Category Archives: Canada

50 years of CFTM-10 TVA. Remember Télé-Métropole?

CFTM-10 1969 logo

CFTM-10 1969 logo

CFTM Channel 10 in Montreal went on the air on February 19 1961, just a few weeks after CFCF, and like CTV Montreal, TVA has also put up a whole bunch of vintage clips and pics on their website.

Happy 50th CFTM-10!

To me, you will always be CFTM-10 and not TVA. Now here are some interesting trivial facts about the TVA-CFTM relationship from the TV Hat archives (edited and updated):

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Smallville and Supernatural preempted this week… for nothing

CHCH-TV Hamilton

CHCH-TV Hamilton

Viewers looking for Smallville and Supernatural on Friday were left disappointed. The CW Network, in the US, has pushed back the return of these shows by one week and the last-minute change applies to Canadian stations as well. CHCH Hamilton and CJNT Montreal, which would normally simulcast those shows on Friday, were also forced to pull them. Meanwhile, even Space, which carries Smallville Sundays at 9 ET/6 PT and Supernatural Wednesdays at 10 ET, will have to wait an extra week.

So what exactly happened? What it boils down to is the CW was afraid that the return of Vampire Diaries and Nikita, this past Thursday, wouldn’t do so well given that Nikita was going up against Idol and that Vampire Diaries would be preempted in Chicago because of local coverage of the mayoralty candidates debate, among other reasons. (Yes, believe it or not, the programming decisions made by WGN Chicago can have an impact on CJNT Montreal.)

So the CW, in their limited wisdom, decided to rerun those shows again on Friday night, thereby preemepting the return of Smallville and Supernatural, while making the fans of the Friday shows feel less important than those of the Thursday night line-up.

The programming change has since been criticized as something that may end up backfiring for it has created a backlash among viewers. Plus, the CW’s Thursday night ratings proved to be not so bad after all. In other words, we went through all that trouble for nothing.

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ABC’s ‘Off the Map’ talent from Montreal

Off the Map‘s Rachelle Lefevre – Photo by fashion photographer Anthony Citrano

ABC debuts a new drama, which some are hoping will be the next Grey’s AnatomyOff the Map is actually brought to us by some of the same people who helped create Grey’s Anatomy and is about young American doctors starting their life over at a hospital in South America. But what makes the show interesting to someone like me is that there are, not one, but two Montreal actors in it. They are Caroline Dhavernas and Rachelle Lefevre.

You may have seen Dhavernas in M. Night Shyamalan’s Devil or  as Vera Keller in HBO’s The Pacific. Those of us who are Canucks may also recognize her from the 2009 Genie Award winning Passchendaele, which won for Best Motion Picture. Her TV work started as early as the age of 8, as a dubbed voice on the French Canadian version of English shows like Babar. In 2004, she starred in the Canada/US co-production Wonderfalls. Now at age 32, she will be playing the role of Lily Brenner on Off the Map.

Lefevre, 32, also has a pretty impressive resume. She can be seen in Barney’s Version, currently out in theatres. She also starred as Victoria in Twilight and its sequel New Moon. Her television debut was on YTV and Fox Family Channel’s Big Wolf on Campus, known in Montreal for its scenes filmed at John Abbott College. Now, she will play Ryan Clark in the new ABC drama.

Off the Map
Wednesdays at 10/9c on Global/ABC

Update – A couple reviews so far:

Not Bad. Not Bad. I see some potential there.

Heather B, Virgin Radio 96

This Off the Map show apparently is set on another planet, where there are no unattractive doctors and the laws of physics don’t apply.

Steve Faguy of Fagstein Blog (via @fagstein)

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E! Channel comes to Canada… Again!

CanWest Global gave it try from 2007 to 2009, now it’s CTV’s turn. On November 29, CTV will convert its Star! specialty cable service into E! Canada.

Many E! favourites, from south of the border, will now be easier to find on the new network, compared to the Global version which really only carried a minimal amount of content on what used to be CH. Even after its rebranding, CH’s focus was mainly that of local programming and American simulcasts with the other major networks. Now, E! simulcasts will actually be with E!, for the most part.

Read more.

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Could Stephen Harper shove Sun TV News down our throats?

Remember when I said that Quebecor’s Kory Teneycke would need a sack full of magic beans in order to get what he wants. Well he may have the next best thing. He may have the power to get the Chairman of the CRTC fired, according to The Globe and Mail.

Is Stephen Harper set to move against the CRTC?

Insiders say the PM wants Konrad von Finckenstein out well before his term as chair ends. And vice-chair Michel Arpin is being ushered out the door

I feel a little naive for not realizing that it could come down to this.

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CBC’s 18 to Life considered controversial… really? (Update: cancelled by The CW)

Maclean’s magazine is shocked by what US critics are saying about the CBC hit show 18 to Life. The show, which is filmed in Montreal, has received some negative reviews following its US debut on The CW, but a couple of them are for reasons people weren’t even expecting.

The show is about two 18-year-olds who get married on a dare and what it boils right down to is that there are TV critics out there who find the premise of a teen legally having sex with his wife in his parents attic just a little too much.

Here’s what Megan Angelo had to say:

What is it that makes this so creepy, even though the kids have made it legal? It’s that they’re still kids. And even actors can’t mask the fact that it’s unnatural to watch kids behave like they’re as entitled to sex as they are to silly bands. Somehow, trying to legitimize the whole thing only makes it worse — and usually, the CW doesn’t try.

She then goes on to explain how it’s somehow different when other CW shows exploit teenage sexuality because no one takes the plot of 90210 seriously.

To be fair though, of the two negative reviews that Maclean’s refers to, the one above is really just a blog… er… not that I have anything against blogs. They’re great! Keep reading!… As I was saying, one of them is a blog on the TV section of The Wall Street Journal website and let’s face it, who really gets their entertainment recommendations from The Wall Street Journal? Besides, there’s also a factual error in the very first paragraph. Bonus points if you can find it.

When I myself caught the first couple of episodes, I do remember thinking, is it just me or are these young kids just little too comfortable with their sexuality for a show that’s been picked by American television? However, I didn’t really think much of it at the time, yet judging by these reviews, apparently, it wasn’t just me after all.

Fortunately not everyone agrees with these two critics. One comment below Angelo’s review reads like this:

Dan wrote:
Strange that the premise is the big issue here. Would have thought the cliched dialogue and characters would have drawn more criticism. To label it ‘creepy’ is to miss the point.

UPDATE AUG. 19th: 18 to Life has been cancelled in the US.

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Global adds record amount of Canadian content… well, not really

What’s in store for viewers and why are some of the claims about the network’s Canadian content misleading?

The main highlight of the new fall line-up on Global could be the return of Glee which, needless to say, turned out to be a huge hit last season. Aside from that, there’s American Dad, which isn’t as big, but its season premiere is still noteworthy nonetheless simply because it happens to be their 100th episode. Of course, that also means one could expect to see daily reruns somewhere on the dial in the near future.

Read my full article.

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