Flashpoint is On Demand in Poland!

In our never-ending quest to tell all our readers about Stephanie Morgenstern’s (Sailor Venus #1) Flashpoint, we uncovered another country that some of our readers can catch it in! If you subscribe to nScreen VOD as part of n Satellite Service, Flashpoint is available to you! There’s even a cool trailer with some techno music in the background. We are not sure as of this writing if the show has been dubbed in Polish, but we have a feeling it’s in English – we don’t think there’s been enough time to produce a Polish dub. Nonetheless, any of our Polish readers who want to clear this matter up, you are welcome to send us an email at Moonchasers@NOSPAMPLZKTHXWITHACHERRYONTOPgmail.com. We’d even love to hear your opinions on the show and post them at another date on this site. I’m not entirely sure how this service works in Poland, whether customers are charged a flat rate for VOD or if they are charged per purchase. Now we are looking to you Australia, Britain, and the others – please announce premiere dates for the show already!

HBO Comes to Canada!

Some of our readers may be wondering why this blog covers Canadian TV industry news once in a while. There’s two reasons for it, the first being that there aren’t that many blogs that really cover it (especially from an anime fan’s perspective) and second, many of the VAs appear on Canadian productions. So it’s good to get a picture of the Canadian TV Landscape. Onto today’s headline! Many Canadians wonder why American TV Channels aren’t in Canada. The CRTC has mandated certain Canadian Content Laws, as well as a policy banning foreign companies from owning or operating channels north of the border. That’s not to say that Canada is shut out completely from foreign channels – CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox all air up here, as well as a few specialty channels (and they are not just from the US either). However, over the years Canadians have gotten a little jealous when word breaks loose of great US-only shows that some plan trips to go watch, or go to great lengths to “acquire” them. In recent years, some Canadian channels, along with a few syndicated ones, have brought these shows to Canada (albeit later than they started). One channel whose TV shows have been a constant craving for Canada, was HBO. A few years ago, Corus’s Movie Central/The Movie Network landed on the scene, and gradually added some (but not all) of HBO’s programming to their schedule. Canadians were a little happier, but they still craved all the series and specials that still didn’t air up North. Earlier today, Corus (YTV’s Parent Company) announced that they planned to launch HBO Canada on October 30th, and cable subscribers who already subscribe to Movie Central/The Movie Network will receive the channel at no extra charge. No doubt, we will cover this within the first few days and tell you all about it! With this new deal, the full slate of HBO programming will make it to air day and date with the United States’ HBO, but there is one catch – 25% of all programming must be Canadian. But, it’s a small price to pay for the entire programming lineup, no? Playback Online says that this will deal a big blow to Super Channel, but we wouldn’t count them out just yet. Anime fans of the older generation are better off watching Super Channel over Movie Central simply because of the series they carry. Super Channel also has more international programming than Movie Central/The Movie Network and many independent movies that the VAs have acted in air on the network. Super Channel has only been around for just about a year, and it takes a while for a network to really make it’s presence in a market. In any case, we’re excited for this and we look forward to seeing what HBO Canada will bring!

R.I.P. Toonami

To Everyone’s surprise, last Saturday marked the end of Cartoon Network’s Toonami block. While the block had its ups and downs, the block was a pioneer in anime programming in North America. In fact, I remember that on my trips to the United States I would always take the time to catch the latest popular anime on Toonami as YTV didn’t carry a lot of the series they did. Just before S and SuperS were announced on YTV, I remember that I purposely made the family come home early from a shopping trip just to catch it on Toonami. Of course, I had no idea that the episode which had confused me was the end of the S season.

Toonami also frequently showed anime movies, even devoting an entire month to Miyazaki movies, something no networks have ever done, save for airing them once in a while. Toonami also strived to have something for everyone of all ages. Though many of their shows were rated for the under 7 set, many of them appealed to older viewers such as DBZ, Sailor Moon, and the Gundam series. In recent years, many fans complained of the lack of variety of “decent” anime on the channels, but suffice to say, many of us would not have known about the series we know and love today if it was not for Toonami.

Toonami also had some of the coolest CGI hosts we have ever seen on television. The older generations of TOM, Sara, and Moltar were never live to air (like the Program Jockeys on YTV) but they went a lot farther than some live hosts we have seen. They showed fans’ drawings, video game reviews, and providing an outlet for some very lucky techno and electronica musicians to have their work played between shows. Some music videos even aired. Toonami had become more than just a cartoon block.

The network pulled this surprise on nearly everyone, sending around a message of excitement to fans, and then making an official annoucement last Saturday at Anime Weekend Atlanta. Toonami’s Jetstream service will continue, but without the Toonami name. Toonami’s staff will all be working for different areas of Cartoon Network. A new action block will take over Toonami’s spot on Friday nights, but as of this writing we don’t know anything about it. We will let you know as always as soon as you can.

This is truly a sad thing that has happened, and we are all really sad to see Toonami go. There will probably never be a block like it ever again in North America. But for all of the blocks recent shortcomings, the show was a major pioneer in bringing anime to the masses in the United States, and its influence will never be forgotten.

Fans wanting to relive any old clips from Toonami’s heyday are urged to visit Toonami Arsenal – they even have some old clips from Sailor Moon! More importantly, for those of you who want to catch the farewell montages, Toonami Arsenal has posted them on their front page. This morning, we watched them all and we even marked all the mentions of Sailor Moon in the montages.

Montage 1 – 42 sec
Montage 2 – 14 sec
Montage 3 – 41 sec (They posted fanart of Sailor Moon, a very creative way of showing the show without having to air any of it THANKS TOEI LOCKDOWN)
Montage 4 – 39 sec (It’s hard to tell if that’s Sailor Jupiter or Molly from that angle).

Flashpoint Ratings September 18th

Flashpoint’s season finale on CBS scored a record number of viewers in the United States – 9.66 million to be exact! The show was #1 in it’s timeslot and 2.6/7 with viewers 18-49. Mark Berman is certain that the show will return on the network at a later time (and that was written hours before CBS made their announcement). This number was an all-time high for the series, and we couldn’t be prouder! Even more surprising was a CTV Press release we found giving us the show’s ratings ahead of BBM Canada! The show also hit a high in Canada with 1.46 million viewers, and the show peaked at 10:51 PM (9 minutes before the show ended) with a total of 1.66 million viewers. A total of 2.5 million viewers watched all or part of last night’s episode. The show was #1 across all key demographics all across the country. While Anne Marie La Traverse and Bill Mustos seem to be getting all the credit in the media, we’re a little dismayed there’s little being said about the creators of the show, Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1) and her husband Mark Ellis. Without them creating the show, the producers wouldn’t have this show to produce. So, congratulations again to Stephanie and Mark on a hit show, and many more episodes to come!

Flashpoint in a Flash: Episode 9

I did something different this week – I threw in both the American and Canadian commercials in the breaks for those of you wondering what sorts of commercials air in the opposite country! We all loved this episode and we’re sad that it’s over in the US. Full summary after the jump!

The US finale begins with the SRU swarming around a seemingly peaceful house. A woman recites a passage from Milton over and over again, Greg tries to contact someone in the house, and the SRU makes their way into the basement. A man shows up with a gun in front of the woman, and says “your time is up” REWIND! We’re now 8 years ago, and a girl named Penny is camping out in the backyard with her dad looking at stars with her telescope. The dad goes back inside to get some snacks, as she sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and someone appears behind her. She thinks it’s her dad who returned pretty quickly… fast forward to today. Penny has now grown up and awakes from her bed. Her walls are covered with murals of construction paper of the outside world. She tries to look out the window, but her ankle bracelet buzzes. On her desk, she transcribes Milton’s Paradise Lost. Back at SRU headquarters. Greg walks in and signs a female officer’s letter of recommendation for a tactical operations course. He looks at letters to his son that have all been marked return to sender. He remarks it’s just the way it always is. Back at the woman’s house, the phone rings as she is transcribing Milton. She sees it is Gerald, and she answers the phone. He tells her he has a surprise for her, and hangs up. He opens his car’s door and there’s a little girl inside. At a gas station, the attendant is watching the news (CTV News nonetheless!) and learns of a little girl who has been kidnapped 12 hours ago. Gerald walks in with the girl, and asks to use the restroom. She gives them a key. At the SRU, Jules is hesitant to sign up for a Psych evaluation, and Greg just wants everything to be copacetic (in order). Jules says she doesn’t agree with the questions, because there’s no right or wrong answer. Greg says that they are only human, and that they are going to get things wrong. At the gas station , Gerald returns the key and pays for the gas. The attendant notices the kid’s a little too scared, and she offers him a free lollipop. She swirls it in the air to look at the kid’s chin, and there’s a birthmark there that matches the description given on the TV. As she gives back change, she notices a gun under Gerald’s coat. She calls 911, says she has found the missing girl, and runs out to get the license plate. The SRU is on the scene and finds out who the car is registered, and a home address. They suit up! Gerald returns back home, and kisses Penny as if she is his. The girl walks into the kitchen, and Gerald takes off her cap revealing pigtails. He simply says “Honey, this is Lily”. ROLL CREDITS! Commercials! In the US we saw some ads including for some Kohl’s sale and Pizza Hut’s new pastas. And the premiere of NCIS, a show which none of us on staff cares about. Canadians saw commercials for CTV News, Bagelfuls, and Stephen Harper trying to convince Canadians he’s the better choice for Prime Minister (Yeah Right, I’m sorry but I don’t want Bill C-10 or C-61 taking effect). Back to the show! The SRU drives to Scarborough , while in the kitchen, Gerald praises Penny for the spic-and-span job she did cleaning. Penny asks why she is here, if it’s because she did something wrong… someone has a severe case of Stockholm syndrome. In the SUV, Ed and Greg talk about Greg’son. Ed urges Greg to go to Dallas to go see him, as it’s the only way he’ll recognize he still has a father that cares. At the house, Gerald puts an ankle bracelet on Lily, and forces her to thank him. He tells her the rules of the house, that she isn’t supposed to go near a window, or the bracelet will buzz. If she leaves the house, a wire will be tripped and she will be shocked dead. He lies to her and says the police will hurt her bad and it’s better to die. The SRU arrive at the house. Her dad told her over the phone that he has to keep her safe this way and asked him to bring her here. Gerald continues to lie to Lily when she pokes holes in his story. He forces Penny to make her lunch. The SRU gets a profile about Gerald. A contractor built this house especially with all windows frosted. He was in jail for a couple months years ago, and has no weapons registered. Gerald explains to Lily the rules are there to keep her safe. Penny wants to take her around the house rather than Gerald, and they get into an argument. Lily tries to run and is buzzed. She hugs Penny, and Gerald throws Penny in the closet for a time out. This Gerald character sure is twisted…Penny recites a passage from Milton. The SRU sets up snipers outside the house as Gerald shows Lily around. He notices motion detectors going off outside the house and the phone rings… this is where our episode began. Greg talks to him and asks him and the occupants to walk outside the house. Gerald threatens him and says he will kill Lily if anyone enters the house. As the SRU enters the house, he gives Penny a gun, and she knows what to do. Commercials! An awkward commercial about restrictions from T-Mobile, Hot Pockets Paninis, and JC Penney. Canadians saw commercials for Grey’s Anatomy, Cinnamon Pecan Special K, and Winners. Back to the show! Greg tries to call Gerald again as Penny and Lily go upstairs to Penny’s room. Gerald hugs and kisses Penny, promising he will be back in 2 minutes. Penny doesn’t want Gerald to leave her alone. The SRU doesn’t know what to do to save the girl, but they eventually decide to roll under the garage door to enter the house. Lily helps Penny tip furniture down in the room. One member uses a special scanner to check the walls for surprises. The make their way through to the kitchen and around the living room. Wordy finds a box for a dog collar. Greg thinks there’s an electric circuit around the house for containment, so some members go to disable it. Ed and Wordy head to the basement, as Jules and Sam wait outside Penny’s room. They use a small camera to see inside the room, and they see Penny and try to identify her. They look around for Duglin and they don’t see him. Ed and Wordy yell in the basement for Gerald to freeze, but to no avail. Jules sees the transcripts of Milton, and Sam remembers his Dad when he sees the book. Lily shoots at Jules, Greg tries to get snipers to surround the room as Ed goes looking for Gerald…and him and Wordy find a tunnel in the basement?! They don’t know where it leads. The officer from the beginning of the episode, Kira, identifies the girl as someone who was abducted 8 years ago, and matches an age enhanced picture. Commercials! Quaker Oats, Macy’s Shop For A Cause, and Aflac Insurance. Desperate Housewives’ Kathryn Joosten appears in a Yoplait commercial and there’s a McCain-Palin ad. Change is Coming? This commercial doesn’t really tell me what they stand for… Canadians saw ads for Zellers, Iron Man on DVD, and Sheryl Crow’s Canadian tour. Back to the show! Police cars arrive at the house, as does an ambulance and an armored truck of sorts. Greg tells Jules to talk to her, because Penny needs to hear a female voice after spending 8 years at the hands of a man. Jules is scared, but Greg helps her out with advice on how to talk to her. Greg calls Spike to help out Jules and Sam. Jules works slowly to try to get Lily, but Penny freaks out and shoots again (but the SRU is safe). Lily asks how the SRU knows her name, and Penny tells Lily to keep quiet. Jules tries to get Lily to put the gun down. Penny panics and asks for Gerald, and Jules agrees to find out. She learns he has escaped through the tunnels. Kira tells Ed and Wordy that they are headed to a deserted brick factory. As they are making their way through underground railroad tracks, a man appears from the other end and shoots. Outside the house, Greg talks to Penny’s parents who seem happy that she is safe after these 8 long years. Lily wants to leave, but Penny has identified completely with her captor. Penny tells Lily a twisted story about Anne Frank, and that they can’t leave for the same reason that she couldn’t live her house. Jules tells Penny that they don’t know where Gerald is, and Penny thinks they are lying. She quotes Milton again, that without him there is no life. Lily tries to get away from Penny saying that Gerald made the story up and that she wants to go home. In the tunnels, Ed and Wordy chase Gerald. Jules promises Lily her parents are flying up from Sault Ste. Marie and that they will not hurt her. Lily runs, but Penny threatens to shoot her. Commercials! The US saw commercials for the Special K Challenge, a trailer for Righteous Kill, Lowe’s, and a Maverick ad for McCain and Palin. Canadians saw commercials for Without a Trace, Michael McCain, an apology from the CEO and President of Maple Leaf Foods about the Listeria outbreak, urging Canadians that their machinery has been sanitized, and Egg Farmers of Canada. And we’re back! Sam wants to shoot Penny to free Lily, and Greg wants Jules to stand down, but Jules tells Sam to wait. She talks to Penny in a language she can understand about choice, to let Lily choose where she wants to be. Lily chooses the SRU, and Spike grabs her and takes her to safety. Penny finally goes to the window, not being buzzed by the wire, and squints at her first glimpse of sunlight in 8 years. She watches as Lily is put onto a gurney. In the warehouse, Ed and Wordy are on the hunt for Gerald. Ed recognizes the gun he is using and counts bullets, wondering where the sixth one is in the hopes that while he reloads, he can have a chance at getting Gerald. At the house, Penny sees her parents through the blinds. They call out to her, but she moves back into the corner. Ed and Wordy encounter Gerald, and tell him to put the gun down and come to them or else in 5 seconds they will go to him. Gerald says that they don’t understand, that this is not the way he wants it to be. Ed asks what he wanted, and Gerald says he just wanted to be happy just like everybody else. Ed says he isn’t like everybody else and asks him to put the gun down. He says without Penny there is no life, before shooting himself in the head. Ed remarks that’s the 6th bullet, and walks over to Gerald. At the house, Jules talks to Penny, but once again finds herself at gunpoint while trying to reason with Penny. Greg says it’s Sam’s call to shoot. Jules makes one last attempt to help Penny , and says she wants to help her remember the girl she used to be. Greg asks her parents for memories when she felt joy and love. Jules hears all of this and tells Penny in a tone that she identifies with. Penny eventually breaks and Jules tells her there is a great big world out there that is much prettier than her room. She drops the gun, and Jules and Sam help her outside. Still slightly deranged and not used to the outside world after 8 years, she walks slowly to her parents. Greg tells Jules that he made her proud, and although she wasn’t perfect, she was human and she did just fine. Jules offers to buy Greg a drink, but Greg says he’s going to go away for the weekend. At the SRU, Kira has a ticket to Dallas ready for Greg. Back in her old room, Penny looks through her telescope, and says “the stars are still there”. The episode ends.

This was a fitting ending to a great run on two networks which far exceeded anyone’s expectations! The series is not over on CTV yet, so we’ll be keeping up our coverage of the last four episodes for all of our readers all over the world, who can’t watch the episodes or who just want a sneak peek. It’s a little odd though that the networks both chose to air commercials for just one candidate on both sides of the border rather than balancing out with the others. We also open up our inboxes to any of our viewers around the world where Flashpoint is premiering – if you read a story or learn about ratings, we would love to hear how the show is doing in your country! Don’t hesitate to send us an email at moonchasers@NOSPAMPLZKTHXWITHACHERRYONTOPgmail.com.