Archive for May 2011
Shaw Media has released their new & renewed CanCon programming and basic cable general programming for 2011-12 and there are some exciting bits and some sad songs to be sung.
king has been renewed for a second season and will premiere sometime in the winter on Showcase. For the little show from Indian Grove that came on in April with an 8 episode order that was up against the massive Sunday night 9pm competition it did remarkably well. The season 1 finale of king is this coming Sunday.
Bomb Girls is a new series from Maureen Jennings, author of Murdoch Mysteries, and was developed with Michael McLennan. It is the story of a group of women working in a munitions factory in Scarborough during World War II. The first series is six episodes and comes from Back Alley and Muse so expect it to be a dark but compelling series. UPDATE : For some reason Adrienne Mitchell, a co-owner of Back Alley Film, is being credited in press releases as the co-creator with Michael McLennan who is also credited as writing the series. If that is accurate then Mr Iden Pierce Ford outright lied to me when he said his wife, Maureen Jennings, created the series and developed it for television with Michael McLennan. I sent Mr Ford a little note on 2 June when i realised this. Let’s wait and see what comes of it.
Titanic is a mini-series that is being developed with itv in the UK and ABC in the USA. The four hour mini-series has been getting a lot of favourable reviews even though it is still in production.
Among the already announced but included again because it looks good are Haven, Lost Girl, rookie blue, and Combat Hospital.
Over on the non-crime drama CanCon can be found the first Canadian contribution to “The Real Housewives” franchise with The Real Housewives Of Vancouver on Slice. Another ConCon conversion on Slice is the reality documentary series Intervention Canada, a series based on the long-running A&E original. On Food Network is the premiere of Recipe To Riches, a cooking reality show that will also be seen Saturdays on Global. Over on History Television comes another season of the fascinating documentary series Trashopolis which explores how some of the largest cities in the world deal with their garbage and how the cities’ garbage management has shaped the cities over the centuries. Also coming to History is the basic cable premiere of the acclaimed mini-series The Pacific.
Over on BBC Canada can be found the North American premiere of the hit show Monroe. Monroe is about a famous neurosurgeon. The first series is 6 episodes and it is a must see.
Shows not renewed at this time (but still could be renewed) include Showcase’s XIII, which is to get encore showings on Showcase Diva, and TVtropolis’ Wipeout Canada. Left off the renewal for September and with that being its 1 year since broadcast mark it is safe to say that Shattered is cancelled. ENDGAME has been cancelled; the news coming from Bill Brioux of Toronto.com from Shaw’s up-front presentation.
Shaw has not released the schedule for Global but the page for their fall preview is live if not complete or linked to. What is available is a list of new shows that will be seen on Global in Canada and shows that previously were seen on another network in Canada that now call Global their home (so don’t look for repeats of them over the summer where they were last season). What is noticeably absent from this is the CanCon. Shaw has been a major player in scripted CanCon and that is not likely to change any time soon but right now that is just a better kept secret than their imports.
Well the 2011 schedule for Citytv is out and there are only a couple of surprises. You can check out the 2011-12 Canadian & American schedule as it gets filled out. Global, and possibly some Showcase, will come out on Tuesday. CTV and A are out on Wednesday. At this time there is no word on when or even if CHCH will have any first run shows to announce. They had Chuck and Smallville last year and Chuck has been renewed so they probably will have something.
Private Practice, which had started on CTV and has moved to A, has been picked up by Citytv. Since A is not available in HD anywhere this is probably to be viewed as a positive move by fans of Addison & Co. On the flip side it means there is more room on A for new programming to be seen in Canada in cropped, down-converted SDTV. O goodie.
Tera Nova, the new show that was supposed to be on some time ago and then was to preview last week and which is now to preview/debut this coming autumn on FOX has been picked up by Citytv. Normally programming of this magnitude and buzz ends up on Citytv. Jason O’Mara stars in this show about a family that travels back in time to play with dinosaurs.
Mid-season shows picked up by Citytv include JJ Abrams’ Alcatraz, The Bitch In Apartment 23, and a little bit of CanCon to keep the bloke at the Huffington Post happy – Canada’s Got Talent. Considering Rogers’ aversion to domestic scripted programming (they had not a single new domestic scripted episode of either a new or continuing series in from September 2010 through May 2011) it is no surprise that they would be the ones to have the Canadian version of “Got Talent”. CTV has/had the rights to America’s Got Talent but i grew out of reality shows about the time that franchise started and i’m too lazy to look up if it is even still on CTV.
Overall Citytv has an interesting although heavily imported schedule. If you like the perks of time-shifting and you like the Citytv line up you will notice that a lot of the shows they will broadcast are not lining up with their US channel’s time-slot thanks to some overlap.
If you haven’t got a set for yourself or are thinking of giving it as a gift then you might want to check out Amazon.COM for a 50%+ sale on the first two seasons of Murdoch Mysteries. The fourth season is already available in the UK and will come to Citytv on 7 June, pending any more reschedulings by the broadcaster.
The author of Murdoch Mysteries has a new show coming to television. Bomb Girls was announced back in April and will be seen on one of the Shaw channels this autumn. It is just a guess but look for Bomb Girls on Showcase.
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Yesterday Brian Cormier of the Huffington Post’s Canadian version wrote the article “Canadian TV Networks Missing the Boat on Reality Television“. He argues that it is cheap, popular, and an easy money-maker. It is relatively inexpensive compared to American scripted programming but Canadian scripted programming doesn’t cost $3M per episode. The first point fails. It is popular among some, mostly the kids to whom the American television industry panders to while receiving scoffing in return. Other than The Amazing Race, Big Brother, Surivior and American Idol reality tv isn’t that popular in Canada. If you want to sample it there are the top 30 shows each week from September 2003 through current data to see just how not popular reality shows are in Canada. Shaw realised that reality competition shows are more of a niche than mainstream in Canada and accordingly premièred Wipeout Canada on TVTropolis and created Global Reality Channel rather than dump such shows on those who want nothing of them. Brian Cormier complains that Canada’s Next Top Model has been relegated to an obscure cable channel. Hello! That would be because not enough people were wanting to watch the crap show with Jay and his highlights. He says that the move to obscurity may be seen as good by some but that he disagrees. Hello!!!! If people won’t watch a show why the fuck should it be on the main broadcast network just because you want it to be so? Why should the majority be subjected to that which they don’t want to watch just because you like it and think there is a market for it. That sounds eerily the same as how the USA television industry functions and look around at just how many of those viewers are forever complaining about how it works and the crap they are subjected to. You can find it anywhere there is mention of reality television. The Canadian market was tested. Canadian Idol was cancelled after 6 seasons for cause. CNTM is on cable because only a few people watch it and those that do fit the demographic of the channel it is on. Canadians grew out of the obsession with reality shit long before American networks ever will.
Brian Cormier calls it a shame that Canadian broadcasters have not stepped up to the plate on the reality tv phenomenon. Brian, i think it a shame that you think it a shame and that as a Canadian television critic you are advocating for more mindless shit to take the place of what precious and once again well-crafted Canadian programming there is. You might as well be calling for the cancellation of Flashpoint, Hiccups, rookie blue, ENDGAME, king, The Borgias, Haven, Republic Of Doyle, Call Me Fitz, The Listener, XIII, Lost Girl, Being Human, and all of the other Canadian shows. Most of those shows do better than Canadian programming used to. This is possibly a new ‘golden era’ of Canadian dramatic programming and you are essentially calling for its mass cancellation to get in more reality crap.
Sure a lot of young people auditioned for the last Canadian Idol in early 2008. You are correct that the ratings dipped. But it was more than a little bit. More like a free-fall. People en mass abandoned the programme. Until writing this i didn’t even know there was a 6th season; i thought the show ended with 5 seasons. A schedule change would not help, unless you were to move Canadian Idol to some obscure cable channel to keep Canada’s Next Top Model company.
I do agree that Dragon’s Den is as good as ABC’s Shark Tank. Where we differ is in thinking that Shark Tank is a good show.
If reality television is here to stay, don’t Canadian networks have a duty and an obligation to get us more involved in caring and rooting for other talented (or at least entertaining) Canadians instead of just watching Canadian commercials during American shows?
If reality television is here to stay, let it be imported American programming. It is not a duty, obligation, or CanCon requirement that there be unwanted domestic reality shit to compete with the precious small portion of CanCon that is allotted time on the schedule. Most CanCon drama on broadcast networks is already shuffled over to summer. You are advocating for more CanCon reality at the direct expense of CanCon scripted. I will never support this and hopefully noöne else will either. Your beloved Wipeout Canada is actually made in Argentina.
The only way that your demands would be anywhere close to agreeable to this fan of Canadian drama (and some comedies) would be if there was an absolute prohibition on all imported programming on all channels. Everything would be absolutely 100% CanCon on broadcast and cable. The broadcasters would voluntarily shut down operations before they would ever abide by such a rule assuming the CRTC would be so bold as to take such a stance.
As a post script disclaimer i am enjoying the first season of The Amazing Race Australia but i gave up on the American version with its 8th season (ie 10 seasons ago).