Tag Archives: Dragons’ Den

Ms Vanasse gets Scruples, Ms Koslo gets Sheba, Ms Janney gets a Dinner and Ms Lucci gets a maid

VANASSE: new pilot

TUBE TALK: Award-winning Quebec actress Karine Vanasse, who charmed American audiences with her work in the too-short-lived Pan Am, is shooting a pilot for a new series for a new first-time producer. The pilot? Scruples, based on the Judith Krantz novel about a socialite who attempts to open a fashion-forward boutique in the heart of Beverly Hills. The new producer? Natalie Portman, who is exec producing with Tony Krantz and Annette Savitch  … three TV favourite are tossing their hats in the ring again. Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace) is shooting Americana,a

JANNEY: dinner date

pilot for a new drama about a legendary fashion designer and his family business; Tony Shaloub (Monk) and Allison Janney (West Wing) are starring in Friday Night Dinner, a pilot spin-off of the British series that revolves around a traditional Jewish family as they observe Shabbat dinners; and Susan Lucci is the top-billed marquee bait in Devious Maids, a pilot based on the Mexican telenova about four maids who work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills. And the beat goes on.

MAZZARA: bound for Banff

PEOPLE: Add Glen Mazzara, Executive Producer of the Emmy Award-winning series The Walking Dead, to the Master Class series at the upcoming Banff World Media Festival … Women Fully Clothed will follow up their April dates in California with four May stops in beautiful B.C., performing their new show in Nanaimo, Victoria, Courtenay and North Van … Corrine Koslo inherits the juicy role originated on stage and screen by Shirley Booth when Come Back, Little Sheba opens this summer at the Shaw Festival. More on Shaw tomorrow …  Gerald Finley, Oliver Jones, Quartetto Gelato and the Nathaniel Dett Chorale are among the mighty music-makers set to spark this summer’s Westben Arts Festival Theatre offerings in

BUCKNER: Den mother

Campbellford, Ontario. July showcase presentations culminate in an August 5 fund-raiser finale, featuring pianist Brian Finley and the Brian Barlow Big Band and aptly named The Big Band Theory. Sounds like a winner … and the indefatigable Pat Ferns, in Cannes to moderate the “By Invitation Only” Drama CoProXchange at MIP TV, is heading back to his old stomping ground, li’l ol’ T.O., at the end of the month to host International Co-Production Day at Hot Docs on April 30.

IT’S ALL COMING BACK TO THEM NOW: On tonight’s Dragons’ Den finale, all five Dragons reminisce about the very best – and worst – moments over the past six seasons. Den host Diane Buckner reportedly gets Dragons Jim

HAWCO: cliffhanger?

Treliving, Kevin O’Leary, Arlene Dickinson, Bruce Croxon and exiting fire-breather Robert Herjavec to tell what they really think about each other,  and highlights from the last six seasons of the show include the stand-out pitches AND the in-fighting, counting down to the three most memorable moments in the series’ history. After you leave the Den,  Allan Hawco rallies his troops on Republic Of Doyle’s season closer  to prove his father’s innocence when he’s accused of murder. Will Season 3 end with another cliffhanger?  I’d put money on it, b’y … … and speaking of cliff-hangers, Martin Gero’s steamy L.A. Complex series, about young hopefuls sharing the same space in Hollywood, will premiere on The CW in the U.S. this month. New episodes are set to start unspooling here in July on MuchMusic.

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Roseanne plots her return, Gordon calls on Ottawa, Reba calls Lily ‘mom’ and Mr. D calls it a season

MUM’S THE WORD:  Remember when she romanced little Tom Hanks in Big? Ageless head-turner Elizabeth Perkins is playing Sarah Chalke’s mother in a new TV pilot, How To Live With Your Parents For The Rest Of Your Life. Who’s playing Dad? Brad Garrett. And John Dore is

ROSEANNE: pilot project

somewhere in the mix too … Lily Tomlin, so good last season as the malevolent matriarch in the hypnotic Glenn Close series Damages, is playing Reba McEntire’s mother in Reba’s new comedy pilot, Malibu CountryMarcia Gay Harden and Kevin Nealon are headlining Howard Busgang’s new pilot Isabel, inspired by the CBC Radio Canada series Le Monde De CharlotteMatthew Perry plays a sportscaster in therapy in his new pilot, Go On. No word yet on who’s playing his mom … and the woman some folks would describe as the mother of them all, and I do mean the one and only Roseanne Barr, is taking another kick at the can with a weekly series, without TV daughter Sarah Chalke (she’s busy) but with TV hubby John Goodman already on board. Roseanne’s new pilot, Downwardly Mobile, is about a trailer park boss –guess who? — who serves as a surrogate mother to all her tenants. And the beat goes on.

FLIGHTS OF THE PINSENT: “Guests may never wash their arms again after rubbing elbows with Gordon Pinsent,” reported the Ottawa Citizen after Pinsent showed up at a benefit party to promote this summer’s Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival. Pinsent will make his Festival debut there on July 30 by narrating Ogden Nash poetry to Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals and Tennyson‘s Enoch Arden set to Strauss. He’ll also wing to Halifax next month to participate in April 15 events marking the 100th anniversary of the Titanic. In the meantime, his new CD collaboration with Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo and Travis Good of The Sadies, Down And Out In Upalong, is scheduled to drop next week;  his latest movie project, the 3D IMAX film Flight of the Butterflies, which he just finished shooting in Mexico last month, is currently set to premiere in September; and his new autobiography, Next, is due in stores on October 16. For the inside scoop on the Upalong album, click here. And if you’re in Toronto on April 12, stop by The Drake Hotel and see Good, Keelor & Pinsent showcase their new CD  in person.  So don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

DICKINSON: big decision-maker

GRAND FINALES: If it’s April it must be Season Finale week on CBC Television. Tonight Gerry Dee wraps up the first season of his freshman comedy Mr. D. with Jonathan Torrens and Bette MacDonald, followed by the much-anticipated very last episode of Little Mosque On The Prairie with Zaib Shaikh and Sheila McCarthy. (I believe Little Mosque is the only Canadian sitcom to be inducted into the Museums of Radio and Television Science in both New York and Los Angeles, and last week’s episode, by the way, was a real church-burner — literally!) Also saying sayonara is Big Decision, which wraps up its four-show test-drive tonight too, with Arlene Dickinson on deck as the decision-maker. And tomorrow night we’ll see the season closers of Rick

MR. D & Mr. M: on CBC's Season Finales

Mercer Report and 22 Minutes. Also calling it a season this week: Dragons’ Den, now this country’s top-rated home-grown entertainment show; Republic Of Doyle, coming off its best season yet; Marketplace, which attracted a hefty new audience this season; and the fifth estate, which after 36 noteworthy seasons saw some of its largest audience numbers in more than a decade.  Hey, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Somebody must be doing something right.

TOMORROW:  Watch for the Glenn Gould Foundation to announce the details of a Gala evening celebrating the ninth Glenn Gould Prize laureate Leonard Cohen. A stellar line-up of musical stars and honourary speakers will take to the stage to salute Cohen’s lifetime achievements in music and poetry. Stay tuned.

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Lifetime grows black Magnolias, Israel sparks MIPtv sales, Nancy’s just Foolin’ and the Junos get Feist-y

LATIFAH: steel lady

FLICKERS: Dynamic leading ladies Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard and Phylicia Rashad have signed on for Lifetime‘s all-black remake of Steel Magnolias, taking over the roles originally played by Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine and Sally Field.No word yet as to who will  be cast in the Olympia Dukakis and Julia Roberts roles …  looking for some laughs this weekend? Servitude is the first film to be developed and workshopped through the Telefilm Canada Features Comedy Lab, the CFC Film Program in collaboration with Just For Laughs, and it opens today with a stellar cast — Joe DinicolJohn BregarLinda Kash, Lauren CollinsAaron AshmoreEnrico Colantoni, Margot

DINICOL: in service

Kidder, and Dave Foley.  Directed by Warren P. Sonada and written by co-producer Michael Sparaga, it looks like a lot of fun … left-wing heroine Jane Fonda will remind us what a good actress she is when she plays right-wing Republican former first lady Nancy Reagan in Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  An Oscar nominee for directing Precious, Daniels describes The Butler as a sprawling historical drama that centers on Eugene Allen, a black man who worked as butler in the White House under eight presidents. Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker is slated to play Allen, and insiders say ardent Daniels supporter Oprah Winfrey may play one of the many supporting roles …and Marcelle Lean‘s 15th Cinefranco filmfest wraps up this weekend at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Hot titles include Ma Part Du Gateau/My Piece Of The Pie, one of

SUTHERLAND: worldwide

the films celebrated on last month’s 12th Floating Film Festival, and L’Art D’Aimer/The Art Of Love. For Cinefranco program notes click here.

BRAVE NEW WORLDS: Did you see the premiere of Kiefer Sutherland’s new series Touch last week on Global? If you did, you had plenty of company. Touch premiered almost simultaneously in 100 countries and territories. In the U.S. it screened on Fox; in Germany, on ProSieben; in Russia, on Channel One. New-world executive thinking indicates that the worldwide premiere signifies a new way of doing business that attracts multinational advertisers (Unilever is a sponsor of the series around the world) and attacks online piracy … also making history: the Adam Beach series Arctic

BEACH: hit series

Air, which averaged almost a million viewers a week in its debut season, the largest audience to follow the first season of a CBC Television drama series in 15 years.  Other CBC shows more than one million viewers weekly include Dragons’ Den, Republic Of Doyle and The Rick Mercer Report. So somebody must be doing something right … Israeli TV formats may prove to be the big buzz at this year’s MIPtv. The annual international television convention opens Sunday in Cannes with a red carpet gala screening of Julian FellowesTitanic, already sold in 86 countries, but it’s the shows from Israel sparking the most interest. HBO‘s In Treatment and Showtime‘s Homeland are both based on hit Israeli TV series. Another Israeli series, The Naked Truth,  a suspense thriller set entirely in an interrogation room, has already been picked up by HBO

WHITE: April Foolin'

for an American remake, and NBC has ordered a pilot called Midnight Sun, based on the Israeli show Pillars of Smoke, about a female FBI agent who uncovers a conspiracy. Other hot prospects at next-week’s four-day marathon in the south of France: Mr. Selfridge, a period drama about the life of the flamboyant founder of the London department story; Tom Fontana‘s Copper, about a police officer in 1860s New York City; the psychological thriller Hemlock Grove, already snapped up by Netflix; the period mini-series Madame Tussauds; dramatic series Hannibal, already sold to NBC; World Without End, a follow-up mini-series to Pillars Of The Earth; and Sinbad, BBC’s update on the tale of the

FEIST: Junos telecast

8th century swashbuckler who battles monsters and visits magical places.

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Music man Jack de Keyser strums his stuff tomorrow night at Simcoe Jazz & Blues in Oshawa … perennial crowd-pleaser Nancy White headlines the April Fool’s Matinee this weekend at the trendy Green Door cabaret with pianist Bob Johnston, percussionist Marsha Coffey and singers Ghislain Aucoin, Suzy Wilde, Barb Johnston, Maddy Wilde, Eddy Be, Stella Walker, Bridget Carter-Whitney, Mavis Lyons and Mike O’Hara. “Do not be frightened by the number of singers and the fact that the show is on a Sunday,”

McLACHLAN: singing Sunday

adds the irreepressible Ms. Walker. “No gospel music will be presented. That is our pledge to you.” Showtime is 3 pm  this Sunday April 1, For ticket info click hereMaggie Cassella hosts her own April 1 send-up, Liar Liar Pants On Fire, Sunday night at The Flying Beaver Pubaret. “It’s an April Fools Day event where YOU get up on stage and tell a whopper of a story. The audience votes on weather they think it’s true or false. If you fool them you win a prize!” … and now that deadmau5 and Madonna have called a truce, his fans can see him on Sunday night’s Juno Awards telecast on CTV. Also set to rock the premises: Blue Rodeo, City and Colour, Feist, Hedley, Hey Rosetta!, K’NAAN, Lights, MC Flipside, Nickelback, Sarah McLachlan, and Simple Plan.

Happy weekend!

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Today’s Specials: Catching up with The Killing and Game Of Thrones, plus ravishing Rita revisited

IT'S A CRIME: Season 2 of The Killing is almost upon us

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Remember Goodbye Charlie, the George Axelrod comedy about a cigar-chomping womanizer who is reincarnated as a female? Lauren Bacall created the role on Broadway, and

BATES: Hello Charlie

Debbie Reynolds had fun with it in Vincente Minnelli’s screen version. I was reminded of it when I learned that the spirit of Charlie Sheen’s recently-deceased character on Two And A Half Men is set to appear to Jon Cryer on the April 30 episode, and Charlie’s ghost will be played by Kathy Bates. Sheen stopped promoting his new Anger Mamagement series just long enough to say he is honoured that an actress of Bates’ stature will play his other-worldy Self David Chilton, author and publisher of the hugely

GRENIER: keeping in touch

popular Wealthy Barber series of personal finance books, is the newest Dragon in Dragons’ Den. He’ll replace departing Dragon Robert Herjavec when the hit CBC series returns this fall … Adrian Grenier has set up a new iPad app called Reckless Adrian Grenier (the “reckless” coming from his production company name), a new way for Grenier to keep in touch with his fans and keep them up to date on his forthcoming projects… and Jian Ghomeshi will once again host the Juno Gala Dinner & Awards this Saturday, this time in Ottawa, the night before the awards show telecast.

MUCH ADO ABOUT SOMETHING: Internet headlines notwithstanding, Downton Abbey stars Maggie Smith and Dan Stevens, aka the Dowager

SMITH: Downton Dowager

Countess Violet and Abbey heir apparent Matthew Crowley, will be back in Season 3 next January. Earlier this month breaking news that neither Smith nor Stevens had signed for the new season put Abbey fans knickers in a wringer, but in fact it’s seasons 4 and 5 they haven’t yet signed for. Downton fans, rest easy! No one’s going to kill off either one of them, especially Maggie, a perennial favourite with American audiences since her first Oscar win for The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie more than four decades ago. So you can expect both of them to sign on

STEVENS: heir apparent

the dotted line, just as soon as their respective agents sign off on their new-and-improved wages …  do I hear a fat lady singing? Little Mosque On The Prairie kicks off its two-part series finale tonight on CBC … and have you noticed how the cable nets are premiering their big shows now that spring is here? Last night AMC launched the fifth season of Mad Men.  Next weekend, competing with the 2012 Juno Awards telecast Sunday night on CTV, two big second-season Gotta-See series return: The Killing on AMC and Game Of Thrones on HBO. To get up to speed before Season 2 of The Killing, click here; for a crash course on Game Of Thrones, which is even more complex than The Killing, click here. After which you’ll almost know everything you’ll ever need to know. Promise.

AND YES, I”VE ABSOLUTELY SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST:

HAYWORTH: one last dance

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Hollywood cinema legend Rita Hayworth is remembered mainly for her sultry femme fatale roles – especially with Glenn Ford in Gilda — and for the headlines that would prove to be the milestones of

RITA & FRED: together again

her life, from her marriages to Orson Welles and Aly Khan to her heartbreaking demise from Alzheimer’s. Her romantic liaisons are the stuff of legend – her on-location tryst with a young Frank Langella is lovingly noted in his new autobiography, Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them but what most of us have forgotten are Rita’s early days as a dancer, when she was good enough to hold her own in musicals with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. I was happily reminded of this by old friend and colleague Joe Baltake, the film critic who is also the avid cinephile behind one of the best U.S. film blogs, the passionate moviegoer. Joe found a truly wonderful video mash-up combining Rita’s dancing with the biggest hit from Saturday Night Fever, and it’s so brilliantly executed that he wanted to share it. It’s a dazzling manipulation of two decades of Hayworth moments, from You Were Never Lovelier to Pal Joey and then some, cleverly synched to that hypnotic BeeGees beat.  Thanks, YouTube. And thanks, Joe, I loved it. And I’m pretty sure you will too. So just click here, and enjoy!

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Cinema on the high Sees: How to save a village, a top Oscar candidate and a Churchill surprise

SOMEWHERE AT SEA: Yesterday was a beautiful day on the Atlantic ocean –warm, sunny, inviting — on the splendidly comfortable cruise ship called the Seabourn Sojourn. So naturally we spent most of it inside in the dark. But then, what else would you do on the 12th Floating Film Festival? On days when we’re at sea, we see three films. On days when we are in a port, we only screen two.

WHERE DO WE GO NOW at FFF 12

Yesterday was a three-film day, starting with a 9:30 am screening of Where Do We Go Now, a film by Caramel writer-director Nadine Labaki, about a group of Lebanese women who try to ease religious tensions between Christians and Muslims in their village. Selected by Floating Film Festival programmer Hannah Fisher, unfortunately sidelined at the last minute by foot surgery, Labaki’s film came to us with solid credentials, having already won Audience awards at film festivals in Oslo, San Sebastian and TIFF. It’s not hard to see why. Introduced by Cinefranco filmfest chief Marcelle Lean, the film is a bizarre, strangely engaging mix of pop music, death and destruction, and was very well received by our dedicated band of early-morning moviegoers.

FOOTNOTE: Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film

After lunch we screened our second film, Footnote, which came to us with even more dazzling credentials – it swept last year’s Israeli Oscars, picked up Best Screenplay at Cannes, and was cited as one of the top foreign language films by the National Board of Review – not to mention its nomination for Best Foreign Film at Sunday night’s Oscar giveaway. Writer-director Joseph Cedar creates a scenario in which a father and son are rival professors in Talmudic Studies. When both men learn that the father is about to be lauded for his work, their complicated alpha-male relationship gets even more complicated. What makes it particularly fascinating, for me at least, is the concept of self-sacrifice — as in , no good deed goes unpunished.

CHURCHILL: Unexpected champion of Israel

Before dinner we screened our third film of the day, a documentary originally made for television by Floating filmfest commander and filmmaker Barry Avrich (The Last Mogul, Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project) and one which is seldom seen on the big screen. An Unlikely Obsession: Churchill And The Jews is a powerful celluloid spin-off of a book by Churchill biographer Sir Martin Gilbert, and details Churchill’s ultimate and unlikely obsession in becoming a supporter of Jewish causes — most notably being responsible for determining the future status of the Jewish National Home in Palestine. It’s an intriguing story, and one which both surprised and pleased Floating Film Festival patrons last night, and one which should intrigue American audiences when it premieres in the USA in May.

Today we are scheduled to see three more films: Darling Companion, from Big Chill director Larry Kasdan; Woody Harrelson’s controversial new drama Rampart; and Exporting Raymond, in which the creator of the hit TV series Everybody Loves Raymond goes to Moscow to try to help produce a Russian version for Soviet TV.  So, as we say in TV Land: Stay tuned.

DEFINITELY OVER THEIR HEADS: DNTO host Sook-Yin Lee and her guests take a dive in “over their heads” at a special live recording of CBC Radio One’s Definitely Not The Opera tonight at the Tranzac Club on Brunswick

LEE: over her head

Avenue in Toronto. Scheduled guests include Little Mosque on the Prairie creator Zarqa Nawaz, As It Happens host Carol Off, writer/performer James Gangl, comedian Ron Josol and writer-performer and motivational speaker Deborah Kimmett – all of whom will share real-life stories about how they found themselves truly in over their heads. Musical guests are Corin Raymond (crowd-funding his newest recording with Canadian Tire money donated by his fans!) and Montreal-based Little Scream. Admission is free. You can reserve a ticket by emailing CBCtorontocommunity@cbc.cawith DNTO in the subject heading … and in one of the most anticipated shows of their high-rated season, the Dragons leave their

OFF: Definitely Not

studio tonight to catch up with memorable entrepreneurs who once braved the Den. This special edition of Dragons’ Den promises to reveal what’s happened to your favourite pitchers, track down the most memorable disasters and catch up with some of the biggest success stories in the show’s history, tonight at 8 pm on CBC Television … and calling all Lighthouse fans! The band that am (and continues to be) plays tonight at Casino Nova Scotia, tomorrow night at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, Friday night at The Playhouse in Fredericton, Saturday night at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John NB, then on to Ontario to play March 9 at the Sound Academy in Toronto, March 10 at the Opera House in Orillia and April 4 at the Richmond Hill Arts Centre. And yes, they still meet with their fans in the lobby after the show. So catch ’em while you can!

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