February 2010

Saturday, February 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Discovery Channel

Explore the lives of several individuals and how they contribute in their own way to the new South Africa after years of internal struggle. Meet a young Zulu schoolgirl and her teacher; a man working thousands of metres underground in the world’s deepest gold mine; a zoologist and her team working to preserve South Africa’s unique wildlife; the Khoisan bushmen battling to keep their traditional way of life; a young black woman in a leadership role in the South African Army; and an ambulance driver in Johannesburg, one of the world’s most violent cities.

Friday, Feb. 26, at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT), on CBC-TV

In the final installment of its three-part series that looks back on how the fifth estate covered the first decade of the new century, the show’s award-winning hosts reflect on the issue that viewers associate more than any other with the program: justice and injustice. the fifth estate:  21st Century – Law & Disorder airs on Friday, Feb. 26, at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT), on CBC-TV.

For the fifth estate’s investigative journalists, the issue is central to the work they do. Gillian Findlay says: “When institutions fail, people need to know and there needs to be an explanation as to why, and there needs to be accountability as to why. We seem to have developed an ability to tell these stories.”

Among the fifth estate stories that Findlay and her colleagues Linden MacIntyre, Bob McKeown and Hana Gartner will reflect on:

Luck of the Draw (October 2006) – It’s a gamble that most of us have taken at some point:  bought a ticket at a corner store and hoped that we’d be the next big lottery winner.  But, what if you bought a winning ticket but never knew?   Gillian Findlay and the fifth estate investigated the rate at which store clerks and retailers were winning big prizes and why.  The results of that investigation changed the way the Ontario Lottery Corporation did business.

Disappearing Act (October 2008) – David Reiner, a 61-year-old bookkeeper, was known to be a compassionate professional who had never broken a law – not a hardened criminal. Yet, he vanished after stealing almost a million dollars from 21 non-profit daycare centers in Toronto. Hana Gartner and the fifth estate tracked Reiner to Africa, confronted him, and ultimately brought him home to Canada to face justice. 

Ty Conn: A Life Imprisoned (March 2000) – Linden MacIntyre first met Ty Conn in 1994 when Conn was featured in a show about the effects of child abuse. Later, they became friends.  Linden never expected that another documentary would result from that relationship.  But, it did and in a way that no one could have predicted.  In May of 1999, Ty Conn escaped from Kingston Penitentiary and while hunted down and surrounded by police, he phoned a fifth estate producer. As he talked to her, he shot and killed himself.

A Death in the Family (January 2009) – William Mullins-Johnson spent more than a decade in prison, serving a life sentence for the first-degree murder conviction of his four-year-old niece, Valin, in 1993.  His was a wrongful conviction.  No one had murdered Valin.  Mullins-Johnson was one of the many victims of disgraced pathologist Dr. Charles Smith and his questionable evidence.  But, after Mullins-Johnson’s release and exoneration Gillian Findlay learned that there was no easy path to reconciliation with his family which had been torn apart by suspicion and hatred after Valin’s death. 

Eve of Redemption and The Steven Truscott Story: Moment of Truth (March 20, 2000 and October 20, 2004) – It was one of the most notorious murder cases in Canadian history.  Twelve-year-old Lynne Harper was found dead in June of 1959.  Fourteen-year-old Steven Truscott was convicted and sentenced to hang for her murder.  He escaped the noose and was eventually released with a new name and identity, but doubts about his conviction continued to haunt the pages of Canadian justice.  Linden MacIntyre and the fifth estate uncovered evidence that showed the case against Truscott was dubious, at best. 

Frost Bite and Rogue Agent and Inside Room 22 (various air dates) – Early in the morning of April 16, 2004 NHL hockey player Mike Danton was arrested by FBI agents at the San Jose, California airport, a conspirator in a “murder for hire” plot.  The intended target:  his own agent, David Frost.  the fifth estate obtained a series of recorded jailhouse phone conversations between the two men, revealing Frost’s influence over Danton – a chilling glimpse into the world of the troubled player and his controlling mentor. Bob McKeown traces their story back to Brampton, Ontario, where the relationship began.

The Lady Vanishes (November 2007) – Sandy Munroe won considerable media support and public sympathy with his story that his wife, Heli, suffering from Alzheimer’s, had been kidnapped by her own brother and taken to England.  Government inaction and red tape, he said, prevented him from bringing Heli home to Nova Scotia.  But, Hana Gartner and a fifth estate team tracked down the couple’s estranged son, spoke to Heli’s family in England as well as to friends in Nova Scotia who had assisted her brother, and drew a very different conclusion.  

Executive producer of the fifth estate is Sally Reardon. The series producer of the fifth estate:  21st Century is Patsy Pehleman.

CBC News Network rebroadcasts the fifth estate on Saturdays, at 8 p.m. ET, Sundays, at 7 p.m. ET, and Tuesdays, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

For more information on the fifth estate, visit their website at www.cbc.ca/fifth and join us on Facebook.

It must have been those chickens getting loose but the team bonding sure had some impact on the Heroes as they scalp the villains in a first to eight sumo/bag challenge in a clean sweep.  It’s humiliating.

With such an emphatic win to the Heroes, the villains retire to camp to start the inevitable process of cutting one of their own.  Do they go with the weakest player on the team or do they get rid of one of the biggest threats?

You would think that after some of them have played this game two or three times that they would have learnt by now that unless you remove the threat, you put yourself in the difficult situation of having to deal with some very crafty and devious players later off who, like an unwanted mosquito, can be incredibly difficult to get rid of and keep turning up when you don’t want to feast on your blood.

Tribal council proves that the majority still haven’t learnt this lesson and poor old Randy is extinguished from the game.

Canwest Broadcasting and Lone Eagle Entertainment have partnered to bring the hugely popular Wipeout to Canada. Premiering on TVtropolis during the 2011 broadcast year, the highly-anticipated Canadian format of the painfully funny U.S. series will find daring Canadian contestants competing on the world’s largest extreme obstacle course for cash prizes.

“Wipeout has been a phenomenal hit with our viewers and it’s such a pleasure to be partnering with Lone Eagle Entertainment to bring the show to Canada,” said Karen Gelbart, SVP, Content, Lifestyle Channels, Canwest Broadcasting. “The Wipeout course is hilariously unpredictable and, to the delight of TVtropolis viewers, Canadians across the country will now have a chance to test their skills.”

“We’re thrilled to be involved in such an exciting project,” said Lone Eagle Entertainment Executive Producer, Michael Geddes. “Canadians coast to coast will be able to cheer on our country’s most fearless and daring as they go head to head for the top prize”.

Wipeout Canada will be filmed in Fall 2010 on an extreme obstacle course that was designed to provide the most spectacular spills, face plants, and wipeouts.

The Wipeout format is licensed to Lone Eagle Entertainment and is distributed in Canada by Disney and internationally by Endemol, a leading producer of television programming specializing in reality and non-scripted genres for network and cable television. The Canadian format will air on TVtropolis – joining an already robust line-up of hit reality shows including Hoarders, Parking Wars, Survivor and Rescue Ink. Further host and casting announcements will follow in the near future.

If there’s one thing I hate watching in shows like survivor it’s seeing people who are physically strong getting hammered by the elements and the environment.  Seeing Boston Rob have a spell of unconsciousness must have sent chills through the villains camp as the reality of the environment they find themselves in impacts their very lives.  How cool must it have been though to come back from that and win the immunity challenge?

While the villains have to deal with nearly losing the very person who seems to be pulling their tribe together, the heroes seem to be falling apart.  It’s embarrassing.

For the second week in a row the Heroes get their asses handed to them at the immunity challenge because they just can’t get it together and work together as a team.  James just wants to win but first they’re going to have to sort out their various differences and stop pulling in multiple directions.

Tribal Council airs a lot of laundry. James goes on the attack and lets Stephanie know that he’s no fan of hers but Tom rallies to her defense.  It’s not pretty.

Stephanie quickly learns that James isn’t the only one who thought lowly of her as her torch is extinguished and she becomes the second person booted off the island.

Two stars have signed on to make guest appearances this season on Grey’s Anatomy. One is Raquel Robinson who will be playing the role of a patient, and a challenging one at that. The one that viewers are probably more likely to watch for is the appearance from Jake McLaughlin and that’s because he will be playing Alex Karev’s brother.

It’s not a secret that Alex had a questionable past, so certainly the episode that will feature this guest actor is sure to be complete with plenty of personal drama!

Stay tuned!

It was probably obvious, but it doesn’t look like the love triangle between Owen, Cristina and Teddy has found closure yet. When Kevin Mckidd sat down with TV Guide recently, he dished on how he thinks things should unfold on the show, and might have revealed a bit of how they will!

“I think as the season draws to a close it’s going to get pretty intense and more complicated then it already is,” Kevin McKidd (Owen) told TV Guide Magazine.

“Also I think things come up with Owen beyond Christina and Teddy,” he adds.

“More stuff comes up about his past that he has to deal with so that gets really interesting as well as complicates even more his situation with the two women.”

“I always imagined that Owen and Christina would always be together,” he notes. “As me being a fan of the show and going beyond playing the character, I’ve always kind of pictured them being together and having this tempestuous relationship.”

Maybe due to hanging with Grey’s Anatomy cast member and expectant father Eric Dane at the 8th Annual World Poker Tour Invitational (whose charity of choice, Chrysalis, benefitted from the night’s winnings, he has babies on the brain too.

“I’ve always thought it would be cool to see (Owen and Christina) have a baby together down the line,” Kevin McKidd adds, immediately making us smile at the prospect.

Tuesday, February 23 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT on Bravo!

Canadian JUNO award-winning musician and activist Matthew Good takes to the stage as part of Bravo!’s AT THE CONCERT HALL series. The B.C. native performs brand new tracks from his fourth solo album Vancouver including “Us Remains Impossible,” “The Boy Who Could Explode,” “Great Whales of the Sea,” “A Silent Army In The Trees,” and the first single, “Last Parade.” Plus, Good delivers earlier hits including “Born Losers,” “I’m A Window,” and an acoustic rendition of “Strange Days.”

Future Earth: Addicted to Power, airing on Monday, Feb. 22, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, on THE PASSIONATE EYE on CBC News Network, takes us on a riveting CGI journey into the future, exploring the challenges humans will face in a world where energy is king and seemingly worth any price.

Modern life would be impossible without plentiful energy, but it’s an addiction that could cost the planet. We rely on fossil fuels—oil, coal and gas—which all emit carbon that contributes to global warming. This creates a dilemma—how to keep the lights on without cooking the planet.
Nuclear power produces lethally radioactive waste that could poison a city such as London, England. Dams produce clean, sustainable hydroelectric power, but future extreme weather may push them beyond their limits threatening hundreds of thousands of lives downstream. Wind and solar power may be clean, but they’re not capable of producing the energy we need. Nuclear fusion may be an answer, but it’s far off in the future.

Future Earth: Addicted to Power illustrates the disastrous consequences of continuing our addiction to power through photo-real CGI, but it also includes gripping interviews with experts who explore how adopting new technologies and making changes to the way we live can avert these disasters. Produced by Darlow Smithson Productions in the U.K.

Monday, February 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel

Experience three extraordinary – but very different – cars. First up, the Bugatti Veyron: the high-priced, high-concept supercar from the legendary French brand. Combining extreme luxury and extreme speed, this 500 km/h machine never fails to impress. So too does the Lady Linda: an exquisite private yacht with finishings and furnishings that are out-of-this-world. And finally, the Rolls Royce Phantom Coupé: boasting new gearbox tuning and possibly the largest rag-top in the world. This muscular ride updates the traditional British brand with 21st century styling and technology.