“Transplant,” starring Hamza Haq as a Syrian doctor building a new life in Canada, is preparing for a second season, in a June 24, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Bell Media renews ‘Transplant,’ ‘Jann’; says it’s working ‘to increase the representation of diverse voices’

TORONTO — New seasons of “Transplant” and “Jann” are among the shows bound for CTV as Bell Media navigates COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns and vows to increase representation and diversity in its content.

The company announced its upcoming lineup on Tuesday, including a second season of the hit homegrown medical drama “Transplant,” starring Hamza Haq as a Syrian doctor building a new life in Canada. An air date hasn’t been announced.

And the Canadian comedy “Jann,” from singer-songwriter-actress Jann Arden, will premiere a second season this fall and has been renewed for a third.

New shows on the CTV docket include “Filthy Rich,” starring Kim Cattrall as the wife of a wealthy patriarch, played by Gerald McRaney, whose sudden death reveals his secret life.

There’s also Chuck Lorre’s new comedy “B Positive,” starring Thomas Middleditch and Annaleigh Ashford as an unlikely duo who bond during his search for a kidney donor.

Bell Media did not make executives available for interviews Tuesday.

In a statement, Randy Lennox, president of Bell Media, said given ”recent events” the company will “work diligently to increase the representation of diverse voices in front of and behind-the-scenes in the content we create.”

Lennox’s comments echoed those in a Bell Media statement on June 12, in which the company announced a Content Diversity Task Force in partnership with BIPOC TV & Film, a grassroots organization and collective of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.

Such actions come amid the Black Lives Matter movement and urgent calls for broadcasters to amplify marginalized voices.

Meanwhile, earlier this month CTV cut ties with “I Do, Redo” host Jessica Mulroney after she was accused by Sasha Exeter of threatening the Toronto lifestyle influencer’s career and using her white privilege to “silence a Black woman.” The controversy promoted the celebrity stylist’s husband, Ben Mulroney, to step aside as anchor of CTV’s “etalk” on Monday to make room for “diverse voices.”

And last week, TSN issued a statement saying anchor Kayla Grey has the network’s full support, and it regretted previously issuing an “unclear” statement after a user on social media engaged in what the network calls “reprehensible attacks on her character.”

Like other Canadian broadcasters, Bell Media had an online presentation to reveal its upcoming lineup, which also includes a revival of the classic 1960s game show “Supermarket Sweep,” hosted and executive produced by comedy star Leslie Jones.

Other new series include “Holmes Family Effect,” “The Surrealtor” and the previously announced ”Children Ruin Everything.”

Returning Canadian series include “Corner Gas Animated,” “The Amazing Race Canada,” “Wynonna Earp” and “Letterkenny.”

American shows returning include “The Good Doctor,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “This is Us,” “The Masked Singer,” “Young Sheldon,” “The Conners,” “The Amazing Race,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Blue Bloods” and “”Bob Hearts Abishola.”

Among other highlights on the schedule are new documentaries on singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie and comedian Howie Mandel, and “Inconvenient Indian,” based on Thomas King’s national bestseller.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 23, 2020.

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