Everything of note we know of that's coming in October, including the returns of "Loki", "The Gilded Age", "Big Mouth", "Upload", and more.
Welcome to the April 10, 2023, edition of Watching This Week, the weekly newsletter from Where Can I Watch – covering the latest news on where TV shows and movies will be available in Canada.
Read on for news on upcoming Showtime programming coming to Canada, answers to a couple of recent reader questions, plus we ponder what – if anything – the merger of the UFC and WWE organizations might mean for the brands' respective future Canadian media rights deals. That's all after this week's new programming listings.
What's new this week – April 10–16
Compiled from our monthly listings and/or any subsequent updates we've come across. We strive for accuracy but schedules may change without notice. Some series/seasons may have weekly rollouts; we won't list new episodes every week (though we may note significant episodes such as series finales). *An asterisk denotes programming added in past weeks that we've learned about (or has been rescheduled) since our last newsletter.
- Netflix: CoComelon (season 8 – Monday); Leanne Morgan: I'm Every Woman (comedy special – Tuesday); American Manhunt: The Boston Marathon Bombing (docuseries – Wednesday); Celeste Barber: Fine, Thanks (comedy special – Wednesday); The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib (season 2 – Thursday); Florida Man (dramedy series – Thursday); Obsession (thriller series – Thursday); The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die (series sequel/finale film – Friday)
- Disney+: Atom no Ko (Japanese drama series – Wednesday); Cesar Millan: Better Human Better Dog (Nat Geo series, season 1 – Wednesday); The First Responders (Korean drama series, season 1 – Wednesday); It's All Right! (Brazilian rom-com miniseries – Wednesday); Justified (2010–15 FX series – Wednesday); Little Mosque on the Prairie (2007–12 CBC series – Wednesday); Pandora: Beneath the Paradise (Korean drama series – Wednesday); Rennervations (Jeremy Renner docuseries – Wednesday); Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (2022 short – Friday); Özür Dilerim (2023 Turkish film – Friday)
- Crave: The Traitors (first seasons of the U.S., UK, and Australian versions of the reality format – Friday, Apr. 7*); A Black Lady Sketch Show (season 4 – Fridays); Blade of the 47 Ronin (action film sequel – Friday); The Exhibit (MTV series – Friday); Just for Laughs Jo Koy gala special (Friday); Law & Order (seasons 11–12 – Friday); Nope (2022 Jordan Peele horror film – Friday); 100 Foot Wave (season 2 – Sundays); Barry (final season – Sundays)
- Prime Video: True to Love (Korean rom-com series – Wednesday); Soltos em Salvador (Brazilian reality series – Thursday); Caravana das Drags (Brazilian reality series – Friday); The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (final season – Fridays); Pearl (2022 X prequel – Friday); Salade grecque (French-language drama series – Friday)
- CBC Gem: Scrap (documentary – Wednesday); Savage River (Australian drama miniseries – Friday); Space Explorers: Moonrise on the ISS (documentary – Friday); Shoplifters (2018 Japanese film – Saturday); 11th Canadian Screen Awards (highlights special hosted by Samantha Bee – Sunday; also on CBC TV)
- Paramount+ (also available as a channel on Prime Video and Apple TV): Yonder (Korean drama series – Tuesday); multiple part Duran Duran: A Hollywood High (2022 concert film – Wednesday); Personality Crisis: One Night Only (Showtime documentary – Friday); Rugrats (season 2, part 1 – Friday); Waco: The Aftermath (Showtime miniseries – Fridays);
- Apple TV+: Jane (kids series – Friday); Sago Mini Friends: "Earth Day Special" (Friday); The Last Thing He Told Me (drama series – Fridays)
- BritBox (also available as a channel on Prime Video and Apple TV): An Interview with Brian Cox (special – Tuesday); various past films and series starring Brian Cox (Tuesday)
- Showcase (also on StackTV): A Town Called Malice (British thriller series – Sundays)
- YTV (also on StackTV): Popularity Papers (pre-teen series – Mondays; full season also available on the Global app as of this writing)
- Starz (also available as an add-on/channel on Crave, Prime Video, and Apple TV): Blindspotting (season 2 – Fridays)
- As you may see above, Crave has picked up Canadian rights to the three extant English-language versions of the All3Media-owned reality format The Traitors, which respectively debuted this past year on Peacock in the U.S. (with host Alan Cumming), BBC One in the UK, and Network 10 in Australia. While the American version of the series caused a critical splash on its debut in January, it was not covered by NBCUniversal's output deal with Corus, and evidently it took a bit more time for it to find a Canadian home. It's not clear whether Bell Media is acquiring any other format rights for the series.
Speaking of international reality series formats, CTV recently began streaming (and E! Canada has been re-airing) Farmer Wants a Wife, the American (Fox) version of the Fremantle-owned reality format that CTV is separately adapting in Canada as Farming for Love.
- Paramount+ Canada has announced that the service will carry the new Showtime miniseries Ghosts of Beirut, about the manhunt for a Lebanese terrorist, starting Friday, May 19.
The service has still not yet made any blanket announcement about being the new home for Showtime programming in Canada – indeed, the press release we received for Ghosts of Beirut does not describe it as a Showtime program – but it's just one of several new and past programs from the U.S. pay service, including the upcoming Waco: The Aftermath, that have been announced in recent months as being added to Paramount+ in Canada.
We can only assume this is a transitional matter related to winding down Showtime's previous output deal with Bell Media, given that Crave continues to promote ongoing series like Yellowjackets with the Showtime brand.
- CBC has picked up both English- and French-language rights to the upcoming European teen series Spellbound. The series is positioned by its producers as a successor series to the 2018–20 series Find Me in Paris – which also aired on CBC in Canada – with the same underlying setting (a Paris ballet school) but a different cast and premise focusing on magic instead of time travel.
- Warner Bros. Discovery will be announcing its new "enhanced direct-to-consumer streaming product" this
Tuesday(whoops) Wednesday, April 12. The broad strokes of the product have already been announced or reported: it will combine HBO Max with Discovery+ content (but Discovery+ will remain a separate product for now); it'll likely be called "Max"; and it'll only be in the U.S. to start.
That said, there may be indications of WBD's future plans for Canada, either at the event or shortly thereafter. Recall that Bell's announcement regarding HBO Max original programming rights came the day after the similar late 2019 event for the original service. If there was a similar announcement to be made, it wouldn't surprise us if it came as part of the Wednesday event, or shortly thereafter.
Update (April 12): WBD has indeed announced its revamped Max service to launch on May 23 in the U.S., with an international rollout potentially including "new markets" by late 2024. A Bell Media representative confirmed to WCIW that as of now, there are "no changes to Bell Media’s long-term deal with Warner Bros. Discovery for Max Original programming in Canada".
- A few months ago, we mused aloud about whether the MGM-branded streaming offerings in Canada and elsewhere would be affected by the rebranding of Epix in the U.S. as MGM+. We now know that in several European countries, the MGM streaming channels, which are distributed via Prime Video, will be rebranded as MGM+ and will integrate programming from Lionsgate / Starz, in tandem with the previously-announced shutdown of the latter's own international streaming services in those countries.
Of course, Starz still has a deal in Canada with Bell Media, so it's unlikely this will affect anything here. Maybe the Canadian version of the MGM service will rebrand as well, but there's no indication it will add any significant new programming at this point.
- Last week's announcement about mega-agency Endeavor planning to form a new combat sports company housing mixed martial arts promotion UFC, which it bought in 2016, as well as professional wrestling company WWE, got us to thinking about whether the combined company might eventually try to consolidate its rights with a single media partner in Canada.
In fact, the matter may have to be addressed sooner than later, as Rogers' ten-year deal with WWE to be its exclusive distribution partner in Canada will be up next year, in 2024. TSN and UFC last extended their deal in late 2018; it's not clear how long that deal runs, but the previous deal was announced four years earlier, in December 2014.
If the new Endeavor-controller parent company wants to consolidate rights under a single partner, TSN would seem to be the most likely candidate, as that channel also has Canadian broadcast rights to the Endeavor-owned Professional Bull Riders organization.
That said, just as UFC and WWE will remain separate promotions under Endeavor, the new company may conclude it'll get better value by leaving the two as separate properties. The current schedules of WWE and its main rival, AEW, also seem to work best with Sportsnet and TSN respectively.
Here's some of the reader questions we've received recently by email (email@example.com). We welcome questions of general interest, and publish a few of them (and our answers) from time to time; messages may be edited for brevity and clarity.
David: Any info on how I can watch the Battlestar Galactica reboot miniseries – the miniseries that aired in 2003 before the series itself began in 2004?
WCIW: It’s a bit confusing, but the miniseries is available for digital purchase through the following venues (and possibly others):
- On the Apple TV / iTunes Store, it’s listed as part of Season 1 of the subsequent series, with episode numbers 101 and 102. In the current Apple TV interface, those episodes are listed after the episodes from the first season of the series itself.
- On the Google Play Store, it’s listed as a season of the TV series.
- On the Microsoft Movies & TV Store, it's listed as a separate series entirely.
To clarify, unfortunately at the moment it doesn’t look like either the miniseries or main series, which are distributed by NBCUniversal, are available to stream as part of a subscription service in Canada.
Norda: When will the next episode of 1923 on Paramount+ be released in Canada?
WCIW: The full first season of 8 episodes should be available on Paramount+ in Canada now. We can see all eight episodes listed on the Paramount+ channel on Prime Video; the last episode of the season premiered on February 25.
A second season of 1923 has been announced but we have no idea yet when it will premiere; the earliest it might conceivably premiere would be fall 2023, but it will likely be later.
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