In a perfect world, the creators and producers of a television show find out their show’s been renewed with plenty of time to develop scripts, scout locations for filming and nail down schedules for cast and crew.
That didn’t happen with Mary Kills People. On June 5, Corus announced via press release that a second season of the drama, starring Caroline Dhavernas, had been ordered. The producers were informed of the renewal just days before the press release dropped.
“People kept asking me if we’d been renewed and they thought I was being coy,” executive producer Amy Cameron says. “I really didn’t know. We got a surprise phone call from Rachel Nelson [Corus’ director of original content] who said, ‘We want to release the news, so don’t tell anybody.’ It was that specific and that quick.” Days later Dhavernas was in Toronto promoting a second season that is, well, still be developed. It’s suddenly a very busy year for the trio at Cameron Pictures. The production company, consisting of Amy and Tassie Cameron (Rookie Blue) and Caledonia Brown, has got Ten Days in the Valley set for broadcast this fall on ABC—and CTV in Canada—and Little Dog in production in Newfoundland to air this winter on CBC.
But back to Mary Kills People. When we last left Mary (Dhavernas), she was no longer being investigated for her role in the deaths of terminally ill patients, Des (Richard Short) seemed to have gotten his life back on track and Ben (Jay Ryan) and Mary appeared to be a couple. Meanwhile, Grady (Greg Bryk) was dead and Mary’s sister, Nicole (Charlotte Sullivan), announced she wanted to be part of Mary’s team. Will the duo angels of death become a trio in Season 2’s six new instalments?
“We are moving quickly,” Cameron says. “We’re at outline stage on about half of the episodes and hoping to be pitched the back half in the next week or two.” She’s particularly excited to have—in addition to series creator Tara Armstrong, writer Marsha Greene, script coordinator Justin Giallonardo and showrunner and executive producer Tassie Cameron—newcomers Lara Azzopardi (Backstage) and Rookie Blue and Saving Hope co-creator Morwyn Brebner in the writing room. Cameron acknowledges Mary Kills People deals with dark subject matter, but credits the writing team and cast for keeping the tone from being too heavy and a downer to watch. Cameron is mum on sophomore season storyline details—those are still being worked out—but did give us a hint.
“The writers have come up with an organic direction to go in that is still going to surprise the audience,” Cameron says. “We’ve always talked about exploring the edges of the line, that grey area, and we’ll continue to do that.”
Images courtesy of Corus.