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Welcome to the May 3, 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 past week was relatively slow in terms of Canadian TV rights announcements, but there is some news about shows like Drag Race Down Under, Hacks, Girls5eva, and more.
- We received Prime Video's full list of May arrivals late this past week, and they've been added to the web version of last week's "What's new in May" post. The biggest notable programs we didn't cover last week are the recent theatrical releases Wild Mountain Thyme and Waiting for the Barbarians, arriving May 6 and 20 respectively.
- Also added to the May list are three new additions to Crave's offerings this month. RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under – the new Australian / New Zealand spinoff of the American series – debuted this past Saturday, and will have new episodes weekly. There are also two HBO Max original series, both originating from Universal Television: That Damn Michael Che (May 6) and Hacks (starring Jean Smart, from executive producers including Mike Schur – May 13).
Looking a bit further ahead, Crave has reconfirmed a few documentaries that will be coming later this year, after screening at this year's digital Hot Docs festival: Crave originals A.rtificial I.mmortality and Fanny: The Right to Rock, and HBO's In the Same Breath and Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street. (Street Gang, at least, will also have a PVOD run through Levelfilm starting this Friday.)
Finally, we're happy to report that despite the closure of Movie Entertainment, printable Crave monthly listings are still available, in basically the same format as before, on the service's website. (Just bear in mind that the HBO and Starz pages are still set up to be read across two pages, so be careful when reading or if printing double-sided.)
- Corus has announced that W Network will air Peacock's Girls5eva starting on Thursday, June 3 – about a month after its U.S. release this coming Thursday. As has been the case with other Peacock series, W will air two episodes weekly back-to-back each Thursday for the next four weeks (the first season has eight episodes in total).
- We don't usually cover situations involving worldwide rights, but this seems like an appropriate exception: Apple TV+ has acquired global rights to the upcoming filmed version of the Newfoundland-set Broadway musical Come From Away, which is being produced by Entertainment One. Filming is scheduled for this month; eOne had previously set a September release date, but it's not clear if Apple will be sticking to that plan.
- Bell Media parent company BCE announced in its first-quarter results that Crave reached over 2.9 million subscribers as of March 31, up 139,000 (or about 5%) from the "approximately 2.8 million" reported as of the end of 2020, and said to be up 12% over the same point last year.
The Q1 growth was mainly credited to Zack Snyder's Justice League. Crave, of course, has had HBO Max's streaming-only releases like the Snyder cut, but not day-and-date Warner Bros. theatrical releases like WW84 (which finally arrives on Crave later this month) or Godzilla vs. Kong. Crave is not that far behind HBO Max's Q1 growth of 6.5% in Q1, but it's been trailing a bit more in the year-over-year – the HBO U.S. subscriber count overall, including those on Max, is up 22% just since last June.
- Separately, Bell announced it is partnering with AT&T/WarnerMedia's ad tech dividion Xandr on a new demand-side platform for advertising, which we mention mainly in the context of the deepening ties between Bell and AT&T on multiple fronts. (That said, it's possible that Xandr may not be part of AT&T for much longer.)
Recent updates on WCIW
- As noted above, we've updated our "What's new in May" post with additional listings for Prime Video, Crave, and a couple of others.
- We added a new post about Girls5eva, and updated our overall Peacock post, based on what's discussed about that series above.
- We've also updated our HBO Max page to reflect the additions of Hacks and the Michael Che series to Crave's roster.
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