December 9, 2014

Social Media | Strange Empire 1.9 Live-Tweet

Gloryosky will resume Strange Empire live-tweets on January 12, 2015. Strange Empire is on hiatus for the holiday season.

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December 1, 2014

Social Media | Strange Empire 1.6, 1.8, Blackstone 4.2, 4.3 Live-Tweet

Strange Empire 1.7 was not live-tweeted on November 24, 2014, due to a power outage in the Stirling, Ontario area. Strange Empire 1.7 will be “virtual”-tweeted on a future date. I realize the series is online, but the point of the live-tweets is their first-run immediacy.

Strange Empire goes on hiatus after December 8, 2014, so that CBC can air holiday programming, and freak the audience out with Cyborg Gem Eye Rudolph. Strange Empire returns January 12, 2015 with new episodes, and ends February 2, 2015. Ascension assumes Strange Empire’s 9:00 PM Monday timeslot starting February 9, 2015.

Blackstone and Strange Empire live-tweet catch-up

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November 11, 2014

TV News | CITF 2014 schedule at a glance

I’ve covered the Canadian International Television Festival on Gloryosky before, so I won’t repeat old news. The main additions since Friday, October 31, 2014 are binge screenings of Remedy and 30 Vies (30 Lives), a Republic of Doyle fan event, panels and screenings of 19-2 and The Knick, and a Camp X panel/preview.

Tickets to all events are free, and are available here. As of November 11, 2014, this is not a complete list; this article will be updated as more of the schedule is announced. The Book of Negroes red carpet and screening is mentioned here as “sold out” (inasmuch as a free festival can sell out), so keep that in mind.

Currently, every event takes place at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario.

November 14, 2014
TBD

November 15, 2014
Unité 9 (Radio-Canada): binge screening, 7:00-11:00 PM ET

November 16, 2014
Corner Gas (CTV): fan event, 7:00-8:30 PM ET
Remedy (Global): binge screening, 7:00-11:00 PM ET
Republic of Doyle (CBC): fan event, 5:00-6:30 PM ET

November 17, 2014
Blackstone (APTN): panel and episode screening, 8:00-10:30 PM ET
The Book of Negroes (CBC/BET): panel (no screening), 5:00-6:00 PM ET
19-2 (Bravo): panel and second-season premiere screening, 9:00-10:30 PM ET

November 18, 2014
The Book of Negroes (CBC/BET): red carpet and screening, 7:00-10:00 PM ET
CBC ComedyCoup (CBC): presentation, 5:00-6:30 PM ET

November 19, 2014
The Knick (Cinemax): panel and screening, 8:00-10:00 PM ET

November 20, 2014
Strange Empire (CBC): Writers Talking TV panel and screening, 6:30-9:30 PM ET

November 21, 2014
TBD

November 22, 2014
Camp X (CBC): panel and exclusive preview, 7:00-9:30 PM ET
Carmilla: fan event, 3:00-5:00 PM ET
Vikings (History): binge screening, 7:00-11:00 PM ET

November 23, 2014
30 Vies (30 Lives, Radio-Canada): binge screening, 7:00-11:00 PM ET
This Hour Has Seven Days (CBC)/Party Game (CHCH)/The Hart & Lorne Terrific Hour (CBC): heritage screening, 2:00-6:00 PM ET

Visit citf14.tv for more details.

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November 4, 2014

Social Media | Strange Empire 1.5 Live-Tweet

Strange Empire, ratings-wise, is a bit of a bust. There’s no way to get around it. Regardless of the quality of the show, the show received 283,000 viewers for its October 20 episode. The show hovers around 250,000 to 300,000 viewers, all told. For all the promotional ballyhoo before the show debuted, a relatively small percentage of Canadians are interested in a period drama based on municipal establishment, and the women who help establish it.

At least Strange Empire does better than City’s Package Deal, which recently moved to Monday nights in an attempt to increase its viewership. I don’t see either show earning another season, yet CBC failing at serious, cable-style drama holds a lot more weight than City failing at a sitcom that looks halfway compatible with 2 Broke Girls.


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November 1, 2014

Social Media | Gloryosky at the 2013 CITF

Gloryosky attended the first Canadian International Television Festival on Saturday, November 16, 2013, at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario. Below is Gloryosky’s curated Twitter summary of the day. In my opinion, the best Saturday panels were from the Made in Canada and Royal Canadian Air Farce casts attending the festival.

I was a fan of Royal Canadian Air Farce in the early 1990s, and attended an Air Farce taping around December 1995. Despite this, I had low hopes for Air Farce’s panel, given what I feel was a decline of the show’s quality after the late 1990s. It was a surprisingly candid and informative panel, punctuated by the idea of CBC cutting Air Farce’s already-low budget. Air Farce’s panel might have been better attended had it not occupied the 2:00 PM-3:00 PM ET timeslot.

Given how 19-2, The Amazing Race Canada and Masterchef Canada are all hits for Bell Media, and Degrassi has an agreeable home on MTV Canada, I question why the four shows were bundled into a three-hour morning format, which relatively few people attended. When I can type that about The Amazing Race Canada and Degrassi, that says something. Binge-viewing of Sherlock turned out to be the better draw.

The Sunday Murdoch Mysteries screening and panel, which I didn’t attend as I went to my sister’s twenty-fifth anniversary party, was the clear audience draw of CITF 2013. Murdoch Mysteries has a loyal fanbase.

I was unimpressed by CITF’s promotion for its first year. Although the Murdoch Mysteries and Spun Out events were well-attended, most of CITF’s events were decided in the last two weeks before the festival, resulting in relatively sparse attendance for a free festival in downtown Toronto. The events themselves ran smoothly.

While I still think CITF cuts it relatively close with its promotion, 2013 felt like it was booked on the fly, which it might have been. Corner Gas is a main attraction this year; CITF can no longer afford to be sloppy.


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October 31, 2014

TV News | CITF announces Corner Gas, Blackstone, Strange Empire, other events for 2014 festival

On Friday, October 31, 2014, the Canadian International Television Festival announced several new planned events. The second annual CITF runs from November 14 to 23, 2014; unless otherwise mentioned, events take place at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Ontario.

No set schedule currently exists for these events, apart from The Book of Negroes’ screening and panel session on November 18, 2014. More information, as well as ticket availability, will emerge on November 4, 2014.

Binge-Watching
Unité 9 (Radio-Canada; French-language)
Vikings (History)

Heritage Screening and Panel
“Cameras on the Hill and in the Halls: Canada’s Governments on Television”: panelists TBA
The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour (CBC, 1970-71): Hart Pomerantz; other panelists TBA

Preview and Panel
Corner Gas (CTV) tenth anniversary reunion and preview of Corner Gas: The Movie; panelists TBA

Screening and Panel
Blackstone (APTN): Ron E. Scott
The Book of Negroes (CBC): Cuba Gooding Jr., Aunjanue Ellis, Lyriq Bent, Allan Hawco, Louis Gossett Jr., Clement Virgo, Damon D’Oliveira, Lawrence Hill [previously announced]
Strange Empire (CBC): Laurie Finstad-Knizhnik [WGC Writers Talking Television event]

Script Read and Panel
Carmilla (online show produced by Smokebomb Entertainment/shift2/U By Kotex®)

Also announced is a CBC ComedyCoup spotlight, and a Bill Brioux screening of lost and historic TV programs.

Tickets to all events are free, and are available starting November 5, 2014, through eventbrite.ca. Visit citf14.tv for more details.

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October 27, 2014

Social Media | Strange Empire 1.4 Live-Tweet

I’ll be honest. Strange Empire is the hardest show for me to live-tweet this fall. The show was promoted by CBC as a female-oriented Western, which it is, yet the show is more about business establishment and corruption than anything else. I’m still not sure about Strange Empire’s pacing or dialogue.

Strange Empire doesn’t have Durham County’s sense of storytelling economy, which isn’t surprising when comparing a six-episode season to a thirteen-episode one. I like Laurie Finstad-Knizhnik, yet I wonder if Strange Empire’s ambition exceeds its reach. If viewers want a female version of Young Guns, this show isn’t it.


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October 23, 2014

TV News | CITF announces The Book of Negroes North American premiere for 2014 festival

The Canadian International Television Festival quietly announced (as in, first mentioned on Twitter) the North American premiere of CBC/BET event mini-series The Book of Negroes on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, following TBoN’s world premiere at MIPCOM in Cannes, France. Announced attendees include actors Cuba Gooding Jr., Aunjanue Ellis, Lyriq Bent, Allan Hawco, and Louis Gossett Jr., director Clement Virgo, executive producer Damon D’Oliveira, and The Book of Negroes author Lawrence Hill. A panel discussion with aforementioned TBoN talents follows the screening.

The second Canadian International Television Festival runs from November 14 to 23, 2014, in a format change from the initial three-day festival. Although there is no mention of where The Book of Negroes screens, based on last year’s events and this press release, The Book of Negroes’ premiere likely screens at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Ticket information follows in the weeks leading up to CITF.

Shows previously screened at CITF before their Canadian television debuts include Bravo’s English adaptation of 19-2, and CTV sitcom Spun Out. This is the first CBC show to screen at the Canadian International Television Festival before its debut, although the 19-2 premiere was a reworked version of the original CBC pilot.


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