Everything about Heartland, eh?

Michelle Morgan grows up on Heartland

From Eric Volmers of the Calgary Herald:

  • Calgary actress Michelle Morgan has grown up on CBC’s Heartland
    Michelle Morgan was at a Calgary cafe recently with her new husband when a teenager approached her with that glint of recognition in her eye. “She was a young girl, she must have been 16,” says Morgan, sitting near her trailer on the Calgary set of CBC’s Heartland on a hot day in late August. “She said ‘You look just like a girl in a show I used to watch when I was little …’” Read more.

New tonight: Over The Rainbow, Heartland, Mercer on Mansbridge

Over The Rainbow, CBC – Series premiere
Over The Rainbow will kick-off with a one-hour documentary that follows the cross-Canada audition process down to the choice of 10 potential Dorothys by the judges and Andrew Lloyd Webber himself. Followed by Performance #1, a live show, where 10 Dorothys compete, singing a mixture of Broadway and pop songs.

Heartland, CBC – Running Against the Wind
Amy is bursting to ask Ty about the engagement ring, and why he hasn’t proposed yet, but a couple of “runaways” throw everything at Heartland into turmoil.

Mansbridge One on One, CBC – Guest Rick Mercer
There’s not much he hasn’t done to get a laugh. But he’s not just funny, his humour often has a message and it can be biting. Rick Mercer begins yet another season of his television show this week, but he also has a new book celebrating his famous rants. Lots to talk about with our guest this week, Rick Mercer.

CBC’s fall schedule

From a media release:

CBC TELEVISION SHINES THIS FALL WITH TOP-NOTCH ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING, PROVEN ACCLAIMED FORMATS AND BIG CANADIAN STARS

  • Kicking-off on September 14, CBC-TV’s 2012 Fall Schedule Delivers a Compelling
    Slate of New and Returning Hit Series

From captivating dramas and engaging live series, to biting comedies and award-winning news and investigative programs, CBC Television offers Canadians a diverse range of entertaining programming this fall. The new schedule features the anticipated premieres of OVER THE RAINBOW, TITANIC: BLOOD & STEEL and MURDOCH MYSTERIES, as well as new seasons of established viewer-favourites DRAGONS’ DEN, RICK MERCER REPORT, THE BIG DECISION, GEORGE STROUMBOULOPOULOS TONIGHT and more. It all starts Friday, September 14 with the season premieres of MARKETPLACE and the fifth estate.

  • DRAGONS’ DEN – Canada’s #1 Unscripted program – returns and welcomes Canada’s best known personal finance author, David Chilton, to the Den
  • Anticipation rises as young hopefuls vie for the coveted role of Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new Canadian production of The Wizard of Oz in OVER THE RAINBOW
  • GEORGE STROUMBOULOPOULOS TONIGHT makes the move from late-night to primetime, airing in a new 7 p.m. (7:30 NT) timeslot
  • TITANIC: BLOOD & STEEL, the epic limited series event starring Canadian actors Neve Campbell and Kevin Zegers, premieres
  • A special 30-minute edition of THE LANG & O’LEARY EXCHANGE heads to CBC-TV, joining the primetime schedule at 6:30 p.m. (7 NT)
  • One of Canada’s best-loved dramas, MURDOCH MYSTERIES, makes its official debut on CBC
  • Family-favourite HEARTLAND returns for its sixth season with the introduction of a fiery new character
  • Starting September 17, iconic series CORONATION STREET moves to an all-new 7:30 p.m. (8 NT) timeslot
  • This fall marks a milestone for several renowned CBC programs: the 60th season of HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA; the 40th anniversary of MARKETPLACE; the 20th anniversary of 22 MINUTES; and a decade of the RICK MERCER REPORT.

Continue reading CBC’s fall schedule

Endgame & Heartland actor Torrance Coombs on the business of deception and those eyes

TC

With roles in jPod, Heartland, The Tudors and Endgame, Vancouver actor Torrance Coombs has become a familiar face — with stunningly recognizable eyes — in the Canadian television industry. He answered TV, eh?‘s questions about his career, his Internet following, and the chaos of pilot season in Los Angeles.

I’ll start with the hard-hitting question — did that cool actorly name destine you to be an actor? Assuming not, though, how did you get into acting?

I was actually going to be named Tory, but my mom thought I should have a more formal sounding name in case I got into politics. That didn’t happen. Although I guess acting is somewhat like politics. We’re all in the business of deception.

I got into acting through school choir, doing a couple of musicals. But I didn’t really start to take it seriously until Sally, my high school drama teacher, recruited me for the theatre company. I really connected to the other weirdos in the program and found a real passion for it during long rehearsals. I ended up in theatre school in university and now here I am.

With jPod, Heartland, The Tudors and Endgame you’ve had some diverse roles. What do you think your strengths are as an actor?

Let’s be honest here, I owe an awful lot to my eyes. They’re a feature that allows me to stand out in a group of relatively comparable actors. My other biggest strength I’d say is my diversity. I’ve played geeks, bad boys, cowboys, rapists, murderers. Sexy and unsexy. On the one hand it’s an advantage, because I’m in the mix for a lot of different roles. On the other hand, I think it takes a little longer for a guy like me to establish an identity, because I’m not the guy who immediately springs to mind for any one particular type of role.

What’s been a career highlight so far?

jPod was an early highlight. Most of the cast of that show are still dear friends of mine. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard so consistently in my life as I did on that set every day. The Tudors was another highlight, and in every sense has changed my life. It’s the meatiest role I’ve had the chance to play. It’s also pretty hard to beat shooting on location in Ireland. I really felt a connection to the country and the people there.

jPod had a devoted online following, as well as Endgame, which gained new fans through Hulu. How does that kind of Internet fan base help a show?

The jury’s still out on how much it’s helped either of those shows. But from my perspective, it’s a great way to connect with the audience. TV lacks the immediacy of theatre. It’s hard sometimes to know whether people are actually watching, or what they might be thinking about your work. The feedback at times can be devastating, but mostly it’s really lovely.

How much hope do you have that Endgame could get a second season based on the Hulu success? (And if it did, would it end up as a web exclusive series?)

The word on the street is that there is a decent possibility of more Endgame getting made. Without any knowledge of what’s going on behind closed doors, I can’t say how close it is to happening. My understanding is that if it does return, it will also return to TV on Showcase in Canada.

You’ve been in LA during pilot season – what’s that process like? How does it differ from your experience in the Canadian TV market?

Quite frankly, it’s chaos. I’ve never actually booked a pilot during pilot season. I seem to have much more luck in the off-season. There’s something about the pressure and intensity that isn’t conducive to doing your best work. The process is similar to what happens in Canada, there’s just a lot more people doing it. It can psych you out a bit because you can see what you’re up against and how terribly the odds are stacked against you. I prefer being blissfully unaware of the odds. It frees me to just do the work and hope for the best.

What’s next for you?

I’m going back to Banff to finish shooting a movie I started on last year called Drawing Home, about Peter and Catharine Whyte. Other than that, nothing concrete, but a lot of pokers in the fire.