CBC presented what is an exciting 2023 programming line-up at their LIVE AT MASSEY HALL unveiling today. On-hand were some of their biggest stars and personalities from their diverse and inclusive upcoming slate. It was such a pleasure getting to chat with the stars of their hits series RUN THIS TOWN, SON OF A CRITCH and upcoming Docu-Series STAY TOONED. Additional announcements made today here.
SON OF A CRITCH
Based on the Memoir of the same name but multi-Canadian Screen Award winner Mark Critch, the Series in its second season once again takes us back on a comedic and heartfelt journey to the ’80s in Newfoundland. We witness young Mark (played by Disney’s PINOCCHIO star Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) go through some firsts like his first heartbreak, while his father Mike (Critch) fights to get a raise at work, and mother Mary (Claire Rankin) tries to keep the men of the house in order.
In this his first ever visit to Toronto, Ainsworth tells us he has plans to attend a Toronto Maple Leafs game and also got to visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in his brief stay here. On his character Mark‘s story arc this season, he tells us “He goes back to school, expecting it all to be great and how he left off. And he realizes quickly that it’s not. And he has to deal with that the first couple episodes. In this season, the writing’s great. Each character gets to grow their branch on the Critch Tree and expand their stories. I’m very excited for everyone to watch it.”.
Critch tells us, “Mike is the type of person who lets life happen to him. He is a stone and the world passes by him. The river of life goes around him. He’s pushed a bit when his son young Mike (Colton Gobbo) starts to work at the station, becomes a colleague and he’s got very mixed emotions about that because he really wanted him to be the first Critch to go off the university. His thing is not really seeing his own value, his own worth and taking himself for something he’s less than.”. Critch adds, “He does see his value a later in the season when he gets offered another job. That sort of thing when your child is becoming a young man and the worry of that. And he also takes Mary’s love for granted a bit and it’s good for him to realize that the fire does need to be fanned a little bit. There’s some lovely moments together this season.”.
Season 2 of Son of a Critch premieres Tuesday, January 3, 2023 at 8:30 p.m. (9 NT) on CBC TV and the free CBC Gem streaming service.
RUN THE BURBS
Our favourite Vietnamese-South Asian-Canadian TV family are back for a second season! RUN THE BURBS is set to take us a layer deeper in The Phams’ family dynamics as we see them deal with some very real issues ahead, but with that signature humour and lightness so many fans came to love of the first season. Stars Andrew Phung (Andrew) and Rakhee Morzaria (Camille) sat down to chat with us about what to expect this upcoming season.
Morzaria says, “There’s a lot of exploration of trying and failure, friendships and cultural identity that comes through a lot. A lot of inter-generational family dynamics and it’s really beautiful seeing Camille and her relationship to her family begin to grow with her father and some other surprises that we’ll see. But also her relationship to her entrepreneurship and how so many people during the Pandemic were doing their side-hustle job and that became their ‘job-job’. Camille is experiencing that and I think it’s really fun to play and watch, and I think a lot of people will connect with it.”.
Phung tells us, “For us, the second season was about giving every Pham member an arc of them taking on the world. So for Andrew, it was going back into the workforce and trying to get a job. Andrew was following his own passion in a space he coulnd’t get into. But no matter what, this family’s got eachother’s back and I wanted to showcase that. Life isn’t easy but for The Phams, they’ve got eachother. As long as they’ve got eachother, that’s all that matters.”.
Season 2 of Run the Burbs premieres Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at 8:30 p.m. (9 NT) on CBC TV and the free CBC Gem streaming service.
Having voiced so many characters in the Looney Tunes franchise and beyond, Scarborough’s own Eric Bauza continues to make a splash on the world stage. He brings it back home in new limited Docu-Series STAY TOONED, exploring some of the most iconic Animated Series and Films they have defined a generation. But what’s unique about this Seris is that with subject matter experts and notables like Ben Schwartz, Ken Jeong, Tara Strong, Bobby Moynihan and more, he explores these classics through a fresh lens of today, looking at their cultural impact and how the narrative has changed since.
But which is his favourite of all to voice we wonder? He tells us, it’s Marvin the Martian.
Bauza explains what he hopes his viewers will take away from this Series. “We definitely had an entire list of things we could’ve talked about, but the six episodes we have are the hot ones. Let’s get them out and then we can continue and do a continuation of them. 22 mintues isn’t a long time, but it’s a great time to punch you with subject, have you think about it and move onto the next one. I really do hope it drives conversation and hope that it gives people hope when they thought maybe there was none.”.
All six episodes of Stay Tooned premiere Friday, December 2, 2022 on CBC Gem.
You love Funnyman Andrew Phung from Kim’s Convenience and fans will be delighted to see him back on his own new Series, RUN THE BURBS premiering on CBC and CBC Gem!
The energetic Series follows the Pham family, or Phamily if you will, as they relocate to the suburbs, eager to settle-in and be accepted. Over thirteen episodes at 30 minutes each, we follow the antics and lessons learned by Andrew, Camille (Rakhee Morzaria), Khia (Zoriah Wong) and Leo (Roman Pesino) as they adapt to their new locale.
We had the joy of chatting with Co-Creators (and best friends) Scott Townend and Phung, plus breakout star Morzaria about their exciting new Series.
“I was in Calgary filming a Movie, and Scott and I were hanging out eating Pizza and I pitched him this idea about a show set in the suburbs and a family that loved each other. And literally a week before, I was in Montreal with Rakhee. We were at Just for Laughs and we were at a CBC event, and we met-up with Bill Lundy at Pier 21 and he said, ‘I would love to get a pitch Andrew from you about your show”, so it all came together!”, says Phung. “Scott and I took December 2019 to develop the show and brought it to Pier 21 in January and by March we were in-development by CBC“.
“We grew-up in the suburbs and it’s always been portrayed as very dull and boring. We wanted to show the life of the suburbs and energy. Two we wanted to show a family with the modern values of today but we’re old school in how we love each other in how they were so big and extra and energetic. We wanted to see a show about a family who take on the world together as opposed to fighting with each other.”.
See the full Chat:
RUN THE BURBS premieres Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at 8:30 PM on CBC and will be available on CBC Gem.
Call it a homecoming! The Cast and Crew behind LITTLE ITALY brought it all back home for a festive bash at Scotiabank Theatre tonight in Toronto! The Romantic-Comedy directed by Donald Petrie (Miss Congeniality, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) took over the City last summer and Torontonians have been excited to see this pizza delivered!
Attending the event were Petrie himself and the Film’s stars, Emma Roberts, Hayden Christensen, Andrea Martin, Danny Aiello, Jane Seymour, Andrew Phung, Cristina Rosato, Vas Saranga, Linda Kash, Ava Preston and Nicky Cappella. Producer Vinay Virmani (also a Co-Writer) also was in attendance, as was 6Dad Norm Kelly, Olympian Donovan Bailey and Jaleel White, known best for his iconic role as Steve Urkel in ABC Series Family Matters.
Little Italy centers on a couple who must deal with their feuding, pizza restauranteur families. The Film was show and is set in Toronto.
Our Team had the pleasure of being a part of the fun and in ways it was like seeing a nephew or niece grow-up. We had the joy of visiting the set last summer and it was a blast. We even shared pizza with Roberts!More here.
We ask Director Donald Petrie what makes Little Italy‘s love story so great. He tells us, “This isn’t a singular love story. A lot of the audience are gonna look at the poster and go ‘I know the ending! These two get together!’. And they’re right, they do! But there are a lot of surprise love stories along the way that they don’t know. It’s all about the journey and that’s what makes Little Italy great”.
Our Amanda Gilmore and David Baldwin chat with the Cast and Crew of Little Italy about their roles in the Film, their experience filming here in Toronto and of course, what they love most on their pizza!
Watch our Chats below:
See some Snaps:
Hayden Christensen with Roberts and also his Nonna
Nicky Romero x Ava Preston (they play the younger versions of Christensen x Roberts)
eOne Films release LITTLE ITALYFriday, August 24, 2018.
(Photo/video credit: eOne Films/Amanda Gilmore/David Baldwin/Mr. Will Wong)