News from early December 2022, including an update on "Pennyworth" on Showcase, and CBC's winter programming plans.
Hi! This is the the October 24, 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.
Read on for updates on Game of Thrones in 4K, a number of new international acquisitions coming to Canada (eventually), and answers to questions about Catastrophe, Pennyworth, and more.
But first, here's what's ahead this week (plus a couple of things we neglected to mention this past week, like a new Doctor Who special)...
What's new this week – October 24–30
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). Particularly notable premieres (in our rough estimation) are bolded. *An asterisk denotes notable programming added in past weeks that we've learned about since (or was somehow omitted from) our last newsletter.
- Netflix: Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities (anthology horror series – episodes released daily Tuesday–Friday); The Good Nurse (crime drama film – Wednesday); Dubai Bling (docusoap series – Thursday); Earthstorm (docuseries – Thursday); The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself (fantasy drama series – Friday); Big Mouth (season 6 – Friday); Drink Masters (mixology competition series – Friday); I Am a Stalker (docuseries – Friday)
- Disney+: Barbarian (2022 horror film – Wednesday); Boris (season 4 of the Italian series – Wednesdays); Sumo Do, Sumo Don’t (Japanese series – Wednesdays); Shadow Detective (Korean mystery series – Wednesdays); Bleach (complete anime series – Wednesday)
- Crave: A Tree of Life: The Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting (HBO documentary – Wednesday); Star Trek: Prodigy (season 1, part 2 – Thursdays); Chris Robinson: Panning for Gold (stand-up special – Friday); A Cut Above (2022 Discovery Canada reality series – Friday); Lamb (2021 Icelandic folk horror film – Friday); Slash/Back (2022 Inuit sci-fi film – Friday); The White Lotus (season 2 – Sundays)
- Prime Video: Run Sweetheart Run (thriller film – Friday); High School (Tegan and Sara memoir adaptation series – Friday); The Devil's Hour (British thriller series – Friday); More Than Words (Japanese series – Friday); Kamen Rider Black Sun (tokusatsu series – Friday); Detective Knight: Rogue (action film – Friday)
- CBC Gem: Ridley Road (British miniseries [previously on PBS, also on CBC TV] – Mondays); Come to Daddy (dark comedy film – Monday); 5150 Elm's Way (thriller film – Friday); Glorious Holiday (documentary short – Friday)
- Paramount+ (also available as a channel on Prime Video and Apple TV): Significant Other (horror film – Tuesday); Out of the Blue (thriller film – Tuesday); Gunfight at Dry River (western film – Tuesday)
- Apple TV+: Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues (documentary – Friday)
- BritBox (also available as a channel on Prime Video and Apple TV): Karen Pirie (crime drama series – Tuesday); The Frankenstein Chronicles (crime drama series – Friday)
- Showcase (also on StackTV): A Friend of the Family (Peacock limited drama series starring Anna Paquin, Colin Hanks, and Jake Lacy – Mondays starting Oct. 17*);
- W Network (also on StackTV): "Countdown to Christmas" holiday movie event co-branded with Hallmark Channel (started Friday, Oct. 21*; runs through Dec. 31)
- CTV Sci-Fi: Doctor Who ("The Power of the Doctor" – third of three 2022 specials and final episode starring Jodie Whittaker – Sunday, Oct. 23*; also on Crave)
- Starz (also available as an add-on/channel on Crave, Prime Video, and Apple TV): Mid-Century (2022 horror film – Friday)
- Crave announced this past week that the complete run of Game of Thrones is now available on the Canadian service in 4K ultra high-definition resolution and with "atmospheric audio" (presumably code for "we're not paying Dolby") on supported devices, just in time for the season finale of House of the Dragon last night, and a few months after GoT was updated to 4K, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on HBO Max.
- For reader Beth and anyone else who may be looking for the third season of Batman prequel-ish series Pennyworth, which was previously announced as arriving on Showcase in Canada earlier this month, the series is now once again listed as "coming soon" on the channel's website; we don't know anything beyond that yet about what's going on. The season began rolling out weekly on HBO Max in the U.S. on October 6 as scheduled.
- In other international acquisition news: Super Channel has acquired season 2 of the BBC-commissioned, Lionsgate-distributed thriller series The Pact and will air it starting Tuesday, November 22; CBC Gem has bought English-language rights to upcoming documentary Mariupol: The People's Story [working title]; Prime Video Canada has picked up BBC/Hulu-commissioned docuseries Planet Sex with Cara Delevingne from Fremantle; and Telus has purchased Canadian rights to Spanish drug-trafficking thriller series Operación Marea Negra as well as companion docuseries Operación Marea Negra: The Suicidal Mission, both distributed by eOne.
- Two updates on Paramount+ programs that we had not seen previously confirmed as coming to the Canadian version of the service: European series Bosé, about Spanish singer-songwriter Miguel Bosé, premieres November 3, while British romantic-comedy series The Flatshare will debut on December 1 alongside its UK release – it appears those in the U.S. will have to wait until next year for that one.
- Disney+ Canada has announced its new arrivals for November – we'll cover it in our November guide coming in the next few days.
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.
Carol: I somehow missed the comedy Catastrophe. When I search for it, the results say it's on Amazon Prime but I have had no luck finding it there. Where is it now?
WCIW: Catastrophe, the British comedy series starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, was orginally commissioned by Channel 4 in the UK from production company Avalon Television. In Canada, it initially premiered on Shomi. After the Rogers/Shaw joint-venture platform shut down, it moved to Prime Video in Canada, where the last two seasons premiered here.
Ultimately however, it was an acquisition for both of those services, and evidently Amazon’s Canadian streaming rights to the series have now expired.
So at this point, it’d be up to Prime Video or another service to secure a new licence to stream the series from the producers. Maybe it’ll eventually show up on a service like BritBox, but that’s just a guess at this point. In the meantime, the series is still available for digital purchase, at least on the Apple TV (iTunes) Store.
Jim: Any chance of CTV Throwback offering a separate streaming service? Or any of the cable mainstays in Canada offering a separate streaming option for cable-cutters?
WCIW: CTV Throwback itself is a free-to-watch section of the CTV app, no cable subscription required. We don’t think think Bell Media will pull it out into a separate app anytime soon, if that’s what you’re suggesting, because Bell / CTV only recently got through merging a bunch of its other apps into the CTV one.
In terms of the parts of the CTV app that are restricted to cable subscribers – in an investor presentation a few months ago, it sounded to us like a Bell executive was suggesting the possibility of launching a service called “CTV Live" that would presumably be similar to StackTV for Corus/Global, or Citytv+ for Rogers. We haven’t heard anything about this since, but it’s still a possibility.
As for a full streaming-based cable bundle similar to what exists in the U.S. with YouTube TV and Philo, it doesn’t seem to be in the pipeline from Bell, Rogers, or any other provider – other than those directly tied to internet service like the app-only version of Bell Fibe TV, or the very limited options available currently with Quebecor's RiverTV and U.S.-based FuboTV. The latter services exist outside of the usual regulations around cable TV services, so such a service would need the willing participation of a bunch of different channels, including (of course) those owned by Bell and Rogers. It might happen eventually, but it doesn’t seem imminent.
Sylvain: With the addition of the show The First 48 on Disney+ this November, is it a sign that more programs from A&E (50% owned by Disney) will be coming to the streaming service in 2023, such as American Pickers?
WCIW: With both of the series you mentioned distributed by A+E Networks (even though some of their series are produced by other companies like ITV Studios), that seems like a definite possibility. But that may depend to some extent on how viewers respond to this series – Disney is still presumably paying some amount to A+E (the other half of which is owned by Hearst), so it's more expensive to stream than series Disney ows outright. If this series doesn't affect Disney+ usage, other A&E series may not be prioritized.
That said, programming ownership does not seem to be a strict barrier anymore for Disney+, as we've also noticed the service adding more Sony-owned series, even granting that they're mostly programs originally produced for FX (including, next month, Rescue Me).
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