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)


August 25, 2014

Article | Thoughts on Adam Hines’ Canadaland appearance

Some thoughts on the Canadaland podcast with Adam Hines. Hines is one half of the now-defunct Guys With Pencils podcast, which he records with Andrew Murray. I realize this article is two weeks late, yet it’s still not as late as Teletoon’s 2014-15 fall schedule announcement. Just sayin’.

In the intro to this Canadaland episode, Jesse Brown mentions John Kricfalusi, Norman McLaren, and NFB shorts. Brown ignores Danny Antonucci, whose Cartoon Network show Ed, Edd n Eddy was spearheaded by Antonucci’s a.k.a. Cartoon in Vancouver, and commissioned by Cartoon Network. Granted, Brown admits he doesn’t know much about how the commercial animation business works, but it’s odd to ignore the rare Canadian-made television show commissioned by an American channel – the normal procedure for American television is to acquire a Canadian show through the production company (see: DHX Media’s Supernoobs). Ed, Edd n Eddy managed sixty-nine episodes and the Ed, Edd n Eddy’s Big Picture Show television film. Ed, Edd n Eddy is also the last major North American animated television series to switch from cel animation to digital ink-and-paint.

Ed, Edd n Eddy was the last of what Cartoon Network terms the Cartoon Cartoons when it ended in 2009. Unfortunately, as Ed, Edd n Eddy was commissioned by an American channel, the show isn’t considered Canadian by the Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office. It’s a strange quirk of the Canadian television business. Had the show gone through the usual Canadian channels (YTV, Family Channel, Teletoon), the show would have triggered fund money, but it’s hard to say whether Ed, Edd n Eddy would have earned the creative control Cartoon Network gave it. Hell, it was a risk to give Antonucci a children’s show after a.k.a. Cartoon made The Brothers Grunt for MTV in 1994; those who have seen The Brothers Grunt know what I’m talking about.

When people mention “shitty Flash cartoons,” they refer to vector-based animation that is reliant on computer-based inbetweening, which Hines explains to Brown. Canadian broadcasters greenlight a lot of these type cartoons – Total Drama, Numb Chucks, Rocket Monkeys, etc. A reason these shows exist is to increase the available amount of content in a company’s catalog. Corus and DHX Media own cable properties (Corus with Teletoon, Treehouse and YTV; DHX Media with Family Channel), which gives them an edge over independent Canadian animation companies. Corus also owns animation studio Nelvana and animation software company Toon Boom, while DHX Media owns what used to be Studio B Productions.

If there’s a current need to knock out five times the amount of content compared to Warner Bros. Animation/Warner Animation Group (a company Hines mentions in the podcast), it’s because Time Warner owns the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies and MGM cartoon libraries, the Hanna-Barbera and select Ruby-Spears assets, Cartoon Network, and the library of animated series/films based on DC Entertainment properties. The legwork for what is currently Time Warner began in 1967, when Kinney National Services bought National Periodical Publications (i.e., DC Comics); Warner Bros./Seven Arts joined the conglomerate in 1969. Even then, Kinney’s objective was to diversify beyond parking lots, funeral homes, cleaning firms, and wood flooring. Amassing a content library was nowhere near as important as it is now.

Nelvana’s animation catalog only dates back to the early 1970s. DHX Media has a large animation catalog due to the company being a series of mergers and acquisitions; 9 Story Entertainment is in the process of building its own sizable catalog. It doesn’t matter about a show’s quality so much as if the reruns can still sell. Canadian television animation is a producer’s market; Corus and DHX Media are shrewd enough to have vertically integrated models, while everyone else is in the business to survive.

The question of “why doesn’t Canada have its own Adventure Time?” is a cheat. Adventure Time began as a short on Nicktoons Network; two pitches by show producer Frederator Studios to turn Adventure Time into a Nicktoons series were rejected. It took a commitment by Cartoon Network, and a major retool on Pendleton Ward’s part, for the show to become what it currently is. It’s hard for America to build its own Adventure Time, never mind Canada. That’s not to say Canadian companies can’t make their own Adventure Time. Bite on Mondo is a start. Blue Ant Media wants to build Bite into a legitimate competitor to Bell Media’s Comedy Network, while affiliating itself with an American company it might want to acquire a few years down the road. In today’s corporate culture, BoM is as shrewd a business decision as any.

A weird thing about this episode of Canadaland is that it doesn’t mention Guys With Pencils’ recent decision to shut down its podcast. I’m not sure if the interviews are banked beforehand, and if they are, for how long. I just find it an odd thing to omit. To be fair, I’m surprised Canadaland even talks about Canadian animation, or else this article wouldn’t exist.

Also, The Raccoons is not the apex of anything.


May 7, 2014

Article | 2014 CanCon Summer Season Schedule

As a break from Gloryosky’s new “strategy” of posting press releases, here is a list of new and/or returning primetime Canadian series and specials that will air during summer 2014. Also included are cable shows earning a second window on conventional broadcast and/or mainstream cable television.

Update (May 23, 2014): Remedy is a conventional broadcast show making its cable debut; it was mentioned in this tweet from @ShawMediaBuzz, so I mention it here.

This list will be updated as I find out more information. If I miss any shows, and/or screw up on dates/times, please e-mail Gloryosky, comment on this article, and/or tweet Gloryosky.

CBC Short Film Face Off: fourth national annual competition premieres Saturday, August 30; 7:00 PM ET/PT; 8:00 PM AT; 8:30 PM NL

19-2: debuts Thursday, June 5; 10:00 PM ET/PT (original home: Bravo)
2014 MuchMusic Video Awards: twenty-fifth annual awards ceremony airs Sunday, June 15; 9:00 PM ET/PT (simulcast with MuchMusic)
The Amazing Race Canada: second season premieres Tuesday, July 8; 9:00 PM ET/PT (CTV original)
Bitten: debut TBA (original home: SPACE)
The Listener: fifth season premieres Monday, May 26; 9:00 PM ET/PT (CTV original)
Orphan Black: second season premiere TBA (original home: SPACE)

Rookie Blue: fifth season premieres Monday, May 19; 10:00 PM ET/PT; moves to Wednesday at 10:00 PM ET/PT starting July 2 (Global original)

2014 MuchMusic Video Awards: twenty-fifth annual awards ceremony airs Sunday, June 15; 9:00 PM ET/PT (simulcast with CTV)

W Network
Shannon & Sophie: debuts Tuesday, May 20; 10:00 PM ET/PT (W Network original; two-episode premiere)

Cook’d: debuts Tuesday, May 20; 7:00 PM ET/PT (YTV original)

CMT Canada
Mom’s a Medium: debuts Friday, June 20; 9:00 PM ET (CMT Canada original)

Skye and Chang (pilot): primetime debut Tuesday, May 20; 9:30 PM ET/8:30 PM PT; pilot first aired April 26 at 4:00 PM ET/MT/CT (APTN original)

Never Ever Do This at Home: second season premieres Monday, May 12; 9:00 PM ET/PT (Discovery original)

Canada in Perspective: third season premieres Sunday, May 25; 6:30 PM ET/PT (AMI-tv original)

The Day My Butt Went Psycho: debuts Thursday, June 12; 6:30 PM ET/PT (Teletoon original; co-production between Nelvana and Studio Moshi)

Vikings: second season premieres Thursday, June 19; time TBD (original home: History)
Remedy: debuts Tuesday, June 3; time TBD (original home: Global)

HGTV Canada
Buy It! Fix It! Sell It!: debuts Friday, May 23; 10:00 PM ET (HGTV original)


December 20, 2010

News: Fugget About It graduates from the Teletoon Pilot Project

Fugget About It is the first show greenlit under the auspices of the Teletoon Pilot Project.  As per the press release, Fugget About It will be showrun by Jeff Abugov, writer and/or producer for shows like Two and a Half Men, Grace Under Fire, Roseanne, Caroline in the City and That’s So Raven.  Fugget About It is scheduled to debut for the Fall 2012-13 season.

Fugget About It is focused on teenaged nobody Petey Falcone.  His father Jimmy was once the head of a large crime syndicate, but Jimmy just couldn’t whack his Uncle Cheech.  The Falcones are now in witness protection, living in Regina, Saskatchewan as the MacDougalls.

I still don’t understand this choice, even after a few hours.  I get that 9 Story Entertainment has a prior relationship with Corus Entertainment, having made the upcoming Almost Naked Animals for YTV.  Teletoon aired another 9 Story property, Best Ed, in 2008.  Does anyone remember Best Ed?  Exactly my point.

Seriously, Teletoon, is this the best you can do?  I thought Angora Napkin, Dunce Bucket, Ninjamaica, Nerdland and Space Knights Go! would be greenlit before Fugget About It.  The show’s premise – Mafiosi in small-city Canada – isn’t unworkable, but I don’t understand what Teletoon sees in it.

I think this is a bad decision by Teletoon.  If Teletoon had greenlit Angora Napkin or Ninjamaica first, I would have been fine with the Teletoon Pilot Project, but Fugget About It?  I already have.


December 1, 2010

Teletoon Pilot Project Time | Space Knights Go!

Space Knights Go! (Teletoon: daCapo Productions/Big Hug Productions/Fatkat Animation, 2009) is one of those rare Teletoon Pilot Project shows directly connected to the man behind the curtain, in this case Loogaroo owner Gene Fowler.  Fowler is a frequent commenter on Canadian Animation Resources.  I’ve even e-mailed Fowler regarding Space Knights Go!‘s development.

Fowler was the owner of Fatkat Animation, a studio that went bankrupt twice in its ten-year history before becoming Loogaroo.  I’m sure Fowler reads URBMN from time to time, or else he wouldn’t have left a comment on an article which has nothing to do with him.

At the same time, I’m reviewing Space Knights Go!, not Fowler’s business practices and online demeanour.  I don’t know what it’s like at Fatkat/Loogaroo.  I’m also sure Fowler can’t resist any sort of publicity, so here’s the review.



November 28, 2010

Teletoon Pilot Project Time | Nerdland

This review of Nerdland (Teletoon: Cuppa Coffee Studios, 2008) is rather late in coming.  I wasn’t sure how to review the show, since Nerdland‘s credited writer is Teletoon’s current director of original content, Alan Gregg.

If Gregg is a front for the animators, Nerdland could at least pay a writer to take credit for the script (see: Angora Napkin.)  To be fair, Gregg was at Brown Bag Films when Nerdland was in production, but it still gives Nerdland the inside track for a greenlight.

With Nerdland‘s online popularity and Cuppa Coffee’s track record, a series greenlight might very well happen.  That’s a shame, as the pilot sucks.

More Nerd(land)iness


Teletoon Pilot Project Time | Drop Dead Gorgeous

This might destroy URBMN’s flimsy ties to objectivity, but I was not looking forward to Drop Dead Gorgeous (Teletoon: CINEMARIA, 2009.)  Mike Valiquette’s review of the show is negative.  When the Teletoon Pilot Project was in its web phase, DDG was just hated by Detour viewers, even more than the puppet-based antics of Les Sansfil/The Wireless Family.

All I have to say is, wow.  Drop Dead Gorgeous is worse than I expected it would be.  I’m not offended by its cheap stereotypes and unfunny humour, per se.  I’m just confused by it.  I can’t pinpoint DDG‘s intentions, other than “is this edgy enough, Teletoon?  Is this edgy enough?  Lesbians, wheee!



November 10, 2010

Teletoon Pilot Project Time | Ninjamaica

Teletoon’s edging close to the lesser parts of its Pilot Project, now that Ninjamaica (Teletoon: Lenz Entertainment, 2008) has aired.  After this, there’s Celebutard Nation, Nerdland, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Chinatown Cops and Space Knights.  I’m looking forward to none of those pilots.

Granted, I wasn’t looking forward to Ninjamaica until I saw parts of it on YouTube a few months ago.  Ninjamaica isn’t perfect, but I don’t hate it.  If I’m to choose between Angora Napkin and Ninjamaica, I have to take AN, but Ninjamaica has some good qualities.  I honestly never thought I’d say that about a show reliant on a portmanteau.

What the Bumba? More After the Jump

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