Watching This Week #104
An abbreviated newsletter with updated listings for March 20-26, 2023.
News from early October 2022, including "Yellowstone" moving to Paramount+ in Canada, and answers to questions about the Roku Channel and more.
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Hello again. This is the October 3, 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.
We'll keep things brief this week after sending out our monthly guide over the weekend, but we do have some updates about Documentary Now! and Yellowstone, plus a lot of your Mailbag questions. But first, here's what's ahead this week.
Compiled from our monthly listings and/or any subsequent updates we've come across. We strive for accuracy but schedules may change without notice. 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 – we are not critics) is bolded. *An asterisk denotes programming added in past weeks that we've recently learned about or otherwise neglected to include in this section in past weeks.
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.
Carol: Is there anywhere to watch season one of Welcome to Flatch online in Canada?
Shane: I recently watched Weird: The Al Yankovic Story [starring Daniel Radcliffe] at TIFF and I think the accessibility to this movie probably warrants discussion. It will be available on The Roku Channel on November 4. I am sure most Canadians are unaware that unlike in the U.S., the only way to access The Roku Channel is through a Roku device. I am sure this will leave many Canadian viewers disappointed as this Roku device-only situation will limit the viewership in Canada dramatically.
WCIW: The Roku Channel has indeed been stepping up its Canadian rights acquisitions, including the Canadian streaming rights to the Lionsgate-distributed Fox sitcom Welcome to Flatch (linear rights are held by IndieNet stations like CHCH as of season 2).
The Roku Channel is an ad-supported, free-to-watch service, but as Shane alluded to, at this point it's only available in Canada on Roku’s streaming devices, which include set-top boxes as well as some newer smart TVs including those under the Hisense, TCL, and RCA brands among others. This differs from the U.S., where it's is available on some other mobile and streaming devices.
We've been imagining they’re trying to see how far they can get without distribution on other devices outside the U.S., but when even the likes of Apple are putting their app on rival devices worldwide, it’s hard to see why Roku won’t do the same.
But we also get the sense Roku is used to playing hardball on such matters, and if that means Canadian viewership of these is limited to their own devices, they’ve probably decided they’re willing to live with that. At best, it’s possible they have some sort of expansion they’ll wait until right before the movie launches to announce.
We did reach out to Roku's Canadian representatives late this past week for clarification on their plans, and if we hear back, we'll update you.
[Update (October 4, 2022): A Roku representative replied to our inquiry by reiterating that at present, "The Roku Channel is only available to Canadian users with a Roku device."]
Conrad: Better Call Saul season 6 was previously available on Amazon Prime. It is not currently available. Is there a date as to when it will be available again?
WCIW: The final season of the Breaking Bad spinoff would have been previously available as part of the lineup of AMC+, a streaming version of the AMC cable TV channel which is available as an add-on to Amazon Prime Video (at an additional charge compared to Amazon Prime itself).
Unfortunately, AMC only has streaming rights to some of its series while it’s in progress and for a short period of time after the season ends. In particular, past seasons of Better Call Saul have been available to stream exclusively on Netflix in Canada.
Most likely, season 6 of Better Call Saul will be available on Netflix in Canada within the next few months, perhaps sooner rather than later. But it’s unlikely it will return to AMC+ or any other part of Prime Video in the near future.
Lorne: Just curious if the four-part documentary Hostages which is currently on HBO in the USA will make its way to Canada?
WCIW: We haven’t seen anything specifically indicating why Crave has not yet pick up this docuseries about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, and it’d seem to be timely given recent notable events in that part of the world.
Other HBO-branded documentaries from the same production company (Show of Force) like last year’s Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered have aired on Crave, so we have no reason to believe there’s an existing conflict there. Perhaps there’s some sort of contractual issue, or the new management at Warner Bros. Discovery deciding to hold back the Canadian rights to facilitate an eventual rebroadcast on CNN or Discovery+.
Sylvain: Are all 5 seasons of Yellowstone will be moving to Paramount+ Canada or only the fifth season? Any news about when This Is Us will be coming to Disney+ Canada?
WCIW: It isn't clear yet whether past seasons will arrive on Paramount+ at the same time as the new one – we wouldn't be surprised if they were added, but it wasn't referenced in the Paramount+ announcement. For now, all four past seasons remain available on Prime Video in Canada, and there's been no indication yet that they'll be departing soon.
As for This is Us, the recently concluded NBC/CTV drama series that was produced by 20th Television (now a subsidiary of Disney), while Disney was able to buy out Netflix's rights to programs like Jessica Jones and American Crime Story (outside the U.S.), it looks like it has chosen to simply wait out the contract for other series including This is Us.
Earlier this year, What's on Netflix estimated that another similarly situated Disney-owned series, Grey's Anatomy, would remain on the service for "2-4 years after [the] final season". The contract for This is Us would have predated Disney's ownership of 20th, so it's not certain that the terms are exactly the same, but it likely gives a rough timeline for what to expect.
So to be clear, we expect This is Us to move to Disney+ eventually, but it may be another few years – and the final season should be added to Netflix Canada first.
In case you haven't seen yet, we posted our monthly guide for October over the weekend – no other significant updates this past week.
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