Watching This Week #112
Listings for May 29 to June 4, 2023; Corus channels appear set to leave Eastlink.
News for early September 2022, with items about "The Handmaid's Tale" season 5, "Days of Our Lives", the relaunch of Nick+ as Teletoon+, and more.
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Hi, and happy Labour Day to those observing. Welcome to the September 5, 2022, edition of Watching This Week, the weekly newsletter from Where Can I Watch – covering the latest news on where TV shows and movies will be available in Canada.
Despite our promises last week that this edition would be abbreviated, there are still a few important news items we didn't want to wait too long to cover, including an apparent change to the future broadcast rights to The Handmaid's Tale, an update on the future of Days of Our Lives in Canada, and changes to Corus' other Prime Video add-on channel. But first, our guide to what's on this coming week.
Compiled from our monthly listings and/or any subsequent updates we've come across. Some series/seasons may have weekly rollouts; we won't list new episodes every week (though we may note significant episodes such as series finales). The most notable premiere for each service (in our rough estimation) is bolded.
This past Thursday, we saw a tweet from Crave's PR annount confirming that season 5 of the Elisabeth Moss-led drama The Handmaid's Tale would premiere on Crave, as well as CTV Drama Channel, on Wednesday, September 14, the same day the new season debuts on Hulu in the United States. No surprise there, as Bell Media had been the home of the series in Canada since its debut in 2017, when it acquired exclusive Canadian broadcast and streaming rights for the show from its producers and international distributors, MGM Television.
The next day, we received a notice from Prime Video Canada indicating that the Amazon streaming service would also be offering season 5 of The Handmaid's Tale in Canada, and also starting on September 14.
Did one of the services' PR teams mess up? Probably not, since neither service has recanted their claims since then, nor did either message include wording like "exclusive" or "only on".
So what happened? It appears that both companies now have non-exclusive rights to the series, at least for new seasons going forward. How that came about is not exactly clear.
But The Handmaid's Tale is still produced and owned by MGM Television, and Amazon bought MGM as a whole earlier this year. Since then, more and more MGM content has begun to show up on the service – including, as we pointed out in August, pay-1 streaming rights to recent movies like Licorice Pizza. And if there's a company that could financially afford to restructure a rights deal concerning a media property it owns, it'd be Amazon.
One more thing: because MGM distributes the show internationally, the fact that the series streams in the U.S. on Disney-owned Hulu has nothing to do with the rights situation here, as we've seen suggested elsewhere. (In other countries, Handmaid's actually airs on services like HBO Max and Paramount+, because those services and their predecessors bought similar rights from MGM when the series began. If there's a country where the series streams directly on Disney+ / Star, we couldn't find it.)
Here's some of the reader questions we've received recently by email (email@example.com) 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.
Shane: In your updates for September, you wrote that From will debuting at the end of September on Paramount+. Is that the remainder of the episodes as we previously discovered the first two were already available for streaming? Can you also please tell me when the Peacock horror film They/Them, and the Freevee show Sprung will be streaming in Canada?
WCIW: September 27 is the date indicated by Paramount+'s Canadian representatives for the full first season of Epix sci-fi horror series From; they didn’t really acknowledge the earlier release. That said, both full-season drops and weekly releases starting on a particular date have been listed in the same way in the listings, so it wouldn't surprise us either way. (Incidentally, the series has disappeared for now from the Apple TV app – the link itself works in a browser, but the deep-link to the app on Apple devices no longer work – so it does seem the early release of the first two episodes was an error.)
We haven't heard anything specific about Canadian rights to They/Them, a horror film starring Kevin Bacon, but it's a Blumhouse production. Blumhouse regularly co-produces films with a number of different studios – Prime Video, for example, has been the home of a film series called Welcome to the Blumhouse – but some of its films aren't necessarily directly tied to a Canadian streaming home, and that seems to be the case here. That said, just this month, Crave is debuting the recent Epix-exclusive Blumhouse film A House on the Bayou. It's conceivable that They/Them could be in a similar situation in terms of distribution rights, which would imply it could debut on Crave within the next few months – beyond that, we’re not sure.
As for comedy series Sprung, Amazon Studios is directly producing that series so we'd presume Prime Video would be the most likely Canadian home for the show. That's unless, of course, Amazon is planning on separately launching Freevee in Canada (there’s no indication that they are yet, but it’s possible given recent launches in the UK and Germany), in which case they might be holding off for that.
Kelly: I've been looking for months now to see if All Rise season 3 will be airing in Canada? After it was canceled, OWN rescued it and has already aired season 3 earlier this summer in the US. I'm really hoping you've heard if it will air here.
WCIW: We addressed the third season of All Rise in a newsletter a couple of months ago. Unfortunately we haven’t heard any further developments since then, either from OWN Canada, or from Bell Media / CTV which aired the first two seasons. We’re still checking listings every so often in case it pops up but there’s been no indication of when or where it’ll be available in Canada.
Carol: Will Evil be coming to a Canadian TV station?
WCIW: We assume you’d already seen our post about season 2 of Evil now being available to stream on Paramount+ in Canada. Season 3 was released simultaneously in the U.S. and Canada over the summer, and we just belatedly got around to updating the post to reflect this – so we appreciate the reminder.
If you’re asking whether any further seasons of Evil will be available on regular Canadian TV channels – after season 1 aired on Global – we do not expect that will happen for a while, if at all. While it's not always guaranteed that a series that moved to streaming in one country will also move in other countries, now that that move has happened in Canada, it's unlikely to move back.
And because the main production company behind the series is also owned by Paramount, it’s very unlikely they will sell any secondary broadcast rights to other channels, at least while the show is still producing new episodes, because they want to drive more subscriptions to Paramount+.
The possibility of it showing up on another channel might increase once the show eventually ends – occasionally there have been older Netflix shows that have aired on regular TV channels – but even then it would still be unlikely. So for now, you’ll have to subscribe to Paramount+ to watch Evil in Canada.
As noted above, we've extensively updated our posts about Evil and Days of Our Lives. Beyond that, there were no other significant updates this past week.
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