Everything about Coroner, eh?

Coroner: Morwyn Brebner and Adrienne Mitchell on Season 3’s “strange, magical” vibe

From the opening moments of Coroner’s Season 3 premiere, it’s clear that COVID-19 has invaded Dr. Jenny Cooper’s (Serinda Swan) world. There are social distancing measures during her group therapy class, full-body protective suits at her workplace, and in one painfully familiar scene, raw marks on her skin when she removes her mask.

“Yeah, that was a striking image,” creator and showrunner Morwyn Brebner says during a phone interview. “And it really did just evoke all the images that we’ve seen of the health care workers and the hours and hours and hours that they had to work in those masks.”

Executive producer and lead director Adrienne Mitchell concurs, adding that the scene demonstrates “the truth of people trying to make their way through this, from doctors down to personal care workers in homes, and just the physical toll that that took.”

Since Coroner is a medical-crime drama that focuses on death, Mitchell and Brebner felt it was natural to incorporate COVID-19 into the new season, which kicks off Wednesday at 8 p.m. on CBC. However, aside from the first episode’s plot involving the death of a long-term care worker who lacked access to PPE, they say the pandemic will influence the ambience of the series more than its storylines.

“The weird thing about the pandemic is that … it proposes the possibility of different ways of living,” explains Brebner. “We can go into different worlds and go through them with a real sense of curiosity and wonder.”

Over the course of this season’s 10 episodes, up from last year’s eight, Jenny and Detective Donovan McAvoy (Roger Cross) will investigate a slew of mysterious deaths in a variety of new environments.

“Because it’s been a COVID-19 year, where time is stopped and everything is surreal and you’re put on pause, you can invite unusual things into your life and hold them in a way that is perhaps more playful,” says Mitchell. “That’s what’s fun about this season: You can go from horror to haunted houses to witches to strange magic.”

This season will also have a different vibe because Jenny faced down several personal demons—including her complex relationship with her dad, Gordon (Nicholas Campbell)—during the show’s dark and psychologically fraught second season, letting her approach Season 3 with a fresh perspective.

“[Jenny]’s decided to be open to life, and that makes her vulnerable, but it also presents an incredible opportunity,” says Brebner. “It’s like allowing things to come at her while she’s embracing her trauma a little and trying to see what it is to her, as opposed to being afraid of it.”

According to Mitchell, series lead Swan—who has always tackled Jenny’s mental health issues with fearlessness and compassion—was completely onboard with her character’s emotional shift.

“Serinda was very much interested in exploring trauma as a tool,” says Mitchell. “So instead of [Jenny] succumbing and being paralyzed by it, now that she has a bit more of an understanding of it, how can she use it and draw from it to move through the world and connect with people who have their own individual traumas? … It’s very interesting. It’s a different journey for her this season.”

Behind the camera, Mitchell used “flares of light and the magic of light” to visually represent Jenny’s newfound appreciation for life, choices that are evident during a trippy, drug-infused sequence in the first episode.

“Only Morwyn can write about a weed journey in the middle of a very hard COVID-19 case, but it works,” laughs Mitchell. “Because [the way we normally live our lives] is sort of on pause because of COVID-19, it allows for unusual, strange, and living-in-the-moment events to take place, and there are some opportunities to have what I would call ‘strange joy.’”

However, not everything will be rosy for Coroner’s characters this season.

According to Brebner, McAvoy will have a health scare that forces him to face his mortality in a new way.

“He deals with death all the time,” she says. “He’s a homicide detective, he’s an incredibly stoic person, and he’s up against something that’s a new kind of adversary for him.”

Meanwhile, Liam (Éric Bruneau)—who left Jenny in last season’s finale—will still be struggling with his war-related PTSD.

“We ended Season 2 with the decision that they needed to be apart to heal, and that being together was going to be an obstacle to their healing,” says Mitchell. “And then the question is, where does that take them? Is that going to bring them back together or not?”

As for Brebner and Mitchell, they’re both trying to recover after Season 3’s exhausting, COVID-delayed five-month shoot, which ended on Jan. 22.

“We brought in a COVID-19 health management team, so we had about three or four rotating nurses and daily screens, in terms of temperature and questionnaires. We also had weekly COVID tests and a strict regimen of mask-wearing at all times,” Mitchell says.

The cast and crew were also required to stay six feet apart as much as possible, which was hard, Brebner notes, because TV production “is really a business where we stand close together and hand each other things.”

Still, they both say it was a “privilege” to work during the pandemic and are proud of the result.

“We go to deep, emotional places, but we also go to a lot of fun places,” Brebner says. “This season has a really strange and magical integrity to it.”

Mitchell concludes, “It’s just weird, but it’s a cool weird.”

Coroner airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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CBC Announces Winter 2021 Premiere Dates

From a media release:

CBC today announced broadcast and streaming premiere dates for its winter 2021 slate of original programming, including over 20 new and returning Canadian series reflecting a diverse range of storytelling and perspectives. The new winter primetime schedule launches Monday, January 4 on CBC TV and the free CBC Gem streaming service.

MONDAYS:
Mystery Mondays return on January 4 with new seasons of hit detective series MURDOCH MYSTERIES (Season 14) and FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (Season 4).

New weeknight primetime program CANADA TONIGHT WITH GINELLA MASSA launches Monday, January 11 at 8 p.m. on CBC News Network.

TUESDAYS:
CBC’s Tuesday night comedy lineup continues on January 5 with new episodes of THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES and BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW The Final Season: Bonus Episodes, featuring never-before-aired sketches, followed by irreverent new series HUMOUR RESOURCES, starring Jon Dore and featuring comedians including Sarah Silverman, Aisha Brown, Tom Green, Scott Thompson and Ronny Chieng.

KIM’S CONVENIENCE returns with Season 5 beginning January 19.

New seasons of WORKIN’ MOMS (Season 5) and TALLBOYZ (Season 2) debut on February 16.

WEDNESDAYS:
British drama QUIZ, based on the true story of a former British army major who was caught cheating on the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and starring Matthew Macfadyen (Succession), premieres January 13.

Season 3 of procedural crime drama CORONER starring Serinda Swan, followed by new buddy-cop drama series PRETTY HARD CASES (formerly Lady Dicks), starring Meredith MacNeill (Baroness von Sketch Show) and Adrienne C. Moore (Orange Is The New Black), premiere February 3.

THURSDAYS:
documentary Channel originals Fear of Dancing, Clydesdale: Saving the Greatest Horse and The Oslo Diaries premiere on CBC TV, January 7 through 21.

Beginning January 28, legal drama BURDEN OF TRUTH starring Kristin Kreuk returns with Season 4, and THE FIFTH ESTATE continues on a new night.

FRIDAYS:
MARKETPLACE continues on January 8, featuring an ongoing series, “Face Racism,” hosted by Asha Tomlinson, which follows people in search of justice in their communities, the marketplace and the workplace, often bringing them face-to-face with company executives and government officials.

The landmark 60th season of THE NATURE OF THINGS returns on January 8 with an ambitious archeological dig that peels away myths surrounding the last queen of Egypt in SEARCHING FOR CLEOPATRA, and the following week, a special five-part series, WILD CANADIAN WEATHER, showcasing a cinematic journey through Canada’s most extreme and spectacular weather.

New docuseries ANYONE’S GAME (formerly Orangeville Prep), offering an inside look at the competitive, high-pressure world of basketball’s most successful preparatory program at The Athlete Institute in Orangeville, Ontario, launches on January 15, with all episodes available that day to stream on CBC Gem.

New family-friendly series ARCTIC VETS, offering an up-close look at the wildlife that inhabits Canada’s north and the veterinarians at the Assiniboine Park Conservancy who work tirelessly to keep them safe, premieres February 26.

SUNDAYS:
Audience favourite HEARTLAND returns with a new season on January 10, followed by a four-week special event featuring back-to-back episodes of BBC’s acclaimed LES MISÉRABLES dramatic miniseries, starring Dominic West, David Oyelowo, Lily Collins and Olivia Colman.

Starting on Valentine’s Day, February 14, Season 4 of THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW welcomes a new batch of amateur bakers and two new hosts, Second City alumni Alan Shane Lewis and Ann Pornel, followed by the exclusive Canadian premiere of BELGRAVIA, highlighted in Vanity Fair’s Five New Juicy Costume Dramas to Add Glamour to Your Quarantine, centering on secrets and scandals amongst the upper echelon of London society in the 19th century.

CBC KIDS:
CBC Kids’ refreshed weekday lineup begins Monday, January 4 with new seasons of PJ MASKS, KIRI AND LOU, and TRUE AND THE RAINBOW KINGDOM. New CBC Kids and Radio-Canada original preschool animated series DINO RANCH, produced in partnership with Disney, premieres on Saturday, January 16, featuring the adventures of the Cassidy family as they tackle life in a fantastical, “pre-westoric” setting where dinosaurs still roam. CBC Kids original tween sci-fi drama ENDLINGS, produced in partnership with Hulu, returns for a second season, launching on CBC Gem Friday, January 15, with episodes released weekly.

SUNDAYS

7 PM – HEARTLAND Season 14 (10×60) premieres January 10

8 PM – LES MISÉRABLES (8×60) the BBC miniseries premieres January 10 with back-to-back episodes

8 PM – THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW Season 4 (8×60) premieres February 14

9 PM – BELGRAVIA (6×60) Julian Fellowes’ historical drama premieres February 14

10 PM – THE NATIONAL CBC News’ flagship program continues Sunday to Friday each week

MONDAYS

7 PM – CORONATION STREET continues weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA Season 2 (104×30) continues Mondays to Thursdays

8 PM – MURDOCH MYSTERIES Season 14 (11×60) begins January 4

9 PM – FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES Season 4 (10×60) begins January 4

TUESDAYS

7 PM – CORONATION STREET continues weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA Season 2 (104×30) continues Mondays to Thursdays

8 PM – KIM’S CONVENIENCE Season 5 (13×30) premieres January 19

8:30 PM – THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES Season 28 (19×30) continues January 5

9 PM – BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW (5×30) The Final Season: Bonus Episodes featuring never-before-aired sketches premiere January 5

9 PM – WORKIN’ MOMS Season 5 (10×30) premieres February 16

9:30 PM – HUMOUR RESOURCES (6×30) a new irreverent comedy premieres January 5

9:30 PM – TALLBOYZ Season 2 (8×30) premieres February 16

WEDNESDAYS

7 PM – CORONATION STREET continues weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA Season 2 (104×30) Mondays to Thursdays

8 PM – CORONER Season 3 (10×60) premieres February 3

9 PM – QUIZ (3×60) the British drama starring Matthew Macfadyen (Succession) premieres January 13

9 PM – PRETTY HARD CASES (formerly Lady Dicks, 10×60) a new female-driven buddy-cop series premieres February 3

THURSDAYS

7 PM – CORONATION STREET continues weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA Season 2 (104×30) Mondays to Thursdays

8 PM – documentary Channel originals Fear of Dancing, Clydesdale: Saving the Greatest Horse and The Oslo Diaries premiere January 7 through 21

8 PM – BURDEN OF TRUTH Season 4 (8×60) premieres on January 28

9 PM – THE FIFTH ESTATE Season 46 (7×60) continues January 28 on a new night

FRIDAYS

7 PM – CORONATION STREET continues weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

7:30 PM – CORONATION STREET continues weekdays at 7 p.m., Fridays at 7:30 p.m.

8 PM – MARKETPLACE Season 48 (22×30) continues January 8

8:30 PM – ANYONE’S GAME (formerly Orangeville Prep, 6×30) a new factual series about basketball’s most successful preparatory program premieres January 15

8:30 PM – ARCTIC VETS (10×30) a new factual series featuring the wildlife of Canada’s north premieres February 26

9 PM – THE NATURE OF THINGS Season 60 (13×60) continues with an ambitious archeological dig in SEARCHING FOR CLEOPATRA on January 8

SATURDAYS

Afternoon – ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES Season 6 continues

6:30 PM – HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA begins January 16

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Cameras roll on Season 3 of Coroner

From a media release:

Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films and Cineflix Studios have started production in Toronto on season three of the hit CBC original drama series CORONER. Inspired by the best-selling series of books by M.R. Hall, CORONER is created for television by Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope, Rookie Blue) and stars Serinda Swan (Inhumans, Ballers) as coroner Dr. Jenny Cooper. Joining the cast this season are Mark Taylor (Flashpoint) as Clark, a crown attorney working with Jenny on a new inquest, and Uni Park (Kim’s Convenience) as Melanie, the coroner office’s new pathologist. Season three will provide audiences with two additional one-hour episodes (10×60) and is scheduled to debut on CBC and the free CBC Gem streaming service in Winter 2021.

CORONER was the highest-rated new drama series premiere on CBC in more than four years when it premiered in Canada in winter 2018. Following that, NBCUniversal International Networks (NBCUINN) acquired the rights to all three seasons of the series for multiple territories from global distributor Cineflix Rights. The third season will premiere across NBCUIN’s channel portfolio in Sub-Saharan Africa, France, Spain, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Latin America and Brazil. In Germany, season three will premiere on 13TH Street. The CW Network launched season one of CORONER in the U.S. earlier this summer to strong ratings, with season two set for a fall primetime slot. In the UK, CORONER premieres on Sky Witness, with season two currently on air and season three to follow next year. Cineflix Rights has also sold the series to the UK’s Channel 4 for its More 4 channel.

CORONER season three returns with coroner Jenny Cooper moving past her trauma and embracing her whole self. In the process of healing, she and live-in boyfriend Liam are now separated, while Detective Donovan McAvoy faces his mortality in a new way. Ross stumbles his way through identity challenges, while Gordon hallucinates the possibility of a life once lived. In a series of touching, personal, and harrowing cases, this season addresses unorthodox therapy sessions, and uncomfortable, messy, and beautiful personal encounters. Jenny and those around her will come to truly understand what it means to be alive as they dance with death.

CORONER stars Serinda Swan as Dr. Jenny Cooper with Roger Cross (Dark Matter, Caught) as Donovan McAvoy; Éric Bruneau (Goalie, Blue Moon) as Liam; Ehren Kassam (Degrassi, Next Class) as Ross; Nicholas Campbell (Da Vinci’s Inquest, Bad Blood) as Gordon Cooper; Tamara Podemski (Run, Never saw it Coming) as Alison Trent; Andy McQueen (Killjoys) as Malik Abed; and Kiley May (It Chapter Two) as River Baitz. 

A CBC original series, CORONER is produced by Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films and Cineflix Studios. Morwyn Brebner is executive producer and showrunner, Adrienne Mitchell (Durham County, Bellevue) is lead director and executive producer for Back Alley Films, Jonas Prupas is executive producer for Muse Entertainment with Peter Emerson and Brett Burlock executive producers for Cineflix Studios.

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2020-21 Canadian TV season renewal scorecard

Well, things are just a little bit different this time around. With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on television production around the world, the Canadian networks—like others—have been a little late in announcing their primetime schedules.

But they’re gradually doing that, so we’ve put together a handy list of what will air between the summer of 2020 and the end of spring in 2021.

Check back often to see if your favourites have been renewed; we’ll be updating this list as we get more information.

Renewed

APTN
Tribal
Tribal Police Files
The Other Side

Tribal

CBC
Still Standing
Murdoch Mysteries
Frankie Drake Mysteries
Workin’ Moms
Baroness Von Sketch Show (final season)
Heartland
The Nature of Things
Marketplace
The Fifth Estate
Battle of the Blades
Family Feud Canada
Just for Laughs: Galas
Ha!ifax Comedy Fest
You Can’t Ask That
Coroner
Kim’s Convenience
Tallboyz
Dragons’ Den
22 Minutes
The Great Canadian Baking Show
Diggstown
Burden of Truth

Tallboyz

Citytv
Hudson & Rex

CTV
Corner Gas Animated
JANN (renewed for Season 3)
The Amazing Race Canada
Transplant
MasterChef Canada: Back to Win

Crave
Letterkenny
Canada’s Drag Race

Discovery
Heavy Rescue: 401
Disasters at Sea
Highway Thru Hell

Nurses

Food Network Canada
Big Food Bucket List
Carnival Eats
Wall of Chefs
Great Chocolate Showdown 
Junior Chef Showdown 
Fire Masters
The Big Bake 

Global
Nurses 
Private Eyes
Big Brother Canada
Departure

Backyard Builds

HGTV Canada
Backyard Builds 
Island of Bryan 
Property Brothers: Forever Home 
Scott’s Vacation House Rules  
Save My Reno 

History
Vikings (final season)
Rust Valley Restorers  
History Erased 
Salvage Kings 

Netflix
Another Life

Omni
Second Jen
Blood and Water

T+E
Hotel Paranormal
Haunted HospitalsFacebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Cineflix Rights sells Coroner to The CW Network

From a media release:

Cineflix Rights has sold the CBC Original drama series Coroner to The CW Network, allowing U.S. viewers to watch the global hit series for the first time.

Coroner (16×60’), Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films, and Cineflix Studios for the CBC) is a character driven one-hour drama about Dr. Jenny Cooper (Serinda Swan, Ballers), a recently widowed, newly appointed coroner who investigates any suspicious, unnatural or sudden deaths in Toronto. Each death brings Jenny into a new arena in the city and sparks buzzworthy themes. Jenny taps into her intuition, as much as her intellect and heart, as she solves cases along with the help of Homicide Detective Donovan “Mac” McAvoy (Roger Cross, Arrow, The X-Files), a man who isn’t afraid of challenging the status quo; pathologist Dr. Dwayne Allen (Lovell Adams-Gray, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Power Book II: Ghost), his assistant River Baitz (Kiley May, It: Chapter Two); and Alison Trent (Tamara Podemski, Run, Unsettled), Jenny’s assistant who keeps it real. And while Jenny solves mysterious deaths, she also deals with clinical anxiety, a teenage son, Ross (Ehren Kassam, Degrassi: Next ClassDegrassi: The Next Generation), who is still grieving the death of his father, and the prospect of starting a new relationship with the enigmatic Liam (Éric Bruneau, Trop).

Coroner was the highest rated new Canadian drama in more than four years, reaching two million viewers when the season launched on the CBC. Following with NBCUniversal International Networks to acquire rights in various territories, Coroner was the highest-ever rated series launch on Universal TV in the UK.

Coroner is a CBC Original Series. It is executive produced by Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope, Rookie Blue), Adrienne Mitchell (Bellevue, Played), Jonas Prupas (Collision Course), Brett Burlock (Pure, Ascension), and Peter Emerson (Pure, The Firm), and is produced by Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films, and Cineflix Studios. The CW Network deal was brokered on Cineflix’s behalf by APA’s Kyle Loftus.

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