June 2007

CTV Secures Broadcast Rights to Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate in Crisis
(June 4, 2007)

– Live Earth Coming 7/7/07 from All 7 Continents on CTV –
– Organizers partner with CTV, Same Broadcaster that Delivered Historic Live 8 in 2005 –
– CTV Joins Worldwide Broadcast Consortium, Including NBC, BBC, NHK and others –

Toronto (June 4, 2007) – CTV has acquired the broadcast rights to Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate in Crisis, a series of 9 incredible concerts, spanning 7 continents over a 24-hour period, taking place on 7/7/07 around the world. The announcement was made today by Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group who executed the deal with Kevin Wall, Live Earth Founder and Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer.

With the announcement, CTV joins an international movement that will bring together more than 100 music artists and two billion people worldwide in an effort to combat the climate crisis (see “About Live Earth,” below).

“We are thrilled that CTV has stepped up in Canada to answer Live Earth’s SOS call,” said Wall. “Live Earth is about engaging a critical mass of people to tackle the climate crisis, and CTV’s coverage of Live Earth ensures that Canadians will be able to tune in to the concerts, join the SOS movement, and take action against the climate crisis.”

“If it’s important to Canadians, then it’s paramount to CTV,” said Boyce. “Live Earth is music with a message and for CTV, a perfect fit with our strategy to provide the most relevant programming available to our audience. CTV is now building the most effective plan to bring the Live Earth message home to Canadians in every corner of our country.”

CTV confirms that it is now planning unprecedented coverage and promotional support across its conventional stations and specialty services. In addition, MuchMusic, MuchMoreMusic and CHUM Radio were part of the CTV bid and as a result, additional coverage will be seen and heard across these platforms. A full broadcast plan will be announced shortly.

Live Earth features performances from some of the world’s biggest music headliners, including Madonna, Bon Jovi, The Police, Sheryl Crow, Kelly Clarkson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Melissa Etheridge, Beastie Boys, Smashing Pumpkins, John Mayer, Faith Hill, Black Eyed Peas, Foo Fighters, Fall Out Boy, Duran Duran and many others.

Live Earth becomes the second major international concert event that will be broadcast on CTV within the course of the first week of July. Earlier this year, CTV was named official

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Canadian broadcaster of “The Concert for Diana,” airing live from London on CTV in Canada and around the world on July 1 in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales.

With today’s announcement, CTV joins some of the world’s pre-eminent broadcasters in the Live Earth broadcast, including BBC (U.K.), NBC (U.S.A.) and NHK (Japan). Live Earth is the first-ever international concert event to be broadcast completely in High Definition (including on CTV) and will be seen in more than 100 countries.

On July 2, 2005, CTV led the world with its broadcast of Live 8. One of CTV’s most ambitious broadcast initiatives ever, Live 8 on CTV reached a stunning 10.5 million viewers, roughly one in three Canadians and 45 per cent of all Canadian households. As one of the largest total audience reaches ever for any single program ever aired on the network, CTV’s Live 8 broadcast sets the stage for a massive potential audience for CTV’s Live Earth broadcast on July 7. Source: BBM Canada (2005).

About Live Earth
Live Earth was founded by Kevin Wall, CEO of Control Room, the company producing the music events globally. Live Earth is a 24-hour, 7-continent concert series on 7/7/07 that will bring together more than 100 of the world’s top music acts to inspire an audience of over two billion people to combat global warming. Official Live Earth concerts will be staged in New York, London, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Hamburg and Istanbul. Live Earth is a project of the SOS campaign, which aims to motivate people around the world to “Answer the Call” through solutions-based short films, PSAs, books, an interactive web experience, and through the Live Earth concerts. Live Earth marks the beginning of a multi-year campaign led by the Alliance for Climate Protection and other international NGOs to drive individuals, corporations and governments to make immediate and lasting changes to solve the climate crisis. Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore is the Chair of the Alliance for Climate Protection and Partner of Live Earth.

A full list of concert lineups, locations and more, including detailed information about the SOS campaign, is available now at www.liveearth.org.

Comedy Now!

After nine seasons, nearly 100 hours of original stand-up comedy and over 120 comics later, Comedy Now! celebrates its milestone 10th anniversary season as Canada’s reigning pre-eminent stage for homegrown comedic talent. For the past ten years, Comedy Now! has helped pave the way for numerous Canadian writer/comedians such as Brent Butt, Roman Danylo, Nikki Payne, Shaun Majumder, Seán Cullen, Daryn Jones, Jay Malone and Jenn Robertson, to name a few. Stadium headliner Russell Peters was thrust into the stratosphere after elements of his Comedy Now! episode appeared online. A calling card for comedic success, an impressive 88 Comedy Now! alumni have either appeared or starred in numerous film and television roles. The series has also amassed an impressive 18 international awards and several Performance Geminis (see below for a list of past Comedy Now! alumni).

This season, Comedy Now! returns with a brand-new lineup of all-Canadian laughs, featuring the hilarious stylings of Lachlan Patterson, Sugar Sammy, Erica Sigurdson, Wafik Nasralla, Toby Hargrave, Mike Beatty, Mark Forward, Trevor Boris, Jason John Whitehead, Gavin Stephens, Dylan Mandlsohn, Terry McGurrin and Kenny Robinson.

The 13-part, half-hour, uncensored series premieres Sunday, June 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on The Comedy Network.

Canadian Idol judge Farley Fledge has come out swinging at American Idol judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson and saying there will be no Sanjaya in this years season of Canadian Idol.

Farley says that there’s no chance he and fellow Canuck judges Sass Jordan, Zack Werner and Jake Gold could have a similar lapse in judgement.

Read More

Last year we made another dream come true. Canada voted and the next Canadian Idol was Eva Avila. Eva exploded onto the scene with a gold album, two hit singles and a best new artist Juno nomination which solidified her Idol status alongside stars like season one winner Ryan Malcolm who is breaking new ground with his band Low Level Flight. Kalan Porter went straight into Canadian music history with the biggest selling debut single of all time with Awake in a Dream. Melissa O’Neil’s debut album earned her a Best New Artist Juno nomination.

It’s not just the winners that are making it big either. Billy Klippert recently won indie music’s Pop Artist of the Year. Rex Goudie sold over 100,000 copies of his debut album Under the Lights. Theresa Sokyrka’s intense fanbase helped her Juno nominated album These Old Charms go gold. Jacob Hoggard’s band Hedley have had international success with their self titled double platinum album.

With 30 CDs released and over one million albums sold, each and every one of our Canadian Idol winners has gone straight to number one. This is the real deal. A real shot at stardom. This is Canadian Idol.

After ten different cities and thousands of hopefuls, there was only one thing on the minds of everyone auditioning – striking gold.

The four judges are back, Zack Werner, Farley Flex, Jake Gold and Sass Jordan but this year there is a new twist this year. In 2007, the contestants can use instruments during their auditions which will no likely mean that during the audition stages of the show, we’ll not only get to put up with some bad singing, but some bad guitar playing as well.

Ben Mulroney introduces this season as the boldest and best season ever. The auditions started kicked off in Toronto and to make the event even bigger, Canadian Idol staged a concert in the middle of downtown with Vancouver’s rock band Faber Drive and last years winner Eva Avila, and last years American Idol runner up Kathryn McPhee.

First up Brian Melo, 24 from Hamilton, ON auditions with If You Could Only See the way by Tonic. Jake liked it. He liked it a lot and thinks he is believeable. They like him all round although Zack isn’t so sure.

Choir member Yonatan Watts, 18 from Hamilton, ON sings Lately from Stevie Wonder and the choir practice pays off as the judges all love him.

Dave Kerr is the new roving reporter for season five. He’s asking auditionees what their secret weapons are. Boring time filler segment.

Off to Ottawa next where we found Eva Avila last year. There’s a whole bunch of talk about people trilling and putting on an Arkansas twanging accent. Zack says that if Nashville demands a twang then move there.

Melissa Roy, 24 from Rockland, ON is a country chick who sings Terri Clark’s Better Things to Do. Zack says no because he is afraid they don’t have the resources to cope with her head exploding because she goes red in the face with strain when she sings. That doesn’t matter though because everyone else loves her and it’s golden ticket time.

In Calgary, first up is a guitar strumming Jaydee Bixby, 16 from Drumheller, AB. He seems incredibly naive but they like his genuineness and they think Canada is going to love him and that he’s going to be a star.

Here’s something different. Nathan Gignac, 24 from Tecumseh, ON asks Selena Scott to marry him after he serenades her in front of the judges. She answers with “Of course you fool”. How romantic! Proposing on nationwide television.

Season two contestant Trevor Paul, 28 from Calgary, AB is back for another shot after he walked out of the show during the Toronto round. Jake tells him that because of that, if they put him through, he can pay his own way to Toronto. He stumbles over his words. Sass reckons that his voice is so good that if he was going to make it, he would have already. Zack tells him that they will print off some lyrics and give him an hour to rehearse. They are worried he is going to choke but they’re giving him another shot anyway. Trevor picks The Gambler which has a lot of lyrics. He can’t do it. He’s outta there.

20 year old Brenna Daley is a ranch girl from Granum, AB. She’s very operatic. They like her voice though. She’s through.

While Ben is in Hollywood covering the Oscars, Dave Kerr is covering the Winnipeg auditions. Dan Legrand, 26 from Winnipeg, NB is in a metal band. You don’t think he’ll get through? Guess again. Zack gives him a golden ticket and reckons he is really going to entertain. Travis Thompson, 23 from Winnipeg MB is Dan’s bandmate and guitarist. For some weird reason, he’s getting a golden ticket too. Jake says it’s because he doesn’t think anyone will want to share a room with Dan.

While there have been plenty of people using their guitars, 24 year old Todd Scott from Conception Bay South, NL is asked to put it down so the judges can hear his voice by itself. It’s quick decision from the judges after that. Yes, yes, yes and yes.

Hoping to make her parents and home town of Hare Bay, NL proud is 23 year odl Tara Oram. She’s got the whole girl from a hard done by family story. She’s singing I will survive and Zack didn’t like it. Sass does but Jake wants to hear her sing something like she means it. She sings Something More by Sugarland which plays to her story. Farley likes her Charisma. She’s through to Toronto.

Halifax is the next stop on the Audition tour. This audition will be good. Ben introduces it by saying “Let’s just say, you’ll be seeing her on YouTube”. Apparently Krista Poirier, 23 from Halifax, NS is a hip hop dance teacher. She can’t sing or dance. Farley says she should stick to the dancing cause it’s fun and good for exercise. Ben was wrong though, it’s not on YouTube… yet!

Naomi-Joy Blackhall, 25 from Halifax, NS believes she has what it takes to be the next Canadian Idol. She’s very nice and polished and has a great look. She blows away the judges and she’s coming for ya Canada.

Dwight D’eon is a 28 year old singer songwriter from West Pubnico, NS. He’s in a band but he’s going to try going it alone. He’s doing Kiss from a Rose and accompanying himself on his guitar. He has a great voice and a fantastic falsetto. He reminds me a lot of Chris Daughtry from American Idol. The judges interrupt him and tell him to get out as they’re busy. Oh, they hand him a golden ticket at the same time.

It’s time for the Emo fans to get excited as 20 year old Morgan Donaldson from Truro, NS auditions with Hinder’s Lips of an Angel. Zack gives him his golden ticket.

Joining Morgan is Tyler Mullendore, 19 from Lake Ainslie, NS who Jake describes as authentic. He has a real grass roots vibe and the judges just love him. With or without his guitar he is fantastic. He’s got attitude and is gonna rock it up in Toronto.

119 dreams are still on track after tonight’s auditions tour. Next Tuesday the audition tour continues.

S1E05

First up to premiere his short film this week is Sam Friedlander. His film is called Broken Pipe Dreams.
To Vote for Sam’s film:
1-88-THE-LOT-01

Next up is Trever James. His short film is called Teri.
To Vote for Trever’s film:
1-88-THE-LOT-02

Hilary Graham is next with her short film The first time I met the Finklesteins.
To Vote for Hilary’s film:
1-88-THE-LOT-03

Adam Stein is next with his film Dough: The Musical
To Vote for Adam’s film:
1-88-THE-LOT-04

Shalini Kantayya is last with her film Laughing Out Loud: A Comic Journey
To vote for Shalini’s film:
1-88-THE-LOT-05

The other contestants favorite was Shalini’s film while the least favorite was Hilary’s film.

Next Tuesday the results will be in as well as the next 5 short films.

S1E04

When it comes to the results, first up is Zach Lipovsky. His movie, Danger Zone, was in the top 3 from last night’s box office vote and is safe and here for another week.

Sam Friedlander and Shira-Lee Shalit are safe. Trevor is safe leaving Carolina and Marty. Marty is safe which means Carolina is going home.

Adam Stein and David May are safe. Hilary Graham is also safe along with Will Bigham whose movie Lucky Penny was in the top 3.

The last two from the second line is Kenny and Claudia. Ending their run at the box office is Claudia.

The third line has Andrew safe. Shalini and Mateen are also safe. Jason, Phil and Jessica are left. One of them had their movie in the top 3. Another is safe. And one is being eliminated. Jason’s movie which the judges thought was awful makes the Top 3. Safe is Jessica. Leaving the Lot is Phil.

Interestingly enough, the three people who are leaving the lot tonight are not Americans.

Tonight the Top 18 Directors will screen their movies.

America will vote and the numbers will be cut.

Who will be left with a chance to win keys to their own office at Dreamworks and a million dollar deal.

Adam Stein: Dance Man

Carolina Zorrilla de San Martin: Deliver Me

Andrew Hunt: Spaced Out

Kenny Luby: Wack Alley Cab

Hilary Graham: Bus #1

Marty Martin: The Big Bad Heist

Will Bigham: Lucky Penny

Jessica Brillhart: …To Screw In A Lightbulb

Mateen Kemet: Soft

Claudia La Bianca: Blind Date

Jason Epperson: Getta Rhoom

David May: File Size

Zach Lipovsky: Danger Zone

Trever James: A Golf Story

Shalini Kantayya: Love in the year 2007

Phil Hawkins: Please Hold

Shira-Lee Shalit: Check Out

Sam Friedlander: Replication Theory

S1E02

Marty is abit crazy and is bugging Jeff who thinks he’s working too hard for nothing and thinks Marty is trying to prove he is film maker like a sixth grader would try and prove to an eighth grader that he is cool enough to hang out with him.

Adam Stein thinks that their script and story is pretty fun but Zach Lipovsky is the special effects guru so they’re hoping he knows what he’s doing. Sam Friedlander agrees.

Hannah’s turn to direct but Kenny is overstepping into her space with his ideas. Jessica Brillhart thinks Hannah is a really good film maker but just isn’t very confident. There is a lot of tension in this group. Kenny says their editing is terrible. Jessica says his photography was terrible and inconsistent.

There is still tension between Marty and Jeff too. It’s after 4:00am and less than two hours before the films are due.

Garry isn’t there today but Jon Avnet is there in his place.

Random Acts of Kindness: Hilary Graham, Carolina Zorrilla de San Martin and Brent McCorkle
The judges like their film and said that they worked well together.

Vinny’s Vault: Jessica Brillhart, Kenny Luby and Hannah Sink
The judges love Kenny’s cinematography. They didn’t really like Hannah’s scene though but she blames the director of photgraphy.

Out of Time: Marty Martin, Jeff Seibenick and Trever James
They loved Marty’s scene but thought Jeff’s scene wasn’t the strongest of the three.

Time Out: Adam Stein, Sam Friedlander and Zach Lipovsky
Brett thought it was amazing. The jaws were dropping around the room with the special effects.

12 more directors are about to be sent home by the judges. The directors worked in teams but will be judged individually.

Jessica, Hannah and Kenny are up first. Hannah is going home and she’s upset that it’s her going and not Kenny. Kenny, however, is happy.

Adam, Sam and Zach are ok. As are Hilary, Carolina and Brent. Marty and Trever are through but poor Jeff is outta here.

The next task is set straight away. They need to direct a one page script and will be provided with a full crew and cast and a top notch Hollywood set. Jarrett Conaway thinks it’s a crazy challenge.

Tomorrow they will screen the films where they will then judge the directors before deciding on who will be part of the final 18.

S1E01

50 of the world’s most talented yet still undiscovered movie directors are taking the Universal backlot tour. These 50 aspiring movie makers beat out more than 12,000 hopefuls from 33 countries. Armed with little more than digital cameras and laptop computers and backyards for backdrops and family members for crews, they’ve shown what they can do with next to nothing but what can they do when they are given all the tools and resources that Hollywood has to offer? That’s what the next 13 weeks is going to prove. But only one of them will make it On The Lot.

Our host, Chelsea Handler, welcomes the directors to the backlot where all the magic happens. They will provide them with all the resources for them to become great so it will be up to them.

The next few days will put some challenges in front of them which will separate the good directors from the special ones. Each week they will produce movies and show them to the public. At the end, one will win a million dollar deal with Dreamworks.

The Biltmore Hotel is the location of their first stop. The Bilton was the birthplace of the Academy Awards. The all take a seat in the viewing room where Chelsea tells them that by the end of the summer, one of them will have keys to their own office at Dreamworks.

Carrie Fisher, Garry Marshall and Brett Radner arrive to offer some first tips and provide their first task which is to pitch a movie. There are five loglines which are:

#1 A slacker applies to the C.I.A as a joke and is accepted
#2 A man sees his face on the news described as missing or wanted
#3 A mouse is captured by a pharmaceutical company and must plan his escape
#4 A priest meets the woman of his dreams before he is to be ordained
#5 A crate bound for a secret military base is delivered to a suburban family

The directors are then asked to reach under their seats and pull out an envelope to tell them which story they got.

It’s going to be a long night. 14 will not go on to the next round. Some are struggling with their loglines and are trying to get inspiration from others with the same logline. However, some aren’t so willing to share in the case their idea gets stolen.

For Brett Radner, he’s interested in finding out which of them are story tellers.

Mark McLain is first up and has the mouse logline. Unfortunately he stumbles and can’t get his story out other than to tell us about his lead character who is a mobster who works for the FBI. One day he wakes up and is a mansized rat. It sounds rather lame and that he made it up as he went along.

Carrie says it’s going to be harder than picking lobsters at a restaurant for her.

The pitches go from bad to worse.

Garry is hoping someone can pitch lunch.

Andrew Hunt has the priest logline. Andrew’s pitch is brilliant. He is inspiring and confident.

Rahim Jamal had the military crate logline. He’s nervous and his pitch is kind of random. His first move is to make a disclaimer. Garry tells him that no one is going to take a risk on a nervous man when it’s going to cost $100,000 a day.

It’s been pretty hard and the directors are learning how hard it is to pitch a film.

Will Bigham is next with the mouse. He’s confident and well spoken and the judges are complimentary.

Jeremy Corray promises to give the most energetic presentation they’ve seen all day. He’s pretty over the top with his slacker and the C.I.A storyline. He was memorable but probably not in a good way.

Three from the first group go home of which Jeremy Corray is one of them.

Ramsey Mellette is the only person to be eliminatedp.

Mark McLain is going home but Will Bigham is through.

Rahim Jamal is going home from his group.

For the second task, they have to write, shoot and direct their own movies in 24 hours. The logline is “Out of time” and they’ll be working in groups of three.

Now, they have to write a two and a half minute short film and work with two others who you’ve never worked with before which is bound to cause some tension.

For the second day in a row, the directors are working on very little sleep. There are some difficulties between Marty Martin and Jeff Seibenick at the restaurant they’re filming at.

They’re all spread out across L.A.

Hillary Graham is directing in a street and is ordering Brent McCorkle to hold traffic.

Kenny Luby is directing at the Train Yard. He’s never been to film school and Hannah Sink is getting worried because the actors are getting frustrated with how Kenny is directing. To make matters worse, a second crew arrives. Gil Kruger, Mateen Kemet and Shira-Lee Shalit are at the same location at the same time.

With a rule change allowing instrument-playing competitors to accompany themselves in their auditions, the show welcomed a vast new crop of undiscovered talent.

Canadian Idol returns to our screens for the summer tonight at 8:00pm on CTV.