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MasterChef Canada replaces Spun Out post-Super Bowl on CTV, due to voyeurism charge against actor

- January 28th, 2015

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Dinner simply will have to be ready a week earlier than planned.

CTV has announced that the second season of hit reality competition series MasterChef Canada will air immediately following the network’s coverage of Super Bowl XLIX, Sunday, Feb. 1.

The second season of MasterChef Canada originally had been slotted for Feb. 8, with the sitcom Spun Out scheduled to air after the Super Bowl. But CTV decided to yank Spun Out after news broke about the voyeurism charge against actor J.P. Manoux.

Spun Out has a big ensemble cast, but particularly in the current climate of Jian Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby, CTV had little choice but to take action. Spun Out is on hold indefinitely.

Two women allegedly found video equipment hidden in a Toronto condo they were renting. The condo has been rented out in the past by Manoux, according to police.

As for MasterChef Canada, the premiere episode of the second season picks up after the initial rounds of the audition process. The home cook finalists enter the nerve-wracking first phase of the competition as they present their signature dishes for tasting to judges Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung and Claudio Aprile.

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Building an Empire; Hit Fox drama series gets trial run on City, in addition to OMNI

- January 26th, 2015
Terrence Howard and Taraji P
Empire is moving to the City. For a night, at least.

With hit rookie drama Empire having made such an impact on network-of-origin Fox in the United States, Rogers has decided to simulcast the series on City, Wednesday, Jan. 28.

The first three episodes of Empire have aired on another Rogers channel, OMNI, but City has a bigger reach across Canada (this Wednesday’s episode will air on OMNI, too).

Whether Empire might remain on City in future weeks largely will depend on how it does this week ratings-wise, one would assume.

Empire follows Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard, above left), the legendary head of a large music company. In the early stages of a debilitating disease, Lucious is dealing with his three sons and his fresh-out-of-prison ex-wife Cookie (Taraji P. Henson, above right), all of whom are vying for his throne.

“This phenomenon that’s happening, 1,000 years ago, or 2,000 years ago, it wasn’t a phenomenon for many people of different colours to get together and enjoy their cultures,” said Howard, asked why it seems to be the right time for a drama about a black family to be a wide-scale hit.

“Right now we’re seeing people enjoy the culture of America, the culture of the world as a whole, in this show. We’re showing real life now.”

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv​

 

 

 

 

 

Conan gets animated, takes on mob in ‘Archer’ skit

- January 21st, 2015

After working on The Simpsons and creating one of the most beloved episodes in the series’ history (Monorail!), it only makes sense that Conan O’Brien would return to the world of animation.

Tossing grenades at the Russian mob while promoting Uber just wasn’t the way most would have pictured it.

On Tuesday night’s episode of Conan, the late-night host stepped out of his studio and into the cartoon world of Archer, one of FX’s most popular shows.

After getting into secret agent Sterling Archer’s car, Conan is handed a pistol and told to start shooting.

It’s all downhill from here for the two polar-opposite characters.

At first, Conan doesn’t even know where to point the gun, and when he finally does figure out, he spends the majority of time swinging it around in his hands and insulting Archer for not using Uber like, “everyone else.”

A few minutes of hilarious back-and-forth banter between the two breaks out before they’re targeted by another mobster filled jeep, leading them into the empty tunnels of Los Angeles.

This time around, Conan’s got to handle a grenade and the result is just slightly better than his first experience wielding a gun.

Usually stints like these aren’t overly funny and fail at pandering to either fan base, but the adorably obtuse Conan juxtaposed with the overwhelmingly confident Archer makes for a great five minutes of comedy.

Cuthbert playing pregnant lesbian; says Phaneuf “excited” about her new role

- January 16th, 2015

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PASADENA, Calif. – So what does Elisha Cuthbert’s husband – Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf – think about this?

Cuthbert (above left), a well-known Canadian actress, is playing a lesbian in her new NBC series One Big Happy, which debuts March 17. A pregnant lesbian, no less.

“My husband was really excited,” Cuthbert said when I asked her about it. “I had taken some time off (following the cancellation of her previous sitcom Happy Endings) and we got married and I enjoyed the year with him together before taking on anything new.

“And then this (One Big Happy, executive-produced by Ellen DeGeneres) came my way. I was so excited about it, and therefore he (Phaneuf) was excited about it.

“Without his support, it would be nothing.”

Does this role present any specific challenges for Cuthbert?

“No, it’s like playing a human being,” Cuthbert said. “(The character) is a little dorky at times and has a great collection of blazers. I love the wardrobe, let me say that.”

With Cuthbert’s acting schedule and Phaneuf’s playing schedule, the couple must be the world leader in frequent-flyer miles.

“We see other actually a lot, I make sure that we do,” Cuthbert said. “I make sure that I take time off. I focus on the show but once the show is over I don’t do very much else, because it’s family time. So we do, we make a lot of time for each other.

“I’m livin’ the dream, I get to be home in Canada and be here (in Los Angeles) and have a career and it’s wonderful. But I am on a plane a lot.”

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

 

Gwyneth Paltrow covers Nicki Minaj, Drake on Jimmy Fallon

- January 15th, 2015

What’s better than rap music? Rap music sung in a classic Broadway style by Gwyneth Paltrow and Jimmy Fallon, of course!

Paltrow appeared on Fallon’s late night variety show to promote her upcoming film, Mortdecai, when they decided to show off their musical talents.

Starting with Drake’s “Started From the Bottom,” and ending with a hilarious rendition of Big Sean’s, “I Don’t F— With You,” the three minute set seems to move a mile a minute as they coast from one song to the next.

Although clever, it’s clearly a cheap imitation –but with wealthier people- of Postmodern Jukebox’s popular YouTube channel that covers almost all of the songs listed on Billboard’s Top 40 list in a wide array of genres.

For example, they also covered Nicki Minaj’s, “Anaconda.”

We’ll let you decide which version is better.