From a media release:
Longtime collaborators Jennica Harper (JANN, above right) and Nelu Handa (SORT OF, above left) will co-showrun Season 3 of the popular, hit CBC original comedy, RUN THE BURBS. Created by writer and actor Andrew Phung (KIM’S CONVENIENCE) and filmmaker Scott Townend (The Secret Marathon), RUN THE BURBS follows the Phams, a young, bold Vietnamese-South Asian-Canadian family taking a different approach to living life to the fullest, while changing the way we think about contemporary family values and life in the burbs. The series is produced by Pier 21 Films and distributed by Fifth Season. Season 3 of RUN THE BURBS is slated to broadcast on CBC and CBC Gem in Winter 2024, the first two seasons are available to stream now on CBC Gem.
Jennica Harper steps in after showrunning three seasons and a holiday special of the Jann Arden CTV comedy JANN. Nelu Handa has written and produced on the previous two seasons of RUN THE BURBS. Harper and Handa have a history of collaborating and worked together on all three seasons of JANN. They take over RUN THE BURBS from Season 2 showrunner Anthony Farrell.
Harper and Handa bring a slew of accolades and comedy experience to the RUN THE BURBS team. In 2021, Nelu Handa won a Canadian Screen Award for “Best Writing” on the BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW. Her script for SORT OF was nominated for a Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award for “Best Comedy”. She earned a Peabody Award for her contribution to the ground-breaking first season for SORT OF. Jennica Harper has won two Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards including “Best Comedy” script for JANN and “Best Tweens and Teens” script for kids’ comedy SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED.
Creator and star Andrew Phung shares, “I’m so pumped to be working with Jennica and Nelu on Season 3. I’m a big fan of Jennica’s work, and she brings such joy and relatability to the writer’s room. She leads with such a calming presence. I’ve worked with Nelu for the past two seasons of RUN THE BURBS, and have loved every minute of it. She’s so thoughtful and hilarious, and her experiences have greatly added to the development of the show and its characters. I’m truly honoured and so excited that they are co-leading the show together.”
Jennica Harper shares Phung’s enthusiasm stating, “I’m thrilled to be joining the RUN THE BURBS team, showrunning alongside Nelu. We’ve got a built-in trust, and share a lot of comedic instincts. Andrew and Scott, the creators, have been so welcoming to ‘the new kid.’ I’m honoured they’re trusting Nelu and I with their baby.
Season 2 was incredible. It told culturally specific yet super relatable stories, the characters deepened, and yet the whole season really amped up the funny. The goal for Season 3 is to have fun paying off a bunch of storylines started last season. Andrew and Camille are both working their dream jobs — but what does that mean for their work/life balance?”
Nelu Handa continues, “I’m excited to be taking this next step in my career on a show that I’ve come to love for two seasons. I’ve learned a lot from our past showrunners Anthony and Shebli Zarghami, they both exemplified strong leadership and created a really great work culture, traditions I’m aiming to continue in this role. Jennica’s an incredible person and has been a mentor for many years, so getting the chance to work alongside her is like a dream come true.
I’m proud of the stories we get to tell. Exploring the experiences of a modern Canadian couple with rich cultural backgrounds is both very rewarding personally and relatable to so many viewers who are excited to see themselves reflected on Canadian television.”
In addition to CTV JANN’s three seasons and a holiday special, Jennica Harper has written and produced a wide range of TV genres, from dark crime dramas to kids’ multi-cam comedies. She was a Writer and Co-Executive Producer on the light mystery series THE SPENCER SISTERS (CTV), the medical adventure drama SKYMED (Paramount+/CBC), horror-comedy cult favourite THE ORDER (Netflix), and critically acclaimed thriller CARDINAL (Hulu/CTV), among others.
Nelu Handa has written for multiple seasons of award winning comedy series including: JANN, SORT OF, BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW, ODD SQUAD, THE BEAVERTON, TALLBOYZ, and A Little Late with Lilly Singh. She’s written for RUN THE BURBS since the first season and served as writer/Co-EP on season two.
A CBC original series, RUN THE BURBS is Executive Produced by Laszlo Barna, Nicole Butler, Karen Tsang and Vanessa Steinmetz (for Pier 21 Films), Andrew Phung, and Scott Townend. Jennica Harper and Nelu Handa serve as Executive Producers, writers and showrunners. Co-executive producer is Jay Vaidya. Jessica Daniel is the Series Producer. Season 3 writers include Andrew Phung, Scott Townend, Jennica Harper, Nelu Handa, Jay Vaidya, Sara Peters, Angelica Mendizabal, and Mandeq Hassan.