Monday kicked off with a bang today, as two of the country’s buzziest shows announced new hosts!

Producers of the inaugural edition of Big Brother Canada announced that Arisa Cox will be the show’s host, when it premieres on February 27th.

Cox’s casting was a bit surprising; I thought Global properties Rick Campanelli or Cheryl Hickey were shoe-ins. While Arisa used to be on ET Canada, she’s recently been working on CBC, so it’s nice to see networks not being 100% devoted to synergy. Hardcore reality fans will remember that Cox actually got her start on one of Canada’s first reality shows, U8TV: The Lofters, which aired on the Life network (now Slice) about twelve years ago. I’m not the only that remembers that, am I? Am I?

Cox is also quite different than Julie Chen, who hosts the successful American edition. But maybe that’s a good thing. Chen has been known to be a little stiff, so casting a younger and more vibrant host, might bring with it a more social media engaged audience…and dollar bills from advertisers. I think it’s a smart move.

lauren-collins-degrassi-2844258-589-250 In other casting news, MTV Canada also had a rather big announcement today. Aliya Jasmine Sovani, who has hosted the cult hit, 1 Girl 5 Gays, since its inception in 2009, will soon be replaced by a Degrassi alumi. This one caught me off guard, I thought the show, which has a huge fan base on both sides of the borders and has arguably made Sovani one of MTV’s most popular personalities, would end when “AJ” wanted it to. But today, in a video posted on the MTV site, she said that she was leaving to work on a passion project. She’ll be replaced by Lauren Collins, who played Paige Michalchuk for 8 seasons on Degrassi. I have to say, I also love this casting. Collins has been a huge supporter of the LGTB community, both on TV and in real life, and from what I’ve seen, she has a wicked sense of humour. And even though I haven’t always agreed with the purpose of the show, I’m happy it’ll continue on for others to enjoy.

Up next in the world of Canadian casting: The Amazing Race Canada. My money is on Ben Mulroney, but I would love if it was TSN Jay Onrait. Who do you think it’ll be?

Mike Morrison

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