Everything about Cardinal, eh?

Links: Cardinal

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

Link: John Doyle: New CTV series Cardinal is landmark Canadian TV
In part, it’s the use of the Canadian landscape that makes Cardinal landmark TV in this neck of the woods. It is steeped in the texture of “North,” it is character driven, but the characters are of this North, anchored in it, in every fibre of their being. Continue reading. 

From Bill Harris of Postmedia Network:

Blood seeps into the clear ice and white snow in new Canadian cop drama Cardinal
Nothing stands out like a cardinal in the cold Canadian winter.

If you’re lucky enough to see one at a bird feeder, or sitting in a snowy cedar, you know that they really are a marvel of nature. In the bleakness of January, how can something be that colourful?

Also attempting to stand out at this time of year is the new Canadian TV show Cardinal, which debuts Wednesday, Jan. 25 on CTV. Continue reading. 

From Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette:

Karine Vanasse investigates new terrain in CTV’s Cardinal
“For the past few years, one of my goals was to do something in English Canada. It’s a difficult market, because they don’t do that many series. It’s great to do these shows in the States, but there was something about doing a show in English Canada that got me really excited.” Continue reading.

From Brad Wheeler of The Globe and Mail:

Actor Billy Campbell on Cardinal, the frozen wilds and the roles that matter most
“This is a specifically and definitively Canadian show. And I think it gives it a real heft. And it may sound trite to say this, but the environment is another character.

Maybe the main character in the whole story. It stands in nicely for the kind of frozen wilds of Cardinal’s heart.” Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Cardinal: Why Billy Campbell couldn’t pass on this role
“The script was so compelling that I really, really wanted to be a part of it. I have a tendency when I read something to imagine myself as a producer and I always read something with a question in the back of my mind of ‘would I cast myself in the part?’ I instantly saw myself in this part and saw the answer to that question being ‘yes.’” Continue reading.

From Tony Wong of the Toronto Star:

Cardinal could be The Killing for Canada
“We all felt we had this great chance to create that kind of incredible series, that we should really go for it. We all love those kinds of shows, and it takes time finding the right partnerships and the right property. I think CTV found something great to run with.” Continue reading.




John Cardinal leaps from the page to TV in CTV’s excellent, atmospheric Cardinal

On paper, Detective John Cardinal is a man of few words. The central figure in Giles Blunt’s Cardinal book series prefers to keep his thoughts on investigations in his head, much to the dismay of his co-workers and partner, Lise Delorme. The fact Cardinal isn’t one to share his intuitions was a challenge actor Billy Campbell embraced.

“I love that kind of stuff, particularly because I have fewer lines to learn,” Campbell says with a laugh. “No, it’s this kind of brooding thing. [Director] Podz and I were talking [before production began] and he said, ‘If you could give one adjective to describe Cardinal, what would it be?’ I said, ‘tortured.’ And he said, ‘Exactly!’ And a lot of that is internal. I like all that stuff that’s between the lines and you don’t see or get a lot of that on television.”

Impressive in scope, beautifully filmed and impeccably cast, CTV’s six-part serialized drama Cardinal—debuting Wednesday on CTV and Thursday on Super Écran—breathes life to Blunt’s first Cardinal novel, Forty Words for Sorrow. Filmed in and around Sudbury, North Bay, Atikameksheng Anishnawbek in Northern Ontario and Toronto, the project stars Campbell as Blunt’s tortured hero, who is called upon to track down the killer of 13-year-old Katie Pine. His partner is Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse), a recent transfer and someone Cardinal doesn’t trust. Additional cast includes Brendan Fletcher as Eric Fraser and Allie MacDonald as Edie Soames, a young couple in town; Deborah Hay as Cardinal’s wife Catherine; Glen Gould as officer Jerry Commanda; Kristen Thomson as Sergeant Noelle Dyson, Cardinal’s commanding officer; David Richmond Peck as Corporal Musgrave, an officer in charge of a tightly guarded investigation; Alanna Bale as Cardinal’s daughter Kelly; and Robert Naylor as Keith.

What executive producer and showrunner Aubrey Nealon (Orphan Black) and Podz (19-2) have done is successfully translate an atmospheric novel to the screen. You can feel the fear gripping the snowy community of Algonquin Bay after Katie’s body is found. Did a drifter commit the crime or someone in town? A washed-out colour palette, cold temperatures and chilling examination of the body all contribute to a feeling of dread, something that came off the page in waves.

“Giles was a big part of the project early on, and then he handed it off,” Nealon says during a break in filming. “As a fan of the novel, I respect his writing so much and wanted to be true to the novel while trying to find my own voice in it.” Some parts of Forty Words for Sorrow didn’t make it to the television series and other content was added. Nealon explains Cardinal’s internal monologue was vocalized through adding new characters and activating past cases referenced in the book and making them part of the current storyline.

“This is so different from writing Orphan Black because these characters were fleshed out and living and breathing [in the novels],” Nealon says. “I wanted to explore Delorme’s personal life a little bit more than happened in the books.” When it came to casting the lead role, Nealon was looking for someone with warmth and humanity that draws viewers in while also presenting a troubled side to him. They got it with Campbell. Pair that with Vanasse’s Delorme, a young, eager cop full of good intention, and the duo simply crackles on-screen.

“Lise made some choices in the past that were safer for her,” Vanasse says. “She is finding in this new role that this is something that she’s always wanted to do. The closer that she gets to Cardinal, working on the case, he moves her. She recognizes how invested he is in the case and follows her instincts more and more.”

Cardinal airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET beginning Jan. 26 on Super Écran.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.


Photo gallery: First look at CTV’s Cardinal

At long last, Cardinal has got a debut date. And some pretty kick-ass images too. CTV announced Season 1 of the drama starring Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse debuts Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the network.

Based on the Giles Blunt’s award-winning novel, Forty Words for Sorrow, the cast also includes Brendan Fletcher as Eric Fraser; Allie MacDonald as Edie Soames; Deborah Hay as Cardinal’s wife, Catherine; Glen Gould as fellow officer Jerry Commanda; Kristen Thomson as Sergeant Noelle Dyson, Cardinal’s commanding officer; David Richmond Peck as Corporal Musgrave, an officer in charge of a tightly guarded investigation; Alanna Bale as Cardinal’s daughter Kelly; and Robert Naylor as Keith.

Take a look at the gorgeous photos and let us know what you think!


Season 1 of Cardinal debuts Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.


CTV’s Cardinal anchors mid-season lineup with Jan. 25 premiere

From a media release:

A harsh winter is in store for Canadians, as CTV’s gripping new original series CARDINAL arrives on Jan. 25, it was announced today. Strategically scheduled in the same timeslot as this fall’s most-watched new series DESIGNATED SURVIVOR, CARDINAL airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and CTV GO, following a CraveTV FIRST LOOK on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The series also airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET beginning Jan. 26 on Super Écran.

From Entertainment One (eOne) and Sienna Films, CARDINAL is directed by award-winning Montréal director Daniel Grou, aka Podz (19-2, MINUIT LE SOIR), CARDINAL was adapted for television by Canadian Screen Award-winner Aubrey Nealon (ORPHAN BLACK, SAVING HOPE) from award-winning author Giles Blunt’s John Cardinal Mysteries series. The six-part, bone-chilling drama follows Detective John Cardinal (Billy Campbell, THE KILLING) on a deadly hunt for a vicious killer in small Northern Ontario town.

Headlining CTV’s action-packed midseason schedule that also includes the return of MASTERCHEF CANADA, the final season of SAVING HOPE, and the series premieres of big-buzz new series TRAINING DAY and TIME AFTER TIME, CARDINAL is squarely positioned to kick off the year as one of the most-anticipated drama debuts of the season.

Additional midseason programming and premiere dates will announced in the coming weeks.

Featuring Golden Globe® nominee Billy Campbell (THE KILLING) in the title role, CARDINAL also stars multiple Genie Award-winning actress Karine Vanasse (REVENGE) as his rookie partner, Detective Lise Delorme. The series also stars Brendan Fletcher (The Revenant) as Eric Fraser and Allie MacDonald (YOUNG DRUNK PUNK) as Edie Soames, a young couple in the town. Also appearing are Deborah Hay (The Anniversary) as Cardinal’s wife Catherine; Glen Gould (Rhymes for Young Ghouls) as fellow officer Jerry Commanda; Kristen Thomson (Away from Her) as Sergeant Noelle Dyson, Cardinal’s commanding officer; David Richmond Peck (ORPHAN BLACK) as Corporal Musgrave, an officer in charge of a tightly guarded investigation; Alanna Bale (PRIME RADICALS) as Cardinal’s daughter Kelly; and Robert Naylor (19-2) as Keith.

In the premiere episode (available for media review here), entitled “Cardinal” (Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV GO and Thursday, Jan. 26 at 9 p.m. ET on Super Écran), viewers first meet Cardinal (Billy Campbell) after he’s been demoted for a hunch about a case that he wouldn’t let go. But he is brought back to the Homicide Unit when the body of missing 13-year-old Katie Pine is discovered, proving his instincts correct. As the series unfolds, back on the case, Cardinal’s search for her murderer soon becomes an all-consuming race to stay ahead of a serial killer. Meanwhile, he must manage his own precarious family issues and secrets, and keep a watchful eye on his new partner, Detective Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse), who he believes may have her own secret agenda.

CARDINAL is adapted from the award-winning novel Forty Words for Sorrow, the first of the John Cardinal Mysteries, a series of six, best-selling crime novels written by Ontario native and award-winning author Giles Blunt. The gripping murder mystery was shot in Winter 2016 in Sudbury, Ont., North Bay, Ont., Atikameksheng Anishnawbek in Northern Ontario, and Toronto.

CARDINAL is produced by Sienna Films and eOne in association with CTV, and commissioned for French-language Canadian broadcast by Super Écran. CARDINAL is distributed worldwide by eOne. Executive Producers are Julia Sereny and Jennifer Kawaja (COMBAT HOSPITAL) for Sienna Films. The series is also executive produced by Showrunner Aubrey Nealon, who adapted the series for television, and Director Daniel Grou, aka Podz.


Gunslingers kits out the cops (and killers) in Canadian TV

Seth Rossman’s IMDB page lists high-profile television projects like Slasher, Man Seeking Woman and Republic of Doyle, but it takes a keen eye to spot his work. If he does things right, you never see him at all. That’s because Rossman and his staff at Gunslingers supply the firearms, police and military wardrobe and vehicles, and fabricate items to be used by the men and ladies in the cast.

But Rossman (on the right in the top photo) didn’t start out in the industry working with real and fake firearms. After a gig in web development, he switched over to a career in make-up artistry, then as a private makeup artist to Seth Green, Eva Longoria, Cary Elwes, Kim Coates and more before a horrible accident sent him on this path.

Tell me about the accident that lead to you beginning Gunslingers.
Seth Rossman: I was down in the Dominican Republic working with Eva Longoria and I was struck down by a drunk driver. I was headed back to base camp and riding quads because we were working in the jungle. I was sitting at a red light and then advanced into the intersection and a local on a motorcycle took me out. He shattered my right leg from hip to ankle and it was a couple of days before they were able to get me out of the country. A couple of surgeries and a year and a half later I was walking. I was going through the surgeries and the rehab and was being told by the doctors that I needed to be realistic. They originally told me I might lose the leg. Then it was I’d keep the leg but it would never work. Then it was that the leg would work, but never properly. Then they said it would work properly, but I’d never get 15 hours a day on it. They were right about that.

As a makeup artist, the ability for me to chase an actor around a film set for 14 a day was gone. I was sitting on my couch trying to figure out what to do. I had a friend in the industry that was an armourer and I had been on set with him—we were both working on the same project—and he’d been asking if anyone could help him because he was short-staffed. I had wrapped my work and was just hanging out. He needed someone with a firearms license to help him and I did. I helped him through the night and at the end of it he handed me an envelope with cash in it. Fast-forward a year and a half and I realized maybe there was something to that. I looked at the industry and started asking around and was told there was room for another armaments company because everyone was using the same houses.


What were some challenges you faced?
We had to obtain all of the licenses, so there were a lot of hoops to jump through with the government to get those. That took a little over a year. Once that was done, we were sitting with an empty warehouse. We needed to figure out what to house to be able to service the industry. We did market research and figured out what the most popular firearms are and went to the Internet Movie Firearms Database. Then we went out and invested in the firearms and then modified them for film and TV. Then we needed to train everyone on how to work with them, take them to set, service them on set and send them out.

Then people started to ask about police belts, police uniforms. To do a scene with a police officer you need a gun, a uniform and a car. We had to expand to cover all of that. We have a vast firearms collection, a huge wardrobe selection, a massive props selection, all revolving around law enforcement, military and tactical stuff.

When you’re on-set, you need to educate these folks.
When we get to set, we introduce ourselves to the powers-that-be and check in. We explain we’re the armourer for the day and, if possible, can speak to the actor or actress for half an hour so that you get the performance you want. We meet whoever that is and go over the safety and protocol procedures. That always leads into education with regard to how they’re holding the gun and then they start picking our brain.

Let’s talk about specific projects; what did you do for the folks at Slasher?
Slasher brought us in to handle their armaments solution, so we came in to work with Dean McDermott for the pistol work on the show and provided all the firearms. We provided the gunfire effects on the show and all of the weapons that you see. You’ll see a scene involving cinderblocks and we made those, there’s a scene with a baseball bat and we made that; we manufactured all of those in-house.

What are the cinderblocks made out of?
Foam. We have moulds and produced them.

How has HDTV presented a challenge when it comes to making something look realistic?
When it comes to making props, what we make is really high-end. The cost isn’t cheap, but you’re paying for a prop that can be put two feet in front of a camera and you can’t tell the difference.

What other projects have you got on the go?
We just provided the wardrobe solution for Wolf Cop 2 and the entire law enforcement solution for CTV’s Cardinal.