News about Discovery+ launching in Canada, "What Happened, Brittany Murphy", "Shetland", and more.
Welcome to the March 21, 2021 edition of This Week in WCIW, the weekly newsletter from Where Can I Watch – covering the latest news on where TV shows and movies will be available in Canada.
News about April streaming arrivals is starting to trickle out, and we also have updates on when Tenet and WW84 will finally be available on streaming in Canada. So let's get into it.
- Disney+ / Star has sent its April arrivals to several media outlets. Besides the previously-announced Nomadland which arrives April 9, notables include a few relatively recent films like Tolkien and Alita: Battle Angel that will be landing almost immediately after their windows on Crave expire (a few other 20th Century Fox films released shortly before these two, like Widows, are currently on Netflix but will likely move to Star in the next few months).
Also among the notables are the 2017 FX miniseries Feud: Bette and Joan (on April 2), and a few ABC series that are currently on Prime Video (and may or may not remain there), including Lost, Happy Endings, and Castle (all on April 23). On the Disney+ side, there are several pieces of early Star Wars franchise content, some co-produced by Nelvana in Canada, like The Story of the Faithful Wookiee (the animated segment of the Star Wars Holiday Special) and the Ewoks animated series (all also on April 2).
- Although Crave has not yet posted its new releases for April, we've seen a few premiere dates advertised on the Crave linear channels: Stardust (Friday, April 2), Black Bear (Satuday, April 3), McQueen (Monday, April 12), The Nest (Friday, April 16), Save Yourselves! (Saturday, April 17), and Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (Friday, April 30). These are linear premiere dates; the Saturday debuts usually debut on streaming the day before.
Promos attached to Crave's streaming release of Zack Snyder's Justice League also confirm that both Wonder Woman 1984 and Tenet will be arriving on Crave in May – for WW84, that's several months sooner than would be expected under normal movie release circumstances.
Finally, we noticed this past week that the HBO Canada linear channel has started using the new remastered HD version of Sex and the City (announced back in February) for its previously-scheduled late-night repeats. For the moment, however, the version that's available on Crave's apps remains the original SD version.
- As first noticed by "Dr. Dave" on the DigitalHome.ca forums, Discovery Canada will be airing BattleBots: Bounty Hunters starting next Sunday, March 28, making it the first Discovery+ original program to air on a Canadian channel, though the fact it's debuting in Canada now may be tied to it now airing on the Discovery U.S. linear channel as well.
- In broadcast network news, CTV has picked up Home Economics from Lionsgate and ABC Studios (Wednesday, April 7 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, future episodes Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET) while CTV2 will begin airing the CW reboot of Kung Fu from Warner Bros. (Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT starting April 7). Meanwhile, Global has picked up Chuck Lorre-produced CBS sitcom United States of Al, also from Warner Bros. (Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT starting April 1).
- As you may have heard by now, Shaw, the largest incumbent cable provider in western Canada and currently Canada's number-four mobile service provider (through Freedom Mobile), announced last Monday that it has agreed to be acquired by Rogers, the largest incumbent cable provider in eastern Canada, the country's number-one wireless provider, and the owner of media properties like Citytv and Sportsnet.
The deal, if approved (and it is certainly not yet clear whether it will be, or under what conditions), would certainly have impacts for Canadian consumers, but won't directly affect anything in terms of the programming rights we cover here. The Shaw family separately controls Corus Entertainment, which operates TV channels like Global and Showcase, and Corus is not affected by the Rogers deal.
That said, the Shaws will also become the second-largest shareholder in Rogers, and nominate two seats to the latter's board, meaning they'll control Global while having a significant (albeit indirect) stake in Citytv. The normal procedure in such cases, though, would be for the Shaws to recuse themselves from any discussions of Rogers' media assets to avoid conflicts of interest, at least so long as they control Corus.
Ultimately, if the Shaws are willing to part with their telecom interests, they may be willing to at least consider future options for their media assets. So it will be interesting to see what the Shaw family will want to do with Corus long-term.
Recent updates on WCIW
- We've published a new post about Godzilla vs. Kong, in advance of its upcoming release on March 31 – but only in theatres in Canada, at least for now.
- We've also made minor updates to our posts on Nomadland (which clearly did not debut in any Toronto-area theatres this past weekend, so everyone will now have to wait for April 9), as well as Wonder Woman 1984 and Discovery+ (based on what's discussed above).
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