TV, eh? | What's up in Canadian television
TV,eh? What's up in Canadian television

Link: Nirvanna the Band the Show lives on, despite Rogers pulling plug on Viceland

From Barry Hertz of The Globe and Mail:

Link: Nirvanna the Band the Show lives on, despite Rogers pulling plug on Viceland
“We have a three-season deal with Vice Studio Canada, not Viceland, and we’re in the middle of production on the third season right now. Where it’s going to air is obviously a question, but to be honest it’s not one we’re worried about right now.” Continue reading.

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Space’s Wynonna Earp begins production on Season 3; plus exclusive first-look photos

From a media release:

Returning to the land of gunpowder and grudges, Space announces production on Season 3 of its original, CSA-nominated for Best Writing in a Drama series WYNONNA EARP, is underway. The 12-episode, one-hour, western sci-fi series created by Emily Andras films in Calgary and surrounding area until May 2018. Canadian actor Melanie Scrofano returns as the titular demon hunter and heroine Wynonna Earp. The writing team spearheaded by Andras includes Brendon Yorke, Shelley Scarrow, Noelle Carbone, Caitlin Fryers, and Matt Doyle. Directors are Paolo Barzman, April Mullen, Ron Murphy, and Grant Harvey. Produced by Calgary-based SEVEN24 Films, and distributed globally by IDW Entertainment, Season 3 of WYNONNA EARP is set to return to Space later this year.

Following an emotional and surprising Season 2 finale that saw Wynonna (Scrofano), give birth to the next Earp heir, she’s now hell-bent on dispatching all remaining Revenants and other supernatural beings to end the cycle of violence between future heirs and Wyatt Earp’s demonic outlaws. Armed with Wyatt’s demon-killing six-shooter, Peacemaker, and her battle-seasoned team of demon hunters Doc Holliday (Tim Rozon, BEING HUMAN), Agent Xavier Dolls (Shamier Anderson, Race), Waverly Earp (Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Avengers: Age of Ultron), Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell, WORKIN’ MOMS), and Jeremy Chetri (Varun Saranga, WORKIN’ MOMS), Wynonna challenges fate, faces new foes, and makes life-altering sacrifices in order to break the curse once and for all.

Season 2 of WYNONNA EARP saw its total audience increase by 30% compared to Season 1, and had an increase of 46% in the key A18-49 demo. During its Fridays at 10 p.m. ET timeslot, Space was the most-watched entertainment specialty network among A18-49 viewers.

WYNONNA EARP was developed for television by Emily Andras who also serves as executive producer, writer, and showrunner. Executive producers are Jordy Randall (HEARTLAND), Tom Cox (YOUNG DRUNK PUNK), David Ozer, Ted Adams, Rick Jacobs, and Todd Berger. Brian Dennis (THE BEST LAID PLANS) is producer.

WYNONNA EARP is produced by SEVEN24 Films in association with Space and Bell Media and distributed by IDW Entertainment.

 

 

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Preview: Burden of Truth swims in “Still Waters”

I was talking to a friend the other day and he told me he was watching Burden of Truth—I had suggested he check it out—and really enjoying it. He and his wife tuned in to the first episode and found it a little slow-moving. He heeded my advice to stick with it until the end. By that time they were hooked. I love hearing stories like that, especially when it comes to shows like Burden of Truth. Let a show breathe and, quite often, you’ll be rewarded.

Last week, Joanne and Billy realized it was the school field, where the girl’s soccer team practiced almost daily, that seemed to be the culprit when it came to the girls’ neurological issues. That, of course, opens a whole new can of worms and expands the lawsuit.

What would this Wednesday’s instalment, “Still Waters,” offer? Here’s the CBC’s official synopsis:

Relying on her esteemed reputation as a partner at CTS, Joanna convinces a hydrologist to come to Millwood to test the soil. With reluctant permission from the local Mayor, Joanna and Billy narrow down their list of suspects to a handful of industrial sites in the community.

And here are more story points we picked up on after watching a screener of the episode written by Lynn Coady and directed by Jordan Canning.

Flashpoint alum guest-stars
Yes, Sergio Di Zio has been in a ton of other stuff but he’ll always be Flashpoint‘s Spike to me. He checks in to Burden of Truth as Dr. Howard Davies the hydrologist Joanna hires to drill and confirm whether the soil in the soccer field really is making people sick and more importantly where the toxin is coming from. And he sports, as you can see, a glorious moustache.

Who will be the face of the class action lawsuit?
With things ramping up and a filing imminent, Joanna and Billy must decide which girl’s name will be at the top of the documents. I wasn’t surprised by who they chose, but it wasn’t an easy decision. Will this person be able to stand up and represent the other girls successfully? We’ll see.

Girl talk
Speaking of the girls, Diane gathers them together for a meeting—a support group—so they open up and bond over the terrible sickness that’s fallen on them. It’s hard enough to fit in during high school without being stared at for twitching.

Joanna and Billy take on a new employee
This came at me out of left field and I totally love it.

Joanna gets some personal information
One of the drilling sites fails to net new information for the case but it does uncover an intriguing piece of Joanna’s past.

Burden of Truth airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

 

 

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Workin’ Moms: Dani Kind and Ryan Belleville discuss Anne and Lionel’s Season 2 journey

If fans thought Season 2 of Workin’ Moms was going to ride on cruise control, they were in for a surprise.

Catherine Reitman and her writing team have headed into bold new directions for the show’s sophomore season on CBC, putting Kate (Reitman) through the death of her father and having her take on a new job. Frankie (Juno Rinaldi) is seeking wellness for herself and Ian (Dennis Andres) finds himself in a whole new world. Anne (Dani Kind) and Lionel (Ryan Belleville) are treading new ground as well, dealing with the after-effects of his vasectomy by having sex everywhere and anytime they can. That will, of course, be tempered by someone from Anne’s past surfacing in this week’s episode, “The Holy Hole.” We spoke to Kind and Belleville about the couple’s journey during a break in filming Season 2 late last year.

I just watched you film a pretty heavy scene in there.
Dani Kind: There are some heavy scenes this season.

I told Catherine Reitman that I sometimes feel Workin’ Moms is being erroneously billed as a comedy. There are some downright heartbreaking moments.
DK: I like that, though, because then we’re not all ‘yukka yukka yukka’ like a lot of comedies are.

I was telling Ryan Belleville that he’s usually that guy going for the laughs, but he gets to play such a sensitive character in Lionel.
DK: I think so too. He’s so great. He’s amazing. He just had a vasectomy so there is a whole bunch of sex. They’re humping everywhere and for no reason. They’re just so different after the abortion. Anne is softer. She is still hard, but they really went through something together. That couple has changed. The writers are so smart because the abortion changed them. There is an intimacy and a passion between them that wasn’t there last season.

Viewers met Anne’s ex, Brad, in the “2005” episode. Are you allowed to say whether or not Brad shows up later this season?
DK: Well … Anne is forced to get her own office …

There are more scenes with Anne and Kate this season?
DK: We go on a retreat this year. Val plans this retreat that we all go on, which is great because there are two new additions to Mommy & Me and we get paired up with different characters at the retreat which is comedy in itself.

I love that Ian is now part of the mommy group.
DK: He is so sweet, it’s literally like throwing a piece of meat into a lion’s pen.

I really like seeing this side to your acting. Lionel is a great character.
Ryan Belleville: It’s been nice to come in and bring some humanity to the comedy and not just be Mr. Punch-Up or Mr. Zany.

Did you view this as an opportunity to show another facet to your acting?
RB: There have been a few people who have given me shots to be more dramatic over the years, like Martin Gero on The L.A. Complex and Emily Andras on Wynonna Earp. I’m still learning the craft of dramatic acting but I love it. My parents are both actors. Like, real actors.

At what point in your career will you think of yourself as a real actor?
RB: I don’t think I ever will! I think I have too much respect for the craft to ever think I’ll be good at it.

I really enjoyed the honesty in Anne and Lionel’s relationship in Season 1.
RB: That’s the thing about this show. It’s not cliché. The husbands on the show are good dads, they’re not like in commercials where you have bumbling dads. In Anne and Lionel’s relationship, I’m the more sweet, docile character but it’s still a relationship and a partnership. Anne is super-angry and I’m super-soft, but when real-life stuff starts happening you see them functioning as a couple.

Lionel has had a vasectomy, and that leads to a whole new level of relationship for Lionel and Anne.
RB: It was kind of funny because I was only three or four weeks out from my own vasectomy. Most of the vasectomy scenes are very method. [Laughs.] There is a lot of doing it this season. It’s funny because in my career I’ve done far more sex scenes than a guy that looks like me should ever do on camera. [Laughs.] And the only reason I can think of is it’s because I look hilarious.

Workin’ Moms airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

 

 

 

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Murdoch Mysteries: Writer Noelle Girard discusses “Mary Wept”

Spoiler alert! Do not read this until you have watched the “Mary Wept” episode of Murdoch Mysteries.

Murdoch Mysteries fans can thank Noelle Girard for that super-creepy visual of the Virgin Mary weeping tears of blood in the beginning moments of “Mary Wept.” The new member of the Season 11 writing room not only pitched the bloody tears but also planting a body inside the statue. That part of the story didn’t stick but the instalment was memorable nonetheless thanks to a dead infant, George Crabtree’s return and the engagement of Constable Higgins to socialite Ruth Newsome.

We spoke to Noelle Girard about “Mary Wept” and how she came to be on Murdoch Mysteries.

Before we get into this week’s episode, let’s start at the beginning: how did you get into writing for TV in the first place?
Noelle Girard: I never studied screenwriting. I have a degree in art history from the University of Toronto. But even then, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I was writing on my own and having various jobs. It was only when I started to write TV scripts, on my own, that it really felt right. And then I got an agent. Two years ago I was on Saving Hope and last year I was on Murdoch.

What were some of the scripts you wrote before you got a TV job?
I wrote a couple of original ones, all hour-long dramas. The one I think [showrunner] Pete [Mitchell] read was a pilot for a projected six-part murder mystery, so that was a good one for him to read. I also have written one about espionage in Antarctica.

How did Murdoch Mysteries come about?
I knew Mary Pedersen—we’ve been friends for a couple of years—but I think my agent just sent my work to Pete and we had an interview. I think he’s really good at making the writer’s room full of great people. We’re all friends and it’s a really fun atmosphere. He was so great letting me and Natalia come up with our own ideas and really run with our own scripts and guiding us very well.

What do you learn in a writer’s room peopled with folks like Peter and Paul Aitken?
Paul is great because he’s Mr. Murdoch. He’s been on the show since Day 1 and knows everything. Also, it’s such a skill to write a self-contained mystery. That was a very steep learning curve for me; just how to write a murder mystery where you don’t have a lot of dead ends, or cul-de-sacs as they call them, or false leads. You keep the mystery unfolding. That’s what I tried to do with my episode.

Has your art history degree come into play on Murdoch Mysteries?
[Laughs.] I love arcane, esoteric phenomenon. That’s why I came to the room and said, ‘What about a statue that cries blood? And there is a body inside!’ Pete and Paul both said, ‘I think we can do better than that.’ [Laughs.]

So that was your idea?
Yes, the initial kernel was my idea and then everyone else just ran with it and it became this big, complex mystery. It was really fun. I’ve been really lucky, first at Saving Hope and now on Murdoch, because both rooms have been so open and inclusive and with really smart people.

What type of writer are you? Are you able to write in a room full of people, do you prefer music playing when you write?
No, I don’t like music. I do have to go away sometimes because I do love a good chat and in the Murdoch room we can just chat the day away. [Laughs.] Sometimes I have to sequester myself. But I don’t like going away for a long time from the room because you still have to stay connected to the room. Things can always change. It was a lot of writing at night and bringing it in the next day.

Let’s get in your episode. Did you get a chance to meet the director, Megan Follows, and speak to her?
Yes, we had a script meeting before she started directing and we spent a couple of hours going through the scripts. She was amazing. I mean, she’s Megan Follows!

How did the idea for having a statue cry blood come about? Were you inspired by something in particular?
When we convened before Season 11 we all came to the room with ideas. One of the original pilots I had written was about nuns, so I guess that was still fresh in my mind. I pitched a church and a statue crying blood. I think Pete really likes ideas that give him a world and when I said that, he realized we hadn’t had an episode in awhile where we had Murdoch going to church. We all seized on these ideas of Murdoch’s faith coming up against science and how he would grapple with that.

Not only did you address William’s faith, but the faith of others.
Also, things come out during the writing and we decided to have some fun with Watts, who is kind of the philosopher of the bunch. It comes out that he’s quite interested in this phenomena.

Everyone was happy to see George back. It was fun to have him be a braggart, comparing everything to the way things were in Paris.
[Laughs.] That was mostly Pete. He was like, ‘Let’s have a little bit of fun with Crabtree being obnoxious.’

I was a little surprised that Higgins and Ruth really got engaged. I kept waiting for something to stop them … like Josephine being thrown out the window. How long has it been in the works that these two would be engaged?
Early on we were wondering about their relationship and where that would go. We thought it would be fun for one of our gang to either be engaged or be married. When I was pitching it, I said, ‘And he throws her from the bell tower!’ And somebody else said, ‘Where Higgins is proposing to Ruth!’ [Laughs.] That was a great collaborative moment where we all just died laughing.

It was pretty dark to have the infant’s skeleton buried in the garden.
Because I’m new to Murdoch, when we were working on the story I said a couple of times, ‘Can we do this?’ And everyone said, ‘Let’s go for it.’ It’s really a testament to Pete and how fresh he keeps it. He loves the show and wants to push the storylines while still keeping it in the Murdoch world. He always wants the best story.

Is there a particular character you like writing for?
I do love Brackenreid because my whole family is from Yorkshire, so I love sneaking in some Yorkshire sayings. And everything you give Siobhan Murphy, who plays Ruth, will knock it out of the park. I always love when Murdoch and Julia have a nice moment together, so I love writing those moments. I love seeing them having a giggle together or play around together.

Murdoch Mysteries airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

 

 

 

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