Show cover of BriouxTV: The Podcast

BriouxTV: The Podcast

Hosted by veteran TV columnist Bill Brioux. Each week, join in on an outspoken conversation with the actors, executives, and insiders that make the television industry pop. In each edition, Bill invites his guests to talk business, give up some great stories, and make it personal. Plus laughs.


Hugh Dillon on Mayor of Kingstown S3
Hugh Dillon is a man of many talents, including acting, writing and rocking -- the latter done with his band, Headstones.The acting writing and producing skills were put to the test this third season on the Paramount+ drama Mayor of Kingstown.  Dillon and his series co-creator Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone; Tulsa King) made it their mission to put their lead, Jeremy Renner, firmly back on his feet again after the actor suffered a horrible accident in January of 2023.  Renner's Mayor "Mike" McLusky spends most episodes racing from crisis to crisis as he tries to settle gang wars that are constantly errupting in his prison town.  Viewers will see McLusky pick up right where he left off at the end of Season 2, with Renner showing no signs of the damage he suffered as a result of being crushed under a  seven ton snow plow.On this episode, Dillon also references his former series, Flashpoint, his years growing up in his own prison town, Kingston, Ont., and his new album with the Headstones.
27:55 6/10/24
Previewing Allan Hawco's Saint-Pierre
Here is another conversation I had in May at the CBC Media Upfront on Toronto.  Allan Hawco and Josephine Jobert -- stars of the upcoming CBC series Saint-Pierre -- talk about shooting the series, which will premiere in 2025. Currently in production on the islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, the police procedural finds an out of favour St. John's detective (Hawco) teamed with a seasoned investigator from France.  Can opposites arrest? Hawco, who co-created the series, says don't expect another Republic of Doyle-style retro cop show.   Look instead for something a little darker, more of a modern British approach to detective drama. French actress Jobert has also played a cop before, and is best known for the BBC/WNET drama Death in Paradise.I've been to these small islands off the coast of Newfoundland which remain a territory of France. They are better known for tourism than terrorism, but the leads insist they are an intriquing setting for criminal behaviour.
33:36 6/3/24
CBC Media Upfront 2024-25
One of the new shows on CBC's 2024-25 schedule is called Small Achievable Goals. It is a scripted comedy about female podcasters going through menopause. Those three words, however, coulld also describe, in a fiercely competitive and crowded media landscape, the only way forward for CBC.  On this episode of the podcast, I speak with Executive Vice President Barbara Williams and General Manager Entertainment, Factual & Sports Sally Catto. We talk about new shows hitting the schedule, including series returns for Allan Hawco, Jennifer Whelan and Meredith MacNeill; shows that missed the cut, including Run the Burbs and One More Time, the upcoming Paris Summer Olympic Games and the uncomfortable fact that the leader of the opposition -- who has a wide lead in the polls -- has vowed to defund the CBC. 
29:43 5/27/24
When Calls the Heart's Ben Rosenbaum
Attention Hearties! And especially Hickies! Yes, this week's episode of the podcast features Ben Rosenbaum. For over a decade, he's played Mike Hickam on When Calls the Heart, the longest-running series on both Hallmark and Super Channel.With Season 11 winding down, WCTH has already been renewed for a 12th season. Born and raised in the States, Rosenbaum has enjoyed his decade-long run working on the show in British Columbia so much he applied for landed immigrant status.  He looks back over the years and talks about Hickam's slow and steady romance with Mei Sou (Amanda Wong) and how his character has grown from being, to use an Andy Griffith Show comparison, the Barney Fife of Hope Valley to more of its Andy Taylor.
55:26 5/19/24
Evanka Osmak's Hoop dreams
Evanka Osmak helps us keep score most nights along with Ken Reid at the Sportsnet Central desk. She's taking her own shot now in the publishing world with her first novel, a cool book for kids ages 6-11 titled "Ali Hoops."The PlumLeaf Press release is all about a young girl named Ali who loves shooting hoops with her schoolmate Leila. Can they both make the school basketball team? What if one of them does and the other does not?Born in New Jersey and raised in Oakville, Ont., Osmak has an inspiring track record when it comes to stepping up to her own foul lines in life. Trained and employed in the world of civil engineering, at 25 she tore up those plans and took a chance on a broadcasting career. That led to opportunities on both sides of the border and a job she's loved for over a dozen years now at Sportnet.Hear about her own two young readers at home, her love for the Toronto Blue Jays and how she cracked the Sportsnet lineup on this episode of the podcast.
44:45 5/14/24
More Tripping with Mitch Azaria
As briouxtv listeners know, executive producer Mitch Azaria loves to go Tripping. These past five years, he has taken us by mahogany lake boat up the Rideau Canal, sailing along the tip of The Bruce Peninsula, on a bird's eye view over the Niagara region and aboard a Budd train northwest of Superior to White River. This April, his latest immersive documentary is Tripping the French River. The mode of travel this time is aboard a cedar strip canoe as we travel from Lake Nipissing on a three-hour paddle towards Georgian Bay. If you haven't taken one of these TV trips before you'll get so close to nature you may find youself tripping outdoors all on your own! Mitch gets you ready with plenty of facts and surprises in this conversation. Did you know that the French River was the first waterway to be designated a Canadian heritage river? See the documentary when it premieres Sunday, April 21 on TVO, on TVO Today or on YouTube.
46:18 4/21/24
Dave Thomas remembers Joe Flaherty
Stop doing whatever you are doing right now and listen to this podcast episode with Dave Thomas. The SCTV writer-producer-player looks back on his years working with the late, great, Joe Flaherty, who passed away April 1st at 82.Thomas and Flaherty produced the series in its second season, taking their cue from Harold Ramis and putting more of a spotlight on the cast's ability to morph into famous celebrities. They also had an uncanny way of mashing together good and bad films with, well, Fantasy Island. You will laugh, you will cry, you will kiss one hour goodbye but you will not find a better use of your time. Plus Thomas speculates on whether or not that Scorsese documentary will ever see the light of day. Tell it like it is, Bill Needle!
76:01 4/15/24
Bill Vigars on Terry Fox 44 Years Later
Terry Fox dipped his toe into the Atlantic off the coast of St. John's, Newfoundland, on April 12, 1980. And so began his historic crusade against cancer, the Marathon of Hope.Forty-four years later, nearly a billion dollars has been raised to help people with cancer around the world in Terry's name. On this podcast, the man who ran with him halfway across Canada and who helped organize Fox's fundraiser, Bill Vigars, shares many first hand stories about this great Canadian hero.You'll find even more of them in his bestselling book, "Terry & Me," available all this month of April at 15 per cent off from publisher Sutherland House.Vigars, a previous podcast guest, gives the back story on all the Terry Fox statues across Canada, plus the whereabouts of Fox's running shoes and other artifacts from '84. He also talks a bit about his career as a network TV publicist, including a memorable encounter with the late, great Joe Flaherty back in the SCTV star's Maniac Mansion days. 
56:58 4/8/24
Murdoch Mysteries' Daniel Maslany
 Gotta sing! Gotta dance! Gotta watch the cast of Murdoch Mysteries do what no other scripted, dramatic Canadian TV series has done before -- present a full-blown musical episode.It happens Monday, March 25 on CBC (see it after the 25th on CBCGem) and April 6 on Ovation in the US."Why is Everybody Singing?" finds our hero, Det. William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson), shot in the head while investigating a crime. In a coma, he watches, helplessly, while the rest of the cast go into their song and dance.In the mix is Daniel Maslany as Det. Lewellyn Watts. After eight seasons, he's the new guy no more on Murdoch. The Regina native tells me it was a blast ducking into his share of the 14 songs written and composed especially for this episode by writer Paul Aiken. Maslany says that, when he joined the series, his clue to his character was delivered in two words: "Think Columbo." Listen to the rest of our conversation to learn more about Maslany, his favourite Murdoch guest star (who returns for this special episode) and why being an actor is sometimes, yes, really, really fun! 
58:32 3/24/24
Canada's Got Talent titan Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus is a WWE Hall of Famer, eight-time WWE Champion, and was recently named WWE's Greatest Female Superstar. Now she's heading into her third season as a judge on Canada's Got Talent, which has just been supersized with a million dollar payday thanks to Rogers. So if head judge Howie Mandel gets out of control this season on CGT, remember, he's just a body slam away from total annihilation!The Toronto native has parlayed her success and passion into the Stratusphere.  Through yoga and fitness she sticks to her philosophy of achieving wellness through balanced living. This mother of two has genuinely been wowed by the level of talent she's seen so far on the talent competition, which returns Tuesday on Citytv. Listen as she gives some surprising details about her own background and how she wrestled her own way to the top.
36:50 3/19/24
Troy Reeb on 50 Years of Global TV
Back in 1974, fifty years ago, there was no streaming, no cable, no news or sports networks. What there finally was, however, was a third national Canadian broadcast network. On this episode of the podcast, Corus Entertainment EVP Troy Reeb looks back at a time when Canada went Global. Once known as "The Love Boat network," it is the longtime Canadian home of some of TV’s most enduring hits, including the Young and the Restless and Saturday Night Live. Over the years, it was where Canadians first watched SCTV as well as 90210. Canadian originals in prime? Global could have done more, but highlights include Traders, Super Dave, Ready or Not, Rookie Blue and Private Eyes.Reeb talks about his own rise up the ranks from the news department to the executivesuite, as well as some of the high and lows of surviving in the ever-changing business of television.
39:58 3/11/24
The Great Canadian Pottery Throwdown
Have you seen The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down? The series is produced out of Grenville Island in Vancouver and among the executive producers is Seth Rogen. He is known more for pot than pottery but watch him get his hands dirty a few times on camera, making, of course, ash trays from behind a pottery wheel.Now, there is a lot to pottery. You’ve got to fire up your creations in a kiln and then add colours and glaze. The contestants on the show on the episodes I’ve seen are very talented.I sat down and recorded this interview with three key members of the series last December at the CBC broadcast centre in Toronto. Meet host Jennifer Robertson, along with judges Brendan Tang and Natalie Waddell. Catch up with the series by streaming it on CBC Gem, with new episodes airing Wednesdays on the main network.One note: the room where this was recorded up on the 10th floor at CBC was echo-y and only one mic was used so the sound levels are a little wonky. Producer Phil Wong put the audio through his tweak machine but apologies for the less-than-perfect sound.
28:55 3/6/24
Eugene Levy returns as The Reluctant Traveller
The folks at AppleTV+ asked if I’d like a one-on-one with Eugene Levy. Before you could say Schitt’s Creek, I said yes!Levy – beloved in Canada for decades as part of the legendary SCTV cast – had just been inducted into the Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame. The interview took place in February in Pasadena, CA. I also took part in a press conference with Levy a day earlier while attending the winter edition of the Television Critics Association semi-annual press tour. What I didn’t know at the time is that Levy will be a recurring character on the fourth season of Only Murders in the Building. There he will join friend and fellow SCTV cast mate Martin Short. Another SCTV alum, Andrea Martin, was a recurring character on season three. Steve Martin and Selina Gomez, of course, also star on the series. I’ve spoken with the 77-year-old Emmy winner in the past. He is a quiet gentleman by nature, happier to talk about his son Daniel Levy or anybody else really. And while he's still not crazy about travelling, he finds that there is a wee bit more Scotch in his blood than he realized when he visits, for the first time, the homeland of his mother. That happens in Episode Two.My mom was born in Scotland as well, so enjoy this double scotch, or double half-scotch, podcast episode. 
24:17 3/6/24
Allegiance writer, executive producer, Mark Ellis
TV shows don't just write and produce themselves. That takes showrunners! Two of the best in Canada have been Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern, the husband and wife team behind such hits as Flashpoint, X Company and Transplant.Their latest is the new Wednesday night CBC police drama Allegiance. The series stars Supinder Wraich as promising rookie cop Sabrina Sohal. She's teamed with a savvy police veteran played by Enrico Colantoni, my previous guest on : the podcast. Stephen Lobo also stars as Sabrina's wrongfully accused politician father.On this episode, I'm joined by Mark Ellis, who talks about the importance of casting,  writing and setting this series in Surrey, B.C. Ellis also talks about how he really didn't have much of a sense of Canadian identity until his family returned to Canada from England when he was a lad and he started watching The Beachcombers."I thought, okay, this is Canada," says Ellis. "Here we are in a boat with Nick and Relic and we're racing down the sunshine coast... and I thought, well, this is a lovely place." Hear how Mark is bringing that vision up to date now with Allegiance.
59:54 2/26/24
Law & Order Toronto's Karen Robinson
I had so much fun zooming with Karen Robinson, who lays down the law on the new Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent."Toronto is its own character in the show,” says Robinson, who loves that the city is representing itself for a change instead of somewhere else. “This is about us.”Robinson plays Inspector Vivienne Holness on this latest extension of the L&O franchise, which also stars Aden Young and Kathleen Munroe. And, yes, she played a zanier cop shop boss on another Tassie Cameron-helmed series, Pretty Hard Cases. If she had to count all the police characters she has played, well, “it’s been a lot.”Robinson came with her family from Jamaica at 16, moving first to Alberta where she studied under the great theatre showman Robin Phillips. She has since shone in everything from Slings and Arrows to Schitt’s Creek.Feel her joy and energy in this spirited conversation. Then check her out on Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent Thursday nights on Citytv.
52:35 2/22/24
Steve Smith is back as Red Green
One of Red Green's favourite sayings is, "If the ladies don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."Steve Smith may be the handiest fella ever in the history of Canadian television. Inspired by that ol' TV fishin' pal Red Fisher, Smith crafted Red Green out of duct tape and suspenders. The Red Green Show had humble beginnings out of Hamilton, Ont.'s CHCH, eventually airing 300 episodes over 16 seasons stretched across five different stations and networks, including CBC and 100 PBS affiliates in the U.S.Smith used to appear on PBS pledge breaks and say, "If you like our show, send a little money. If you don't like it, send lots of money so they can afford something better."Now 78, inductee Smith returns to Hamilton Feb. 23 in a live tribute show as part of the week-long Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame festivities. See him in person along with his Red Green co-stars Patrick McKenna (nephew Harold), Peter Keleghan and Jeff Lumby as well as comedy road warrior Ron James.Catch up with Smith first as my guest on a fun episode of the podcast. And keep your stick on the ice!
50:03 2/19/24
Tim Progosh, Comedy Hall of Fame founder
For years, actor/comedian Tim Progosh has wondered: with all the great comedians Canada has produced over the years, why is there no Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame?Progosh has done more than wonder. He's made it happen. For more than 20 years, his efforts have been stymied by celebrations cut short by the 9/11 attacks, by deals falling through during a recession, by COVID and actor strike interruptions. Who knew saluting the funny was such a serious and challenging business?On this podcast episode, Progosh tells how -- while still set on an eventual  brick and mortar venue --  he was able to gain the political smarts to get a virtual Hall off the ground. This year's inductees include Eugene Levy and Martin Short, the cast of SCTV as a troupe, Jim Carrey and Red Green Show star and creator Steve Smith and even late great Hilarious House of Frightenstein comedy chameleon Billy Van. Going even further back, early film star Marie Dressler and radio's The Happy Gang also made the Hall. Festivities and live comedy shows take place in Hamilton, Ont., Feb. 21 through 24. Go see the shows (featuring Ron James, Shaun Majumder and other comedians) but first listen as Progosh salutes his Canadian comedy heroes on this week's laugh out loud episode of the podcast.
49:57 2/12/24
Michele Finney's Hard Day's Night, 60 years later
I’m old enough to remember seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. That "really big shew" happened on February 9, 1964 – 60 years ago. I remember my dad going on about their long hair and those so-called Beatle wigs. I could not, however, take my eyes off them, and neither could a then-record 73 million other people who watched that night on television.That summer of ‘64, The Beatles came to Toronto for two performances at Maple Leaf Gardens. There for both shows and chosen to interview them the next day for the Toronto Star, was one lucky teen – Michele Finney. At the time she was the young co-star, opposite Alan Hamel and Howard the Turtle, of the daily, live afternoon CBC kids show, Razzle Dazzle.Twenty years ago, on the 40th anniversary of Beatlemania, I interviewed Michele. This was back when I was the TV columnist for the Toronto Sun. She is just as fab now as she was then as you’ll hear in our conversation. Listen as she talks of many other adventures, including re-connecting with John Lennon during the Live Peace in Toronto concert in 1969.
55:46 2/8/24
Enrico Colantoni shows his Allegiance
Of the 137 podcast episodes I've done here over the past four-plus years, the most amazing conversation might be the second one we recorded. That was with one of my favourite actors, Enrico Colantoni.The man has done very well since he left Etobicoke for the Big Apple as a student at the American Academy of the Dramatic Arts. Distinguishing himself there led to memorable roles in "Galaxy Quest," Just Shoot Me, Veronica Mars, Flashpoint, "A.I.", "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" and on and on. We pick up where we left off with this episode as Rico talks about his latest project, playing a well-seasoned police officer mentoring a keen new recruit (played by Supinder Wraich) in the new procedural Allegiance (premiering Wednesday, Feb. 7 on CBC and CBC Gem).Rico throws himself into a conversation the same way he tackles a role. He is 100 per cent all in and, as a result, up goes everybody else's game. We go all over the map as usual, talking hip replacements, his re-teaming with showrunners Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern (the husband and wife team behind Flashpoint) and, of course, Apache Burger. He even shares a story about his late-great Just Shoot Me colleague, George Segal. Please join us.
54:16 2/5/24
Run the Burbs/One More Time
In this episode: two CBC Tuesday night comedies for the price of one.First up is Andrew Pfung and company from Run The Burbs (Tues. on CBC). The sitcom returns for a third season with Rakhee Morzaria, who plays Camille, joining Phung on this round-table chat, along with  showrunners Jennica Harper and Nelu Handa.We start off talking yard sales, the focus of the season three premiere. "Almost all the ideas on the show come from a very real place," says Phung. Also noted is how the kids on the series (played by Zoria Wong and Roman Pesino) are growing up and are more involved in storylines. And, yes, hip hop neighbour Kardinal Offishall returns as himself.Phung also says he was pleased by the response to such a diverse family from viewers watching in the U.S. last season on The CW. "We have such nice comments on the specify and the representation of this family." In the second half of this episode, meet standup comedian D.J. Demers along with showrunner Jessie Gabe, the team behind CBC's One More Time.Demers worked at a Play it Again sports store his last three years of high school in Kitchener, Ont. The experience "stuck in my brain and I drew inspiration from it all these years later to make the show." Demers has worn hearing aides since he was four years old. Back in the sporting goods store, he learned to keep customers in front of him so they wouldn't think he was ignoring them. "I didn't want anybody going to my boss and saying, 'What's with that teenage asshole?'"Like his character, he never learned American Sign Language."I grew up in a hearing family and went to a regular school, so I never was exposed to it," he says.Among the people he did hear from were the casting folks on Conan O'Brien's former late night talk show, who invited Demers on three times. He's also been featured at Just for Laughs in Montreal.Also starring is Geri Hall (This Hour has 22 Minutes), Dan Beirne and Elise Bauman.One More Time airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC, immediately before Run the Burbs. 
48:22 1/29/24
Ghosting with Luke Hutchie and Matthew Finlan
Two actors known exclusively for their work in the horror genre step off script and into their own real-life thriller on their quest to decipher if Canada’s most ghostly places are truly haunted. Yes, Luke Hutchie and Matthew Finlan are the ghostbusters in this "factual" (CBC never uses the "R" word) series. Both have horror genre credits in their IMDb profiles, with Zack playing a killer gay vampire in the OUT tv series Ezra and Matthew  in the cast of the Paramount+ feature, "Orphan: First Kill."For Ghosting, they travel to places where spirits have supposedly been sighted, including The Merrill House in Picton, Ont., and the McDonald Log Cabin in Allison, Ont.On each episode, they bring a special guest along on their quest to declare these notorious abodes, "Haunted or not."Along the way, podcast host Bill Brioux tells his own hair-raising tale of an overnight visit to a supposedly haunted hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.Ghosting premieres Friday, January 26 on CBC with all episodes available at 9am ET on CBC Gem. 
23:45 1/22/24
Sight Unseen's creators Kat and Niko Troubetzkoy
To see your way clear to a new spin on a cop show is not easy. Sisters Karen Troubetzkoy and Nikolijne Troubetzkoy, series creators who've proven themselves on hits such as Orphan Black and Transplant, looked within themselves for inspiration.Karen, or Kat, has struggled with vision loss requiring multiple surgeries since her twenties. Her story led Kat and Niko to come up with a unique angle: what if a homicide detective suddenly became clinically blind? Could she team up with a remote, seeing eye partner to continue solving cases?That's the premise behind Sight Unseen, premiering Sunday, January 21 on CTV. The Vancouver-based drama stars newcomer Dolly Lewis as homicide detective Tess Avery. When her sight becomes badly clouded in the middle of a police chase, she relies on an app that links her to a remote seeing eye guide who lives 3000 miles away named Sunny (Agam Darshi). Together, they make a  surprisingly effective team. Sight Unseen, which moves to Monday nights on CTV (and eventually The CW), is a surprisingly suspenseful series. Kat and Niko explain how it all came about in this equally edge-of-your-seat podcast episode!  
40:28 1/18/24
Production design "discovery" Mark Steel
Series creator and star Mark Critch needed to replicate the bridge of the original Star Trek Enterprise for a fantasy sequence on his St. John's-based sitcom Son of a Critch. The episode airs this Tuesday, January 16 on CBC. Who did Critch beam aboard to do the job? None other that my guest this week on the podcast, Mark Steel. True, that name sounds more like a Marvel superhero than a  production designer. Steel, however, has been crafting the look of everything from phasers to flight decks as the production designer on the Toronto-based Paramount+ series Star Trek: Discovery.Emmy nominated for his TV work, he was also the production designer of The Umbrella Academy and an Art Director on What We Do in the Shadows as well as Heroes Reborn and Beauty and the Beast. Raised in Ottawa, Steel got his start back in the '90s as a set decorator on the original Kids in the Hall series, which he says was pretty much a great party every live taping.Set phasers for stun as he talks about how he got into the business and  how he brought the Enterprise to Newfoundland, one retro scene at a time. As Spock would say, "Fascinating."
56:57 1/15/24
Meet CBC Wild Cards Giacomo Gianniotti and Vanessa Morgan
When you are casting a he/she series, chemistry is everything. The producers behind the new Vancouver-based cop/caper hour Wild Cards struck gold with their leads: Vanessa Morgan (Riverdale) and Giacomo Gianniotti (Grey's Anatomy). He plays a by-the-books, wrongfully accused cop trying to clear his name after being demoted to harbour duty. She plays a daring schemer who can con her way out of just about any corner. When the two are thrown together to solve a case, these wild cards make for a pair of Aces. Surprisingly, when it came time to cast this series, the two actors did not meet in person for their initial chemistry read together -- they performed it over a zoom call.Gianniotti, who was born in Italy and raised in Toronto, agrees that zoom casting and/or chemistry reads can be "difficult and strange."  TV being an international business, however, the two were in different cities and had to try the remote route. Meeting for the first time over Zoom, however, didn't dampen their natural  connection."It helps when you're actually friends and get along great with your co-star," says Morgan, who was born in Ottawa and was also featured on The Shannara Chronicles. The former Junior Miss America might also be familiar to fans of The Amazing Race Canada. She and her sister Celina placed third in the very first season of that series.Wild Cards boasts another Ace in recurring star Jason Priestley. The series premieres January 10 on CBC and CBC Gem and Jan. 17 on The CW.
38:26 1/8/24
Pluto TV: Canada's FAST success story
Two thousand and twenty-three was a challenging year in the TV business. Inflation and higher interest rates had consumers thinking twice about streaming subscriptions. The writers and actors strikes put a cork in the content pipeline. Peak TV seemed to slip back from the summit.The big success story in Canada, however, was the rapid growth of Pluto TV. In one year, the Free Ad-supported Streaming Television platform went from zero to pacing at over one billion total viewing minutes monthly. That rapid success might have had something to do with their catchy slogan: "Stream now, pay never." What drew viewers to visit Pluto? A robust menu of fan favourites from the Paramount pipeline, including hits from the Star Trek franchise, CSI, NCIS, South Park, Doctor Who, Frasier, Cheers -- even Dora the Explorer.On this episode, Doug Smith, SVP, Streaming and Content Licensing, Paramount Global, and Katrina Kowalski, SVP International Content Programming and Acquisitions, explain how they helped put Pluto TV in orbit and how they'll keep it growing in 2024.
50:15 1/5/24
Bonanza rides again with DVD archivist Andrew Klyde
Giddyap, pardner. This week's episode of the podcast takes a deep dive into everything you need to know about collecting your favourite TV shows on DVD. My guest is archivist, curator and classic TV expert Andrew J. Klyde, executive producer of Bonanza: The Official Complete Series.For many boomers, Sunday nights were spent with your family crowded around the one set in the house watching Disney, Ed Sullivan at 8 and then at 9, Bonanza. Throughout its 14-season, 431-episode run, Bonanza was the most-popular TV series of the 1960s.Besides making sure every episode was restored and transferred from 35 mm camera negatives, Klyde packed extras and bonus materials into the Bonanza Complete Series DVDs. The result is a Master Class on the history of 20th century television. For example: In digging through the background of Ottawa-born actor Lorne Greene, not the first choice to play ranch patriarch Ben Cartwright, Klyde sourced and added rarely seen profiles and documentaries from the CBC and other Canadian sources. He even added an interview I did back in 1991 with Michael Landon, who played Little Joe on the series and went on to Little House on the Prairie and Highway to Heaven. Sadly, Landon died of cancer three months after we spoke.I'm proud to play a small role in such a handsome salute to this series.  Listen as Klyde takes us back to the Ponderosa with dozens of behind-the-scenes stories. Then if you have a classic TV fan on your Christmas list, take note: Bonanza: The Official Complete Series DVD set is on sale now at Amazon.
94:18 12/11/23
TV Toy & Game collector Bruce Button
At, most podcasts deal with the people who make television memories. What about, however, people who collect TV memorabilia? We’re talking toys and games, trading cards, comic books, autographs and puzzles?Meet Canada keeper of every boomer’s childhood memories: Bruce Button. For close to 50 years, Button has been buying, selling and curating TV merch, specialising in pop memorabilia from the ‘60s. On this podcast, I visit his Hamilton, Ont., house, where four rooms are jammed full of Man from U.N.C.L.E. posters, Hogan’s Heroes and Beverly Hillbillies lunch boxes and board games based on everything from The Addams Family and Alf  to Snagglepuss and Stingray. His collection doesn't stop there. His Beatles, Charlie Brown, Marx Bros. and Three Stooges goodies, not to mention his comic book, TV Guide and record collections, could fill at least one room alone.If, like me, you still have a full set of Batman cards from the ‘60s, or a Kenner’s Give-a-Show Projector – or even if you simply know what those things are – you’ll want to listen in as Button gives a guided tour of his broadcast booty. His stories about meeting everyone from Channel 47’s Chuck the Night Watchman (Chas Lawther) to Tiny Tim are, well, one-of-a-kind.If you want to see some of his treasures, check out the photos posted at
62:22 11/27/23
Andrew Barnsley gets Schitt's done!
When he was asked to be president of the Toronto Film School a few years ago, Andrew Barnsley wasn't sure if he could take the job. After all, he was the executive producer of three network sitcoms at the time: Schitt's Creek, JANN and Son of a Critch. (A fourth, the reboot of Kids in the Hall on Prime Video, came later.) The Emmy and Golden Globe award winner eventually figured it all out and now has his Emmys for producing Schitt's Creek on display at the Toronto Film School campus. It serves as an inspiration for the young TV and film students looking for a leg up in an industry that keeps booming in Canada -- even as Canadian broadcasters continue to reel from declining ad revenues.Barnsley -- who has lived all across Canada -- is nevertheless bullish on our TV business. He offers encouragement to those entering that field. He also talks about that thrilling Emmy sweep a few years ago, seeing Son of a Critch take on the American market on The CW and the clever way Eugene Levy convinced nervous network executives to not change the name of Schitt's Creek.
58:25 11/20/23
John Doyle Strikes Back!
The strikes are over. How will this affect the future of television? Who better to ask than Mister John Doyle?The retired and distinguished Globe and Mail TV columnist returns to the podcast to share his savvy and unfiltered take on the crazy business of television. On this episode we tackle the following topics:The impact of the writers and actors strikes on the Canadian TV industry. (Our conversation took place hours before the U.S. guilds announced a deal had been done.)Which late night talk show has emerged as the best of the bunch since the writers' strike was settled?True or false: Bill Maher is a beacon of light in a sharply divided world.Which of these Canadian shows, either already cancelled or in their final seasons, will Doyle miss the most? Transplant, Letterkenny, ET Canada or Sort Of?Why do surveys show viewers are ditching newscasts? Maybe it is because,  as Doyle argues, in the case of Toronto news, they are missing the story.Where did all the TV critics go?All that and more in a rollicking-good TV shellacking. Don't miss it!
82:44 11/13/23
Cheryl Hickey moves beyond ET Canada
It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Canada's first lady of entertainment news, Cheryl Hickey. The big hit was learning that the series she has hosted for 18 seasons, ET Canada, was being shut down by Corus Entertainment. Hickey admits the move, which took effect Oct. 6, caught her as much by surprise as it did others in the industry.The native of Shallow Lake, Ont. a very small town near Owen Sound, started her career at Global 24 years ago. That's pretty much the last time I interviewed her. That interview took place at five thousand feet -- Hickey was a helicopter reporter at the time!This relaxed and fun chat was much more down to earth, with Hickey walking me through her star-studded career. I quiz her on her many Hollywood encounters and her stories about Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Quincy Jones and Kiefer Sutherland are all red carpet worthy.Hickey's own story is loaded with drive, determination, hutzpah and plenty of family support. Her aspirations and example should encourage others in Canada to reach for the stars -- even though her series no longer will. What's next for Hickey? She doesn't tell me everything now, but I'm looking forward to our next conversation.
74:56 10/16/23

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