From a media release:
THE BLECHERS ARE BACK FOR THE FINAL SEASON OF AWARD-WINNING CANADIAN COMEDY LESS THAN KIND ON JUNE 2 ON HBO CANADA
- Free sampling of Season 3 finale and Season 4 premiere begins Sunday, May 19 across all platforms
HBO Canada, a multiplex channel of Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (Western Canada) and Astral’s The Movie Network (Eastern Canada), heads back to Winnipeg for a bittersweet summer of turmoil and goodbyes in this fourth and final season of the award-winning, half-hour original comedy series, Less Than Kind. Opening with two back-to-back episodes on Sunday, June 2 at 8 p.m. ET/MT, nothing is certain but change for the quirky Blechers in this season of milestones and mishaps. Following its debut, new episodes premiere in their regular time slot, Sundays at 8:30 p.m. ET/MT on HBO Canada.
“We are so happy to bring the Blechers back for the fourth and concluding chapter of Less Than Kind,” said executive producer, writer and showrunner Mark McKinney. “The series has been blessed by an amazing cast that only grew stronger and funnier each season. This season’s storyline brings their characters’ journeys to a very satisfying finish. And we are thrilled to be bringing it to HBO Canada where so many great original Canadian shows have thrived.”
On the heels of recognition at the WGC Awards, Canadian Screen Awards, and Canadian Comedy Awards, including top honours as Best Comedy at the inaugural Canadian Screen Awards, season 4 of Less Than Kind draws to a close during a period of transition for the Blechers. Anne’s (Wendel Meldrum, in her Canadian Screen Award winning role) anxiety is rising at the looming loss of Sheldon (Jesse Camacho) to a gap-year adventure and to the advances of employee Jim Sheridan (Nicholas Campbell). Newly engaged Josh (Benjamin Arthur) pursues a career at Manitoba Labels in order to move out, move up and start his own family with the increasingly demanding Shandra (Lisa Anne Durupt). Aunt Clara (Nancy Sorel) finds herself facing the harsh prospect of unwelcome spinsterhood. As for the loveable trio of youngsters – Sheldon, Miriam (Brooke Palsson) and Danny (Tyler Johnston) – their relationships will be strained to the breaking point by a series of tumultuous events. Life will never be the same again for the Blechers. And that might not be bad.
Season 4 of the series features a distinctly Canadian soundtrack with music from the legendary Bruce Cockburn, Jon Bryant, Gloryhound and Imaginary Cities, among others.
Sneak Preview Available On All Platforms
The Movie Network and Movie Central are offering subscribers and non-subscribers a chance to sample the finale episode of Less Than Kind season 3, as well as the first episode from season 4. Beginning Sunday, May 19, Canadians can watch free-of-charge on www.hbocanada.com, via the free On Demand and Online services of participating television providers as well as on TMN GO in Eastern Canada.
In Eastern Canada, the series will be available in High Definition, on demand, on TMN GO, and on HBO Canada OnLine.
In Western Canada, the series will be available in High Definition on HBO Canada HD; on demand, via mobile and online with participating service providers.
Last week the Writers Guild of Canada handed out their screenwriting awards, including the TV Comedy award to Kim Coghill for the “Jerk Chicken” episode of Less Than Kind. TV, eh?‘s Rachel Langer quizzed her on the award, the episode and lessons learned.
What does the WGC Award win mean to you?
I’m honoured that my fellow writers have judged me not only funny enough, but also strong enough to lift this award, which I believe weighs 175 pounds. Because a lighter award wouldn’t mean nearly as much. I mean, you could actually kill someone with this thing. I’m not saying anyone did. Or would. Or thought about it. I’m just saying you could. It’s just a fact. Facts aren’t illegal.
What was it like to be nominated alongside your then-fiance, now-husband Denis McGrath (Congrats!) and the showrunner of LTK, Mark McKinney? Did that change the experience of winning for you?
I was thrilled to be nominated, but not really sure how they’d take it when I won. Denis seems fine so far – he cries, but mostly at night. Mark sends hate mail scrawled on old Slings & Arrows scripts, but that’s cool too, because it’s kinda like being threatened by Shakespeare, which is pretty flattering… So, um, I think they’re fine with it.
Tell us about your episode of Less Than Kind, and what the best and worst parts of writing it were?
In this episode, Sheldon, the awkward teenaged son, tries to turn himself into one of the “jocks,” best friend Miriam tries being a coquette, and pal Danny wonders why everyone’s turning into someone else. It all spirals out of control when Sheldon throws a jock party, and Danny and Miriam crash with a vengeance.
Worst part: reliving my adolescence.
Best part: reliving my adolescence through these incredibly complex and funny characters, especially with a show set in my hometown of Winnipeg.
If you had to share the award with one other person, who would it be and why?
Just one? All the other writers on LTK, rolled into one enormous aggregate individual containing tiny pieces of each person’s funniest bits. And if I couldn’t do that, I’d share it with my new husband, because he already has one, so now we have matching bookends.
If you could pick one lesson from working on LTK to bring with you to your next writing room, what would it be?
That “comedy” and “drama” aren’t opposites; a show doesn’t have to be one or the other. Good comedy is most powerful when it plays out against real emotions – anger, sadness, fear – because that’s how we experience humour in real life.
Also, when you need a cheap laugh, there’s nothing like the word “boogers.”
Speaking of your next project, could you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on now?
I’m writing a couple of new pilots that are in that ‘comedy-with-drama’ vein.
If you could step into the writers room on any past Canadian Comedy, what would it be, and why?
My smart-ass side would pick Made in Canada, because it was so wonderfully snarky. But my playful side would pick SCTV – I adored those characters, ever since I was a kid. There’s nothing like watching a great character, written and performed with love.
From a media release:
The 2013 WGC Screenwriting Awards Winners – Celebrating Canada’s Screenwriters
It was a loud and lively night in downtown Toronto as the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) celebrated Canada’s screenwriters at the 17th annual WGC Screenwriting Awards. More than 600 revelers from the film, TV and digital media industry came together to congratulate the finalists and cheer the winners.
Screenwriters Andrew Wreggitt (The Phantoms), Martin Gero (L.A. Complex), Kim Coghill (Less Than Kind), Dan Williams & Lienne Sawatsky (Sidekick) and Julie Strassman-Cohn & Jill Golick (Ruby Skye PI) were just a few of those recognized. A complete list of winners is below.
The co-creators of Flashpoint, Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern, were recognized with the prestigious WGC Showrunner Award for their leadership and the creative vision that took the show through five spectacular seasons.
Screenwriters Anne-Marie Perrotta, Simon Racioppa and Lienne Sawatsky received the WGC Writers Block Award for their invaluable contribution at the bargaining table and beyond, assisting the WGC in obtaining minimum fees for animation writing.
The 2013 WGC Screenwriting Awards show was hosted by Ryan Belleville (Satisfaction, Almost Heroes) and written by Bob Kerr (22 Minutes). Dishing out awards were special guest presenters including Yannick Bisson (Murdoch Mysteries), Sergio Di Zio (Flashpoint), Erica Durance (Saving Hope), Susin Nielsen (Robson Arms; Arctic Air), Dave Lawrence (Fubar; Fubar II) and Ken Craw (Heartland).
2013 WGC Screenwriting Awards Winners
Sidekick “I, Sidebot”
Written by Dan Williams & Lienne Sawatsky
CHILDREN & YOUTH
How To Be Indie “How To Make a Christmas Miracle”
Written by John May & Suzanne Bolch
A Sorry State
Written by Mitch Miyagawa
MOVIES & MINISERIES
Written by Andrew Wreggitt
SHORTS & WEBSERIES
Ruby Skye P.I.: The Haunted Library “#Creepy”
Written by Julie Strassman-Cohn & Jill Golick
Less Than Kind “Jerk Chicken”
Written by Kim Coghill
The L.A. Complex “Down in L.A.”
Written by Martin Gero
WGC Showrunner Award – Mark Ellis & Stephanie Morgenstern (Flashpoint)
The Jim Burt Screenwriting Prize – Wild Medicine by Adam Garnet Jones
Writers Block Award – Anne-Marie Perrotta, Simon Racioppa & Lienne Sawatsky
This year’s Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award winners will be announced on April 22. We’ve been catching up with many of the writers nominated in the comedy and drama categories. Denis McGrath was nominated for his episode of Less Than Kind, “Danger, Wrestling.”
Can you describe the episode “Danger, Wrestling” and how it fit into the Less Than Kind season?
It’s actually part of the “lost” 3rd season. As most people know, our beloved Sam Blecher, the great Maury Chaykin, passed away while we were writing Season 3. I wrote the first draft of “Danger, Wrestling” with a B-Plot featuring Sam. That had to be rewritten by the room eventually – and by that point I was on another show. I went with my draft, which had some elegiac stuff with Sam that obviously, we weren’t able to use.
Other than that there’s fun stuff of Josh auditioning talent for his acting school — and Sheldon discovers the joys of wrestling.
What was the biggest triumph in this particular episode?
Well there’s two answers to that. Obviously for the show, the fact that they rallied and got the whole season made as a tribute to Maury and wound up with a beautiful exploration of how a family moves through grief — that’s so much greater than any individual contribution, and a testimony to the talent of Mark McKinney, the creators Marvin (Kaye) & Chris (Sheasgreen), and the team they put together.
But personally? I don’t write a lot of comedy … I’m mostly a drama writer. When I was considering whether to enter the script — I have to thank Karen Hill for that — I reread it for the first time in two years and really laughed. There’s a wonderful subplot about Sam tracing the ups and downs of a piece of stock — and him coming to terms with selling it (for the same amount he bought it for 30 years ago) – but it’s really about him coming to terms with feeling his sons will be okay without him. I’d like to think that my strength as a drama writer is a light touch, and as a comedy writer, I go for the big cry. That’s a little messed up, isn’t it?
What does this recognition mean to you?
So much. I love LTK. It’s employed some of my best friends. Working on the show brought my fiancee and I together. I came from a family that yelled, with love … so I recognize those characters. I’ve had an incredibly lucky career and after winning a WGC Award for writing a drama show, it’s humbling and exciting to get nominated for comedy. And it’s a recognition by my writer peers, and that is incredibly important to me.
If there is one Canadian show that is no longer on the air that you could see honoured at this year’s awards, what would it be? (If you have a specific episode, even better).
For the love of God, why has CBC not done a Street Legal reunion/reboot movie? I miss Chuck and Olivia. I can’t be alone on that one. But the truth is — they ALL should be honoured. From Wojeck to DaVinci to Intelligence to the first 30 years of Citytv we have made, and continued to make, wonderful TV in Canada. I think it’s sad that we only note that when the New York Times or some American publication says so.
There are such strong nominees this year. So many great scripts. I am so jazzed to be among that talent. Maybe I can make a go of this writing thing.
Less Than Kind is entering into its fourth and final season on The Movie Network/Movie Central in 2013.
See the Academy website for a full list of winners of the Canadian Screen Awards.