TONIGHT: Rick Mercer files one last Report

CBC is renewing a great deal of its schedule for next season but one of its top draws is departing — the Rick Mercer Report. Mercer and his partner in business and life Gerald Lunz made the decision before this 15th and final season started as I reported here last September. The St. John’s native is only… Read on


Pacino goes deep in portrayal of HBO’s Paterno

Getting under somebody else’s skin is nothing new for Al Pacino. He did it in “Serpico,” and several times in HBO projects, including searing portrayals of Jack Kevorkian and Phil Spector. He plays another controversial and complex real life character this month on HBO and HBO Canada in Paterno. This is, of course, a movie about… Read on


PODCAST: Celebrating Bochco with Bill Kelly

On Tuesday, CHML’s AM900 morning host Bill Kelly suggested to me that Steven Bochco was to television what Steven Spielberg was to movies. Both moved their medium forward. Bochco certainly was an innovator as a writer and story editor, combining serial elements into police procedurals. Bochco also encouraged Hill Street Blues pilot director Robert Butler to literally… Read on



Mike MacDonald 1955 – 2018

Comedian Mike MacDonald’s death at 62 on March 17 wasn’t totally unexpected. He suffered from serious health problems in recent years, at one point requiring a liver transplant. Still, his passing was decades premature and jolting for me personally because it stirred memories of shared comedy club stages way back in the day. I had the good fortune to catch… Read on


Corner Gas ‘tooned and ready for Comedy reboot

After over two years of writing, recording and rendering, Brent Butt launches Corner Gas Animated Monday night at 8 p.m. on the Comedy Network. A one-time Sheridan school of animation student (albeit for about a week; after which he committed to stand-up), Butt has been extremely hands-on with this project. Wife Nancy Robertson says he was… Read on


Steven Bochco 1943 – 2018

Way back when I was a young Turk at TV Guide Canada I was asked to get Steven Bochco on the phone. I thought the request was pure madness. At that time and for many years afterwards, Bochco was TV’s top showrunner, the much-admired writer/producer behind such groundbreaking hits as Hill Street Blues and L.A.… Read on



CBC’s Catwalk doc fun even for finicky viewers

On an Easter Sunday traditionally more about bunnies than kitties comes Catwalk: Tales from the Cat Show Circuit, premiering April 1 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on CBC Docs POV. (You can also stream it here). Yes, it is premiering on April Fools Day, but this isn’t a gag. The documentary, from Markham Street Films… Read on


Roseanne revival roars back to record ratings

Think viewers weren’t ready for another visit from the Conners? Tuesday night’s revival of Roseanne on ABC drew an overnight, average audience of 18.2 million viewers from 8 to 9 p.m. The audience was higher in the second half-hour than it was in the first, and it’s likely to go higher again — perhaps beyond… Read on