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January 15, 2010

DON'T ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE

Oh... hi there. I didn't see you come in. Long time, no see. Welcome to 2010!

We have a few things on the go that I thought I share with you. Click through for the scoop!

Continue reading "DON'T ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE" »

December 15, 2009

Bid in Zaib Shaikh's Little Gingerbread Mosque charity auction!

Bid on a Gingerbread house!

Impress family and friends this holiday season by showcasing a celebrity gingerbread house Made on CBC's "Deck the Halls with Stephen and Chris". Created by Being Erica's Erin Karpluk, The Hour's George Stroumboulopoulis and Little Mosque's own Zaib Shaikh, these gingerbread houses are being auctioned off to support three worthy causes.

Yes, you read that right - Zaib Shaikh (aka Amaar Rashid) made a magnificent Little Gingerbread Mosque. Click through to the ebay auction and place a bid - all proceeds from the sale will go to the Canadian Council for Muslim Women. The goal of the CCMW is to attain and maintain equality, equity, and empowerment for all Canadian Muslim women.

Bid now - the auction closes on Thursday Dec 17th!

December 11, 2009

Pre-order Season 3 on DVD now!

Hi Everyone!

Well, it's the moment you've all been waiting for - Season 3 of Little Mosque on the Prairie is (nearly) out on DVD... it'll be available on January 5th, 2010, but you can preorder it from the CBC Shop starting now!

Season 3 on DVDHere's some info on this three-disc set:

Love is in the air in Mercy, Saskatchewan as Season Three of Little Mosque on the Prairie picks up right where last season's cliffhanger left off. Amaar finally discovers whether Rayyan accepted JJ's marriage proposal and her surprising answer throws the whole town into a tizzy.

All of the characters you love are back, along with a few new favourites, in the biggest, funniest and most exciting season of Little Mosque yet! This season romps through love and heartbreak, ancient societies, vegans, and bar fights. Not to mention figs, dates, double dates, blind dates, blind men and in-laws!

Hold onto your hijabs and dive into another year of hilarious and occasionally outrageous stories in this "fish out of water" comedy.

The 3-Disc DVD set offers all 20 Season 3 episodes, and extensive Special Features including:
- I on Mercy Webisodes
- Gags on the Prairie
- Deleted Scenes and Audio Commentaries.
- Region 0.

Get it from the CBC Shop here.

November 16, 2009

Broken Statues

You smash a Jesus on network TV and no one even complains! What does it take to startle a jaded viewer nowadays!?

Not that we set out to shock anyone. In fact, many months ago, when someone first came up with the idea of Yasir accidentally smashing a Jesus statue, everyone pretty much said, "we can't do that!" But the idea kept kicking around and gaining steam, and people began to ask, "well.... Why not?" Why not indeed? So we did. We broke a Saviour and/or Prophet.... You know, depending on your perspective.

Continue reading "Broken Statues" »

September 29, 2009

The New Face of Mercy...

The New Face of Mercy...

Hi Mosque-teers,

Welcome to the newest season of Little Mosque on the Prairie! Perhaps you've noticed a few changes in Mercy already...

THE SHOW

If you caught the first episode of the new season, you already know that there is a new guy in town. Reverend William Thorne, played by the hilarious Brandon Firla, has come to take over Mercy Anglican.

Continue reading "The New Face of Mercy..." »

June 8, 2009

Commentary Track

Hi everyone! I just got back from my first ever DVD commentary track recording session... Boring. End of post.

Just kidding, it was actually a blast. Of course, having professional comedians behind the microphone doesn't hurt. We recorded tracks for one episode from season 2, and two episodes from season 3. This time around, we had some of our writers and directors share some of their thoughts, insights, and self-deprecating humour. Though I'll be the first to admit that their dietary tips and teary-eyed confessions were a bit of a surprise! I think that die-hard fans and casual viewers alike will find something of interest. Come one, come all to the big tent that is Little Mosque on the Prairie.


Dan Redican (writer) and Michael Kennedy (director) sharing their insights for the world to hear (providing they purchase Season II on DVD)

What do you guys think? Do you even care about commentary tracks? Who would you like to hear from on Season 4? Maybe I'm on a commentary track high, but I think we should record commentaries for EVERY SINGLE EPISODE!! By the end of the season, the fans of the show would finally be able to hear from the caterer ("The scalloped potatoes were too salty during this scene"), the key grip ("the light stand had a wobbly third leg during this scene"), the extras ("I was largely drunk throughout this scene." "I'm drunk now.")... Okay, maybe we'll be more selective about who we get in the booth. What do you think? Who would you like to hear talk about the show? And what other kinds of bonus materials would you like to see?

If I were to do a commentary track for this posting, I might say something like "My, my, there were a lot of question marks in that last paragraph." Which is precisely why we can all be thankful that I don't.

May 25, 2009

Sneak peek behind the scenes

Hey look! An exclusive behind the scenes photo from Season 4 of Little Mosque on the Prairie. This is the 'crew blocking' you are witnessing. Sitara Hewitt and Zaib Shaikh are working with out the scene with director Brian Roberts--he's the one standing on the right with a bowling shirt he must have picked up during his many years in Los Angeles, and directing with his usual intensity! Basically, they are working out where and how the characters will move during the scene. The producers are there to make sure that everything is working according to their vision. The crew are there to see how to light, shoot, record, and prop the scene once Zaib and Sitara decide how to play it. Other people on the set include the guy with a rainbow of tape rolls and the one union-mandated gang member from the Crips (or is it the Bloods), there to look menacing! See if you can spot him!

LittleMosque_Blk1D3_00134.jpg

PS: Notice the lint roller on Amaar's desk. When he isn't brushing up on his Koranic verse, apparently he's brushing off his immaculate sweaters!

May 21, 2009

Doors Open Toronto at CBC

cbc.jpgIf you're in Toronto this weekend, stop by the CBC for your chance to meet the cast Little Mosque on the Prairie. Little Mosque cast members Carlo Rota (Yasir), Sitara Hewitt (Rayyan), Manoj Sood (Baber), Deb McGrath (Mayor), Arlene Duncan (Fatima) and Neil Crone (Fred) will be in attendance from 11am - 2pm.

Also meet cast members of The Border, Dragons' Den, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Being Erica as well as many of the hosts from our CBC News, Current Affairs and Sports program.

You can also tour the studios of CBC-TV's The Hour, CBC Sports Weekend, CBC Radio One's Q, CBC Radio 2 Drive, the Glenn Gould Studio (until 1:30), the radio drama studio and walk through a mobile truck.

Doors Open Toronto at CBC will take place Saturday, May 23 from 10am - 4pm.

May 19, 2009

LMOTP season 2 & season 3 DVDs

I know a bunch of you have been asking for some time both "if" and "when" Season II of Little Mosque would be available on DVD. I can finally say definitely that the answers to those questions are "yes" and "soon." Probably before the new season hits the airwaves in October, you will be able to have all that Little Mosque hilarity in shiny, circular form. And in case you forget, the CBC will likely air hundreds of commercials to remind you of the fact.

Additionally, if intuition and insider knowledge serves me correctly, the Season III DVDs will not be too far behind. Those of you who celebrate Christmas are hereby advised that a Season III DVD makes a lovely stocking stuffer. Those of you who do not celebrate Christmas are hereby advised to find a friend who does and buy them a stocking stuffer -- stocking optional!

May 14, 2009

A rolling stone gathers no mosque

Hey Mosquers! (Mosque-ovites? Mosque-teers?)

In case you haven’t heard already, we are officially moving forward with a new season of Little Mosque on the Prairie. And the reason I can be so sure that it isn’t just a rumour is because I saw the entire cast and crew downstairs in the studio ready to roll the camera on the first shot of Season IV. It’s REALLY happening! In truth, we’ve been hard at work on the new season since late January. That’s when the writers convened to start creating the hilarious and heart-warming stories that you will all be illegally downloading and streaming come October, 2009!

I don’t want to give away too much about the new season, but I’ll give you a taste. The first scene we are shooting features… Yasir and Sarah… in their kitchen… and it’s afternoon. I know, I can hardly believe it either!

Okay, enough fooling around. There are a few big changes this season—some new faces, some new challenges, some major conflicts. But rest assured, all the old faces will be back, and the zany adventures of everyone’s favourite fictional Muslims will continue making us laugh. Keep checking in for random updates and observations, and even the occasional exclusive behind-the-scenes picture of your favourite character asleep between set-ups!

Take care, and keep watching this space!

January 19, 2009

Holiday event round-up

December was a busy month for the cast of Little Mosque. From meet-n-greets, to food drives, to concerts, the cast was on-hand to spread the holiday cheer. Here's a look back at some of the highlights.

Continue reading "Holiday event round-up" »

December 3, 2008

Little Mosque food drive update

VANCOUVER: WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

DECEMBER 5 | CBC VANCOUVER 'RADIO ONE FOOD BANK DAY
Stephen Lobo (J.J.) and Aliza Vellani (Layla) are also going to be joining Manoj Sood (Baber) in support of BC FOOD BANKS! Come on out and meet the stars of the show and pitch in for a good cause. Weve also thrown in the Little Mosque prize pack, which you can win along with sports tickets, gourmet dinners, and weekend getaways.

Broadcasting live from Waterfront Station in Gastown, The Early Edition (5:30 - 8:30 am), BC Almanac (12 - 2pm) and On The Coast (3 - 6 pm), viewers are invited to drop in and enjoy the live broadcast, musical performances.

Admission event is free but we encourage a cash donation in support of the BC FOOD BANKS.

Complete details at http://www.cbc.ca/bc/features/foodbank/


TORONTO: WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

In Toronto, Little Mosque on the Prairie is please to support the Daily Bread Food Bank and bring attention to their "Staples Box Program" a special food initiative focused on our diverse Canadian population in need of assistance.

DBFB Staples Box Program most-needed items:


  • white rice

  • flour

  • dried beans

  • lentils

  • canned or powdered or tetra pak milk

  • baby formula

  • canned fish or meat

  • canned vegetables and fruits

  • pasta

  • pasta sauce

If you are bringing food donations to any of the following events, please consider these guidelines when deciding what to give. And thank you.

DECEMBER 5 | CBC TORONTO 'SOUNDS OF THE SEASON FOOD DRIVE
Little Mosque has announced which cast will be in attendance - Zaib Shaikh (Amaar), Sheila McCarthy (Sarah), Deb McGrath (Mayor Popowicz), Arlene Duncan (Fatima) and Neil Crone (Fred). They will be there between 2:15pm and 2:45pm to shake hands and say hello, but the whole day has some very special programming. How about Divine Brown, Molly Johnson, the Barenaked Ladies to name a few? Of course there will be plenty of other CBC personalities to meet throughout the day, and lots of fun to be had.

Among this years incredible auction items is an opportunity to win the ultimate Little Mosque Set Tour - you and a friend can join the cast on set. All you have to do is come down and bid!

It all starts with the live broadcast of Metro Morning (6:30 - 7:00 am), featuring special guest and this years Eid celebrations emcee Anwaar Syed, as well as Here & Now (3:00 - 6:00 pm) with special guest Zaib Shaikh at the legendary Glenn Gould Studio. Come on down to the CBC Broadcast Centre on the corner of Front and John.

Admission is free with a food donation all in support of the DAILY BREAD FOOD BANK.

Complete program listing, locations and details at: http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/sots2008/

DECEMBER 8 | EID-AL-ADHA CELEBRATIONS

In the Muslim Community, the food drive swings into gear with Eid-al-Adha celebrations. Attendees are encouraged to drop off non-perishable food items at various Eid gatherings including MACs Eid prayer and festivities at the Exhibition Place in Toronto, IITs prayers in Scarborough, and prayers in Mississauga.

Donations at participating mosques can be dropped off from December 5 to 19.

Donations can also be dropped off at Exhibition Place on Eid Day, December 8, 10am - 6pm

Complete program listing, locations and details at www.gtaeid.com

Special Thanks to our partners:

November 17, 2008

The Prairie Dog Lodge. It's a funny place.

I hope you all liked last week's episode, "Let Prairie Dogs Lie." I always love it when our characters get to stretch their legs a little, and get out of the usual locations. (Hamoudi Living Room, you know I love you. I really do. But after three years together, I think I need to see other rooms.)

Continue reading "The Prairie Dog Lodge. It's a funny place." »

October 29, 2008

Radio: The lazy person's dream job

You know, as an aspiring television producer, maybe this isn't a wise career move to say out loud, but radio sure is a more civilized way to work!


Continue reading "Radio: The lazy person's dream job" »

October 15, 2008

A big thanks to Indian Head!!!


[click to download the full-size image]

The final crew photo taken in Indian Head, Saskatchewan, in September of 2008. The crew is joined by many of the people of Indian Head, who participated in the production as background actors, suppliers of services, and fans and supporters of the project. Once again, our thanks to the Town and the people of Indian Head.

June 11, 2008

Mosque heads South...

May 20, 2008

Carlo Rota as Othello: Sunday, June 15th

othello.jpg

Mark your calendars and set your PVRs. On Sunday June 15th at 9pm, Carlo Rota plays Othello in this two-hour television adaptation of Shakespeare's play. Directed and co-written by Zaib Shaikh (Amaar).

www.cbc.ca/othello

March 26, 2008

New time this week and next...

Little Mosque will air a half hour later at 8:30pm (9 NL) Wednesday following Sophie.

March 6, 2008

Little Mosque in the news

  • Muslim comedy prescribes women's lib

    Women's lib is alive and well on Little Mosque on the Prairie. Think about the situations encountered by Sitara Hewitt's character, Dr. Rayyan Hamoudi. Now think about the struggles of early-1970s sitcom characters such as Maude, or Mary Richards, or even Laurie Partridge. More

    Jam! Television, Wednesday, March 5, 2008

  • Season finale on Mosque

    Little Mosque on the Prairie (CBC - 8 p.m.) calls it a season tonight with a gentle, heartfelt riff on love, marriage and sharing the sidewalk with aggressive pedestrians. The one-liners, by veteran Little Mosque scriptwriter Rob Sheridan, are wry and sly, as suggested by an exchange between Rayyan (Sitara Hewitt) and Imam Amaar (Zaib Shaikh), when Rayyan asks Amaar what he would do with $1 million. "Buy a tube of toothpaste," he replies. Fine, so what would he do with $5? "Buy two tubes of toothpaste." More

    Montreal Gazette, Wednesday, March 5, 2008

March 3, 2008

In the news: March 3, 2008

  • From journalism to television sitcom

    From freelance radio and TV news writer/producer to documentary maker to creator of a hit Canadian sitcom, Ryerson University journalism graduate Zarqa Nawaz' media career is on a serious roll. More

    24 Hours Vancouver, Monday, March 3, 2008

February 19, 2008

Hot off the presses

  • 'Little Mosque' sitcom to air in 3 more European countries
    CBC's hit sitcom "Little Mosque on the Prairie" will begin airing in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland later this year, the show's producer said.... "Little Mosque" airs in over 80 markets globally, including French-speaking Africa, the Middle East and several European countries. Link

    Canadian Press, Tuesday, February 19, 2008

February 16, 2008

Edmonton's Mosquers Awards

the_mosquers.png
The Edmonton Journal wrote on the Mosquers Awards, a grassroots mini-film-festival This year's awards will be judged by a celebrity panel headed by Little Mosque on the Prairie creator Zarqa Nawaz.

There have long been misconceptions about the Muslim world, portrayed in the West as decadent, violent, exotic and utterly "other." A group of young Edmonton Muslims wants to change that. Link

Visit the CBC Edmonton website to see this year's entries and winners.

February 12, 2008

Little Mosque in Toronto

The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and Heritage Canada are bringing their Canada Award Screening Tour to Toronto on Wednesday, February 13th.

The presentation is part of a well-received Little Mosque on the Prairie “road show” that attracted audiences in Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary and Vancouver.

The screening, which is free to the public on a first come, first served basis, will take place at the NFB Cinema (150 John Street) at 6:00 pm.

The episode will be followed by a Q&A session with Little Mosque creator Zarqa Nawaz, executive producers Mary Darling and Michael Snook, and cast members, including Sheila McCarthy, Carlo Rota, Zaib Shaikh and Manoj Sood.

February 7, 2008

Little Mosque makes the Harvard Law Record

  • Katie Mapes is watching us at Harvard. And apparently it's not just "about" that we say funny, but "sorry" too:
    This isn't just my favorite Canadian television show, this is one of my favorite shows, period. The concept can be (and no doubt was, in whatever meeting this was originally pitched at) summed up as "Northern Exposure" for our post-September 11th world. "Little Mosque on the Prairie" follows the Muslim community in a small town somewhere in rural Canada. Link

February 6, 2008

"Meet the Mosque"

  • The Winnipeg Sun talks to Little Mosque's Baber:
    When Manoj Sood showed up for his first day of work on the set of Little Mosque on the Prairie, he wasn't there to triumph the importance of diversity in sitcom culture. "I wasn't thinking, 'Oh, great this show will promote multiculturalism.' I was happy to have a paying job," he says, joking. Link

January 29, 2008

January 29: Little Mosque in the news

If CBC ignores us, maybe that's good: A reader writes to Regina's The Leader-Post saying the CBC has a Toronto-centric view of Saskatchewan.

What do you think?

January 22, 2008

Little Mosque in the news

  • Are Americans ready for 'Little Mosque on the Prairie' from the Rochester, Minnesota Post-Bulletin:
    Here's a question for you. If there were a TV sitcom about the trials and tribulations of a Muslim community "up north" would you watch it? Let's say it's a good sitcom, well-acted and cleverly written with enticing, on-location camera work. It includes a group of quirky characters in a small, rural town just trying to get along in a changing world. Think "Northern Exposure" meets "The Jeffersons." Link

January 17, 2008

Little Mosque in the news

  • From Simcoe.com Howard makes appearance in CBC sitcom on Midland curler and The Beer Store manager Glenn Howard's star turn on Little Mosque.
    “I’m actually shocked by the number of people who have said they have seen the episode. The reaction has been everything from they are laughing with me to laughing at me. It has created a bit of a buzz for sure,” said Howard. Link

January 12, 2008

Little Mosque in the news

November 14, 2007

Little Mosque in the news

The Metro Times Detroit invited a "diverse" group of Arab-Americans to discuss Little Mosque and the new U.S. show Arabs in America:

"The one criticism I have, and it's a mild one, is that on both shows, all of the (Muslim) characters are Indo-Pakistanis," panelist Ron Amen noted. "I think if they really wanted to take a bold step forward, they would introduce an Arab, possibly even an Arab Shiite. Then they would really be trendsetters."

Another panelist, Warren David recalled:

"The last time I was invited to a screening was the late '80s, and it was [the NBC terrorist TV-movie] Under Siege. I remember coming out and a reporter asked me what I thought of it. I said, 'I feel like I've been raped.' And they carried that comment like it was news. We've really come a long way when you can see programs like these that really humanize a culture, a society. I think it's the greatest thing. I hope there are more programs like them." Link

The Toronto Star reviews Little Mosque Season One on DVD:

"Behind the Mosque" is 13 minutes of the actors and producers talking about the joy of working on the show. Colin Brunton notes that "This is true of every Canadian producer: it's so gratifying to work on something that people are actually watching." Link

By contrast “Little Mosque,” which is returning for a second season this month and can be seen on YouTube, takes a brassier approach to its subject, the multiethnic congregation of a rural mosque. The members are just trying live in harmony with skeptical residents in the fictional town of Mercy, in Saskatchewan, while dealing with their own religious quandaries. Is a “burkini” the solution at a women-only swimming class with a gay male instructor? Can there be a Halal-o-ween?

The New York Times contrasts Little Mosque with shows like 24:

"Little Mosque,” which is returning for a second season this month and can be seen on YouTube, takes a brassier approach to its subject, the multiethnic congregation of a rural mosque. The members are just trying live in harmony with skeptical residents in the fictional town of Mercy, in Saskatchewan, while dealing with their own religious quandaries. Is a “burkini” the solution at a women-only swimming class with a gay male instructor? Can there be a Halal-o-ween?

“It’s not making fun, but using humor to talk about some of the things that are important,” said Amir Hussain, a professor of theological studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Link

October 24, 2007

LMOP Article on Saudi Aramco World

Just "googling" Little Mosque on the Prairie and came across an in-depth article about the show on SaudiAramcoWorld.com. Written by Sheldon Chad and photographed by Michael Nelson, the article talks about the beginning, when Little Mosque on the Prairie was being pitched by creator Zarqa Nawaz. They also spoke with Executive Producer Mary Darling and CBC Creative Head, Anton Leo, who both recollect about those early days. Link

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