Less Than Kind

LessThanKindHBO Canada has locked in the return date for Less Than Kind.

The fourth and final season of the comedy will hit screens on Sunday, June 2 at 8pm ET/MT.

“We are so happy to bring the Blechers back for the fourth and concluding chapter of Less Than Kind,” said executive producer, writer and showrunner Mark McKinney.

“The series has been blessed by an amazing cast that only grew stronger and funnier each season. This season’s storyline brings their characters’ journeys to a very satisfying finish. And we are thrilled to be bringing it to HBO Canada where so many great original Canadian shows have thrived.” Continue reading »

WGCSA logoCanada’s best screenwriters have been celebrated at the 17th annual Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards.

Screenwriters Andrew Wreggitt (The Phantoms), Martin Gero (L.A. Complex), Kim Coghill (Less Than Kind), Dan Williams & Lienne Sawatsky (Sidekick) and Julie Strassman-Cohn & Jill Golick (Ruby Skye PI) were just a few of those recognized. A complete list of winners is below.

The co-creators of Flashpoint, Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern, were recognized with the prestigious WGC Showrunner Award for their leadership and the creative vision that took the show through five spectacular seasons. Continue reading »

Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (Western Canada) and Astral’s The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) are pleased to unveil the original series, miniseries, specials and documentaries that have been greenlit for production in 2012/2013.

The line-up includes: returning comedy favourites Call Me Fitz, Less Than Kind and Funny as Hell; prominent international co-productions The Heretics and Rogue; and documentaries and special presentations Altman, In Studio, the David Steinberg Documentary, The Reelside, Revolution: Sharkwater 2, Vincent Goes to Hell: An Alice Cooper Doc Opera and Water. Continue reading »

Kick off 2012 in style with an updated premium line-up from HBO Canada , a multiplex channel of Astral ‘s The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment ‘s Movie Central (Western Canada).

With programming available in High Definition, on demand and on line, subscribers have exclusive access to the latest buzz-worthy series and documentaries from HBO, and all-new Canadian programming and specials, where they want and when they want.

Additional information about HBO Canada’s January programming is outlined below. All HBO programming premieres day-and-date with HBO in the U.S.:


Angry Boys (New Series, HBO)

Episodes 1 & 2 premiere back-to-back Sunday, January 1 at 10 p.m. ET/MT 

Created by and starring Australian comedian/actor/writer Chris Lilley ( Summer Heights High ), who plays all the characters featured in the series, this 12-part comedy picks up where Lilly left off with the story of two teens first seen in We Can Be Heroes : 17-year-old identical twins Daniel and Nathan Sims. Angry Boys also introduces four new characters: Blake Oakfield, a former surfing world champion who’s currently resting on his laurels; S.mouse, an African-American rapper whose suburban upbringing belies his hard-edged image; Jen Okazaki, a Japanese mother intent on turning her son into a skateboarding legend; and Ruth ‘Gran’ Sims, an unorthodox prison officer at a boy’s detention center.


Crimson Petal and the White (Original Miniseries)

Parts One and Two premiere Saturday, January 7 beginning at 9 p.m. ET/MT

Parts Three and Four premiere Saturday, January 14 beginning at 9 p.m. ET/MT

This Canada/UK co-production is a one-hour, four-part dramatic adaptation of Michael Faber’s international best-selling novel. Set in 1870’s London, the psychological thriller focuses on the tale of a young prostitute, Sugar, who finds her only comfort in the secret novel she is writing, in which a murderous whore gleefully enacts revenge on her clients. When she meets William Rackham, a prominent businessman who falls for her charms, they embark on a relationship with dangerous consequences. Starring Romola Garai, Chris O’Dowd, Gillian Anderson, Amanda Hale and Mark Gatiss.


Less Than Kind , Season 3 (Original Series)

Premieres Sunday, January 15 at 8 p.m. ET/MT

Kicking off with a three back-to-back episodes, Season 3 of Less Than Kind begins with the loss of patriarch Sam Blecher, an event that leaves the family reeling as they struggle forward in a world without him. As the new season unfolds, Sheldon must wade through the confusing currents of loss, which ultimately land him in the clutches of his high school wrestling team; Anne struggles with her new life as a widow and the future of the imperilled family driving school; Josh creates a new opportunity when he starts an acting school even as his stormy relationship with Shandra finally implodes; and Aunt Clara stumbles badly when she is sucked back into the orbit of her toxic ex-husband. Starring Jesse Camacho, Wendel Meldrum, Benjamin Arthur and Nancy Sorel.


On Freddie Roach (Sports Documentary Series, HBO)

Premieres Friday, January 20 at 9:30 p.m. ET/MT

From Executive Producers Peter Berg, Jim Lampley, Sarah Aubrey and Michael Price, this six-part cinéma-vérité style series focuses on Freddie Roach, the world-famous boxing trainer who owns and operates the famed Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, where he has produced a host of world champions. This intensely personal look at Roach chronicles his life and career against the backdrop of Parkinson’s disease, an ailment very likely linked to his own boxing past.


Luck (New Series, HBO)

Premieres Sunday, January 29 at 9 p.m. ET/MT

**Special sneak peek of the first episode airs Sunday, December 11 at 10:00 p.m. ET/MT

From Michael Mann and Deadwood creator David Milch, Luck takes a provocative look at the world of horse racing – the owners, gamblers, jockeys and diverse gaming industry players. The series stars Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Richard Kind, Ian Hart, Kevin Dunn, Ritchie Coster, Jason Gedrick, Jill Hennessy, Tom Payne, Kerry Condon, Gary Stevens and Nick Nolte.


In This Life: Chantal Kreviazuk (Original Music Special)

Premieres Monday, January 30 at 6:45 p.m. ET/MT

This special television event weaves music and story for an intimate glimpse into celebrated Canadian songstress Chantal Kreviazuk’s life and career. Combining interviews, news footage and photos with an outdoor concert performance, the special takes audiences inside Kreviazuk’s musical, personal and professional journey. Filmed earlier this year at the Jackson Triggs Amphitheatre in Niagara wine country, the concert portion of the special will feature Chantal performing some of her most well-known hits including All I Can Do, 5000 Days, Feels Like Home, Time and Today.


Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (Documentary, HBO)

Premiering in January 2012

In this long-awaited sequel to HBO’s 1996 Emmy® Award-winning documentaries Paradise Lost: The Child Murders of Robin Hood Hills and 2000’s Paradise Lost 2: Revelations, this feature-length documentary sheds new light on the controversial case that fueled a decades-long battle between two factions: those convinced that Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. were guilty of killing three Arkansas boys, and those who felt the “West Memphis Three” were wrongfully convicted. The documentary concludes with the blockbuster judgment in August 2011 that freed Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley when they entered “Alford” pleas – agreeing to plead guilty while asserting their innocence.


Real Time with Bill Maher , Season 10 (Talk/Comedy Series, HBO)

Premiering in January 2012

HBO’s acclaimed, award-winning talk/comedy series returns for Season 10 as Maher continues to offer his unique perspective on contemporary issues, the show includes an opening monologue, roundtable discussions with panelists, interviews with in-studio and satellite guests, and the popular and hilarious weekly segment “New Rules.”

HBO Canada is going back into the heart of Winterpeg for the third season of the quirky, half-hour original comedy series, Less Than Kind.

Opening with three back-to-back episodes on Sunday, January 15 at 8 p.m. ET/MT, the premiere will also include a special Memories of Maury featurette celebrating the late Maury Chaykin and his contributions to the series. Following its debut, new episodes premiere in their regular time slot, Sundays at 8:30 p.m. ET/MT on HBO Canada.

“The challenge for this season was to write a comedy and drama about a family recovering from sudden and tragic loss as we experienced with Maury. The result is Season 3 of Less Than Kind, a heartfelt story that approximately mirrors what we producers, writers and cast, were all going through in the weeks and months after Maury’s death. At its core, this season stays true to its original premise which is, to its strength, the tale about a deeply loving, but deeply dysfunctional family,” said Less Than Kind executive producer, writer and showrunner Mark McKinney.

The 13-episode season begins with the unexpected death of the family patriarch, Sam Blecher (Maury Chaykin), which leaves the family reeling as they struggle forward in a world without him. For son Sheldon (Jesse Camacho), the confusing currents of loss drive him away from the bedrock of his friends Miriam (Brooke Palsson) and Danny (Tyler Johnston) into the clutches of his high school wrestling team. Anne (Wendel Meldrum) struggles with her new life as a widow and the future of the imperilled family driving school. Josh (Benjamin Arthur) creates a new opportunity when he starts an acting school even as his stormy relationship with Shandra (Lisa Anne Durupt) finally implodes, and Aunt Clara (Nancy Sorel) stumbles badly when she is sucked back into the orbit of her toxic ex-husband. As the season progresses the Blechers must wade through a maelstrom of infidelity, financial ruin, and high school wrestlers, as they struggle to heal their home.

The Writers Guild of Canada and about 600 of its closest friends celebrated the winning words of Canadian screenwriters tonight at the 15th annual WGC Screenwriting Awards.

Screenwriters Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern (Flashpoint), Chris Sheasgreen (Less Than Kind), Karen Moonah (Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That) and Michael Konyves (Barney’s Version) were just of few of those recognized for outstanding scripts. A complete list of winners follows.

Screenwriter Tassie Cameron (Flashpoint, Rookie Blue) was presented with the 5th WGC Showrunner Award to honour her exceptional leadership and creative vision.

Screenwriter Denise Blinn took home the Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize for her script “1936.” The Prize honours the CBC’s Jim Burt and his legacy of championing new talent, by providing support for an unproduced screenplay.

Toronto lawyer Peter Grant was recognized with the WGC Writers Block Award for the work he did over his career to strengthen the arguments and increase the support for quality Canadian drama.

The Awards show was hosted by Laurie Elliott, and written by Terry McGurrin in collaboration with Laurie.

Dishing out the awards were special guest presenters including Hélène Joy (Murdoch Mysteries, Durham County), Chris Potter (Heartland), Jonny Harris (Murdoch Mysteries, Grown Up Movie Star), and screenwriters Dennis Heaton (Call Me Fitz, Fido, My Pal Satan), David (Sudz) Sutherland (Guns, She’s the Mayor) and Alexandra Zarowny (Murdoch Mysteries, Republic of Doyle, The Listener).


15th Annual WGC Screenwriting Awards Winners…


In Animation

Karen Moonah

The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That, “The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About Maps”


In Children & Youth

Barbara Haynes

The Latest Buzz, “The Extreme Shakespeare Issue”


In Documentary

Christine Nielsen

The Pig Farm


In TV Comedy

Chris Sheasgreen

Less Than Kind, “Coming Home”


In TV Drama

Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern

Flashpoint, “Jumping at Shadows”


In Movies & Miniseries

Michael Konyves

Barney’s Version


In Shorts & Web Series

Lisa Hunter

You Are So Undead


The WGC Showrunner Award – Tassie Cameron

The WGC Writers Block Award – Peter Grant

The Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize – Denise Blinn


(From a press release)

The cast of the Winnipeg-set comedy Less Than Kind have just wrapped up filming on the third season, the first season without lead actor Maury Chaykin.

The 61-year-old passed away in July last year and his death was still affecting the cast when they came together to begin shooting last November.

Tyler Johnston, who plays Danny Lubbe, said: The first couple of days on the set were a little strange. Something was missing. It felt a little bit off.”

“Mark [McKinny – producer] stood up and he said, ‘Sorry guys, can we all stand up and hold hands right now?’ And we just stood up and held hands and Mark said some very nice words about Maury and about the show and about how passionate he is about the show, and how happy we all were to be back here.

“It was just a really nice moment to have, just to re-establish our love for the show.”

Jesse Camacho, who plays the role of Sheldon Blecher, said: “We thought: OK we’ve got to raise the bar, Maury’s not here,” Camacho says. “We’ve all got to pull our own weight.

“I still think we would have done some of our best work. But we were a little down initially because we didn’t get to mourn together when Maury had passed.”

Less Than Kind is expected to return to HBO Canada in the fall.

Source: Winnipegfreepress

Corus Entertainment is pleased to announce that its programming has won a total of 11 awards from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s 25th Annual Gemini Awards.

Movie Central’s series received a total of seven awards with Less Than Kind picking-up three Gemini’s, including Best Comedy Program or Series and Best Writing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series.

Corus’ W Network received two wins including Best Reality Program or Series for The Cupcake Girls, and Best Lifestyle/Practical Information Series for How to Look Good Naked Canada. VIVA and Nelvana Studio programming received an award each, completing the total.

“We would like to congratulate all our production partners and everyone associated with these series,” said Doug Murphy, President, Television, Corus Entertainment. “We are thrilled to have so many wins across our pay and specialty networks for programming that showcases the calibre of talent and creativity that specialty and pay TV delivers to Canadian audiences.”

Celebrating excellence in Canadian English-language television, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television announced the 25th Annual Gemini Award winners at the Industry Awards Galas, taking place November 2nd and 3rd, and the Broadcast Awards Gala this past Saturday, November 13th at Toronto’s Winter Garden Theatre. For more information, please visit www.geminiawards.ca.


Corus Entertainment’s Gemini Award winners include:


MOVIE CENTRAL (Pay TV – Western Canada)

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures

Best Performance by an Actress in a Guest Role, Dramatic Series (Tatiana Maslany, All Souls)


Durham County

Best Achievement in Make-Up (Eva Coudouloux, Adrien Morot, Surviving the Fall)

Best Achievement in Main Title Design (Kevin Chandoo, Little Lost Children)


Less Than Kind

Best Comedy Program or Series (Ira Levy, Garry Campbell, Marvin Kaye, Phyllis Laing, Mark McKinney, Chris Sheasgreen, Paula Smith, Peter Williamson)

Best Writing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series (Marvin Kaye, Chris Sheasgreen, Third Death’s The Charm)

Best Individual Performance in a Comedy Program or Series (Benjamin Arthur, That’s Somebody’s Knish!)


The Line

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series (Clé Bennett, Episode 203/Episode 206)



The Cupcake Girls

Best Reality Program or Series (John Ritchie, Rob Bromley, Grant Greschuk, Gillian Lowrey, Peter Waal)


How to Look Good Naked Canada

Best Lifestyle/Practical Information Series (John Brunton, Barbara Bowlby, Andrea Gabourie)



Guess With Jess (with Treehouse)

Best Original Music Score for an Animated Program or Series (John Evans, How Can We Decorate the Christmas Tree?)



Tosca: Flexing at 49

Best General/Human Interest Series (Linda Stregger, Barbara Barde)

Ira Levy and Peter Williamson, Executive Producers at Breakthrough Film and Television, and Phyllis Laing, Executive Producer at Buffalo Gal Pictures, are pleased to announce that their multi award-winning comedy series, LESS THAN KIND, has been picked up for a third season by HBO Canada, which airs on Astral Media’s The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (Western Canada).

Breakthrough and Buffalo Gal will begin production on thirteen half hour episodes later this year.

Returning for the new season will be Maury Chaykin as Sam Blecher, Jesse Camacho as Sheldon Blecher, CCA Award-winner Wendel Meldrum as Anne Blecher, 2009 Leo winner and 2009 Gemini nominee Benjamin Arthur as Josh Blecher, Nancy Sorel as Aunt Clara, 2009 Gemini-nominee Brooke Palsson as Miriam Goldstein as well as Ross McMillian as Mr. Lubbe, Tyler Johnston as Danny Lubbe and Mike O’Brien as Mr. Goldstein.

Last year, LESS THAN KIND received rave reviews and was nominated for an outstanding number of awards, including: ten Gemini nominations; four Writers’ Guild of Canada noms; two from the Canadian Comedy Awards; and one Leo. The wins were: Benjamin Arthur for a Leo – Best Supporting Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series; Kelly Makin for a Gemini – Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series; Garry Campbell for the Canadian Writers’ Guild – Best Episodic Writing; and the Canadian Comedy Awards went to Wendel Meldrum – Best Performance by a Female on Television, and Best Performance by an Ensemble,.

LESS THAN KIND is an edgy and witty comedy series that follows the Blecher family: a reckless, self-destructive driving instructor father, his pyromaniac wife, and his two sons – one a teenage genius, the other an egotistical actor. They are forced to find ways to revive the failing family business: Blecher’s Driving School. They’re obliged to love each other but they don’t have to be nice about it.

The series is produced by Breakthrough Films & Television and Buffalo Gal Pictures and is helmed by executive producer, writer and show runner Mark McKinney. The series is also written and Executive Produced by former Winnipegger Marvin Kaye and Vancouver-born Chris Sheasgreen, who created the series based on Kaye’s semi-autobiographical one-act play, THEY HAVE MAYONNAISE IN MONTREAL.

Executive producers also include Peter Williamson and Ira Levy for Breakthrough Films & Television and Phyllis Laing for Buffalo Gal Pictures. Paula J. Smith is producer and Rob Sheridan is consulting producer. In addition to McKinney, the second season of the series was written by Garry Campbell, Marvin Kaye, Chris Sheasgreen, Jenn Engels and Jennifer Beasley.