There are 150 reasons to watch Canada: The Story of Us

Last July, I was on a beach in Hamilton, Ontario, when I ran into Champlain. And World War II soldiers. And Vietnamese refugees. It was during location shooting on Canada: The Story of Us. The 10-hour event series begins Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBC. CBC almost made history of another sort Sunday; worst… Read on



This week’s podcast: more Gong Show memories

On Wednesday, there was a deadly attack in London on the House of Parliament. My head buried in a deadline that morning, I didn’t find out about it until I was on hold for Scott Thompson. I was waiting to talk to the CHML AM900 host, not about terrorism and world affairs, but about the death of Chuck Barris,… Read on


Prayers answered! What Would Sal Do? has arrived

What would Sal do? He’d start streaming What Would Sal Do, right now, today, at CraveTV, that’s what he’d do. The outrageous comedy is finally up for your approval two years after production on the first 10 episodes wrapped. Super Channel commissioned it and was set to air it last year when they were forced… Read on


Denis McGrath 1968 – 2017

I wasn’t Denis McGrath’s biggest fan. He had a talent for pushing buttons and getting under your skin. His advocacy sometimes bordered on bullying. He was Canadian by way of New York, and you could tell because the “sorry” reflex was missing. He was principled, though, and had a big bullshit detector. If I wasn’t honest about… Read on



Chuck Barris 1929 – 2017

If you buy the premise that the ’70s was the Golden Age of inappropriate behaviour, the guy on the poster would be Chuck Barris. Barris, who died Tuesday at 87 (days after another famous Chuck named Berry), created the long-running TV game shows The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game in the ’60s. He hit the… Read on


Toronto’s Stephan James one to watch in Shots Fired

You meet some fine young Canadians working the TV beat. One of them is Stephan James. The 23-year-old was born and raised in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, Ont. In five years, he’s gone from grabbing fast food at Johnny’s Hamburgers to winning roles in everything from Degrassi to The Book of Negroes to playing Jesse Owens in… Read on


Spoiler alert: Murdoch’s season finale a shocker

When I ran into Murdoch Mysteries busy showrunner Peter Mitchell last month in Toronto (we were both caught up in that cool live event game based on the series), he passed along this viewing tip: don’t miss the series 10th season finale. It airs this Monday night on CBC. Apparently everybody gets killed. It gets bloodier than Game… Read on


Too many Annes? Shirley you jest

I was just a young punk photo editor at TV Guide when Kevin Sullivan’s Anne of Green Gables broke viewing records in Canada in 1985. A great, big, Hallmark greeting card of a series, the two-part event drew around five million viewers for one of its two nights. At least I think it did. That… Read on