Responding to the overwhelming national response to Gord Downie’s death on Tuesday, CTV has announced it is moving the world television premiere of the documentary film about the Tragically Hip’s farewell tour and the travails of its lionhearted frontman – Long Time Running – from Nov. to this Friday, October 20 at 8 pm ET.
The 95-minute film is to run-commercial free and will encore on its original airdate of Sunday, Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV, before it begins streaming on Canada’s premium TV streaming service, CraveTV.
In a note to media, Bell Media President Randy Lennox wrote: “Once in a generation an artist comes along who makes an impact so strong, they touch the heart of the nation. That was Gord Downie.
“Gord and The Tragically Hip’s connection to our company goes back to their very first video, “Small Town Bringdown,” whose play on MuchMusic helped start their careers. And our radio stations, of course, have been intricately involved with this beloved band for decades.”
Long Time Running, commissioned by Bell Media, chronicles The Tragically Hip’s 2016 Man Machine Poem tour and emotional final concert in their hometown of Kingston, as captured by award-winning directors Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas De Pencier.
Separately, on Sunday, Oct. 22, the CBC will air Gord Downie’s Secret Path in Concert, which was filmed at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall last October. It will also stream online.
The broadcast includes backstage conversations and portions of the animated Secret Path film, which accompanied Downie’s solo album.
The animated film is based on the story of Chanie Wenjack, who was 12 when he died in 1966 after running away from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in Kenora, Ont.