After creating four seasons of mega-hit The Next Step for Family Channel, Frank van Keeken has been removed as its executive producer.
Van Keeken made the announcement while accepting the Showrunners Award at the 2016 Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards, where he was being fêted for his body of work in the television industry. Van Keeken was reliving key moments in his TV career—his love of the medium began when he and his siblings would take turns holding the TV antenna on the roof of their home so signals from Barrie and Kitchener, Ont., could be picked up—that contained many ups and downs, including the news he’d been removed from The Next Step.
Van Keeken supposed to the assembled crowd that executives at Temple Street—The Next Step and Lost & Found‘s production company—viewed the formation of his own company, Beachwood Canyon Productions, as competition and therefore cut ties.
We’re awaiting a comment from Temple Street Productions.
Shot as a reality show, The Next Step follows the struggles of a group of dancers at The Next Step Dance Studio as they try to win national dance championships alongside the angst that is a part of being a young person. The Next Step has become a worldwide phenomenon, earning a BAFTA in 2015 and spawning its own touring dance company showcasing the program’s real stars. Its spinoff, Lost & Found Music Studios, spotlights struggling musicians trying to find their sound.
Van Keeken was the series creator on Winging’ It and Big Sound, executive-produced Billable Hours and was supervising producer on Greg the Bunny and Raising Dad, and has written for The Kids in the Hall and Maniac Mansion.