July 16, 2011

Interview | Kenny Hotz, Kenny Hotz’s Triumph of the Will

This is another first for URBMN: YOUTUBE!  Granted, this is due to Posterous not liking big MP3 files, but what can you do.  Kenny Hotz’s Triumph of the Will debuts Friday, July 22, 2011 at 10:00 PM ET, on Action.  I think I like my interviewing skills in this piece even less than the Yannick Bisson interview.


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May 7, 2011

News: Almost Heroes, Single White Spenny to debut June 2, 2011 on Showcase

Almost Heroes and Single White Spenny will debut June 2, 2011 on Showcase, kicking off a Thursday night comedy lineup.  Almost Heroes will air at 9:00 PM ET/PT, followed by Single White Spenny at 9:30 PM ET/PT.  The two shows will be twinned with Curb Your Enthusiasm and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

More on the Single White Heroes

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January 30, 2011

News: Pure Pwnage cancelled by Showcase

I am late to this news, as I haven’t seen mention of it at TV, Eh? or other Canadian television sites, but Pure Pwnage has been officially cancelled by Showcase.  Pure Pwnage co-creator/pwnerer Jarett Cale first broke the news with this January 19, 2011 posting.  On January 25, the Showcase Facebook wall confirmed the show’s cancellation.

Reasons given by Cale for the show’s cancellation include “poorer-than-expected ratings, a new direction for [Showcase]…and poorer-than-expected web traffic.”  Pure Pwnage‘s web series is also on hold, perhaps indefinitely.

The most interesting thing about Cale’s post is the announcement of a Pure Pwnage first-TV-season DVD set, due March 2011.  Unfortunately, the set is for Australia, on the ABC DVD label.  It will contain the as-aired shows, as well as supplemental web material.

The Pure Pwnage fans are fairly active in defending the TV show.  There are pro-Pwnage, anti-everything-else ravings on the Showcase Facebook wall, which is to be expected for any cancelled show with a vocal fanbase.  More encouragingly, the fans are actively campaigning for the show to find a new network.

The most logical prospective network for Pure Pwnage is G4 Canada, which hardly produces anything aside from Reviews on the Run and EP Daily.  Pure Pwnage is most likely dead, in both television and webseries forms.  Then again, Kenny vs. Spenny moved from CBC to Showcase.  Paradise Falls managed to drag on until 2008.  Carla Collins still manages to find work.  Hardly anything works the way it should in Canadian television.

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January 29, 2011

News: Testees complete series DVD to come out in 2011

Testees, Kenny Hotz and Derek Harvie’s 2008 Showcase/FX sitcom, has earned a two-disc series set in 2011, through Entertainment One Home Video.  The show stars Jeff Kassel and Steve Markle as Ron and Peter, two human guinea pigs testing products for TESTICO.

Kenny Hotz is long-tenured guinea pig Larry, while Joe Pingue carves a niche as obnoxious schemer Nugget.  Kim Schraner appears as bar owner Kate…at least until she’s written off midseason, presumably to make room for more Nugget.

Testees fans might remember this URBMN article, which debunked rumours of a Canada-only second season.  FX Productions and Blueprint Entertainment originally produced the series, and Blueprint has since folded into Entertainment One.  I’d consider Testees‘ cancellation official now.

Both TVShowsonDVD.com and eOne Home Video’s site give the release date as April 26, 2011.  Amazon.ca has it as February 22, 2011.  I assume the amazon.ca date is wrong, but hey, the Testees DVD is out.  That’s more than I can say for Less Than Kind right now.


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November 13, 2010

Liveblog | The 25th Annual Gemini Awards

As an experiment this year, I thought I’d liveblog the 25th Annual Gemini Awards.  I livetweeted the 24th Gemini Awards Broadcast Gala last year.  I’m one of the few Canadians to give a flying poop about this sort of thing.  It’s an illness.  I need a woman.  Barring that, I need an excuse to give a flying fig about the Toronto Maple Laughs.

What I’m really looking forward to tonight is Ed the Sock’s This Movie Sucks!, since it promises to be new, but the Geminis make for fun viewing.  The Geminis really are the Bizarro Emmys.  Also, the Broadcast Gala’s 90 minutes long.  Unlike the Emmys, the Geminis don’t fuck around.

I have a personal interest in the Gemini Awards this year, since I’m following two shows in two categories: Pure Pwnage for Best Comedy Program or Series, and Durham County for Best Dramatic Series.

Also, the Broadcast Gala realized it can’t subsist on a diet of Mike Reno and Theo Tams, so this year features Elvis Costello, Feist and some off-key hobo.  Cory Monteith is the host.  Monteith promises to be funnier than Ron James, and Cory Monteith isn’t a comedian.

Granted, the Gemini Awards won’t be cool this year.  The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television would have to stop giving out 100 awards a year for that to happen.  At least I’m not liveblogging the Genie Awards.  That’s the real dead zone when it comes to Canadian awards shows.

Click Here for the Liveblogging – begins 8:00 PM EST

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August 19, 2010

News: Debuts for Lost Girl, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil will debut on SPACE Wednesday, September 29, 2010.  The first two half-hour episodes will air back-to-back, from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM ET.  The show stars Dark Oracle‘s Alex House as the title character.  Maggie Castle, Bill Turnbull, Melanie Leishman, Chris Leavins and Jason Mewes also star in the series.

SPACE is pimping Todd and the Book of Pure Evil rather heavily, with a Todd-centric InnerSPACE special airing September 22, 2010 at 9:00 PM.  The show will also be previewed at FanExpo Canada on August 28, 2010, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

As for Lost Girl, it debuts on Showcase Sunday, September 12, 2010, at 9:00 PM ET/PT.  The show stars Anna Silk as nascent succubus Bo.  Also appearing are Ksenia Solo as Bo’s best friend Kenzi, Kris Holden-Reid as shapeshifting homicide detective Dyson, and Zoie Palmer as Lauren the human.

A current trend in television is to take monsters and set them against a modern relationship drama or sitcom backdrop – Being Human, Ugly Americans, True Blood, Neighbors from Hell, this.  I’m generalizing a bit, but a lot of shows are embracing and/or subverting horror conventions.

I’m looking forward to Todd and the Book of Pure Evil more than Lost Girl.  Todd and the Book of Pure Evil doesn’t do itself any favours by the “Evil Dead meets The Breakfast Club” self-comparison.  At least the press bumf contains the words “vengeful penis monster.”  I can’t get a bead on what this show will be like.

As for Lost Girl, I’m on the fence with this series.  It uses the basic “human-like cryptid learns of her secret past” plot.  I’ve also obtained two scripts from the series.  Nothing stands out for me.  Lost Girl takes itself so damned seriously for a show about faeries.

I don’t want Lost Girl to be Troma-level dumb, but Todd and the Book of Pure Evil might be the smarter proposition here.  I never thought I’d say that about a show starring a slacker and his magic evil book, but there we are.

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July 12, 2010

News: Canwest to debut new shows and pilots for 2010-11, 2011-12 seasons

Etan Vlessing pretty much spilled the beans on June 29, but Canwest recently announced its 2010-11 production slate.  The newly announced shows are as follows:

Blackstone (January 28, 2011)
Combat Hospital (2011-12)
Kenny Hotz’s Triumph of the Will* (Spring/Summer 2011)
King (Spring 2011)
Single White Spenny (Spring/Summer 2011)
Untitled Belleville Brothers Project* (Spring/Summer 2011)
XIII (Spring 2011)

Backdoor pilots include:
Befriend & Betray (Spring 2011)
Jack of Diamonds (Spring 2011)
Rave Squad (Spring 2011)

Previously announced programming:
Endgame (Spring 2011)
Lost Girl (Fall 2010)
Shattered (Fall 2010)
The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour (Winter 2011)

*working title

In addition, Rookie Blue has already debuted, while Haven will debut July 12, 2010 on Showcase.  Rookie Blue is a hit, albeit more on Global than on ABC.

Blackstone has already been announced for APTN, but airdates on APTN haven’t been given yet.  I really don’t count Blackstone as a “new” show for Canwest, since Canwest is giving Blackstone a second broadcast window.

I’m curious to know why both Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice have new shows.  Single White Spenny will be produced by Breakthrough Films & Television.  Howard Busgang has been mentioned in relation to the series.

Both John Morayniss and Kenny Hotz will executive-produce the new Hotz series for E1 Entertainment.  The show may or may not be called Prize or Punishment.  Spenny’s trying to be Larry David, while Hotz is being his usual tasteless self.  Sounds about right.

Based on Canwest’s 2010-11 slate, I get the feeling most of the shows will be offloaded to Showcase.  Showcase wants to be a mainstream drama channel now, so it’s beefing up its drama holdings.  I don’t know why Combat Hospital is even on this list, as it won’t debut for another year.

I think Showcase is treated better than Global.  It sure gets the lion’s share of Canwest’s homegrown drama content.  That doesn’t surprise me.  Cable rot is turning Showcase into a haven for reruns of the XIII miniseries and Beyond Loch Ness, but Showcase is launching more original series than ever.  It’s a strange dichotomy.  I wonder why Showcase hasn’t launched a Loch Ness series yet.

Addendum (July 12, 2010) | The media release for Blackstone, which has just been released, states that the show will air on both APTN and Showcase come “early 2011.”  No word on whether Blackstone will be simulcast.

Further Addendum (November 29, 2010) | Changes to Shaw Media’s (formerly Canwest’s) lineup will be underlined.  Info is from Shaw Media publicist Jessica Gold and, in the case of Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice’s shows, showcase.ca.

Untitled Belleville Brothers Project is somehow still Untitled Belleville Brothers Project.  It’s also been known as Masters of the Plazaverse and The Strip.  The name changes are confusing.  I’ll be surprised if the show doesn’t debut as Untitled Belleville Brothers Project.

Further Addendum to the Further Addendum (December 20, 2010) | According to this press release, Blackstone will debut Friday, January 28, 2011 on Showcase…at 11:00 PM ET/PT.  It will not be simulcast with APTN, as if Showcase giving Blackstone a timeslot of death hasn’t made this obvious.  The listing has been updated to reflect this change.

   
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June 2, 2010

Upfronts: Updates on The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour, Testees and Pure Pwnage

Not much to report on Day Two of Canwest’s upfronts, except that I talked briefly to Natasha Dunkley at the video presentation and pilot screenings.  Dunkley is the publicity coordinator for Canwest’s dramatic channels, which includes Showcase.

According to her, The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour will air in the winter of 2011, with no date yet specified.  This pretty much confirms what Metro Halifax reported on May 28.

As for whether Testees or Pure Pwnage will get second seasons, that’s apparently up to the production teams to decide.  Testees fans will have longer to wait for a second season, almost a year after FX’s John Landgraf stated that the show would continue airing in Canada.

It’s tough to speculate on Testees.  Either the show is dead, or it’s the male comedic version of Paradise Falls.  Both scenarios are possible in Canadian television.  The industry is funnier than Derek Edwards.

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