Television


Allan King's Warrendale on TVO: PVR Alert

TVDocumentary filmmaker Allan King passed away last month, and TVOntario has been paying tribute by airing his great docs.

Tonight, TVO is airing Warrendale, and I urge all of you with PVRs to record this gem and the rest of you Ontarians to tune in in to TVO at 10pm tonight.

In 1966, filmmaker Allan King visited an experimental treatment centre for emotionally disturbed children in Toronto. Never on television before, this profound documentary reveals the feelings and experiences of children in anguish.

Tomorrow night we're in for another treat at 10pm when TVO airs A Married Couple.

The on-screen conversations, fights, and intimate secrets of a seemingly typical husband and wife living in Toronto in the 1960s made them one of the decade's best-known average couples. By filmmaker Allan King.

The Allan King Film Festival airs all week.

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Zack Morris and Steve Nash: Friends Forever

tvThe only late night talk shows I watch are Conan O'Brien and Jon Stewart. Both shows get PVR'd every night and I catch up when I can.

This past week, I missed a couple of funny bits on Jimmy Fallon's new show and David Letterman. Fallon had Zack Morris on and the results were pretty awesome. Fans of Saved By The Bell will love this.

Meanwhile, Letterman has Greatest Canadian Basketball Player, Ever™ Steve Nash covering the NBA Finals. He also happens to be pretty damn funny. Here's Steve Nash on Letterman.


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Conan's New Gig at the Tonight Show

conanI'm PVRing The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. I watched the first show on Wednesday night and was taken back to simpler times. There was a time when I wouldn't miss Late Night With Conan O'Brien, and I even saw the show taped at the Elgin Theatre. It was great seeing him back with Andy Richter and Pearl Jam's new single rocked.

Serious Lunch has noticed the design behind Conan O'Brien during the monologue looks like Mario's Mushroom Kingdom from Super Mario Bros.

Awesome!

seriouslunch_conan

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TSN2 and Rogers: You Knew This Was Coming

TVJust last night I was checking in on the Blue Jays television coverage when I saw next week's Boston Red Sox games were to be broadcast on TSN2, a station not currently carried by Rogers Cable. That prompted me to write this tweet:

Speaking of not watching the Jays on TV, I'll bet the farm we Rogers customers suddenly get TSN2 next Tuesday.

There was no way the Rogers-owned Toronto Blue Jays would have key divisional games broadcast on TSN2, a station Rogers customers don't get. Last October I wrote about the 25 Toronto Raptors games we Rogers customers were going to miss. Missing Jays games would have been absolutely humiliating for Rogers, so you knew an agreement between TSN and Rogers was imminent.

This from Fadoo.ca:

A person familiar with the discussions told fadoo that an announcement of the agreement should be expected this weekend, likely on Sunday. No specifics of the deal were revealed, however it is believed that, as a result of the agreement, Rogers Cable customers with the VIP package will begin receiving TSN2 almost immediately and automatically.

Rogers has shown some keen business sense here, allowing their own customers to view their own baseball team. Now that's synergy.

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Circle Square Christian TV on Global

memoryYouTube user Retrontario frequently uploads fantastic retro-Toronto-centric gems. These clips never fail to bring back a ton of memories for me, so I feature them from time to time.

Circle Square was a Canadian children's television series that ran from 1974 to 1986. The series was produced by Crossroads Christian Communications in cooperation with the Circle Square network of summer camps for children of Christian parents.

I don't know how I completely missed this show. 1974 through 1986 covers the first 12 years of my life. This show must have aired at some ungodly hour because I didn't stumble upon it even once.

Judging from this creepy clip, it looks like I missed a beaut.


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72 Years of Guiding Light and I Missed It

tvAt first I thought it was a typo. The headline in my RSS reader claimed "TV's Guiding Light switching off after 72 years." Television has only been commercially available since the late 1930s. A series couldn't possibly have been running for 72 years.

It turns out Guiding Light began as a 15-minute serial on NBC Radio in January 1937 and debuted on CBS television in 1952. Guiding Light aired in one form or another for 72 years and I never caught a single minute.

Did I miss anything?

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CP24 Breakfast Is Not Breakfast Television

SunI don't watch television in the morning. I never have. Even though I don't watch morning TV, I know Breakfast Television.

BT debuted on September 6, 1989, with host Ann Rohmer and news anchor David Onley. When CablePulse 24 launched in 1998, Breakfast Television was simulcast on both Citytv and CablePulse 24. This was true until yesterday. Yesterday morning, CablePulse 24, now CP24, debuted a BT clone called CP24 Breakfast.

You see, CTVglobemedia bought CHUM Limited back in 2006, and CHUM Limited owned Citytv and CablePulse 24, but the CRTC told CTVglobemedia that they had to sell Citytv. Rogers picked it up in 2007. If you're still with me, that made CablePulse 24 and Citytv rivals working in the same building. I envision body checks in the hallways.

That brings us to yesterday. CP24 was launched, featuring faces familiar to viewers of Breakfast Television, including original host Ann Rohmer. They're even simulcasting on 1050, another pick-up from 2006. That enables CTV to go after Rogers' Breakfast Television and 680 News with the same 299 Queen Street West stone.

But make no mistake about it. CP24 Breakfast is not Breakfast Television, even if CTV doesn't want you to notice.

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Jon Stewart vs Jim Cramer: For Americans Only?

Stewart vs. CramerI watched The Daily Show on Thursday night. That's right, I stayed up past my normal 11pm bedtime and watched the Jon Stewart ~ Jim Cramer Smack Down. It was great television, so I wanted to share the episode here. TheDailyShow.com made the full episode available online, so I went over to grab the embeddable code.

Here's the link, but if you're in Canada, don't bother clicking. In Canada, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is available on the CTV Broadband Network.

I clicked the link for the CTV Broadband Network, and sure enough, there's a link to watch episodes. That's when they throw you at the CTV Video Library. The CTV Video Library did indeed have the clips I was looking for, but CTV doesn't do what every other video clip service does in 2009. CTV doesn't give web authors HTML for embedding the video into his or her site. I could watch the episode, but I couldn't drop the video here. CTV needs to get an e-clue.

Buffalo Boy lives in Buffalo (surprise!), and he didn't have this problem. He got to go to The Daily Show's site where the clips were easily embeddable. Heck, Buffalo Boy did it, proof that it's not rocket surgery.

Here's Jon Stewart vs. Jim Cramer. Of course, only 21.27% of you will see it. Pity...

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart's Unedited Jim Cramer Interview Pt. 1

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart's Unedited Jim Cramer Interview Pt. 2

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart's Unedited Jim Cramer Interview Pt. 3

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I Left When Dr. Mark Greene Died

TVI find it strange that ER is only wrapping up now. ER was appointment viewing for me until 2002 when Dr. Mark Greene died. After eight years of viewing, and with many of the regulars now gone, that seemed like a good time to say goodbye.

Seven years later, that damn show is still airing new episodes. It turns out I barely caught half the series. I understand a bunch of the old cast is showing up in these final few episodes, so I'm recording the show on my new PVR.

I'd like to see how this old favourite ends.

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Hold Your Laughter: I Now Have A PVR

TVYou guys can stop laughing at me now. Toronto Mike has entered the 21st century. I now have a PVR.

I made the decision two weeks ago, but only hooked it up last night. I've got it recording a few of my favourite shows, a couple for my wife and a few for the kids.

I can already see it's going to dramatically change the way we watch television. This fun new television toy comes at a time when I'm watching less "television" than ever before. I'm 4 episodes into the 60 episode arc of The Wire and I'm hooked. Every episode is like a really good movie. It might be some time before I actually reap the benefits of this PVR, but at least I'll feel current.

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