Streaming now on the CTV App is Lifetime’s CANDY CANE CANDIDATE, filmed just outside Ottawa. The Holiday flick centers on Julia Chen (Jacky Lai) whom after just losing an election, returns home to North Falls where she decides to run for Mayor. Her opponent however, is former crush Parker (Jake Epstein), and after this many years apart, they realize they might be each other’s toughest opponent… and best match!
Canadian Actor/Director Pat Kiely takes the reins here in this harmless Holiday jaunt. While in ways it follows a Sweet Home Alabama-esque archetype of a successful woman who returns to her hometown to stumble upon love, the story is told even more with a feminist slant. We are asked what Julia wants and this doesn’t come right away necessarily. And while she very much is an underdog to the Town Hero in Parker, she must fight to get what she truly wants and level the playing ground with her intellect and political experience. All while being super-flirtatious with Parker. And he isn’t complaining. He’s a bit distracted by her at times to even notice!
Lai carries much of the weight of the Rom-Com on her own and is likable even if at times we feel she’s swooping-in and taking away something Parker has worked so hard for and deserves. It is not an easy task to make a character like this relatable. Epstein is agreeable and it isn’t tough to see why the Aunties of the town take so easily to him, even if he is a bit of a pushover at times. We would’ve liked to see the Script give him a little more bite. Eddie Renout gets third billing as Julia‘s mother Sylvie, bringing a calming presence to her daughter’s hectic life. She can do Jasmine Tea, Congee, Egg Nog, Bubble Tea and a killer Hot Chocolate to boot! Whomever the Food Consultant was on this project really paid attention to the details. Note: Eddie is my actual Godsister and she has NEVER been this hospitable to me in real life, so I am a little bitter and jealous! And Danny Vo makes his debut as Julia‘s nephew Noah and does it with presence.
We get exactly what CANDY CANE CANDIDATE is trying to do, exploring stories we all want to see over the Holidays, but through a more inclusive lens and we appreciate that. Clocking-in at just under an hour and thirty minutes, this is an easy watch if you’re looking for something with a bit of charm and progressiveness.
If you missed your chance to see CANDY CANE CANDIDATE on CTV Drama over the Holidays, you can stream it anytime on the CTV App! The Film is available to stream in the U.S. on Prime Video as well.
The Blue Carpet was rolled out today at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in celebration of the 2019 CTV Upfront. The annual affair which brings-in a bevvy of talent to present their Fall lineup, also gives potential advertisers a chance to see where there products will be seen on the Bell Media family of networks.
The fan-friendly event which gives fans a chance to see and meet the talent, saw several marquee names like Canada’s Cobie Smulders and Michael Ealy here to present Stumptown; Kevin McKidd and Greg Hermann for the just-renewed two seasons of Grey’s Anatomy; Donald Faison and Allison Tolman for Emergence; Wilson Bethel for All Rise; Hill Harper for The Good Doctor; and Jay Hayden and Jason George for Station 19. On the Canadian front, Cardinal’s upcoming fourth season was presented by Canadian Screen Award winners Karine Vanasse and Billy Campbell and also upcoming Medical Drama Transplant brought out John Hannah, Laurence LeBeouf and Hamza Haq. Breakout hit Series The Masked Singer also was acquired and joins CTV’s lineup.
See some Snaps! Hover cursor right to move forward on album:
Capping of Canadian Upfronts week, Bell Media unveiled their upcoming 2018/2019 programming lineup. Making headlines was their decision to re-brand several of their top stations. Space, Bravo, Comedy and Gusto will become CTV Sci-Fi, CTV Drama, CTV Comedy and CTV Life. CTV will also launch two new Video-on-Demand Services, CTV Movies and CTV Vault.
Fan favourites THE BIG BANG THEORY, THIS IS US, THE RESIDENT, YOUNG SHELDON and THE GOOD DOCTOR also return to CTV, while high-profile new Series like their MAGNUM P.I. Reboot, THE ROOKIE, THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, GOD FRIENDED ME, THE ENEMY WITHIN, THE FIX, THE RED LINE, THE VILLAGE, GRAND HOTEL and WHISKEY CAVALIER also join the roster. THE ALEC BALDWIN SHOW, a new star-studded primetime Talk Show also surfaces.
Among the Canadian content, THE LAUNCH and CARDINAL will return, in addition to new Comedy Series JANN starring Jann Arden. CBC‘s THE BEAVERTON will be debuting at its new home on CTV.
The much-publicized SCTV Reunion Special directed by Martin Scorcese in Toronto, Canada’s Walk of Fame and ABBA: THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC, AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE also will be presented on CTV.
The 2018 CTV Upfront drew a star-studded Red Carpet out to Sony Centre for the Performing Arts today.
Normally the biggest and flashiest of the Canadian network Upfronts, Bell Media brought out the big names introducing their upcoming 2017/2018 programming lineup on their family of television stations. Despite fewer names than prior years, the talent was not lacking in star power.
Taking over Sony Centre for the Performing Arts again this year, fans and media lined the Front Street Red carpet for a glimpse of that star power as the media giant revealed some of their exciting new selections to come this forthcoming television season!
Among their new programs unveiled include THE GIFTED, MARVEL’S INHUMANS, TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY, THE GOSPEL OF KEVIN, THE GOOD DOCTOR, THE MAYOR, YOUNG SHELDON, ME, MYSELF & I, ROSEANNE (a revival!), FOR THE PEOPLE, THE CROSSING, DECEPTION, plus an untitled GREY’S ANATOMY spinoff!
The Upfronts wouldn’t be without that dazzle and in-town for the Bell Media Upfront were the likes of: Lea Michele (The Mayor), JoAnna Garcia (The Gospel of Kevin), Bobby Moynihan (Me, Myself and I), Vanessa Williams (Daytime Divas), Stephen Moyer (The Gifted), Jack Cutmorr-Scott (Deception), Cameron Cuffe (Krypton), Zoe Perry (Young Sheldon) and several more!
See the Snaps! Hover left or right on post below to navigate slideshow:
CTV as always brings out the starpower at their annual Upfront! The 2016 edition of the affair took place tonight at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, with the Red Carpet rolled out as a litany of celebrity guests came out to unveil the network’s Fall 2016 lineup! A mixture of media, agencies and ad buyers were in attendance to peruse first the new slate from the media giant, which boasts the most Top 20 programs in Canada among its offerings. Fans cued early in the A.M. despite unusually chilly temperatures for a chance to meet their idols at the Red Carpet!
In town for the affair were the likes of Jamie Alexander (Blindspot), Milo Ventimiglia (This is Us), Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy), Charlie Weber (How To Get Away With Murder), Liza Weil (How To Get Away With Murder), Justin Cornwell (Training Day), Shawn Ashmore (Conviction), Alison Sweeney (Murder She Baked), Kristian Bruun (Orphan Black), Ari Millen (Orphan Black), Erica Durance (Saving Hope), Michael Shanks (Saving Hope), Eddie Cahill (Conviction), Ben Hollingsworth (Code Black), Mireille Enos (The Catch), Kevin Zegers (Notorious), Jessica Lucas (Gotham), Melanie Chandra (Code Black), Harry Ford (Code Black), Clark Gregg (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Giacomo Gianniotti (Grey’s Anatomy) and Dr. Oz.
One major thing we’ve noticed with this upcoming line-up as a focus away from Superhero-centric programming, which was the big thing last year. We’re seeing more of a focus on Drama and Suspense front and center. Noticeable was a small proportion of Sitcoms in this unveiling. Toronto-filmed Conviction (starring Hayley Atwell) and Designated Survivor (starring Kiefer Sutherland) were among the big reveals at the presentation.
See our Snaps with the Stars of the 2016 CTV Upfront!
We’re sad and in ways glad to see TIFF ’15 ending and although we love the excitement, it’s nice to get back to normal again. We worked ourselves into the ground and got quite ill, but we’re fighting it. We believe in transparency and admit this wasn’t the most exciting Festival in memory, but we had fun and look forward to TIFF ’16. With rain drowning-out a lot of the fun on the Festival’s three busiest days, fans were forced to make the most out of the situation and in these times we see truly who the champs of Hollywood truly are!
Whether it be Tom Hardy or George Clooney braving the wet for fans, few can argue that it’s absolutely worth the labour and effort for that one moment of connection.
Let’s look back at my highlights of TIFF ’15!
To say this was a chore is an understatement. I love Brie Larson and if she doesn’t know that by now then it’s time to invest in a billboard. This Selfie took nine tries dating back to 2013. Prior to TIFF ’15, many were asking who she was. Now that the festival is over, people are googling. She is amazing in Room, but I’ve enjoyed her work long before that. Expect her to be in the thick of the Best Actress race this Awards Season. Worth it? Totally.
Tom Hardy. Easily one of the Kings of TIFF ’15. It’s amazing seeing fame hasn’t changed this striking Actor who endured rain to greet every single fan at both his Press Conference and Premiere for Legend. Marry us, Tom! We’ll gladly share.
Analeigh Tipton. I’ve been singing her praises for years and all it is gonna take for this former America’s Next Top Model contestant to get that one breakout role and I’m confident you too will fall in love with the statuesque stunner. She was here for a supporting role in Ryan Reynolds‘ Film Mississippi Grind.
Dakota Johnson. This photo is 50 Shades of YASSSS! My last encounter with this now A-Lister in New York wasn’t great, but she lit it up at the Press Conference for Black Mass for which she is being lauded for her scene-stealing performance. She saw the struggle of me trying to get a Selfie despite being there since 6:40 AM and she contorted her head over in an array of tilts to ensure I got the shot! Thanks to Andre for helping take this!
Johnny Depp certainly draws a crowd and this is the closest I could manage at the Press Conference for Black Mass where he was more than kind. Event Security certainly made it tough on the Autograph Collectors, knocking and tossing their clipboards as they tried reaching down to King Johnny.
Tom Hiddleston. A bit sad that his films I Saw the Light and High-Rise didn’t get universal love critically, but we were still happy to see him and talk to him quickly. He was super-selective when he’d take Selfies with people, but was awesome signing autographs.
Eddie Redmayne, King of TIFF ’15. Even Johnny Depp was at his The Danish Girl Premiere. True, Amber Heard (who has a supporting role) was the reason on the surface but we all know he went to check-out his Best Actor competition! LOL
Emily Blunt. The English Actress continues the beginning of what will be an Oscar campaign. She is just great in Sicario, one of the more popular Films of the Festival. Here she was at a party for Entertainment Weekly. Not many got Selfies with her this visit though which is odd as she’s great normally.
So much love and respect for QueenJulianne. This was probably my sixth time meeting her and she’s just been amazing every time. She once even sat down and chat with me for five minutes about acting advice. We hope she never stops coming to TIFF. She will break your heart again in Freeheld.
On cloud nine about this one. I love Ellen Page so much and don’t believe it took this long to meet her. You can just tell she’s in a good place in her life right now and we’re happy for her. Freeheld. See it.
Anya Taylor-Joy. This girl is going to do amazing things. I had no idea The Witch was made around Toronto and she is just stellar in this highly-buzzed horror. “I’m not good at this”, she said taking a Selfie with me. She’d better get used to it as it’s happening for her. Stunning.
Natalie Portman. Will never get a Selfie with her, but I still love her. So amazing getting to sit-in at her TIFF ’40 Soiree and listen to her reflect on her career. Black Swan to this day is a personal favourite and it was amazing seeing that Film’s Director Darren Aronofsky stop by!
Julie Delpy. Huge fan of Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and her work in the Before Sunrise Trilogy. She was in a foot cast for crying out loud. She tells me she broke her leg. LA CHAMP. She is here for French Comedy Lolo.
Sandra + George. None of us had any idea George Clooney was showing-up as Producer of Our Brand is Crisis, starring Sandra Bullock. He walked the entire carpet, greeting fans as it was about to rain. I got sick waiting in the cold dampness, but well worth it.
And now to thank our partners for TIFF ’15 whom we couldn’t have done it without. We did it bigger and better than ever this year! We won’t forget appearing on CBC’s Metro Morning, ITV’s Good Morning Britain,CTV News and CP24 and if you learned of us through these appearances, welcome and please stick around! We go hard year-round, not just TIFF!
And you absolutely must check-out our wide selections of TIFF ’15. See which Films deserve the Awards Season buzz. Thank you to Jonathan Godfrey, Dave Baldwin, Justin Waldman and George Kozera for all their contributions! Click here to read them all.
Nobody does the Upfronts bigger than Bell Media year after year, and in celebration of their forthcoming Fall/Midseason Lineup, they brought out some of their big guns to pitch to Media Buyers at a Special Presentation at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.
Talent at the Bell Media Upfronts this year included Stars from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, How To Get Away with Murder, Gotham, Grey’s Anatomy, Saving Hope and new Series like Quantico, Blindspot, The Catch (from Shonda Rhimes), Lucifer and Code Black.
President of Bell Media, Phil King, delivered some hard facts to potential Media Buyers. Last season, CTV aired six of the Top Six new most-watched Series. Above this, 12 out of their 18 core Primetime Series are less than three years old, pointing-out their commitment to always deliver fresh, evolving programming options.
We’re sure excited to see some of these new Series this Fall/Midseason and thrilled to see the positively awesome Jaimie Alexander get her long overdue moment in the spotlight on new Series, Blindspot. And if there is any one new Program, destined to succeed, we’re certainly placing our bets on prophetically-named Legends of Tomorrow!
She certainly was Belle of the Ball! English Actress Lily James gained international recognition as Lady Rose MacClare on Downton Abbey. But who would’ve known soon after she would land the Breakthrough Role of a lifetime, starring in the titular Character in Disney‘s ambitious live-action Adaptation of Cinderella?
This new Version of the Disney Classic gives us an elevated sense of romance between Ella (James) and her Prince (Richard Madden), heightened Stepmother (Cate Blanchett) – Stepsister (Sophie McShera, Holliday Grainger) tension and a glimpse into the unfading optimism of Ella, whom despite adversity still chooses to surround herself with beauty. The tasteful CGI is jaw-dropping and this Kenneth Branagh creation is a total visual delight, never once forgetting the very heart of this beloved Tale.
The Red Carpet was filled with Fans and Media alike, all eager for a chance to see with James, an absolute vision in white. “I’m wearing Dior“, she tells me about her beautiful dress and clutch.
I ask James about what makes Cinderella so timeless in that it continues to resonate in a big way with Audiences today. She tells me, “I think at the heart of the story is the Underdog. The Girl that deserves everything but has nothing – but is rewarded.”. She adds, “You can get behind her and root for her. There’s so much heart to it”.
James tells me also the greatest thing she took away from her experience making Cinderella. She reveals how humbling it was to work with true Greats like Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter stating, “I learned so much, endless things from Helen and Cate.” “They’re strong Women – brilliant Actors and brilliant Human Beings.”. She also reveals that soon again she will collaborate with Kenneth Branagh, telling us “Yes, he is going to direct Richard Madden and me in Romeo & Juliet”. And after seeing this Remake you’ll understand exactly why the Thespian-Helmer is so eager to work with the Duo once again.
Tonight’s Premiere was none short on local star-power. Several Talent walked the Red Carpet in support of this timeless tale including Child Actor Shailyn Pierre-Dixon(The Book of Negroes) who scored a Photo Op with James after handing her a copy of the Book on which her TV Series is based upon, as a gift. Guests also included Sarah Allen (Remedy), Liz Trinnear (MuchMusic), Jeremy MacPherson (Game of Homes), Genelle Williams (Bitten), Peter Outerbridge (Murdoch Mysteries), Tammy Isbell (Bitten), Tommie-Amber Pirie (Pretend We’re Kissing), Lauren Riihimaki (LaurDIY) and Sara Lynn Cauchon (The Domestic Geek), among others. The Hosts of CTV’s highly-rated The Social: Traci Melchor, Melissa Grelo, Lainey Lui and Cynthia Loyst, also were among those to grace the Red Carpet and chat with us.
Like the Audience tonight, those who see Cinderella in theatres will be treated with the delightfully-cute Short, Frozen Fever, which sees our favourite Sisters on-screen once again planning a Birthday Bash for Anna, all while Elsa experiences in untimely fashion, a… wait for it… cold.
See our Chats with James, The Hosts of The Social, Liz Trinnear, Sarah Allen and Tomie-Amber Pirie below:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release CINDERELLA on Friday, March 13, 2015.
Bell Media rolled out the Red Carpet and took over Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in a big way, welcoming seventy eight Stars to preview their forthcoming 2014 Fall/2015 Mid-Season Lineup.
Balancing Canadian content with some major renewals – like a third season of Saving Hope and second seasons of Bitten and Spun Out – a focus also is placed on several of its new and proven American titles, CTV (and CTV 2!) – Canada’s number one Network for 13 consecutive years – looks to take a chance on some high-profile new releases.
New major Titles seeing a release in the forthcoming Fall and Mid-Season include:
SECRETS AND LIES
THE ODD COUPLE
MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER
THE MYSTERIES OF LAURA
Among the several Stars walking the Red Carpet today were Beau Bridges (The Millers), Judd Hirsch (Forever), Alana De La Garza (Forever), Ben McKenzie (Gotham), Donal Logue (Gotham), Robin Taylor (Gotham), Anthony Lemke (19-2), Tyler Ritter (The McCarthys), Kelen Coleman (The McCarthys), Jimmy Dunn (The McCarthys), Michael Emerson (Person of Interest), Alfie Enoch (How to Get Away with Murder), Matt McGorry (How to Get Away with Murder), Caitlin Gerard (American Crime), Elvis Nolasco (American Crime), Jack Falahee (How to Get Away with Murder), Aja Naomi King (How to Get Away with Murder), Kirsten Vangsness (Criminal Minds), William Moseley (The Royals – he came with Actress Girlfriend Kelsey Chow!), Alexandra Park (The Royals), Chloe Bennet (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), George Wendt (Buzzys), Elizabeth Henstridge (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Stephen Amell (Arrow), David Ramsey (Arrow), Candice Patton (The Flash), Danielle Panabaker (The Flash), Jared Keeso (19-2), Laura Vandervoort (Bitten), Steven Lund (Bitten), Michael Xavier (Bitten), Greg Bryk (Bitten), Greyston Holt (Bitten), Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs), Kristin Lehman (Motive), Brendan Penney (Motive), Louis Ferreira (Motive), Erica Durance (Saving Hope), Daniel Gillies (Saving Hope) and several more. Newcomer Grant Gustin, formerly of Glee, drew the most anticipation on the Fan-filled Red Carpet, many predicting that new CW Series The Flash will propel his Career to the stratosphere.
And now for the fun stuff! We snagged a few Autographs from some of today’s CTV Upfront Stars including Laura Vandervoort, Ben McKenzie, Matt McGorry, Elizabeth Henstridge and Chloe Bennet! To enter to win, specify at Mr. Will Wong on Facebook under this Post whose Autograph you’d like to win and click “like” also. You may enter for multiple Autographs!
A National Hero, an Internet Phenomenon and now an Author. CommanderChris Hadfield has been in Toronto this past week promoting his first Book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, which details his experiences as an Astronaut and Commander of the International Space Station. Hadfield captivated the World with mind-blowing Photos shared via Social Media from his Expeditions, including his final one in which he aided scientific experiments dealing with the low impact of gravity on Human Biology. A slick, self-made Music Video for his Cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity recorded in Space to date has garnered over 18-million views worldwide on YouTube.
As an Homage to Bowie, who has been front-and-center of late in Toronto with his popular Art Gallery of Ontario Exhibit taking place right now, Maclean’s features Hadfield on the Cover of their October issue made-up as Bowie in his Aladdin Sane Era. Earlier in the week, he also did Interviews out of the Venue to be fully thematic.
As he jogged across Bloor Street followinga TV appearance yesterday into a silver Mercedes Benz, he apologized profusely as he didn’t have a moment for a Photo. This morning though, I spotted Hadfield and his Assistant grabbing a Coffee at Starbucks as they head-off for another day of Press. Recognizing me right away, he came out of his car and shook my hand, taking a minute kindly for a Snap. “Are we gonna be able to manage a Selfie?” and after a failed attempt, he was more than patient to Review the Photo with me. “That one will do!”, he gestured at the winning Pic on my LED Screen.