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Hi there, and welcome to the April 24, 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.
We have the week's listings just ahead, then some updates on movies coming to Crave in May, and the third season of Mystic on Super Channel. Plus we answer reader questions about shows like Fargo, Five Bedrooms, HBO's Game Theory with Bomani Jones, and more.
A note about next week's newsletter: next Monday being May 1, we will focus our efforts on preparing our monthly roundup of new programming, so you will see that next time instead of the usual weekly newsletter format.
What's new this week – April 24–30
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: John Mulaney: Baby J (comedy special – Tuesday); Firefly Lane (season 2, part 2 – Thursday); The Nurse (Danish series – Thursday); Sharkdog (season 2 – Thursday); Sweet Tooth (season 2 – Thursday); King of Collectibles: The Goldin Touch (reality series – Friday)
- Disney+: Matildas: The World at Our Feet (Australian sports docuseries – Wednesday); Saint X (Hulu drama series – Wednesday); Sam: A Saxon (German drama series – Wednesday); The 1619 Project (Hulu docuseries – Wednesday); Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures (animated shorts – Wednesday); Peter Pan & Wendy (original live-action film – Friday); Clock (direct-to-Hulu drama film – Sunday)
- Crave: Gunda (2021 doc – Monday); Love & Death (HBO Max crime drama miniseries – Thursdays); Call Jane (2022 drama film – Friday); Couples Therapy (season 3, part 2 – Fridays); Heavy Rescue 401 (season 7 – Friday)
- Prime Video: Citadel (action thriller series – Fridays); LOL: Last One Laughing Germany (season 4 – Friday);
- CBC Gem: Blackwater (Danish drama series – Friday)
- Paramount+ (also available as a channel on Prime Video and Apple TV): Anything for Fame (2022 documentary – Friday); Fatal Attraction (remake miniseries – Sundays)
- Apple TV+: Frog and Toad (animated series – Friday)
- Much: Awkwafina is Nora from Queens (season 3 – Wednesdays)
This week in deals
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- Apple has activated another two-month free trial offer for Apple TV+ for new and "qualified returning" subscribers, this one in connection with Friday Night Baseball. This offer runs until July 7 (really end-of-day July 6), about a month after the expiry of the offer we'd mentioned last week. Regular price for the service after the trial remains $8.99 per month.
- We're still waiting on full listings for the major streaming services, but we do know a few of the movies coming to Crave in May, based on listings and promos posted to date.
Universal-distributed British film Brian and Charles, as well as 20th Century Studios' Amsterdam (the latter already available on Disney+ in Canada), will be added the first weekend in May, while Universal's Minions: The Rise of Gru and Sony's Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody – the latter having been released in late December but apparently the first film under Crave's new deal with Sony – will both be added on May 19.
- The third season of the New Zealand-set family series Mystic, co-produced with the BBC and TVNZ, will air on Super Channel Heart & Home, Sunday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET starting May 7. The season was released in other countries including the UK last summer.
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.
Cindy: Just wondering when or if the new season of Five Bedrooms will air on W Network?
WCIW: We believe W Network still has the Canadian rights to the Australian dramedy series, having aired the first three seasons, but we have no idea at the moment about Canadian scheduling for the fourth season. The new season has only just been scheduled to premiere domestically in May on the local version of Paramount+.
What we do know is that W Network will not air the new season of Five Bedrooms any sooner than Australia, and it is not on the channel's summer lineup announced earlier this month. Judging from how owner Corus has handled international programming in the past, they may wait several months to air the season, depending on what they think will be the best schedule for Canada.
Ryan: I’m interested in the HBO show Game Theory with Bomani Jones, but Crave doesn’t seem to carry it (like they carry other HBO programming). Any idea if it’s ever going to see the light of day in Canada?
WCIW: Unfortunately, Game Theory is classified under the HBO Sports division, and for reasons we’ve never been quite able to figure out, certain types of periodic HBO Sports programs – like newsmagazine series Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and most of the other sports talk shows that HBO has produced over the years like (Back) On the Record with Bob Costas – have never been included in the deal that Bell / Crave has with HBO. That’s even though sports documentaries like Tiger and Shaq, and HBO boxing programming (until it ended in 2018), have been available through TMN / Crave since at least the launch of the HBO Canada multiplex channel in 2008.
It’s hard to say exactly why that is, perhaps Bell management thinks the shows cost too much to license relative to their worth to the Canadian audience, and perhaps no other Canadian sports broadcaster wants to have to deal with the complications of carrying and promoting those HBO shows when Bell has overall Canadian rights to the HBO brand. (Many of HBO's co-productions with NFL Films, like Hard Knocks, have been available in Canada on DAZN, and on a delayed basis on NFL Network, but that appears to be because the NFL has kept the underlying copyrights.)
Occasionally there’ve been legal issues with certain Real Sports segments, so theoretically Bell might be worried about incurring liability if there are similar questionable segments in the future, but those concerns could have just as easily to applied to other programs Crave has carried over the years, like Showtime's short-lived 60 Minutes Sports.
Jim: I recently saw this article mentioning Netflix's rights to the first three seasons of Fargo had expired, and saying there is "almost no chance" of it carrying later seasons. Any word on another streaming service picking it up?
WCIW: Seasons 1 to 3 of the spinoff series to the 1996 film, which premiered in 2014 and is produced for FX by MGM Television, appear to have very recently become available on the MGM add-on channel on Prime Video. The MGM channel costs $3.99 per month, which as always for Prime Video Channels is on top of the cost of Amazon Prime itself. This makes sense given our understanding that MGM, not FX, controls the international distribution rights to the series.
If the series was to move back to a more widely-available streaming service, we'd assume it'd be the main Prime Video service, now that Amazon owns MGM. But right now, it seems like Amazon is happy to just keep all that archived MGM content as a separate add-on rather than merge it into its own base service.
At this point we would expect the fourth season, which aired in 2020, will become available to stream on the MGM channel around the time that the next season premieres, which is currently slated for later this year. That fifth season will still likely air first on FX (and presumably also Citytv+) in Canada.
Shane: Has any streamer has acquired the Canadian rights to the British show, Am I Being Unreasonable? Also, why isn’t the Freevee James Marsden show Jury Duty available on Prime Video in Canada?
WCIW: We have not been made aware of any Canadian rights sales for the comedy-thriller series Am I Being Unreasonable?, which is distributed by BBC Studios. As you're likely aware, Hulu picked up the U.S. rights, but that deal appears to be limited strictly to the United States, as is the case for many of Hulu's third-party acquisitions. It's theoretically possible that Disney got Canadian rights at the same time that could be deployed on Disney+ at a later date, but there's no concrete evidence in that direction. Failing that, it would not suprise us if BBC Studios eventually sold the Canadian rights to another mainstream service and/or BritBox.
As for Jury Duty, it seems to have been produced by Amazon's in-house studio so it's unlikely there are any issues related to ownership. Perhaps Amazon is holding onto it for a future Canadian launch of Freevee, although we have not seen any evidence of that being imminent. The Freevee programs that have gone to Prime Video in Canada so far have likely been driven by higher demand for a spinoff of an existing property (i.e. Bosch: Legacy) and/or Canadian connections to the production (as with Tegan and Sara Quin's High School, which was filmed in Calgary).
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