Tag Archives: Shaftesbury

Frankie Drake Mysteries roars into Season 2

From a media release:

Production has begun on the second season ofShaftesbury’s 1920s-set FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES, a co-production with CBC and UKTV and distributed by Kew Media Group. Season one saw secrets emerge from Frankie’s tightly hidden past, from discovering her mother alive and working as a con woman, to her friends uncovering her past as a spy. In the sophomore season, cases will take Frankie and her team of gal pals across prohibition-era Toronto, from renowned museums and high fashion houses, to dance halls and baseball leagues. Season one of the series garnered an audience average of 782,000 on CBC, making it CBC’s second-most-watched drama of the current broadcast season*. Starring Lauren Lee Smith (The Shape of Water, The Listener, The L Word), the homegrown hit series will film on location in Ontario this summer.

FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES stars Smith as the private eye with a mysterious past, Frankie Drake; Chantel Riley (RaceThe Lion King) as Frankie’s fearless and clever partner, Trudy Clarke; Rebecca Liddiard (Alias Grace, Slasher: Guilty Party) as keen police morality officer, Mary Shaw; and Sharron Matthews (Mean GirlsOdd Squad) as spirited morgue attendant, Flo Chakowitz. Wendy Crewson (The Detail, SlasherSaving Hope) will return as Frankie’s occasional-con-woman mother, Nora; as well as Grace Lynn Kung (Mary Kills People, The Carmilla Movie, Star Trek: Discovery) as café and speakeasy owner, Wendy Quon; along with new guest stars for this season including: Natalie Brown (The Strain, Dark Matter, Channel Zero), Steve Byers (Slasher, Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments, Far Cry 5), Lara Jean Chorostecki (Designated Survivor, X Company, Hannibal), Alan Davies (Jonathan Creek, Damned, The Bromley Boys), Anthony Lemke (Blindspot, Dark Matter, The Listener), Romane Portail (Fearless, Sense8, Urban Jungle), and Vincent Walsh (The Fall, Played, Deception).

FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES series one launched on UKTV’s Alibi channel in January 2018. The show remains one of Alibi’s top-performing shows of the year alongside Murdoch Mysteries and is up 210% on slot on average.

Season two episodes will be directed by Ruba Nadda (helming five episodes as lead director), Cal Coons, Peter Stebbings, and Sudz Sutherland, and written by co-creator Carol Hay, showrunner James Hurst, Andrew Burrows-Trotman, John Callaghan, Cal Coons, and Jessie Gabe.

Set in 1920s Toronto, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES follows the city’s only female private detectives as they take on the cases the police don’t want to touch. In a time of change and hopefulness, their gender is their biggest advantage as they defy expectations and rebel against convention. Their cases take them through every cross-section of Toronto, meeting people of all backgrounds and means, as well as historical characters, along the way. Frankie and Trudy’s fearless sense of adventure gets them into all kinds of trouble, but they always manage to find a way out. They are new detectives for a new world – but is the world ready for them?

Created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, Carol Hay, and James Hurst, who also serves as showrunner; Ruba Nadda serves as lead director/co-executive producer, John Callaghan and Jessie Gabe co-executive produce, and Teresa Ho is producer. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Programming; Helen Asimakis is Senior Director, Scripted Content; and Melanie Nepinak Hadley is Executive in Charge of Production. Bonnie Brownlee is Executive Director, Marketing.

A CBC original series, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is developed and produced by Shaftesbury in association with CBC and UKTV, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit. Kew Media Group is the global distributor of the series.


Shaftesbury’s forecast calls for new series The Weather Girl Knows

From a media release:

In advance of MIPTV, leading content company Shaftesbury, in partnership with WexWorks Media, have acquired the rights to The Weather Girl Knows, a popular Japanese format by TV Asahi.

The Weather Girl Knows is a quirky procedural with weather being the key to unlocking puzzling crimes, with clues as unpredictable as next week’s forecast. Partnering an oddball weather girl (who’s also a brilliant climatologist) with a rookie detective, each week they investigate mysteries of murder and ball lightning, hurricanes and hijacking. These strange bedfellows might just make the perfect pair to solve the most tempestuous crimes.

“The Weather Girl Knows is a procedural crime drama, with real-world science at its core. The format has been a huge success in Japan and we are thrilled to bring these characters to new audiences,” said Christina Jennings, Chairman and CEO, Shaftesbury.

“I knew TV Asahi had created something special the minute I saw The Weather Girl Knows. I’m sure it will resonate with audiences around the globe and I couldn’t be more excited to be working with Christina and her team,” said Matthew Wexler, CEO and Executive Producer, WexWorks Media.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Shaftesbury and WexWorks Media on bringing The Weather Girl Knows to the worldwide audience. The script is unique yet universal and is bound to capture the hearts and imaginations of the global audience,” said Yuka Kakui, Head of Format Development and Sales, TV Asahi.



Link: Christina Jennings: A lifetime in TV

From Jesse Whittock of TBI Vision:

Link: Christina Jennings: A lifetime in TV
“Younger companies should not be fearful of new models – be prepared to think out of the box and think of partnerships in different ways. The first film this company ever did was a coproduction with a UK company, and we’re still doing them. We’ve expanded that now to New Zealand and are looking at Canada-France coproductions too. It’s also worth remembering coproduction is about making sure your creative is solid and that you don’t end up wasting time with no creative leader.” Continue reading. 


Link: Women Behind Canadian TV: Christina Jennings

From Kelly Townsend of The TV Junkies:

Link: Women Behind Canadian TV: Christina Jennings
“It’s important to do and it’s important as a company, actually, to stay in touch with the young people coming up behind us. If you’re there at the CFC, at Sheridan or Humber, and you’ve given some time, you’ve done a course, you had them in to intern here at the company, and they have a project, they may just come to you first. It’s always about looking for the next generation of people behind you. And we think the way to do that is to give back.” Continue reading.


This holiday season, see Murdoch Mysteries on the big screen

From a media release:

Shaftesbury, CBC, and Cineplex Events today announced advance screenings of Murdoch Mysteries’ third annual holiday special, “Home for the Holidays”, on Saturday, December 16 across Canada. Free tickets for the special event screenings, taking place in 11 cities across Canada including Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Victoria, Winnipeg, and Halifax, will be available Tuesday, December 5 at 12 p.m. ET via Eventbrite. As a Cineplex Events exclusive, screenings of “Home for the Holidays” will feature additional behind-the-scenes footage with cast.

Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays premieres Monday December 18 at 8/8:30 NT on CBC. On Christmas Day, CBC will air a marathon of the three Murdoch Mysteries holiday specials back-to-back with “A Merry Murdoch Christmas” at 2/2:30 NT, “Once Upon a Murdoch Christmas” at 4/4:30 NT, and a re-broadcast of “Home for the Holidays” at 6/6:30 NT.

In “Home for the Holidays,” Detective Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) and Dr. Ogden (Hélène Joy) travel to Victoria to visit Murdoch’s brother, RCMP officer Jasper Linney (Dylan Neal, Arrow, Cedar Cove). There, they investigate a murder connected to an archaeologist (Megan Follows, Reign, Heartland, World Without End) who has uncovered an ancient Indigenous settlement, leading to a trek through the rugged beauty of British Columbia and encounters with the Songhees and Haida nations. Meanwhile, Inspector and Mrs. Brackenreid (Thomas Craig, Arwen Humphreys) are offered a surefire investment opportunity that may not be all it seems, and Constables Crabtree (Jonny Harris) and Higgins (Lachlan Murdoch) plan a ski chalet holiday with their gal pals Nina Bloom (Erin Agostino) and Ruth Newsome (Siobhan Murphy), but learn it may be more dangerous than expected. Also guest starring Wayne Baker (Indian Horse, Blackstone), Trevor Carroll (Strange Empire, Blackstone), Simon R. Baker (Strange Empire, Into the West), Jake Epstein (Designated Survivor, Degrassi: The Next Generation), and featuring cameos by Jim Treliving (Dragon’s Den), Julie Nesrallah (Tempo), and Sangita Patel (ET Canada). Haida/Cree artist Kristi Lane Sinclair served as consulting producer.

One of Canada’s most successful and longest-running dramas, Murdoch Mysteries (11 seasons; 168 x one-hour episodes) has become a staple for CBC and broadcasters around the world with its winning formula that brings together compelling mysteries, unique slices of turn-of-the-century history, ingenious inventions and personal moments for each character. The series is licensed to broadcasters in 110 countries and territories including the U.S., U.K., France, Finland and China.

With millions of fans worldwide, Murdoch Mysteries also boasts one of the most engaged fan communities in the world, including almost 130,000 likes on Facebook and 146,000 followers for the series and its cast on Twitter.

The Murdoch Mysteries brand continues to grow and evolve. Brand licensing deals include an all-ages immersive game experience, The Murdoch Mysteries Escape Series, a collaboration between Shaftesbury and Company & Co. that launched in early 2017 in Toronto, as well as a collection of customizable pendants and rings inspired by the series and its characters from Jewlr.com. Series companion book Investigating Murdoch Mysteries was published in Canada, the U.S. and the UK by Titan Books in October 2015. Shaftesbury has also partnered with Segal on an exclusive line of series merchandise including a Murdoch Mysteries holiday ornament, beer stein, mugs, police notepad and chalkboard, and a global online store, www.murdochworld.com, launched in April 2016.

Murdoch Mysteries has brought dozens of historical figures to life including Mark Twain, Helen Keller, Alexander Graham Bell, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Harry Houdini, Winston Churchill, Bat Masterson, and H.P Lovecraft, and featured more than 100 guest stars including William Shatner, Brendan Coyle, Ed Asner, Victor Garber, Colin Mochrie, Rémy Girard, David Hewlett, Tom McCamus, Mary Walsh, musician Alan Doyle, Samantha Bond, Leah Pinsent, Nicholas Campbell, Steven Ogg, former WWE star Jay Reso, Dragons’ Den judges Arlene Dickinson and David Chilton, Canadian opera singer Measha Brueggergosman, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario David C. Onley, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Murdoch Mysteries is based on Maureen Jennings’s popular Detective Murdoch series of novels and premiered in Canada in January 2008.

Murdoch Mysteries is developed and produced by Shaftesbury, in association with CBC, ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment and UKTV, and with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and the COGECO Program Development Fund. Shaftesbury Sales Company and ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment hold worldwide distribution rights for the series. The series is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, Yannick Bisson and Peter Mitchell, who also serves as showrunner, and produced by Stephen Montgomery and Julie Lacey.