Upfronts ’21: Children Ruin Everything, The Amazing Race Canada headline Bell Media schedule

Bell Media upfront
Bell Media also commissioned new Crave originals including a Letterkenny spinoff, doc series Thunder Bay, marblemedia's A Cut Above, a family drama from Rezolution Pictures, as well as a raft of French-language originals.

Bell Media recommitted to a slew of Canadian originals while announcing several ahead of its upfront presentation later today.

In announcing its upcoming slate of programming this morning, the company confirmed New Metric Media’s Children Ruin Everything to the CTV schedule alongside the second season of Sphère Média’s Transplant, the third season of the Jann Arden-led comedy Jann and new seasons of Your MorningThe Marilyn Denis Show and The SocialEtalk is also back to celebrate its 20th season.

Bell Media also confirmed the return of The Amazing Race Canada in 2022. The Insight Productions format adaptation has been on a two-year hiatus as a result of heightened travel restrictions during the pandemic.

Elsewhere under the CTV content banner, the inaugural season of Blue Ice Pictures’ supernatural real estate series Surrealestate will debut on CTV Sci-Fi Channel. Bell Media also confirmed two seasons of the previously announced, Ennis Esmer hosted Roast Battle Canada for CTV Comedy. A fourth season of Corner Gas Animated is also on the way.

Over at CTV Life Channel, Bell Media is forging ahead with its next Mary Berg series, Mary Makes it Easy. The Proper Television/Boat Rocker Studios series filmed in the former MasterChef Canada winner’s home kitchen in Toronto. Meanwhile the channel is also making space for the Gusto Worldwide Media offering Up the Dish, in which chefs rework classic recipes and dishes.

At Discovery, Prospero Pictures and Eagle Vision’s Mother Truckers and the new four-part series Underground Railroad Secrets from Attraction Media join returning series Mud Mountain Haulers, Highway Thru Hell and Heavy Rescue 401.

Discovery also greenlit marblemedia’s latest competition series, A Cut Above. The project sees twelve of the best chainsaw-wielding carvers from across North America turn ordinary logs into intricate works of art during time-sensitive challenges.

For streaming service Crave, Bell Media announced a handful of new projects including a Letterkenny spinoff titled Shoresy from New Metric Media. Created and written by Jared Keeso, who also stars, the project sees Shoresy joins a senior AAA hockey team in Northern Ontario on a quest to never lose again. The series is directed by Jacob Tierney and produced in partnership with WildBrain and Play Fun Games.

New Metric also got the greenlight on its half-hour, loosely scripted series Du Me A Favor, hosted by wannabe fashion moguls Jermaine Richards and Trevaunn Richards as they delve into the history of the durag, the haircare item that is also a cultural symbol.

On the drama front, Crave has commissioned Little Bird, a multi-generational family saga from Rezolution Pictures. The six-part limited series tackles the Sixties Scoop through the eyes of one Indigenous family. Crave has also ordered a four-part original documentary series titled Thunder Bay, based on the podcast of the same name from Canadaland and hosted by Anishinaabe journalist Ryan McMahon.

On the docu-reality side of things, the second season of Canada’s Drag Race also returns to Crave as well as the new eight-part series 1 Queen 5 Queers. The update to the MTV Canada original 1 Girl 5 Gays is hosted by Canada’s Drag Race judge Brooke Lynn Hytes and produced by Bell Media Studios.

The streamer also adds incoming 10-part comedy series Pillow Talk, an adaptation of the French-language Noovo series Entre Deux Draps. The KOTV Productions show is set entirely in bedrooms and revolves around five twosomes of different ages and backgrounds as they explore various ways to be intimate. Louis Morissette and Mélanie Viau executive produce.

We’re All Gonna Die!, a six-part documentary about the end of the world from 90th Parallel Productions, rounds out the list of Crave’s English-language announcements.

Attraction Images’ French-language documentary Qui A Tué Marie-Josée, based on the real-life case of Marie-Josée Saint-Antoine, also bows on the service alongside new seasons of Madame Lebrun and Pour Toujours, Plus un Jour.

Other incoming French-language original productions coming to Noovo, Canal Vie, Z, Canal D and Vrak in the 2021-22 season include Qui Sait Chanter, Virage, … Moi Non Plus!, Club Soly, Syndics, L’Homme Qui Aimait Trop, Le Jour J, Couple à Boutte, Escouade Poilue, The Soeurs Dufour-Lapointe: D’un Rêve à L’autre, Le Punch Club, Prochain Stand-Up: Classe de Maître, Peur de Rien!, Beinvenue à la Shop!, Montréal Sous Surveillance, Présumé Innocent: L’affaire Michelle Perron, and Campus.

In addition to the new series announcements, Bell Media also confirmed a slate of specials and documentaries including six more rounds of Just for Laughs Stand-Up specials, a One Big Recipe Holiday special for CTV Life Channel, and docs Buffy Saint Marie: Power in the Blood, Oscar Peterson, Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine, A.rtificial I.mmortality, Bam Bam: The Story of Sister Nancy, The Bones, Fanny: The Right to Rock, The Grizzlie Truth, Kings of Coke, Naked, Resident Orca, Wilfred Buck, and Par-Lay — The Fred Vanvleet Story.