TV News/Media Releases | Canadian Television News Roundup (August 6, 2014)

Bell Media and Shaftesbury formally announce The Listener’s end, after five seasons and sixty-five episodes. The Listener debuted in 2009 on CTV; it lasted eight episodes on NBC that summer. ION is the show’s current American program service; the show’s fifth season is produced by CTV, Shaftesbury, and Fox International Channels, with ION Television as co-producer.

The Listener has a solid Canadian audience, usually maintaining 900,000 to 1.1 million viewers in Canada, keeping the show in the BBM/Numeris Top 30. For the week of July 28 to August 3, 2014, The Listener earned 850,000 viewers, which is actually low given The Listener’s fifth-season viewing average.

It’s hard to say why CTV sent the press release twelve days from the end of the show’s run. Old City Hall and Smoke and Mirrors, two Shaftesbury shows in development with Bell Media, are mentioned. The way the press release also mentions the “epic story” of main character Toby Logan’s (Craig Olejnik) past coming to “a gratifying conclusion”, it reads like a definite wind-up of the show. Perhaps CTV wants a ratings boost for The Listener’s now-series finale. It’s just speculation on my part; I find the timing odd. (August 6, 2014)


Starlight: The Canadian Movie Channel was one of the hopeful new ventures in CRTC’s 2013 mandatory carriage hearings, yet failed in its bid to launch an all-Canadian film channel on basic-tier cable packages. Yesterday, it gained status as a Category B licence (PDF), and must launch by 2018.

Of note, interventions by Corus Entertainment and the CBC force Starlight to devote no more than twenty percent of its schedule to documentaries, and no more than ten percent of its schedule to animation. For the layperson, that means Starlight can’t be lazy and encroach on documentary’s turf. The animation limit is odd, on account of there not being a large backlog of Canadian animated films in the first place; at least Rock & Rule and (if/when it’s ever finished) Black Sunrise have a theoretical home on Canadian television. (August 6, 2014)


Werewolf drama Bitten casts Tammy Isbell, Tommie-Amber Pirie, and Kiara Glasco for its second season, as members of a witches’ coven. (August 6, 2014)


Preschool live-action series Hi Opie!, about a five-year-old boy navigating his way through kindergarten, airs September 1, 2014 on TVO Kids, City Saskatchewan, and Knowledge Network. TVO Kids airs “sneak peeks” August 25, 2014 at 7:00 AM and 12:00 noon ET, and August 29, 2014 at 7:00 AM ET. In addition, tvokids.com previews the show from August 18-22, 2014. The main character is a Muppet custom-built by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. (August 6, 2014)


W Network lands a sponsorship with Elmer’s Glue, with promos showing “Bonding Moments” from He’s Just Not That Into You (misidentified as He’s Just Not Into You at one point), Definitely Maybe, The Notebook, and I Don’t Know How She Does It. For the marketers who might read this site, the Saturday night spots sell school glue. (August 6, 2014)

Cameron Archer

Owner/Writer at Gloryosky
Cameron Archer runs this site, and is a freelance arts writer. He has contributed to Canadian Screenwriter since 2011. He is a CMG Freelance member.
Cameron Archer