Canwest's blog

Global Television’s Entertainment Tonight Canada today unveiled the new location of its famed Festival Central headquarters, in the heart of Yorkville for the 34th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

After two successful years at the historic Casa Loma, ET Canada and Liberty Entertainment Group are once again teaming up to throw the most glamorous and celebrity-filled VIP festival parties around – this time at a hot new location on Yorkville’s bustling Cumberland Street.

The “reel” celebration with ET Canada begins September 10th – 7pm ET/7:30pm PT on Global. With its new exclusive location in combination with amazing films, Hollywood’s A-list talent and the outstanding ETC crew, fans are guaranteed the continuation of the very best in entertainment reporting throughout the Festival. Audiences nationwide can join Host Cheryl Hickey, Co-Host Rick Campanelli, Correspondents Roz Weston, Kim D’Eon and Rosey Edeh as they expertly bring the unique “Festival Central” coverage to life each evening.

Located across the road from ET Canada’s exclusive Studio Lounge Interview Suite at the Hazelton Hotel, a simple city parking lot rooftop will transform into a magical indoor/outdoor urban wonderland, complete with floor to ceiling white décor, crystal chandeliers, an elevated DJ booth and a wrap around rooftop balcony overlooking all of Yorkville. Guests of the lavish red carpet event will celebrate with the stars while under the stars at what’s sure to be the Festival destination of 2009.

“Yorkville has an extra special magnetism during Film Fest, so to continue our Festival Central gala parties in this fabulous new space puts ET Canada at the centre of it all,” said Tamara Simoneau, Senior Executive Producer, ET Canada.

ET Canada’s ‘Festival Central’ film celebrations will include top tier sponsors AIR MILES, Ketel One, Grand Marnier, Stella Artois, and Moroccanoil Hair Care.

“This year we look forward to taking our partnership with ET Canada to new heights, in the heart of the city, above Yorkville. Festival Central will be the most sought after ticket of the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival,” said Nick Di Donato, President & CEO of Liberty Entertainment Group.

Platinum sponsor, AIR MILES will gather 11 of their AIR MILES Mile-ionaire finalists in Toronto on Sunday, September 13th at ET Canada’s Festival Central exclusive event and award one lucky Collector 1,000,000 reward miles and the title of the first ever AIR MILES Mile-ionaire. Each finalist and their guest will be photographed on the red carpet as they arrive and will relax inside the official AIR MILES Lounge with the option to enjoy a ‘Mile-ionaire-tini’, the night’s signature cocktail, while an ET Canada host draws the name of the grand prize winner. Viewers can tune-in to ET Canada on Monday, September 14th to find out who is the first ever Mile-ionaire.

Another Festival Central first, ET Canada, partners with Playback Magazine for the induction of film and television heavyweights into Playback’s Canadian Film and Television Hall of Fame.

Continuing its stylish tradition, ET Canada will host three consecutive nights of exclusive Festival events. Previous parties have featured celebrity guests like Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Rose McGowan, Sir Ben Kingsley, Scott Speedman and Gael Garcia Bernal. Festival-goers can expect the industry’s hottest movie stars and VIPs to grace the red carpet.

The gala film partnerships along with a complete rundown of ET Canada’s exclusive-access shooting locales will be announced in the weeks to come.

ET Canada encores weeknights at 11pm ET/8pmPT on SLICETM, with regular highlights featured On Demand at

It’s GLEE-mania and it’s sweeping the nation. Already touted as “The best thing you’re going to see on television all year!” by the Los Angeles Times, GLEE, hands down, is the most anticipated new fall series and it premieres on Global on Wednesday, September 9 – 9pm ET/PT.

In a bid to satisfy the fan frenzy, Global now offers a full special preview episode of this fresh, biting comedy online at, prior to its television broadcast on September 2.

From celebrated Nip/Tuck creator, Ryan Murphy, the series’ talented cast includes veteran actor, Jane Lynch (“Best In Show”, “40 Year-Old Virgin”), Broadway sensation Lea Michele plus Canadians Cory Monteith and Jessalyn Gilsig (“Heroes”). GLEE follows an optimistic high school teacher (Matthew Morrison) as he tries to reinvent the high school’s glee club – challenging not only himself, but a group of outcasts to realize their true star potential.

On Sunday, May 10, Canwest presents the mother of all programming events. From sitcom moms to the science of birth, Canwest’s specialty channels offer Mother’s Day programming for every taste across National Geographic Channel, Food Network, HGTV and DejaView.

Highlights include:


In the Womb Marathon

The popular In the Womb series explores the literal connection between a mother and child. This Mother’s Day Marathon features a brand new special, paired with some viewer favourites.

In The Womb: Identical Twins (Canadian Premiere) [HD]

May 10 at 7 pm ET/9 pm PT

The latest in the popular In the Womb Series, In the Womb: Identical Twins follows the embryonic and fetal journey of one of nature’s most fascinating reproductive accidents – Identical Twins. This new one-hour special charts the key moments of development—from the spontaneous splitting of the single egg, through to the major milestones of twin fetal development, and ending with their dramatic birth. With state-of-the-art CGI and unprecedented access, the film presents the fascinating complexity of twinning from inside the womb.

In The Womb: Twins, Triplets and Quads (Encore Presentation) [HD]

May 10 at 8 pm ET/10 pm PT

This program takes viewers into the extraordinary world of twins, triplets and quadruplets as they develop in utero. Follow the stories of three expectant mothers from conception to birth and travel inside the womb to see the tiny fetuses begin to interact with each other – pushing, kicking and even what looks like playing and kissing.

In The Womb (Encore Presentation)

May 10 at 10 pm ET/12 am PT

Explore the journey from conception to birth – the first beating of the heart, the tentative firing of nerve cells as the brain flickers into existence, the exploratory twitches of muscles, the birth of the senses and the opening of the eyes. New research reveals that the human fetus develops much faster than previously thought, as it learns the reflexes and responses it will need to survive on its own.


Moms, put your feet up and let your sons cook for you. Or just watch Food Network’s Mother’s Day marathons, consisting of a morning of great sons and an afternoon of great cakes.

Boys Cooking for Moms Marathon

Sunday May 10 from 9 am ET to 1 pm ET

· 9 am ET  The Main “Goat Cheese”

· 9:30 am ET  Jamie at Home “Eggs”

· 10 am ET  Guy’s Big Bite “Wake Up and Smell the Frittata”

· 10:30 am ET  Chuck’s Day Off “Family Dinner”

· 11 am ET  Tyler’s Ultimate “Ultimate Saturday Breakfast”

· 11:30 am ET  Big Daddy’s House “Keep Me In Bed”

· 12 pm ET  Licence to Grill “BBQ Brunch”

· 12:30 pm ET  Road Grill “Mother’s Day Celebration”

Last Cake Standing Marathon

Sunday, May 10 from 4 pm ET to 8 pm ET

· 4 pm  Last Cake Standing “Personal Best Cakes”

· 5 pm  Last Cake Standing “Elopement Cakes”

· 6 pm  Last Cake Standing “Extreme Superhero Cakes”

· 7 pm  Last Cake Standing “Sweet 16 Sextuplets Cakes”


Pink Marathon: HGTV is celebrating Mother’s Day by offering an afternoon of pink-themed episodes from many of the network’s favourite shows.

· 1 pm ET  Sarah’s House “Kids Bedrooms”

· 1:30 pm ET  The Style Dept. “Think Pink”

· 2 pm ET  Sarah’s House “Living Room, Front Entry”

· 2:30 pm ET  Pure Design “Lee & Stevie’s Living/Dining Room”

· 3 pm ET  Design Inc “Stephanie’s Suite”

· 3:30 pm ET  Designer Guys “Pink Goes Uptown”

· 4 pm ET  Colin & Justin’s Home Heist “40-Year-Old Grannies”


In honour of Mother’s Day, Sunday May 10, DejaView offers tender motherly moments from TV’s favourite moms. From the kind and caring Clair Huxtable to the in-your-face parental style of Roseanne, spend the day getting your share of warm and fuzzy motherly moments. Mother’s Day Marathons also run all day on Friday May 8 beginning at 11 am ET (One Day at a Time/Good Times) and Saturday May 9 beginning at 9 am ET (All in the Family).

May 10th highlights:

· 9 am ET (repeats at 6 p.m. ET)  Magnum PI “ Missing Melody”

· 10 am ET  Silver Spoons “Hi Mom”

· 10:30 am ET  Silver Spoons “The Call of the Wild”

· 11 am ET (repeats at 4 pm ET)  Who’s The Boss “Samantha’s Growing Up”

· 11:30 am ET (repeats at 4:30 pm ET)  Who’s The Boss “Prom Night II”

· 12 pm ET (repeats at 5 pm & 8 pm ET)  The Cosby Show “Clair’s Place”

· 12:30 pm ET (repeats at 5:30 pm & 8:30 pm ET)  Roseanne “Don’t Make Me Over”

· 1 pm ET  Mad About You “Bedfellows”

· 1:30 pm ET  Mad About You  “The Last Scampi”

· 2 pm ET on May 18 (repeats at 9 pm ET)  All In The Family “Mike’s Pains”

· 2:30 pm ET on May 18 (repeats at 9:30 pm ET)  All In The Family “Gloria is Nervous”

· 3 pm ET on May 18 (repeats at 7 pm ET)  Three’s Company “And Another Makes Four” 

· 3 pm ET on May 18 (repeats at 7:30 pm ET)  Three’s Company “Jack’s Other Mother”

Making the mundane magnificent, fashion mentor Jay Manuel continues to beautify and empower women in a new season of Style Her Famous. Featuring 10 Canadian women, Style Her Famous transforms ordinary women into look-a-likes of their favourite A-list stars. From Kate Hudson’s bohemian chic look to Penelope Cruz’s glamourous gowns, the series demonstrates how a celebrity’s signature style can inspire real women to refresh their own look. Don’t miss the third season of Style Her Famous premiering Sunday, May 3 at 2:30pm ET and 10:30pm ET on Slice™. “SliceTM has teamed up with The Style Network and Temple Street Productions for the first Canadian-based season of Style Her Famous, providing 10 deserving Canadian women the opportunity to find their own fashion voice with the help of celebrated fashion mentor, Jay Manuel,” says Vanessa Case, VP of Content, SliceTM. “The third season of Style Her Famous offers Slice™ viewers more of the home-grown, entertaining and highly-addictive programming they’ve come to expect from our network.”

Hosted by fashion guru Jay Manuel, each episode offers one style-challenged volunteer the opportunity to escape the dull and dreary fashion confines of everyday life. Using a favourite celebrity’s personal style as a source of inspiration, Jay and his team of hair, make-up and style experts go to work to create a bold new look for the young woman that is reflective of her vibrant personality and lifestyle. As the head-to-toe makeover progresses, the new “star” in the making learns some valuable techniques for looking great—including what salon products to use, what fashions complement specific body types, make-up application tips and more.

After being completely transformed, the newly made glamour goddess has the opportunity to model her updated look in a special photo shoot directed by Jay and led by a notable fashion photographer. Finally, her perfect day is completed by a surprise visit from a special guest she’s hoping to impress.

Meet the 10 Canadian women selected to have their look transformed:Oni from Ottawa, Ontario – look inspired by Queen Latifah

Christina from Ottawa, Ontario – look inspired by Eva Mendes

Samantha from Ottawa, Ontario – look inspired by Kate Hudson

Kristen from Thunder Bay, Ontario – look inspired by Keira Knightly

Anyi from Ottawa, Ontario – look inspired by Alicia Keys

Angie from London, Ontario – look inspired by Penelope Cruz

Melanee from St. Thomas, Ontario – look inspired by Kate Winslet

Lisette from Amherst, Nova Scotia – look inspired by Rihanna

Lucia from Ottawa, Ontario – look inspired by Jada Pinkett Smith

Natalie from Ottawa, Ontario – look inspired by Hayden Panettiere





TORONTO, ON and LOS ANGELES, CA, March 18, 2009– Canwest’s Original Canadian Series pilot THE DEALERSHIP has signed on Tricia Helfer and William Devane, along with up and comer Patrick J. Adams to star in the new one-hour pilot about love, larceny and luxury used cars. In addition, Fremantle Media Enterprises (FME), a division of FremantleMedia, has signed on as worldwide distributor of THE DEALERSHIP.


The pilot, which was announced by Canwest in November, will star Helfer (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, BURN NOTICE) in the lead role of Rachel Carson. Rachel is the beautiful, tough as nails sales manager who runs Carson Luxury Auto Gallery, a civic institution started by her irascible father Frank, played by Devane (JESSE STONE, WHAT ABOUT BRIAN). Rachel spent the last decade waiting for her father to retire, cementing her defacto control of the dealership and holding off the banks. Now that the car industry in North America is in the grip of recession, Rachel is fighting to keep the place alive with the help (or in spite of) her unreliable younger brother played by Patrick J. Adams (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, OLD SCHOOL).  When Frank un-retires and tries to help, things go from bad to worse.

“The wide appeal and power of these actors will take this pilot to another level.  In their hands, the unusual characters will spring to life.” said Christine Shipton, SVP, Drama and Factual Content, Canwest Broadcasting.  “We are extremely excited about this casting announcement”.

“Their talent, along with the incredible script and production team, are the right ingredients to create a show with global appeal” said Jeffrey Tahler, VP, Acquisitions & Development, FremantleMedia Enterprises.


THE DEALERSHIP is a darkly funny one-hour drama series about the dysfunctional world of Carson Luxury Auto Gallery, a family-owned, used-car dealership. Market collapse, credit crisis, the shrinking global economy – everything is conspiring against Rachel, Jack and Frank Carson. But this main street family isn’t going down without a fight and will do whatever it takes to make the sale and live for another day.

Tricia Helfer is notorious for her portrayal as Cylon ‘Number Six’ in the critically acclaimed award-winning sci-fi drama BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, which has enjoyed four hit seasons. In addition to BATTLESTAR, the current TV Guide cover girl has been heating things up in an eight-episode story arc on BURN NOTICE, and is slated to appear as Chuck’s new handler on the hit spy series CHUCK. Helfer recently wrapped production in Vancouver on the sci-fi drama HUMAN TARGET for director Simon West.

Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominated actor William Devane, has appeared in the television series WHAT ABOUT BRIAN, CRUMBS, and 24. Devane reprised his role alongside Tom Selleck in the fifth installation of the popular JESSE STONE franchise, titled JESSE STONE: THIN ICE. Distinguished for his political and “tough-guy” roles, the veteran actor’s additional television credits include STARGATE SG-1, THE WEST WING and KNOTS LANDING, among others. Feature film credits include SPACE COWBOYS, PAYBACK, MARATHON MAN, YANKS, and FAMILY PLOTS.

Patrick J. Adams made a dent on American pop culture with his scene stealing debut turn as “Patch,” in the 2003 Will Ferrell classic comedy OLD SCHOOL. In 2008, Adams landed back-to-back starring roles in a string of independent feature films including 2009 Berlin Film Festival competitor RAGE, with Judi Dench, Jude Law and Dianne Weist, and WEATHER GIRL, which was in competition at the 2009 Slamdance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah. His television credits include appearances on LOST, JACK & BOBBY, NCIS and GHOST WHISPERER.


THE DEALERSHIP is a Vérité Films production, created and executive produced by Virginia Thompson (RENEGADEPRESS.COM, CORNER GAS, INCREDIBLE STORY STUDIO), Writer/Showrunner Andrew Wreggitt (MAYERTHORPE, SHADES OF BLACK: THE CONRAD BLACK STORY, ONE DEAD INDIAN), Robert de Lint (RENEGADEPRESS.COM, CORNER GAS, INCREDIBLE STORY STUDIO) and Jeff Beesley (DOLAN’S CADILLAC).  Bernard Bourret and Ty Hyland are producers for the pilot. THE DEALERSHIP is directed by Ken Girotti (MAYERTHORPE, RESCUE ME, LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT).


Thursday April 2 at 9:30pm ET/PT on HGTV

Canadian Broadcast Premiere

My Big Amazing Renovation captures the thrill of the reno when renovating goes to extremes, like when a small 1500-square-foot bungalow becomes a large 5000-square-foot dream home. Why move out when you can move up in your existing home? Each episode follows a different family take on the biggest renos of their lives and find out if bigger plans and bigger projects result in bigger headaches.

Thursday April 2 at 8pm ET/PT on HGTV

World Broadcast Premiere

There was nothing easy about the Big Easy when hero contractor Mike Holmes and his dedicated crew spent three months in intense rainstorms and sweltering heat, rebuilding a home for a deserving New Orleans family who lost their house to Hurricane Katrina three years ago. Airing as a two-part Global Television special on Tuesday, April 7 and Wednesday April 8 at 9pm ET/PT, and a six-part HGTV miniseries beginning Thursday, April 9 at 8pm ET/PT, Holmes in New Orleans follows Holmes as he takes on the biggest challenge of his career.

Tuesday March 31 at 9pm ET/PT on HGTV

World Broadcast Premiere

Get out the bug spray! Sarah Richardson tackles the renovation of her very own summer getaway on the brand-new series, Sarah’s Cottage. Best known for her city-based designs on Sarah’s House, design inc. and Room Service, Sarah trades her high heels for her not-as-high heels and renovates of her own island cottage that’s 20km from the mainland. Over the course of six half-hour episodes, Sarah, Tommy and her crew brave everything from the season’s first ice, to shipping issues, battling black-flies and the difficulty of having to work while the sun’s shining. We all know how Sarah designs for her clients, designs for a profitable re-sale but Sarah’s Cottage is a personal design journey of her very own.

Tuesday March 31 at 8pm ET / 10pm PT on HGTV

World Broadcast Premiere

From the Hamptons to Malibu, Vancouver to Miami, this program showcases the work of many of the top designers and architects from across the continent. Each episode focuses on a different type of room. From rooms with a view, bathrooms to soak in, to poolside patios, exclusive tours will provide special access to ten fantastic examples of each room type. Designers who appear on HGTV’s lists include Jamie Drake, Vicente Wolf, Larry Laslo, Charlotte Moss, Geoffrey Bradfield and Connie Braemer. The work of architects David Hertz, Stephen Kanner, Lacina Heitler and Andrew Skurman are also featured throughout the series.

Canwest Broadcasting today announced that its hugely successful original series “Howie Do It” starring Canadian superstar Howie Mandel has been renewed for 12 additional episodes by Global Television and NBC.

The hidden-camera series, shot on location in Canada, has been a Friday night ratings hit for Global in Canada and NBC in the US. “Howie Do It” features Mandel and his team of professional pranksters as they take to the streets and perform hoaxes and tricks on unsuspecting targets.

In a surprise twist, Global also revealed today that Mandel has been in Toronto since early in the new year secretly shooting new episodes.

“Due to its hidden-camera approach, Howie asked that we not announce the program’s renewal until he had completed shooting in Toronto,” said Christine Shipton, SVP, Drama and Factual Content, Canwest Broadcasting. “We are now thrilled to reveal that the series will be back and once again feature a stellar cast of unsuspecting Canadians. Howie and his crew are continuing to shoot in other parts of Canada.”

“Howie Do It”, a co-production with NBC, airs Fridays at 8pm in both Canada and the United States. The initial series order was six episodes.

“Howie Do It” is a Canwest Original series, produced in association with Alevy Productions and 3 Arts. Mandel, Scott Hallock (“Scare Tactics”), Kevin Healey (“Spy TV”), Morgan Elliot and Michael Rotenberg serve as the executive producers.