Vikings and Taken star Standen embraces his inner hero

Clive Standen seems like a real stand up guy. I’ve interviewed him on location in Ireland while he was shooting Vikings, in Toronto last June at the Corus/Global upfront and last month in Pasadena. The last was on-stage on NBC’s TCA day where he was scrumming after the session on Taken. Born on a military… Read on


Calling all sleuths: step inside a Murdoch Mysteries adventure

For 10 seasons and close to 150 episodes, you’ve watched Murdoch Mysteries. Now’s your chance to think and act just like your favourite TV detective. Welcome to “The Secret of Station House No. 4,” a Murdoch Mysteries Escape Series live event. It’s sort of like those murder mystery parties of the past, only themed around the… Read on


Witherspoon in “Smurfette” heaven on Big Little Lies

“For 25 years, I have been the only woman on set, so I had no other women to talk to,” Big Little Lies star Reese Witherspoon told reporters last month in Pasadena. Being the only woman on the set is a phenomenon known as “Smurfette Syndrome,” she added. That’s where there are “100 Smurts around, but… Read on



Jon Dore got his comedy chops by conquering “Everest”

“Bill,” said Jon Dore — right into the mic on my digital recorder so I would hear it many months later– “when you are listening to this back, put ‘The Story of Everest’ into  YouTube. It changes everything.” Dore, who is back Friday nights on HBO Canada with new episodes of Funny as Hell, was… Read on


Tide turns in favour of Canadian access to Super Bowl ads

A Canadian industry executive emailed me during the big game last Sunday suggesting the CRTC made the right call — watching the Super Bowl with the US ads is definitely a big part of the overall programming experience. Canadians have been missing half the story for decades. Outlets such as The New York Times offer play-by-play… Read on


Bell/CTV hit for Super Bowl loss as many in Canada opt for US ads

UPDATED WITH CORRECTED OVERNIGHT TOTALS: The overnight, estimated tally for Bell Media’s share of the Super Bowl audience suggests that up to 40% the Canadian football audience opted to watch the game — and the American ads — on Fox Network border stations. For the game itself –from kickoff at approx. 6:37 p.m. ET to the end… Read on



Catching a CRTC Super Bowl bounce in Canada

It’s really happening: a legal, American feed of a Super Bowl game on Canadian TV screens. The CRTC mandated an exception to the simultaneous substitution rule and not even lawyers or lobbyists could stop it — this time. The hiccup will cost CTV millions and, really, that’s not fair. Nonetheless, go ad crazy, Canada. Things… Read on


All eyes on Blais, Joly at Prime Time in Ottawa

OTTAWA — The 22nd annual Prime Time in Ottawa industry conference — a good place to take Canada’s TV temperature — kicked off Thursday. Bell Media’s least favourite CRTC chair, Jean-Pierre Blais, managed to duck in and out without a single question about those Super Bowl ads. Blais, whose term as chair ends in June… Read on