Everything about Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, eh?

19-2 and Schitt’s Creek lead 2016 Canadian Screen Award TV nominations

Bravo’s gritty cop drama 19-2 and CBC’s high-profile comedy Schitt’s Creek topline the nominations for the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards. Announced Tuesday morning in Toronto at TIFF Bell Lightbox by Lyriq Bent (The Book of Negroes) and Aislinn Paul (Degrassi), 19-2 captured 12 nominations, including Best Dramatic Series and Best Performance nods for supporting cast and leads Jared Keeso and Adrian Holmes; Keeso and Holmes recorded a video to mark the occasion (check it out below).

Meanwhile, Schitt’s Creek does battle in the comedic categories, with co-stars Eugene and Dan Levy facing off for Best Performance and the Tuesday night comedy fighting off fellow CBC series Mr. D, Mohawk Girls, Young Drunk Punk and Tiny Plastic Men for Best Comedy Series.

Space’s Orphan Black did well too, snagging 13 nominations including performance acknowledgements for Ari Millen and Tatiana Maslany, though it was shut out of the Dramatic Series list. Global’s final season of Rookie Blue was recognized by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, as Missy Peregrym and Ben Bass received nominations.

The nominees in the key television categories are listed below. Who do you think deserves to win? The two-hour Canadian Screen Awards gala airs Sunday, March 13, at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role

  • Gerry Dee, Mr. D
  • Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Dave Foley, Spun Out

Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role

  • Adrian Holmes, 19-2
  • Jared Keeso, 19-2
  • Ari Millen, Orphan Black
  • Ben Bass, Rookie Blue
  • Aaron Poole, Strange Empire

Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role

  • Brittany LeBorgne, Mohawk Girls
  • Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
  • Belinda Cornish, Tiny Plastic Men

Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role

  • Kristin Lehman, Motive
  • Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
  • Megan Follows, Reign
  • Missy Peregrym, Rookie Blue
  • Jennie Raymond, Sex & Violence

Best Dramatic Series

  • 19-2
  • Blackstone
  • Motive
  • Saving Hope
  • X Company

Best Comedy Series

  • Mr. D
  • Mohawk Girls
  • Schitt’s Creek
  • Tiny Plastic Men
  • Young Drunk Punk

Best Reality/Competition Program or Series

  • The Amazing Race Canada
  • Big Brother Canada
  • Dragons’ Den
  • Game of Homes
  • MasterChef Canada

Best Animated Program or Series

  • Endangered Species
  • Numb Chucks
  • Rocket Monkeys
  • Slugterra

Best Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or Series

  • Annedroids
  • Degrassi
  • Full Out
  • Max & Shred

Best Factual Program or Series

  • Emergency
  • Ice Pilots NWT
  • Jade Fever
  • Million Dollar Critic
  • Still Standing

Best International Drama

  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
  • Vikings

Best Lifestyle Program or Series

  • Buy It, Fix It, Sell It
  • Carnival Eats
  • Income Property
  • Masters of Flip
  • Survivorman Bigfoot

Best TV Movie or Limited Series

  • The Book of Negroes
  • First Response
  • Forget and Forgive
  • Kept Woman
  • Studio Black!

The rest of the television categories can be seen here.

As previously announced, comedian Norm Macdonald will host the 2016 event. Wendy Crewson—currently starring on CTV’s Saving Hope—will receive the Earle Grey Award for acting and Martin Short will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Canadian Screen Awards air Sunday, March 13, at 8 p.m. on CBC.


The strange case of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

strange.jpgTonight, Canadians finally get a chance to see the Canadian co-production Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which has already premiered in the UK and US.

Well, some Canadians get a chance to see it. Through some broadcaster slight-of-hand, only those east of the Manitoba-Ontario border who have access to Bell’s The Movie Network can see tonight’s double-header premiere.

While many of that network’s original series are shared productions with Corus’ Western Canadian Movie Central, this seven-part miniseries based on Susanna Clarke’s novel was originally intended for Bell’s Space channel, and Corus was not a partner. Sister networks Space or CTV may eventually see a second-window airing, or it may show up on CraveTV, but for now the show has been rendered invisible to my Western brethren.

From Vancouver I grudgingly admit it would be an uneasy fit on Space, though I can wish it were placed on Bravo instead. Fantastical, mystical, literary, dark and quirky, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is not in the mold of glossier genre shows such as Bitten or Lost Girl, and it’s not science fiction such as Orphan Black, Dark Matter or Killjoys. The writer Peter Harness and director Toby Haynes are both veterans of Doctor Who, but it’s not much like that series, either. In tone it’s not much like anything on television at the moment. It’s Harry Potter for adults, minus the bright colours and pacing. 

Set in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars in England when centuries have passed since practical magic faded into the nation’s past, one magician remains: the reclusive and skillful Mr Norrell (Eddie Marsan). Soon Norrell is challenged by the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel).

Only the first episode was available for screening, and it barely hints at what’s to come plot-wise, but it’s evident Marsan is a wonderful Norrell, peculiar and put-upon as he bristles at the rumours and assumptions about his powers.  He is reason alone to watch. Carvel as Strange has less to do in the first episode, but in appearance and character makes a good foil.

Partially shot in Quebec, this is one of those indiscernibly Canadian co-productions. Bell announced the scheduling less than two weeks before the premiere making it seem — never mind the network switcheroo and delay compared to the UK and US — like an afterthought.

But while the first episode is slow-going — atmospheric set-up more than gripping plot and character, with the women relegated to the far background — by episode’s end you’re sure to feel there’s magic to come. And if you live east of Manitoba, you just might be able to watch what’s to come, too.


Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell gets Canadian debut date

From a media release:

– Seven-part international co-production shot in Canada, England, and Croatia –

– Eddie Marsan and Bertie Carvel star as magicians in 19th century England –

Following the fantastical and dark adventures of two magicians in 19th century England, JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL, the new seven-part adaptation of the bestselling novel by Susanna Clarke, debuts Sunday, July 5 at 8 p.m. ET on The Movie Network with a special two-episode premiere. Subsequent one-hour episodes premiere Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET. Shot in Canada, England, and Croatia, the miniseries is a Canada/U.K. co-production produced in partnership with BBC One, BBC America, and Bell Media.

Set in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars in England when centuries have passed since practical magic faded into the nation’s past, one magician remains: the reclusive and skillful Mr Norrell (Eddie Marsan, RAY DONOVAN). His displays of magic soon thrill the nation when he raises the beautiful Lady Pole (Alice Englert, Ginger & Rosa) from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French.

Soon Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel, RESTLESS). Young, handsome, and daring, Strange is the antithesis of Norrell. As a dangerous battle ensues between the two great men, their obsessions and secret experimenting with the dark arts causes more trouble than they can imagine.

The miniseries has been adapted from Susanna Clarke’s bestselling novel by Peter Harness (DOCTOR WHO). Director is Toby Haynes (DOCTOR WHO) and producer is Nick Hirschkorn (Five Children and It).

JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL is produced by Cuba Pictures Limited in association with Feel Films for BBC, and co-produced with BBC America in association with Attraction Images for Bell Media, Far Moor Productions Ltd, and Screen Yorkshire.


Link: Jonathan Strange team on how the project ended up on TV

strange.jpgFrom Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter:

‘Jonathan Strange’ Team on How the Project Ended up on TV, “Hotshot” American Actors
Harness said given the book’s nearly 800 pages, the adaptation was “a daunting task.” How did he approach his work? “I think I just divided the book into chunks,” he said. The first two episodes cover around 400 pages, while the final one only covers around 50, he said. Continue reading.


Eddie Marsan and Bertie Carvel cast in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

From a media release:

Based on the bestselling novel by Susanna Clarke and adapted by Peter Harness (Wallander, Is Anybody There?), Eddie Marsan (Best Of Men, Ray Donovan, Filth) and Olivier award-winning Bertie Carvel (Restless, Hidden, Matilda) take on the magical roles of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell in this seven-part drama series.

Further casting includes Alice Englert (Ginger & Rosa, Beautiful Creatures), Marc Warren (Hustle, Mad Dogs), Samuel West (Mr Selfridge, Fleming), Charlotte Riley (Wuthering Heights, Easy Virtue), Enzo Cilenti (Prisoners Wives, Rome) and Paul Kaye (Game Of Thrones, Stella).

The series is directed by Toby Haynes (The Musketeers, Doctor Who) and the producer is Nick Hirschkorn (Five Children And It). It is produced by Cuba Pictures (Boy A, Broken) for BBC One and co-produced with BBC America, in association with Feel Films, Far Moor, Screen Yorkshire and Bell Media’s Space. It will be distributed by Endemol Worldwide Distribution.

Set at the beginning of the 19th-century, England no longer believes in practical magic. The reclusive Mr Norrell (Marsan) of Hurtfew Abbey stuns the city of York when he causes the statues of York Cathedral to speak and move. With a little persuasion and help from his man of business Childermass (Cilenti), he goes to London to help the government in the war against Napoleon. It is there Norrell summons a fairy to bring Lady Pole (Englert) back from the dead, opening a whole can of worms…

Eddie Marsan, playing Mr Norrell, says: “I can’t wait to start playing Norrell in this terrific adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s novel, and to be working with such a cast of actors, many of whom I’ve admired for so long.”

Jonathan Strange (Carvel) is charming, rich and arrogant. Whilst trying to secure his beloved Arabella’s (Riley) hand in marriage, he meets the magician of Threadneedle Street, Vinculus (Kaye), who tells him he is destined to be a great magician. A shaken and disturbed Strange initially dismisses the claims, but intrigue overcomes and in an attempt to find his occupation, he tries to practise magic.

Filming starts next week and the series will be filmed in Yorkshire, Canada and Croatia.

Executive producers are Nick Marston, Tally Garner and Dixie Linder for Cuba Pictures, Justin Thomson-Glover and Patrick Irwin for Far Moor, and Matthew Read for the BBC. Danny Cohen, Director of Television, and Ben Stephenson, Controller of Drama Commissioning, commissioned the series for BBC One.