Bell Media made a big splash with its ambitious music competition series titled The Launch at MIPCOM in the French town of Cannes last week. The annual four-day event routinely attracts 12,000-plus delegates from television industries globally.
The co-venture with Big Machine Label Group topper Scott Borchetta debuts the initial six-show, one-hour series in Canada on CTV in early 2018, but the original production is designed for international syndication.
The Launch intends to reinvent the music discovery TV genre with an “authentic, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to break a new artist and bring it to life.”
To headline its status as a big marquee original production, the producers have enlisted the help of music stars such as Shania Twain, Boy George, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, Alessia Cara, Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe, Julia Michaels and Jennifer Nettles.
The format features five unsigned, up-and-coming artists who will compete for the opportunity to record and perform an original song written by one of the celebrity hosts.
Mentors, chosen from a panel of internationally renowned music legends, will choose two of the five artists and work with them for two days to adapt the song to the artist. The singers then compete head-to-head in front of a live audience.
Another vote is held among the mentors, and the winning version of the song is released across the country immediately after the broadcast has finished.
“Unlike any other music television program, each episode of ‘The Launch,’ begins with a new song created and shaped by the best-of-the-best within the music industry, filling a resounding gap in the genre by pairing new songs with the best-fitting emerging artists – and then immediately launching these new songs to the world,” said Randy Lennox, President of Bell Media.
Borchetta continued: “Not only did this out-of-the-box concept attract a dream team of world-class music industry mentors, each week both our mentors and our live studio audiences were part of alchemy in action. We can’t wait for viewers across Canada and around the world to experience the creation and launch of music’s next big songs.”
The last episode wrapped production in Toronto earlier this month with Universal Music Canada topper Jeffrey Remedios visiting the set to present Shania Twain with a gold record award resulting from her just-released new album, entitled Now.
Canadian film director Rob Heydon has announced a six-part television series titled Last Rituals that is to be shot in Sault Ste. Marie. Partnering with him in an adaptation of a novel by Icelandic author Yrsa Sigurdardottir is Icelandic producer Joni Sighvatsson whose previous production credits include the hit TV series’ Beverly Hills 90210 and Twin Peaks.
The serial will premiere in late 2018 on CHCH in Canada and on either iTunes or Netflix thereafter.
Heydon also has high hopes of establishing a $100 million animation production house in Northern Ontario. He cut his teeth directing and producing over 100 music videos and commercials, winning a 2000 Juno Award for Best Music Video for Edwin's "Alive", which also won People's Choice Award at Much Music Video Awards.
The Hollywood Reporter has compiled a list of the 25 of the world's most powerful female television execs, and the Iranian-born Canadian makes the list as the founder of the game-changing founder and CEO of BroadbandTV Corp, an online digital media and technology company that operates the most substantial multi-platform network in the world. With its head office in Vancouver, the company is reportedly company the third largest video property in the world behind Google and Facebook. Earlier this year the company’s valuation was pegged at $1B.
Sabrina Geremia, who had served as Google Canada’s interim leader since former managing director Sam Sebastian left the company to lead Weather Network owner Pelmorex Corp. in July, has officially been appointed country director, the tech giant quietly announced last week.
She told the Financial Post that under her leadership, Google Canada will be focusing on three key goals moving forward: helping Canadian businesses expand using its services, helping equip youth and young women with the skills needed to compete in a digital economy, and supporting Canada’s tech sector in general.
“Canadians are changing how they work, live, connect and get things done and Canadian businesses want to keep pace with these changes,” she told clients.
SPI International/FilmBox and Ethnic Channels Group Limited (ECG) have been given the go-ahead by the CRTC to add seven SPI channels to the list of “non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution.”
The programming mix of the seven channels includes a Polish-language movie series and a Polish-language music television network. There are also English-language channels that include extreme sport, independent films, and fashion.
CRTC goings-on this week
The CRTC plans to issue the following decisions or regulatory policies in the coming week. This list may be incomplete and is subject to change without notice.
Application by 8159203 Canada Limited to change the authorized contours of the English-language commercial AM radio station CKNT Mississauga
Applications by Rogers Media Inc. to renew the broadcasting licence for the commercial radio station CJAQ-FM Calgary and its transmitters CJAQ-FM-1 Banff and CJAQ-FM-2 Invermere and to amend the broadcasting licence for CJAQ-FM by deleting its conditions of licence relating to the Oldies music format
Canadian Telecommunications Contribution Consortium Inc. – Request for designation of the administrator for the National Contribution Fund
File number: 8695-C211-201706350
Michael Godin’s Treasure Island Oldies hitting its stride..after two-plus decades
Five years ago, Warren Cosford announced on his e-mail newsletter The List that Michael's Treasure Island Oldies show would soon be heard on Radio Max.......three FM stations in China, including Beijing on CNPK 99.9 FM, Liaoyang on CKNE 95.0 FM, and Anshan on CNCE 94.5 FM.
The show had passed the censors and would be heard from 10 am to 2 pm with a potential audience of over 28 million people.
Five years later, Cosford wrote to Godin asking how things were going in China. This is his response, as it appeared in a Sunday List newsletter.
Although we rarely hear from him these days, Michael has been a loyal List Member from the beginning. Today, I sent him a note asking how things were going in China. Here is his response.
It was amazingly successful, Warren. Not only did it air in three cities, but it was also “discretely circulated” via memory stick to various campuses in China. I’m told that the students studying English would listen to Treasure Island Oldies to pick up on the tone, diction and flow of the English language. I’ve been told that they have been trying to imitate my voice. Also, they began loving this “western world” music for the first time. It became too popular.
The Chinese government asked the owner of these three private stations to stop broadcasting in English. To avoid a LOT of potential issues, the owner complied, and the stations have gone silent. The only thing remaining are those memory sticks containing many of my weekly Treasure Island Oldies Show.
It was an amazing and fun run in China.
Fortunately, my show still airs across the US in many cities, along with two stations in New Zealand, and also in Sweden. There’s also a shortwave station based in Italy that airs archived shows. But only on one station in my home country, in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.
Like you, I too am still waiting for a broadcaster who gets that a 20 year plus oldies show that caters to the largest demographic is viable as an international show, either daily or weekly. And it would then attract a worldwide sponsor.
In the meantime, my 4 hour shows airs again this week starting today at 6 pm Pacific.
Warren, thanks very much for asking about the China adventure. You’re among the few that “get” how my show is one of the very few around that have not only lasted over 20 years but still has excellent potential to grow in a big way.
Treasure Island Oldies
Since 1997 the Home of Lost Treasures