Another Chapter of Success: CTV’s Corner Gas Extends Brand Into Publishing with the Release of Companion Book Tales From Dog River
What does it take to become Canada’s foremost authority on Canada’s most-watched comedy series?
How about interviewing more than 30 people, sifting through thousands of e-mails from fans across the country and re-watching all 50 episodes of Corner Gas dozens of times? That’s just what author Michele Sponagle did when writing Tales from Dog River: The Complete Corner Gas Guide, the official companion book to the hit series from Penguin Canada that hits bookstores nation-wide on Saturday, November 4.
“I love books. I’m a voluptuous reader.” – Brent Leroy
Clocking in at 210 jam-packed pages full of photos, trivia and must-know information about the series, Tales from Dog River celebrates the little show that has become a national television phenomenon. With Corner Gas placing Number 12 on last week’s BBM Nielsen Media Research list of Canada’s Top 30 television programs, the series’ Season Three DVD collection on the national best-seller list (currently No. 2 on Indigo.ca) and a merchandise line generating millions of dollars in sales, the demand for an official guide has been building since the series launched three years ago.
“Corner Gas lives beyond the television screen,” said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group. “It’s a brand that has been embraced by Canadians in so many ways.”
With a forward from Corner Gas star Brent Butt, Tales from Dog River provides exclusive material never revealed before, including interviews with the cast and crew who disclose secrets about how the show is made, their own favourite moments, bloopers, inside jokes and behind-the-scenes trivia. The episode guide not only features details about every episode from the first three seasons, but also a “Jackass Count” – recording how many times Oscar says his trademark phrase; a “Coffee Cup Count” – totaling the number of cups of java that appear in each episode; and a “Sask Watch” – detailing unique Saskatchewan moments that pop up.
Also featured in the book are answers to the Top 20 questions posed by Corner Gas fans, a collection of touching e-mails from viewers, comments by celebrities such as Jann Arden and Daryl Sittler who have appeared as guest stars in the series, a resource guide for fans of the show as well as recipes for Brent’s favourite chili cheese dogs and Lacey’s famous Ruby club sandwich.
“Michele is a great interviewer,” said Corner Gas creator/star/director/writer and executive producer Brent Butt. “She digs – and digs hard, man. She ground me like I was a pound of coffee. Okay, like I was about 220 pounds of coffee, but the end result is worth it. I think she now knows more about the show than I do!”
Among the morsels of mis-information uncovered in Tales from Dog River:
- Brent Butt is fascinated by Sasquatch.
- Tara Spencer-Nairn (Karen Pelly) hates snakes.
- The chocolate bars in the Corner Gas store have made up names.
- Nancy Robertson (Wanda Dollard) “openly despises” fruit garnishes on her meals.
- Eric Peterson (Oscar Leroy) began his career as a stage carpenter.
“Digging for information to uncover the secrets behind Corner Gas was a real blast,” said author Michele Sponagle, “I became totally immersed. I now understand just how much creative energy is channeled into every episode.Sponagle is a Toronto-based freelance journalist who has previously worked for Maclean’s and Flare. In her long and varied career, Michele has interviewed celebrities from Susan Sarandon to Gwen Stefani for some of Canada’s best-known publications including The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Chatelaine and Canadian Living.
A critical and audience favourite, in its fourth season Corner Gas continues to be the most-watched comedy series – Canadian or American – on Canadian television. Every single original telecast of Corner Gas has achieved over one million viewers in Canada, a record feat in Canadian broadcasting. Corner Gas airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV and Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The Comedy Network (check local listings).
Boasting an award-winning creative team, Corner Gas features directors David Storey, Mark Farrell, Robert de Lint, Jeff Beesley and Brent Butt. Paul Mather is Supervising Producer and Writer. Mark Farrell is Producer and Writer. Kevin White is Senior Story Editor and Writer and Andrew Carr is Story Editor and Writer. Executive Producers are Brent Butt, David Storey and Virginia Thompson.
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