Watching This Week #112
Listings for May 29 to June 4, 2023; Corus channels appear set to leave Eastlink.
Here's where the supernatural drama from Robert & Michelle King is available in Canada.
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Evil, the supernatural drama series created by Robert and Michelle King, starring an ensemble cast including Katja Herbers and Aasif Mandvi, debuted on CBS in the United States, and Global in Canada, on September 26, 2019.
After decent results for its first season on broadcast television, but better results on streaming, Paramount Global (known until early 2022 as ViacomCBS) – which owns the CBS network, and produces Evil through CBS Studios – elected to move the second season of the series to its streaming service Paramount+ (previously known as CBS All Access), at least in the United States. Thus, U.S. subscribers to Paramount+ were able to watch season 2 of Evil as it is made available, beginning on Sunday, June 20, 2021.
Following months of delays, the second season of Evil was finally released on Paramount+ in Canada on or about January 10, 2022. (Thanks to reader Tish for noticing this and letting us know.) The third season was released weekly between June 12 and August 14, 2022, on Paramount+ in both the U.S. and Canada, and we expect this will continue for future seasons.
The Canadian version of Paramount+ costs $5.99 per month, or $59.99 per year, and is available for direct streaming subscription through the service's website, as well as through Apple TV Channels (no other subscription required) and Prime Video Channels (also requires a subscription to Amazon Prime). (All prices in this article were last checked on August 31, 2022, and are in Canadian dollars before applicable sales taxes.)
As noted, Evil initially aired on Global in Canada. Global had previously announced in June 2020 that Evil would return to its schedule during the 2020–21 TV season, and despite the delays and changes in the U.S., we had not seen anything from Global, or its parent company Corus Entertainment, indicating that these plans had changed. Repeats of the first season also continued to air on Corus' Crime + Investigation channel.
Since Evil is no longer airing on CBS, Global can no longer benefit from simultaneous substitution when simulcasting the show, which reduces the incentive for an over-the-air Canadian broadcaster to carry the series. Initially we thought this simply meant that it would be less likely that future seasons would air on Global, but that Corus would keep Canadian broadcast rights, moving the series to one of its cable channels like Showcase.
However, since then it's become clear that for this and other series like SEAL Team, Corus' contracts only cover episodes that originate on CBS, as noted by Canadian TV critic Bill Brioux.
Corus has had good relations with CBS for other programming, including the rights to some "Paramount+ Originals" that predate the Canadian launch of the service like The Good Fight (new episodes of which still debut in Canada on W Network). But Paramount / CBS has been increasingly keeping more of its programming rights back in-house, especially for series that are exclusive to Paramount+ in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Following the June premiere of season 2 in the U.S., there were some indications that issues were being worked through in Canada. On October 17, we were notified by a reader that Evil had apparently disappeared entirely from the Paramount+ app, and eventually also disappeared from Apple TV Channels version of Paramount+. Obviously this has since been reversed.
So why did it take until January 2022 to settle matters? It's not really clear, but it's likely not a coincidence that Evil showed up on Paramount+ in Canada shortly after the arrival of streaming-exclusive episodes of SEAL Team, another series whose Canadian first-run broadcast rights were also previously held by Global.
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