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Allan Novak is a Canadian media professional associated with creating, directing or editing many critically acclaimed Canadian TV series produced since 1985.
After leaving film school he created, along with Toronto comedian Bruce Bell on a one-hour TV movie called The Rise and Fall of Tony Trouble which went on to screen at the 1984 Toronto International Film Festival was broadcast on Group W Cable in Manhattan and was often described as a 'cult classic'
While working as a producer/editor for First Choice, Novak began producing a series of comedy videos with housemate and stand-up comic and voice actor Ron Rubin. The Party Time video series, as they became known, went on to gain international awards The work led to Novak being recognized as an up-and-coming comedic television talent and he was described by the Toronto Star as one of "the world of entertainment's newest crop of movers and shakers"
Novak was hired to work on the 1985 Genie Award telecast as a writer and he was nominated for the 1986 Gemini Awards for his work. Around that time, he began directing a children's music video and comedy series called Vid Kids for M&M Productions in 1986 and then The Elephant Show with popular children's entertainers Sharon, Lois & Bram for Cambium Productions. He later went on to direct other kids television including episodes for Breakthrough Films & Television's The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon, Arts and Youth for TVOntario, OWL/TV for CTV and Dealing with Drugs and Mission Reading, both for TVOntario.
In 1986 Novak was hired by Insight Productions to direct and edit numerous comedy segments for a CBC Television summer series called It's Only Rock & Roll, executive produced by John Brunton and produced by Joe Bodolai and Judith Dryland. The series was an important one as it launched the early television career of Mike Myers. Novak and Myers collaborated on creating various sketches such as Kurt and Dieter (later to become Sprockets on Saturday Night Live and Wayne’s Power Minute, which also went on to SNL and the Wayne's World films. Novak directed, edited and contributed writing to the sketches. Another sketch Novak directed on the same series featured Second City's Dana Andersen and Bob Bainbourough as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and was reviewed as "surely the funniest three minutes you are likely to see on the CBC this summer. Maybe even the year"
Novak's career continued, combining directing and editing and began to specialize in comedy. In 1989 he was hired to edit the first season of the influential Canadian comedy series The Kids in the Hall and then soon after, was hired to direct location comedy segments for the popular Newfoundland-based series CODCO for Salter Street Films.
Novak worked on numerous series and specials but in 1995 began a creative collaboration with writer/producer/director Ken Finkleman on a series of TV series over the next five years. Novak edited Married Life receiving a Cable ACE nomination for best editing) The Newsroom (season one; Gemini award winner- best editing), More Tears, Foolish Heart and Foreign Objects. These productions were critically acclaimed, The Globe and Mail columnist John Haslett Cuff called The Newsroom "the hippest and most hilarious show the CBC or any network has produced" and several television critics have credited Novak’s contributions to the structure and pacing as being a significant part of their success. Toronto arts columnist John Allemang said "Allan Novak's compressed editing did much to give Ken Finkleman's satire its distinctive look"
In 1999, Allan created the Gemini award-winning Loving Spoonfuls, a cooking and culture series about grandmothers for Winnipeg-based WTN network. WTN was sold and became W Network but the show was renewed for a total of 65 episodes and has been licensed to broadcasters in Finland, Italy, New Zealand, Israel, Nigeria, Singapore, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Brunei and Singapore. The series was hosted by Novak’s longtime friend David Gale, who cooked, sang and danced with a different ethnic grandmother in each episode. The series launched Novak as an independent producer and he founded his company Indivisual Productions.
In 2002 he executive produced and directed The Joke’s on Us-50 Years of CBC Satire hosted by comedian Leslie Nielsen. The 90-minute special launched CBC Television's fiftieth anniversary programming schedule and was nominated for a Best Direction in a Variety Special Gemini award. The next year Allan exec produced The Joe Blow Show a Gemini-nominated pilot for The Comedy Network and co-created Second Time Around a thirteen episode comedy/reality series for W Network with host David Gale.
In 2006/2007 he created and produced Punched Up a hybrid comedy-reality series for The Comedy Network. The series ran for thirteen episodes and starred real-life who invited a team of comedy writers into their lives to ‘punch them up’. The series was largely seen as comedically successful  but was only a modest ratings success and ran for one season.
Novak then began a four series relationship with Toronto broadcaster Ralph Benmergui. They co-created and co-produced 5 Seekers -a spiritual road-trip reality series and Gemini nominee for Best Reality Series, Guides and Gurus (profiles of healers), Ralph Benmergui:My Israel (5-part series on Israel) and God Bless America (religion and politics in America). All were well received by television critics as innovative and entertaining programs.
Novak is well respected in the television industry as an original creative force. He is a two-time winner of the Banff World Television Festival I-Pitch award (2004 and 2005) and is a two-term board member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.
Between September 2008 and August 2010 Novak served as Vice President Factual and Reality at Temple Street Productions a Canadian production company part-owned by BBC Worldwide. Novak was responsible for the company's non-scripted TV shows, branded entertainment and factual programming, notably he developed and sold the concept for a TV series called Recipe To Riches that integrated the supply chain of a major food manufacturer and store chain, Loblaws, with a reality TV concept. In each episode a new food product was created and launched in the stores the following weekend. The series aired on Shaw Media's Global TV and Food Network Canada.
In 2011 Novak, along with Toronto based TV producer and director Barri Cohen, launched AllScreen Entertainment, a Canada-based production company with a broad entertainment focus.
He lives in Toronto.
- Jim Slotek on TV (May 7, 1984) “Community Cable Weirdness” The Toronto Sun Newspaper
- Video Culture International New Media Festival, 1985 and 1986
- Salem, Rob (March 7, 1987) "New Faces" The Toronto Star newspaper
- Dunford, Gary (July 17, 1987) "It's Only Rock's Roll" The Toronto Star Newspaper
- Haslett Cuff, John (1996) "Newsroom and Symposium: CBC's daring duo" The Globe and Mail
- Fraser, Sylvia (May 1998)"Finkleman Verite´" Toronto Life Magazine
- Allemang, John (March 4, 1998) "CBC adds variety to its lineup" The Globe and Mail
- Jalees, Sabrina "Network delivers me a knockout punch" http://www.thestar.com/comment/columnists/article/154016