ICYMI: New original series coming to CraveTV, BBC Earth arrives in Canada

In case you missed it: A new comedy from the minds of Letterkenny, Blue Ant's new specialty channel and how Bell Media upped its Let's Talk game.

CraveTV adds third original series

Bell Media-owned streamer CraveTV has added its third Canadian original series, the half-hour satirical whatWouldSalDocomedy What Would Sal Do? The series, produced by New Metric Media (the team behind the service’s hit series Letterkenny) and set in the northern city of Sudbury, Ont., follows a slacker named Sal who discovers that he is the second coming of Christ. It will debut on the service March 24, with each of the eight episodes rolling out on a weekly basis. The series stars Dylan Taylor (Rogue) as the titular Sal, Jennifer Dale (Street Legal) as his mother (the virgin Maria), Ryan MacDonald (2012) as Sal’s best friend and Scott Thompson (Kids in the Hall) as an ambitious priest.

BBC Earth rolls out in Canada

Canadians now have access to a slate of programming from BBC Earth, with the channel dropping in Canada Jan. 24. It’s currently available to viewers on a three-month free preview. The factual brand was brought to Canada through a partnership between BBC Worldwide North America and Blue Ant Media. The launch was timed with the premiere of Planet Earth II on Feb. 18, which will be simulcast with BBC America’s airing of the episode. Additional upcoming series on the service include The Hunt and Forces of Nature. All content on BBC Earth will be commercial-free.

Bell Let’s Talk Day raises $6.5 million

Bell’s annual social media initiative to draw funding for mental health research and support pulled in a total of $6.59 million on Jan. 25. According to a release from the company, over the 28.5 hours of the day (from midnight in Newfoundland to 11:59 p.m. Pacific time), there were 131,705,010 total Bell Let’s Talk interactions, which covered text messages, use of #BellLetsTalk on social media and views of the campaign video on Facebook. This represented a 4.6% increase over last year’s interactions, which clocked in at 125,915,295. New partners to this year’s initiatives were Snapchat and Instagram, which allowed users to donate through using a custom “Let’s Talk” geofilter on Snapchat and to raise funds through using the hashtag on Instagram.

This year’s contribution puts Bell’s total contribution to mental health initiatives at $86.5 million since it first began running the Let’s Talk Day program in 2010.

CBC pulls the plug on This Life

CBC has cancelled the drama This Life after two seasons. The announcement was initially made Jan. 24 on the show’s official Facebook page one week after the series received a CSA nomination in the Best Dramatic Series category. Series star Lauren Lee Smith was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. The family drama, which is based on the French-language series Nouvelle adresse, bowed on CBC in October 2015 as part of the pubcaster’s fall slate and was subsequently renewed for a follow-up season in 2016.

Cimoroni & Company bolsters talent division, adds Lance Stroll and Mike Weir to roster

Agency Cimoroni & Company has added 18-year-old racing sensation Lance Stroll and Masters champion Mike Weir to its talent division. Montreal-based Stroll’s most recent claim to fame was debuting as the youngest F1 driver on the circuit at the Australian Grand Prix. Cimoroni & Company will work with the two athletes on sponsorship and media opportunities.

The agency has also brought on board two new in-house members for its talent and brand divisions. Paul Drake, former NHLPA manager of marketing and sponsorship, has joined the company as director of talent representation, where he will evaluate and implement new business opportunities for the company’s talent. Adam Ward has become senior manager of partnerships. Ward formerly worked with T1 agency.

Pelmorex founder named to the Order of Canada

Pelmorex Media founder Perre L. Morrissette has been named to the Order of Canada. The entrepreneur, whose company owns and operates the Weather Network and MétéoMédia, was recognized for outstanding achievement to the community and service to the nation. Morrissette founded Pelmorex in 1989, and after acquiring both The Weather Network and MétéoMédia, began operating Canada’s National Alert Aggregation Dissemination system (Alert Ready). Morrissette is also a known philanthropist, founding the Pierre L. Morrissette Family Foundation and sitting as a trustee on the Mental Wellness Network Foundation.

One week left for Crystal Radio Awards submissions

Submissions for the 2017 Crystal Radio Awards, which honour creativity in the radio industry, will close Feb. 3. The top prize for creatives is $10,000 for the Best In Show award at the gala, which takes place April 19. This year, the awards will take place at a new venue, the TIFF Bell Lightbox, and will no longer take place in conjunction with Canadian Music Week. Longtime radio personality Alan Cross will host the awards for the first time.