Orphan Black leads this year’s Canadian Screen Awards nominations. The Space sci-fi series, from Temple Street Productions, earned 14 nominations including best dramatic series, best direction and best actress for Tatiana Maslany. Montreal director Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World leads the film category with nine nominations. The awards show airs live on CBC on March 12, with Oscar-winning actor Christopher Plummer set to receive a lifetime achievement award.
The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) has ruled that special effects have no place in news reports. The complaint centered around a report aired last April on Global Calgary and Global Edmonton about a Red Deer man charged under the city’s anti-bullying law. The report featured visual and audio effects, including cheerful music and bright lighting when showing the man’s street, but black-and-white colour and the sound of a crow cawing when zooming in on the man’s house. A viewer complained that the report had been biased against the man, contained some inaccuracies and violated the man’s privacy. Global agreed that the special effects were inappropriate, but considered the report otherwise acceptable under the codes. The CBSC concluded the visual and audio effects added to the report rendered it unfair and biased in contravention of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics and the Radio Television Digital News Association of Canada’s (RTDNA) Code of Ethics.
Canadian Pay TV service providers, including cable, direct-to-home satellite and IPTV providers, along with set-top box manufacturers have finalized a voluntary agreement aimed at improving the energy efficiency of set-top boxes. Reached in consultation with federal and provincial governments, the agreement is expected to reduce total annual energy consumption and annual carbon dioxide emissions by over 100,000 tonnes. At least 90 per cent of all new set-top boxes purchased, beginning in 2017, are expected to meet the new energy efficiency standards. Bell, Cogeco Communications Inc., Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications Inc., Vidéotron and manufacturers ARRIS and EchoStar Technologies are among those committed to the program.
An audience of nearly 720,000 people tuned in to watch the Jan. 3 debut of Discovery’s newest original Canadian series Heavy Rescue: 401, making it the most-watched premiere in the network’s 22-year history. The new, nine-episode season is a spin off of Highway Thru Hell, now in production on Season 6. Produced by Thunderbird Entertainment’s factual arm Great Pacific Media, Heavy Rescue: 401 follows tow operators, rescue and maintenance crews along Ontario’s notoriously busy Highway 401.
Nearly two months ahead of its U.S. debut on FOX on March 9, Lionsgate has signed major international format deals for its reality series Kicking & Screaming. Format rights covering France, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden have been licensed to leading international production group Banijay. Lionsgate has also finalized a deal with Sony Pictures Television Networks’ VIASAT for the format and series rights in Hungary.
PBS launched its round-the-clock children’s channel Monday, available on member stations, as a live stream on pbskids.org and via the free PBS KIDS Video app. The free channel is aimed at youngsters aged two to six, including those in low-income households with spotty Internet access. PBS says the channel will initially launch on 75 PBS licensees and is expected to reach 90 per cent of U.S. TV households by year’s end.