Don Rickles 1926 – 2017

Please observe a minute of insults. Mr. Warmth is no more. Don Rickles passed away Thursday at 90. He was the ultimate stand-up funnyman, heckling his audience for more than 60 years. His shtick was so abrasive he never had his own hit series. No matter; he livened up plenty of other hits, with memorable appearances on… 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


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


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



Sunday: The Simpsons air first hour-long episode

PASADENA, Calif. — After 600 episodes, it’s hard for The Simpsons to get much attention at TCA. The series will try again Sunday with their first hour-long episode. Titled, “The Great Phatsby,” the episode finds Mr. Burns (voiced by Harry Shearer) getting conned by a music mogul. Don’t worry; Burnzie gets revenge. Taraji P. Henson, Keegan-Michael… Read on


Boreanaz: I’ve got a script for Rocketship 7

PASADENA, Calif. — Will Rocketshop 7 someday blast off as a feature film? The cherished children’s TV series, broadcast out of Buffalo’s WKBW in the ’60s and ’70s, is a touchstone for many boomers who grew up in the Toronto/Buffalo/Niagara area. The possibility that there might be a project about the series was raised almost as an afterthought… Read on


Taking questions no problem for Fox execs at TCA17

PASADENA, Calif. — Not all network executives are ‘fraidy cats. Despite peer pressure from no-show CEO’s over at ABC, CBS and NBC, Fox chairman and CEO Gary Newman and Entertainment president David Madden braved the snarling mob of scribes at this winter’s TCA’s. Classy move, gents. The executive sessions are always the industry high point of… Read on


MIPCOM REVIEW: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

CANNES, France — Do we really want to do the time warp again? The question was semi-answered Tuesday night as Fox premiered it’s shot-in-Toronto re-boot of the ’70s cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The Fox PR department pulled out all the stops for the packed screening, with party hats and boas provided at… Read on