And they’re off! The fall TV season is here, with some Canadian shows already out of the gates. There’s the new Vancouver-shot crime-thriller series Shattered (Global, Showcase), starring Callum Keith Rennie as a homicide detective with multiple-personality disorder. And the First Nations sketch-comedy show Caution: May Contain Nuts (APTN) is screwballing its way into its second season with a new mix of live and location shooting.
Other familiar faces and titles will be back. CTV CanCon will include new seasons of The Bridge, Comedy Now!, Dan for Mayor, Flashpoint, The Listener, and Brent Butt’s Vancouver-based Hiccups (all dates still to be announced).
On CBC, talk show The Hour relaunches as George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (September 19); Being Erica’s third season and The Tudors’ concluding season both start September 22. Also back are 22 Minutes, Battle of the Blades, Dragons’ Den, Heartland, The Rick Mercer Report, and The Ron James Show.
On Space, two Vancouver-shot science-fiction series return. Sanctuary roars into its third season (September 28 at 10 p.m.) with the team racing to stop cataclysmic tsunamis. Meanwhile, Stargate Universe launches into its second season (October 1 at 10 p.m.) as the survivors continue their journey trapped on a spaceship locked on an unknown course.
Local gal pals, savvy shoppers, and product testers Anna Wallner and Kristina Matisic are back for season three of Anna and Kristina’s Grocery Bag (starting September 22 at 8:30 p.m., W Network) to test-drive cookbooks ranging from Gordon Ramsay’s Family Fare to Best of Croatian Cooking. Also, stay tuned for the next season of OUTtv’s Don’t Quit Your Gay Job (airdate unavailable at deadline), featuring Vancouver buddies Sean Horlor and Rob Easton competing to see who masters a new occupation better. Reality TV competition Star Portraits (Saturdays at 5 p.m., Bravo), in which three artists must paint a Canadian celebrity’s portrait, kicks off season two with David Suzuki (on September 11) as the muse.
And to celebrate the best of Canuck TV, there’s also the 25th annual Gemini Awards to catch on November 13 (Global, Showcase).
But there’s also fresh fare to check out. Here’s a rundown of some new highlights.
The 5IFTY (September 21, Knowledge Network)
Amid the controversies over B.C. arts-funding cuts comes this series showcasing 50 stellar local artists, performers, and designers. Household names like Douglas Coupland, Stan Douglas, and Sarah McLachlan mingle with architects, actors, dancers, sculptors, writers, and more. They’re presented in three sets: 12 Takes (9 p.m.), A Window Looking In (9:30 p.m.), and cArtographies (10 p.m.).
What’s more, there’s an advance free screening of 12 Takes and A Window Looking In (7:30 p.m.) and cArtographies (9 p.m.) on Monday (September 13) at the Pacific Cinémathèque (1131 Howe Street), with the filmmakers in attendance.
All for One With Debbie Travis (starts September 26, CBC)
More DIY than Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, this show gives designer Debbie Travis only five days to galvanize volunteers to help build homes—without professional assistance—for unsuspecting community heroes. Is it a plan for construction or destruction?
Hot Pink Shorts: The Making Of (Fridays at 8 p.m. from September 17, OUTtv)
OUTtv chose six queer filmmakers with winning pitches to receive a three-month filmmaking boot camp, industry mentorship, and $2,500 in funding to make their short films in a single day. This Vancouver-made series unveils what went on behind the scenes. (The first two episodes feature locals Gina Daggett and Kevin Kostal.)
Ice Pilots NWT (starts September 17 at 9 p.m., Global) Blizzards and subzero weather? Engine fires and seizures? It’s all in a day’s work for Yellowknife-based Buffalo Airways, which transports supplies and people to the Canadian North on vintage planes. This 13-episode documentary series by Vancouver’s Omni Film (which previously aired on the History Channel) captures the crew toughing it out over nine winter months.
Lost Girl (starts September 12 at 9 p.m., Showcase)
A strong female lead and creatures drawn from international folklore—sounds like Sanctuary? No, it’s a Toronto-shot series about a succubus (Anna Silk) struggling to find her place among the Fae, an urban subculture of beings (including predators, shape shifters, and more) who live among humans.
Men With Brooms (Mondays at 8:30 p.m. from October 4, CBC)
Small-town friends bond at the Long Bay curling rink in this half-hour small-screen adaptation of the 2002 Canadian rom-com. Paul Gross, who starred in the film, sweeps into the premiere episode and narrates the comedy series.
Murder She Solved: True Crime (starts September 11 at 7 p.m., VIVA)
Move over, Angela Lansbury. This series of eight one-hour documentaries highlights how female investigators cracked some of Canada’s most baffling, grisly murder cases. The October 16 episode chronicles RCMP inspector Lee Bergerman’s investigation of the 2001 shooting of North Vancouver’s Wally Dekanich.
Todd & The Book of Pure Evil (starts September 29 at 9 p.m., Space)
In this horny, supernatural teen comedy series, metalhead Todd Smith (Alex House) and his high-school pals clash with the ancient Secret Satanic Society over The Book of Pure Evil, which grants wishes but also unleashes chaos and monsters. Rock on.