Posted September 25, 2023 • Last updated September 29, 2023

Watching This Week #125

Listings for Sept. 25–Oct. 1, 2023; Prime Video introduces ads; Crave admonished for skimping on ratings icons.

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Welcome to the September 25, 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.

This week is traditionally the launch of the new broadcast TV season across North America, though it certainly looks a bit different this year given the writers' and actors' strikes, as you'll see in the listings below. (Though the WGA and AMPTP announced a tentative deal last night, meaning there's still hope for talk shows to return to production next month, and something resembling usual scheduling by midseason.)

After that, our thoughts on the big change Prime Video is making in Canada next year, and a few other notes about new programs coming up in October, like season 5 of the UK version of Ghosts.

A quick note about next week: as usual given the timing, our focus will be on preparing the monthly listings for October which should be posted by next Monday, October 2 at the latest (and possibly before). Regardless, we don't plan to send out a regular newsletter next Monday.

What's new this week – September 25–October 1

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.

Full October listings have yet to be announced by most streaming services as of this writing; we will likely have updates in our monthly listings guide for October, which we expect you'll get by October 2 at the latest.

  • Netflix: Little Baby Bum: Music Time (Moonbug preschoolers series – Monday); Encounters (paranormal docuseries – Wednesday); Overhaul (Brazilian film – Wednesday); The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (Wes Anderson short film – Wednesday); Castlevania: Nocturne (adult fantasy series spin-off – Thursday); Love is in the Air (Australian rom-com film – Thursday); Power Rangers: Cosmic Fury (continuation of Dino Fury – Friday)
  • Disney+: The D'Amelio Show (season 3 – Wednesdays starting Sept. 20*); Big City Greens (season 3 – Wednesday); Raven's Home (season 6 – Wednesday); The Worst of Evil (Korean series – Wednesdays); Explorer: Lost in the Arctic (Nat Geo docuseries – Friday); Launchpad (short film anthology, season 2 – Friday); Marvel Studios Legends (additional season 2 episodes – Friday); The Kardashians (season 4 – Thursdays)
  • Crave: Young Love (Max family animated series based on 2019 short film Hair Love – Thursdays starting Sept. 21*); Sam Jay: Salute Me or Shoot Me (HBO stand-up comedy special – Saturday, Sept. 23*); Savior Complex (HBO docuseries about an American missionary – Tuesday*); The Voice (season 24 – Tuesdays and Wednesdays); Starstruck (season 3 – Thursday); The Killing of Two Lovers (2021 film – Friday); Shoresy (season 2 – Friday); Therapy Dogs (2023 Canadian film – Friday); Meg 2: The Trench (2023 Warner Bros. action film sequel – Friday or Saturday per Crave 1 listings) [note: Violent Night was in monthly listings but is not listed on Crave 1 schedule within next two weeks; unclear if it will still premiere this week on streaming]; The Ringleader: The Case of the Bling Ring (HBO doc – Sunday)
  • Prime Video: Gen V (The Boys spin-off – Fridays)
  • CBC Gem and/or CBC TV: Still Standing (season 9 – Tuesdays); The Lighthouse (2019 film – Friday); Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs (season 11 – Friday); Heartland (season 17 – Sundays); The Great Canadian Baking Show (season 7 – Sundays); SkyMed (season 2 – Sundays)
  • Paramount+ (also available as a channel on Prime Video and Apple TV): All Star Shore (season 2 – Mondays); Awkwafina is Nora from Queens (seasons 1–3 – Tuesday); All Up in the Biz (Showtime doc – Friday); The Wrath of Becky (2023 action thriller sequel – Friday); What's Love Got to Do with It? (2022 British film – Saturday)
  • Apple TV+: Flora and Son (musical film – Friday)
  • BritBox (also available as a channel on Prime Video and Apple TV): The Hunt for Raoul Moat (drama miniseries – Thursday); Manhunt: The Raoul Moat Story (doc – Thursday)
  • CTV: Kitchen Nightmares (reboot of the Gordon Ramsay reality series which previously aired 2007–14 – Mondays); Special Forces: World's Toughest Test (season 2 – Mondays);  Celebrity Wheel of Fortune (season 4 – Tuesdays); Snake Oil (David Spade-hosted game show – Wednesdays); The Masked Singer (season 10 – Wednesdays); Children Ruin Everything (season 3 – Wednesdays); The Amazing Race season 35 – Wednesdays); Celebrity Jeopardy! (season 2 – Thursdays [Wednesdays on ABC]); Lego Masters (season 4 – Thursdays); Shark Tank (season 15 – Fridays)
  • CTV2: The Voice (season 24 – Mondays and Tuesdays); The $100,000 Pyramid (season 7 – Wednesdays)
  • Global (also on StackTV): Survivor (season 45 – Wednesdays); Robyn Hood (Canadian drama series – Wednesdays); Crime Beat: Most Wanted (Canadian docuseries spin-off – Saturdays)
  • Citytv (also on Citytv+): Poker Face (Peacock mystery series starring Natasha Lyonne already on Citytv+ – Mondays*); The Irrational (NBC crime drama series filmed pre-strikes – Mondays); Dancing with the Stars (season 32 – Tuesdays [premiere will air live on ABC but Saturday on Citytv due to conflicts]); The Golden Bachelor (reality series spin-off – Thursdays); Bachelor in Paradise (season 9 – Thursdays); The Simpsons (season 35 – Sundays); Bob's Burgers (season 14 – Sundays); Family Guy (season 22 – Sundays)
  • History (also on StackTV): True Story (docuseries part 2 – Saturday)
  • Starz (also available as an add-on/channel on Crave, Prime Video, and Apple TV): John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023 action film – Friday)

This week in deals

As a reminder, we may get an affiliate commission for services you sign up for through links in this newsletter, which helps support our site maintenance, at no additional cost to you. Prices are in Canadian dollars before applicable sales taxes, and may change in the future.

  • BritBox is once again offering 50% off the first two months of service – regularly $9.99 per month – for new and eligible returning subscribers. This offer is available until 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on Tuesday night (Sept. 26).

A little less than Prime

Amazon announced this past week that, starting in early 2024, the version of Prime Video available by default to Amazon Prime subscribers in the U.S., Canada, and some other countries will include what the company describes as "limited" advertisements.

Considering that virtually every other major streaming service has already made (or announced plans to make) a similar shift, the fact that Prime Video is doing so as well cannot come as a shock, as unwelcome as it may be for some.

Subscribers who would prefer to maintain an ad-free experience on Prime Video's core programming will have to opt in for an additional charge, which will be US$2.99 per month for those south of the border (with Canadian pricing to be announced later). However, the retail/tech company insists it will not make any changes to the price of Prime membership itself in 2024.

This is similar in substance to what Disney+ has been doing with the introduction of its ad-supported options, but with a slightly different approach. When Disney+ introduces its ad-supported tier in Canada later this fall – as it did last year in the U.S. – all existing subscribers will, by default, stay on the current ad-free version, albeit at its new, significantly increased price. Those customers will then have the option to move to the ad-supported plans, one of which is otherwise comparable to the current ad-free version and at the same (old) price point. [Correction (Sept. 29): we misremembered Disney+'s announcement which is in fact that there will only be one ad-supported plan in Canada, for $7.99 per month. The new $11.99 plan will also be ad-free but reduce the number of simultaneous streams and remove access to 4K content. The current plan will increase from $11.99 to $14.99.]

But Prime is a bit different – it's a package of multiple Amazon benefits – so it would likely cause backlash among those who mainly use that program for, say, free shipping to have a similar price increase solely tied to Prime Video as the default.

In any event, given the effects of opt-in vs. opt-out policies as has been studied in other areas, Prime Video's approach means it's likely that most customers will choose not to pay more, and simply accept the default ad-supported version.

Though, given how other services with both ad-supported and ad-free options, like Hulu in the U.S., get higher overall per-subscriber revenue from those on their ad-supported tiers (i.e., ad revenue is more than the difference in price), that may suit Amazon just fine.

Programming news

CBC Gem has announced its arrivals for October, which include the fifth and final season of the UK version of Ghosts premiering October 6.

We can also tell from upcoming linear TV listings that 2022 Irish film The Quiet Girl and 2023 action film Plane (already on Starz) will premiere on Crave early in October.

Apart from Disney+, we're still waiting on the other major streaming services to announce October programming plans.

Other notes

This week, another story from the annals of regulatory minutiae only a few people pay attention to.

A few years ago, following a CRTC review, pay TV licences such as Crave and Super Channel were re-classified as discretionary services, and made subject to the same rules as other specialty channels. At that point they were required to start using the standard rating icons that are commonplace on other Canadian channels during the first 15 seconds of each program, at least on linear TV.

We have occasionally grumbled (to ourselves, not previously here) that those icons have obscured, for example, the sight gags in the opening of Last Week Tonight if we watch it when it premieres on Sunday nights.

Well, it looks like that won't be going away anytime soon. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC), the self-regulatory body that Canadian broadcasters are generally required to be members of, has ruled that not only are those ratings icons definitely now required for former "premium" services, Crave has been in fact been missing the icons that are supposed to air an hour into the show, and hourly thereafter (when applicable). That's among other violations related to airtimes and the wording of viewer discretion advisories.

The punishment is fairly minor (on-air announcements summarizing the decision) but Crave has promised it will apply these icons hourly going forward.

Regardless of any argument one could make about the differences between a premium service like Crave and other specialty channels – not least of which is that every show on Crave, even those rated G or PG, has some sort of rating card leading into it – the decision reads to us as correct, based on the rules as currently written.

That doesn't mean we like it, but we don't really expect an upswell of viewer reaction to push changes at this stage of the lifecycle of linear TV – these days, we'd guess most Crave viewers are streaming the shows on-demand anyways.

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