Blue Ant Media continues its commitment to commissioning exclusive, Canadian content with a new slate of homegrown series for T+E, Cottage Life, Smithsonian Channel, and Makeful
Life Below Zero: Canada premieres on Cottage Life in spring 2020.
(Toronto, ON – June 19, 2019) – Blue Ant Media unveils its 2019/2020 schedule of new and returning Canadian original productions for some of its most popular channels, T+E, Cottage Life, Smithsonian Channel, and Makeful. Haunting paranormal programming, cottage and outdoor lifestyle series, intriguing documentaries, and creative competition series dominate the schedule, with several programmes available for licensing globally by Blue Ant International. Overseen by Sam Linton, Head of Original Content, Blue Ant Media, the new and returning series start hitting airwaves in fall 2019, with the majority of programs being world broadcast premieres.
“We can’t wait to bring this new slate of original series from a talented roster of Canadian producers to the audiences of our passion-focused channels,” says Jamie Schouela, President, Canadian Media, Blue Ant Media. “As viewers continue to have a growing number of entertainment options, Blue Ant is focused on providing our targeted audiences with compelling original series they can’t find anywhere else.”
Popular paranormal programming dominates T+E‘s new slate. New series include Hotel Paranormal (world broadcast premiere), a series that brings encounters with hotel-lurking paranormal entities to life. The previously announced series, The Witches of Salem (Canadian premiere), also joins the schedule as a four-part series about the mass hysteria surrounding America’s 17th-century witch trials. Returning favourites include Haunted Hospitals (season two, Canadian premiere), and Paranormal 911 (season two, Canadian premiere).
The love of all things cottaging and the outdoors feature heavily on Cottage Life’s new programming grid. New series include the previously announced series, Life Below Zero: Canada (world broadcast premiere), the Canadian version of the hit BBC Studios format. Additionally, a new short-form digital web series Cottage Coach (world premiere), sees DIY expert Adam Holman give useful how-to tips with a cottage lifestyle vibe. Returning series include viewer favourite Hope For Wildlife (world broadcast premiere) who is back for an impressive tenth season of rehabilitating animals. Meanwhile, even freakier weather gets the spotlight on season two of The Weather Files (world broadcast premiere).
The honourable way of the samurai leads Smithsonian Channel’s new schedule with the premiere of Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan (Canadian premiere), a new docudrama series that highlights Japan’s Golden Age of the Samurai. Also new is High Maintenance (Canadian premiere), a series that takes a look at the death defying work of the crews who keep our roads, bridges, and highways safe.
The competition series Landscape Artist of the Year Canada (world broadcast premiere), showcasing the unique work of talented artists who vie for the coveted title, heats up Makeful’s schedule. Handmade Hotels (world broadcast premiere) also returns for a second season of even more creative short-term rentals.
For a full list of programming highlights, please see below.
New Original Series
Hotel Paranormal (8×60’; HD) (spring 2020) (world broadcast premiere)
Real-life accounts, dramatic recreations, and expert insight, bring encounters with ghosts to life in this new thrilling series. Every year, millions of people book hotel rooms. But most are unaware that some hotels hold dark secrets connected to a tragic past. Get shivers as guests and staff alike recall their spooky occurrences on camera. Produced by Saloon Media, part of Blue Ant Studios. Distributed by Blue Ant International.
The Witches of Salem (4×60’; HD) (October 2019) (Canadian broadcast premiere)
The Salem Witch Trials is one of the most gripping real-life dramas in history. It began in February 1692. A group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, claimed to be possessed by the devil. Then, they started accusing local women of witchcraft. In just 220 days, 200 were accused and 20 were executed. It was a period of mass hysteria that opens a window into the darkest side of human nature. This four-part documentary series draws on historical documents and court records to bring this gripping drama to life. Sociologists, psychologists, and cultural historians also illustrate how communities are susceptible to the same hysteria today. Produced by Saloon Media, part of Blue Ant Studios, in association with Talos Films, Travel Channel, and T+E. Distributed by Blue Ant International. (previously announced)
Haunted Hospitals (season two; 13×60’; HD) (winter 2020) (Canadian broadcast premiere)
Hear the chilling stories of paranormal activity inside hospitals, nursing homes, and morgues. In each episode, doctors, nurses, and patients give first-hand accounts of the supernatural, such as deceased patients who come back from the grave. Dead doctors who insist on tending to their patients. Spirits who stalk corridors to warn of impending danger. As the personal stories unfold, the mysteries behind the troubled souls and hauntings become more alive than ever. Produced by Bristow Global Media.
Paranormal 911 (season two; 13×60’; HD) (spring 2020) (Canadian broadcast premiere)
Each year, first responders rush to over 250 million 911 calls in North America. But what happens when these emergencies lead to paranormal encounters? Find out in season two of Paranormal 911. Hear the first-person accounts of first responders who came face-to-face with the supernatural. Produced by Bristow Global Media.
New Original Series
Life Below Zero: Canada (8×60’; HD) (spring 2020) (world broadcast premiere)
Long, dark, frozen winters. Sweltering, bug infested summers. Canadians who live ‘off the grid’ grapple each day with limited means to find food, water, and shelter. Life Below Zero: Canada captures the rugged day-to-day trials of Canadians who live in the remote Canadian north. Find out how they survive in the most unforgiving environments using various means, from makeshift problem solving to traditional survival skills. This is the Canadian version of the hit BBC Studios format Life Below Zero. Life Below Zero: Canada is produced by Saloon Media, part of Blue Ant Studios. (previously announced.)
Cottage Coach (digital series; 6×7’) (summer 2019) (world premiere)
Cottagelife.com DIY expert Adam Holman coaches viewers on how to tackle cottage issues in this exclusive new short-form series. From fixing a broken pipe to replacing a rotten deck board, each episode offers essential tips. And in true cottage lifestyle form, Adam mixes in some fun in the process. Fishing anyone?
Hope For Wildlife (season 10; 10×60’; HD) (summer 2020) (world broadcast premiere)
Fan-favourite wildlife advocate Hope Swinimer and her team are back. This season, the team continues to rescue animals in need. They use her Halifax-based wildlife refuge to rehabilitate them. Once they are strong enough, the team releases the animals back into the wild. Produced by Arcadia Content. Distributed by Blue Ant International.
The Weather Files (season two; 8×60’; HD) (spring 2020) (world broadcast premiere)
This season of The Weather Files puts the most unusual and freakish weather on the planet in the spotlight. First-person testimony and actual footage combined with scientific insight give viewers an in-depth and up-close and personal look at the dangers of extreme and unusual weather. Produced by Saloon Media, part of Blue Ant Studios. Distributed by Blue Ant International.
New Original Series
Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan (6×60’; HD) (winter 2020) (Canadian broadcast premiere) This series follows the life of legendary samurai, Date Masamune, an iconic figure, known as the One-Eyed Dragon, who fought alongside the three founding fathers of Japan. Together, these warlords led fierce armies of samurai against each other to unite the nation. This series brings this extraordinary era to life. It shows how powerful warriors, master swordsman, and lethal ninjas came together in deadly battles to create Japan’s golden age of the Samurai, a period that still resonates today. Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan is produced by Cream Productions.
High Maintenance (8×60’; HD) (winter 2020) (Canadian broadcast premiere)
From subways to bridges to power dams, High Maintenance is about the hard-working crews who do the death-defying work to keep these structures safe. The series features engineering feats including the Sir Adam Beck Hydroelectric Generating Stations in Niagara Falls, the Montreal Metro, and the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway in California. Each episode profiles two such structures or systems – and the brave, behind-the-scenes workers who run them. Co-produced by Frantic Films and Kew Media Distribution.
New Original Series
Landscape Artist of the Year Canada (4×60’; HD) (winter 2020) (world broadcast premiere)
Professional and amateur Canadian artists vie to win the title of Landscape Artist of the Year in this new Makeful competition series. Each episode features a different landscape painting challenge. Expert judges determine the winner of each competition until the best landscape artist remains. Time-lapse segments ensure viewers don’t miss any of each artist’s progression from blank canvas to finished work. Based on the UK format distributed by Banijay Rights and originally produced by Storyvault Films. Landscape Artist of the Year Canada is produced by marblemedia. (Previously announced.)
Handmade Hotels (season two; 6×30’; HD) (spring 2020) (world broadcast premiere)
Viewers get to peek inside even more unique and charming short-term rentals in season two of this series with host and professional house flipper, Katie Herbert. In each episode, Katie explores three unique spaces that showcase the creativity of homeowners and give viewers inspiration on how they can add artistic touches to their own homes. Produced by Architect Films. Distributed by Blue Ant International.
Blue Ant Media is an international producer, distributor, channel operator, and gaming video content company. We operate seven production houses around the world, creating content for broadcasters and streaming platforms, ranging from documentaries to animated series to dramas. Our distribution business, Blue Ant International, offers a substantial catalogue of content, including one of the world’s largest 4K natural history offerings. Blue Ant Media operates linear and SVOD channels on multiple continents under 14 brands including Love Nature, Smithsonian Channel Canada, BBC Earth (Canada), ZooMoo, Arcade Cloud and more. Omnia Media, our gaming video content company, has the largest gamer talent network in the world. It creates and distributes gaming video content across digital and OTT platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, and more. Blue Ant Media is headquartered in Toronto, with nine international offices in Los Angeles, Singapore, Auckland, Dunedin, London, Washington DC, Sydney, Beijing, and Taipei. www.blueantmedia.com