Goodbye Canada AM, hello to a new morning at CTV

On Thursday, when the news broke, there was a temptation to blame the sudden shuttering of Canada AM to loosening Canadian content requirement requirements. These were implemented last year by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission. One of the results of that “Let’s Talk TV” pow-wow in Ottawa was a gradual reduction in the number of hours Canadian Over-The-Air… Read on

Clairtone: ode to a Canadian original

I write about television, but very seldom about television sets. This is a story about one I brought home from my parent’s house today. It is a Clairtone. It was the first colour set my family owned. With my mom’s move to a retirement home, the time had come to sell and empty out her… Read on

Alan Young 1919 – 2016

Like Art Linkletter, Alan Young was one of those Canadians embraced as all American in the early days of U.S. network television. He died earlier this week at 96. Born in England, his family moved to Scotland and then, when he was six-years-old, West Vancouver, He got hooked on radio as a lad due to… Read on

A fond look back at The Courtship of Eddie’s Father

In a brave, new digital era of binge viewing, trust me to get hooked on a series which began back in the ’60s. The Courtship of Eddie’s Father ran for three seasons, from 1969 to ’72. I liked it as a pre-teen and enjoyed it even more the past several weeks as I caught up with… Read on

So why isn’t there a Wayne & Shuster street in Toronto?

Still several time zones removed from reality, I managed to scramble downtown earlier this week to attend Wayne & Shuster in Black and White, a presentation of the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. Held at the University of Toronto’s Innis College (a wonderful mid-size screening room I hadn’t been in since attending U of T), the… Read on

William Schallert 1922 – 2016

Look up “’60s TV Dads” in the dictionary and there should be a photograph of the gentleman to the right: William Schallert. The actor passed away earlier this week at 93. Best known as patriarch Martin Lane on The Patty Duke Show (1963 -’66), Schallert’s face and voice were as familiar as test patterns throughout the… Read on

Get the Mack Sennett Story tonight on Documentary

One of the things that surprised Sean Patrick Shaul while making “Silent Legend: The Mack Sennett Story” was how few people, even in the film and TV business, had even heard of the man dubbed the original “King of Comedy.” The Vancouver-based filmmaker’s Sennett doc premieres Monday at 8 p.m. on CBC’s Documentary Channel. Having… Read on

Don Francks 1932 – 2016

I only have one Don Francks story, and it’s really not even about him. News of the passing of Francks came over the weekend. He was 84. The Vancouver-born actor, jazz musician and all around cool dude worked right up till the end, finally succumbing to lung cancer. Francks is somebody I really regret not having… Read on