February 22, 2014

Canadian Screen Week 2014 | FanZone Confirmed Stars (February 22-23, 2014)

As part of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television‘s festivities for Canadian Screen Week, ACCT’s second annual FanZone will be held at Toronto, Ontario’s Eaton Centre, from 11 AM ET to 1 PM ET. Among the confirmed personalities for FanZone – so far, all from Canadian television:

Amazing Race Canada: Jon Montgomery
Big Brother Canada: Peter Brown, Gary Levy
Cracked: David Sutcliffe
Heartland: Amber Marshall
Rookie Blue: Missy Peregrym
Seed: Carrie-Lynn Neales, Adam Korson
Spun Out: Dave Foley

FanZone is a free event, leading up to the second annual Canadian Screen Awards broadcast gala on Sunday, March 9, 2014, at Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Entry for FanZone is not guaranteed, and ACCT does not accept advance reservations. This is strictly a photo event; autograph hounds will have to look elsewhere – maybe hit up whoever decides to attend the 2014 Toronto Comicon, for instance. Christian Potenza and Terry McGurrin are Canadian television personalities, too.

FanZone’s full lineup will be officially announced by ACCT on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. Until then, check the ACCT’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts, as well as the #CdnScreen14 and #FanZone tags on Twitter.

This article will be updated on Sunday, February 23, 2014, in the event more personalities are announced ahead of FanZone’s full lineup.

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November 13, 2013

News: November 13, 2013 Canadian Television Press Release Potrzebie

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News: November 12, 2013 Canadian Television Press Release Potrzebie

I used to link to press releases on Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, and Facebook.  As an experiment – and since my attempts at non-Twitter-based social media come up croppers – URBMN will publish roundups of Canadian television press releases.  People like it when you regularly update a site.

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November 8, 2013

News: Canadian International Television Festival announces inaugural schedule

Barring any last-minute changes, I plan to attend the inaugural Canadian International Television Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The festival runs from November 15-17, 2013; the public portion of the festival runs from November 16-17, 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.

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August 14, 2013

Here We Go Again | State of the URBMN Address 2013

Filed under: URBMN 2008-,URBMN Mediamedia — Tags: , , , , , — Cameron Archer @ 10:31 pm
I know.  It’s another boring state-of-my-site address.  This year, I’ll cut the shit.  I don’t have the interest in Canadian television that I did in 2008-11.  I don’t think the Canadian television industry will ever get any better, especially not in the wake of the Bell-Astral deal.  Given that Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and other online outlets recently entered the mainstream content fray, there’s no longer a reason to prop up the “traditional” television business model.  In my opinion, that model is dying by leng tch’e.

URBMN will eventually become Gloryosky, or whatever I decide to call a revamped version of this site, as it transitions into generalist entertainment (yeah, I know, where have you heard that before?)  I won’t leave Canadian television altogether, but there’s no reason to cover a beat I haven’t trusted for at least three years.  My interests have changed.  So must I.

The 2013 Canadian television upfronts – at least, the two I was invited to this year – have let me know that in the face of changing viewer tastes, Bell Media, Shaw Media and Rogers Media will continue to do nothing beyond buying American shows, and marginalizing their Canadian content.  The kicker, for me, was attempting (and failing) to obtain a reason why Shaw Media wouldn’t let me attend its 2013 upfront, after I attended it from 2010-12.  I don’t complain about the exclusion; I complain about receiving no answer to questions about the exclusion.  As it turned out, Shaw Media’s big announcement was DTOUR, so I missed nothing.

Shaw Media sent me a screener disc, which is useless to me.  I don’t normally review prime-time American network shows, nor am I interested in prime-time American network programming.  I am interested in FOX’s Animation Domination High-Def, as that’s a concerted effort to reach out to an audience that doesn’t watch network television.  If I post more stuff for URBMN/Gloryosky, I won’t beat myself up looking for obscure new Canadian shows to review and/or promote.  Canadian television didn’t promote me much when URBMN was active, and I realize it’s not designed to.

The last thing I posted for URBMN was on August 28, 2012, about a crowdfunding initiative I had to abandon, when it was apparent I wouldn’t earn even $50 of the $500 I asked for.  Don’t look for the crowdfunding post; it was on the front page months after I suspended the IndieGoGo campaign, and I feel no need to draw attention to it.  While I’ve published stuff outside of URBMN since August 2012, not only do I not like the direction the Canadian television industry is going, I don’t like the direction I’m going – bitter, defeated, depressed.  It comes from living in a rural area.  I don’t live in Stirling, Ontario by choice.

I have patient supporters in Paul Corupe, Diane Wild, David Kinahan, Mike Valiquette, Marc Weisblott, the good folks at Gravedigger’s Local 16, and anyone who’s a fan of me in social media.  If I’ve snubbed anyone, I apologize.

I also apologize for the long periods of inactivity, with regards to this site.  I’ll post more content for URBMN/Gloryosky in the next twelve months.  Most likely, this will involve a serious rethink of what I post on URBMN/Gloryosky, and/or the retirement of the sweetposer.com domain.  I want my next few years of writing to be happy ones, and I’m not going to accomplish that trying to understand the Byzantine, inner workings of the Canadian television scene.  I realize this is one year to the date of my last “hey, I’m not dead” post, but better this than feeling miserable all the time.

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August 14, 2012

URBMN 2012: An Update

Filed under: URBMN 2008- — Tags: , , , , — Cameron Archer @ 8:20 pm
You’ve doubtless noticed how I haven’t updated URBMN this year, more than seven months in.  In fact, I updated URBMN once after September 6, 2011.  That’s not right!

In the meantime, I’ve written for Canadian Screenwriter, TV, Eh?, and Canuxploitation (okay, Canuxploitation’s blog section, but that’s just splitting hairs.)  URBMN was always in the back of my mind, but the real reason I needed to update this site is simple: you can’t be invited to industry functions as media, if your site hasn’t been updated.  This makes me read like a selfish asshole, but it’s the truth.  It’s awkward at best when I represent other people.

After spending quite a few months writing for other people, and using Google+ as my sounding post for industry bunkum, I find my current strategy just doesn’t work.  At heart, I want to work in the television industry, not observe from the sidelines.  No one respects you from the sidelines.  Working in television is a dream I’ve had since I was a child, in the late 1980s.

Unfortunately, my last post was pretty much a “fuck you” to the Canadian television industry.  Fry that up with a can of hash.  You don’t want to read my complaints.  I don’t want to read my complaints.  Things won’t be what they were at URBMN…for however long the site’s name stays URBMN, anyway.

I’m still not sure what URBMN (or its successor site, if/when that becomes a reality) will be in the future.  It’s amazing that this site is still active in 2012, given that it started life as a metal music review site/proto-blog called Unbelievably Retarded.  Why I’ve wasted a whole decade on this thing, is a question I don’t want to answer.  I turned the comments off for this post, anyway.  Let’s not speculate.

All I can say is, expect changes.  I can’t give a specific date or direction – yet.  URBMN’s still here, and I haven’t forgotten about it entirely.  For some reason, sweetposer.com still gets around 50,000 visits a month.  I might as well give you readers a reason to care about what I do, again.

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December 15, 2011

State of the URBMN Address: 2012

Filed under: URBMN 2008- — Tags: , , , , — Cameron Archer @ 8:20 pm
This is the first post I’ve written for URBMN in the past few months.  I haven’t “retired,” inasmuch as anyone retires from a self-written blog.  I’ve written a W File for Canadian Screenwriter, and a couple of pieces for Canadian Animation Resources.  Sadly, this is one of those State of the URBMN Addresses I don’t like to write.

The reason I haven’t written for URBMN in months is simple: I don’t like what I’m covering anymore.  In fact, I actively hate Canadian television right now.  Despite there being little difference between leading competitors Shaw Media, Rogers Media and Bell Media in programming strategies – heavy American prime-time influence, only as much original content as is mandated by the CRTC, reruns of said original content – the three organizations feel the need to brag about the things they’re tops in.

CTV, for instance, brags about its strong lineup and #1 status.  Citytv, for whatever reason, feels the need to mention that it’s growing faster than CTV.  Keep in mind, CTV and Citytv’s parents bought a controlling interest in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment last week.  That’s like the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom fighting each other, then teaming up for no reason.  At least Sun News Network is consistently against the CBC.

It’s bad enough when CTV and Global pull the “duelling media releases” schtick.  Every program service and network in Canada has the right to trumpet a victory, but the prevailing strategy for everyone besides CBC, educational stations and APTN is “load up on American shows and pit them against each other.”  That’s been the prevailing strategy for decades.  Small players, like GlassBOX Television, Stornoway Communications and Channel Zero, fight for scraps.

I understand how expensive and risky mounting a television show – even the cheapest, tawdriest, voyeuristic reality show possible – is, but cry me a river.  It’s expensive and risky anywhere.  The Canadian shows that do make it onto Canadian television are relatively few and far between, and come across as afterthoughts, unless they prove themselves in the BBM Canada ratings and/or America.

I genuinely don’t understand why, say, The Comedy Network will program Picnicface at least four times a week.  Shaw Media has a long-standing habit, inherited from the Canwest days, of airing a show across multiple cable channels.  Corus airs recent animated, direct-to-DVD films like Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow on Teletoon and Teletoon Retro.

Those aren’t programming strategies.  They’re financial strategies.  They’re things companies do when they want to save as much money as possible, never mind what their viewers pay for.  I’m not entitled to anything when it comes to entertainment, yet it’s easy to spot when a channel is growing complacent.

Most of my time these past three months has been spent on Google+.  Each week, I see at least three press releases that kill my faith that Canadian television is improving.  Whether it’s Bell Media’s habit of slotting shows to meet CanCon requirements, MTV Creeps, or bouts of collusion between two or more media giants, I find something new to hate about the Canadian television industry every day.

To that end, URBMN will revert to its original purpose – as a weirdly-named, generalist blog – starting January 1, 2012.  I’ll still talk about Canadian television at times, but this site’s been semi-active for almost a year.  I don’t know what I’m going to do in the near future, but I’m not enjoying what I do right now, and it shows in my writing.  Everyone who reads me deserves better.  Stay tuned.

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