Listings for Nov. 27–Dec. 3, 2023; Black Friday streaming deals, "The Daily Show" has a new Canadian home, and more.
Hello! Welcome to the December 12, 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 news about Crave's new pact for Sony movies, updates on what's coming to Global and Showcase in the new year, and a few new discounts for those looking for gift ideas. But first, here's what's new on TV and streaming this coming week.
What's new this week – December 12–18
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). *An asterisk denotes programming added in past weeks that we've learned about (or has been rescheduled) since our last newsletter.
- Netflix: Gudetama: An Eggcellent Adventure (anime series – Tuesday); Last Chance U: Basketball (season 2 – Tuesday); Tom Papa: What A Day! (stand-up special – Tuesday); Don't Pick Up the Phone (true crime doc – Wednesday); Kangaroo Valley (nature doc – Wednesday); Sonic Prime (animated series – Thursday); Violet Evergarden: Recollections (anime film – Thursday); Who Killed Santa?: A Murderville Murder Mystery (special – Thursday); Bardo... (Mexican dark comedy film – Friday); Cook at All Costs (competition series – Friday); Dance Monsters (competition series – Fridays); Paradise PD (part 4 – Friday); Summer Job (competition series – Friday); The Recruit (adventure series – Friday)
- Disney+: Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva (Indian action-adventure film – Dec. 7*); Atlanta (season 4 – Wednesday); Because We Forget Everything (Japanese series – Wednesday); National Treasure: Edge of History (film franchise spin-off series – Wednesdays); Primal Survivor: Over the Andes (Nat Geo series – Wednesday); Tomorrow, I’ll Be Someone’s Girlfriend (Japanese series – Wednesday); The Simpsons Meet the Bocellis in "Feliz Navidad" (short – Thursday*); If These Walls Could Sing (Abbey Road Studios doc – Friday); Le pupille (Italian animated short – Friday)
- Crave: Mary Makes it Easy: Holiday Hang (special – Wednesday); Cloudy With a Chance of Christmas (holiday film – Thursday); Sesame Street: The Nutcracker (animated special – Thursday); All My Puny Sorrows (2022 Canadian film – Friday); Black Adam (2022 DC film – likely streaming Friday); Charlotte (2022 animated biopic – Friday); Reno 911! (season 7 – Friday); 2022 Canada’s Walk of Fame induction special (Saturday)
- Prime Video: Dr. Seuss Baking Challenge (competition series – Tuesday); About Fate (2022 romcom film – Friday); Eleita (Brazilian series – Friday); Infinite (2021 sci-fi film [also on Paramount+] – Friday)
- CBC Gem: The Christmas Checklist (Canadian film – Monday); Escape to the Country (season 27, part 2 – Tuesday); Friday Night Dinner (season 4 – Wednesday); The Fall of the American Empire (2018 film – Friday); My Salinger Year (2020 film – Sunday)
- Paramount+ (also available as a channel on Prime Video and Apple TV): The Game (reboot season 2 – Thursdays); Dead for a Dollar (2022 Western film – Friday); Snow Day (musical remake film – Friday); 1923 (Yellowstone prequel series – Sundays)
- BritBox (also available as a channel on Prime Video and Apple TV): Black Work (drama miniseries – Tuesday); past Gordon Ramsay Christmas specials (Friday)
- CTV: Cross Country Cake Off (competition series – starts Thursday)
- Food Network Canada (also on StackTV): Baking It (holiday celebrity special – Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. ET*; also airs on NBC Monday at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT) [Update: Corus has clarified that the remainder of season 2 will not air until January 2]
This week in deals
As a reminder, we may get an affiliate commission for products or services you sign up for through links in this newsletter, which helps support our site maintenance, at no additional cost to you. Prices are in Canadian dollars before applicable sales taxes, and may change in the future.
- Two deals this week involving Crave. First, as in past years during the holiday season, the service is offering $100 gift cards that can be used towards the service for $75, or 25% off, now through January 4. One such card would cover about four months of Crave Total service at the regular monthly price after sales tax; you'd need multiple cards and/or some sort of top-up to cover any of the annual options after taking tax into account. (Or you could try to hold onto it for a future sign-up sale.)
Second, Pizza Pizza (national but mainly operates in Ontario) and Pizza 73 (a subsidiary operating mainly in Alberta) are both offering pizza combos that include a code redeemable for one month of the Crave Total package. In Pizza Pizza's case, that combo is $14.99, less than the price of just paying for one month of Crave directly. The combos are available through January 2 and the codes must be redeemed by February 2.
Both offers can only be applied to Crave's direct-to-consumer plans, not to subscriptions through a TV, mobile, or other third-party providers.
- CBC Gem is offering one of its somewhat-frequent promos on its ad-free tier, at $1 per month (instead of $4.99) for the first two months of a new or returning subscription. The current offer is available through December 20.
- In case you missed the recent Selena Gomez promo, you may have another shot at two free months of Apple TV+ for new and "qualified" returning subscribers, this one in connection with the new Will Smith film Emancipation. This offer has a stated end date of January 14, but note that the Selena Gomez promo became inactive on its scheduled end date, so we'd suggest trying it on or before January 13.
- While not a discount per se, BritBox is incentivizing gift subscriptions with a contest where gift-givers (or other entrants, but the no-purchase-entry option involves mailing a letter to the U.S.) could win a seven-day trip for two to London, including a visit to the set of a show that will stream on BritBox. The sweepstakes is open until January 7.
- And, again while not discounted, as we head into the holiday season we do want to remind you that there are also gift subscription or gift card options available for Disney+ (can be redeemed by new subscribers only); Netflix; Amazon (which could theoretically be redeemed towards a Prime membership, but there's no way to restrict it to that purpose); Apple TV+ (and other Apple services) (also available through Amazon); and apparently Paramount+ (though we're not immediately sure where you can buy P+ gift cards).
The Sony Store
Sony Pictures Entertainment – owner of film labels like Columbia, TriStar, and Screen Gems – has been content to be an "arms dealer", selling rights piecemeal to other streaming services, rather than entering the fray against studio-owned streamers like Disney+, HBO Max, or Peacock. Even when it owned a free streaming service of its own, Crackle, it only seemed to be in it half-heartedly, and then it sold the service off (and in Canada simply shut it down entirely, selling much of the rights it held to Bell's CTV Throwback).
It's an interesting stance coming from one of earliest participants in vertical integration – since TV service providers and streaming services are ultimately a layer between the hardware and the actual media content, owning that layer could have made the actual "integration" easier. But Sony's current strategy seems to be working well for them right now.
As we noted in April 2021, that's led to big content deals with the likes of Netflix and Disney in the U.S. for the first- and second-run rights (respectively) to Sony films starting with this year's releases, and will eventually include first-run streaming rights to future films from the Spider-Man and Ghostbusters franchises. Those deals also included non-exclusive rights to a number of library films, and since then, other versions of Disney+ (including in Canada) have also added many of the older Spider-Man films.
In terms of those first-run (or "pay-1") rights in Canada, though, Sony had just one year earlier confirmed a then-new deal with Prime Video, after at least a decade of those rights residing with Crave and its predecessors in Canada. How long would that deal run – and once it ended, would Sony look to consolidate its North American pay-1 rights?
Now we know – starting in April 2023, Crave will regain the Canadian pay-1 rights to Sony releases, under what Bell Media describes as a "long-term and exclusive" deal. No financial terms have been announced, and it's not clear whether the start date refers to theatrical release dates or streaming availability of movies released before then, but specific films namechecked include the animated sequel Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, scheduled for a June 2023 release.
The deal includes library rights to additional films from the Sony catalogue including those from the Spider-Man and Jumanji franchises, but these are presumably non-exclusive, as many of those films remain available on other streamers like Disney+.
It also includes provisions for "elevated promotional campaigns, including in-product merchandising and experiential marketing initiatives" – which we imagine probably just means a lot of lower-third banner ads on CTV for Sony movies while they're in theatres, and/or maybe a Crave button on new Sony Bravia TV remotes sold in Canada.
So clearly, Sony is going to try to get the best value for its content on a per-country (and, in some cases, per-property) basis. And Crave certainly isn't planning to go away quietly, even as some of its other rights like Showtime are being pulled off in the new year – though we're not sure this alone would keep Crave sustainable should it lose other key rights, like HBO, down the line.
- Corus has announced winter programming plans for Global and Showcase. The main new arrival on Global is Sony-produced Fox series Accused, which debuts Sunday, January 22 but will normally air on Wednesdays.
New programs on Showcase include Peacock dramedy miniseries Irreverent (Sundays starting January 8), David E. Kelley-created Peacock drama series The Calling (Mondays starting January 16), and Universal-produced British thriller miniseries The Undeclared War (Thursdays starting January 19), while season 3 of Pennyworth will now debut on Wednesday, January 11.
- Season 45 of the original British version of Antiques Roadshow will air Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET on BBC First, starting January 2. The season (but not necessarily the premiere episode) will include an appearance by Camilla, now the Queen Consort, who visited the show in early September.
- While it's a bit late now for this to be useful, this past Saturday's edition of the occasional golf exhibition The Match aired in Canada on both HLN (where previous editions have also aired here) and Sportsnet One, as announced just a few days before by Warner Bros. Discovery. We're not sure yet whether this suggests that WBD's other sublicensed golf coverage might be on the move in Canada following the closure of its GolfTV streaming service (see our answer to a recent Mailbag question from Sylvain for more context).
- It recently (if very belatedly) came to our attention that during its most recent earnings call in October, Corus noted a few changes to its streaming rights. First, the Global TV app now has full current-season streaming rights to CBS-distributed series like NCIS and Ghosts, whereas previously new episodes would move exclusively to Paramount+ after a few weeks.
Second, Corus' StackTV direct-to-consumer service will soon add "the Disney suite of services", presumably meaning Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, and potentially also ABC Spark (Canada's equivalent to Freeform), adding to the 13 channels currently available in that package.
Finally, the company comfirmed that September's relaunch of Nick+ as Teletoon+ came as part of what seems to be a new "multiyear" deal with Warner Bros. Discovery for animated programming, after having been previously renewed and/or expanded circa 2020 to include HBO Max animated kids programming.
- Industry group CTAM Canada named this past Wednesday, December 7, the first "Stream Safely Day", after an initiative that encourages consumers to use authorized streaming services, but definitely gives off some "you wouldn't [download] a car" vibes.
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.
Inge: Last week you said [in the December listings] that Darby and the Dead would be available on Disney+ Canada on December 1 or 2, but I'm not able to see it there, nor am I able to find any information on why it's not there. Do you have any update?
WCIW: Good question. Unfortunately we don’t have a good answer at the moment, but it seems to be part of a pattern of inconsistency when it comes to these international releases. We have seen a couple of sites since indicate that Darby and the Dead – a direct-to-streaming supernatural teen comedy which was indeed released on Hulu in the U.S. on December 2 – may be coming to Disney+ Australia at the end of the month on December 30, but have not been able to find confirmation directly from Disney themselves.
We’ve speculated in the past that these kinds of delays might have to do with international dubbing requirements or something like that (which wouldn’t apply to the U.S.-only Hulu) but we have never been able to get a definitive answer.
Archana: Have you heard anything about where we can watch the Peacock limited series The Best Man: The Final Chapters in Canada? It is slated to premiere on December 22 on Peacock in the States. The two movies, The Best Man (1999) and The Best Man Holiday (2013), are two of my favourites.
WCIW: Based on the fact that the series is produced for Peacock in-house by Universal Television, The Best Man: The Final Chapters should be part of Corus Entertainment’s output deal with Peacock, which means the series will most likely air on Showcase or W Network (and, by extension, stream on the Global app and StackTV) in the next few months.
That said, it’s up to Corus to decide when to air the series, and they’ve usually delayed the Canadian weeks of these Peacock series by several weeks or even months to suit their own scheduling purposes.
As noted above, Showcase announced its winter programming this past week but this series isn’t on it. W Network hasn’t made any similar announcements yet, so it’s possible this show could air on W early in the new year, but that’s just a guess at this point.
Catherine: Any idea where I can see A Charlie Brown Christmas, or It's a Wonderful Life?
WCIW: Apple TV+ currently has exclusive broadcast and streaming rights to the Peanuts catalogue of animated specials, including A Charlie Brown Christmas, under a long-term deal with rights owner WildBrain announced in 2020.
It's our understanding that this deal includes a provision requiring the special to be available for free without an Apple TV+ subscription for a short period of time over the holiday season each year, and in 2022 this period will be from December 22 to 25.
As for 1946 Christmas film It's a Wonderful Life, we spotted the film available to stream for free (and apparently legitimately) on Plex; the only linear TV broadcast available to Canadians we're aware of at this point for the 2022 season is its traditional broadcast on NBC on Christmas Eve, December 24.
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