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October 6, 2015


Don Cherry Interview: He's Nothing Like You'd Expect

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Nov 30th 2011 2:01PM
Canadians just can't get enough of Don Cherry. Whether you love him or hate him, everyone has something to say about the country's most opinionated sportscaster. But judging by the number of people who tuned into Part One of the CBC miniseries 'Keep Your Head Up, Kid: The Don Cherry Story,' there's a lot more love than hate for the iconic Mr. Cherry.

Fans of Cherry -- and his adorable dog Blue -- are in for a treat next spring, when CBC airs Part Two of his life story, 'The Wrath of Grapes,' which focuses on his storied tenure co-hosting 'Coach's Corner.' Like many things in Cherry's life, the miniseries was a family affair. His son Tim wrote it, and his daughter Cindy helped out with the costumes for the character of her mother Rose, played by Sarah Manninen. (Jared Keeso reprises his role as Cherry.)

We caught up with the surprisingly soft-spoken Cherry last week to chat about what it was like watching his life story on the small screen -- and man, he is nothing like we thought he'd be!

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Is This the Last Season of 'Battle of the Blades'?

by Stephanie Earp, posted Nov 8th 2011 2:40PM

It would be really unfair to say that CBC's skating-with-the-stars show 'Battle of the Blades' is failing -- yet that's the word I'm hearing about the show from fellow critics. Unfair because the show is still one the highest-rated on the network, and it's not the CBC show in the worst shape (almost every returning CBC show has fewer viewers this season). But 'BoB's diminishing returns most Sunday nights is worrying, and it's not like the CBC is having an easy time in other quarters: massive budget cuts, vaguely threatening remarks from Conservative politicians and ominous 'Save the CBC' petitions give one the impression the network is under siege.

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CBC Commits to Keep 'Coronation Street' Coming

by Denette Wilford, posted Oct 27th 2011 12:45PM
The patrons at Rovers Return are raising their glasses and celebrating. No, not because Tracy has left town; CBC has signed a new deal to keep 'Coronation Street' on the air for the foreseeable future.

Variety is reporting the Canadian broadcaster has inked a multi-year agreement with ITV Studios Global Entertainment and, for the first time, it includes digital rights enabling audiences to watch the show in Canada via iTunes and CBC's Video on Demand service.

Corrie episodes in Canada air eight to nine months (we know, the horror!) behind the U.K. and continues to be one of the country's most popular imported series.

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'Dragons' Den' Star Arlene Dickinson on Her New Book, 'Persuasion,' and Why Sofia Vergara Is a Good Role Model

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Sep 27th 2011 10:00AM
You may know her remarkable back-story by now: 'Dragons' Den' sweetheart Arlene Dickinson went from being a broke, divorced mother of four without custody of her children at age 31 to being one of the most widely respected entrepreneurs in Canada. The secret to her success? Persuading herself she was capable of anything.

It's pretty rare that people completely overhaul their lives past 30, which is part of what makes Dickinson's new book, 'Persuasion,' so compelling. While it's a business book at its core, Dickinson illustrates her points with some very personal anecdotes, including her painful divorce, her struggle to win custody of her children and her excommunication from her Mormon church. She even opens up about the affair she had towards the end of her rocky first marriage.

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'Camelot' Hunk Peter Mooney on Sword Fighting, Love Triangles and Leather Pants

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Sep 26th 2011 2:00PM
peter mooney, camelotHave you been watching 'Camelot'? If not, you're missing out. The epic series premiered in mid-September, and it over-delivers on its promise of sexy medieval tales. Even if you think you know all there is to know about the famous Arthurian legend, the series re-imagines it with an intriguing new perspective.

'Camelot' boasts an all-star cast including Joseph Fiennes ('Shakespeare in Love'), Bond Girl Eva Green ('Casino Royale') and Jamie Campbell Bower ('The Twilight Saga') as King Arthur. Canadian up-and-comer Peter Mooney co-stars as Arthur's loyal brother Kay.

AOL TV caught up with Mooney while he was driving to pick his Dad up from the airport (awww). We chatted about what makes this 'Camelot' so different, his newfound appreciation for leather pants and the inevitable 'Game of Thrones' comparisons.

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Hoser Pride: CBC Celebrates All Things Canadian for its 75th

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Aug 23rd 2011 2:59PM
Hard to believe CBC is turning 75, eh? Canada's public broadcaster, the Ceeb, is rolling out 75 days of special programming leading up to its momentous anniversary on Wednesday, November 2. So bust out your finest BC Dinner Jacket (yes, I mean flannel shirt), pop a Pilsner and enjoy the epic 75-day celebration.

The anniversary fare kicked off this past Sunday night with the broadcast of '1 Day,' a two-hour special that documents a day (April 30, to be precise) in the life of Canadians from coast-to-coast, from soprano sensation Measha Brueggergosman in Toronto to 5-year-old Kaizen in Burnaby.

Chances are you haven't seen anything quite like '1 Day' before. The special features a unique blend of footage by pros and home videos submitted by hundreds of Canadians, including Kaizen's dad Stephen Rowe. If you missed '1 Day' on Sunday, don't despair. It will air again on Saturday on CBC News Network, and on CBC Television in November.

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CBC Unveils 'Cover Me Canada,' 'Camelot' for Fall

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Jun 9th 2011 2:00PM

Can't get enough of those TV singing competitions, can you? If so, you're in luck. If 'American Idol,' 'Canadian Idol,' 'The Voice,' 'The X-Factor' and 'America's Got Talent' aren't whetting your whistle, you now have one more option. This fall, CBC is rolling out 'Cover Me Canada,' an elimination-style singing contest.

To separate itself from the rest of the singing contests out there (consider this its version of 'The Voice's swivel chairs), 'Cover Me Canada' will feature contestants singing only songs by Canadian artists. Nicole Appleton, former member of '90s girl group All Saints, will host. Judges haven't been announced yet. (I think Shania Twain would be an excellent choice to be "the nice one." Just sayin'.)

'Cover Me Canada' was the biggest news coming out of the CBC's 2011-2012 season preview earlier this week. George Stroumboulopoulos ran through the new line-up (and even threatened to sing at one point) while Ceeb luminaries like David Suzuki, Wendy Mesley and Rick Mercer waved from the sidelines.

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Spreading Hockey Across a Hockey Nation

by Stephanie Earp, posted Mar 22nd 2011 8:00AM

I was recently doing some re-reading from my bookshelf and came across my collection of Bill Bryson. In 'Mother Tongue,' he describes a time when there were no dictionaries. But once the idea took hold, a number of people jumped into the business and started putting words and definitions onto pages.

Since those heady early days, dictionary-makers have had a number of troubles, among them the decision of whether to be descriptive of proscriptive when it comes to language. For example, should they include 'Jared Leto' under the 'douche' heading, since people do call him that (descriptive)? Or should they leave it out, since officially, douche is a feminine hygiene product (proscriptive)? For the record, the example is mine, not Bryson's.

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A Different Kind of Love Story: Little Mosque on the Prairie

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Feb 14th 2011 9:00AM
Audiences have spent four seasons watching the quiet romance between 'Little Mosque on the Prairie''s Amaar and Rayyan build. Now, they get to enjoy the big payoff -- in season five, the two crazy kids finally get together.

Amaar and Rayyan, played by Zaib Shaikh and Sitara Hewitt, didn't have a typical courtship. The two devout Muslim characters aren't allowed to touch until they're married -- even after they're engaged. Naturally, hijinks ensue. (Like when Rayyan falls asleep while the two are bed shopping and Amaar has to wake her up without touching her.)

The entire season leads up to the big wedding day, when the two lovebirds will finally get some physical contact (don't worry -- nothing too racy). Just in time for Valentine's Day, we caught up with Shaikh and Hewitt to reflect on Amaar and Rayyan's restrained road to love. Awwww.

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'Cat Crazed' Documentary: We Can't Just Blame Cat Ladies Anymore

by Chris Jancelewicz, posted Jan 5th 2011 1:00PM

It seems like stray cats are everywhere -- you can spot them darting under a dumpster or lurking in the bushes in the front yard, scrounging for food or looking for handouts. In both cities and rural environs the feline population is exploding, with no foreseeable solution in sight. Director Maureen Palmer takes a look at this crisis in 'Cat Crazed,' a one-hour documentary airing on CBC Doc Zone on Thursday, January 6.

"Would you ever dream of opening up your door at 11PM and booting out your dog to roam the streets for the night?" asks Bill Bruce, the director of animal services in Calgary. "Well, that's what hundreds of thousands of cat owners do -- and that's why we have a cat crisis."

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Natalie Lisinska on 'InSecurity' and Revamping the Genre

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Jan 4th 2011 12:02PM
Ever notice that procedural dramas like 'CSI' can be, well, kinda goofy at times? The producers of the CBC show 'InSecurity' certainly did, and figured it was time to parody the hugely popular genre. The new half-hour action/comedy series follows a team of incompetent national security agents who somehow manage to gather intelligence and bust up bad guys in spite of their total lack of skills.

'InSecurity' is set in Ottawa, but was filmed in Regina. It stars Natalie Lisinska ('Young People F---ing', 'Chloe') as team leader Alex Cranston, William Devry ('The Bold and the Beautiful') as Alex's hunky boss Peter and Grace Lynn Kung ('Being Erica') as the cold-as-ice forensics specialist JoJo. Rémy Girard, Matthew MacFadzean and Richard Yearwood round out the rest of Alex's incompetent team.

TV Squad caught up with Lisinska to get debriefed on everything from how her high-jumping background (she was a B.C. provincial high jump champion) helps her kick ass to what we can expect from Alex's love life on the show.

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Is It Too Soon for Security Satire?

by Stephanie Earp, posted Jan 3rd 2011 3:00PM
CBC's latest comedy 'InSecurity' debuts this week, a decade after 9/11, but it still has me wondering if a series based on jokes about national security might be hitting the airwaves a little too soon.

Between the WikiLeaks Cablegate story and the introduction of the backscatter X-ray machines to airports, security -- as in homeland and travel -- is a topic still very much in flux. Will Americans -- and the rest of the world dragged along with them into forced nudity and patdowns -- accept the latest incursion into their privacy or reject it?

Is Julian Assange a journalist doing his job or is he some kind of freelance spy/traitor? It will take some time to figure out where history stands on these and other issues around how the west has dealt with the threat of terrorism. But it's into this murky water this half-hour show is set to premiere.

'InSecurity' is about a group of Canadian federal agents working for a fictional agency called NISA -- it's based on CSIS, which is the Canadian version of the CIA. The team tracks terrorists and spies, yet all they have to do this with is a few computers, spy cams and their brains. While the technology is equal access, the brains have been handed out willy nilly, with the vast majority going to series leads Alex (Natalie Lisinska) and Claude (the fabulous Rémy Girard). The cast is studiously multicultural, of course, which works better in the context of a high-end government agency than, say, a gas station in the Prairies.

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'A Heartland Christmas:' An Avalanche, Some Horses With Makeup and Nicholas Campbell

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Dec 6th 2010 5:00PM

Family favourite 'Heartland' is debuting its first Christmas special, 'A Heartland Christmas,' this week. The stand-alone film features the 'Heartland' gang banding together to help rescue some horses trapped by an avalanche in the fictional town of Pike River.

Veteran actor Nicholas Campbell ('Da Vinci's Inquest,' 'Haven') guest stars as a crusty old Pike River resident who makes life difficult for Amy (Amber Marshall) and Ty (Graham Wardle). Meanwhile, frazzled Lou (Michelle Morgan) is trying to create the perfect Christmas back at home.

TV Squad caught up with Marshall, Wardle and Campbell to get the scoop on the Christmas special. We chatted about everything from Christmas traditions to horse makeup to what it was like acting while having snow cannons shoot them in the face.

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The Battle of the Skating Shows

by Stephanie Earp, posted Nov 22nd 2010 7:10PM
Tonight at 8PM, the second season of 'Battle of the Blades' will conclude on CBC after naming a winner from among the three remaining teams. Mere seconds after Bryan Adams claims in song that there will never be another tonight, ABC and CTV will attempt to prove him wrong, debuting 'Skating with the Stars' at 9PM ET/PT. I have a number of problems with this -- so many in fact, that I'm going to resort to a bulleted list format.

1. Why not franchise 'Battle of the Blades' instead of 'Skating With the Stars'?

If the U.S. had come up with a successful skating competition show, you'd better believe we'd be watching some Canadianized version of it, the rights bought and paid for. Call this hypothetical show 'So You Think You Can Battle with Celebrity Blades of Canada' or whatever, but if the success had been developed south of the border, and if Canucks had decided to go ahead with our own version without buying the rights, there'd be a lawsuit.

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'Being Erica' Star Erin Karpluk Talks Season 3, and We Meet Erica's New Love Interest

by Sarah Kelsey, posted Oct 26th 2010 7:00PM
Canadian TV export 'Being Erica,' which follows the misadventures of a woman in therapy, is returning to SOAPnet for its third season. Erica Strange (played by Erin Karpluk) doesn't just "go" to therapy; instead, her therapist makes it possible for her actually travel back in time to relive the events in question. Joining Erica this season is Adam Fitzgerald (played by Adam Fergus), another time-traveling patient -- and more than likely a love interest.

TV Squad took a moment to chat with Karpluk and Fergus about what this upcoming season has in store, why this show seems to have international appeal, and whether or not romance blooms at therapy.

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