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Welcome to the February 21, 2022 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.
While we were planning to take a week off for the Family Day weekend across much of Canada, there were enough news items – a few of which are a bit time-sensitive – that we figured it was worth sending out our regularly-scheduled update after all, ahead of our March lookahead next Monday.
Read on for news about the Canadian streaming availability of F9, South Park, All American: Homecoming, and more.
- Paramount – newly corporately renamed from ViacomCBS as of this past Wednesday – made a number of announcements at an investor presentation this past week. It seemed like an attempt to convince investors it's in a strong position to go it alone against other major streaming players like Netflix, Disney, Comcast, and the future Warner Bros. Discovery, despite ongoing speculation that it'll eventually merge into a bigger player, but it doesn't look like investors and analysts were particularly impressed with the news, or at least its short-term impact.
Nevertheless, there were several significant programming announcements, mostly relating to Paramount+. Based on recent practice, we think that most of the new programs announced for the company's streaming service – like a second Yellowstone prequel titled 1932, and a live-action Sonic the Hedgehog series – should be available on P+ in Canada.
More significantly, P+ says it is pulling back the exclusive SVOD streaming rights to the long-running adult animated comedy South Park in all countries outside the U.S. later this year, an announcement that seems to include Canada, where the series has long been available on Crave. (It won't be able to pull back U.S. streaming rights, currently held by HBO Max, until 2025.) The reference to SVOD exclusivity suggests that availability of South Park on ad-supported services like the Much TV channel and the CTV app may not be affected.
Beyond that, though, there was no indication of changes to the status quo in Canada where Bell Media / Crave retain the bulk of streaming rights from Paramount properties like Showtime and Comedy Central... at least for now.
- HBO and HBO Max also made a number of program scheduling announcements, and Crave has confirmed it will carry most of these series, including new mainline HBO series like We Own This City, and the Max Original series Julia (based on the life of Julia Child, distributed by Lionsgate) and Our Flag Means Death (from Taika Waititi, which appears to be produced directly, or at least owned outright, by WarnerMedia).
In other Crave news, per promos that aired this past weekend, F9 (distributed in Canada by Universal) will likely be available to stream on March 4, while 2020 Canadian drama Beans (Mongrel) premieres March 18. The critically-acclaimed Canadian film Night Raiders (Elevation, but partially financially supported by Crave), which received multiple Canadian Screen Award nominations this past week, was separately confirmed as "coming soon" to Crave.
- Prime Video has confirmed that Deep Water, the psychological thriller starring Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas originally produced for a 20th Century Studios release, will debut in Canada (and most other countries) on March 18, the same day as its U.S. release on Hulu.
- Although CW teen sports drama All American (produced mainly by Warner Bros.) continues to air on Showcase in Canada, the college-set spinoff series All American: Homecoming will air instead on CTV2 starting tonight (Monday, February 21) at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, and episodes will presumably be available next-day on the CTV app. While the two series share a universe, it sounds like the series can be enjoyed independently, so there's no strong impetus for putting the shows on the same Canadian channel.
- As first spotted by a contributor on the Digital Home forums, a recent posting by rural Ontario service provider TCC suggests that the Canadian version of DIY Network will be joining its U.S. counterpart in rebranding as Magnolia Network on March 28, with a free preview available until May 31. (Magnolia Network programming, or at least most of it, is already available in Canada through the Discovery+ streaming service.)
- WildBrain's Family Chrgd channel – formerly the original Canadian version of Disney XD, back when Family (under Astral ownership) had Canadian rights to Disney Channel programming – will be rebranding again on March 1, this time as WildBrainTV. There are no immediate programming changes, but looking at the channel's current schedule, there already seems to be a heavy emphasis on programs produced or owned by WildBrain.
Recent updates on WCIW
The only update of note was to our post about The Walking Dead to reflect the current run of episodes airing on AMC and AMC+.
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We'll see you next week with our TV and streaming guide for March.