Round-up: premieres, screenings and rebrandings

Highway Thru Hell (pictured) gets a second season; The Pet Network rebrands and unveils enhanced programming slate.

Here’s a summary of the various industry news to land at Playback recently.

Season Premieres

Mr. Young shows no signs of getting old, as it gears up for its third season bow on YTV.

Produced by Vancouver-based Thunderbird Films and created by Dan Singer, the live-action comedy targeted at kids and teens follows a child prodigy who, having graduated college at the age of 14, returns to teach science at his old high school.

Season three will feature the return of guest star Gordon Myren, as well as guest appearances by Peter DeLuise and Brian Stepanek.

The show, distributed by Nelvana, airs in a primetime slot in the U.S. on Disney XD, as well as in Spain, France, Italy, the UK and elsewhere.

Season three of Mr. Young premieres Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.

OLN, meanwhile, is set for the season two premiere of its original series, The Liquidator.

Produced by Edmonton and Vancouver-based Anaïd Productions, the series follows Jeff Schwarz, owner of Direct Liquidation in Vancouver has tries to wheel and deal his way to big money by buying and selling furniture, electronics, tools, and oddities.

Mardirossian and Helen Schmidt are exec producers, while Anaïd Productions’ Karen Redford is the series’ supervising producers.

Season two of The Liquidator premieres Nov. 8 at 9 p.m.

Renewed Series

Rounding out the list of returning shows is Discovery’s Highway Thru Hell, which has been confirmed for a second season.

Produced for Discovery by Vancouver’s Great Pacific TV, the series follows a highway heavy rescue crew tasked with helping truckers in trouble and keeping B.C.’s vital transport highway, the Coquilhalla, open during the treacherous winter season.

Season two of Highway Thru Hell will shoot in winter of 2012-2013.

The series premiere of the show drew in 661,000 viewers, making it the most watched premiere in Discovery’s history.

To keep viewers interested, Discovery will be airing a marathon of the complete eight-episode first season, as well as the Highway Thru Hell: After the Crash special and a special never-seen-before episode Dec. 25.


John Zaritsky’s documentary Do You Really Want to Know?, fresh off best doc and best director wins at the Yorkton Film Festival, as well as a best doc win at the Off International Film Festival is set to screen in Toronto and have its broadcast debut.

The doc, about three families who are faced with the decision of whether or not to be tested Huntington’s disease, a degenerative neurological illness, was shot on location in Vancouver, Toronto, Boston and Cleveland, and will screen Nov. 9 and 10 at the Huntington Society of Canada’s Annual Conference.

It will then air on the Knowledge Network Nov. 13.

Zaritsky won an Academy Award for Just Another Missing Kid in 1982, has been nominated for three Emmys and 15 Geminis – seven of which he has won.

Elsewhere, Beyond the Gates of Phu, a short by documentarian Sean F. White and Mike and Chantal Schauch, will screen at the Cinemark Tinseltown International Village in Vancouver.

The 18 minute doc chronicles the Schauchs’ journey deep into the Himalayas of Nepal in April, where they spent time exploring ancient Buddhist mountain culture.

The screening will also include an art exhibit, with the proceeds going to a campaign, spearheaded by stills photographer Eric Saczuk, to support Thrangu Rinpoche’s SMD School for Himalayan Children in Nepal.

Beyond the Gates of Phu screens Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m., with the art exhibit reception to follow.


The Pet Network is set to unveil its refreshed branding, featuring a new on-air look, a redesigned website and an enhanced programming slate.

“This repackaging communicates the strength of The Pet Network’s program offering and reinforces our commitment to the brand mission: delivering stories that foster compassion, care and a deeper understanding between people and their pets,” said Jenny Norush, Director of Marketing for Toronto-based Stornoway Communications, which owns and operates The Pet Network, in a statement.

The updated look features creative by Alisa Kerr, creative director of Victoria-based HIDEF Productions Inc.

Program offerings for the 2012-2013 campaign will include the return of the Pet Network’s original in-house production, Fido & Wine, as well as a new season of Pet ER, which is produced by Newfoundland’s Best Boy Entertainment.

New acquisitions include Hope For Wildlife from Halifax, N.S. production company Arcadia Entertainment, Animal Cops: Houston from UK distributor ITV Studios International and additional episodes of Animal 24:7 from UK distributor Electric Sky.

Pet Network is also acquiring movies, and docs including Nexus Media’s North Paws and Hop To It Productions and BookShorts Inc.’s Talent Hounds.

To promote the relaunch, the Pet Network will have a free preview on Rogers from Nov. 29 to Feb. 4, and holding a contest where viewers send in videos of their pets’ best tricks to win an iPad Mini.

The Pet Network is to relaunch Nov. 12.