November 8, 2014

Social Media | Constantine 1.3 Live-Tweet

Constantine hit the moron bar last week by having John Constantine say “there’s nothing blacker than gypsy magic”. That’s lamentable, not so much for the Romani slur as for gypsy magic being a writer’s crutch. For instance, a ‘fortune teller’s’ curse is the justification for spinning off Frog Thor into his own character (yes, Marvel; work with me here), as opposed to a temporarily transformed Thunder God. Keep in mind, that’s canon introduced by Walter Simonson in 1986, and expanded on by Chris Eliopoulos in 2009. No one’s retconned the gypsy as being a Norse god in disguise, which is simple enough to do.

My big worry for Constantine is that it has a more fun tone than The Flash (2014) right now. How does that even work? I realize The Flash is in his share of more ‘dramatic’ stories, but when The Flash (2014) is more weighty (and angsty – it’s not a Berlanti series if it lacks suitable soul-scraping) than a television show based on Hellblazer, that’s just odd. It’s like Shazam wanting to grow up as quickly as possible, and Dr. Sivana becoming a muscular gu…wait. DC likes to screw with its properties sometimes.

In my opinion, the current DC live-action television universe has its share of problems. The chief culprit is the shows blending into a well-made, if largely surprise-free, whole. I still prefer this scenario to the early 1990s, when shows based on DC Comics characters went for an episodic low-budget feel (aside from, weirdly enough, the 1990-91 version of The Flash), while the comics ran the gamut from typical 1990s fare to well-written Vertigo series. Right now, Constantine needs to differentiate itself from Supernatural, Grimm and Doctor Who; I’m not sure if it will accomplish that feat right now, given how American network television works. Constantine could be cancelled before it really cooks.


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October 31, 2014

Social Media | Constantine 1.2 Live-Tweet

To be honest, I enjoyed the first episode of Constantine. Its Metacritic score is lower than Gotham and The Flash, but that’s to be expected. It’s a horror show aired in the ass end of Friday night. The ironic thing about Constantine is that it’s the most direct adaptation of a DC Comics title (specifically, The Saga of the Swamp Thing and early Hellblazer) currently on prime time, live-action television.

Constantine is the only current DC Entertainment live-action television adaptation with the main character not created in the Golden Age (John Constantine first appeared in the June 1984 issue of The Saga of the Swamp Thing), so ironically, he’s less old-hat than a man based on Robin Hood, a man who runs really fast, and a young version of the character that defined Detective Comics. Just saying.


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October 27, 2014

Social Media | Constantine 1.1 Live-Tweet

Apologies in advance for the way this post looks. Keep in mind, this is still an experiment for Gloryosky – that, and I realized I can embed a Storify story. I’m just that stupid. In any case, look for Gotham and Strange Empire live-tweet results later in the night, as I continue following Canadian dramas and DC live-action shows until everything coalesces into a Gotham by Gaslight storyline.

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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 | 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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May 22, 2014

TV News/Media Releases | Bell Media/Shaw Media News Roundup (May 20-22, 2014)

Bell Media
Motive was renewed for a thirteen-episode third season on CTV. (May 21, 2014)

Bitten was renewed for a ten-episode second season on SPACE. (May 22, 2014)

Played (Bell Media loves its six-letter show titles) was cancelled after its lone season on CTV. (May 22, 2014)

Corner Gas: The Movie was announced, as well as an adjoining Kickstarter campaign that is currently wildly successful. Questions have been raised about Corner Gas: The Movie‘s reliance on government arts funding, as well as the ethics of using Kickstarter to fund Corner Gas: The Movie‘s marketing campaign.

As an aside, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End‘s release is scheduled for the end of 2014. (May 20, 2014-ongoing)


Shaw Media
Global’s Rookie Blue claimed over 1.3 million viewers for its fifth-season premiere. (May 21, 2014)

Non-profit organization Innoversity will hold the 2014 Shaw Media Broadcaster Showcase. The event is free with registration, and will take place at the Toronto Reference Library’s Bram and Bluma Appel Salon. (May 20, 2014)

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May 6, 2014

Media Release | Rookie Blue’s Fifth Season Premieres May 19 on Global

From a May 6 media release (which, in the headline, confuses Rookie Blue‘s fifth-season premiere with its ET Canada special):

Explosive New Season Premieres in Canada First!

ET Canada Goes Behind the Scenes with ET Canada Presents Rookie Blue: Behind the Badge on May 15 at 9 pm ET/PT

Rookie Blue moves to a new day in July on Wednesdays beginning July 2 at 10 pm ET/PT

Hot on the heels of its extended episode order of Rookie Blue, Global brings the fifth season of its original drama to Canadians on Monday, May 19 at 10 pm ET/PT. The cliffhanger finale saw Andy, Nick and Sam’s torrid love triangle crack, and two lives hanging in the balance. The adrenaline-fueled Season Five premiere begins where the finale left off and continues the red-hot momentum through its 11-episode run.

“With four hugely successful seasons under its belt, Global’s Rookie Blue is a driving force in Canadian television,” said Barb Williams, SVP, Content, Shaw Media. “After a chilling finale that kept fans talking for months, we are so excited for the series to heat up screens again with the most exhilarating ride along yet.”

The Season Four finale saw Sam Swarek and Chloe Price shot in the line of duty and in critical care at Memorial Hospital. As the shell-shocked officers of 15 Division struggle to put the pieces of their lives back together – and as Andy McNally and Sam work to find their way back to each other – Andy is tasked with training a challenging new rookie under the watchful eye of a tough new Inspector. And while the officers will have to learn that life doesn’t always have a fairy-tale ending that certainly doesn’t mean there’s no happily ever after.

Before the thrilling new season debuts, viewers go behind the scenes of 15 Division in the exclusive half-hour special ET Canada Presents Rookie Blue: Behind the Badge airing on May 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global. An exclusive sneak peek will be available online at ETCanada.com and GlobalTV.com on May 13. Host Cheryl Hickey goes on the set of the critically acclaimed series, interviewing the stars of the show and gets the inside scoop on what true-blue fans can expect this upcoming season. The special features sit down interviews with leading lady Missy Peregrym, her co-star Gregory Smith, and viewers meet a new rookie played by Matt Murray. Never-before-seen audition tape footage is revealed, along with a Season Five sneak peek.

But that’s not all – GlobalTV.com takes viewers into the squad car with Rookie Blue: Stakeout, a nine-part web series that takes them through the unexpected changes shared between the officers while they’re stuck in close quarters with nothing to do but watch and wait. As sleep deprivation and sugar highs set in, their guards inevitably go down allowing viewers to explore the different sides to the characters they know so well. It’s the ultimate police bonding experience.

In keeping with last season’s theme of ‘change’, 15 Division welcomes two new characters who shake up the familiar dynamic. Inspector John Jarvis (Oliver Becker, Rent-A-Goalie) strolls into 15 Division with a serious agenda. He wants the real story: is this a division full of heroes or a minefield full of screw-ups? Seamlessly flipping from pleasant to menacing, Inspector Jarvis is a political spin-master of epic proportions. He’s out to shake things up and make his mark. Also new to the team is 15 Division’s brand-new rookie, Duncan Moore aka “Selfie” (Matthew Owen Murray, Degrassi: The Next Generation). He is the very picture of a fresh-faced millennial: confident, eager to impress, and excellent at pointing out mistakes – particularly other people’s mistakes. But when Duncan struggles to fit into the group at 15, the officers soon have their hands full with this challenging and well-connected new recruit.

Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym), Sam Swarek (Ben Bass), Dov Epstein (Gregory Smith), Chris Diaz (Travis Milne), Traci Nash (Enuka Okuma), Gail Peck (Charlotte Sullivan), Nick Collins (Peter Mooney), Chloe Price (Priscilla Faia), Oliver Shaw (Matt Gordon), Marlo Cruz (Rachel Ancheril), Noelle Williams (Melanie Nicholls-King), Steve Peck (Adam MacDonald), and Holly Stewart (Aliyah O’Brien) all return for Season 5.

Rookie Blue is executive produced by award-winning Tassie Cameron (Flashpoint), Russ Cochrane (The Listener), Ilana Frank (The Eleventh Hour, Would Be Kings), David Wellington (The Eleventh Hour, Would Be Kings) and John Morayniss (Klondike, Haven). Rookie Blue is a production of IFC Films and leading indie studio eOne, who also distributes the series internationally.

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