Bell Media Announces First Wave of 2018/19 Original Canadian Entertainment Productions with 42 New and Returning Series and Specials

 

– New original comedy JANN and Season 3 of THE BEAVERTON join CTV’s winning schedule, as acclaimed event series CARDINAL is renewed for Season 4 in advance of Season 3 premiere –
– CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS returns to CTV –
– Bell Media Studios renewals include ETALK, THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW, THE SOCIAL, and YOUR MORNING –
– Three new titles join Discovery’s 10 returning original series for 2018/19 –
– New six-pack of LETTERKENNY slated for Crave TV –
– The Comedy Network renews CORNER GAS ANIMATED for Season 2 and returns to Montréal for new Just For Laughs projects –
– MASTERCHEF CANADA winner and celebrity chef Mary Berg stars in new lifestyle series MARY MAKES IT EASY for Gusto –
– Animated shorts series LITTLEKENNY joins interactive stand-up series JOKEOFF on Snackable TV –

TORONTO (June 7, 2018) – In advance of today’s #CTVUpfront, Bell Media confirmed today its first wave of new and returning, English-language, original entertainment programming for 2018/19. A total of 13 new and 29 returning original series and specials are confirmed to- date, produced in partnership with independent producers and international content companies, as well as Bell Media Studios, the company’s in-house production arm.

Bell Media once again plans to spend nearly $900 million overall on French and English programming in 2018/19, all promoted by the Bell Media megaphone, including Canada’s most-watched television network, CTV.

“We are proud to continue to invest and partner in original content that is seen more and more around the world,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “We know original programming helps define our brands, delivering viewers and subscribers through exclusive content not found anywhere else, and offering incredible sponsorship opportunities for our advertisers.”

“We are absolutely delighted to partner once again with Canada’s best independent producers and creative talent,” said Corrie Coe, Senior Vice-President, Original Programming. “Together with our many hit returning originals, Jann Arden’s comedic brilliance shines in the new CTV comedy JANN; the kids at Letterkenny Central School deliver the laughs in SnackableTV’s LITTLEKENNY; MasterChef Canada winner Mary Berg eliminates stress in Gusto’s MARY MAKES IT EASY; an all-female cult gets the mockumentary treatment in CraveTV’s NEW EDEN; and more!”

“From our winning stable of daytime programming and entertainment specials, to our innovative production partnership with Motion Content Group, Bell Media Studios continues to deliver programming that resonates with viewers and advertisers,” said Nanci MacLean, Vice-President, Bell Media Studios and President, Pinewood Studios. “We’ve very excited about the early renewals of Gusto’s WHERE TO I DO? and DOG TALES RESCUE, as well as the upcoming premiere of Discovery’s DISASTERS AT SEA, among others.”

More Canadians make Bell Media’s original programs their choice for homegrown viewing than any other media company. As Canada’s most-watched network in primetime for 17 years in a row, CTV is home to:

  • THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, the most-watched Canadian series for the 5 th year in a row
  • CARDINAL, the #1 Canadian drama for A18-49 and A25-54 on broadcast television Bell Media Studio’s THE SOCIAL and THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW, the most-watched Canadian daytime programs in daytime
  • ETALK, the top-rated Canadian entertainment news program

Further, Bell Media has three of the Top 5 Canadian series on entertainment specialty television among viewers A25-54 with Discovery’s HIGHWAY THRU HELL, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, and HEAVY RESCUE: 401. Through the last broadcast year, 12 of Bell Media’s specialty channels increased their rank among all Canadian specialty channels.

NEW Bell Media Original Series and Specials for 2018/19 (by channel):

CTV

  • JANN
    JANN is an original comedy series starring Jann Arden. Arden plays a fictionalized version of herself: a singer songwriter of a “certain age” ; dealing with the harsh reality that her former music career is now on a slow, relentless slide into obscurity. But it’s not just Jann’s career that’s on life support – she’s newly single, her sister may disown her, and her mother is clearly suffering from the early stages of dementia. Although Jann’s personal life is in shambles, she’s convinced that the cure-all is to rebrand her image in order to reclaim her celebrity status, so she embarks on a quest to return to greatness but gets tangled in the pressures of her ‘real’ life. Jann is at the crossroads between who she was, and who she wants to be, if she can just figure out what’s really important. (Project 10 Productions; 6 x :30)
  • CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS
    CTV announced this morning a multi-year partnership with Canada’s Walk of Fame to become the official and exclusive broadcaster of the CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS in time for the awards’ 20th anniversary this December. CTV’s broadcast of THE 2018 CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS is a celebration of Canadians who have excelled on the national and international stage in their respective fields, including music, sports, film and television, literary, visual and performing arts, science, innovation, philanthropy, and social justice. The star-studded 2018 CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS broadcast will feature must-see performances and inspiring stories from previous and new inductees. (Insight Productions)

The Comedy Network

  • Just For Laughs
    The Comedy Network returns to Montréal for the Just for Laughs Festival this summer, shooting a new stand-up series and specials for the 2018-19 broadcast year. (Just For Laughs Television)

CraveTV

  • NEW EDEN
    CraveTV’s latest original production is NEW EDEN. Going into production this fall, the darkly funny mockumentary is a “true crime” anthology from two of Canada’s hottest comedic voices, Evany Rosen (PICNICFACE, BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW) and Kayla Lorette (THE BEAVERTON, SPACE RIDERS). (Peacock Alley Entertainment; 8 x :30)

Discovery

  • VINTAGE TECH HUNTERS
    VINTAGE TECH HUNTERS follows a fascinating journey across North America in search of amazing pop culture and tech memorabilia. (Crooked Horse Productions/Boat Rocker Studios; 14 x :30)
  • DISASTERS AT SEA
    New docudrama series DISASTERS AT SEA highlights the most mysterious and unexpected marine disasters in recent history. (Exploration Production Inc.)
  • ALBERTA FLOODS: ROGUE EARTH
    Marking the fifth anniversary of the catastrophic “flood of floods,” ALBERTA FLOODS: ROGUE EARTH joins Discovery’s ROGUE EARTH documentary series. (Pixcom Productions; :60)

Gusto

  • MARY MAKES IT EASY
    Mary Berg has a gift for making irresistibly delicious food. Her signature style is beautiful, but approachable; impressive, but never pretentious. For Mary, cooking is about fun and family and a strategic lack of fuss. When it comes to cooking science, Mary is an unapologetic food nerd who loves to demystify the process and break down techniques. Whether it’s an elegant party or an everyday dinner, Mary shows viewers how to dial down their stress with time-saving tips and easy-to-follow advice. (Proper Television; 30 x :30)

SnackableTV

  • LITTLEKENNY
    There are 500 kids at Letterkenny Central School, and these are their problems. Based on CraveTV’s smash-hit LETTERKENNY, LITTLEKENNY is a series of animated, short-form extensions of the award-winning Canadian comedy program, and marks SnackableTV’s first foray into original content. Written and created by Jared Keeso, LITTLEKENNY includes the Hick’s origin story: how standing up for each other on the schoolyard resulted in their friendship. (New Metric Media/ DHX Media/ Playfun Games; Animation services provided by Little Blackstone Inc.; 6 episodes)
  • JOKEOFF
    SnackableTV has commissioned its first interactive content. JOKEOFF is a new series that pits some of the world’s top comedians against each other in the ultimate stand-up competition. The short-form, bracket-style elimination series features a renowned mix of incredible comedic talent – from Kevin Hart, Joan Rivers, and Debra DiGiovanni, to Gilbert Gottfried, Jay Pharaoh, and Kevin James – as they go head-to-head in daily match-ups with some of their best material curated from the unparalleled Just For Laughs stand-up archives. The audience votes on the best jokes from each matchup and the winner from each round moves forward. The JokeOffs continue until there’s just on comedian standing! (Just For Laughs; 32 match-ups)

2018/19 Original Bell Media Studios Productions

Producing some of Canada’s most-watched daily programs, Bell Media Studios continues to offer a robust and unrivaled lineup of flagship series and national specials, along with factual and lifestyle series, including:

  • YOUR MORNING (CTV) kicking off CTV’s leading original daytime lineup
  • The country’s #1 and #2 Canadian daytime series, THE SOCIAL (CTV) and THE MARILYN DENIS SHOW (CTV)
  • Canada’s most-watched entertainment news program, ETALK (CTV)
  • The 2018 IHEARTRADIO MMVAs (CTV/Much)
  • WE DAY 2018 (CTV/MTV)
  • THE SANTA CLAUS PARADE (CTV)
  • ETALK AT THE OSCARS (CTV)
  • Joining DISASTERS AT SEA for Discovery, the fan-favourite MIGHTY TRAINS (Discovery) hits the rails for a second season while MIGHTY CRUISE SHIPS (Discovery) sets sail for Season 3 (Exploration Production Inc.)
  • Half-hour docu-series WHERE TO I DO? (Gusto) – starring Canadian property and design expert Tommy Smythe and currently the most-watched new series on Gusto – is back for a second season of wedding venue hunts (Bell Media Studios/Motion Content Group)
  • Half-hour docu-series DOG TALES RESCUE (Gusto), following the day-to-day operation of a dog rescue and horse sanctuary, returns for a second season (Bell Media Studios/Motion Content Group)

Returning Bell Media Original Series Confirmed to Date for 2018/19 (by genre):

Drama

  • Ahead of its Season 3 premiere on CTV, internationally successful, critically acclaimed, and award-winning drama CARDINAL (CTV) has been renewed for Season 4 with stars Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse. (eOne/Sienna Films)
  • Season 3 of international dramatic adventure series FRONTIER(Discovery), starring Jason Momoa, returns to the schedule this winter. (Take the Shot Productions/ASAP Entertainment)

Comedy

  • New to CTV in midseason, the half-hour satirical news sensation THE BEAVERTON has been greenlit for Season 3. (Pier 21 Films)
  • The Comedy Network’s most-watched series debut of all-time CORNER GAS ANIMATED returns for Season 2. (Prairie Pantoons/335 Productions/Moving Mountoons/Vérité Films/Smiley Guy Studios)
  • Smash hit comedy LETTERKENNY (CraveTV) begins production on a new Season 4 six-pack in Sudbury this July. (New Metric Media/DHX Media/Playfun Games)

Sci-Fi

  • The most-watched original series in Space’s history, sci-fi adventure series KILLJOYS has been renewed for a fifth season ahead of its Season 4 premiere on July 20 at 10 p.m. ET. (Temple Street)

Reality

  • Original series and international format THE LAUNCH (CTV) returns for a second season, showcasing a new group of aspiring artists vying for a shot at stardom. Featuring world-renowned record executive Scott Borchetta, internationally acclaimed music industry legends will once again join the series as mentors. (Bell Media Studios/Big Machine Label Group/Eureka/ Insight Productions; 6 x :60)

Factual

  • Entertaining and educational hit seriesHIGHWAY THRU HELL(Discovery) returns for Season 7. (Great Pacific Media)
  • Discovery’s most-watched original series of all time, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER (Discovery) enters its 14th (Proper Television)
  • The road angels of hit series HEAVY RESCUE: 401 (Discovery) returns for Season 3. (Great Pacific Media)
  • 2018 Canadian Screen Award winner for Best Factual Series, MAYDAY(Discovery) returns for Season 19. (Cineflix Productions)
  • The Bunce family is back for more mining adventures for the Season 5 return of JADE FEVER (Discovery). (Omnifilm Entertainment)
  • Labrador’s rag-tag team of “MacGyver”-like mechanics returns for the second season of LAST STOP GARAGE (Discovery). (Proper Television)
  • The resilient crews of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Ontario Northland Railway keep Canada’s critical freight and passenger trains rolling in Season 2 of ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAILROAD (Discovery). (Cineflix Productions)

Lifestyle

  • Italian cooking series BONACINI’S ITALY (Gusto), starring MASTERCHEF CANADA’S Michael Bonacini, returns for a second season. (Gusto Worldwide Media)
  • Season 2 of SPENCER’S BIG 30 (Gusto) showcases healthy, hearty meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes. (Gusto Worldwide Media)
  • Host Jessica McGovern returns to share her love of baking in Season 2 of FLOUR POWER (Gusto). (Gusto Worldwide Media)
Source: Numeris, 2017-18 BYTD (Aug 28, 2017 – May 6, 2018). AMAZING RACE CANADA ranking based on 2016-17 BY (Aug 29, 2016 – Aug 27, 2017).

Bell Media Announces First Wave of 2018/19 Original Canadian Entertainment Productions with 42 New and Returning Series and Specials