CBC orders new original drama Frankie Drake starring This Life’s Lauren Lee Smith

We may not have another season of This Life to enjoy, but Lauren Lee Smith is staying with the CBC. Smith, who played Maggie Lawson for two rounds of This Life, has nabbed the lead role in Frankie Drake, a drama about Toronto’s only female detective in the 1920s.

The 11-episode first season of Frankie Drake will begin production this summer in Toronto and will debut this fall on CBC.

Frankie Drake takes on the cases no one else wants to handle and her gender puts her at odds with the social mores of the day. Undeterred, Frankie and her partner, Trudy, open Drake Detective Agency and tackle mysteries.


Related: Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci discuss Frankie Drake


Frankie Drake is a real labour of love for us. It is a story about a spirited woman, breaking barriers and calling the shots, in a world that might not be ready for her. This is a one-hour detective series, set in the 20s, but this is not the roaring 20s we have seen onscreen before,” Christina Jennings, chairman and CEO, Shaftesbury said in a press release. “We are so pleased to bring this show to life, in partnership with our friends at the CBC, and with a creative team who have been part of our Shaftesbury family for many of our hit series. And of course—what a treat to work with the wonderful Lauren Lee Smith again. I can’t wait for the world to meet Frankie Drake.”

Now, some sad news for Murdoch Mysteries fans: Frankie Drake is created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, which means they won’t return for Season 11 of Murdoch. Hay and Ricci also serve as executive producers on Frankie Drake; the series is executive produced by Jennings, Scott Garvie and Cal Coons, who also serves as showrunner. The series is produced by Jonathan Hackett and Julie Lacey.

We can’t wait to see the sass Smith brings to Frankie. What are your thoughts on this announcement? Will you tune in? Let us know in the comments below!

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and owner of TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
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