- Blue Ant Media launches its version of The Smithsonian Channel on November 13, 2013, with a requisite promotional stunt. The Smithsonian Channel was formerly Equator HD/eqhd, one of the four High Fidelity HDTV channels subsumed by Blue Ant Media in 2012.
- Gerry Dee tweets about his CBC New Year’s Eve standup special, which tapes Friday, November 15, 2013 at Ottawa’s Centrepoint Theatre. There are 7:00 PM ET and 10:00 PM ET shows. Tickets are $49.25, including taxes and service charges.
- W Network will air an eight-episode, half-hour reality series from Force Four Entertainment starring Shannon Tweed-Simmons, and her daughter Sophie Tweed-Simmons. This show honestly reads like A&E’s Gene Simmons Family Jewels reformatted for both CanCon, and a female audience. The show shoots in Vancouver, Whistler, and Los Angeles, and debuts on W sometime in 2014. Gene Simmons will make cameos, which is as much a spoiler as “bran is a good source of fibre”.
- Tony Parsons winds up his CBC News Vancouver anchor duties on December 20, 2013, as he announces his retirement. Tony Parsons first anchored for Toronto CTV flagship station CFTO from the late 1960s, to the early 1970s (the Internet is indeterminate on specific years). From 1974-78, he was the west coast correspondent for CTV National News. Parsons is best known for his stint at CHAN (d/b/a BCTV/Global BC) from 1975 to 2009. Most recently, Parsons was both CBC News Vancouver 5:00-6:30 PM PT news anchor (2010-13), and CHEK Victoria 10:00 PM PT news anchor (2010-13). Parsons left CHEK in June 2013.
- The 2013 Digi Awards nominations.
November 13, 2013
- Following a tradition of introducing new items at a late hour, Made in Canada‘s fifteenth-anniversary reunion will be held at the Canadian International Television Festival. The reunion features actors Rick Mercer, Peter Keleghan, Leah Pinsent, Dan Lett and Jackie Torrens, executive producer Gerald Lunz, writers Edward Riche and Mark Farrell, as well as director Henry Sarwer-Foner. The Made in Canada event starts at 6:00 PM, on Saturday, November 16, 2013. As a bonus, here’s some CITF promotion from CP24, on Stephen LeDrew’s Live at Noon.
- Sphère Média Plus, the production company behind both English and French-Canadian versions of 19-2, announces a new business structure. Essentially, SMP will have new corporate affairs, finance, and human resources executives.
- Netflix expands its deal with the National Film Board of Canada. The new titles are documentaries. All NFB titles already on Netflix are renewed, as a result of this deal.
- Sitcom Rink Rats is currently in development with CBC Television.
- Stornoway Communications’ ichannel formally launches Inside Joke as a television series. Inside Joke, a half-hour show, is an extension of ichannel standup comedy series No Kidding, and will air on ichannel starting June 2014. Jeff Leeson is the show’s host.
November 8, 2013
Upcoming Canadian television shows to be showcased at the inaugural CITF include:
- 19-2 (November 16; 10:00 AM-1:00 PM). This is part of a larger panel covering The Amazing Race Canada and Degrassi.
- Bitten (November 16; 10:00-11:00 PM)
- Sensitive Skin (November 16; 4:00-5:00 PM)
- Spun Out (November 16; 8:00-9:00 PM)
The Royal Canadian Air Farce will celebrate its fortieth anniversary on November 16, from 2:00-3:00 PM. Other events include binge viewing of Sherlock‘s (November 16; 10:00 AM-3:00 PM) and Orphan Black‘s (November 16; 6:00 PM-11:00 PM) first seasons, a bravoFACT short film showcase (November 16; 4:00-5:00 PM), a Bill Brioux discussion on NBC’s fall 1966 preview reel (November 17, 1:00-2:00 PM), and an advance screening/Q&A session based around Murdoch Mysteries (November 17, 4:00-6:00 PM). The festival closes with the Canadian debut of Sky Arts’ 2012 four-part limited series, A Young Doctor’s Notebook (November 17, 7:00-9:00 PM).
Tickets for the festival are free. There is a $1.00 surcharge per ticket, for advance online orders. The Canadian International Television Festival revealed its finalized lineup on November 7, 2013.
I recently wrote an article for TV, Eh? about the Canadian International Television Festival. To be fair, I wrote the article before plans were finalized for the CITF. Now that the CITF has a definite form, I’m glad to see the festival on track for next week.
While I can’t claim that the CITF’s overall promotion is ideal, with the majority of the news announced after October 29, 2013, it is a free festival promoting Canadian programming. If the CITF creates positive word-of-mouth for the programs it promotes, then it does its job.
CITF’s website is at citf13.tv.
August 29, 2011
I hope to counteract this state of boredom. Through the magic of flash video sites and recorded media, CBC’s true history is revealed. It’s a history full of failed shows, forgotten culture, ignored culture (CBC has a lot of the third option), and great shows CBC did nothing with. It’s the history CBC would rather people forget. CBC wants people to forget.
Here are the first thirteen entries in my ongoing effort to provide a better overview of CBC’s 75th anniversary than an episode of Hangin’ In followed by an episode of The Beachcombers. Newer Google+ compilations will be posted on URBMN every so often. Check the URBMN Google+ page daily for new entries, as URBMN ‘Celebrates’ 75 Years of CBC!
By the way, I am not paid to endorse the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation like this. If I was, I’d mention something about Jian Ghomeshi, then take note of a “hilarious” Ha!ifax Comedy Festival compilation. HFC has a Gemini nomination for Best Comedy Series or Program this year, don’t you know? It won’t win over Living in Your Car or Call Me Fitz, but I’m sure the nomination doesn’t have anything to do with CBC wresting the Gemini telecast from Shaw Media’s clammy hands. I’m not cynical.
August 30, 2011: CBC Late Night opening
August 29, 2011: 1978 CBC promos
August 28, 2011: The CFL on CBC, 1977
August 27, 2011: 1979 CBC promos
August 26, 2011: Flappers
August 25, 2011: What It’s Like Being Alone
August 24, 2011: 1987 CBC promos
August 23, 2011: The Odyssey
August 22, 2011: Town Beat!
August 21, 2011: Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie
August 20, 2011: The S and M Comic Book
August 19, 2011: The Tea Party on Friday Night! with Ralph Benmergui
August 18, 2011: Double Up
August 24, 2010
Fancy is about children’s show host Maureen Fancy (Kate Hewlett.) Fancy is cheery on-set, and miserable away from the camera. Playback and Hollywood Reporter scribe Etan Vlessing also mentions Patrick McKenna and Jana Peck as part of the cast.
Pfahl co-founded Gang of 2 with Angus Fraser. Pfahl and Fraser recently produced The Cult, a pilot which aired on CBC earlier in 2010.
While Fancy‘s premise isn’t original, I think the idea could sustain a series. CBC Television has shied away from dark comedies as of late, given CBC’s shift to lighter dramas and reality shows.
100 Things Every Man Should Know and Floorwalker are still in development with CBC. A third CBC/Gang of 2 project, After, is no longer being developed.
I’d like to see at least one Gang of 2 product get past CBC Television’s pilot stage. I’m not one to complain about CBC’s existence, but why does CBC keep rejecting shows I might be interested in? There’s something scary about HBO Canada, APTN and Showcase being the vanguards of edgier comedy in this country.
July 28, 2010
Mike MacDonald: A Comic Stripped covers MacDonald’s three CBC/Showtime standup comedy specials, On Target, My House! My Rules!, and Happy As I Can Be. Extras include a commentary track and Mike MacDonald performing air guitar.
Mike MacDonald is the star of the 1989-91 CBC series Mosquito Lake, though he can hardly be blamed for that show being an epic comedy abortion. More importantly, he’s the voice of Rip Friend in the Teletoon/Fox Kids cartoon Ripping Friends (2001-02.)
MacDonald is one of Canada’s great standup comics, and it’s too bad he hasn’t become bigger than he is. How CBC goes from Mike MacDonald and The Kids in the Hall to Ron James and The Ron James Show, I’ll never know. At least one of Mike MacDonald’s old films is out on DVD, even if it is Loose Screws.
Here’s Mike MacDonald from the 1987 Just For Laughs Festival. You may remember 1987 as the year Eddie Windsor spent a few minutes desperately trying to wring laughs from a dog and a hoop.
Ten years later, Eddie Windsor was featured on The Worst of Just For Laughs. WoJFL aired just after The Just For Laughs 15th Anniversary Special. Guess who hosted The Just For Laughs 15th Anniversary Special?
Yeah, Kevin Bacon! You sons of bitches.
Tangled is by far the most-searched-for program this month on URBMN. The article promoting Tangled has 13 comments (not including mine) so far. Think about it – thirteen comments for a pilot aired in the dead of summer. I’m usually lucky if one person gives a tinker’s piss about an unsold pilot on CBC, never mind thirteen.
Tangled is the sort of show that fits with CBC’s desired female demographic, yet can also attract a decent male audience. Aside from the budgetary restrictions that can hobble a show like Tangled, I have no idea why CBC would reject this. Foreign references are copious, but The Tudors gets away with worse.
Sarah Wayne Callies is Sally or Chloe – it depends on which part of her life one follows. A sham marriage is planned around Sally/Chloe and Nick Hobbes (Bill Ward.) Hobbes is seen as a rogue freelancer/former CIA golden boy stealing intel from Sally/Chloe’s employer, the North Atlantic Intelligence Agency (NAIA.) NAIA is also trying to nail down main antagonist Oleg Gasparian.
Needless to say, there are the twists and turns common to an espionage show. It’s all familiar stuff, but Tangled at least couches the espionage in proper human drama. As a pilot, Tangled gives viewers a reason to care about Sally/Chloe’s life, convoluted as it is.
Callies is a bit stiff and monotonous as Sally/Chloe, but serviceable enough as a lead. Ward plays Hobbes almost effortlessly. Leslie Hope plays Sally/Chloe’s sister Marlene rather well, understandably miffed that Sally/Chloe has been playing dead for twelve years. Hope doesn’t have a big part in the pilot, but she makes the most of her role.
I’m not exactly fond of the acting in Tangled. The acting is a bit underplayed in general, aside from Ward’s character and a few minor characters I can’t name. At the same time, the balance of action and drama sells Tangled. Had Tangled made series, I’m sure it would have found its own level.
This isn’t the best pilot I’ve seen on CBC in 2010. The Cult ranks highest on my list, for its excellent acting and choice of subject matter. Tangled is still very good, better than the bet-hedging of the concept would suggest. I sincerely hope Shaftesbury Films sells the series to another network or cable channel.
July 26, 2010
John Callahan has had two shows based on his works, both from Nelvana. Pelswick aired from 2000-02. Nickelodeon broadcast the show in the United States, while CBC handled the Canadian airings.
John Callahan’s Quads! is Callahan’s adult show, which first aired on Teletoon and Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service from 2001-02. Quads! is notable as one of the first Flash-animated series to air on television.
I’m admittedly most familiar with Callahan through Pelswick and Quads! He’s infamous for his one-panel cartoons. Callahan was not afraid of offending anyone. This was balanced with blunt honesty about his struggles with alcoholism, even after the 1972 car accident which severed his spinal cord.
Here’s a link to a Cartoon Brew post about Callahan. Said link contains I Think I Was an Alcoholic, a short animated film of Callahan’s from 1993.
Frankly, I Think I Was an Alcoholic captures Callahan’s essence much better than either Pelswick or Quads! Pelswick and Quads! are serviceable shows, yet hardly essential. I also dog Teletoon for reairing Quads! way too much, since the show does not hold up in reruns.