Last but certainly not least of the Canadian network Upfronts this week is the Corus Upfront which took over Rebel Night Club at the city’s waterside today. Unveiled today were some of the media giant’s new programming offerings for their 2017/2018 line-up. New series to appear on the Corus family of television stations include: THE SINNER, ABSENTIA, MARVEL’S RUNAWAYS, MARVEL’S CLOAK AND DAGGER, VALOR, KNIGHTFALL, THE BOLD TYPE and college-ish.
After successful runs int he past, these following series also make a return: TRANSPARENT, MOZART IN THE JUNGLE, TRAVELERS, SUPERGIRL, MR. ROBOT, OUTLANDER and VIKINGS. This in addition to several additions to their lifestyle and kids’ slates including popular reality series like The Bachelor Canada and Top Chef Canada coming back, plus new and returning programs with loved and trusted stars Bryan Baeumler, Mike Holmes, Scott McGillivray, Sarah Richardson and the Scott Brothers.
See some of the names in-town to celebrate the Corus Upfront today including Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T.), LL Cool J (NCIS: Los Angeles), Lucas Till (MacGyver), Jermaine Fowler (Superior Donuts), Eric McCormack (Travelers), Mike Vogel (The Brave) and more!
The buzz certainly is there for proudly-Canadian Streaming Service shomi. A collaboration of efforts between Multimedia Giants SHAW and ROGERS, the Service will be rolled-out to the Set-Top Boxes and Streaming Devices (Apple and Android Tablets and Smartphones) this Fall, with their eyes set on the success which Key Player Netflix has achieved across homes in North America.
We and a select Group of Key Influencers in the Canadian Market, had the opportunity to hear directly from shomi‘s Marni Shulman and Marc Dinsdale who play a pivotal role in its launch at an exclusive Event at Toronto’s only five-star Hotel, The Hazelton. We learned about the virtues of the Service, which is being touted as being “created for Entertainment Lovers, by Entertainment Lovers”. It is the product of two things we learned: Algorithms based on Viewer habits and also the Human Touch.
The Service capitalizes on the phenomenon of Bingewatching, currently taking the World by storm, focusing on multi-season, “bingeworthy“-based Content. Shulman says, “shomi is focusing on edgy, immersive content with deep character”. “80% of our content is Series, 19% is Movies and the other 1% will be Concerts and original produced content.”.
That being said, shomi will be the first to stream hotly-tipped programming like NBA Star Lebron James’ BECOMING Series, a response to the lack of Sports-based programming for Kids, and also STARZ Series POWER, produced by Hip-Hop Star Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. It also has exclusivity on FX Original Programming like Sons of Anarchy and American Horror Story, not available on other Streaming Services.
A deal also has been reached with Warner Bros., meaning that acclaimed Series like FALLING SKIES, 2 BROKE GIRLS and SHAMELESS also are not far behind. shomi Users also will be the first to see Producer Rob Thomas’ eagerly-awaited iZOMBIE Series, described as a cross between The Walking Dead and Veronica Mars.
The biggest selling point of shomi is its ease of use. Instead of focusing on word-based searches, Kids in particular will find simplicity with its image and experience-based layout, while its Bookmarking Feature makes it easy to pick-up or proceed in watching programs at a later date.
The $8.99 monthly subscription rate with its first month being free should appeal to Customers who want to add and remove the feature at their own discretion and many will find relief in being able to view programming directly on their Set-Top Boxes, meaning less worries about exceeding Internet Plan Data Caps.
shomi launches this November. Click here to learn more.
The 2014 Canadian Upfronts are in full swing and Shaw Media truly upped their game this year unveiling their upcoming Fall and 2015 Mid-Season Lineups. Heavy on its focus on new American programming for its Global Television, over 50 new Programs also were picked-up on their Specialty Networks (i.e. Showcase, History, HGTV, Food, Slice, DTour and Lifetime).
A litany of Talent representing a wide array of Shaw Media programming, appeared at Elgin Theatre today to celebrate the occasion.
Among the new Series being acquired were:
A to Z
State of Affairs
The Red Tent
Down East Dickering
Biker Battleground Phoenix
Mike’s Ultimate Garage
House Hunters International Renovation
Sold on the Spot
The Jennie Garth Project
My Big Family Renovation
Lakefront Bargain Hunt
Vacation House for Free
Ellen’s Design Challenge
Food Truck Face Off
Chopped: Ultimate Chopped Champions Tournament
Great Canadian Cookbook
The Singles Project
Extreme Guide to Parenting
Ladies of London
Million Dollar Listing Miami
Online Dating Rituals of the American Male
See No Evil
Ghost Adventures: Aftershock
Border Security Australia
Hotel Secrets & Legends
Little Women: LA
In attendance today were: Kevin Zegers, Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow), Megan Boone (The Blacklist), Ryan Eggold (The Blacklist), Matt Ryan (Constantine), Charles Barnett (Chicago Fire), Jesse Lee Soffer (Chicago P.D.), Dillon Casey (Remedy), Sara Canning (Remedy), Enrico Colantoni (Remedy), Missy Peregrym (Rookie Blue), Charlotte Sullivan (Rookie Blue), Susur Lee (Chopped Canada), Leslie Odom Jr. (State of Affairs), in addition Shaw‘s fine roster of Talent including personalities like Cheryl Hickey, John Catucci, Leslie Roberts, Antony Robart, Roz Weston and several more.
For more information on Shaw‘s upcoming 2014 Fall/2015 Mid-Season Lineup, click here.
Based upon the Mexican TV Series Ellas son la Alegría del Hogar, Canadian Desperate Housewives Fans will revel in delight knowing that Creator Marc Cherry’s Devious Maids at long last has found a home on Lifetime Canada. Several were left shocked and disappointed after news broke the original Pilot had not been picked-up by ABC despite being ordered early 2012 by the Network.
The Series centers around four Latina Maids who work in Beverly Hills for some of the most powerful and wealthy Families. Certainly not short on juiciness, many will savour the scandal. There’s murder, love, affairs, secrets and betrayal galore. Meet Marisol (Ana Ortiz of Ugly Betty), Rosie (Dania Ramirez of ), Carmen (Roselyn Sánchez) and Zoila (Judy Reyes), who in the Desperate Housewives universe respectively would kinda/sorta be your Susan, Lynette, Gabrielle and Bree. Add to that mix the return of Soap Opera Royalty Susan Lucci as the commanding, self-absorbed and youth-obsessed Heiress Genevieve, Zoila‘s Boss.
Arriving in Toronto to unveil the brand new Series at today’s 2013 Shaw Media Upfronts, Stars Ortiz and Lucci greet me in their Hotel Suite, the former elegant in emerald green, the latter stunning in sapphire blue. I could not help but be in awe of how amazing Lucci (a Grandmother of four) looks, long-heralded as Queen of the Soaps with a record-breaking 21 Daytime Emmy Nominations in the iconic role of Erica Kane on All My Children. Ortiz whom we all loved as Elder Sister Hilda Suarez in Ugly Betty, is as vivacious as expected in person, eloquent really.
We talk first about Casting and how they came to be involved in what potentially could be a Breakout Hit and both point to the Man who started it all – Cherry. Oritz tells me about her observant and cool Character who harbours a deep, dark secret. “Marc had approached me and after some meetings and asked me which Maid I gravitated toward most. I didn’t even hesitate it was always Marisol”,she recalls. “We read together and after that I was like ‘Where do I sign?’”.
Lucci meanwhile tells me it was Fan Feedback which helped connect her and Cherry. “There had been a lot online suggesting I was going to go on Desperate Housewives and it wasn’t coming from me nor Mark – it was largely Fan-driven”, says Lucci. “He told me that Show was actually finished being written and that he had a new one called Devious Maids that was being written. I got a call to audition and he didn’t tell me how was going to pronounce my name. I didn’t know whether it was “Jen-ah-veev” or “Jon-vee-yev”. It was the under-the-bed scene we did and I loved it, I was at home in New York then. It was hysterical when I read it and I loved it.”. That scene she is describing certainly is funny indeed, as we are introduced to her Character clasping a bottle of pills, suicidal after being dumped by her much younger Fling.
Cherry certainly has created some dynamic Characters once again here in Devious Maids and his talented Ensemble would agree. Ortiz is not shy about paying her respects declaring, “Thank you Marc Cherry for writing these really wonderful, complex Women that we really are in real life, and doing it so succinctly with so many Women and so many different Characters.”. “Because we’re creating these characters, we’re doing it all together. Marc will talk to us for an hour if we have any questions.”. Chiming-in, Lucci adds “He’s such a vision and it’s coming from a good place. After he sees rehearsal he’ll give you a little note to tweak it a certain way and it’s always right on the money. It’s very much an Ensemble.”.
What makes Devious Maids unique is its over-the-top Novela (“in the best sense of the word” as Lucci puts it) vibe and its humorous look at Class Relations. “What’s so wonderful about the Show is that you see these incredible Beverly Hills mansions and glamour through the Maids’ eyes”, says Ortiz. “There’s definitely the aspect of class difference, but Marc has made it about the Characters and their relationships with one another. I guess the comment is that as far apart as we are, we are all still very similar and we all have so much more in common than we realize.”.
Ortiz and and Lucci both admit that they too have needed help too in order for them to be able to fulfill their own dreams as Mothers and Actresses. On finding balance, Ortiz states “Women have been doing this centuries not just on TV, it’s just what we do. The fact that you had those Women helping you, who enabled you to be a Working Mom. I have a Daughter and it’s so important she sees me working because that’s when I’m most happy – doing what I love, fulfilling my dreams and passions”. “It’s more than just about Women cleaning your house or helping you with your Children. There’s such a special relationship there and Marc really has been able to finesse that and bring it to life.”.
Lucci reveals that she also has benefited from help and admits, “I know that I could never have done what I did without the incredibly warm and smart help of Frieda, who has been with me for 30 years. There’s only one other person who got a page in my Book and that’s Frieda!”, she laughs.
Enjoy the Audio from our Chat below:
Devious Maids premieres Sunday, June 23, 2013 on Lifetime Canada. Click here for more.