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BriouxTV: The Podcast

Author: Bill Brioux

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Hosted by veteran TV columnist Bill Brioux. Each month, join in on an outspoken hour with the actors, executives, and insiders that make the television industry pop. In each edition, Bill invites his guests to talk business, give up some great stories, and make it personal. Plus laughs.
28 Episodes
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Slawko Klymkiw

Slawko Klymkiw

2021-04-0701:08:51

I finally learn how to spell his name and then he retires! Slawko Klymkiw has spent over 40 years towering over the media landscape in Canada. His list of acheivements are many, starting in news at CBC and working his way up to head of programming and entertainment. Shows such as The Rick Mercer Report and Da Vinci's Inquest flourished under his watch. Not everything he tried worked, but every time I would point out a misstep from my perch as TV critic at The Toronto Sun, Klymkiw would call me over to CBC headquarters in Toronto and point out all the things I didn't get right.What emerged was an understanding of the multi-level chess game that was all part of the job of running the public broadcaster -- and what a good sport I found in Klymkiw.After 25 years at CBC he moved on  to have an even greater impact as head of The Canadian Film Centre. The past 16 years, Klymkiw took a visionary approach to managing the CFC, broadening the scope of the institution Norman Jewison built to include mentorship programs in television as well as in film. He was also responsible for helping to raise an estimated $150 million in funds for the Centre, a legacy that will continue to inspire and help educate the next generation of Canadian media storytellers.
Jay Baruchel

Jay Baruchel

2021-03-2901:11:00

I first met Jay Baruchel 20 years ago in Los Angeles on a Television Critics Association  Fox network reception in downtown Los Angeles, At 18, he was starring in Judd Apatow's college comedy Undeclared alongside another young Canadian, Seth Rogen. The two were pretty excited to have landed on a promising show; what they  could not have known at the time was that they'd each won the comedy career lottery.Baruchel was born in Ottawa and raised in Montreal. He grew up soaking up every bit of movie intel from the likes of Leonard Maltin and Siskel & Ebert; within a few years he would be reviewed by all three. He talks about his steps along the way -- his early Canadian work on Popular Mechanics for Kids (PMK) and Are You Afraid of the Dark; being directed by Cameron Crowe in "Almost Famous" and Clint Eastwood in "Million Dollar Baby"; being reunited with Rogen on "Knocked Up" and "This is The End."Also touched on is his his work on the FX series Man Seeking Woman, a shot-in-Toronto wonder, and his determination to act in, direct, write and produce projects in his home and native land.One current effort is The Moodys, which premieres Thursday, April 1 on Fox. The Montreal-based production stars Denis Leary, Elizabeth Perkins and Francois Arnaud, with Gerry Dee recurring. Because Leary is in it, the series has several scenes shot in a hockey rink. Baruchel, a lifelong fan of les Canadiens, says even he is less of an NHL nerd than Leary.You'll hear more on other Baruchel touchstones, such as his own hockey movies Goons 1 & 2, where  he also contributed as a writer and a director. I even try to pry a story out of him about his "How to Train Your Dragon" voice-mate Craig Ferguson.That's Jay Baruchel, who'se gone from Almost Famous to a clutch player in TV and film.
Ron James

Ron James

2021-03-1001:09:38

Nobody makes me laugh out loud like Ron James. Canada's ultimate Road Warrior will be "Live from my Living Room" with a brand new comedy special on Sunday, March 21 at 8 p.m.  James' virtual New Year's Eve special sold over 3500 tickets. This new hour, co-written by a couple of comedy veterans, features all new material. Tickets are available at here with some proceeds going to the theatres and other venues James would normally have played in all across Canada."Live performance has taken a torpedo to the bow," says James, who last performed before an actual audience March 7, 2020, at Hamilton Place. "Given the relentless pummeling COVID 19 has delivered to our battered psyches, I figure the best way to keep our sanity intact in the face of this madness… is by laughing at it!"He's calling this latest virtual comedy show, "Spring Loaded."Listen as he talks about his long road to the top of the Canadian stand-up summit, including his start with "Second City," his brush with SCTV, his year of starvation in the States and many other encounters and adventures. He singles out a couple of comedy heroes along the way, including Scottish funnyman Billy Connolly.This episode is the best back stage pass on what Ron has planned for March 21. Listen in and laugh along with Ron's take on Canada at a COVID crossroads.
As "Kiddo the Clown," Trevor Evans was the biggest star on TV when I was five. His daily series (1962-65) was produced in what was then the brand new CFTO studios in Agincourt right off the 401 in Toronto. It was the kind of bizarre local kiddie show that would one day inspire the likes of Pee-wee's Playhouse. Kiddo was the landlord of a zany apartment where laundry came down a shute (onto his head), mice typed notes under the stairs and a general sent his boots down a dumb waiter to be polished. The name of then Prime Minister John Diefenbaker was frequently invoked. The strange way the series ended always haunted me.Evans, who turns 85 in April, went on to be a top TV director. He worked with a Who's Who of Canadian TV talent including Wayne & Shuster and The Royal Canadian Air Farce. He gave future comedy icons John Candy, Dan Aykroyd and Catherine O'Hara their starts before SCTV. He also directed specials for Rich Little, Stiller & Meara, Carol Burnett and Robert Kline as well as his hero, Red Skelton. He even once worked with Buster Keaton!Evans is a one-man TV time capsule. The sound quality is less than stellar, recorded over the phone, but lean in and you'll hear stories you will never forget.
"Hearties" will be looking forward to the return of When Calls the Heart when the eighth season premieres Sunday, February 21 on Super Channel Heart & Home. So will Pascale Hutton and Kavan Smith, who return as sawmill sweethearts Rosemary and Leland Coulter. The two Canadian actors returned to Hope Valley -- really a specially contructed outdoor set located East of Vancouver -- to shoot for the first time under COVID safety precautions. This was the first season, unfortunately, that fans were not allowed on the set.They talk about that experience as well as what to expect during this eighth season, including the big decision ahead for lead character Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow). They also explore their own career paths, with Pascale talking about her start on movies such as "Ginger Snaps 2" and "Hollywood Wives: the True Story." Smith goes even further back to his days on the Canadian series Destiny Ridge.Both single out their favourite TV series growing up as well as their all-time favourite TV theme song.
Kristin Kreuk

Kristin Kreuk

2021-02-1048:45

Hard to believe, but Kristin Kreuk has spent over half her life before the cameras, starring on Smallville, Beauty and the Beast and Burden of Truth .Here’s something I didn’t know, however: she almost became half Klingon! In an engaging podcast conversation, Kreuk confides that, just before committing to play crusading lawyer Joanna Chang on Burden, she went after a lead role on a series shot in Toronto -- Star Trek: Discovery.“I auditioned a lot,” says the Vancouver native, who, when she wasn't studying karate and doing gymnastics, grew up a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.Kreuk also discusses shooting Season 4 of Burden of Truth in and around Winnipeg under strict COVID safety procedures. Catch new episodes Thursdays on CBC.She’s currently working on a degree in History from Queens University. She's also binging one of the greatest TV shows ever made. (Hint: it's 20 years old!)
Coroner's Serinda Swan

Coroner's Serinda Swan

2021-02-0237:20

Like every actor on every series these days, Serinda Swan, who plays Jenny Cooper on Coroner, wore masks, shields and "bunny suits" in order to safely shoot scenes through this pandemic. COVID is very much part of the storyline this season, which starts with an investigation of a Long Term Care facility. Did the fact all the actors had to gear up as a matter of course help her get into character? "The physical toll creates a special awareness and an empathy for people who are doing this for the rest of us every single day," says the East Vancouver native.Swan talks about having done her own share of "car crying" the past 10 or 11 months. "You can see it in people's eyes," she says. "There are a lot of emotions hidden behind masks."This podcast, therefore, leans into the funny where we can. Like the time she accidentally ate a chocolate or two spiked with a little something extra.That came up because Jenny Cooper unknowingly devours a Marijuana-laced brownie in one of the new season's lighter moments. Swan says she had to gobble down14 regular brownies in order to get the scene covered from six different set ups. She hasn't eaten a brownie since. She may never again.The chocolate she ate by mistake after not landing a part in a Star Trek movie. You'll have to listen to the podcast to find out how that all turned out.
You want to talk Pretty Hard Cases? That's the title of the new Toronto-based detective drama premiering Wednesday, Feb. 3 on CBC. It stars Meredith MacNeill (Baroness von Sketch Show) and Adrienne C. Moore (Orange is the New Black). They were the first choices of executive producers, writers and showrunners Tassie Cameron (Rookie Blue) and Sherry White (Little Dog) -- a couple of pretty hard cases themselves. On this lively podcast episode, the producers  break down why they felt the time was ripe for this series now, what cool, '70s tunes they pumped into the soundtrack and how a four month delay in filming due to COVID may have actually been a blessing in disguise.
This episode, TV critic Bill Brioux is in conversation with two of the stars of the Citytv series Hudson & Rex. They are Mayko Nguyen, who plays forensics expert Sarah Truong, and Kevin Hanchard, superintendent Joseph Donovan. The actors set up the third season and talk about the challenges of giving their canine costar cues and direction through COVID times while wearing masks. The St. John's based, hour-long drama airs Tuesday nights on Citytv.
Had a lovely chat right before Christmas with Hélène Joy, who stars opposite Yannick Bisson as Dr. Julia Ogden on CBC's #MurdochMysteries. She talks about her roots in Australia where she studied acting with Hugh Jackman. We touch on her roles in Canada on everything from Durham Country to the cult comedy Puppets Who Kill, where her character had to... well, I'll let her tell it. She also talks about how the pandemic year has impacted her personally as well as professionally. Murdoch returns Monday., Jan. 4; to get the scoop on Season 14, listen to the podcast.
It's the most wonderful time of the year for fans of Christmas programming. This episode, we learn from the top organizer how North America's oldest Santa Claus parade will carry on despite COVID. Director Dylan Pearce tells us about his Edmonton-based Super Channel movie "Christmas with a Crown," and there's even a visit from St. Nick himself--who sounds like my ol' comedy partner pal Pat Bullock. Yule be laffin'! Ho-ho-ho!
Ask anyone who has ever acted across from him in a scene: Nicholas Campbell raises the bar. Demanding the best of himself and others has led to stellar work on Da Vinci's Inquest, The Englishman's Boy and now on CBC's Coroner. Then there are the stories along the way; hear him on Laurence Olivier, Donald Sutherland, Gregory Peck, David Cronenberg, Sonny Grosso, Chris Haddock, Don Johnson and many others.
Ron MacLean had to interrupt our podcast to do a COVID test. The veteran host of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada has been the boy in the bubble of late, isolating these days as host of Battle of the Blades. MacLean talks about getting swabbed every 24 hours to do television, about the athletes, male and female, featured this season on Blades and, oh yeah, about where things stand with Don Cherry.
Episode 15: Brent Butt

Episode 15: Brent Butt

2020-10-2250:23

A conversation with Canadian comedian Brent Butt, creator of Corner Gas Animated, The sitcom is back for a third season Monday nights on CTV Comedy Channel. Butt explains how making an animated version of the series has one big advantage: it avoids any COVID-19 shutdowns. Special guests this season include Arcade Fire's Win Barron, SCTV legend Andrea Martin and WWE stars Bret Hart and Trish Stratus.
During a break in production on Season 14 of Murdoch Mysteries, Yannick Bisson candidly takes stock of these COVID times. The father of three, married to his high school sweetheart, talks about how this period of isolation and distancing has affected him personally and professionally. An intimate look at a leading man who never wears out his welcome on television.
Episode 13: Jann Arden

Episode 13: Jann Arden

2020-09-2438:55

The Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter is back with a second season of her CTV comedy JANN (airing Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET on CTV). Arden fulfills a lifelong dream and puts "Canada's Sweetheart," Sarah McLachlan, in a headlock in Season Two. She also expresses her recipe for living through these COVID times. It involves a good book, an old dog and bedtime by 8 p.m. C'mon, get happy, and sing along with her favourite TV theme song.
Who better to talk to about television than author, film critic and historian Leonard Maltin? After all, as the New York native explains, "TV was a living museum of movies when I was growing up." That's where he first encountered Laurel & Hardy, the Marx Brothers and all those classic cartoons. Then along came "The Mickey Mouse Club" and before you could say, "Anything Can Happen Day," young Leonard was editing magazines and writing books. Meet the man behind the movie critic in an up close and personal conversation.
How do you explain to a dog that there is a pandemic? That's just one challenge facing Sherri Davis as she and the rest of the cast and crew resume production on Hudson & Rex. The shot-in-St. John's series co-stars Diesel vom Burgimwald, a four-year-old German Shepherd who plays police dog Rex. Sherri explains how she helps Diesel see past the masks in order to follow commands on the Citytv series. She also shares other stories from her dog-gone amazing career as an animal trainer for television.
Besides growing a COVID beard in 2020, I finally jumped into the deep end of the podcast pool. On this shorter-than-usual episode I recap some highlights including clips from conversations with Cardinal star Billy Campbell and Coroner's Roger Cross. There's also a quick look ahead at Season Two conversations with Hudson & Rex dog trainer Sherri Davis as well as author, former New York Times columnist and now CNN docuseries Executive Producer Bill Carter.
Roger Cross co-stars opposite Serinda Swan on the hit CBC drama Coroner. Premiering Aug. 5 on The CW, the series joins a select group of Canadian dramas ever to crack a U.S. network lineup. Raised in Vancouver, the Jamaican-born actor planned on a commercial airline career before roles on The X-Files and 24 changed his flight path. Listen as he tells of acting tips from Billy Dee Williams, meeting Muhammad Ali and 'tooning up as Green Lantern. Cross also shares his passionate views on racial injustice and how he was once told he was not "black enough" for a certain part.
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