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October 13, 2015

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What Canadian Shows Say About Us

by Stephanie Earp, posted Jun 29th 2010 10:39AM
As Canadians, we are often faced with the embarrassing proposition of either defining our country by the few symbols that are ours alone -- Mounties, beavers, maple leafs -- or leaving it a blur. When travelling or entertaining visitors from abroad, I've struggled to answer their questions about what makes Canada Canada. From food (poutine) to music (Celine Dion) to sports (hockey), the things we're famous for live large in the minds of others, but are only a part of the whole to us.

In some ways it's a lucky thing that we are not even remotely famous for our television shows. It's true that some shows have broken through the border to the U.S. There are Americans who have heard of 'Degrassi' and 'You Can't Do That On Television' and 'Corner Gas', but they are not a defining part of our nation's character -- take that as good or bad. And none of our shows manage to turn around and define Canada either, the way 'Coronation Street' or 'All in the Family', just two examples, have seemed to define the cultures they came from.

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The New Biopics: Undistinguished Canadians

by Stephanie Earp, posted Mar 29th 2010 5:02PM

On Sunday night, I watched 'Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story' on CBC because, as my beloved said, "We kind of have to, don't we?" I think he was thinking of my job as a Canadian TV columnist, our status as hockey fans or maybe he only meant there wasn't much else on.

But watch it we did (the first half anyway - the rest airs Monday March 29, 8 pm, CBC) and frankly, I thought it was pretty good, and I'm a little surprised about it.

CBC miniseries are not usually my cup of tea. The subjects are usually dead white guys who made Important Contributions to Our Country, which I always feel I'm supposed to know about already.

Don Cherry even agrees with me. "I feel like I should be dead," he said at a press conference for the series. "Don't they usually do these kinds of movies about dead people?"

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'Corner Gas's Nancy Robertson Returns to TV on 'Hiccups'

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Feb 26th 2010 9:09PM

'Corner Gas's Nancy Robertson just can't get away from working with her real-life husband and long-time co-star, Brent Butt. The two both star in the Butt-created sitcom 'Hiccups', with Robertson playing Millie Upton, a children's author with anger management issues, and Butt as her quirky life coach.

'Hiccups' also features Laura Soltis ('The Guard') as Millie's long-suffering publisher who has to deal with the fallout from her star author's frequent freak-outs, and David Ingram ('Doc') as Millie's sleazy agent.

We caught up with Robertson to chat about working with Butt again, her own Millie-esque moments and why she doesn't want Millie to have any love interests.

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'Corner Gas's Fred Ewanuick Returns to Prime Time

by Annette Bourdeau, posted Feb 23rd 2010 11:58PM

Fred Ewaniuck is probably best known as Hank, Brent's goofy sidekick on 'Corner Gas.' The affable actor is now ready to shed his sidekick status and step into a leading role as the title character in the new CTV comedy 'Dan for Mayor.' The show takes Ewaniuck to a new fictional town - Wessex, Ont., where his character, Dan, blurts out to his ex-girlfriend that he's running for mayor. Rather than brushing his off-the-cuff comment off, Dan the slacker bartender decides to actually go for it, and begins actively campaigning. As expected, antics ensue.

'Dan for Mayor' is written by Mark Farrell, Paul Mather and Kevin White, who all worked with Ewanuick on 'Corner Gas.' It co-stars Mary Ashton ('Degrassi Goes Hollywood'), Paul Bates ('Welcome to Mooseport') and Benjamin Ayres ('jPod,' 'The Vampire Diaries'). It premieres on Monday, March 1 in a juicy timeslot leading into 'Two and a Half Men' and 'The Big Bang Theory,' along with 'Hiccups', which stars fellow 'Corner Gas' alumni Nancy Robertson and Brent Butt.

Filmed in Toronto and the Kitchener-Waterloo area, the show promises some good ol' Canadiana. Also, watch out for some cameos by real life mayors throughout the season, including Toronto's David Miller. AOL TV caught up with Ewanuick to chat about what it's like being a leading man, life after 'Corner Gas' and his not-so-secret passion, golf.

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Great Moments in Canadian TV 2000-2009

by Stephanie Earp, posted Dec 22nd 2009 11:14AM

10. CBC Gives 'The Tudors' Royal Treatment
By 2007, long-form historical dramas like 'Rome' and 'Elizabeth I' were established award winners, but incredibly expensive to produce. By joining a multi-national production alliance that includes Showtime in the US, CBC managed to get its claws into a Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning show, which in the US, has set some ratings records. Granted, 'The Tudors' has had a mixed critical reception, but it continues to do well with viewers.

9. Ron Rescued
In 2001, Ron MacLean was ready to leave his job at 'Hockey Night in Canada' and the CBC. When word leaked that the Ceeb wasn't willing to fulfill Ron's contract demands, Canadians revolted. Who else, they figured, would be able to contain Don Cherry to his allotted minutes on 'HNIC'? Public pressure resulted in a quick about-face from the broadcaster, and Ron is still safely ensconced to this day. And really, it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 8th 2009 6:07PM
ReaperHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

I sometimes enjoy watching Judge Judy, but it's one of those shows that I can't possibly imagine owning the DVDs. Once is enough for me. But if you're really into the show, there's a 2-Pack set being released this week.

But I have to get the Get Smart DVDs at some point. That's the only show being released that I have any interest in.

  • The Cleaner - Season 1
  • Corner Gas - Season 6
  • Danny Phantom - Season 3
  • Father Knows Best - Season 3
  • Get Smart - Season 3

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Canada's laugh reserves running dangerously low

by Danny Gallagher, posted May 4th 2009 8:14PM
The nation of Canada, as viewed through South ParkAmericans might be running out of money, steady jobs and patience, but Canadians are dealing with an equally depressing depletion.

And no, it's not beer. A shortage of Canadian beer would be a blessing, not a curse.

Variety reports that the land of milk and hockey is low on laughs because the CTV network hasn't produced a new hit sitcom that has won the nation's maple syrup pumping hearts.

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New TV on DVD releases this week

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 6th 2008 6:04PM
Robot ChickenHere are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.

Wow, this is quite a list of shows this week, though I think the only one I'm definitely going to buy is the second season 30 Rock set. Maybe the Three Stooges set too. Those are good sets to have. I'm tempted to buy the complete series set for Speed Racer because I remember it from my childhood, but I have a big suspicion that my memories would be better than the show itself.

  • 30 Rock - Season 2
  • The Beverly Hillbillies - Season 2
  • Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern - Collection 2
  • Brotherhood - Season 2
  • Corner Gas - Season 5
  • Doctor Who - The Brain of Morbius and Trial of a Time Lord
  • Full Circle with Michael Palin
  • Ghost Hunters - Season 4, Part 1
  • How I Met Your Mother - Season 3
  • Johnny Cash & Friends - Christmas Specials
  • Martin - Season 5
  • Midsomer Murders - Box Set 11
  • Mission: Impossible - Season 5
  • The Munsters - Complete Series and Family Portrait
  • Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares - Vol. 2
  • Robot Chicken - Season 3
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures - Season 1
  • The Simpsons - Season 11
  • The Smurfs - Season 1, Vol. 2
  • The Three Stooges Collection - Vol. 4: 1943-45
  • South Park - The Cult of Cartman
  • Speed Racer - Complete Series
  • Speed Racer: The Next Generation - Vol. 2
  • Wagon Train - Going West

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