New shows and original films include:
Just For Laughs: Funny as Hell (working title), which is essentially the Just For Laughs gala with digital shorts bunged onto the side. On the plus side, Jon Dore’s the host, so his wraparound segments might actually be entertaining.
The Yard, a Whizbang Films series sold as The Sopranos on the playground. I assume this is an adult-oriented series, considering Michael Mabbott’s pedigree and the fact that it comes from the production company behind Cra$h & Burn. I’m cautiously optimistic about this one.
Sleepyhead and Scaredycat, two feature-length Canada/UK co-productions. The films are adaptations of Mark Billingham’s first two Tom Thorne detective novels.
Call Me Fitz is set to debut September 2010. All other new shows will debut sometime in 2011. All returning shows will air their new seasons in 2011. No word on whether the shows will air on TMN/MC or HBO Canada.
The only new all-Canadian show in TMN/MC’s 2010-11 production slate is The Yard. Why isn’t Skins set in a Canadian city, anyway? Are Canadian teens all that different from American teens? Also, why Just For Laughs? Does Canada need to see abbreviated versions of well-known standup acts that badly?
At the same time, I like TMN/MC. The premium-cable duopoly helps, but The Movie Network and Movie Central have launched a number of successful shows over the years – ReGenesis, Durham County, Living in Your Car, The Outer Limits (1995), Slings and Arrows and Sanctuary. That’s not a bad legacy.
I like the 2010-11 production schedule – there are four new shows for 2010-11, a few returning shows, and no obvious burnoffs. Add in some returning shows, including Durham County, and that’s as stable as television gets in Canada.
That said, I hope The Yard is as good as its premise will allow it to be. The idea sounds fun, and more in keeping with how kids actually act. Hell, Disney’s Recess is just kids reacting to totalitarianism. How far off the mark could The Yard be?