Everything about Frankie Drake, eh?

Rebecca Liddiard, Sharron Matthews and Emmanuel Kabongo join Frankie Drake Mysteries

From a media release:

Shaftesbury and CBC today revealed additional casting for new one-hour original drama FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (11 x 60). Starring Lauren Lee Smith (This Life, The Listener, The L Word) and Chantel Riley (Race, The Lion King) and set in 1920s Toronto, the series follows the adventures of Frankie Drake (Smith) and her partner Trudy Clarke (Riley) at Drake Private Detectives, the city’s only all-female detective agency, as they find themselves fighting crime in the age of flyboys, gangsters, rum-runners, and speakeasies. With production underway on location in Toronto and southern Ontario until late October, the series will air Mondays at 9p.m. ET (9:30 NT) on CBC and stream at cbc.ca/watch beginning November 6, and make its UK debut on Alibi (UKTV) in early 2018.

Joining the cast are Rebecca Liddiard (Alias Grace, Houdini & Doyle, Slasher 2: Guilty Party) as police morality officer Mary Shaw, Sharron Matthews (Mean Girls, Odd Squad) as morgue attendant Flo, and Emmanuel Kabongo (21 Thunder, Teenagers) as boxer Moses Page. Guest stars include Lucas Bryant (Haven, Shoot the Messenger), Wendy Crewson (Saving Hope, Slasher, Revenge), Laurence Fox (Inspector Lewis), Grace Lynn Kung (Carmilla The Movie, Mary Kills People), Steve Lund (Reign, Bitten), Charlotte Sullivan (Chicago Fire, Rookie Blue), and Laura Vandervoort (Bitten, Smallville).

Set in 1920s Toronto, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES follows the city’s only female private detectives as they take on the cases the police don’t want to touch. In a time of change and hopefulness, their gender is their biggest advantage as they defy expectations and rebel against convention. The Drake Private Detectives take on cases that explore every cross-section of Toronto, from gospel church choirs, bathing beauties and the early cinema scene, to the homes and private parties of the city’s elite. Frankie and Trudy’s fearless sense of adventure gets them into all kinds of trouble, but they always manage to find a way out. They are new detectives for a new world – but is the world ready for them?

Created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, who also serve as executive producers, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, and Cal Coons, who is also showrunner, and produced by Jonathan Hackett. The series is written by Hay, Ricci, Coons, Andrew Burrows-Trotman, John Callaghan, Ian Carpenter, and Adrianna Maggs and directed by Leslie Hope, Norma Bailey, Eleanor Lindo, Ruba Nadda, Peter Stebbings, and Sudz Sutherland.

A CBC original series, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is developed and produced by Shaftesbury in association with CBC and UKTV, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, the Cogeco Program Development Fund, and the Bell Fund. Content Media is the global distributor of the series.




CBC announces its 2017-18 primetime schedule

From a media release:

CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster and the number-one media brand in Canada,* today announced broadcast premiere dates for its fall 2017 television season, featuring a uniquely Canadian lineup of new and returning series including Canada’s most-watched homegrown drama and comedy series, MURDOCH MYSTERIES and KIM’S CONVENIENCE.**

New original series launching on CBC this fall include the highly anticipated miniseries ALIAS GRACE (6×60) premiering Mon.Sept. 25, written and produced by Sarah Polley, directed by Mary Harron and starring Sarah Gadon, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood; THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW (8×60), the homemade version of the popular British competition bringing together 10 amateur bakers from across Canada hosted by Dan Levy and Julia Chan, premiering Wed. Nov. 1; FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (11×60) from the producers of Murdoch Mysteries, following Toronto’s only female private detective in the 1920s, premiering Mon. Nov. 6; and THE STATS OF LIFE (4×30); a factual series that humanizes a range of population statistics to reveal the surprising truths about how Canadians live today, premiering Fri. Nov. 24.

CBC will also offer the exclusive Canadian broadcast of Jane Campion’s acclaimed drama TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL (7×60) premiering on Wed. Oct. 25, starring Elizabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman. The BAFTA-nominated British series THE DURRELLS (6×60) will also premiere on Wed. Sept. 13.

Returning drama, comedy, factual and arts series include CORONATION STREET (Sept. 18), with six new episodes per week this fall including back-to-back episodes on Mondays; DRAGONS’ DEN (Sept. 28), featuring Arlene Dickinson’s return to the Den as the sixth Dragon; arts series EXHIBITIONISTS (Sept. 22); weekday daytime series THE GOODS (Sept. 18); HEARTLAND (Sept. 24); Emmy-nominated political arts series INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM (Oct. 13); KIM’S CONVENIENCE (Sept. 26); MR. D (Sept. 26); MURDOCH MYSTERIES (Sept. 25); RICK MERCER REPORT (Sept. 26); and THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (Sept. 26).

On Mon. Nov. 6, flagship news program THE NATIONAL launches with a new format hosted by Adrienne Arsenault, Rosemary Barton, Andrew Chang and Ian Hanomansing. CBC News’ investigative series MARKETPLACE, THE FIFTH ESTATE and THE INVESTIGATORS WITH DIANA SWAIN also return with new seasons on Fri. Sept. 15.

CBC’s award-winning documentary programming moves to Sundays starting Sept. 24 including David Suzuki’s THE NATURE OF THINGS, which will launch its new season with THE WILD CANADIAN YEAR (5×60), showcasing Canada’s extraordinary wildlife; and CBC DOCS POV (formerly FIRSTHAND), which launches with Bee Nation, a charming documentary following students as they prepare for the first-ever First Nations Provincial Spelling Bee in Canada.

Also this fall, CBC SPORTS will provide compelling coverage and storytelling leading up to the OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES PYEONGCHANG 2018 and connect Canadians with high-performance athletes each weekend with ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES, which launches its fall season on Sat. Oct. 21 with coverage of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating from Moscow, Russia.

CBC’s fall 2017 broadcast premiere dates and times are as follows –
All series will also be available to stream on the CBC TV app and at cbc.ca/watch (all times local with the exception of Newfoundland, please add half an hour to all times)


  • 2 p.m. The Goods (Season 2 premieres Sept. 18)
  • 7 p.m. Coronation Street (fall premiere Sept. 18)
  • 8 p.m. Murdoch Mysteries (Season 11 premieres Sept. 25)
  • 9 p.m. Alias Grace (Miniseries premieres Sept. 25)
    [Frankie Drake Mysteries series premieres Nov. 6]
  • 10 p.m. The National (launches Nov. 6)


  • 8 p.m. Rick Mercer Report (Season 15 premieres Sept. 26)
  • 8:30 p.m. This Hour Has 22 Minutes (Season 25 premieres Sept. 26)
  • 9 p.m. Kim’s Convenience (Season 2 premieres Sept. 26)
  • 9:30 p.m. Mr. D (Season 7 premieres Sept. 26)


  • 8 p.m. The Great British Baking Show Season 7 premieres Aug. 23
    [The Great Canadian Baking Show premieres Nov. 1]


  • 8 p.m. Dragons’ Den (Season 12 premieres Sept. 28 with a two-hour special)


  • 8 p.m. Marketplace (Season 45 premieres Sept .15)
  • 8:30 p.m. The Investigators with Diana Swain (premieres Sept. 15)
    [Interrupt This Program Season 3 premieres Oct.13]
    [The Stats of Life series premieres Nov. 24]
  • 9 p.m. The Fifth Estate (Season 43 premieres Sept. 15)
  • 12:30 a.m. Exhibitionists (Season 3 premieres Sept. 22)


  • 6:30 p.m. ET Hockey Night in Canada


  • 7 p.m. Heartland (Season 11 premieres Sept. 24)
  • 8 p.m. The Nature of Things (Season 57 premieres Sept. 24)
  • 9 p.m. CBC Docs POV (Season 4 premieres Sept. 24)



Link: Set visit: Frankie Drake

From Bill Brioux of Brioux.tv:

Link: Set visit: Frankie Drake
I took a step back in time this week as I visited the set of the upcoming CBC historical drama Frankie Drake.

The 11-episode, first season order is set in the roaring twenties. Lauren Lee Smith (The Listener) stars as Drake, a kick-ass lady detective patrolling the mean streets of muddy York. By her side is her trusty assistant Trudy, played by Toronto’s Chantel Riley. Versatile Riley dazzled for four season on Broadway in The Lion King. Continue reading.


Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci dish on CBC’s Frankie Drake

To say we were excited to hear about CBC’s newest drama, Frankie Drake, would be an understatement. An original series about a spirited woman working outside of the law in the 1920s as Toronto’s first detective? We were in. Add to that This Life‘s Lauren Lee Smith in the lead role and Murdoch Mysteries‘ writers-producers Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci the creators of it all? Giddy is more like it.

In fact, we were so jazzed to hear about Frankie Drake, we got Hay and Ricci on the phone to talk about the project, which will be in production this summer in and around Toronto.

Congratulations on Frankie Drake. Has it been hard keeping this under wraps?
Both: Yes!

I’m sad you’ve left Murdoch Mysteries but I’m excited about this series. Tell me how the idea came about.
Carol Hay: Back in Season 5 [of Murdoch Mysteries], Michelle and I shared an office and we would be developing Murdoch stories and would say to each other, ‘Well if we ever had a female detective show, we could do that story.’ It was sort of a running joke between us. Two years later we thought, ‘Why don’t we actually do this?’ When it came to our first development pitch, we realized we wanted to jump forward in time. We loved the idea of the 1920s, which was really the first time in modern history where women could live on their own and not go straight from their parents’ house to their husband’s house. We thought this was a fantastic era for the idea of a female detective agency.

It was a bubble of time between two wars and, really, only 10 years between the end of the First World War and The Great Depression. There was this bubble in time when there was this huge optimism and a sense of relief that the war was over. We thought there was this great time for women.

Michelle, can you talk about the female angle?
Michelle Ricci: It’s an opportunity for us to tell a historical story from the female perspective and show what it was like for a woman to live in that time, and a female professional to operate in that time. That gives us the opportunity to go into some different worlds and story angles and really show a new perspective of a historical detective in a fun, mystery-driven adventure tone in a time of great upheaval. There was an immigration ban in 1923 of the Chinese in Canada … there are parallels we can draw in a new, fresh perspective and we’re really excited about it.

Frankie Drake star Lauren Lee Smith

When this news came out, I was reminded of the Australian series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Have you heard of that show?
MR: Actually, we came up with our show before that show. I want that on the record. Our original pitch was a year before that show came out. That’s how long it’s been. We’re aware of that show and have seen it. We think our show is very different. It’s set in the 1920s and that’s about the only similarity and Canada has very different issues from Australia. And our main character is a very different woman.

What is the tone of Frankie Drake?
CH: Murdoch Mysteries is very much about a policeman working to solve cases. Frankie Drake is a detective, so she can do things completely differently. There is a slightly more irreverent tone. It’s certainly not going to be heavy and dark; it’s going to be fun because that’s more of our style and the show we want to write. It’s got more adventure, and because she can work outside of the law Frankie might find herself on the other side of a jail cell a lot more than William Murdoch. She’ll have a different relationship … in a way the police are the antagonists. We’re still developing our stories and aren’t sure how all that will play out.

MR: Irreverent is a good word. And the key thing for her is her moral code, and that will resonate with the audience. That doesn’t mean it aligns with the law. It’s girls getting into trouble and the fun of them trying to get out of it.

Talk about the casting of Lauren Lee Smith. I can picture her in the role already.
MR: We haven’t worked with her a lot so far. We’re really still at early script stage but we’re really looking forward to getting into that. She really loves the scripts and we love her enthusiasm.

CH: The casting of Frankie’s partner, Trudy, will be next.

Frankie Drake will be on CBC’s primetime schedule this fall. What do you think of Frankie Drake based on what we’ve been told? Comment below!

Image courtesy of CBC.