A few news items and site updates for mid-September 2021.
Welcome to the July 26, 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.
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With some – but not all – of the major streaming services having announced plans for August as of this writing, we'll keep this as a regular weekly newsletter, and send out a separate "What's New in August" post in the next few days.
- Disney+ / Star has finally confirmed, in an August programming list sent to multiple media outlets, that it will be carrying FX (on Hulu)'s American Horror Stories – the new spinoff of the main FX AHS series with self-contained episodes – starting on Wednesday, August 25. Other notable programming coming next month includes Cruella becoming available at no extra charge on August 27, the Hulu-exclusive film Vacation Friends dropping the same day, and Hulu series Only Murders in the Building debuting August 31.
- Other streaming services that have released August programming: Crave will have the recent Channel 5 UK (and Sony-distributed) Anne Boleyn miniseries, Oscar best picture Nomadland (already and potentially remaining available to stream in Canada on Disney+), Sesame Street documentary Street Gang, Godzilla vs. Kong, and 1990s sitcom Sister, Sister (originally on ABC but distributed by ViacomCBS).
Netflix will of course have plenty of originals, including The Chair with Sandra Oh, plus the pay-2 runs of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Joker, and Rocketman.
Again, we plan to have fuller listings for these and other services in a separate post later this week.
- A couple of belated notes on this month's Crave (and CTV) programming. Crave has confirmed it'll be carrying the HBO Max reality series FBoy Island, hosted by Nikki Glaser, which starts this Thursday, July 29 with weekly episodes into August.
Crave and the CTV app are also now both carrying the digital-exclusive episodes of the ITV-produced, CBS-commissioned U.S. version of Love Island – specifically the Monday exclusive episode, Laid Bare on Fridays, and the more irregular The Drop – that are available on Paramount+ in the U.S., all categorized separately from the main series as Love Island: Uncensored.
As for ourselves, as far as "Island" programming on Crave goes, we're partial to this episode of 30 Rock.
- One new mainline HBO show that Crave appears not to be carrying is Back on the Record with Bob Costas, a sports interview series that will air in the U.S. a few times a year starting this Friday, July 30, but is not currently on the HBO Canada schedule for that night.
The reason is not all that clear, though it is consistent with Crave's non-carriage of HBO's other topical sports shows like Real Sports and that one-off Megan Rapinoe special last summer. (Hard Knocks, at least, is available on DAZN here due to the NFL controlling international rights.)
- Hollywood Suite has acquired a second run (and on-demand rights) for the 2019 CNN/Playtone documentary series The Movies, the latest in a set of WarnerMedia-distributed series (mostly documentaries) that the service has carried since late 2020. All episodes will be available on-demand August 1, with linear broadcasts Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET from August 10 to September 14.
- Have you been waiting for The West Wing to finally be available on-demand again in Canada without having to buy it? We have good news... if and only if you live in Telus' Optik TV territory in Alberta and British Columbia. The 1999–2006 Warner Bros. TV drama, which aired on NBC and CTV, was recently added to the provider's Telus Presents on-demand lineup, which apparently also now includes the Friday Night Lights TV series, among a few other recent additions.
You may recall Telus Presents as (still) the only place for Canadians to be able to watch the Sky / HBO Max series I Hate Suzie with Billie Piper, which premiered last fall. As was the case with that show, Telus Presents programs are free for Optik / Pik TV subscribers in the west to watch, but are not available if you subscribe to Telus services elsewhere in Canada.
- We noticed that Global has started to air episodes from this past season (i.e., season 32) of The Simpsons – on weekend afternoons. Most if not all of these episodes would have aired previously on Citytv, but recall that Citytv recently dropped the long-running series, and the rest of the Fox "Animation Domination" lineup, in order to air Bachelor in Paradise Canada starting this fall (and continue to air American Idol over the winter). Citytv hasn't even bothered to air any of these series in summer reruns.
During its most recent years as the series' first-run carrier in Canada, Global aired syndicated episodes from past seasons on weekend afternoons. This seems to be something slightly different, but it might point to the next season of The Simpsons, and maybe the other Disney-owned Fox animated sitcoms, returning to Global this fall, despite Global still having a packed Sunday night schedule itself.
- In case you didn't see the update to last week's newsletter, Super Channel and CBC have confirmed that they are the Canadian rightsholders to The North Water, the Colin Farrell limited series currently streaming on AMC+ in the United States. Here, the series will air first on Super Channel Fuse, Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET starting September 19, before airing on CBC (and streaming on Gem) starting in fall 2022.
- Expanding on an item in an earlier report from The Information, The Wall Street Journal reported this past week that Comcast and ViacomCBS are in early talks about some sort of international streaming partnership to grow their presence overseas, as opposed to previous discussions about an outright merger (which is considered much less likely to pass U.S. anti-trust muster).
It seems be too early to know if or how Canada would be affected by such a partnership. Comcast, of course, has an output deal with Corus for Peacock programming, while ViacomCBS operates a very cut-back version of Paramount+ in Canada while selling first-run rights for most of its originals to domestic broadcasters.
Recent updates on WCIW
In addition to updating our American Horror Stories post (based on the Disney+ news above), we've regularly made updates to our Tokyo 2020 Olympics post to update and clarify details about how the CBC's coverage is being made available this time around.
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