Upfronts ’21: Bell Media grows originals slate, confirms “The Amazing Race Canada” return

Bell Media also commissioned new Crave originals including a Letterkenny spinoff, four-part doc series Thunder Bay and a family drama from Rezolution Pictures, as well as a raft of French-language originals for specialty networks.
June 10, 2021

Bell Media recommitted to a slew of Canadian originals while announcing several ahead of its upfront presentation later today (June 10).

The company also confirmed the return of The Amazing Race Canada (pictured) in 2022. The Insight Productions format adaptation has been on a two-year hiatus as a result of heightened travel restrictions during the pandemic.

CTV’s original slate include a double season order of the previously announced Ennis Esmer-hosted Roast Battle Canada for CTV Comedy.

Over at CTV Life Channel, Bell Media is forging ahead with its next Mary Berg series, Mary Makes it Easy. The Boat Rocker Studios series is filmed in the former MasterChef Canada winner’s home kitchen in Toronto.

Meanwhile, the channel is also making space for the Gusto Worldwide Media offering Up the Dish, in which chefs rework classic recipes and dishes.

At Discovery, Prospero Pictures and Eagle Vision’s Mother Truckers and the new four-part series Underground Railroad Secrets from Attraction Media join returning series Mud Mountain Haulers, Highway Thru Hell and Heavy Rescue 401.

Heading to streaming service Crave is the new eight-part series 1 Queen 5 Queers. The update to the MTV Canada original 1 Girl 5 Gays is hosted by Canada’s Drag Race judge Brooke Lynn Hytes and produced by Bell Media Studios.

We’re All Gonna Die!, a six-part documentary about the end of the world from 90th Parallel Productions, rounds out the list of Crave’s English-language announcements.

In addition to the new series announcements, Bell Media also confirmed a slate of specials and documentaries including a One Big Recipe Holiday (Gusto Worldwide Media) special for CTV Life Channel, and docs Buffy Saint Marie: Power in the Blood (White Pine Pictures & Eagle Vision, developed in association with Wolfwalker), Oscar Peterson (Melbar Entertainment Group), Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine (Banger Films in association with Revolver), A.rtificial I.mmortality (Fathom Film Group), Bam Bam: The Story of Sister Nancy (OYA Media Group), The Bones (Intuitive Pictures), Fanny: The Right to Rock (Adobe Productions International Inc.), The Grizzlie Truth (Grizz Films in partnership with Uninterrupted), Kings of Coke (Connect 3, Urbania Media), Naked (Primitive Entertainment), Resident Orca (Everyday Films), Wilfred Buck (Door Number 3 in association with the National Film Board), and Par-Lay — The Fred Vanvleet Story (Uninterrupted Canada, Par-Lay Content).

Bell Media, TikTok partner to relaunch MuchMusic

Bell Media is teaming up with TikTok for the relaunch of Canadian pop-culture brand, MuchMusic.

The reimagined MuchMusic returns July 7 as a content-driven, digital-first network, with revivals of classic series Video on Trial, Intimate and Interactive and MuchMusic Spotlight set to launch on TikTok.

Content, including artist-hosted tent-pole events and live performances, will be available available 24/7 exclusively across the Gen Z-focused social platform and multiple social media platforms.

“With hosts and creators that speak directly to Gen Z and younger Millennials, the all-new multi-platform MuchMusic stays true to its spirit as a seminal brand with an authentic voice,” said Stewart Johnston, SVP, sales and sports, Bell Media, in a statement. “Tailor made for today’s always on youth audience, MuchMusic doubles down as the essential destination for music and pop culture content. We are so thrilled to offer up an unbeatable lineup of opportunities for our clients.”

From Amber Dowling via Playback with files from Jillian Morgan

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.