News from early December 2022, including an update on "Pennyworth" on Showcase, and CBC's winter programming plans.
Hi, and happy Victoria Day to those observing. Welcome to the May 23, 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.
This week, news about the arrival of The Secrets of Dumbledore, Billy the Kid, and the new season of Five Bedrooms on Canadian streaming, some old series returning to Paramount+, mailbag questions about Candy and Psych, and more.
First, a quick note about the next few weeks. Your humble proprietor will be travelling during much of June. While there's a possibility of remote updates, my current plan is to keep Internet activity to a minimum, and I've decided against having guest editors update the site for the time being. That means that, after next week's edition on May 30 with programming listings for June, our next newsletter will most likely be on June 27, which would focus on listings for July.
An important note for existing paid subscribers to WCIW (as of the time of this post): If you feel that this unscheduled break will affect the value you're getting for your subscription, we would be happy to offer one free month for monthly members, or a proportionate discount ($1.67) off your next renewal for annual members. For some of you who signed up when we introduced paid subscriptions around this time last year, your annual renewal may be coming up very soon, so if you wish to avail of this or if you have any other questions, please contact us at email@example.com as soon as possible, and at latest by June 1.
Upfront, but moving back
Last week, as is usual for this time of year, the major U.S. broadcasting groups made their big pitches to advertisers for the coming fall season. However, this time, the American media groups took a page from the long-standing playbooks of their Canadian counterparts by making their upfront presentations about all their assets – not just their broadcast networks.
For example, the event hosted by CBS’ parent company was branded as the “Paramount Upfront” and included announcements about programs coming to Paramount+, although the announcement of the CBS network’s new fall programming was still arguably the biggest part.
At the risk of being a broken record on this point, linear TV is shrinking, so it makes business sense for these entities to focus less on their linear channels, and more on their other properties – and so it can come across as a bit odd for so much media attention to be focused on those network primetime schedules. But whether watched live, on DVR, on demand, or online, the programming on the broadcast networks is still consumed by a lot of people.
So then, how will all this shake out on the Canadian networks?
At the moment, it’s slightly harder to predict than it’s been in past years, partly because Fox did not actually bother to announce its schedule this week, saying it will do so at a later date. We can make a few assumptions based on the current schedule, but even then, it’s possible some programs will be deferred to midseason or moved to new timeslots - especially now that Fox no longer has Thursday Night Football in the fall.
However, we will still be giving it a shot, and paid subscribers will be able to see our projections for the 2022–23 Canadian private-sector network schedules later this week. (In case you want to see how we did last year, we've temporarily unlocked our projections from last year, as well as our post-mortem once the Canadian schedules were actually announced.)
- Crave has now essentially confirmed that it will be adding Warner Bros.' Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore within the next couple of weeks – it's appeared on the schedule for the Crave 1 linear channel on Saturday, June 4 at 9:00 p.m. ET (we can provide a quasi-permalink from TV Passport, but it's also visible if you scroll to that date and time on Crave's own schedule page). Overall, this schedule lines up with what happened earlier this year with Warner's The Batman – we've made a separate post with more details.
Also coming to Crave next month (that we know of so far): the 2021 drama Mass (via Bleecker Street / MK2 Mile End), which similarly shows up in the listings on June 3. Beyond that, most of the promos we've seen on Crave in recent days were for a mix of series that are already airing, and random promos for movies that left the Crave catalogue long ago. (Yes, it's still airing that promo for 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home.)
- W Network has confirmed that it will air season 3 of NBCUniversal-distributed Australian series Five Bedrooms starting on Thursday, July 7, while season 6 of The Good Fight will indeed air "this summer" (Paramount+ hasn't even announced a U.S. premiere date for the season yet, so we won't hold that against Corus).
- Paramount+ Canada has not added many programs from outside the Paramount fold (either commissioned by Paramount+ in another country or otherwise owned by the company), but it made one notable pickup this week with Billy the Kid, an MGM-produced series from the creator of Vikings, which was originally ordered by Epix in the U.S. It seems to have been a fairly recent decision, considering that the series debuted in the U.S. in late April, but was added to Paramount+ this past Friday with the episodes aired to date stateside, and the rest expected to roll out weekly. We’ve posted a separate article where we elaborate on why the series may have ended up on P+ in Canada.
- Separately, Paramount+’s Canadian representatives also sent us a notice with some of their upcoming programs for June. After that long delay for the second season, season 3 of Evil will be available at the same time as the U.S. beginning June 12, as will the docuseries Ghislaine: Partner in Crime on June 28.
The service will also be re-adding some classic series from the Paramount library including I Love Lucy and The Love Boat (both June 7), Cheers and Family Ties (both June 14), and The Naked Gun film series (June 28, but unfortunately not yet the originating TV series Police Squad!).
- We've noticed that the NBCUniversal-owned streaming service that is available in Canada, Hayu, has recently expanded – slightly – outside of its focus on reality programming, adding semi-recent films from the Universal catalogue like Identity Thief (2013) and Meet Joe Black (1998), most on a non-exclusive basis with other services like Netflix or Starz.
Is this just an attempt to shore up the service's retention with the recent departure of the Kardashian family to Disney, or could this be the first step towards a full launch of NBCU's flagship Peacock service in Canada? Right now, we're inclined to say the former, but it could be a bit of both.
Here's some of the reader questions we've received recently by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Twitter (@wherewatchtv). 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 know where Candy starring Jessica Biel will air in Canada?
Answer: It is a bit uncertain what will happen with Candy since, though it was ordered by Hulu, it's co-produced by two studios – Universal and 20th Television (Disney) – and it’s not clear which one is responsible for Canadian distribution.
If Disney has Canadian distribution rights, we’d expect it to be on Disney+ within the next few months. If it’s Universal, most likely it’ll air first on one of the Corus channels like W Network, under Corus' output deal with that studio – W is also airing the Hulu-commissioned, Universal-produced series The Girl from Plainville – but in that case, at this point, it might not air until the fall.
Update (July 31): Please see here for updated information about Candy in Canada.
Gary: I've noticed Psych is no longer available on Prime Video Canada since the series went exclusive with Peacock in the U.S. Are you aware of anywhere it can be watched in Canada now or in future?
Answer: There's no new streaming home that we've seen for Psych in Canada yet, and it’s hard to know for sure where it might end up. We have seen other NBCUniversal-distributed series rotate between Netflix and Prime Video from time to time, sometimes with a long break in between. We’ve even noticed a few NBCU series, like Friday Night Lights, land on services like Telus Presents. Who knows, maybe it could even end up on a service like Hayu (see above).
For now, the two Peacock-exclusive continuation movies, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home and Psych 3: This is Gus, remain exclusive to the Global app and StackTV.
Recent updates on WCIW
In addition to the aforementioned posts about The Secrets of Dumbledore and Billy the Kid, we've added articles about the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series, and a particular Blue Jays game this Friday which will not be available in the usual places.
We've also updated – a couple of times now – our answer to Sylvain's question in last week's Mailbag to clarify the current streaming whereabouts of a couple of shows like Abbott Elementary.
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