TV, eh? | What's up in Canadian television
TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Photo gallery: Murdoch Mysteries Season 11 sneak peek

With the Season 11 premiere of Murdoch Mysteries just days away, CBC has released four images in advance of Monday’s new episode, “Up from Ashes.” Yes, we wish we had more pictures as well, but we’ll take whatever we can get!

No, the images do not reveal the fates of Inspector Brackenreid, Dr. Julia Ogden and Constables Crabtree, Jackson or Higgins—we’ll have to tune in on Monday for those reveals—there are still some pretty treats contained in this quartet.

In the first picture, Det. Murdoch sits in a chair in front of Miss Marsh (Tamzin Outhwaite). Is he out of jail, or just given a reprieve from his cell? Who, exactly, is Miss Marsh and why is she speaking to Murdoch? Is he pleading his case? Is she on his side, or against him?

In the second photo, Murdoch is giving serious side-eye to someone. It’s not apparent who.

The third image is a wide shot of Murdoch and Detective Watts. Murdoch is shackled, so we know he’s in police custody. Who is it he and Watts are looking at? It kind of looks like Councilman Williams, who got Murdoch into this mess in the first place.

In the final image, Murdoch is giving a wry smile to the man seen in Image No. 3. I’d guess it is indeed Councilman Williams; I recognize that stiff collar anywhere!

 

How excited are you for Monday’s Murdoch Mysteries return? Do you think anyone was killed in the Season 10 finale? Let me know in the comments below.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of Christos Kalohoridis for CBC.

 

 

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Link: Bad Blood, good experience: 8 things I learned watching my book become a TV series

From Peter Edwards of the Toronto Star:

Link: Bad Blood, good experience: 8 things I learned watching my book become a TV series
It has been almost four years since New Metric Media (Letterkenny) bought the option to Business or Blood: Mafia Boss Vito Rizzuto’s Last War, a non-fiction book I co-authored with Antonio Nicaso.

At the time it was sort of exciting, like buying a batch of lottery tickets. Since then New Metric has kept plugging away and, starting this Thursday, a six-part limited series inspired by the book will air Thursdays on City TV.

Here are eight things I’ve learned from this journey. Continue reading. 

 

 

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TV Eh B Cs podcast 69 — Mann on a Mission

Jon Mann is a graduate of Acadia University (POLS, 2011) and the New York Film Academy (Screenwriting, 2013). In 2012, he wrote the documentary Drink ‘Em Dry which premiered at Harvard Law School, making Jon the youngest person in the school’s history to present written work (at age 22). After Harvard, the film Drink ‘Em Dry is now in universities and colleges in North and South America, Europe, and Australia. Drink ‘Em Dry was also nominated for Best Canadian Documentary at the Canadian Labour International Film Festival (2012). In 2014, Jon completed his first feature-length documentary, Project Power, which follows the social movement against the sale of NB Power to Hydro-Quebec in 2010. In 2015 Jon co-wrote and directed the short-film Rearview which racked up wins and nominations at film festivals worldwide.

In 2017, Jon and production partner Rob Ramsay’s project Wolfville was selected for the 2017 National Screen Institute’s Totally Television program.

Listen or download below, or subscribe via iTunes or any other podcast catcher with the TV, eh? podcast feed.

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Bad Blood: Kim Coates headlines City’s Mafia mini based on the life of Vito Rizzuto

It’s a story from the pages of Canadian history. Bad Blood, the six-part miniseries debuting Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on City, reaches into the history of mob-influenced Montreal to tell the real-life story of Vito Rizzuto, who had everyone from city hall to motorcycle gangs under his command during the 1990s.

The project, from New Metric Media (Letterkenny) and Sphère Média Plus (19-2), is toplined by an incredible cast led by Kim Coates, Enrico Colantoni, Maxim Roy, Tony Nappo, Michelle Mylett, Paul Sorvino and Anthony LaPaglia. Adapted from Business or Blood: Mafia Boss Vito Rizzuto’s Last War by Antonio Nicaso and Peter Edwards by Simon Barry (Continuum) and Michael Konyves, Bad Blood is a deep dive into Montreal’s seedy underbelly, a blood-splattered thrill ride in Canadian history. Back in 2013, before New Metric Media was formed, producer Mark Montefiore was going through his morning routine of reading news outlets and noticed an uptick in mob hits in Montreal. One person kept popping up in the stories he was reading: “mob expert” Antonio Nicaso. After six months of coffee with Nicaso and discussing general Mafia-themed ideas, Vito Rizzuto’s name came up. Nicaso, Montefiore learned, was writing a book about Rizzuto with Peter Edwards, the organized crime reporter for the Toronto Star.

“I said, ‘I want this story.'” Montefiore remembers during a break filming Bad Blood in snowy Sudbury, Ont. “We closed the deal on the manuscript on the Friday of December 2013 when we had the ice storm. On Monday, December 23, Vito was dead.” Rizzuto died from complications from lung cancer at the age of 67, but he’d left a trail of bodies in his wake that had suffered more violent fates. Montefiore and his New Metric Media partner, Patrick O’Sullivan, always pictured Bad Blood as a miniseries that picked up with Rizzuto (played by Anthony LaPaglia) getting out of prison until his death and following how a man who built an empire based on bringing people together and working together built an empire.

Thursday’s first episode sprints out of the gate, with Rizzuto’s right-hand man—the fictional Declan Gardiner (Kim Coates)—setting the scene and describing how Rizzuto united the Irish gangs that ran Montreal’s ports, the Italians who controlled business, politics and government, the bikers who ran distribution and the Haitians who handled street-level distribution of drugs to construct an empire. Viewers learn that even the police are in Rizzuto’s employ (Sphère Média planted a sweet 19-2 Easter egg in the first script.) and that anyone who attempts to take down Rizzuto will experience a major hurt thanks to Declan and loyal bodyguard Gio, a fictional character played by Tony Nappo.

“I was cast early on and then I read the scripts as they came in,” Nappo says. “I got to the end of each script and I couldn’t wait to see what was going to come next.” Gio and Declan are around Rizzuto all the time, Nappo explains, describing his character as a ninja who observes and protects, a soldier who is never going to refuse orders.

For Coates, Bad Blood came at the perfect time in his career.

“I took some time off [after Sons of Anarchy] and was offered some TV roles and I turned them all down,” Coates, who also serves as a co-producer on Bad Blood, says. “I wanted to focus on films. This was handed to me—they sent me the first three scripts—and every 20 minutes I would come out and say to my wife, ‘This is unbelievable.'” He got on the phone with the producers, committed to the project, and passed on Godless, Netflix’s western TV series from Steven Soderbergh. Scheduling eventually allowed for him to do both, but Coates was willing to drop Godless entirely in favour of Bad Blood.

“I know what everyone is wanting to do with this project,” Coates says. “I’m not afraid to tell everyone what a great job they’re doing. I’m so proud to be involved with this. It doesn’t have to perfect, but it does have to be honest.”

Bad Blood airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on City.

Look for more coverage of Bad Blood from our set visit late last year in the coming days, including exclusive interviews with actors Enrico Colantoni and Brett Donahue, and authors Antonio Nicaso and Peter Edwards.

 

 

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No “Tomorrow”: 19-2 clocks out for the last time

I just didn’t want any of my favourite characters to get killed. Yes, that was the low bar I’d set for myself heading into Monday’s series finale of 19-2. As long as Ben, Nick, Bear, Audrey and the rest closed out the show intact I would be happy.

But would “Tomorrow,” written by Bruce M. Smith and directed by Louis Choquette, come through? With an episode synopsis teasing, “The squad works a full moon shift. Suarez and Beatrice get unexpected news. Ben’s brother brings him a gift from home and the squad races to prevent a tragedy,” I wasn’t sure. The full moon brings out the crazy and the weird and the word “tragedy” resulted in heart palpitations, especially with so much drama in last week’s instalment. Was Ben finally free of the mob? Did Nick make a mistake having Farah’s ex-husband arrested? And just who was that mysterious grave dug for?

“Tomorrow” began innocently enough, with 19 attempting to stop the driver of a stolen snowplough from wreaking havoc in the city. The guy finally stopped—after running out of gas—and we were given a treat a long time coming: Audrey and Tyler were teamed for the very first time. We also found out why they’re paired up: Dulac wanted to ride solo. Suarez’s arrival on the scene meant confirmation nothing bad is going into Ben’s file and that Ben had a summons to appear in court regarding the arrest of Farah’s ex.

Then, with one phone call, emotions were high: Ben’s brother, Mark, wanted to meet up with some their father’s items. But before the siblings could suss out the details, 19-2 pulled over a truck packed with metal storage drums. One was leaking, which led to the most Canadian of storylines: stolen maple syrup. 19-2 is not known for its comedic moments, so Nick slipping in syrup and landing on his ass was a scream. One final shot of the liquid oozing into the street—on a sub-zero night, no less—had me concerned that storyline wasn’t headed for a fun conclusion. Suarez spinning his car in it furthered my fear and I yelled at all three to get the hell off the road. Luckily, the storyline never went further than that.

Meanwhile, Bear had her hands full when a young woman, her baby and her father showed up at 19. Dad wanted to file a restraining order against his son-in-law, but his daughter chalked it up to a misunderstanding. 19-2 has dealt with spousal abuse before and I suspected this case would get ugly fast. The woman, Joanie, didn’t want to make a statement, and the trio left. One dropped 911 call later and Audrey and Tyler were plunged into a horrific situation: Joanie’s dead father surrounded by blood splatters up the wall and all over the room. (I visibly cringed when Tyler went down the hall to search other rooms and breathed out in relief when no one else was there.) It was all-hands-on-deck to find Karl Lucas—assumed to be the perp—before he could find his wife and baby.

As for Dulac, Suarez’s damaged car meant they teamed up for the night. There was a frank discussion, and Dulac revealed he was stuck in 19 because his family isn’t filled with quitters. Dulac is a fascinating character. At first, I figured he’d be the comic relief but he’s turned into a deeply conflicted guy who just doesn’t fit in with the rest of his squad.

Dulac and Suarez thought they had captured Karl, but it wasn’t him. Instead, Karl arrived at Joanie’s house while Nick and Ben were there. 19-2 had their guard down—Suarez and Dulac thought they had him in custody—and things went from bad to awful. No, no, NO, I said out loud as the thumping music began and Karl entered the home. Thankfully, Suarez realized his mistake and Ben alerted Nick as Karl lunged forward, swinging a hammer; the duo subdued Karl without injury (Karl wasn’t so lucky.) It was emotional enough to have Ben cradling Joanie’s baby in his arms; having Amelie there, telling him it was “a good day,” and it suddenly got very dusty in my basement. (Darn allergies!) That was good news. Even better news? Bear’s assignment came in: she was 19’s new sergeant.

When Ben and Mark did connect, Ben was in for a surprise: a dead deer their father shot but couldn’t keep because he’s not supposed to have access to firearms. There was a bit of symbolism in this: Ben has been referred to as “Bambi,” by Nick since their first day together and Ben has had visions of the innocent animal dancing in and out of his life during the last four seasons. Was the dead deer a symbol of Ben’s innocence dying? It sure felt like that’s what Smith was telling us. The butchered deer gave Audrey and idea … and she was off.

Nick saw his personal life rebound from two weeks ago. After heading to the waiting room while Ben was in court, Nick ran into Farah’s son, Antoine, and learned his father had stolen $800 from him. The pair bonded over fathers with criminal pasts and candy, leaving the door open for a possible reconciliation with Farah.

Some of the most memorable and enjoyable scenes in 19-2 are when the squad gets together to celebrate, so I was thrilled to see the key characters reunite for a tourtiere feast at Ben’s place. We were introduced to Tyler’s gal pal—the dispatcher he’s been speaking all sultry to all season—and Liam swung by too. We were also shown those left out of the party; the living in Dulac and Gendron and the dead in J.M., J.P., Amelie, Kaz, Houle and the high school gunman. So many ghosts haunting 19.

“Nick,” Ben yelled to his partner in the show’s closing moments. “It was a good day.” Nick nodded, smiled, and left to meet Farah.

Who have been your favourite 19-2 characters? Which storylines have you enjoyed the most? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

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