s current chief executive officer.

November 2003: ROW Entertainment first lists on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as ROW Entertainment Income Fund.

August 1, 2004: ROW Entertainment acquires Video One Canada Limited, a home entertainment distributor, from Standard Broadcasting Corporation Limited. The deal is worth CAD$72.4 million.

May 17, 2005: ROW Entertainment acquires KOCH Entertainment, a music and home entertainment distributor, for USD$80 million. By this time, ROW Entertainment rebrands as Entertainment One.

May 31, 2005: Entertainment One buys the assets of wholesaler Reel Choice Video Limited for CAD$1.9 million.

March 29, 2007: London, United Kingdom firm Marwyn Investment Management LLP takes over Entertainment One for CAD$188 million. The deal includes CAD$68 million in assumed debt. As a result of the takeover, Entertainment One gains a listing on London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market, and loses its listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

June 14, 2007: Entertainment One acquires UK television/home entertainment distributor Contender Limited, for GBP£49.4 million.

August 20, 2007: Entertainment One acquires Seville Entertainment Inc., a theatrical, television and home entertainment distributor/international sales agent. The Seville name is eventually retired in favour of eOne Films.

September 20, 2007: Entertainment One signs a multi-territory (i.e., Canada and the United Kingdom) all-rights agreement with Summit Entertainment. Why is this important? Three words: the Twilight saga. Summit is now a subsidiary of Lionsgate; Lionsgate is itself a former Canadian company.

September 24, 2008: For CAD$51.5 million, Entertainment One acquires film/television production companies Barna-Alper Productions Inc. and Blueprint Entertainment Corporation, and international film/television distributor and international sales agent Oasis Pictures Inc. The deals also include Maximum Film Distribution Inc. and Maximum Film International Inc., which acquired Canadian rights for international films.

For Canadian television, this is the most important move. It builds the backbone of eOne’s television production, distribution and sales arm. By 2009, Barna-Alper, Blueprint, and Oasis fold into eOne Television.

September 29, 2008: Entertainment One attempts a reverse takeover of DHX Media, in a CAD$68 million deal. The intention of the reverse takeover is to restore eOne’s spot on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as well as exploit DHX Media’s back catalog. The deal falls through on December 12, 2008, due to DHX Media’s share price losing almost half its value in the ensuing two and a half months.

April 12, 2011: Entertainment One purchases Australia company Hopscotch Group’s distribution and home entertainment divisions for GBP£12.9 million.

November 2, 2011: Entertainment One agrees to take over Vivendi Entertainment’s Canadian home entertainment distribution business; the takeover goes into effect January 1, 2012.

January 8, 2013: Entertainment One acquires the assets of Alliance Films Holdings Inc. for CAD$225 million. Alliance Films produced and distributed films; it was also a major Canadian home entertainment distributor. Alliance Films also held Canadian rights to select television content produced by predecessor company Alliance Atlantis.

March 26, 2014: Seville International reactivates as Entertainment One’s independent/arthouse film distribution and international sales division.

June 2, 2014: Entertainment One acquires Phase 4 Films, a film and home entertainment distributor. Phase 4 Films also develops television programs with Take 5 Productions. The Phase 4 Films deal includes children’s home entertainment subsidiary Kaboom! Entertainment. Terms of the deal are not yet disclosed.

July 17, 2014: Entertainment One acquires Paperny Entertainment, the film/television production company behind Food Network Canada’s Chopped Canada, for CAD$29 million.

August 28, 2014: Entertainment One acquires Force Four Entertainment, the film/television production company behind City’s Seed and The Bachelor Canada, and National Geographic Channel’s Border Security: Canada’s Front Line. Terms of the deal are not yet disclosed.

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August 26, 2014

TV/Streaming News | Shaw and Rogers reveal Shomi VOD platform

Shomi, a Rogers Communications/Shaw Communications joint venture, was formally announced by the two companies in an August 26, 2014 media release. The subscription video-on-demand service is currently in beta launch for Rogers and Shaw Internet/television customers on tablet, mobile, and online platforms, as well as Xbox 360 and set top boxes. It is Rogers’ and Shaw’s first major attempt to compete with Netflix, and costs $8.99 CDN a month; it is currently not available as a standalone product. Shomi is available starting November 2014.

The service initially offers 340 television series, 11,000 hours of television content, and 1200 films at launch, for a total of 14,000 “episodes and titles” (Shomi’s terminology). No original content is initially planned for the service, as Shomi currently focuses on library content and “first-window exclusives” of shows Shaw Media and Rogers Media currently control digital distribution rights to. Shomi is officially in beta for six months to a year.

Shomi uses the You.i engine from You.i Labs. You.i Labs was founded in 2008, and is based in Ottawa, Ontario.

Bell Canada Enterprises and Cineplex Odeon Corporation are not on board with the Shomi venture, as was originally planned. According to Greg O’Brien of CARTT.ca, Bell plans its own subscription video-on-demand service for January 2015 due to it not liking the content rights terms Rogers signed for Shomi; Cineplex left the Shomi venture due to the service only being available as an add-on for existing Internet/television customers.

Rogers Media president Keith Pelley mentioned at the Shomi media event that “quite a few titles” might come from CBC; CBC is not officially onboard with Shomi.

The Shomi joint venture launches as a standalone entity, with its own management structure.

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August 25, 2014

TV News | Fall 2014 premiere dates for CBC’s Canadian series

From an August 25, 2014 media release. All times are in PT/MT/CT/ET/AT, half an hour later NT.

Ascension: November 25, 9:00 PM (debut)
Canada’s Smartest Person: September 28, 8:00 PM (second season; first season aired winter 2012)
Doc Zone: October 9, 9:00 PM
Dragons’ Den: October 15, 8:00 PM (ninth season)
Heartland: September 28, 7:00 PM (eighth season)
Hockey Night in Canada: October 11, game 7:00 ET to conclusion (sixty-first television season)
Marketplace: October 17, 8:00 PM (forty-second season)
Murdoch Mysteries: October 6, 8:00 PM (eighth season)
Republic of Doyle: October 15, 9:00 PM (sixth and final season)
Steven and Chris: September 22, 2:00 PM (eighth season)
Strange Empire: October 6, 9:00 PM (debut)
the fifth estate: October 24, 9:00 PM (fortieth season)
The Nature of Things: October 9, 8:00 PM (fifty-fourth season)
The Rick Mercer Report: October 7, 8:00 PM (twelfth season)
This Hour Has 22 Minutes: October 7, 8:30 PM (twenty-second season)

Although Hockey Night in Canada is back for its sixty-first season on CBC, Rogers Media currently controls the property. HNiC is not mentioned in CBC’s official press release, nor on its fall schedule promotional website.

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TV News | Lost Girl ends run after 77 episodes

Lost Girl, the Prodigy Pictures series starring Anna Silk as a succubus who tries to forge her own path in a mortal’s world, announced its conclusion in an August 25, 2014 Shaw Media press release, as well as a video from the official Showcase YouTube account (see below). Lost Girl winds down with a sixteen-episode split season. The show debuted on Showcase September 12, 2010. In the United States of America, Lost Girl debuted January 16, 2012, on Syfy.

The first eight episodes of Lost Girl’s fifth season air on Showcase starting December 7, 2014, at 9:00 PM ET/PT. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Etan Vlessing, the second half of the fifth season will air in fall 2015, although there is no indication that the fall 2015 run counts as a “sixth” season. Vlessing also confirms that Lost Girl will wrap internationally.

August 2014 is a painful month for Canadian television. Lost Girl’s announced conclusion marks the fourth end for a high-profile scripted Canadian series after The Listener, Working the Engels, and Seed. With Continuum’s future still undecided by Shaw Media – to the extent that Continuum show creator Simon Barry publicly wonders when a decision will be announced – there might be more cancellations in Canadian scripted television before the month bows out.

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August 20, 2014

TV News | Working the Engels cancelled by NBC and Shaw Media

As first mentioned by The Hollywood Reporter’s Etan Vlessing, Shaw Media confirmed the cancellation of Global/NBC sitcom Working the Engels on August 20, 2014. As mentioned in an earlier Gloryosky article, American ratings were soft for the Andrea Martin/Kacey Rohl sitcom since its July 10, 2014 NBC debut. The show was co-developed by Shaw Media and NBCUniversal, and produced by Halfire Entertainment.

Working the Engels’ Nielsen viewership on NBC first dipped below two million on July 31, 2014; the viewing figures are consistent with Working the Engels’ Canadian performance on Global, as the show suffered through similarly weak ratings above the 49th parallel. NBC cancels Working the Engels after five episodes; the show was preempted August 14, 2014 by the eighth-season finale of Last Comic Standing.

As Working the Engels’ future hinged on its NBC performance after the weak Global run, this is about as cut-and-dried a cancellation as one gets in Canadian television. Regardless of Working the Engels’ perceived quality, relatively few viewers watched the show in the two countries where its performance most mattered. This doesn’t end Shaw Media and NBCUniversal’s co-development partnership – Variety’s Shelli Weinstein mentions Halfire Entertainment police procedural Rope, with Rookie Blue and Flashpoint executive producer Tassie Cameron attached to the project.

As a result of Working the Engels’ NBC cancellation, Welcome to Sweden airs two episodes on NBC August 21, 2014, assuming Working the Engels’ Thursday timeslot for the time being.

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August 8, 2014

TV News/Media Releases | Canadian Television News Roundup (August 7-8, 2014)

CRTC approves a restructuring of Channel Zero’s operations, as well as a licence amendment to Rewind (formerly Movieola), and three-year licence renewals to Rewind, Silver Screen Classics, and CHCH. The main issues were CRTC-unauthorized changes in Channel Zero’s overall ownership, and the non-compliance of Channel Zero-owned channels towards Canadian content and program log submission.

Under the new ownership structure, 1490525 Ontario Inc. and 2190015 Ontario Inc. are wholly owned by 2308740 Ontario Inc. Moviola: Short Film Channel Inc. is 85% owned by 2308740, with the rest owned by minority shareholders. 2308740 is controlled by C.J. Millar (39.3%), Romen Podzyhun (39.3%), and Chris Fuoco (21.4%). Harold Balde and Anthony D’Andrea, part-owners of Moviola Short Film, are effectively written out of Channel Zero’s ownership structure. The value of Balde and D’Andrea’s effective transfer of ownership to Millar, Podzyhun, and Fuoco is $1,210,607, of which $121,060 is payable in tangible benefits over a three-year period.

The Movieola channel rebranded to Rewind in December 2012, without first amending its CRTC licence – specifically, it was a short film station, acting like it was now MovieTime. Under the new licence, Rewind can devote up to ten percent of its schedule to independent short films. The other ninety percent of its programming must be at least ten years old (i.e., if Rewind wants to air a film made in 2005, it has to wait until 2015), and is considered “action and adventure programming”.

As for AOV Adult Movie Channel, AOV Maleflixxx, and AOV XXX Action Clips, they are channels with less than 200,000 subscribers, and can be made exempt from CRTC’s licensing process due to a 2012 exemption order. The porn channels must still follow guidelines regarding Canadian content, closed captioning, and advertising. Presumably, the porn channels are still subject to 2308740 Ontario Inc.’s ownership structure; the porn channels’ licences expire August 31, 2014.

Of note, this is the first renewal for Channel Zero’s specialty licences since 2000. The licences were set to expire in 2007, and were kept active until 2014 through a number of administrative renewals. (August 8, 2014)


Although there isn’t currently a press release, at least part of Christian-based religious/family broadcaster Crossroads Television System (CTS) is currently sold to advertisers as yesTV. CTS’/yesTV’s current strategy is to pick up shows dropped by other program services and channelsAmerican Idol (from CTV), Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! (from CHCH), America’s Funniest Home Videos and The Biggest Loser (from OMNI), and Judge Judy (from City). Other acquisitions include The X Factor UK, and Judge Judy spinoff Hot Bench.

There’s no indication of whether CTS rebrands wholesale to yesTV in fall 2014, or if this is a sub-brand for the secular shows in CTS’ lineup. A Google search for CTS’ Family Feud turns up this 2014 survey, asking questions about the nature of CTS’ programming. Presumably, yesTV is CTS’ attempt to be more competitive in the over-the-air markets it services (Hamilton/Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton). (August 8, 2014)


Pressure Cooker, a W Network series based on an original concept from Jamie Oliver’s Fresh One Productions, begins production August 15, 2014. Pressure Cooker is a cooking competition, based around how well contestants cook during time constraints, and with a limited number of food items. Walmart is the show’s lead broadcast/grocery sponsor, with ESKA Water as official water supplier.

Pressure Cooker debuts on W Network October 2014. The show’s producer is Bristow Global Media, in association with W Network. (August 7, 2014)


Highway Thru Hell, the Discovery series focusing on the daily operations of Jamie Davis Motor Truck’s heavy-vehicle rescue and recovery service, premieres its third season Tuesday, September 2, at 10:00 PM ET/PT. The third season of Highway Thru Hell sees Jamie Davis Motor Truck attempt to expand its business, servicing Highway 63 and 881 between Lac La Biche and Fort McMurray, Alberta (i.e., highways which service the Alberta oil sands industry). In addition, the company attempts to maintain its Hope, British Columbia-based Coquihalla operation, in the face of renewed competition and the worst snowfall/avalanche conditions in decades. (August 7, 2014)


A CTV News Northern Ontario piece on the filming of TVOntario drama Hard Rock Medical’s second season. Sean Grech reports. (August 8, 2014)


The Rogers Documentary and Cable Network Fund confirms equity investments to seventeen Canadian projects, totalling $5,264,406. (August 8, 2014)


Tackle My Reno debuts on HGTV Canada August 26, 2014 at 10:00 PM ET/PT, with back-to-back episodes. The show features ex-CFL player/current contractor Sebastian Clovis, as he helps homeowners struggling with do-it-yourself projects. (August 7, 2014)

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