Everything about Mr. D, eh?

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.

laurenh-dsc_0113-gallery
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.

 

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Toronto Blue Jays wild card strikes out Kim’s Convenience debut for one week

The Toronto Blue Jays’ regular season thriller may have been a boon for fans, but it’s caused one major headache for the CBC. The Jays one-game wild card faceoff against the Baltimore Orioles goes Tuesday night … straight up against the highly-anticipated debut of Kim’s Convenience.

Knowing baseball will decimate everything else ratings-wise in primetime on Tuesday, the network decided to move Kim’s Convenience‘s debut to next Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 9 p.m. for two back-to-back episodes. The days of solely relying on overnight ratings is a thing of the past; live plus-7 is where it’s at in the numbers game, so I don’t totally understand the decision to do this, especially after all of the media coverage for Kim‘s touting this week’s bow.

The other show affected by this is Mr. D. Season 6 of Gerry Dee’s comedy was slated to return on Oct. 11 at 9:30 p.m. It will debut a week later on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.

Created by Ins Choi first as a play for Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre, Kim’s Convenience tells the story of the Kims, a Korean-Canadian family who run a convenience store in downtown Toronto. Mr. and Mrs. Kim immigrated to Toronto in the 80’s to set up shop near Regent Park and had two kids, Jung and Janet who are now young adults. However, when Jung was 16, he and Appa had a major falling out involving a physical fight, stolen money and Jung leaving home. Father and son have been estranged since.

Kim’s Convenience stars Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Appa, Jean Yoon as Umma, Simu Liu as Jung, Andrea Bang as Janet and Andrew Phung as Kimchee.

Kim’s Convenience debuts Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on CBC.

Mr. D returns Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of CBC.

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CBC announces fall broadcast dates for new and returning series

From a media release:

CBC today announced premiere dates for its fall 2016 television season, featuring a diverse and uniquely Canadian slate of six new and 18 returning series including premium drama and comedy, cutting-edge news and investigative content, original documentaries and engaging factual, arts, kids, daytime and sports programming.

New primetime series include THIS IS HIGH SCHOOL (6×60), premiering Sun. Oct 2, which will offer unprecedented and unfiltered access to real life at a Canadian high school; comedy KIM’S CONVENIENCE (13×30), the funny, heartfelt story of a Korean-Canadian family running a convenience store in Toronto, premiering Tues. Oct. 4; and political thriller SHOOT THE MESSENGER (8×60), premiering Mon. Oct. 10, which centres on the complex relationships between crime reporters and the police.

CBC’s daytime programming welcomes the highly anticipated one-hour weekday program THE GOODS on Mon. Oct 3, hosted by Steven Sabados, Jessi Cruickshank, Shahir Massoud and Andrea Bain, who will offer playful inspiration and information on home, style, food and wellness; while new Kids’ CBC original series include the Tues. Sept 6 world premiere of animated adventure DOT. (52×11), based on the children’s book by entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg, and photography competition series SNAPSHOTS (6×30), premiering Sat. Sept. 10.

Returning for new seasons are CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON (season 3); DRAGONS’ DEN (season 11); EXHIBITIONISTS (season 2); HEARTLAND (season 10); HELLO GOODBYE (season 2); MR. D (season 6); MURDOCH MYSTERIES (season 10); RICK MERCER REPORT (season 14); THE ROMEO SECTION (season 2); THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (season 24); and THIS LIFE (season 2). Also returning are acclaimed news and investigative programs MARKETPLACE (season 44) and the fifth estate (season 42); thought-provoking documentary series FIRSTHAND (season 2); David Suzuki’s THE NATURE OF THINGS (season 56); and weekly CBC Sports series ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES.  THE MOBLEES (season 2) and BIG BLOCK SINGSONG (season 3) return for new seasons on Kids’ CBC.

The complete CBC fall premiere schedule is as follows:

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
7:45 a.m. (8:15 NT) — The Moblees

8 a.m. (8:30 NT) — Dot. *NEW SERIES*

8:23 a.m. (8:53 NT) — Big Block Singsong

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10
9 a.m. (9:30 NT) — Snapshots *NEW SERIES*

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2
4:30 p.m. (5:00 NT) – Exhibitionists

7 p.m. (7:30 NT) — Heartland

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — This is High School *NEW SERIES*

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — This Life

MONDAY, OCTOBER 3
2 p.m. (2:30 NT) — The Goods *NEW SERIES*

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Rick Mercer Report

8:30 p.m. (9 NT) — This Hour Has 22 Minutes

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Kim’s Convenience *NEW SERIES*

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Dragons’ Den

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — The Romeo Section

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — The Nature of Things: “Pompeii’s People”

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Firsthand: “Road to Mercy”

MONDAY, OCTOBER 10
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Murdoch Mysteries

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Shoot the Messenger *NEW SERIES*

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11
9:30 p.m. (10 NT) — Mr. D

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Marketplace

8:30 p.m. (9 NT) — Hello Goodbye

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — the fifth estate

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22
4 p.m. ET (1 pm PT) — Road to the Olympic Games

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Canada’s Smartest Person

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Cameras rolling on Mr. D Season 6 in Halifax

From a media release:

Principal photography on Season 6 (10 x 30) of Mr. D – the popular CBC series starring comedian Gerry Dee – is now under way in Halifax. The new season will premiere this fall. 

Exploring the staff and student dynamics at a private school, Mr. D is based on the stand-up comedy act of Dee, who was a teacher for nine years before transitioning to a career in comedy. The series revolves around the eponymous Mr. D, an under-qualified and unmotivated teacher trying to fake his way through work – and life. 

The current season picks up from the hilarious Season 5 finale, in which Gerry and principal Lisa Mason (Lauren Hammersley) got hitched in a drunken haze following a disastrous fun fair at the elite day school.  

Season 6 storylines include Gerry teaching in a prison to earn extra cash; Robert (Jonathan Torrens) fulfilling a few of his lifelong dreams; and Simon (Mark Little) and Nisha (new principle cast member Emma Hunter) slowly exploring their complicated relationship.  

Mr. D also stars Bette MacDonald (Trudy), Naomi Snieckus (Bobbi), Darrin Rose (Bill), Wes Williams (Paul), Suresh John (Malik), Kathleen Phillips (Emma), and Bill Wood (Frank). Guest stars this season will once again include Youtube sensation Madison Tevlin, reprising her role as feisty Ricki, and other surprise guests to be announced later. 

As well, Sandra Rogers, the winner of CBC’s Mr. D Favourite Teacher Contest, will be heading to Halifax for a walk-on role later this summer. A teacher-librarian at Garth Webb Secondary School in Oakville, ON, Rogers was nominated by one of her students, 15-year-old Ishmam Tanveer. 

Mr. D is produced by Topsail Productions Limited and Gerard ADHD Entertainment Inc., in association with CBC, and is distributed worldwide by Entertainment One Television International Ltd. The series shoots in studio and on location in and around Halifax until mid-August.

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