Just when the party was still going on in Toronto a result of Canadian television’s Flashpoint being picked up by CBS and shown in a prime slot, NBC announced that it was adding “The Listener’ to its Friday primetime line up. A partnership between Shaftesbury Films and the CTV development team “The Listener” is a series about a young paramedic’s power to read peoples’ thoughts and is capturing the imagination of every one who watches. To show its faith in the program NBC has ordered 13 episodes.

The Listener stars Craig Olejnik – from In God’s Country – as Toby Logan, the paramedic with an abnormal power, and Ennis Esmer – from The Toronto Show – as Osman Bey, his partner in the “bus,” or ambulance. Its creator, Michael Amo, was involved heavily in Blessed Stranger: After Flight 111 and the 2006 pilot was directed by Clement Virgo – who directed The Wire – which came out in the summer of 2007.

What this does for Canadian television is open a crack in the door of respectability. There have been many great Canadian television programs but they had been clumped in with a lot of so-so productions and terribly-made movies. Lion’s Gate Films from Vancouver broke this mold with movies like Crash and W, to name a few. Now Canadian films are featured alongside the best in the world and do not have to rely on government subsidies and the bureaucrats that come along with that kettle of fish.

The audience appeal for The Listener is widespread because its twenty-something main characters will attract young watchers while the paranormal aspect will draw out many other watchers. These will be a similar audience that tunes in toMedium and Ghost Whisperer.

Fox International Channels will premiere the series on the first week of March 2009, in 180 territories. The Friday night slot for The Listener might put it opposite another successful television program, Flashpoint, which presently enjoys a good rating on this night. And though both shows come out of CTV’s development department they are two entirely different teams.

So mark March 9th on your calendar and watch two Canadian shows on two big American networks.

On the 9th of March, Dancing With the Stars will hit the screens once again as 13 new celebrities take to the floor.

The 2009 lineup consists of seven men and six women who will be paired with champion dancers who will coach them in everything ballroom.

So who are they? Read More

The men
Country singer Chuck Wicks
Sex and the City’s Gilles Marini
Chocolate News host David Alan Grier
Jackass star Steve-O
Co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak
Rodeo champ and Jewel’s husband Ty Murray
New York Giants great Lawrence Taylor

The women
Singer Belinda Carlisle
Actress Denise Richards
Singer Jewel
Rapper Lil’ Kim
Co-host of Access Hollywood Nancy O’Dell
Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson

What do you think of this line up?

It’s a decision that many have been expecting since the second season after it seemed the show was being ludicrously bled for every ounce of ratings it could muster but it’s finally been announced. Prison Break will not get a fifth season.

Fox has four episodes left to air in the US but has hinted that several extra episodes may be shot to tie up any loose ends.

How do you feel about the series coming to an end?

Today, the 66th annual Golden Globe Award winners will be announced. We’ll be updating Throng with the latest winners as they are announced.

Nominees and winners after the jump.

Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Amy Adams – Doubt
Penélope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis – Doubt
Marisa Tomei – The Wrestler
Kate Winslet – The Reader WINNER

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Down To Earth” – Wall-E
Music By: Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman
Lyrics By: Peter Gabriel
“Gran Torino” – Gran Torino
Music By: Clint Eastwood, Jamie Cullum, Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens
Lyrics By: Jamie Cullum
“I Thought I Lost You” – Bolt
Music & Lyrics By: Miley Cyrus and Jeffrey Steele
“Once In A Lifetime” – Cadillac Records
Music & Lyrics By: Beyoncé Knowles, Amanda Ghost, Scott McFarmon, Ian Dench, James Dring and Jody Street
“The Wrestler” – The Wrestler
Music & Lyrics By: Bruce Springsteen WINNER

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Ralph Fiennes – Bernard And Doris (HBO)
Paul Giamatti – John Adams (HBO)
Kevin Spacey – Recount (HBO)
Kiefer Sutherland – 24 (FOX)
Tom Wilkinson – Recount (HBO) WINNER

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Eileen Atkins – Cranford (PBS)
Laura Dern – Recount (HBO) WINNER
Melissa George – In Treatment (HBO)
Rachel Griffiths – Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Dianne Wiest – In Treatment (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Drama
Gabriel Byrne – In Treatment (HBO) WINNER
Michael C. Hall – Dexter (SHOWTIME)
Jon Hamm – Mad Men (AMC)
Hugh Laurie – House (FOX)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers – The Tudors (SHOWTIME)

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama
Sally Field – Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Mariska Hargitay – Law & Order
January Jones – Mad Men (AMC)
Anna Paquin – True Blood (HBO) WINNER
Kyra Sedgwick – The Closer (TNT)

Best Animated Feature Film
Walt Disney Pictures; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Kung Fu Panda
DreamWorks Animation SKG; Paramount Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Rebecca Hall – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Sally Hawkins – Happy-Go-Lucky WINNER
Frances McDormand – Burn After Reading
Meryl Streep – Mamma Mia!
Emma Thompson – Last Chance Harvey

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television
A Raisin In The Sun (ABC)
Sony Pictures Television, Storyline Entertainment, and Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment
Bernard And Doris (HBO)
Trigger Street Independent Productions in association with Little Bird and Chicago Films and HBO Films
Cranford (PBS)
A Co-Production of BBC and WGBH Boston.
John Adams (HBO) WINNER
Playtone in association with HBO Films
Recount (HBO)
Spring Creek/Mirage Productions in association with Trigger Street Productions, Everyman Pictures and HBO Films

Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Tom Cruise – Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey Jr. – Tropic Thunder
Ralph Fiennes – The Duchess
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Doubt
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight WINNER

Best Foreign Language Film
The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
The Country of Germany
(DER BAADER MEINHOF KOMPLEX) Constantin Film Produktion GmbH; Summit Entertainment, LLC
Everlasting Moments (Sweden, Denmark)
The Country of Sweden and The Country of Denmark
Gomorrah (Italy)
The Country of Italy
(GOMORRA) Fandango; IFC Films
I’ve Loved You So Long (France)
The Country of France
(IL Y A LONGTEMPS QUE JE T’AIME) UGC YM/UGC Images/France 3 Cinema/Integral Film; Sony Pictures Classics
Waltz With Bashir (Israel) WINNER
The Country of Israel
Bridgit Folman Film Gang/Les Films D’Ici/Razor Films/Arte France/ITVS International; Sony Pictures Classics

Best Performance by an Actress In A Mini-series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Judi Dench – Cranford (PBS)
Catherine Keener – An American Crime
Laura Linney – John Adams (HBO) WINNER
Shirley MacLaine – Coco Chanel
Susan Sarandon – Bernard And Doris (HBO)

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Written by Eric Roth
Written by John Patrick Shanley
Written by Peter Morgan
The Reader
Written by David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire WINNER
Written by Simon Beaufoy

Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series – Musical Or Comedy
Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock (NBC) WINNER
Steve Carell – The Office (NBC)
Kevin Connolly – Entourage (HBO)
David Duchovny – Californication (SHOWTIME)
Tony Shalhoub – Monk (USA)

Best Television Series – Musical Or Comedy
30 Rock (NBC) WINNER
Universal Media Studios in association with Broadway Video and Little Stranger Inc.
Californication (SHOWTIME)
Showtime Presents in association with Aggressive Mediocrity, and Then…, Twilight Time Films
Entourage (HBO)
Leverage and Closest to the Hole Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
The Office (NBC)
Deedle Dee Productions/Reveille/NBC Universal Television Studio; NBC
Showtime/Lionsgate Television/Tilted Productions, Inc.; SHOWTIME

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Composed by Alexandre Desplat
Composed by Clint Eastwood
Composed by James Newton Howard
Slumdog Millionaire WINNER
Composed by A. R. Rahman
Composed by Hans Zimmer

Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Musical Or Comedy
Christina Applegate – Samantha Who? (ABC)
America Ferrera – Ugly Betty (ABC)
Tina Fey – 30 Rock (NBC) WINNER
Debra Messing – The Starter Wife (USA)
Mary-Louise Parker – Weeds (SHOWTIME)

Best Director – Motion Picture
Danny Boyle – Slumdog Millionaire WINNER
Stephen Daldry – The Reader
David Fincher – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard – Frost/Nixon
Sam Mendes – Revolutionary Road

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy
Javier Bardem – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Colin Farrell – In Bruges WINNER
James Franco – Pineapple Express
Brendan Gleeson – In Bruges
Dustin Hoffman – Last Chance Harvey

Best Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy
Burn After Reading
Working Title/Releasing Company; Focus Features in association with Studio Canal
Summit Entertainment, Film4, Ingenious Film Partners, Miramax Films; Miramax Films
In Bruges
Blueprint Pictures; Focus Features
Mamma Mia!
Relativity Media, Playtone, Littlestar; Universal Pictures
Vicky Cristina Barcelona WINNER
Mediapro; The Weinstein Company

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Anne Hathaway – Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie – Changeling
Meryl Streep – Doubt
Kristin Scott Thomas – I’ve Loved You So Long
Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road WINNER

Best Television Series – Drama

House (FOX)
Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions in association with Universal Media Studios
In Treatment (HBO)
Sheleg, Closest To The Hole Productions and Leverage in association with HBO Entertainment
True Blood (HBO)
Your Face Goes Here Productions in association with HBO Entertainment

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Leonardo DiCaprio – Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella – Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn – Milk
Brad Pitt – The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler WINNER

Best Motion Picture – Drama
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Warner Bros. Pictures and Paramount Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures and Paramount Pictures
Imagine Entertainment, Working Title, Studio Canal; Universal Pictures
The Reader
Mirage Enterprises; The Weinstein Company
Revolutionary Road
An Evamere Entertainment BBC Films Neal Street Production; DreamWorks Pictures in Association with BBC Films and Paramount Vantage
Slumdog Millionaire WINNER
Fox Searchlight Pictures and Warner Bros.; Fox Searchlight Pictures and Warner Bros.

When you read “As a result of the current economic climate, production of Canadian Idol will rest for the 2009 broadcast year,” you have to wonder what is really going on.

Yes folks, Canadian Idol, that vestibule of revenue gathering for CTV has been rested due to the *cough* current economic climate and that because ad revenues are taking a dive then the ends don’t justify their means.

One would have thought that having Canadian Idol back in 2009 would have been the smartest thing to do. If people aren’t going out spending money, are they not going to be sitting in front of their television sets being entertained at home?

And advertisers not wanting to front due to the constant call of recession are only adding to the problem. The only way out is for people to spend money again. Locking the vaults and not wanting to back one of the biggest ratings winners of 2008 is simply put, ludicrous.

So why is this really happening? The only thing I can think of is that there was no one smart enough at CTV who could find a solution that worked for everyone. Instead of choosing smaller profits, they’ve settled for significantly smaller profits.

It will be very interesting to see what replaces Canadian Idol once American Idol ends. Whatever it is, I doubt CTV will be gloating about their ratings come June.

CTV announced today it is looking for CANADA’S NEXT TOP MODEL. Recruitment starts today for competitors for the third cycle of the 2007 Gemini winner for Best Reality Program or Series, which will air for the first time on CTV in 2009. In a program first, CANADA’S NEXT TOP MODEL hopefuls have the option of submitting their application packages online at the series’ all-new website, model.ctv.ca. Applications are being received now through December 22, 2008. Thousands will apply, but only 10 women will compete on-air for an incredible grand prize that includes a $100,000 beauty contract.

“With the enormous success of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA and CANADIAN IDOL, we can’t wait to take CANADA’S NEXT TOP MODEL to the next level,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “We will continue to bring the sidewalk to the catwalk, providing 10 young women an opportunity of a lifetime and the winner with the chance to jumpstart her modeling career.”

CANADA’S NEXT TOP MODEL returns with the hope of finding 10 young women who think they have what it takes to make it in the high-stress, high-stakes world of modeling. To qualify, applicants must be female, between the ages of 18-23 (as of Friday, January 30, 2009), Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents of Canada, and at least 5’8” in height. Participants must also be prepared to spend five weeks away from family and friends and must not be locked into a current modeling contract. For up-to-date audition information and/or to download the official application kit and apply, visit www.model.ctv.ca.

CANADA’S NEXT TOP MODEL is based on the phenomenally successful AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL® franchise created by supermodel Tyra Banks. Each one-hour episode provides dramatic twists and turns as hopefuls compete to master essential skills and live together, all under the watchful eye of TOP MODEL cameras. One cast member is eliminated each week and the last model standing wins the coveted title of CANADA’S NEXT TOP MODEL.

If you’re wondering where you can follow the 2008 United States Presidential Election in Canada, here is a list of channels with coverage:

CBC – Coverage from 10pm
CTV – Coverage from 10pm – 11pm
CBCNW – Coverage from 8pm
ABC – Coverage from 8pm
CBS – Coverage from 8pm
Fox – Coverage from 8pm
NBC – Coverage from 7pm
PBS – Coverage from 9pm
Comedy – Coverage from 8pm – 9pm, 10pm – 11pm
CNBC – Coverage from 7pm
CNN – All Day Coverage
Fox News – All Day Coverage
BBC – All Day Coverage

Whatever the outcome of this election, history will be made. Who do you think will win? Barrack Obama or John McCain? And by what margin?

Which coverage will you be watching?

Three consecutive nights of Gemini Industry Galas concluded this evening with the Drama, Variety and Comedy Gala. The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television announced Gemini Awards in 33 categories tonight, bringing the number of awards given out this week to 86. Tonight’s celebrations featured winners of awards announced earlier in October. The Earle Grey Award was presented to actor David Gardner, for his significant contribution to the profile of Canadian television, and the late David Cole received the Margaret Collier Award for his contribution as a Canadian television writer. The 23rd Annual Gemini Awards will culminate with the Broadcast Gala November 28th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, which will be simulcast on E! network and Showcase at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The winners of the 2008 Gemini Drama, Variety and Comedy Awards are:

Best Achievement in Casting
Carmen Kotyk – The Englishman’s Boy

Best Achievement in Make-Up
Shauna Llewellyn, Ryan Reed – ‘da Kink In My Hair – Di Heart of Di Matter

Best Costume Design
Beverley Wowchuk – The Englishman’s Boy

Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series
T W Peacocke – Rent-A-Goalie – Everybody’s A Fag

Best Direction in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series
John N. Smith – The Englishman’s Boy

Best Direction in a Performing Arts Program or Series
Dennis Beauchamp – Blood on the Moon

Best Direction in a Variety Program or Series
John Keffer – MuchMusic Video Awards 2007

Best Individual Performance in a Comedy Program or Series
Jo Koy – Just For Laughs Gala Series – Show #4

Best Music, Variety Program or Series
The 2008 Juno Awards
(Insight Production Co. Ltd., CARAS)
John Brunton, Melanie Berry, Barbara Bowlby, Stephen Stohn, Louise Wood

Best Original Music Score for a Program or Series
Robert Carli – Murdoch Mysteries – Bad Medicine

Best Original Music Score for a Dramatic Program, Mini-Series or TV Movie
Robert Carli – Victor: The Victor Davis Story

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series
Peter MacNeill – Victor: The Victor Davis Story

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series
Jonas Chernick – The Border – Civil Disobedience/Grave Concern

Best Performance by an Actor in a Guest Role, Dramatic Series
Gavin Crawford – Murdoch Mysteries – Belly Speaker

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series
Katharine Isabelle – The Englishman’s Boy

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series
Maria Doyle Kennedy – The Tudors – Episode 105/Episode 108

Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role, Dramatic Series
Pascale Hutton – Intelligence – The Heat is On

Best Performance in a Performing Arts Program or Series
Margo Timmins, Ryan Adams, Alan Anton, Jeff Bird, Vic Chesnutt, Natalie Merchant, Peter Timmins, Michael Timmins – Cowboy Junkies: Trinity Revisited

Best Performance or Host in a Variety Program or Series
Russell Peters – The 2008 Juno Awards

Best Photography in a Comedy, Variety or Performing Arts Program or Series
Michael Tien – Blood on the Moon

Best Photography in a Dramatic Program or Series
Ousama Rawi – The Tudors – Episode 106

Best Picture Editing in a Comedy, Variety or Performing Arts Program or Series
Vanda Schmockel – Corner Gas – Contagious Fortune

Best Picture Editing in a Dramatic Program or Series
Christopher Donaldson – The Border – Grave Concern

Best Production Design or Art Direction in a Fiction Program or Series
Tom Conroy, Eliza Solesbury – The Tudors – Episode 106

Best Sound in a Comedy, Variety, or Performing Arts Program or Series
François Lamoureux, Brian Mercier, Denis Normandeau – Cowboy Junkies: Trinity Revisited

Best Sound in a Dramatic Program
Nelson Ferreira, Steve Baine, Stephen Barden, Alex Bullick, Eric Fitz, Andrew Tay – Across the River to Motor City

Best Sound in a Dramatic Series
Jill Purdy, Mario Auclair, Lee De Lang, Keith Elliott, Andrea Higgins, Brad Thornton – Durham County – What Lies Beneath

Best TV Movie
(Seven24 Films / Slanted Wheel Entertainment)
Jordy Randall, Tom Cox, Jon Slan

Best Visual Effects
Bob Munroe, Terry Bradley, Lisa Carr-Harris, Bret Culp, Bill Halliday, Warren Leathem, Bo Mosley – The Tudors – Episode 110

Best Writing in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series
Andrew Wreggitt – Mayerthorpe

Best Writing in a Dramatic Series
Laurie Finstad Knizhnik – Durham County – What Lies Beneath

Earle Grey Award
David Gardner

Margaret Collier Award
David Cole

On the same day that The Dominion Institute has released online survey results indicating that only 50% of young Canadian voters “definitely” plan to vote, ichannel announces a new show targeted to the voting issues of that age group.

The What Is: Election 2008! is a half hour special that “provides context to youth issues and deals with the perception of voter apathy amongst young people”, according to the show’s producers Vince Kesavamoorthy and Alan So. The program includes a satirical sketch, a man-on-the-street segment, a roundtable panel discussion, and is written and hosted by award-winning comedian and filmmaker Dan Speerin, who provides his satirical perspective on issues that matter most to Generation Y.

The Executive Director of The Dominion Institute Marc Chalifoux will appear on the panel discussion, as will Navdeep Bains, Liberal MP for the riding of Mississauga-Brampton South and Youth Caucus Liaison for the Liberal Party. Representatives from the Conservative and NDP parties have also been invited to partake in the round-table.

ichannel’s announcement about the special television presentation comes on the heels of the release of The Dominion Institute’s online survey of young voters conducted September 10th to 15th. While seventy-five percent of 18 to 25 year olds polled were concerned about low turnout among young voters, 30% said they “aren’t informed enough to cast their own vote”. Eleven percent are “too busy” and another 11% “don’t care”. Only fifty percent “definitely plan to vote”. In the 2006 federal election, 57% planned to vote, but only 44% actually ended up attending the polls on election day.

The What Is: Election 2008! airs Saturday, October 11th and Sunday, October 12th at 8:00pm and 11:00pm ET and PT. The producers promise the show to be a real voice for Generation Y in this federal election. The program was produced for ichannel by Not Like Us Productions, the creative young minds behind the indie television series “Twixters” as well as the Cynically Tested Channel on MySpace and YouTube.

For a complete listing and schedule of ichannel’s fall shows, visit www.ichannel.ca. ichannel is available by subscription from cable and satellite providers across Canada.

Canadian Prime Time is heating up tonight as CTV and CBC go head to head with Canadian content.

While America’s Next Top Model, Bones and The Secret Life of an American Teenager compete for viewers the real race is between the new seasons of Little Mosque on the Prairie and Sophie which return to CBC tonight and the much anticipated Top 100 round of So You Think You Can Dance Canada on CTV.

Which will you be watching?