News from early December 2022, including an update on "Pennyworth" on Showcase, and CBC's winter programming plans.
Welcome to the November 22, 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.
Read on for news about shows coming to Canada like Gomorrah, That Dirty Black Bag, the Harry Potter reunion, and Black Friday sales on streaming services.
- Hollywood Suite (available through most traditional TV providers as well as on Prime Video Channels) has acquired exclusive English Canadian rights to Gomorrah, the Sky Italia series that has been available in the U.S. on HBO Max since earlier this year. Per Hollywood Suite's announcement, the first three seasons will be available on-demand on December 1, while spin-off film The Immortal and seasons 4 and 5 will be available in early 2022. (French-language rights are held by Quebecor's Club Illico service, where the first four seasons and the movie are already available.)
- Crave has confirmed that it will be carrying Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, the HBO Max retrospective special about the film series, day-and-date with its release on the WarnerMedia streaming service on January 1. (As previously noted, the movie series itself will be available to stream on Crave starting this coming Friday, November 26.)
Crave, which is somewhat selective about the HBO Max reality shows it carries, has also confirmed it'll be carrying Finding Magic Mike starting December 16. We also belatedly came across a promo from late October confirming that Space Jam: A New Legacy will be available on Crave in December, about five months after theatrical release.
- AMC+ has acquired U.S., Canadian, and Australian premiere rights to spaghetti western series That Dirty Black Bag starring Dominic Carter and Douglas Booth. The series will debut in March or April of next year.
- CBC has picked up a future run of South African crime thriller Reyka, currently available in Canada on BritBox, according to the show's distributor. A premiere date on CBC has not yet been announced.
- Expect a few special offers on various streaming services over the next week or so with Black Friday and (sigh) Cyber Monday.
Crave has already begun offering about 20% off a one-year subscription to its recently-relaunched multiscreen "Crave Total" plan to new (and potentially returning) subscribers. The sale price is $159.90 (plus applicable sales taxes), compared to the regular annual price of $199.90, for signups through November 30. It's an even better deal compared to monthly billing for the same package, which works out to $239.88 for one year. (On the "subscribe" page, you have to click "Annual" to see the sale price – no sale is available on monthly plans, or the single-screen Crave Mobile plan.)
Meanwhile, that Paramount+ offer for 50% off for three months that we mentioned last week remains available as of this writing. While we haven't heard anything definitive from other services yet, Prime Video has frequently used the weeks around events like Black Friday and Prime Day to offer savings on various add-on channels like StackTV.
[Update (Nov. 24): Prime Video is now offering 99¢ per month for two months on most of its channels, which is quite a big savings for StackTV, and lesser but still significant savings on services like Starz and Hollywood Suite. BritBox is making the same offer for direct subscriptions. Other services that are separately offering deals include Discovery+ (99¢ per month for three months for its ad-supported plan). Most of these offers run through this coming Monday, November 29; check the sites to confirm.]
And of course, for those still fond of DVD and Blu-Ray, there are various offers for movies and TV shows on physical media available on Amazon, among other retailers.
- An item that we forgot to include a couple of weeks back, but that we thought was still worth noting now: Corus Entertainment led a recent round of investment in Struum, a service initially backed by Michael Eisner's Tournante. Struum uses a credit-based subscription model allowing users to access individual pieces of content from multiple streaming service operators without separate subscriptions (the American price is US$4.99 per month). At this point, most of the content comes from niche services like BBC Select and Cheddar. The service remains U.S.-only at the moment but is planning an expansion into Canada in 2022.
- Netflix is now releasing weekly top-ten programming lists for both movies and TV for most of the countries where it's available, including Canada. Unlike the global rankings, the numbers of hours viewed are not available on a per-country basis, but it's still considerably more information that the service has offered in the past. (Crave included top-ten lists in its weekly programming updates that started last year, but stopped including them several months ago.)
Here's some of the reader email we've received recently at email@example.com. We welcome questions of general interest, and publish a few of them (and our answers) from time to time; messages may be edited for brevity and clarity.
Doug: Just wondering if you have any info on The Hot Zone: Anthrax airing on Nat Geo Channel Canada. Don't see anything on their website but I have seen commercials on American channels indicating it airs in the U.S. starting November 28. Would appreciate anything you can tell me.
Your skepticism is fair, considering the Canadian version of National Geographic Channel has not always adhered to the U.S. schedule, like how Genius: Aretha premiered weekly earlier this year, instead of over four consecutive nights as it did stateside.
However, it looks like Nat Geo Canada will be airing the new season of The Hot Zone on the same schedule as in the U.S., starting this coming Sunday, November 28 at 9:00 p.m. ET, and continuing that Monday and Tuesday.
Recent updates on WCIW
The most significant update to the site this past week outside of this newsletter was a new post about the series adaptation of The Wheel of Time, which debuted on Prime Video over the weekend.
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We'll see you again next week, when we expect to have our look at new programming debuting in December.