Everything about Frankie Drake, eh?

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.


CBC orders new original drama Frankie Drake starring This Life’s Lauren Lee Smith

We may not have another season of This Life to enjoy, but Lauren Lee Smith is staying with the CBC. Smith, who played Maggie Lawson for two rounds of This Life, has nabbed the lead role in Frankie Drake, a drama about Toronto’s only female detective in the 1920s.

The 11-episode first season of Frankie Drake will begin production this summer in Toronto and will debut this fall on CBC.

Frankie Drake takes on the cases no one else wants to handle and her gender puts her at odds with the social mores of the day. Undeterred, Frankie and her partner, Trudy, open Drake Detective Agency and tackle mysteries.

Related: Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci discuss Frankie Drake

“Frankie Drake is a real labour of love for us. It is a story about a spirited woman, breaking barriers and calling the shots, in a world that might not be ready for her. This is a one-hour detective series, set in the 20s, but this is not the roaring 20s we have seen onscreen before,” Christina Jennings, chairman and CEO, Shaftesbury said in a press release. “We are so pleased to bring this show to life, in partnership with our friends at the CBC, and with a creative team who have been part of our Shaftesbury family for many of our hit series. And of course—what a treat to work with the wonderful Lauren Lee Smith again. I can’t wait for the world to meet Frankie Drake.”

Now, some sad news for Murdoch Mysteries fans: Frankie Drake is created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, which means they won’t return for Season 11 of Murdoch. Hay and Ricci also serve as executive producers on Frankie Drake; the series is executive produced by Jennings, Scott Garvie and Cal Coons, who also serves as showrunner. The series is produced by Jonathan Hackett and Julie Lacey.

We can’t wait to see the sass Smith brings to Frankie. What are your thoughts on this announcement? Will you tune in? Let us know in the comments below!