Pilot to air on CMT Canada in the Fall
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Bell Digital Fund helps generate a multimedia vortex with high-calibre webisodes produced by Saloon Media.
(Toronto – June 4, 2014) Reality-TV storm-chasing gets an extreme upgrade with Saloon Media’s latest pilot, Tornado Hunters, for Corus Entertainment’s CMT (Canada), a dramatic and often-comic diary of Canada’s only extreme weather specialty company.
Tornado Hunters is already a phenomenon that encompasses armchair weather voyeurism (during peak times this can reach up to 50,000 people following the live webstream).
Over a three-month period, Tornado Hunters primarily shot starting in the Canadian Prairies all the way to Texas, better known as “Tornado Alley.”
The pilot begins with the excitement and challenges of gearing up for a new season of storm-chasing, including the ominous task of assessing the previous season’s damage – and upgrading their specially-outfitted pickup truck “Flash” (in 2013, the hunters Greg, Ricky and Chris drove straight into the widest tornado ever recorded, with winds approaching 300 mph). The larger-than-life characters, the road, the adventures and misadventures are all ingredients in a budding multimedia adventure with a serious message underneath.
“There is a lot of risk in running a full time storm chasing business and the stakes are huge,” says Saloon Media’s show producer Paul Kilback. “Every time the ‘Tornado Hunter’ team hits the road they are putting everything on the line – financially and personally. This is what makes the show so dynamic -dealing with Mother Nature you never really know what she’s going to throw at you.”
The Tornado Hunters’ Twitter, Facebook and online feeds are already monitored by Environment Canada and by broadcast meteorologists. And now, under the urgent cloud of global warming, Greg, Ricky and Chris are looking to develop Canada’s first-ever advanced spotters network, assisted by a web and mobile-based app to instantly warn subscribers of impending tornado activity. The Bell Digital Fund plays a large part in the web component, which will include striking webisodes, as well as outtakes and extras not seen in the show.
“Audiences can expect a mixture of dramatic and funny moments with this band of characters in Tornado Hunters”, said Vibika Bianchi, Vice President, Original Programming, Corus Women and Family. This action packed pilot will draw on the excitement and thrill ride of our favourite disaster movies.” These insane adventures have surprising demographics. Facebook analytics of Tornado Hunters’ 60,000+ (this is combined for all three guys) followers suggest 73% of them are women, the largest age group between 22-44.
Saloon Media is a new world-market factual-entertainment venture specializing in popular, returnable series and high-impact TV specials. Headed by Executive producer Michael Kot with broadcast and production partners around the world, Saloon is set to unveil some of the most talked-about new productions in the cable universe. The spectacular eight-part series Miracles Decoded is scheduled for HISTORY in Canada, UK, Poland and India. Next: Tornado Hunters, a pilot already snagged by CMT, will reset the bar for “extreme weather” reality-TV. Finishing production, Handsome Devils (co-pro with UK’s BriteSpark Films) about 10 notorious lady-killers. http://www.saloonmedia.com/.
About CMT Canada
Available in over 9.5 million homes, CMT is Canada’s source for country music lifestyle programming. Exploring themes relevant to country music and country music fans, the network offers an exciting mix of comedy and dramatic series, movies and country music news, videos, concerts and specials. CMT’s Video Advantage Program, established in 2000, supports the production of original music videos for Canadian artists. The station’s website, www.cmt.ca, is Canada’s number one website dedicated to country music.
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