The Road Angels of Hit Series HEAVY RESCUE: 401 Continue the Good Fight Across North America’s Busiest Series of Highways During Season 2, Beginning Jan. 2 on Discovery
— December 5, 2017
– Last winter’s series debut was the most-watched premiere in Discovery’s 22-year history –
– Discovery and Great Pacific Media recognized at the 2017 Ontario Safety League Gala for advancing road safety awareness with HEAVY RESCUE: 401 –
– Toyota returns as exclusive automotive sponsor for Season 2 –
TORONTO (December 5, 2017) – As Canadians prepare for another treacherous winter driving season, the crews charged with keeping the roads safely moving across Ontario’s 400-series highways are back in action for Season 2 of Discovery’s original Canadian series, HEAVY RESCUE: 401, airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT beginning Jan. 2.
From the makers of Discovery’s hit series HIGHWAY THRU HELL and sponsored by Toyota, the series’ returning Exclusive Automotive Sponsor, HEAVY RESCUE: 401 returns with 10 new episodes traveling along the entire length of Highway 401 – North America’s busiest – stretching from Windsor in the west to the Ontario-Québec border in the east, all the while visiting unique locations and facing extraordinary challenges.
Close to half-a-million vehicles travel Ontario’s 400-series highways every day – industry and thousands upon thousands of commuters depend on these lifelines. When disaster strikes, the pressure to clear and open roads is intense. Provincial police and the Ministry of Transportation depend on the heavy recovery operators – ready to work just metres from open lanes and speeding traffic. As winter rages, multiple pileups paralyze the highways – pushing first responders, heavy rescue crews, and maintenance teams to their limits. The stakes are high, every minute counts, and every job is vital…closure is not an option.
(L-R:) Prefferred Towing’s Collin and Gary Vanhenhuevel; Sergeant Kerry Schmidt of the Ontario Provincial Police’s Highway Safety Division; Kevin Richardson of Metro Towing
In its Season 1 debut (Jan. 3, 2017), HEAVY RESCUE: 401 drew an audience of 762,000 P2+, making it the most-watched series debut in the network’s 22-year history. The highly engaging series was the #1 entertainment specialty program in its timeslot in the key adult viewer demo A25-54 and P2+, attracting an average audience of 265,000 and 624,000, respectively.
In a first for a national TV program, earlier this fall, Discovery was recognized “in appreciation for advancing awareness of road safety” for the series by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Also honoured during the 2017 Ontario Safety League ceremony was series producer Great Pacific Media, who were presented with the “2017 Private Sector Safety Award of Excellence”.
About HEAVY RESCUE: 401 Season 2:
After a tough year proving himself in heavy rescue, Sonny Subra of Steve’s Towing comes closer than ever to his dream of running his own rotator. But big changes at Steve’s Towing threaten Sonny’s chances, pushing him to make the biggest decision of his career.
Gary Vandenheuvel’s Preferred Towing team battles massive wrecks – and a lightning storm – to keep traffic rolling. But for Gary’s son Collin, the biggest battle is mastering the controls of a heavy wrecker and becoming a full member of the team.
In Windsor,Ont., at Coxon’sTowing, Brad Coxon’s team led by Eric Godard, face one of their most complex recoveries in years when a massive multi-truck collision erupts in a highway tunnel.
On the eastern end of the 401, Andrew Vink works to grow into his new role as the leader of Herb’s Towing.
Over at Metro Towing, Kevin Richardson battles 100-kilometre winds when clearing an incident on the Burlington Skyway Bridge. But the biggest day of his winter happens in the maternity ward.
HEAVY RESCUE:401 continues to work closely with the Ontario Provincial Police and Sgt. Kerry Schmidt to execute on-the-spot accident reconstructions, manage pileups, and oversee toxic spills. Once again this season, the series follows the crew at the Ministry of Transportation’s massive control centre – the eyes that watch and manage the highways – to get a birds-eye-view of the intricate and high-stakes highway system.
Subscribers can access live streaming of HEAVY RESCUE: 401 through the Discovery GO app, and stream Season 1 on demand on the Discovery GO app and Discovery.ca.
HEAVY RESCUE: 401 is produced by Great Pacific Media (a Thunderbird Company) in association with Discovery Canada. Executive Producer is Mark Miller. The series producer is Todd Serotiuk. For Discovery, Bruce Glawson is Executive Producer. Edwina Follows is Director of Commissioning and Production. Ken MacDonald is Vice-President and General Manager, Discovery Networks. Tracey Pearce is President, Distribution and Pay, Bell Media.
Great Pacific Media is a global leader in factual television. Started by TV veterans Blair Reekie and Mark Miller, their programs are seen in more than 170 countries. They specialize in development, production, co-production, and financing of factual and lifestyle television. Great Pacific Media was recently acquired by the Thunderbird Entertainment of companies to accelerate the growth of Thunderbird’s presence in the unscripted television space. Thunderbird creates award-winning programming for Canadian and international broadcasters and boasts divisions in scripted and unscripted development and production, theatrical distribution, and animation. www.greatpacifictv.com
About Bell Media Original Programming:
Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit series commissioned by CTV include the hit drama CARDINAL, the record-breaking THE AMAZING RACE CANADA and MASTERCHEF CANADA, new original series THE DISAPPEARANCE, THE INDIAN DETECTIVE, and THE DETAIL, and the upcoming international TV format THE LAUNCH. Among the original series on Bell Media specialty and streaming platforms are Space’s KILLJOYS and WYNONNA EARP; CraveTV hit comedy LETTERKENNY; Discovery’s first-ever drama FRONTIER; Comedy’s satirical news series THE BEAVERTON as well as the upcoming CORNER GAS ANIMATED; and multiple series and specials for food and lifestyle channel Gusto, including ONE WORLD KITCHEN. Discovery is also home to Bell Media’s hit factual franchise HIGHWAY THRU HELL, HEAVY RESCUE: 401, and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, among others. Bell Media is one of the first media companies in North America to commit to producing all new original scripted series in 4K.
About Discovery: With compelling real-life programming that inspires and entertains, Discovery reveals the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. Discovery offers a signature mix of adrenaline-charged stories, larger-than-life personalities and vivid imagery for viewers with curious minds. With the best factual programming from Canada and around the world, Discovery captures the excitement of a passion for life – one lived fully and at its most extreme. With exceptional and immersive storytelling, the channel offers in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the extraordinary people and places that shape our world. Launched in Canada in 1995, Discovery is now available in more than eight million Canadian homes. Discovery Canada is a joint venture between Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company, and Discovery Communications Inc. Find more information and interactive online features at Discovery.ca.