Iran mistakenly shot down Ukraine jet – US media – BBC News
Iran mistakenly shot down the Ukrainian plane that crashed on Wednesday near Tehran with 176 people on board, US media report.
US officials say they believe the Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737-800 was hit by a missile, CBS says.
Ukraine earlier said it was examining whether a missile strike brought down the aircraft – but Iran ruled this out.
The crash came just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq.
CBS News quoted US intelligence sources as saying a satellite detected infrared “blips” of two missile launches, followed by another blip of an explosion.
Meanwhile, Newsweek quoted a Pentagon and senior US intelligence officials, as well as an Iraqi intelligence official, as saying they believed the Ukrainian plane was hit by a Russian-made Tor missile.
US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that “I have my suspicions” over the plane. “Somebody could have made a mistake,” he said.
Amid tensions heightened by the US killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani on 3 January, Iran has said it will not hand over the recovered black box flight recorders to Boeing, the plane’s manufacturer, or to the US.
Under global aviation rules Iran has the right to lead the investigation, but manufacturers are typically involved.
What does US media report?
In separate reports, CBS News and Newsweek said US and Iraqi intelligence officials were confident the Ukrainian plane was brought down by a missile fired by Iran.
CBS published a brief report on Twitter, saying the officials were confident the plane was shot down.
It said this information was based on US intelligence, which sources said picked up signals of a radar being turned on. US satellites also reportedly detected two missile launches shortly before the Ukrainian plane exploded.
Meanwhile, Newsweek quoted US and Iraqi officials as saying they believed the aircraft was hit by a Russia-built Tor M-1 surface-to-air missile system, known as Gauntlet by Nato.
Two Pentagon officials assessed that the incident was accidental, Newsweek added.
It quoted sources as saying that Iran’s anti-aircraft systems were probably active following its attacks on the US airbases.
Meanwhile, asked at what he thought happened to the plane, President Trump said: “I have my suspicions. It’s a tragic thing when I see that, it’s a tragic thing. But somebody could have made a mistake on the other side.
“Some people say it was mechanical. I personally, I don’t think that’s even a question, personally. So we’ll see what happens.
“Something very terrible happened. Very devastating,” Mr Trump said.
Earlier on Thursday, Oleksiy Danylov, the secretary of Ukraine’s security and defence council, said in a Facebook post (in Ukrainian) that three four main possible crash causes were being considered:
- an anti-aircraft missile strike, specifically a Tor missile, taking into account reports of a missile being found near the crash site
- a mid-air collision with a drone or other flying object
- engine destruction/explosion due to technical reasons
- an explosion inside the plane as a result of a terror attack
Mr Danylov said Ukrainian investigators, who are already in Iran, wanted to search for possible debris from a missile at the site of the crash. Iran is known to have Russian missile defence systems.
The investigation would include experts who worked on the investigation into the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, Mr Danylov added.
The UK government said it was urgently looking into reports that the Ukrainian plane may have been shot down.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said reports in media were “very concerning” and the government wanted to see a “full, transparent investigation”.
What does Iran say?
Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation (CAOI) chief Ali Abedzadeh said: “The plane, which was initially headed west to leave the airport zone, turned right following a problem and was headed back to the airport at the moment of the crash.”
Mr Abedzadeh added that witnesses saw the plane “on fire” before the crash, and that pilots had not made any distress calls before trying to return to Imam Khomeini airport.
“Several domestic and foreign flights were flying in Iranian space at the same altitude of 8,000ft (2,400m). The issue of the missile’s impact on the aircraft cannot be true in any way,” he said.
Mr Abedzadeh said the initial findings had been sent to Ukraine and the US, where Boeing has its headquarters.
He was earlier quoted as saying that “terrorism” had played no role in the crash.
Sweden and Canada had also been sent the findings, as their nationals were on board, he added.
Who is investigating the crash?
Normally, the US National Transportation Safety Board would have a role to play in any international investigations involving US-made Boeings. But the board must act with permission and in accordance with legislation of the foreign country concerned.
In comments published by Iran’s Mehr news agency, Mr Abedzadeh, said: “We will not give the black box to the manufacturer and the Americans.
“This accident will be investigated by Iran’s aviation organisation, but the Ukrainians can also be present,” he added.
Mr Abedzadeh said it was not yet clear which country would analyse the black boxes – a cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier said that “a thorough and independent investigation will be conducted in accordance with international law”, and that he would speak to Iranian leaders to step up co-operation in investigating the crash.
Ukraine is observing a day of national mourning on Thursday.
Boeing said it was “ready to assist in any way needed”, while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country expected to have a role in the investigation and had offered technical assistance.
What do we know?
The Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 to Kyiv had 167 passengers and nine Ukrainian crew on board.
The majority of passengers were from Iran and Canada.
Ukraine’s Tehran embassy initially blamed engine failure but later removed the statement, saying any comment regarding the cause of the accident prior to a commission’s inquiry was not official.
There was good visibility when the plane went down near Iran’s capital, according to the Flightradar24 aviation website. Officials from the airline said the crew were experienced.
Who was on board?
Among the victims were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians including all nine crew, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Britons and three Germans, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said. Fifteen of the dead were children.
But the German government later said “we currently have no knowledge that German citizens are among the victims of the plane crash in Iran”.
Iran’s head of emergency operations said 147 of the victims were Iranian. That would suggest that 65 of the foreign nationals had dual nationalities. The Ukrainian airline gave a helpline number for further information about passengers: +38-044-581-50-19.
Mr Trudeau said 138 passengers on the flight were en route to Canada via Kyiv.
“All people who won’t be coming home to their parents, their friends, their colleagues or their family,” he said. “All had so much potential, so much life ahead of them.”
Bill C-11: Feds tell CRTC to exclude social media users
Canadians who make content online are to be excluded from future regulations that the Liberal government is imposing on digital giants, a new draft policy shows.
The government’s online streaming bill, which passed in April, aims to force platforms such as Netflix, YouTube and TikTok to contribute to and promote Canadian content – a requirement traditional broadcasters already follow.
But the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission must now develop regulations to implement the bill’s intentions.
Draft policy issued by the government on Thursday instructs the CRTC to leave out social media users, including local businesses, who upload content online, even if they use commercial songs.
For example, a person who records a makeup tutorial or dance trend while with a Harry Styles song in the background would not fall under the regulations.
The draft policy states that the measures will not apply to such users because their content is mainly meant for the internet.
However, platforms like TikTok and YouTube will likely be regulated for streaming music promoted by record labels or commercial artists, when that content is also broadcast on other platforms – like on the radio.
A senior official within the Canadian Heritage Department said the key to understanding which broadcaster will be regulated is knowing if commercial content that is on their platform also appears in other media, such as on TV, radio or other digital streaming services.
For example, a television show can appear both on Netflix and on cable, and a live sports game could stream on social media platforms, TV and radio.
YouTube, which has opposed the bill, said it is committed to keeping intact the ecosystem of its platform, which relies on creators.
“That’s something we’re committed to preserving,” a spokesperson for YouTube said in a statement on Thursday.
“We are reviewing the policy direction, and will continue to advocate for the interests of Canada’s digital creators and audiences through the remaining stages of this process.”
The draft policy said people who make local podcasts or stream video games online will also be excluded from the bill’s regulations, which are set to take shape over the summer before a final policy directive is released in the fall.
Digital media giants that fall under the regulations will have to promote Canadian content, and are encouraged to put forward their own ideas on how they can do that.
The Canadian Heritage Department said it wants input from digital platforms on how they can promote Canadian content, but they say it could come in a variety of ways – from billboards promoting artists to designating sections of their sites to local music and stories.
The government’s draft policy states that the solution should minimize the need for companies to alter their algorithms in order to comply with the law.
Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who sponsored the bill, has said the law is intended to help highlight local stories and music on streaming platforms, many of which are based in the United States.
“We’ve said it from the start: if you benefit from the system, you should contribute to it. With the Online Streaming Act, we’re acting to support our creators, our artists, our independent producers and our culture so that they thrive in the digital age,” Rodriguez said in a statement Thursday.
“Canadians deserve to see themselves in what they watch and listen to, and this legislation is an essential step forward in ensuring that our cultural industry and our talent shine.”
The government’s directive also asked the commission to prioritize parts of the bill dealing with redefining Canadian content, advancing Indigenous storytelling and achieving better representation from Black and LGBTQ2S+ communities.
The CRTC will hold public consultations in the weeks ahead, in which people will have the opportunity to provide input.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2023.
Bell Media Announces 2023/24 Original Programming Slate
TORONTO (June 8, 2023) – Ahead of today’s 2023 Upfront presentation, Bell Media unveils its English and French-language original content slate for 2023/24, totaling 96 titles and 1037 hours of original content. Produced in partnership with independent production partners and Bell Media Studios, the impressive programming lineup doubles down on returning fan-favourites and beloved franchises, and adds compelling new series from a diverse roster of well-known and emerging Canadian storytellers.
“Our 2023/24 slate illustrates Bell Media’s unwavering commitment to developing and creating original programming,” said Karine Moses, Senior Vice President, Content Development & News for Bell Media and Vice Chair, Québec for Bell. “We take great pride in collaborating with our visionary production partners to deliver compelling content that reflects Canadian experiences, yet resonates around the world.”
Among today’s announcements:
- Based on the hit international format THE TRAITORS, English and French-language versions of the psychological reality competition series are greenlit for CTV (THE TRAITORS: CANADA) and Noovo (LES TRAÎTRES). As announced on Tuesday, in a Bell Media first, Karine Vanasse (CARDINAL) will host both the English and French-language versions of the series.
- CTV adds new lifestyle reality special THE TAKE BACK, which gives Canadians across the country a second chance at their cancelled celebrations.
- Celebrated Canadian comedian Russell Peters hosts THE RP4 HOSTED BY RUSSELL PETERS for CTV Comedy Channel, and is the subject of new Crave documentary RUSSELL PETERS.
- CTV Sci-Fi Channel becomes the exclusive home to comedy horror series REGINALD THE VAMPIRE.
- New docuseries THE SQUAD unveils the story behind the 1991 arrest of Wanda Holloway in Texas for CTV Drama Channel.
- Notable names at the helm of Crave Original series include: KIDS IN THE HALL’s Bruce McCulloch who presents the new sketch comedy series THE DESSERT; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who hosts the new series THE OPTIMIST’S GUIDE TO THE PLANET WITH NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU; Alex Wolff, Thea Sofie Loch Næss, Anna Torv, and Noah Taylor who star in the new international co-production SO LONG, MARIANNE, about the story that inspired Leonard Cohen’s infamous love song; and online legends Jae and Trey Richards who bring hilarious new comedy THE OFFICE MOVERS.
- More Crave Originals include: new comedy series THE TRADES from the producers of TRAILER PARK BOYS; first-ever short form series NESTING; Indigenous comedy series DON’T EVEN; and a bevy of ground-breaking documentaries.
- Morgan Kohan, Chad Michael Murray, and Scott Patterson return for Season 2 of the #1 new Canadian drama SULLIVAN’S CROSSING.
- CTV confirms a new season of FARMING FOR LOVE (Season 2), which joins the previously announced renewals of award-winning and fan-favourite series THE AMAZING RACE CANADA (Season 9), CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING (Season 3), and TRANSPLANT (Season 4).
- CTV Life Channel renews award-winning cooking series MARY MAKES IT EASY for a third season.
- CTV Comedy Channel leans on the laughs with renewals for hit series ROAST BATTLE CANADA (Season 4) and ACTING GOOD (Season 2).
- Award-winning Crave Originals returning for new seasons include: Season 4 of CANADA’S DRAG RACE, coming later this year; Season 2 of CANADA’S DRAG RACE: CANADA VS. THE WORLD; a second season of WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE (EVEN JAY BARUCHEL); and Season 2 of docu-comedy series PILLOW TALK.
- Discovery Networks renews popular factual series including FEAR THY NEIGHBOR (Season 9), HIGHWAY THRU HELL (Season 12), LAST OF THE GIANTS (Season 3), and FORENSIC FACTOR (Season 7) from Bell Media Studios.
- Originals continue to drive French conventional network Noovo with just announced titles including the return of hit SURVIVOR QUÉBEC for Season 2.
- Bell Media Studios orders new seasons of CTV YOUR MORNING, THE SOCIAL, and Canada’s #1 entertainment news program ETALK – along with the just announced new daytime series THE GOOD STUFF WITH MARY BERG hosted by Mary Berg.
Bell Media’s New English and French-Language Primetime Original Entertainment Productions Slate from Independent Producers Includes the Following, With Additional Titles to Be Announced Later This Year. For Returning Series Synopses, Click Here.
New English-Language Series:
BATTLE OF THE GENERATIONS – CTV *previously announced
BATTLE OF THE GENERATIONS not only asks how well you know your own generation, but how well you know your rivals’ generations – ultimately resolving the question of which generation has what it takes to win it all. (Bell Media Studios/GroupM Motion Entertainment)
BILLIONAIRE MURDERS – Crave *previously announced
Premiering June 16, the four-part docuseries explores the unsolved murders of Canadian power couple, Barry and Honey Sherman. The series narrative is driven by leading investigative journalist, and the pre-eminent expert on the case, Kevin Donovan. BILLIONAIRE MURDERS features illuminating interviews and compelling details of the case, including an intimate look at the crime scene, and access to key figures connected to the couple, along with information from confidential sources with insight crucial to the unsolved murder mystery. (Entertainment One)
BRIA MACK GETS A LIFE – Crave *previously announced
A half-hour comedy series that follows Bria Mack, a 25-year-old Black woman, as she navigates adulthood in a predominantly white world – which is made all the more difficult, but also more tolerable – by Black Attack, her invisible hype girl. (New Metric Media)
THE DESSERT – Crave
Bruce McCulloch of THE KIDS IN THE HALL presents the next generation of Canadian sketch comedy with an all-out, boundary pushing expedition to the edge of decency. Starring Isabella Campbell, Shane Cunningham (co-creator), and Jillian Smart, with music by Executive Producer Max Kerman (Arkells), THE DESSERT is an audacious and rapid-fire celebration of the absurd. (LaRue Entertainment)
DON’T EVEN – Crave
After a humiliation at her high school grad, Violet wants to make the most of the summer before university as her best friend, Harley, distracts herself from a big dilemma: She doesn’t know what she wants to do after high school. As the lifelong Indigenous BFFs bask in their newfound freedom, cracks begin to form in their once impenetrable bond. It’s awkward. It’s dramatic. It’s friggin’ Winnipeg. (Pier 21 Films, Frantic Films Manitoba, Sekowan Media)
THE GOOD STUFF WITH MARY BERG – CTV
THE GOOD STUFF WITH MARY BERG, a new talk and lifestyle series, hosted by multiple Canadian Screen Award-winning host and author Mary Berg features lifestyle trends, home hacks, audience games, and inspiring stories – all from top experts. A daily hour of fun, food, and laughs, Berg dives right in from sharing daily, delicious and approachable recipes for the home cook, to cook-a-long sessions with guest chefs, and getting her hands dirty with gardening, DIYs, home renovations and more. As well, Berg welcomes notable guests, including authors, celebrities, influencers, and everyday heroes. (Bell Media Studios)
*not accounted for in total hours of English and French-language content.
I HAVE NOTHING – Crave *previously announced
I HAVE NOTHING follows Carolyn Taylor (BARONESS VON SKETCH) on a quest to choreograph the perfect full length pairs figure skating routine to Whitney Houston’s 1992 iconic hit song “I Have Nothing.” Motivated by a teenaged obsession for the 1988 Calgary Olympics (but with no skating knowledge or ability), Carolyn is aided and abetted on her figure-skating journey by BAFTA-winning actor and comedian Mae Martin (Feel Good) and Emmy-winning figure skating choreographer Sandra Bezic (Battle of the Blades). The season culminates in a live performance of Carolyn’s one-of-a-kind routine for an audience of figure-skating royalty, die-hard skating fans and Carolyn’s teen idols. (Blue Ant Studios in association with Catalyst)
LATE BLOOMER – Crave *previously announced
Created by and starring Jasmeet Raina (Jus Reign), the eight-part series, which is loosely inspired by Raina’s life as a Punjabi Sikh millennial and online celebrity, follows burgeoning content creator Jasmeet Dutta as he tries to balance his ambitions for success with his commitment to his family, community, and culture. (Pier 21 Films)
NESTING – Crave
Anna and Rosa, two unlikely best friends for whom the romantic comedy dream hasn’t panned out – no house, no partner, no baby – try to get knocked-up at the same time so they can parent together in a new version of family. As they clumsily and comically search for a baby daddy to fertilize their drying-up eggs, all while trying to find an affordable home in a totally insane housing market, they find their feelings changing from the simplicity of platonic to the complexities of romantic, turning everything they believed about sexuality and ‘happily ever after’ upside down. NESTING is a provocative, funny, unflinching short-form web series about friendship, fertility, the housing crisis, and love. (Project Undertow)
THE OFFICE MOVERS – Crave
From the producers of SHELVED and Bell Media Studios breakout stars and online legends Jae and Trey Richards, THE OFFICE MOVERS follows two college dropout brothers who must pull their struggling office moving company from the brink of bankruptcy to secure a potential buy-out offer from an international logistics conglomerate. (Counterfeit Pictures)
THE OPTIMIST’S GUIDE TO THE PLANET WITH NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU – Crave
THE Optimist’s Guide to the Planet with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau travels the world to find people and projects inspiring hope for the future. (Cream Productions)
PARANORMAL REVENGE – CTV Sci-Fi *previously announced
PARANORMAL REVENGE offers a fresh approach to creepy, hair-raising stories that emanate from the dimension beyond. Each story unfolds from the perspective of a main storyteller – a victim – who has been targeted by a mysterious paranormal entity or entities. What follows is a truly original and compelling approach: a mash-up of the true-crime procedural and terrifying ghost stories. (Sphere Media)
REGINALD THE VAMPIRE – CTV Sci-Fi
Imagine a world populated by beautiful, fit, and vain vampires. Reginald Andres tumbles headlong into it as an unlikely hero who will have to navigate every kind of obstacle – the girl he loves but can’t be with, a bully manager at work, and the vampire chieftain who wants him dead. Fortunately, Reginald discovers he has a few unrecognized powers of his own. (Cineflix Studios, December Films, Modern Story and Great Pacific Media)
THE RP4 HOSTED BY RUSSELL PETERS – CTV Comedy
Join Russell Peters for a landmark Just For Laughs event as he hosts four special galas, each with a star-studded line-up of carefully curated comics. Always uncensored and honest, Russell will be at the helm of shows that will be guaranteed to be provocative, funny, and unforgettable. This year will be the first in the festival’s history where all four galas will be hosted by the same artist. (Just For Laughs)
SO LONG, MARIANNE – Crave *previously announced
So Long, Marianne is a new eight-part, co-production from Crave and NRK which tells the legendary love story of Canadian singer and poet Leonard Cohen and his muse Marianne Ihlen. The series is an intimate tale of two, lonely people falling in love during a period of their life when they are trying to figure out who they are and their place in the world, while one is becoming one of the most famous singers of all time. Starring Alex Wolff, Thea Sofie Loch Næss, Anna Torv, and Noah Taylor. (Connect3 SLM Productions Inc.)
STAYING INN: HOTEL JULIE – CTV Life *previously announced
STAYING INN: HOTEL JULIE centres around Creative Director Autumn Hachey as she embarks on the biggest project of her career – the redesign of a 19th century inn into a luxury boutique hotel in Stratford, Ont. In a race to be ready for the world-renowned Stratford Festival, Autumn and her team of collaborators have their work cut out for them. She’s taking it all on – marketing and branding strategy, complete suite redesigns, sourcing the perfect vintage pieces, finding the right trades and, most importantly, striving to create the ultimate luxury guest experience. (Alibi Entertainment)
SIGHT UNSEEN – CTV *previously announced
After losing her vision, former homicide detective Tess Burke is haunted by the unsolved cases she left behind. When she meets professional seeing-eye guide Sunny Patel through a visual assistance app, they decide to take action. Using a hidden camera and earpiece, Sunny steers Tess remotely around life’s obstacles – and life’s crimes – as the two challenge preconceptions about ability, trust, and where to draw the line. (Created by Karen and Nikolijne Troubetzkoy. Produced by Blink49 Studios and Front Street Pictures. Distribution handled by Blink49 in the US and Canada, with FIFTH SEASON handling rest of the world)
THE SQUAD – CTV Drama
THE SQUAD reveals the truth behind Wanda Holloway’s arrest in Texas in 1991 for hiring a hitman to kill her daughter’s cheerleading rival. (Cream Productions)
THE TAKE BACK – CTV
In this new CTV special, Canadians across the country receive a second chance after a cancelled celebration. THE TAKE BACK team have one week to create a surprise event for unsuspecting Canadians, giving them an experience that will change their ordinary day to an extraordinary lifetime memory. It’s time for a take back! (McGillivray Entertainment Media, Fremantle)
THE TRADES – Crave
From the producers of TRAILER PARK BOYS, THE TRADES is a comedy series set in a working class community where the stress and high risks of working in a refinery are balanced by the comic, high-wire antics of the plant workers. (Rollercoaster Entertainment, Blink49 Studios)
THE TRAITORS: CANADA – CTV *previously announced
This unscripted competition series, which has become a global TV phenomenon, follows a group of contestants – including some familiar faces – who live together as they complete a series of challenges with the goal of earning a cash prize. The catch? Some of the contestants are traitors who will attempt to deceive and manipulate their way to the prize instead of sharing it amongst the group. In this psychological adventure will the traitors be unmasked in time? (Entourage Télévision. Originally conceived in the Netherlands by IDTV, an All3Media company, the format was further developed with the RTL Creative Unit and produced by IDTV. All3Media International represents format rights for THE TRAITORS.)
New English-Language Documentaries and Specials:
299 QUEEN STREET WEST – Crave *previously announced
Directed by Sean Menard, and with unprecedented access to the MuchMusic archives, the two-hour feature tells the origin story and meteoric rise of the seminal music and pop culture brand, highlighting its beginnings as a scrappy Canadian television upstart. 299 QUEEN STREET WEST is narrated by some of the original trailblazing VJ’s, who at the time had no prior TV hosting experience, received no direction, no scripts, and broadcasted live across the country. The film showcases how MuchMusic’s rise in popularity intersected with rap music entering the mainstream, the birth of grunge and alternative rock, and pop stars caused teenage hysteria at the iconic street level studio. VJ’s and iconic personalities featured include Steve Anthony, Rick Campanelli, Monika Deol, Denise Donlon, Erica Ehm, Namugenyi Kiwanuka, Sook-Yin Lee, George Stroumboulopoulos, Bill Welychka, and Michael Williams. (Menard/Molly Ye)
ANY OTHER WAY: THE JACKIE SHANE STORY – Crave *previously announced
This new documentary tells the tale of the extraordinary life and mysterious disappearance of pioneering soul singer and Black Transgender trailblazer, Jackie Shane. Her story is brought vibrantly to life through intimate recorded conversations with Jackie, and follows her family’s journey to discover her legacy, and the voices of those who were inspired by her tenacity to be herself. Directed by Michael Mabbott and Lucah Rosenberg-Lee, and executive produced by Elliot Page of Page Boy Productions. (Banger Films, National Film Board of Canada)
THE ART OF DANCE – Crave
In a world desperate for hope, THE ART OF DANCE ignites inspiration and dares us to come alive by tracing the evolutionary healing power of movement, music, culture, and community. Innovative and immersive, this cinematic documentary experience awakens our souls, through the beauty and courage of some of the world’s most celebrated dancers on a journey of connection. Featuring Shad, Ken Swift, Lady C, Maria Torres, Maykel Fonts, BBOY Neguin, and Moncell Durden. THE ART OF DANCE is directed and produced by Kevin John Fitzgerald, produced by Anand Ramayya, alongside Executive Producers Lindsay Macadam, Maija Garcia, Aloe Blacc, and Shad. (Hip Hop Films, Karma Film)
AUDIOPHILIA – ADVENTURES IN THE WORLD OF HI-FI – Crave *previously announced
From acclaimed director Ron Mann, AUDIOPHILIA – ADVENTURES IN THE WORLD OF HI-FI is the story about the love of listening to music on the world’s best stereo equipment. The film profiles the inventors, designers, and major-league audiophiles, engaged in the never-ending quest to find audio nirvana. The film is a deep dive into the subculture of sonic obsessives around the world who seek out esoteric electronics that are often visually stunning, and turn their homes into audio sanctuaries. (Sphinx Productions)
BEAUTY KINGS – Crave
Bodybuilding, spray-on abs and gender politics: welcome to the world of BEAUTY KINGS, a documentary exploring the transitioning nature of masculinity through the lives of men from different countries as they compete in a leading international male beauty pageant. Directed by Garry Tutte. Supervising Producer Sarah Fodey, Consulting Producers Evan Wexler and Sarah Sahaigan. Featuring Frankie Cena. (Morro Creative)
MODERN WHORE – Crave
From director Nicole Bazuin, MODERN WHORE is a hybrid documentary that reimagines popular depictions of sex work through the lived experiences of writer, performer, and sex worker, Andrea Werhun. Based on her memoir Modern Whore, Andrea grapples with social stigma and reclaims her narrative in a series of funny, heartbreaking, and surprising stories. Directed by Nicole Bazuin and Produced by Lauren Grant, Nicole Bazuin and Andrea Werhun. (Clique Pictures, Virgin Twins)
NAKED: SEX AND GENDER – Crave *previously announced
A documentary feature film about the gender binary. What is it? How does it manifest itself in our minds and our lives? And how can we go beyond? NAKED follows individuals and communities, experts and artists around the globe who right now, are radically and joyfully redefining gender as we know it. Together, they explore their vision of a future beyond the gender binary. Directed by Stephanie Weimar. Executive Producer is Michael McMahon. Producers are Kevin McMahon and Michael McMahon. (Primitive Entertainment)
POSTNATURAL – Crave
POSTNATURAL is a provocative feature documentary that travels to the freaky frontiers of a new synthetic biological age. Has “nature” ceased to exist? Mingling pop culture with science and humour with horror, this visually inventive film follows Richard Pell, founder of the world’s first Center for PostNatural History, and meets the visionary scientists, artists, and storytellers who are engineering new life forms and imagining a science-fictional future that few of us can fathom. Directed by Brett Story and co-directed Ben Travers, POSTNATURAL is a timely epic that explores our nostalgia for a world that was, while also finding beauty, possibility, and risk in the weird world that could be. Produced by Stuart Henderson. (90th Parallel Productions)
RUSSELL PETERS – Crave
The Russell Peters documentary tells the story of his humble and adversarial beginnings in Brampton Ontario, to his current standing today as one of the world’s top international comedians. Directed by Thyrone Tommy (Learn to Swim), and executive producers are Randy Lennox and Kevin Barton. (Loft Entertainment)
SINGHS IN THE RING – Crave
SINGHS IN THE RING is a feature documentary based on the wildly colourful, outrageously animated, pile-driving phenomenon of the Singh wrestling dynasty. Follow us as we wind back the clock to the infectiously fun 1970s era wrestling and the emergence of a Punjabi immigrant now known as the legendary Gama Singh of Stampede Wrestling, and witness the continuation of that professional wrestling lineage in current day with Gama’s son, Raj. Directed by Akash Sherman and produced by Shane Fennessey, Adam Scorgie, and Sunny Sidhu. (Fennessey Films, Score G Productions, FMT Productions)
SMOKE & GIFTS: IT’S ALL GONNA BREAK – Crave *previously announced
Filmmaker Stephen Chung pulls back the curtain on the Toronto indie music scene through his relationship with his friends in the trailblazing band, Broken Social Scene. This unconventional POV documentary features Chung’s never-before-seen archival footage capturing a creatively rich era in Toronto and paying tribute to the power of indie music, friendship and the artists who started out in Toronto bars before rocketing to global fame. Produced by Ann Shin, Hannah Donegan, Diana Warme. (Fathom Film Group)
WILFRED BUCK – Crave *previously announced
WILFRED BUCK is a hybrid feature documentary centring on a Cree elder and Indigenous star knowledge keeper. Weaving together his harrowing past and his present life with sky stories, this cinematic film explores colonization’s attempts to extinguish Indigenous ways of knowing, the values of interrelationship that shape Indigenous science, and how this worldview paves a healthier path forward for us and our planet. Directed by Lisa Jackson. Producers are Lisa Jackson, Alicia Smith, and Lauren Grant. Executive producers are David Christensen, Nicholas de Pencier, and Jennifer Baichwal. (Door Number 3 in co-production with the National Film Board)
New French-Language Series:
The following new series are part of Noovo, Canal Vie, Z, Canal D, and Crave’s 2023/24 slate, with additional titles to be announced in the coming months.
LES TRAÎTRES – Noovo *previously announced
A group of eager contestants move into a majestic manor. Their goal? To work as a team to complete a series of missions to earn silver bars for their bank. The catch? Some of the contestants are traitors who will attempt to deceive and manipulate their way to the prize instead of sharing it amongst the group. In this gripping psychological format, will they be unmasked in time? Karine Vanasse hosts reality TV. (Entourage Télévision)
APRÈS LE DÉLUGE – Noovo *previously announced
Across six 60-minute episodes, this series, set in the heart of Montreal’s red-light district, tells the story of Maxime Salomon, a rogue cop who takes four young people with troubled backgrounds under her wing — including Dylane, a “bad girl” whose charms are hard to resist. To help them avoid getting a criminal record, Maxime introduces them to mixed martial arts. This decision is far from popular among his colleagues, and Dylane could pay a high price for it. Will fighting fire with fire break the vicious circle of violence in which these young people have been trapped for too long? (Zone3 and ZAMA Productions)
COLOSSE PLAMONDON – Canal D *previously announced
COLOSSE PLAMONDON chronicles the case of Yves Plamondon, found guilty of a triple homicide in 1986 and sentenced to life imprisonment. After years of proclaiming his innocence, he was cleared of all charges in 2014. The docuseries looks back on 30 years of legal twists and turns, allegations of conspiracy and false testimonies. (Productions J)
COUPLES EN SURVIE – Canal Vie *previously announced
To test the strength of their love, couples must survive in a hostile environment for 36 hours. Accompanied by a survival expert and a relationship professional, Kim Rusk hosts this challenging series that tests couples to their limits. The experts and Kim Rusk will provide feedback, analysis and commentary on the participants’ experiences. For their part, the couples will play for all they’ve got: it’s make or break! (Productions Lustitia)
CRINQUÉS : SOUS LE CAPOT – Z *previously announced
Follow Pierre Michaud on a quest driven by passion and mechanical engineering. While fixing up a Pontiac GTO 1966, he takes viewers inside a community of “gearheads” who devote their lives to restoring vintage automobiles. Discover a community where time is no obstacle when pursuing their obsession with the world’s most iconic cars! (TORQ-Océan)
DÉMASQUÉS – Canal D *previously announced
Everyone remembers celebrities whose lies have been publicly exposed. But there are liars everywhere: it could be an uncle, a friend, a colleague. Through the investigations that ripped their web of deceit to shreds, viewers will learn why liars spin their stories and what the consequences are in this docuseries. (KOTV)
LA GUERRE DES FANS – Noovo *previously announced
Hosted by Phil Roy, this epic variety game show with an electric atmosphere promises to be the most thrilling music competition on TV. Each week, four celebrities will compete in highly entertaining musical games, trying to score the maximum number of points and book their place in the next round. While 16 stars will seek to prove they’re the biggest music fan of all, only one will take home the coveted Superfan crown at the end of the ten episodes. (Pixcom)
INSPIREZ EXPIREZ – Crave *previously announced
Sophie and Vicky are young women in their early 30s who belong to the same circle of friends but dislike each other, having nothing in common except the date when they were born. This year, they receive the same birthday present from their girlfriends: a gift certificate for a yoga retreat deep in the woods. It proves disastrous for both, as they struggle with sharing the same cabin. Their enforced downtime takes a shocking turn when the dead body of a participant is found in the forest. When they’re required to stay on site during a police investigation they consider useless, Sophie and Vicky team up to identify the killer, save themselves, and might even learn to appreciate one another. (Avanti-Toast)
LE POIDS DE L’APPARENCE – Crave *previously announced
This unique and powerful documentary explores eating disorders, a problem that affects men and women, both young and old. Following Phil Roy as he wonders about the mental health issues surrounding weight and body image, this documentary seeks to understand the insidious ways that an obsession with physical appearance can become part of our thinking and create extremely troubling problems. (Trinome & Filles)
PLEIN GAZ – Z *previously announced
PLEIN GAZ immerses viewers in the world of recreational auto racing in Québec. From road racing to drifting competitions, the series covers various activities that appeal to speed lovers. It takes viewers inside the lives of entrepreneurs Jason Labrosse and Elie Arsenault, who are major players in ICAR Route 66, while also following Benoit Gagnon’s participation in the Nissan Sentra Cup as he drives that model for the first time. Throughout the series, these two worlds come together through Benoît, Élie and Jason as they share their experiences with each other. (Attraction)
PLUS OU MOINS MISÉRABLE – Noovo *previously announced
Hosted by Eve Côté, PLUS OU MOINS MISÉRABLE is a hilarious game show where one person’s sadness is another’s happiness. Outrageous true stories from around the world are evaluated by experts in human behaviour, who assign these incidents a score from 0 to 100 based on the physical pain and emotional shock suffered by the participants and the potential long-term psychological impacts. Two teams made up of a contestant and a celebrity face off against each other, trying to guess what score was given to each unfortunate — but oh-so-funny — incident on the “misery scale.” From “you were struck by lightning… three times!” to “You accidentally sent a sexy photo of yourself to your mom,” the contestant who makes the most accurate guesses has the chance to win $3,000! (KOTV)
PROJET INNOCENCE – Noovo *previously announced
During an internship at Projet Innocence, law student Stella Launière is supervised by renowned criminologist Armand Coupal. The condemned man whose innocence she must prove, Anderson Jean-Louis, is an infamous criminal responsible for misdeeds just as bad as the murder of which he claims to be falsely accused. Stella will learn the truth of Coupal’s words: “To prove the innocence of the accused, you have to get your hands dirty.” (ALSO)
TAXI PAYANT : L’ESCOUADE – Noovo *previously announced
The only game show that takes place on board a moving vehicle! In this new version of the popular game show CASH CAB, a team of larger-than-life celebrity drivers pick up groups of passengers for the most profitable cab ride of their lives. Throughout the trip, each driver poses general-knowledge questions to the passengers, gradually increasing the difficulty level. Each right answer is worth $25, $50 or $100. But there’s a catch: the passengers are only allowed to get two wrong. The third time, they’ll be kicked out of the cab without any money, even if they haven’t reached the destination. If they complete the trip, the chauffeur will offer them a double-or-nothing question. Will they win big… or lose everything? (Zone3)
TOUT POUR VENDRE – Canal Vie *previously announced
Using the help of the DuProprio, an agent free real-estate assistance service, Mélissa Bédard meets with homeowners who want to sell their home without an agent. She gives them a challenge: estimate how long it will take to sell their property — for a $1,000 prize! To maximize their chances of winning, the sellers are assisted by notaries, real estate experts, sales representatives and appraisers. Designer Jacinthe Leroux proposes two choices for improving the interior of their home, and with a budget of $5,000 and labour, they must decide which option will allow them to make a quick sale at the best price. From appraisal to renovations to open houses, each step in the selling process is covered in this new show that ticks all the boxes. (Zone3)
Source: Numeris, Total Canada, Conventional = BYTD Weeks 3-36 (9/12/2022 to 5/7/2023), Commercial Stations. Final Data.
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson dies aged 93 – The Guardian
The religious broadcaster Pat Robertson, who led the Christian Coalition and ran for president as a Republican, has died.
On Thursday, the Christian Broadcasting Network announced his death. No cause was given. He was 93.
Robertson’s enterprises also included Regent University, an evangelical Christian school in Virginia Beach; the American Center for Law and Justice, which defends the first amendment rights of religious people; and Operation Blessing, an international humanitarian organization.
But for more than half a century, Robertson was a familiar presence in American living rooms, known for his 700 Club television show, and in later years, his televised pronouncements of God’s judgment on America for everything from homosexuality to the teaching of evolution.
The money poured in as he solicited donations, his influence soared, and when he moved directly into politics by seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 1988, he brought a huge following with him.
Robertson pioneered a now common strategy of courting Iowa’s network of evangelical Christian churches, and finished in second place in the Iowa caucuses, ahead of Vice-President George HW Bush.
At the time, Jeffrey K Hadden, a University of Virginia sociologist and a Robertson biographer, said Robertson’s masterstroke was insisting that 3 million followers across the US sign petitions before he would decide to run. The tactic gave him an army.
″He asked people to pledge that they’d work for him, pray for him and give him money,” Hadden told the Associated Press in 1988. “Political historians may view it as one of the most ingenious things a candidate ever did.”
Robertson later endorsed Bush, who won the presidency. Pursuit of Iowa’s evangelicals is now a ritual for Republican hopefuls, including those currently seeking the White House in 2024.
Robertson started the Christian Coalition in Chesapeake in 1989, saying it would further his campaign’s ideals. The coalition became a major force in Republican politics in the 1990s, mobilizing conservative voters through grassroots activities.
By the time of his resignation as the coalition’s president in 2001 – Robertson said he wanted to concentrate on ministerial work – his impact on both religion and politics in the US was “enormous”, according to John C Green, an emeritus political science professor at the University of Akron.
Many followed the path Robertson cut in religious broadcasting, Green told the AP in 2021. In American politics, Robertson helped “cement the alliance between conservative Christians and the Republican party”.
Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson was born on 22 March 1930 in Lexington, Virginia, to Absalom Willis Robertson and Gladys Churchill Robertson. His father served for 36 years as a US representative and US senator from Virginia.
After graduating from Washington and Lee University, he served as assistant adjutant of the 1st Marine Division in Korea.
He received a law degree from Yale University Law School, but failed the bar exam and chose not to pursue a law career.
Robertson met his wife, Adelia “Dede” Elmer, at Yale in 1952. Eighteen months later, they ran off to be married by a justice of the peace, knowing neither family would approve.
Robertson was interested in politics until he found religion, Dede Robertson told the AP in 1987. He stunned her by pouring out their liquor, tearing a nude print off the wall and declaring he had found the Lord.
They moved into a commune in New York City’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood because Robertson said God told him to sell all his possessions and minister to the poor.
Robertson received a master’s in divinity from New York Theological Seminary in 1959, then drove south with his family to buy a bankrupt UHF television station in Portsmouth, Virginia. He said he had just $70 in his pocket, but soon found investors, and CBN went on the air on 1 Oct 1961. Established as a tax-exempt religious non-profit, CBN brought in hundreds of millions, disclosing $321m in “ministry support” in 2022 alone.
One of Robertson’s innovations was to use the secular talkshow format on the network’s flagship show, the 700 Club, which grew out of a telethon when Robertson asked 700 viewers for monthly $10 contributions. It was more suited to television than traditional revival meetings or church services, and gained a huge audience.
His guests eventually included several US presidents – Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.
At times, his on-air pronouncements drew criticism.
He claimed that the terrorist attacks that killed thousands of Americans on 11 September 2001 were caused by God, angered by the federal courts, pornography, abortion rights and church-state separation. Talking again about 9/11 on his TV show a year later, Robertson described Islam as a violent religion that wants to “dominate” and “destroy”, prompting President George W Bush to distance himself and say Islam is a peaceful and respectful religion.
He called for the assassination of the Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez in 2005. Later that year, he warned residents of a rural Pennsylvania town not to be surprised if disaster struck them because they voted out school board members who favored teaching “intelligent design” over evolution. And in 1998, he said Orlando, Florida, should beware of hurricanes after allowing the annual Gay Days event.
In 2014, he angered Kenyans when he warned that towels in Kenya could transmit Aids. CBN issued a correction, saying Robertson “misspoke about the possibility of getting Aids through towels”.
Robertson also could be unpredictable: in 2010, he called for ending mandatory prison sentences for marijuana possession convictions. Two years later, he said on the 700 Club that marijuana should be legalized and treated like alcohol because the government’s war on drugs had failed.
Robertson helped solidify evangelical support for Donald Trump, dismissing the candidate’s sexually predatory comments about women as an attempt “to look like he’s macho”.
After Trump took office, Robertson interviewed the president at the White House. And CBN welcomed Trump advisers, such as Kellyanne Conway, as guests.
But after Trump lost to Joe Biden in 2020, Robertson said Trump was living in an “alternate reality” and should “move on”, news outlets reported.
Robertson’s son, Gordon, succeeded him in December 2007 as chief executive of CBN, which is now based in Virginia Beach. Robertson remained chairman of the network and continued to appear on the 700 Club.
Robertson stepped down as host of the show after half a century in 2021, with his son Gordon taking over the weekday show.
Robertson wrote 15 books, including The Turning Tide and The New World Order.
His wife Dede died last year at the age of 94. The couple had four children, 14 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren, CBN said in a statement.
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