Gerry Dee discusses Mr. D going Orphan Black in Season 6

When we left Gerry Duncan (Gerry Dee) and Lisa Mason (Lauren Hammersley) on Mr. D at the end of Season 5, the pair had woken up from a drunken night on the town, next to each other in bed and—gulp!—married.

Season 6, returning with “Gerry Does It Again” on Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. on CBC, jumps back into bed with the pair, who are adjusting to life as a married couple. Those nuptials extend past Episode 1, presenting an interesting challenge not only for the characters but co-creator Gerry Dee and the writing team. We spoke to Dee ahead of Tuesday’s return, about where the show is headed, its guest stars, its Orphan Black moment, and an update on the Mr. D adaptation Will Arnett had planned for CBS.

I think it was a bold move to have Gerry and Lisa get married at the end of Season 5. Was that idea floated around before Season 5, or did it come to fruition while writing this past season?
Gerry Dee: You don’t know, in this business, if you’re going to be back year-to-year. You have to end your season with it being a season finale and possibly being a series finale. That’s just the nature of our business. Right now we don’t know if we have a Season 7, but my mind starts to think, ‘OK if we do have a Season 7, what are some storylines? What do we want to do to change it up?’

One season, we changed it up and had Lisa become principal and that was a big thing. This time, we had Lisa and Gerry get married. You might wonder why Lisa is single? She’s very attractive and has a great career. We didn’t want Lauren to play the typical sitcom girl. We wanted to throw her a curve ball. She doesn’t have a boyfriend or a ton of friends. Gerry is definitely in the same boat, and it was kind of out of nowhere the way we thought of it. We have such great writers, headed by Jessie Gabe, and you just start throwing ideas around. We tried to have Gerry in a relationship in Season 2 and it just didn’t feel right. We tried to just stay away from Gerry in a relationship and this idea came to us. We have a lot of fun with it in Season 6.

Lauren Hammersley

Their relationship continues for at least one more episode. Why did you choose to keep it going? Will it show Gerry’s evolution as a man?
Look, they’re both not getting any younger. We’ve always established that Gerry wants to have a wife and kids. He’s not a player and is trying to find true love. Maybe this is a great place for me. I don’t think Gerry has ever deviated from wanting to be married. Is this settling? Maybe, in his mind. Or maybe it’s more Lisa settling. Or maybe it’s a cute way of flirting.

Meanwhile, Nisha and Simon are continuing their relationship. You’ve thrown Steven into the mix as Simon’s nemesis … who is also played by Mark Little. Clearly, Mark was up to the task of playing two characters.
We’ve played this story all along that Simon has this weird dynamic with his mother. There is this hint of incestuousness between them. The suggestion came, ‘What if we had a guy that looked like Simon?’ And then we went one step further. We pulled an Orphan Black. Those two are so funny. Adding Emma Hunter to the cast was great. We have such a strong cast and coming in and fitting in that group isn’t an easy task. She’s done it.

And we have such a wonderful writers’ room and that’s a huge, important part of any show. People give me credit because my name is on the show but this cast and writing room makes the show. And the producers and the crew. We have camera operators who will throw a line in. Everyone weighs in.

Mark Little
Mark Little

Who did you have in the writers’ room with you in Season 6 in addition to Jessie Gabe?
We had a little bit of Anita Kapila in Season 6, though she was working on Kim’s Convenience, which I think is a very funny show and will do well. We had Shebli Zarghami, Dane Clark and Linsey Stewart, George Reinblatt and co-creator Mike Volpe and myself. It’s such a great group now; the cohesiveness of the writers’ room is so important.

What can you reveal regarding guest stars this season? I know Missy Peregrym from Rookie Blue stopped by.
Mike Dopud appears. He’s been in so many things and we co-starred together in Canada Russia ’72. Something that Mike and I have done over the years—I’ve done it in the past with comedians I know by bringing them into the writers’ room or on the show—using people you’ve worked with. Missy and I had always connected at award shows and told her I’d love to get her on the show and I knew Mike from Canada Russia. But we rely less on guest stars now because our cast is so big.

What’s the status of Will Arnett’s adaptation of Mr. D for CBS?
That kind of came and went pretty quick. I wasn’t involved and Mike wasn’t involved. They liked the idea and liked the show. They hired a showrunner and he wrote a script and, I guess, he submitted it and it was turned down and the show was passed on. Mike and I are still looking. We think the show would do well in any country and we don’t know why someone hasn’t picked up the episodes and put them on a network somewhere. I’m meeting with folks and eOne is shopping it around, but from what I understand comedy is a hard sell internationally and the U.S. has hundreds of shows.

Mr. D airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.


Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
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