From Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette:
Link: TV drama 21 Thunder explores the world of under-21 soccer in Montreal
“We realized very quickly that every Canadian can relate one way or another to soccer. Either you play it or you watch it or you watched Canada play in international tournaments or you love the Impact or you love Toronto FC. Also, look at any soccer field across Canada and that field reflects huge diversity, of cultural background, of different segments of society. That diversity is reflected in the show. So we thought it was the perfect pitch for a show that was simultaneously Canadian and exportable.” Continue reading.
From a media release:
CBC has commissioned 21 THUNDER, a new original eight episode, one-hour drama series from PMA Productions and Generic Productions. Set in Montreal, the series takes viewers into the fiercely competitive and high-stakes world of an under-21 soccer academy, following the players and coaches who risk it all for a shot at the pros. Production started in late August in Montreal and will continue until November 15, with the series set to premiere in summer 2017 on CBC.
In the cutthroat world of pro soccer, a club lives and dies by the stars on its under-21 team. They are the future and lifeblood of any franchise, but most will never make it. 21 THUNDER is the story of the Montreal Thunder U21 team, following the team’s star players on and off the field. A story of love, crime, race, sex and athletic glory, at its core the series is about how a group of players and coaches unite as family in the whirlwind of life, one step away from the pros.
Helping to coach the team are Christy Cook (Stephanie Bennett, The Romeo Section, Descendants), an Olympic soccer hero forced on the team for PR reasons; and Davey Gunn (former Scottish footballer Ryan Pierce, who played as Ryan O’Leary), an international soccer superstar who is on the run from both the paparazzi and his past. The team consists of striker and former gang-member Nolan Gallard (RJ Fetherstonhaugh, Wayward Pines); Ivory Coast midfielder Junior Lolo (Emmanuel Kabongo, Hemlock Grove), a brilliant new arrival; and team captain, goalie and academic prodigy Alex el Haddadi (Andres Joseph, The Flash). Together they strive under notorious coach Albert Rocas (Conrad Pla, 19-2) to win games for the club, and a future for themselves.
Commissioned by CBC, 21 THUNDER is produced by PMA Productions and Generic Productions, and executive produced by Kenneth Hirsch (Extraordinary Canadians, Outbreak: Anatomy of a Plague), Michael Levine (Republic of Doyle), Adrian Wills (The Surrogacy Trap, All Together Now), Riley Adams (Crossing the Rubicon: The Journey, Flashpoint) and Malcolm MacRury (Republic of Doyle, Saving Hope), who also serves as showrunner. Riley Adams is co-creator along with Kenneth Hirsch and Adrian Wills.