Hosted by veteran TV columnist Bill Brioux. Each week, join in on an outspoken conversation 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.
TV Toy & Game collector Bruce Button
At brioux.tv, most podcasts deal with the people who make television memories. What about, however, people who collect TV memorabilia? We’re talking toys and games, trading cards, comic books, autographs and puzzles?
Meet Canada keeper of every boomer’s childhood memories: Bruce Button. For close to 50 years, Button has been buying, selling and curating TV merch, specialising in pop memorabilia from the ‘60s. On this podcast, I visit his Hamilton, Ont., house, where four rooms are jammed full of Man from U.N.C.L.E. posters, Hogan’s Heroes and Beverly Hillbillies lunch boxes and board games based on everything from The Addams Family and Alf to Snagglepuss and Stingray.
His collection doesn't stop there. His Beatles, Charlie Brown, Marx Bros. and Three Stooges goodies, not to mention his comic book, TV Guide and record collections, could fill at least one room alone.
If, like me, you still have a full set of Batman cards from the ‘60s, or a Kenner’s Give-a-Show Projector – or even if you simply know what those things are – you’ll want to listen in as Button gives a guided tour of his broadcast booty. His stories about meeting everyone from Channel 47’s Chuck the Night Watchman (Chas Lawther) to Tiny Tim are, well, one-of-a-kind.
If you want to see some of his treasures, check out the photos posted at brioux.tv.
Andrew Barnsley gets Schitt's done!
When he was asked to be president of the Toronto Film School a few years ago, Andrew Barnsley wasn't sure if he could take the job. After all, he was the executive producer of three network sitcoms at the time: Schitt's Creek, JANN and Son of a Critch. (A fourth, the reboot of Kids in the Hall on Prime Video, came later.)
The Emmy and Golden Globe award winner eventually figured it all out and now has his Emmys for producing Schitt's Creek on display at the Toronto Film School campus. It serves as an inspiration for the young TV and film students looking for a leg up in an industry that keeps booming in Canada -- even as Canadian broadcasters continue to reel from declining ad revenues.
Barnsley -- who has lived all across Canada -- is nevertheless bullish on our TV business. He offers encouragement to those entering that field. He also talks about that thrilling Emmy sweep a few years ago, seeing Son of a Critch take on the American market on The CW and the clever way Eugene Levy convinced nervous network executives to not change the name of Schitt's Creek.
John Doyle Strikes Back!
The strikes are over. How will this affect the future of television? Who better to ask than Mister John Doyle?
The retired and distinguished Globe and Mail TV columnist returns to brioux.tv: the podcast to share his savvy and unfiltered take on the crazy business of television.
On this episode we tackle the following topics:
The impact of the writers and actors strikes on the Canadian TV industry. (Our conversation took place hours before the U.S. guilds announced a deal had been done.)Which late night talk show has emerged as the best of the bunch since the writers' strike was settled?True or false: Bill Maher is a beacon of light in a sharply divided world.Which of these Canadian shows, either already cancelled or in their final seasons, will Doyle miss the most? Transplant, Letterkenny, ET Canada or Sort Of?Why do surveys show viewers are ditching newscasts? Maybe it is because, as Doyle argues, in the case of Toronto news, they are missing the story.Where did all the TV critics go?All that and more in a rollicking-good TV shellacking. Don't miss it!
Cheryl Hickey moves beyond ET Canada
It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Canada's first lady of entertainment news, Cheryl Hickey. The big hit was learning that the series she has hosted for 18 seasons, ET Canada, was being shut down by Corus Entertainment. Hickey admits the move, which took effect Oct. 6, caught her as much by surprise as it did others in the industry.
The native of Shallow Lake, Ont. a very small town near Owen Sound, started her career at Global 24 years ago. That's pretty much the last time I interviewed her. That interview took place at five thousand feet -- Hickey was a helicopter reporter at the time!
This relaxed and fun chat was much more down to earth, with Hickey walking me through her star-studded career. I quiz her on her many Hollywood encounters and her stories about Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Quincy Jones and Kiefer Sutherland are all red carpet worthy.
Hickey's own story is loaded with drive, determination, hutzpah and plenty of family support. Her aspirations and example should encourage others in Canada to reach for the stars -- even though her series no longer will.
What's next for Hickey? She doesn't tell me everything now, but I'm looking forward to our next conversation.
Robyn Hood's Director X and star Jessye Romeo
He's directed Drake, Rihanna, Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Jay Z. Now, Julien Christian Lutz, a.k.a. Director X, puts a Hip Hop spin on a legendary folk hero with Robyn Hood. The Young Adult drama airs Friday nights on Global and can also be streamed on Stack TV.
This episode, we hear from two of the key players on the new series: Jessye Romeo, a young, British actress who plays Robyn -- a masked, hip hop vigilante and leader of The Hood. She's out for justice with her family and friends who are all under attack in their besieged, low-income housing development, Sherwood Towers.
Out to tear them all down is evil developer John Prince, who is in cahoots with the nasty Sherriff of New Nottingham. Before you can say, "Premier Doug Ford," this shot-in-Toronto modern-day parable seems ripped from today's headlines.
The vision behind it all is co-creator, producer and Director X, who explains on this episode how this series came about, why Romeo is perfect in the role and how he first got into directing music videos for today's biggest superstars. Plus he sings a few bars of his all-time favourite TV theme song -- and, yes, you will be surprised by the song he selects.
Survivor 45 preview with Murtz Jaffer
Fire up the Tiki torches and pass the Doritos. With Survivor 45 upon us, who better to deliver the scoop than Murtz Jaffer.
Murtz's day job is as Associate Producer of Global's The Morning Show. He's also well known as the world's foremost expert on reality TV, traveling to countless final episode tapings of many reality shows and attending and hosting multiple cast parties.
For this season of Survivor, Murtz has scouted the field and knows the 17 new contestants and one returning player vying for the million dollar prize. Who does he like to take the new title? So far, it's not the one Canadian in the field, a man from Vancouver named Keleb Gebrewold.
Jaffer salutes Survivor for continuing to diversify the cast, both in terms of race and age. He assesses whether or not the original winner, Richard Hatch, would stand a chance 22 years later on the new edition. He singles out his Top-3 all-time players, and, yes, of course, one of them is Boston Rob.
He also recommends a recent Netflix reality series he feels is even more shocking than Survivor -- Outlast. Says Murtz, "They cast actual criminals!"