CBC Gem April 2023 Highlights



CBC Gem is Canada’s streaming service, offering more than 6500 hours of live and on-demand Canadian programming and a curated selection of acclaimed, best-in-class content from around the world, including more than 800 documentaries, 500 hours of ad-free content for kids and tweens, and a collection of over 200 Canadian feature films. CBC Gem is available free as an app for iOS and Android devices and online at, and on TV screens via Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Xbox.

For screening links or more information about any of the following titles, please contact Tanya Koivusalo at Note: This schedule is subject to change.

For images from CBC Gem titles, click here. Please credit Courtesy of CBC Gem.


SMOTHER Season 3 (6×60, drama, BBC Studios, Treasure Entertainment, UK) 

Begins streaming Friday, April 7

*Exclusive Canadian Premiere*

The investigative thriller about the deeply buried secrets that families keep – and their devastating consequences – returns for its final gripping season. Broken by the death of her youngest daughter, Grace, a vulnerable Val is targeted by Dr Paul McFarlane, a brilliant and charismatic psychologist. He seems to have a preternatural sense of how to push her buttons, create a culture of dependency and undermine her sense of self. Shocked and alienated by their mother’s recklessness, Val’s other daughters, Jenny and Anna, resolve to find out exactly what happened to their sister. But as the family struggles to reach Val and take back power from Paul, they learn that their family’s dark past has one final, devastating blow to deliver to each of them.

“a great cast and performances.”

Ed Power, The Irish Times

SAVAGE RIVER (6×60, drama, Aquarius Films Production, Australia)

Begins streaming Friday, April 14

*Exclusive Canadian Premiere*

When Miki Anderson returns to her hometown after ten years in prison she’s determined to finally move on with her life, but the close-knit community of Savage River is not about to let her forget the past that easily. When a murder rocks the town, Miki immediately becomes the focus of everyone’s suspicion. With the police closing in, she sets out to prove her innocence, uncovering long-buried secrets that will cast doubt on everything she thought she knew. Winner of Best Original Score in Television and nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Best Miniseries and Best Sound in Television at the 2022 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.

“With a ripping plot, the story will sweep you away.”

Emma Maguire, The Conversation

BLOODY MURRAY (9×25, comedy, Yes TV, Kastina Communications, Israel)

Begins streaming Friday, April 21

*Exclusive Canadian Premiere*

Murray and Dana are best friends and roommates – Dana is a gynecologist and Murray, a film lecturer specializing in romantic comedies – facing the struggles of a single life in their mid-30s.

Their lives change when Murray ditches the scene of a hit and run, and the man she crashed into, Lior, shows up at her apartment, where he meets Dana and the two fall madly in love. Murray soon realizes she has her own feelings for Lior… Lonely and taking a cue from her work and the tropes of romantic comedies, she convinces herself that Lior is actually meant for her. Murray’s first interaction with Lior was not love at first sight, but everyone knows how classic romantic comedies begin. Single life brings many challenges and unique dynamics, and the girls will experience them together. Winner of Best Series at 2022 Series Mania

BLACKWATER (6×60, drama, Apple Tree Productions, Denmark)

Begins streaming Friday, April 28

*Exclusive Canadian Premiere*

Midsummer’s Eve, 1973 in the town of Blackwater in North Sweden. The longest day of the year, where the sun never sets, and the night is as bright as day. Annie arrives by bus with her six-year-old daughter, Mia. They are planning to join Annie’s boyfriend Dan in a remote commune. When Dan does not pick them up as agreed, Annie sets out on a nightly hike with Mia through the forest. But their trip comes to a sudden end, as Annie stumbles upon a torn tent with two bloody bodies inside. For four people, the investigation that follows will shape and intertwine their lives and destinies, for better and for worse, across a twenty-year search for the truth. Adapted from Kerstin Ekman’s international bestselling novel.

“a suspense-powered murder mystery.”; “…a flagship title”

John Hopewell, Variety


HERE & QUEER (10×10, CBC Arts Original)

Begins streaming Wednesday, April 5 

Here & Queer is an interview series hosted by Peter Knegt that celebrates and amplifies the work of LGBTQ2S+ film and television artists through unfiltered conversations. Featuring Billy Eichner, Tegan & Sara, Lido Pimienta, Sort Of’s Bilal Baig and Grace Lynn Kung, and more.



Streaming now on CBC News Explore, available via Live TV, and on CBC Gem

Go beyond the headlines to the heart of what’s going on with CBC News chief correspondent Adrienne Arsenault. Travel with her as she takes you inside the world’s biggest stories. In this episode, CBC News’ Chief Correspondent Adrienne Arsenault is inside Ukraine showing audiences the devastation on the ground a year into the war, and the impact it has had on those fighting and living there.

A YEAR ON PLANET EARTH (6×60, documentary series, Plimsoll Productions, UK)

New episodes available every Sunday on CBC Gem 

*Exclusive Canadian Premiere* 

On our planet’s annual orbit around the sun, the energy reaching the surface shifts up and down the latitudes, giving us our seasons, and creating opportunities and challenges for all life on Earth. From the high Arctic to the hot tropics, this series reveals the extraordinary adaptations and behaviours of the world’s most spectacular wildlife as they not just endure but make the most of all that the seasons can throw at them. Narrated by Stephen Fry (Wilde, V for Vendetta).

“draws on the most spellbinding and dramatic stories from all corners of the globe.”

Jake Kanter, Deadline

SCRAP (78mins, documentary Channel Original, directed by Stacey Tenenbaum, Canada)

Begins streaming Wednesday, April 12

Discover the vast and strangely beautiful places where things go to die and meet the people who collect, restore, and recycle the world’s scrap. SCRAP tours the world’s most unexplored places to show the beauty and pathos in the ugliness we leave behind. The film uses soaring aerials to capture the size and scope of these surreal landscapes. From the ground, it tells more personal stories of people who have a deep connection to things that have reached their ‘end of life.’ Premiered at the 2022 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

SPACE EXPLORERS: MOONRISE ON THE ISS (44 mins, A CBC Docs Original, directed by Ashley Duong, Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël, Canada)l

Begins streaming Friday, April 14

SPACE EXPLORERS: MOONRISE ON THE ISS is an epic television documentary set entirely on Earth’s first space colony, the International Space Station (ISS). Drawing from exclusive footage and video diaries, the documentary follows astronauts living on the ISS as they use themselves for medical research and test life-support systems. As they prepare for the next chapter of our species’ future in space, they share how living among the stars has shifted their perspectives about life on Earth. These candidates for future spaceflight include Anne McClain, who dreams of becoming the first woman on the Moon; Victor Glover, a candidate for the first person of colour on the Moon; Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, who made history with the first all-female spacewalk; and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, who strives to be part of the next mission to circle the Moon.

THE STROKE DOC (60mins, documentary Channel Original, directed by Stuart Coxe, Canada)

Begins streaming Wednesday, April 19

A sudden stroke is like a brush fire in the brain, burning over a million neurons per minute. Without intervention, stroke causes debilitating neurological damage, or even death.  Medical researchers have long known that a drug that could lessen or prevent the damage done by a stroke could save countless lives and be worth a fortune. It might even win a Nobel Prize. Over the years, drug companies have created what they think are effective stroke drugs. But when it came down to human testing, it proved impossible. But Dr. Mike Tymianski thinks he’s not only created a stroke drug that works, he also believes he has finally figured out a way to test it. Now he just has to prove it.


ARCTIC SINKHOLES (1×54, documentary, directed by Brice Habeger, USA)

Begins streaming Monday, April 17

Colossal explosions shake a remote corner of the Siberian tundra, leaving behind massive craters. In Alaska, a huge lake erupts with bubbles of inflammable gas. Scientists are discovering that these mystifying phenomena add up to a ticking time bomb, as long-frozen permafrost melts and releases vast amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. What are the implications of these dramatic developments in the Arctic? Scientists and local communities alike are struggling to grasp the scale of the methane threat and what it means for our climate future.

EDIBLE INSECTS (1×60, documentary, directed by Peter Chinn, USA )

Begins streaming Monday, April 17

From crunchy cricket chips to nutty black soldier fly grubs, EDIBLE INSECTS leaps across cultural and culinary boundaries to explore the insect food industry and how it could benefit our health and our warming planet. From Thailand to Texas, cricket farmers are showing how the tiny critters stack up as an environmentally friendly alternative to beef protein. In fact, as one of the show’s many gastro-surprises reveals, insects make animal protein vastly more efficiently than cows and, pound for pound, deliver far better nutritional value than the finest steak. Unappealing as an insect milkshake might sound, it may promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria that can help prevent inflammation and cancer. But what about the “ick” factor? A panel of volunteers are invited to sample an invitingly prepared tasting menu of roasted crickets, ants, mealworms, and chipotle-flavored grasshoppers prepared by a New York chef, and, not surprisingly, some of the diners have trouble concealing their squeamishness. Yet all the evidence in this diverting show adds up to the idea that our aversion to insects is mostly a matter of attitude and cultural conditioning. So will your kitchen table soon host your very own savory insect dishes?

JUST EAT IT: A FOOD WASTE STORY (1×74, documentary, directed by Grant Baldwin, Canada)

Begins streaming Friday, April 21

We all love food. So how could we be throwing nearly half of it in the trash? Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of food waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of the fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of edibles that are tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping and survive only on discarded food for 6 months. Examining our systemic obsession with expiry dates, perfect produce and portion sizes, Just Eat It is both deliciously entertaining and truly shocking. Past winner of the Emerging Canadian Filmmaker Award for Grant Baldwin at the Hot Docs Film Festival.


SHOPLIFTERS (121mins, drama, directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu, Japan)

Begins streaming Saturday, April 15

After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them… Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

THE MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY (124mins, drama, directed by Craig Pryce, Canada)

Begins streaming Friday, April 21

In 1972, five young women looking for a fresh start in life endure isolated captivity in this true and outlandish 98-day experiment studying the effects of weed on women. Despite the agendas and manipulation of the government and scientists, these brave young women use their unique strengths, and friendship to overcome adversity and conquer their own personal challenges.


ABOUT A SPARK (10×24, Tween, 9 Story Media Group, UK) 

Begins streaming Sunday, April 2 – World Autism Awareness Day

Addie is a bright and sparky autistic girl dreaming of acceptance in a conservative community. Addie’s desire to be herself and protect her sister from prejudice becomes entwined with the historical mystery of Maggie and Elinor, two sisters in the 16th century. Maggie was accused of witchcraft and mysteriously vanished before she could be brought to trial, while Elinor is struggling with her true self. As Addie tries to figure out what happens to Maggie, she discovers an even more surprising connection to Elinor. Based on the award-winning novel by Elle McNicoll.

LU & THE BALLY BUNCH (38×7, Kids, 9 Story Media Group, Canada)

Begins streaming Monday, April 3 

An animated dramedy about a three-and-a-half-year-old ladybird with a brand-new social life, who is still learning the social skills to handle it!


ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY Season 28 (b) (26×60, lifestyle, Boundless, UK)

Begins streaming Saturday, April 1 

ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY continues to fulfill the dreams of city dwellers looking to start a new life in the British countryside. A cast of knowledgeable hosts support prospective buyers on their house hunt, finding them three to four country properties that meet their needs, along with a ‘mystery house’ which challenges their preconceptions about what they think they want from their new home. The series also celebrates country life, as well as the architecture, heritage and beauty of British rural and coastal landscapes.

LIVING WILD: HOW TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE (b) (4×30, lifestyle, Full Fat TV, UK)

Begins streaming Wednesday, April 5 

*Exclusive Canadian Premiere*

From Scandinavia to the Scilly Isles, Sophie Morgan is on the road once again meeting even more people who are making inspiring and meaningful changes to their lives.  From a couple building a new life in the Arctic circle to a former beauty therapist who’s started a radical adventure group for Muslim women, we meet people living off grid, setting up businesses they love or embarking on bold adventures far from urban life, as they follow their dreams of a happier life in the wild.

GRAND DESIGNS UK Season 20 (b) (3×60, lifestyle, Boundless Productions, UK)

Begins streaming Wednesday April 19

Engaging, authoritative presenter Kevin McCloud follows the building of eight extraordinary new projects – from an eye popping curved glass villa near Manchester to an astonishing underground James Bond-inspired hideaway in Kent – as we watch intrepid self-builders push the boundaries of what modern architecture can achieve.








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