NEW TO CBC GEM IN AUGUST:
New CBC docuseries Jensplaining, hosted by health expert Dr. Jen Gunter and Season 2 of original comedy How To Buy A Baby drop August 23
Canadian films from the CBC Films fund for female and diverse filmmakers Man Running (Gary Burns, August 17) and Level 16 (Danishka Esterhazy, August 24) premiere on CBC Gem and CBC TV, expanding CBC’s extensive library of homegrown films
Six-part British miniseries The Little Drummer Girl starring Michael Shannon, Alexander Skarsgård and Florence Pugh launches August 9
Programming in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Woodstock includes Woodstock Diaries, Both Sides Now: Joni Mitchell Live at the Isle of Wight, and Taking Woodstock, streaming August 9
In honour of the upcoming academic year, the Back to School collection includes Season 2 of Ackley Bridge, Secret Life of Farm Animals, and Back in Time for School
NEW CBC GEM ORIGINAL CANADIAN SERIES:
- Jensplaining (Lifestyle, 10×15) – All episodes begin streaming Friday, August 23
An educational series with an unapologetic sense of humour featuring Dr. Jen Gunter as she destroys the pseudoscience behind many popular health trends. Dr. Jen is there to help viewers understand how these health and beauty myths are anything but harmless.
- How To Buy A Baby (Comedy, 10×10) – All episodes begin streaming Friday, August 23
After rounds of failed and expensive infertility treatments, the dark comedy finds Jane (Meghan Heffern) and Charlie (Marc Bendavid) in the throes of adoption, a process steeped in paperwork, parenting classes, home inspections and difficult decisions about just how far they are willing to go to become parents.
- Woodstock Diaries (Documentary, 3×60) – All episodes begin streaming Friday, August 9
Fifty years ago on August 15th 1969, 500,000 music lovers gathered in upstate New York for three days of love, peace, drugs, respect, and the largest rock concert ever staged with amazing live performances from Jimi Hendrix, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Santana, Janis Joplin, The Who, The Band, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez and many more.
- Both Sides Now: Joni Mitchell Live at the Isle of Wight (Documentary, 1×75) – Begins streaming Friday, August 9
A documentary of one of the most difficult performances of Joni Mitchell’s career, at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. The documentary features Mitchell’s personal recollections of the festival, and includes her complete performance intercut with vintage footage from the festival attendees and promoters.
- Jimi: All Is By My Side (Drama, 1×118) – Begins streaming Friday, August 9
Outkast’s Andre Benjamin stars as Jimi Hendrix in this revealing biopic from writer-director John Ridley. Covering a transformative year in Hendrix’s life, from 1966-67, in which he went from a New York City backing musician to making his mark in London’s music scene, up until his Monterey Pop triumph, the film presents an intimate portrait of the sensitive young musician on the verge of becoming a rock legend.
- Pete Seeger: The Power of Song (Documentary, 1×93) – Begins streaming Friday, August 9
In Pete Seeger: Power of Song, the only authorized biography, Jim Brown documents the life of one of the greatest American singer/songwriters of the last century. Pete Seeger was the architect of the folk revival, writing some of its best-known songs including Where Have All the Flowers Gone, Turn, Turn, Turn and If I Had A Hammer. With a combination of never-before-seen archival footage and personal films made by Seeger and his wife, Pete Seeger: Power of Song chronicles the life of this legendary artist and political activist.
- Taking Woodstock (Drama, 1×120) – Begins streaming Friday, August 9
From Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), comes Taking Woodstock, a new comedy inspired by the true story of Elliot Tiber (Demetri Martin) and his family, who inadvertently played a pivotal role in making the famed Woodstock Music and Arts Festival into the happening that it was.
- Janis: Little Girl Blue (Documentary, 1×107) – Begins steaming Friday, August 9
Janis Joplin was one of the world’s most influential rock icons and a goddess of sound, but there was far more to her than that. Academy Award-nominated director Amy Berg (Deliver Us from Evil, West of Memphis) strips away Janis’ rock ‘n roll persona to reveal the gentle, trusting, sensitive, but powerful woman behind the legend, in the quintessential story of the short, turbulent, and epic existence that changed music forever.
- Woodstock: Three Days That Changed A Generation (Documentary, 1×120) – Begins streaming Friday, August 16
In August 1969, nearly half a million people gathered at a farm in upstate New York to hear music. What happened over the next three days, however, was far more than a concert. It would become a legendary event, one that would define a generation and mark the end of one of the most turbulent decades in modern history. Occurring just weeks after an American set foot on the moon, the Woodstock music festival took place against a backdrop of a nation in conflict over sexual politics, civil rights and the Vietnam War. A sense of an America in transition—a handoff of the country between generations with very different values and ideals—was palpable at what promoters billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace and Music.
BACK TO SCHOOL COLLECTION:
- Ackley Bridge, Season 2 (12×60) – All episodes begin streaming Friday, August 9
Ackley Bridge returns with 12 irreverent, laugh-out-loud and often heartbreaking episodes, set in the school designed to unite the divided white and Asian communities of a tough Yorkshire town.
- Secret Life of Farm Animals (Documentary, 3×60) – All episodes begin streaming Friday, August 9
Each episode is set against the backdrop of a farming season and follows the birth and development of one animal character — a lamb, a calf and a piglet. Along the way the series meets a whole supporting cast of animals, from harvest mice to ducklings, who make their own contribution to farm life.
- Back in Time for School (8×60) – All episodes begin streaming Friday, August 23
Fifteen pupils and their teachers are embarking on an extraordinary time-travelling adventure, to discover just how much life at school has changed over the past 100 years. The school itself will be their time machine, transporting them through seven eras of British history. From Victorian grandeur and the age of Empire, through post-war grammar, a ’60s Secondary Modern, and finally the dawning of the digital revolution in the ’80s and ’90s.
CANADIAN FEATURE FILMS PREMIERING IN AUGUST:
- Maps to the Stars (1×90) – Begins streaming Friday, August 9
With this tale of a secret-filled Hollywood family on the verge of implosion, director David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises, A History of Violence) forges both a wicked social satire and a very human ghost story from our celebrity-obsessed culture.
- Sadie’s Last Days on Earth (1×90) – Begins streaming Friday, August 16
Everything in high school feels like the world is ending and Sadie Collins’ (Morgan Taylor Campbell) crippling fear of the coming apocalypse is the heightened version of that. Undeterred by the naysayers, Sadie has two weeks to ready herself before doomsday. She needs to master survivalist cuisine and learn to sew, but there are other things… personal things: go to a high school party, kiss a boy, and most importantly, get her best friend back. Whether Sadie ultimately faces doomsday or another year of high school, one thing is certain – she needs to figure out who she is and what that means.
- MAN RUNNING (Drama, 2018) – Begins streaming Saturday, August 17
A doctor (Gord Rand, Pure) runs in a 24-hour ultramarathon over rugged mountain terrain as he avoids a complicated case involving a teenage girl’s wish to die.
- Life (Drama, 1×111) – Begins streaming Friday, August 23
The true story of the unique friendship forged between Magnum photographer Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson) and actor James Dean (Dane DeHaan) when Stock was commissioned to photograph the actor for Life magazine in 1955, weeks before Dean’s untimely death.
- LEVEL 16 (Sci-Fi/Thriller, 2018) – Begins streaming Saturday, August 24
In a prison-like boarding school, two 16-year-old girls (Katie Douglas, Mary Kills People, and Celina Martin, The Other Kingdom) struggle to uncover the reasons for their imprisonment and find a means of escape.
ACCLAIMED FROM AROUND THE WORLD:
- The Little Drummer Girl (Drama, 6×60) – All episodes begin streaming Friday, August 9
Based on John le Carré’s best-selling literary masterpiece of the same name, The Little Drummer Girl is a passionate love story and a deeply immersive thriller starring Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies) as Becker; two-time Academy Award-nominee Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water) as Kurtz; and BAFTA-nominated Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth) as Charlie. Set in the late 1970s, the pulsating thriller follows Charlie (Pugh), a young, fiery but unfulfilled British actress and idealist, whose resolve is tested after she meets the mysterious Becker (Skarsgård) while on holiday in Greece. It quickly becomes apparent that his intentions are not what they seem, and their encounter entangles her in a complex plot devised by the spy mastermind Kurtz (Shannon).
- Les Beaux Malaises (Comedy, 10×30) – All episodes begin streaming Friday, August 9
French Canada’s answer to Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm, Martin Matte’s television series is about, well…nothing—rien du tout! Add a maid, a dentist, a doctor, a toaster salesman, a filthy-rich star, and what do you get? Off-the-wall, outlandish humour that takes the most tedious, mundane, everyday event and pushes it beyond the limit. It’s a series that walks the fine line between playful innocence and a playful eagerness to challenge contemporary family and social taboos.
- Portlandia (Comedy, 10×30) – Season 8 begins streaming Friday, August 23
Created by Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and Jonathan Krisel, the series brings back its colorful array of characters to dig even deeper into the absurdity of modern life. Portlandia is executive produced by Lorne Michaels and produced by Broadway Video.
- The Beautiful Lie (Drama, 6×60) – All episodes begin streaming Friday, August 16
Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is the greatest ever relationship drama. The Beautiful Lie is a re-imagining of that story set in contemporary middle-class life, exploring the love lives of both “happy” and “unhappy” families in all their mess and grandeur.
- My Mad Fat Diary, Season 3 (3x 60) – All episodes begin streaming Friday, August 23
It’s June 1998, 18 months since we last saw Rae and the gang, and Rae has life as a teenager nailed. She’s got great friends, a super-cute baby sister, and the hottest boyfriend in the whole of Lincolnshire. Life in Stamford is just perfect. But with A Levels and the end of college looming on the horizon, change is in the air for the characters. They are on the cusp of adulthood, poised to enter the big, wide, adult world, but is Rae Earl really ready to escape the comforts of her past and leap into her unknown future?
- My Family and the Galapagos (Documentary, 3×45) – All episodes begin streaming Friday, August 23
This three-part documentary series follows award-winning TV host, marine biologist, and conservationist Monty Halls as he returns to his “favourite place on Earth” — the Galapagos Islands. This time his wife and two young daughters will be joining him for three months to experience this utterly unique place together. As a family, they will share spectacular wildlife encounters and life-changing adventures, living alongside creatures that can be found nowhere else on Earth.
THE BEST OF CBC:
- Past and current seasons of CBC series, including new Canadian drama hit Coroner, family drama Northern Rescue, original legal drama Diggstown, limited drama series Unspeakable; acclaimed comedies Kim’s Convenience, Baroness Von Sketch Show and Schitt’s Creek; crowd-pleasing dramas Murdoch Mysteries, Anne With An E and Heartland; and classic CBC hits like The Kids In The Hall and Being Erica.
COMING IN SEPTEMBER:
- Season 1 of Documentary Now! Created by Fred Armisen, Bill Harder, Seth Meyers, and Rhys Thomas
- Documentary series Absolutely Canadian showcasing the best in regional documentary and performances from across Canada
- CBC Gem feature film Cosmopolis directed by David Cronenberg and starring Robert Pattinson