December 2008

Bravo! Celebrates Canada’s Famous Faces with
New Original Series STAR PORTRAITS

– Canadian celebrity muses include Alex Trebek, Ashley MacIsaac, Elvis Stojko, Enrico Colantoni, Dr. Roberta Bondar, Pamela Wallin, Colin Mochrie, and The Amazing Kreskin –

Toronto, ON (December 1, 2008) – Bravo! marries Canadian celebrity and Canadian art in the new portraiture series STAR PORTRAITS. Part art, part bio, and wholly captivating, production has begun on the new, 13-episode original Canadian series, produced in association with PTV Productions. Hosted by Broadway star Louise Pitre, STAR PORTRAITS combines the art of portraiture with biography, shining a spotlight on Canadian celebrities and painters. Based on the hit BBC program, STAR PORTRAITS is shooting now in Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa through February 2009.

STAR PORTRAITS features an impressive line-up of celebrity guests, including Alex Trebek, Dr. Roberta Bondar, Enrico Colantoni, Ashley MacIsaac, Elvis Stojko, Pamela Wallin, Colin Mochrie, and The Amazing Kreskin. STAR PORTRAITS airs on Bravo! next year.

“Bravo! is thrilled to partner with PTV Productions in the creation of a series that unifies the world of fine art and celebrity,” said Ismé Bennie, Vice President / General Manger, Bravo! “Canada’s modern day Da Vincis get the star treatment, and Canada’s celebrities get the art treatment.”

In each 30-minute episode, three Canadian painters are brought to a location chosen by the mystery celebrity guest. With the clock ticking, the artists have mere hours to get to know their subject. Once the excitement of meeting their celebrity muse fades, the artists are left with only two weeks to create their masterpieces. Host Louise Pitre visits the artists’ studios to get a glimpse of their process. When the clock runs out, the paintings are revealed to the celebrity sitter, who chooses one portrait to add to their personal collection. Of the remaining portraits, six will be chosen by the Portrait Gallery of Canada for their permanent collection and the rest will be auctioned off at Joyner Waddington’s Auction of Important Canadian Art, with proceeds going to the celebrities’ charity of choice.

Host Louise Pitre is an award-winning singer, actress, and one of Canada’s most popular and enduring musical performers. Pitre was catapulted to national fame in 1992 when she portrayed the legendary French singer Edith Piaf in Piaf. She made her Broadway debut in the ABBA inspired musical Mamma Mia, and has played a selection of commanding leads in acclaimed musicals.

STAR PORTRAITS is produced by PTV Productions, in association with Bravo! and with the participation of Rogers Cable Network Fund, the Portrait Gallery of Canada, and Library and Archives Canada. STAR PORTRAITS is based on a format created and devised by Hotbed Media. Executive Producers are Andrea Nemtin and Ian Dunbar of PTV Productions. The series is produced and directed by Theresa Kowall-Shipp.

Dare the GUINEA PIG! Discovery Channel Series Seeks Submissions for Extreme Online Experiment
– Got an extreme experiment you’d like to see? Here’s your chance to ask the

GUINEA PIG! Post ideas online at –

Toronto, ON (Monday, Dec. 1, 2008) – Science meets endurance as GUINEA PIG Ryan Stock prepares to perform an extreme experiment exclusively online, this time chosen from fan submissions. Beginning today, Monday, Dec. 1, fans can submit ideas at The chosen event will be performed exclusively on the internet during Season 3 of GUINEA PIG, which returns to Discovery Channel on Saturday, January 10, 2009 at 11 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT.

New photos, bios and show information available at

On GUINEA PIG, extreme performers Ryan Stock and AmberLynn Walker exploit the body’s natural design and push the boundaries of the human experience. These intense experiments offer valuable scientific insight into how we function under the most threatening conditions. Past seasons of GUINEA PIG have seen Ryan sustain snake bites, endure the lasting effects of pepper spray and other non-lethal weapons, and get buried alive in snow, all to find out how these extreme stressors affect the body. These first-hand experiences are amazing to witness and valuable for experts, as they rarely have a volunteer so willing to throw themselves in the line if fire. Literally.

Visit to watch past episodes of GUINEA PIG on the Discovery Video Player, find out more information about Ryan and AmberLynn, see behind-the-scenes footage and to submit ideas for this web-exclusive event coming to viewers this winter.

More information about Season 3 of GUINEA PIG coming soon!

CTV Marks World AIDS Day with First-Ever Made-for-Digital Production, MALAWI’S SONG, Premiering December 1 at

Ben Mulroney and Farley Flex Spotlight the Plight of African Children Living with HIV/AIDS

– Online initiative at enables Canadians to get involved in the cause –

Toronto, ON (December 1, 2008) – As World AIDS day is recognized today around the globe, the plight of children with HIV/AIDS in Africa is spotlighted in CTV’s first-ever made-for-digital production, MALAWI’S SONG, the 30-minute special is debuting exclusively online and on demand at beginning today, December 1.

In Malawi, Africa HIV/AIDS has wiped out an entire adult generation. More than half of the country’s population are now children. Robbed of their innocence, Malawi’s children confront starvation, disease, and death alone in their daily struggle. Premiering on demand on World AIDS Day, MALAWI’S SONG follows CANADIAN IDOL host Ben Mulroney and judge Farley Flex as they tour Malawi’s orphanages and hospitals with UNICEF in May of this year. CTV’s first-ever, made-for-digital production documents Mulroney and Flex as they play, laugh and sing with the children and people they met during their time in the villages, health clinics, and community schools in the country. A preview of MALAWI’S SONG was broadcast during CANADIAN IDOL’s Season 6 finale in September.

“This is a global issue, and CTV is proud to shine a spotlight on the plight of Malawi’s children through the global platform of the Internet. Developing original content and experiences for online audiences is a fast growing component of our digital strategy”, said Stephan Argent, Vice President, Digital Media, CTV Inc. “We are proud to be leveraging new production and distribution technologies to tell this important story. MALAWI’S SONG is a showcase for what CTV digital can deliver for online audiences in Canada and around the world.”

“UNICEF Canada is very grateful for the excellent support CTV, and UNICEF Canada Ambassadors Ben Mulroney and Farley Flex, continue to provide to our work,” said Nigel Fisher, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada. “The potential for the media to communicate the stories of the world’s children — and the ways that Canadians can help to make a critical difference in their lives — is enormous. We look forward to collaborating with CTV, and Ben and Farley further to help Canadians see what a positive impact they can make in the lives of children around the world.”

A companion website at includes the full documentary, still photography, field notes and blogs from Mulroney as well as links for viewers to get involved in the cause. Both Mulroney and Flex are National Ambassadors for UNICEF Canada.

“Having visited Malawi and seen firsthand the ravages of extreme poverty, HIV/AIDS, and malaria on a country already so poor, it could be easy to be pessimistic about their future,” said Mulroney, host of CANADIAN IDOL and ETALK. “That is not the case. The story of MALAWI’S SONG is one of hope, is one of promise, and is one that I am proud to be a part of.”

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, and is currently experiencing an AIDS epidemic. There are approximately 70,000 children under 15 years of age who are HIV positive and more than 1.2 million children have lost either one or both of their parents to HIV and AIDS.

MALAWI’S SONG was shot in HD on location by the Digital Production team.