Days before production kicks off on the highly anticipated second season of its hit original series The Launch, CTV has announced the first wave of celebrity mentors on deck to guide this season’s round of hand-picked emerging artists vying for an opportunity to create a new hit single. Recording superstar Ryan Tedder, the creative force behind The Launch Season 1 certified platinum hit single “Ain’t Easy,” returns to the series in a dual role as celebrity mentor and producer, along with Grammy® Award-winning singer/songwriter Sarah McLachlan and Max Kerman, the 4x JUNO-Award winning frontman for Hamilton rock band Arkells.
The Launch also announced today that Québec pop icon Marie-Mai (Star Académie, La Voix) joins the series’ as a permanent mentor on the weekly celebrity panel alongside music industry powerhouse Scott Borchetta. In addition, fan favourite entertainment reporter Liz Trinnear (etalk) joins the show in a new hosting role. The Launch begins production on its second season Sept. 26 in Toronto. Audience tickets are now available. Click here for details.
The Launch heads into production for Season 2 on the heels of a breakthrough inaugural season that garnered an exclusive worldwide distribution deal with Sony Pictures Television (SPT). In addition, the series delivered a series of consecutive #1 hit songs amassing more than 21 million streams internationally to date, including certified platinum “Ain’t Easy” by Season 1 chosen artists Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine. The pop/hip-hop duo won the iHeartRadio MMVA for Best New Canadian Artist in August, and recently dropped their latest single “Better Off.”
As announced earlier this year, each super-sized episode of The Launch will now feature reduced commercial time, delivering even more music and extended insight into featured artists’ auditions, and the process of recording, performing, and launching a new hit song. Each hour-long episode provides custom advertising opportunities including 30-second “superpods.” Featuring one advertiser per break, the custom creative offers a more seamless and engaging viewer experience between the commercial content and the program.
Following its hit inaugural season, The Launch vetted thousands of emerging performers for Season 2 following a coast-to-coast-to-coast casting call this past May. More celebrity mentors, songwriters/producers, as well as the artists selected to perform on Season 2 of The Launch, will be announced soon.
In each stand-alone episode of The Launch, unsigned aspiring artists audition for the opportunity to learn, record, and perform their version of a new original song by a world famous songwriter/producer. The artists are mentored by a panel of internationally renowned music industry legends alongside Borchetta, who then decide which version of the song will be released across the country immediately following the broadcast of the episode each week. The Launch is set to premiere on CTV and VRAK in early 2019.
Marie-Mai is the undisputed Queen of pop in Québec. As a supremely talented singer-songwriter, Marie-Mai dominated the Québec live music scene for more than 15 years, with more than two million spectators flocking to her successful live shows. Her four platinum albums, 17 #1 hits, 10 Félix Awards (the highest honour in Québec music - including five for Female Artist of the Year), have solidified her status as a force in the music industry. As a successful songwriter in both French and English, Marie-Mai has won seven awards from SOCAN and was honoured as Songwriter of the Year in 2014. Marie-Mai was a featured performer at the Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Building on her success, she took on a coaching role on the Québec version of The Voice (La Voix) and The Voice Kids (La Voix Kids). Marie-Mai is set to release her sixth French album on November 9, 2018. Her first single “Empire” shattered records on the Québec music charts and her most recent second single "Je décolle", was released last week.
Liz Trinnear is a well-known face to music and entertainment lovers in Canada, who built her career connecting with audiences and artists in a genuine and authentic manner while in the role as reporter for etalk, Canada’s most-watched entertainment news program (2015-18), and previously on the front lines of MUCH programming for nine years. Hailing from London, Ontario, Trinnear was voted “most likely to be a MuchMusic VJ” in high school and in 2009, beat out 4,000 candidates to hand herself a job at the legendary music station. The former co-host of The Much Music Video Awards (2012-14) has also interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Lady Gaga, Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey, Harry Styles, and Justin Timberlake.
Scott Borchetta is Founder, President and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, the #1 independent record label in the world and home to superstars such as Taylor Swift, Florida Georgia Line, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, and Thomas Rhett. Borchetta has led the charge on more than 50 million albums sold by Big Machine artists in addition to sending over 200 singles to #1 on the Country, Pop, and Rock charts. His groundbreaking business savvy, Borchetta has been included on Billboard’s Power 100 list and Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. During the final two seasons of American Idol, Borchetta served as in-house mentor and guided contestants throughout the competition as well as signing the winners to record deals
The Launch Live Studio Audience
CTV is giving viewers in the Greater Toronto Area an opportunity to experience the excitement first-hand by attending a taping of The Launch. The studio is located in downtown Toronto and those interested in tickets can click here for more information. All audience members must be at least 11 years of age and an adult must accompany those under the age of 16.
- Sept. 28: Max Kerman
Fans in attendance will have an opportunity to meet Season 1 chosen artists Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, who will be on set to greet fans.
- Oct. 7: Sarah McLachlan
- Oct. 12: Ryan Tedder
**Additional celebrity mentors and in-studio live taping dates will be announced soon.