What's new in April on Prime Video, CTV Comedy, and more.
Welcome to the April 4, 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.
This being a holiday weekend (or at least just coming off of one), we're keeping things fairly brief, but we do have some news about what's coming this month to Prime Video, and a few other channnels.
- Prime Video finally sent around its new program listings for April to media outlets early this past week. In addition to its global originals Them and Without Remorse, the Canadian version of the Amazon service will be adding Frank of Ireland (a co-production with the UK's Channel 4 – April 16); Made for Love (an HBO Max original produced by Paramount – April 16); Stowaway (the Anna Kendrick film, via Elevation Pictures, which controls the rights to in Canada instead of Netflix – April 22); and the final season of Younger (with new episodes dropping weekly shortly after they premiere on Paramount+ U.S., starting April 19).
Prime Video Canada also added 2020 theatrical releases The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run and The War with Grandpa on April 4. On April 16, it will add all three seasons of Mr. Mercedes, a Stephen King-derived series which originated on the now-defunct Audience Network in the U.S., and previously aired here (to little apparent notice) on Super Channel.
- CTV Comedy Channel has picked up three new series: TBS cringe comedy Chad starring Nasim Pedrad (Tuesdays at 10:30pm ET/PT starting April 6); Comedy Central talk show Doing the Most with Phoebe Robinson (Fridays at 11:00pm ET/PT starting April 9), and TBS obstacle course reality series Wipeout (Thursdays at 10:00pm ET/PT starting April 15).
- Crave has confirmed that it will carry the HBO Max reality series Wahl Street with Mark Wahlberg, starting April 15.
- If you thought Crave might be following in HBO Max's footsteps and introducing a cheaper ad-supported option, it sounds like that's been ruled out for the time being. At a virtual analyst conference this past week, CEO of Crave's parent company BCE, Mirko Bibic, indicated that the plan for now is to continue to position Crave as an "premium SVOD product" without traditional ads, with the CTV and Noovo apps remaining Bell's platforms for serving the AVOD market (Noovo has just relaunched its website and apps on the same tech stack as CTV and Crave).
But Crave may incorporate "sponsorship banners" – perhaps along the lines of the pause-screen ads that we've noticed recently in the CTV apps – and already there have been occasional programming partnerships (remember Reese: The Movie?).
- While not much is new or surprising here, this feature by Bill Brioux for the Toronto Star (note: may be paywalled to that paper's subscribers, though Brioux has posted about it on his personal blog) has a good overview of the current state of the traditional TV networks in Canada. In short, like in the U.S., the underlying linear channels are indeed losing viewers, but the model as a whole is evolving, and Canadian broadcasters are optimistic there will be a path forward. Whether that will actually be the case, of course, is debatable.
Recent updates on WCIW
- We've added pages about Made for Love and Stowaway based on the announcements by Prime Video listed above. We've also updated our page about Godzilla vs. Kong now that it's been released in theatres and on PVOD, as well as for Wonder Woman 1984 and The Witches now that both films have reached the "regular" TVOD window, meaning digital rentals are now available for around $6.99 instead of the original $30.
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