Tag Archives: The Detail

The Detail: Co-showrunners Ley Lukins and Adam Pettle on producing the first season and breaking free from Scott & Bailey

Showrunning a TV series is a huge job. In fact, it’s so big that it sometimes requires the help of a friend to pull it off. That was the case for Ley Lukins and Adam Pettle, who acted as co-showrunners during the first season of CTV’s new detective series, The Detail.

“It’s amazing to have a buddy in that job because it’s the job of two people at least,” says Pettle. “But it’s also got to be with someone you not only get along with but whose artistic and creative taste and sensibility are like yours.”

Luckily, that’s just the kind of working relationship Lukins and Pettle have. The pair first hit it off several years ago in the Rookie Blue writers’ room. Then, when Pettle was showrunning Saving Hope, he made sure to hire Lukins because “she’s one of the most phenomenal writers I’ve ever worked with.” So when CTV gave Lukins the green light to put The Detail—an adaptation of Sally Wainwright’s U.K. hit, Scott & Bailey starring Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharpinto productionit seemed natural to have her co-run the series with Pettle.

“Adam has a lot of experience,” says Lukins. “He’s run other shows, so he was sort of a great teacher for me. This is the first time I’ve ever co-showrun a TV series, so it was a wonderful experience for me to be paired with somebody who I already had a working relationship with and who I already implicitly trusted.”

The Detail, which focuses on the professional and personal lives of three female homicide detectives, is approaching mid-season and picking up steam. Last week, Jack (Shenae Grimes-Beech) confided in Stevie (Angela Griffin) that she’s pregnant with ex-boyfriend Marc’s (Ben Bass) baby, while Stevie and Kyle (David Cubitt) dug into an old, unsolved case. Meanwhile, Fiona (Wendy Crewson) bet on Jack’s interrogation skills to keep a serial killer behind bars and her professional reputation intact.

Ahead of Sunday’s new episode, “Secret Liars,” Lukins and Pettle joined us by phone to discuss the development process for the series, how they worked to distinguish it from Scott & Bailey, and what’s coming up next for the show’s characters.

Ley, you worked for around two years developing The Detail. How did you first become involved with the show?
Ley Lukins: Ilana Frank, one of the executive producers on the project, optioned the rights for the British format, Scott & Bailey. She had been developing it herself previously, so she sort of came to me and needed to secure a writer on it and asked if I would be interested in developing it with her. And I said I absolutely would. I watched the British series and thought it was fantastic, and then we sort of went from there.

Adam was brought in as a co-showrunner after the series was ordered. Did that lead to any changes in the show’s direction? 
LL: We sort of talked through and mapped out where we thought Season 1 could go. Initially, there were two episodes written, and the pilot remained the pilot, and the other episode we moved down the line and instead did an original for Episode 2 to kind of start planting that we were going to be diverging from the original adaptation.

Adam Pettle: Because I have showrunning experience and it was Ley’s show, I feel like I kind of brought different things to the party. I never wanted to take ownership or control and make it into my voice or my thing because Ley had worked for two years in development on it, and it was so obviously her thing. And the whole idea was for me to do a year and then for Ley to run the show on her own.

So Ley would be the sole showrunner for a hypothetical Season 2?
AP: That would be the arrangement, yes. But hopefully, I’ll write on it.

Ley, what was the biggest showrunning lesson you learned during Season 1 that you would bring forward into Season 2?
Honestly, the most valuable thing I learned was that it all comes down to trust. Despite how many balls there are in the air at any given time, everything will get done at the end of the day. You need to trust yourself, trust the team, and most importantly, trust the process.

Is the development process different when a series is an adaptation, as opposed to an original concept?
LL: It’s different in the sense that you already have a sort of roadmap of what the series is and what it looks like. And it’s unique in the sense that, a lot of the time, people will adapt things that are in different languages, and this was already in English, so that was a bit of a challenge. Instead of just taking it from a foreign language and putting it into English, it was sort of more gearing it toward a North American audience.

And, obviously, it comes with the characters. Scott & Bailey have five seasons or five series as they say in Britain, so it basically came down to kind of preserving all the things that everyone loved about the seriesbecause the original series is so phenomenalthen slowly sort of diverting from that and making it into its own thing. The pilot is very similar to the pilot in the original, and then slowly we moved the series in a different direction. We changed up elements of the characters. We added more diversity to the show because that was something that we wanted to do. And we also changed the serialized case. We have lots of original episodes as well.

AP: There are definitely challenges. I think the first one is that we all loved the original show, so there’s, not an intimidation factor, but you don’t want to f**k it up, and you don’t want to write something that everyone thinks is god-awful. And, on the other hand, we wanted to make it our own thing and wanted to make a new original show for Bell [Media]. So we had this great magnum, this great raw material in the original scripts. We were told we could use as much or as little of it as we wanted to, which is amazing. But I think the process is separating yourself from the original material enough so you can create your own thing. And that takes some time.

Let’s talk a bit about the casting. What was it about Shenae Grimes-Beech, Angela Griffin, and Wendy Crewson that made you say, ‘They’re the ones’?
AP: Well, Shenae just is [Jack]. Shenae is a badass. Shenae is super smart. She has an edge but also an amazing sense of humour, and she’s so quick on her feet and also, I think, has lived. I think there’s a lot of actors who would shy away from someone being hungover, someone sleeping in their car for an episode, and Shenae just gets it and loves going there. She’s just an amazing fit, I think she’s brilliant.

And Angela is just a powerhouse actor. The audition search, the net was cast far and wide, and obviously, it’s a big show for Bell, and they didn’t want to leave any stone unturned. I remember seeing Angela’s audition tape from the U.K., and she lights up onscreen.

LL: Ilana Frank is amazingly skilled at casting. She has sort of a preternatural ability for it. And I think the minute Shenae’s tape came in, she knew she wanted Shenae. We were all very excited about Shenae’s audition and felt that she just had something about her that felt very true to who Jack’s character is.

And Wendy was someone who we kind of always had in mind, even in the development process for Fiona. Because she worked with us on Saving Hope and she’s such a force of nature and she’s such a wonderful, amazing actress. It just didn’t seem that anyone else could do that part.

And Angela, there was just this unbelievable competence and warmth about her audition. Stevie is a character that kind of has to be very hard and very soft at the same time. She’s a bit of an iron fist in a velvet glove, and it can very hard to find that balance in people, and Angela had that perfect sort of balance of those two things that really spoke to us when we saw her audition.

The Detail is focused on Jack and Stevie’s relationship, but Fiona is almost a third lead character. Did that present any challenges in the writers’ room?
AP: It’s a balance. The relationship between Jack and Stevie, that potential loss of their relationship and friendship and love affair is kind of what created the spine of the show, so all the stories kind of branched off of that. And then Fiona, Wendy is such an amazing actor who could be the lead of any series, so it was just a matter of fitting that third part of the triangle into the stories. But because she’s their boss, and they’re not all really on the same tier, there’s a power dynamic inherent in their relationship, she fits into the story.

As far as the personal stuff goes, that was more challenging to know what we were going to reveal. In [Scott & Bailey], Jillwho’s our Fiona characterreally in Series 2 and 3, we learn way more about her. But Wendy Crewson really felt that she didn’t want too much personal stuff about Fiona early on because she feels that she wouldn’t reveal it. And being the boss, you’re going to have to play your cards a little closer to your chest. So, the personal stuff was more of a challenge.

But it’s always that balancing act in any room. I love the fact that it’s three women that we were talking about because so often on cop shows it’s skewed the other way. It was such a refreshing dialogue in the writers’ room.

Some of the criminal cases reflect what’s going on in the characters’ personal lives. How did this impact the way you chose cases for the show?
LL: Some cases very fully reflect things that are going on in the characters’ lives. We did try to sprinkle in some cases that maybe weren’t as deeply linked, just so it didn’t become too redundant or too predictable. And we didn’t want it to ever dictate a case too much, in the sense that we were only telling this case to get this character point across. Because wanting to match those two things every time, it can feel inauthentic.

Our writers in the writers’ room also came in with personal experiences or cases that they wanted to investigate because they either had first-hand knowledge or it was research that they had encountered that they felt they could tell a really great story. And so there were times that the mystery of the case trumped character. It was sort of a mixture of the two.

When we spoke to Shenae Grimes-Beech and Angela Griffin, they told us that they loved how much Jack and Stevie supported each other. Was that a theme you were purposely trying to drive home?
LL: Yes, I think that was something both Adam and I were adamant about right out of the gate. We said the primary love story of this show is between these women, and it’s their relationship. It’s not dissimilar to the original, and we wanted to make sure that we preserved that element of it, and when people tuned in, they were going to see women supportive of each other’s successes, who advocated for each other and who always had each other’s backs. Because that’s the way women are.

Can you give us any hints about what to expect in the next few episodes?
AP: The baby being Marc’s comes back into play. And then Stevie and Jono’s relationship is to be tested with the reemergence of Kyle Price.

LL: There’s a very exciting court episode coming up, which I think is a very important episode, and I think it deals with a very important issue that’s in the news a lot. We will get the answers to some of the questions that have been planted earlier in the season. It’s getting good!

And do you already have storylines in mind for Season 2? 
LL: We have lots of ideas for Season 2. I think we left Season 1 off in a really good place that gives lots of opportunities for stories in Season 2. So I’m excited.

AP: There’s definitely a Season 2 that’s well-formed already. So hopefully, we get the chance.

The Detail airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Links: The Detail, Season 1

From Bill Brioux of the Canadian Press:

Link: Shenae Grimes-Beech got famous playing teens on 90210 and Degrassi. She’s happy to play a grown-up on The Detail
After launching her career on teen dramas Degrassi: The Next Generation and 90210, Toronto-born Shenae Grimes-Beech embraced the more mature role of Jacqueline Cooper on CTV’s new police series The Detail. Continue reading.

From Michael Pickard of Drama Quarterly:

Link: All in The Detail
The Detail could not be more timely. As the fallout from Hollywood’s sexual harassment scandal continues, alongside the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns and the row over gender pay inequality, this Canadian crime series stands apart as a female-led production. Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Wendy Crewson on the ambitious and supportive nature of the women of The Detail
The television industry has found itself at a tipping point over the last several months. Thanks to movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp, more and more women are finding their voices and using it to speak up not only for what’s right, but also for what they want to see. Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Angela Griffin and Shenae Grimes-Beech on why The Detail is more than just “hot cops”
“I fell in love with my character and the storyline that these women are characters and not defined by their gender. Women weren’t the wives or the girlfriends, it was about us, about me and the individual. They are in this male-dominated field and they are kicking ass!” Continue reading.

From Charles Trapunski of Brief Take:

Link: Interview: The Detail’s Shenae Grimes-Beech and Angela Griffin
“Life isn’t perfect and we’re not perfect, so it’s not pretty all the time. I think it’s really exciting to be a female on camera. Just the most tiny details but I think it matters to be in the hair and make-up chair and not feel like we need to walk away and you’re this Glamazon…Who spends so much time in the morning doing that?! Every little thing they’ve managed to humanize these women.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: The Detail: Co-showrunner Ley Luins on the exciting challenge of having three female leads
“Right now women are angry and we’re speaking up. There’s a lot that needs to change, a lot of catch up that people need to do and the more we incorporate them into storytelling is how things change. The very nature of this being a homicide show with three strong, female leads means that it’s in the DNA of our show.” Continue reading.

From Peter White of Deadline:

Link: ‘90210’s Shenae Grimes-Beech Hails ‘Badass’ Role On Procedural ‘The Detail’ As eOne Kicks Off Global Sales – Mip TV
“I’ve been on teen dramas my whole life so this was a huge departure for me. I love crime shows and cop dramas as a viewer and it was a character that I could personally relate to. It was fun to be tough and a badass, that comes easier to me than to play the perfect girl next door that I’ve portrayed for so long.” Continue reading.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

The Detail: Angela Griffin and Shenae Grimes-Beech bond over murder cases, messy personal lives in new CTV detective drama

While female cops are, thankfully, commonplace on TV, it’s unusual for a crime series to centre on three female homicide detectives, as does CTV’s new crime drama, The Detail, which premieres Sunday, March 25, at 9 p.m. ET.

“You usually get a single female,” says Angela Griffin, who plays Stevie Hall, an experienced and disciplined homicide detective on Toronto’s Metropolitan Police Force. “You get your sole female lead, and you might get a sidekick, but it’s really rare to have three female leads in a show like this–and it’s great that it isn’t punctuated, it isn’t whacked over your head.”

The show focuses on the professional and personal lives of Stevie, her rough-around-the-edges rookie partner, Detective Jacqueline “Jack” Cooper (Shenae Grimes-Beech), and their tough boss, Staff Inspector Fiona Currie (Wendy Crewson, Saving Hope). The fact that these characters come from three different generations makes it all the more compelling.

“We’re on totally different pages in our journeys in life, and I think that gives people a lot to relate to,” says Grimes-Beech. “That, and the fact that these women truly are supportive of each other in today’s whole movement of female empowerment.”

That kind of support is on display in The Detail‘s debut episode, “Wake Up Call,” as the detectives investigate an apparent suicide the day after Jack learns a shocking revelation about her personal life and publicly acts out. The fallout makes Fiona question whether it’s worth keeping her on the team, otherwise known as “the detail,” but Stevie quickly comes to her partner’s defense, pointing out that, despite her screw-ups, Jack “sees things other people miss.”

According to Grimes-Beech, a Toronto native best known for Degrassi: The Next Generation and 90210, Jack’s penchant for trouble actually helps her on cases. “She definitely is a bit of a rule breaker because she thinks outside of the box,” she explains. “I think if Jack got her shit together, she may not be as good at what she does. But I think it lands her in hot water at work, and it certainly does not play out well in her personal life.”

That makes Stevie the apparent adult in the partnership. “Stevie’s really methodical, she comes from a family of cops,” says Griffin, a British actress with dozens of TV credits, including Coronation Street, Inspector Lewis and Brief Encounters. “There was never really any chance of her doing anything else, she always wanted to be a cop, and she absolutely plays by the rules. I think that’s one of the draws to Jack. There’s a real attraction because she’s so much more raw, she plays so much more on instinct. And Stevie can’t do that.”

However, while Stevie appears to have her professional act together, Griffin says the mother of two is dealing with some very real family problems. “There’s an honesty to Stevie that I think you don’t often get on TV,” she says. “Which is sometimes, when she closes the door on her family to go to work, she breathes a sigh of relief because it’s actually sometimes easier to go and deal with the dead bodies and deal with the murderers than it is to deal with a teenage daughter.”

As the season progresses, things will get messier for Stevie and Jack, as their professional and personal lives intersect in painful ways. An old lover (David Cubitt, Medium) and an old case present problems for Stevie, while the personal trauma Jack encounters in the pilot continues to evolve and fester, eventually threatening a case and straining Stevie and Jack’s partnership.

But, again, it comes down to support. “These women are putting their lives in each other’s hands every single day,” says Griffin. “They have to trust each other. They have to have a really quite incredible bond, and I think that they work at that.”

As for Griffin and Grimes-Beech, The Detail–which is very loosely based on the U.K. series Scott & Bailey–has provided each of them the opportunity to grow as actors.

Grimes-Beech never envisioned herself landing a detective role. “When I was in the audition waiting room, I felt very out of place,” she says. “But once I read the dialogue, I felt I had stepped right into this girl’s shoes.”

Executive producer Ilana Frank (Rookie Blue, Saving Hope) felt the same way and fought for her to play Jack. “Because of my age or whatever, people were a little unsure of giving me the job,” Grimes-Beech says. “But she really had my back the whole way along.”

Meanwhile, Griffin had to polish the North American accent she’s been keeping in her “back pocket” since she–and a wave of other British actors–began regularly participating in the annual pilot season for American and Canadian productions. “You’ve really got to get that accent off if you want to have a chance with a part, so I’ve been doing it for a couple of years,” she says. “And I was fortunate that we had an amazing dialect coach who came onto set and helped me out.”

Still, she was nervous about getting it right. “I’ve got to say, the first couple of weeks of filming, I was probably thinking about how I was talking more than what I was talking about,” she says.

To help, Griffin chose to stay in Stevie’s accent “from the moment I got up in the morning” until the show wrapped each night. She would then suddenly revert back to her British accent–a switch that sometimes startled her co-stars.

“We would forget, and then we would wrap, and she would [speak in a British accent],” Grimes-Beech laughs. “We all totally forgot that she wasn’t from here.”

The Detail airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Bell Media announces MasterChef Canada return; The Detail and Corner Gas Animated debuts

If you were watching the Super Bowl on NBC—or skipped watching the game altogether—you missed a trio of big announcements made during the game broadcast on CTV.

Bell Media revealed the return date of MasterChef Canada and the debut dates for cop drama The Detail and the animated version of Corner Gas called, simply, Corner Gas Animated.

MasterChef Canada
The fifth serving of MasterChef Canada kicks off on Tuesday, April 3 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. MT, with the return of stalwart judges Michael Bonacini, Claudio Aprile and Alvin Leung. Casting for Season 5 took place last summer followed by production on the top-secret 12 episodes. Edmonton’s Trevor Connie took home the Season 4 title, beating out Vancouver’s Thea VanHerwaarden in the finale.

The Detail
Cop drama The Detail (above) bows Sunday, March 25 at 9 p.m. ET/MT, on CTV. Starring Shenae Grimes, Wendy Crewson, Angela Griffin, Ben Bass, David Cubitt and Al Mukadam, the 10-episode project centres on three fiercely talented female homicide investigators who work tirelessly to solve crimes while navigating the complicated demands of their personal lives.

Produced by Ilana Frank (Burden of Truth), The Detail was developed by co-showrunner and co-executive producer Ley Lukins alongside Adam Pettle. Executive producers are Ilana Frank, John Morayniss, and Linda Pope, with co-executive producers Jocelyn Hamilton, Sonia Hosko and Gregory Smith. The writer’s room includes Naledi Jackson, Sarah Goodman, Graeme Stewart, Katrina Saville, Joe Pernice and Matt Doyle. Directors on The Detail include Gregory Smith, Jordan Canning, Kelly Makin, Sara St. Onge, Grant Harvey, John Fawcett and James Genn.

Corner Gas Animated
Finally, Corner Gas Animated debuts Monday, April 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, on The Comedy Network. The 13 half-hour episodes will return to Dog River for more adventures with all of the original cast—Brent Butt, Fred Ewanuik, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Gabrielle Miller, Lorne Cardinal, Nancy Robertson and Corrine Koslo replacing the late Janet Wright—voicing the beloved characters.

“Fans of Corner Gas are going to see a similarity to the series and movie that they love,” co-executive producer Virginia Thompson told us back in December of 2016. “But we can expand the fantasy sequences and get into the characters’ heads and see what’s going on in there.” (Or, perhaps in the case of Hank, what isn’t going on in there.)

Which of the three Bell Media series will you be watching? Which are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments below. Keep track of Canadian TV debuts, returns and finales with our handy calendars.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail

Production begins on The Detail, CTV’s new fast-paced detective series

From a media release:

CTV announced today, in association with Ilana Frank’s ICF Films and Entertainment One (eOne), that production has begun on THE DETAIL, the network’s new, one-hour, detective series. The 10-episode ensemble drama centers on three fiercely talented female homicide investigators who work tirelessly to solve crimes while navigating the complicated demands of their personal lives.

The new series stars the award-winning Wendy Crewson (SAVING HOPE, Room), along with Shenae Grimes-Beech (90210, DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION), and U.K. talent Angela Griffin (CORONATION STREET, BRIEF ENCOUNTERS).

From the producing and writing team behind the hit TV series SAVING HOPE, THE DETAIL is set to premiere as part of CTV’s 2017/2018 schedule and will continue to shoot in and around Toronto until July 25, 2017. The series has also been picked up by ION Television for broadcast in the U.S.

Shenae Grimes-Beech stars as street-smart Detective Jacqueline ‘Jack’ Cooper, with keen investigative skills, but a messy personal life. Angela Griffin stars as Detective Stevie Hall, a sharp quick-witted interrogator who is Jack’s mentor – even while she balances the demands of work and her complicated family life. Wendy Crewson plays Staff Inspector Fiona Currie, the homicide unit’s formidable boss, who works overtime to secure justice, no matter what the cost.

Also announced today, all-star supporting cast members joining the series include David Cubitt (MEDIUM, VAN HELSING) as Detective Kyle Price, Stevie’s (Griffin) old flame and new co-worker at the division; David Ferry (LEGION) as Harry Barker, Stevie’s (Griffin) step-father and retired cop; Matthew Edison (THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE) as Stevie’s (Griffin) husband Jono Hall; Ben Bass (ROOKIE BLUE) as Marc Savage, Jack’s (Grimes-Beech) silver-tongued boyfriend; Al Mukadam (SPUN OUT) as the well-connected Detective Aaron Finch; and Matt Gordon (Room, ROOKIE BLUE) as Detective Donnie Sullivan, the surly yet lovable lug of homicide.

THE DETAIL is produced by Ilana Frank of ICF Films with global independent studio eOne in association with CTV, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit. All distribution rights are handled by eOne.

The series was developed by Ley Lukins (SAVING HOPE, LOST GIRL) who serves as Co-Showrunner and Executive Producer with Adam Pettle (SAVING HOPE, KING). Executive Producers are Ilana Frank (SAVING HOPE, ROOKIE BLUE), John Morayniss (BITTEN, RANSOM), and Linda Pope (SAVING HOPE, ROOKIE BLUE), with co-executive producers Jocelyn Hamilton (CARDINAL), Sonia Hosko (SAVING HOPE, ROOKIE BLUE), and Gregory Smith (ROOKIE BLUE).

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail