Monday, March 30, 2009

Flashpoint DVD Boxset Out in Two Weeks, Brits!

As we reported earlier, Flashpoint is being released on DVD in the UK - and based on the details given on Amazon UK, we don't think there are going to be any extras - at 520 minutes it looks like it's going to be an episodes-only release. We really love the cover though - especially the slogan "Who's got your back?" The slogan we usually see here in North America is "What would you do" in the CBS promos. To our readers in the UK - we would love to hear confirmation from you if there are any extras included on the DVD! Don't hesitate to send us an email! Pending announcements from CTV and/or CBS about a DVD release in North America, we may purchase a copy in May (these days, being an Otaku almost forces you to have a region-free DVD player because Japanese releases come with more bang for your buck). Some of us on staff are still "old school" and like watching our tv shows on a tv screen rather than our computers or (in some cases) non-existent portable media devices. Alas, CTV seems to have posted the wrong episode description this week on their site. The episode this week will be Aisle 13, which tells the story of a teenage boy who is sad over his best friend moving far away, because of financial difficulties. So, he decides to rob a local food store to give their family some money so they can stay here, but it all goes awry and he takes several people hostage. And for those of you wondering what it's like to write for Flashpoint, we found an old interview from almost a year ago!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Flashpoint Continues Cutting Edge Presentation

Hey Moonies - Flashpoint isn't on today, but that doesn't mean we can't bring you news about it!

Flashpoint to be Broadcast Online in HD

CTV announced yesterday that a new beta player was being launched online, and that three of their top shows, Flashpoint, Corner Gas, and Malawi's Song were going to be the first shows in Canada to be offered online in HD! This also makes CTV the first network in Canada to stream HD content online! The player uses a combination of technology: Akamai's Adaptive Edge, Microsoft Silverlight, and Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) 7.0 Smooth Streaming Technology. It promises instant startup time and no buffering (then again, this is the internet and we expect there to be some buffering at the very least). We checked it out and we were impressed! It really seems like Canada is leading the US when it comes to the distribution of this series. Canada can access the show's previous and current seasons on iTunes, and in standard and high definition on CTV's website, as well as on television. CBS has not put the show up on iTunes, but the show is available on their network in SD & HD, and in SD on their site. Still no word on a North American DVD release, but we are working hard behind the scenes to get a copy of the UK release soon after it is out.

Do Not Buy This Boxset... Flashpoint Edition!

Speaking of DVDs, a pirated boxset has hit the internet. Please don't buy it! The DVDs are region free, which in the legit DVD world always rings alarm bells for not being official. We don't even think that's the official cover, it looks just like a screencap of a promotional picture we've seen kicking around CTV (when you load their official page, this image is a placeholder for whatever video is they have featured). It also features a monochrome CBS DVD logo, but the CBS store does not have a Flashpoint boxset listed anywhere! We haven't seen this boxset appear at any reputable online sellers - but should any of our fans see it, please email us with where you saw it and we will take action and get a letter campaign started (we've been here before)to get this set pulled in favor of an official release.

And to Catch Up on Ratings...

Canada's ratings for last week's episode have just been released - the show scored 1.350 million viewers and was the 16th most watched show in the country that week!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Flashpoint Ratings News!

Before we hit the ratings, we'll link you to an interesting article we found - One of Flashpoint's writers, Tassie Cameron is pitching a new cop series to US networks entitled Copper. The article goes on to say what a pioneer Flashpoint was for Canadian television across the border, since the economic crisis is pushing US networks to pursue alternative productions.

Canada's ratings for the episode "The Fortress" (which was the week before last Friday), scored 1.367 million viewers, and was the 14th most watched show in the country that week! US Ratings for the episode which aired just a few days ago, "Clean Hands", scored 9.44 million viewers, and earned a score of 1.9/6 for the adults 18-49 demographic. This 1.9 score sent off alarm bells with some critics, saying that the show probably won't survive, but it's been teetering between 1.9 and 2.0 the last few weeks. And it is still winning it's timeslot, despite only retaining 85% of the viewers from the preceding show, The Ghost Whisperer. Some other outlets are reporting bigger figures. Dollhouse rose in viewers to 4.42 million, with a score of 1.5/5 in the demographic. However if the previews are to be trusted, next week's episode will be a real kicker, and may be the spark that attracts more viewers. Flashpoint is on a hiatus for the next two weeks , and maybe if we are lucky we can catch up on some summaries - I'll at least be lost without Flashpoint for this time!

Monday, March 9, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Flashpoint Set Plays Host to Important Government Announcement, and Other News Tidbits!

Hey Moonies! I have to post a quickie Flashpoint update since something major was announced today.

Canadian Government to Attempt to Fix Canadian Television Fund

Most TV production in Canada receives funding from the Canadian Television Fund , which is supported by contributions from the Canadian Government (through the Department of Canadian Heritage) and many Canadian Cable and Satellite providers. In the last few years, the fund has undergone many changes in how it is supported by its supporters, especially since many supporters pulled out or reduced their funds by a significant amount. This compounded with the rise of "new media" over the internet and mobile devices, has sent the distribution of these funds into a tizzy, leaving many in the TV industry frustrated. The Canadian New Media Fund, which was created for this purpose, also suffered from lack of Governmental support. Today, Heritage Minister James Moore held a press conference from the set of Flashpoint announcing the merger of the two funds to create the Canadian Media Fund which will come to fruition in 2010 (Image Credit: CTV). Applicants will be required to make their content available on two platforms. While we are happy to read that the Government is attempting to reorganize their TV industry funding , we were a little confused about what developers who only work on either conventional programming or new media would have to do to get funding under these new requirements. Brian Anthony of the Director's Guild of Canada also shared his sentiments on the same thoughts exactly. And the Canadian Actor's Union, ACTRA, has a few words to say too, since 5 of the 7 members of this new board are comprised of representatives from the "Big Cable" industries. In recent years, we've noticed there has been a rise of many independent productions in Canada, especially animated ones which are almost web-exclusive. It would be a sad day to see these productions struggle to get funding, as well as having to really fight to get funding from a board more balanced towards bigger companies. While we were happy to read that they chose to make this announcement from the set of one of Canada's biggest TV successes of recent years, we can't help but worry about how exactly this consolidated fund is going to work. Readers who want to check out videos from the press conference (and take a guess exactly where in Toronto the set is!) can go to CTV and watch them on their media player.

☽ And Zap2It has some really cool pictures of the cast of Flashpoint and Numb3rs on an on-set weapons training visit!
Enrico Colantoni and Hugh Dillon traveled to Burbank to use a Firearms Training Simulator.

☽ And we have ratings to report: io9 posted an interesting article and poll asking the question "Is there too much to watch on Friday Nights?" I at least had that problem between three shows this week. Flashpoint, Dollhouse, and I also really wanted to catch 20/20 since they were going to feature the farewell performance of Siegfried and Roy. I'm still amazed at how Roy Horn has recovered from his injury, and also amazed at his strength. I ended up watching Flashpoint, and recording the other two shows. Did any of our readers also have this dilemma? In any case, I have lost all faith in Dollhouse. This time I really felt that the banter read right out of a script from Buffy, and that Sierra's part in the episode was just there for a token appearance. Most TV critics are predicting it won't last past these 13 episodes, and I am siding with them. I don't think it's a threat to Flashpoint anymore. Flashpoint had one of the most suspenseful and gripping episodes in its run last week, and I thought the lines of the nanny were brilliantly written and the child stars were superb (we bet they thought it was cool to see all the behind the scenes action and effects)! The other really cool thing about this episode is that the viewers who have been following this show now have a really good idea where each character comes from and they can almost feel their thoughts in their head when they don't have anything to say. You could feel Sam Braddock's heartbreak when Donna walked in, and you could feel Greg Parker remembering what it was like to be there for his son when he gave Daniel a reassuring hug after his captor had been shot. Stephanie Morgenstern and Mark Ellis in one of their beginning promotional interviews said that this wasn't your typical cop show - and every week they live up to it! Anyway, enough gushing about the episode, we were so happy to read this week Flashpoint creamed Dollhouse in the United States! Flashpoint scored 9.8 million viewers and a 2.0/6.0 score with the 18-49 demographic, whereas Dollhouse scored only 3.50 million viewers and a 1.5/5.0 with the same demographic. 20/20 had the same score in the demographic but only had 8.40 million viewers. Flashpoint definitely won the timeslot and CBS won the night! Next week's episode features Sam Braddock in a hostage situation - we can't wait!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Flashpoint News Roundup!

Who caught tonight's episode? What a twist and a sad ending :(. I quite enjoyed the banter between the SRU in the workout room in the beginning! Leave us your thoughts below!

Flashpoint Nominated for More Awards

Unfortunately, the show didn't win the award it was nominated for at the CFTPA Indie Awards (Season 2 of Intelligence won). Sarah Gadon, who played Tasha in the episode Attention Shoppers, was nominated for an ACTRA Toronto award, but unfortunately didn't win either (we really loved her performance in it too :(). On a side note, Robert Tinkler (Rubeus, Pupuran) was also nominated for his voice work on Cyberchase (and also didn't win). Flashpoint however it has other award noms on the horizon! Two episodes have been nominated for the Writers Guild of Canada's Screenwriters Awards! And they are: Tracey Forbes for Attention Shoppers and Adam Barken for Who's George?. The show is against episodes from ReGenesis and Murdoch Mysteries. The Awards will be held on Monday, April 20th - we wish Flashpoint the best of luck!

IGN Posts Interview with Enrico Colantoni

We're just going to link you to this one with a warning that Enrico Colantoni uses some nasty words in this interview that are censored. We recommend all our readers who are old enough to read this check it out - he gives out a lot of hints about the new season and also what it's like behind the scenes. He talks about how he feels a certain kinship to the show since his brother was a cop. At the end of the interview he makes special note about how the show is "allowed to be in Toronto" and how relieved the crew is to not have to hide certain things that are "Canadian", and how the show has been able to adapt and become a city that could be anywhere in the world. We especially like how there has been such a variety in the different cultures of the characters on the show.

And Finally, Last Week's Canadian Ratings...

We are so elated to read on BBM that Flashpoint has risen! The show went up from having 910K viewers the week before to having 1.339 viewers last week - rising from the 24th most watched program to the 12th most watched program in Canada! We can all breathe again and hopefully the show will rise even more! Keep watching the show, Canadian fans!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Flashpoint Ratings Febraury 27th, 2009

Hi Moonies: We're going to hold off on our summaries of the episodes until further notice. They will be done, just when is hard to say, we are doing a little restructuring behind the scenes. Nonetheless, we will keep you posted on the ratings since Flashpoint is in a bit of a bind on both sides of the border!

First off - it was announced last week that CTV , Flashpoint's parent network in Canada and initial supporter, is projecting a loss of 100 million CAD in "conventional television" due to the worldwide economic crisis, along with changes in television and how the internet has influenced media content. CTV has also written off 1.7 billion CAD in television operations from the last quarter. The network also suspended Canadian Idol just for 2009. We are worried that Flashpoint may have to pull in successful numbers consistently if the show were to be considered for a third season - it will need to prove it will be a good investment. And the ratings in Canada have been declining slowly. On the 13th of February, when the last episode of Season 1 Between Heartbeats aired, the show had 1.292 million viewers - a significant cry from the 1.7 million viewer peak two episodes earlier. So Canadian Moonies - please try to watch this show on Friday night (who wants to go out in the cold anyway?) and encourage anyone else you know to give this show a try!

Now, onto last week's episode, Business as Usual. Canadian ratings won't be posted for a few more days, however the US ratings were published just hours after the show aired. Flashpoint kinda won and didn't win it's timeslot. It had more viewers than Joss Whedon's Dollhouse with 9.17 million viewers (to 4.13 million) however, Dollhouse scored a 2.0/7.0 score with the 18-49 demographic, and Flashpoint was kept away from the top only scoring 1.9/7.0. As far as the shows went, Flashpoint came back with a bang with a story about how the current economic crisis and corporate greed affects everyone, however I thought the scenes with the new character, Donna Sabine (at least we think that's her last name) were a little rushed. Maybe the vagueness of her persona will be clarified as the show goes on, and it was there to add to the mystery of her psychological problems which were hinted at. I really liked the mock stock exchange they had built in MaRS though, and it was nice to see Amy Jo Johnson, even if it was only for a few minutes (she will be back, right?). Dollhouse on the other hand, stuck to one plot for the entire episode's duration, however at times it seemed to drag on and on. I didn't quite believe Eliza Dushku's singing was as great as the show made it out to be, or the Diva's behaviour seemed overdone at times. I also thought some elements for the plot for this episode was drawn from an episode of Eliza's other show Tru Calling, many years ago. I also don't think Friday night is necessarily the greatest night for both of these shows. The good news is that these two shows are the top two in the timeslot, and it will be interesting to see in the coming weeks how this plays out.