Everything about Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent, eh?

Rogers brings more star power to Citytv Canadian hits

From a media release:

Rogers Communications announced today Citytv’s 2024/25 original programming slate, promising to bring even more jaw-dropping and inspiring moments, loads of suspense, and more star power.

“We just wrapped our best season yet for original programming on Citytv, and are excited to build on this success by delivering more compelling stories and familiar homegrown stars to Canadians,” said Hayden Mindell, Senior Vice President, Television, Rogers Sports & Media

They’ve DUN DUN it again…and again! After debuting as the #1 show in Canada earlier this year*, Rogers today announces a two-season greenlight for Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intentin partnership with leading producers Lark Productions and Cameron Pictures Inc. Showcasing original Canadian stories written, produced by and starring Canadians, both seasons are set to premiere on Citytv from early 2025. Filming will commence this July in Toronto. The returning cast includes Aden Young (Rectify, Black Robe) as Detective Sergeant Henry Graff, Kathleen Munroe (City on Fire, Patriot) as Detective Sergeant Frankie Bateman, Karen Robinson (Schitt’s Creek, Echoes) as Inspector Vivienne Holness, and K.C. Collins (The Cleaning Lady, Clarice) as Deputy Crown Attorney Theo Forrester. Tassie Cameron (Pretty Hard Cases, Mary Kills People, Rookie Blue) is the series developer and showrunner. Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent is produced in association with Universal International Studios. It is based on the original US series created by Dick Wolf for Universal Television. The Criminal Intent format is licensed by NBCUniversal and Wolf Entertainment.

Shania Twain and comedian Katherine Ryan join Howie Mandel, Kardinal Offishall and Host, Lindsay Ell for an all-new season of Canada’s Got Talent.

Global Superstar, Celebrated Songwriter, and Style Icon Shania Twain is a five-time GRAMMY winner and one of music and fashion’s most renowned trailblazers. With six albums released and more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, Twain remains the top-selling female country pop artist of all time. Her hits include “Any Man of Mine,” “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” “You’re Still the One” and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!”. Shania was the first artist in history to release 3 consecutive diamond-certified albums. Twain’s first album in 15 years, NOW, was released in September 2017 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 albums, making it the first female country release in over 3 years to top the all-genre chart. The release was followed by a year-long sold-out NOW World Tour. In 2021, Shania kicked off her second residency in Las Vegas called “Let’s Go!” which completely sold out and continued through September 2022. In July 2022, Netflix released “Shania Twain: Not Just a Girl,” a brand-new, career-spanning documentary on Twain’s life and career with an accompanying Highlights album. Most recently, Shania released her sixth full-length album Queen of Me on February 3, 2023, via Republic Nashville/Universal Music Canada, which received glowing reviews from NPR, Rolling Stone, Consequence, Billboard, Variety, and many more.  In April 2023, Shania kicked off her sold-out global Queen of Me tour, which ran through November 2023, and was one of the Top 10 highest-grossing country tours of the year.  This year Shania returned to Las Vegas for her third residency entitled “Come On Over!”.

Twain brings her unparalleled experience, charisma, and knowledge to the judges’ panel as they seek out Canada’s new wave of superstars. 

“Canada!  I’m really excited to discover the amazing talent you have to share,” said Shania Twain, Judge, Canada’s Got Talent.  “Canada is well known for having high calibre creative people and it’s my honour to sit back and see you at your best. Let’s go my fellow Canadians!”

Hailing from Sarnia, ON, comedian and actress Katherine Ryan brings her incisive wit, fearless humor, and commanding presence to the judges’ panel offering perspective from her own journey as a leading figure in contemporary comedy. Canada’s Got Talent Season 4 begins production this fall in Niagara Falls, ON, and premieres in Spring 2025. Auditions for Season 4 are now open on Citytv.com

Canada’s Got Talent, the country’s biggest talent competition, returns for another season of showstopping performances from across the country, announced in partnership with MEM Inc., Fremantle, and SYCO Entertainment, in association with Citytv. Season 4 begins production this fall in Niagara Falls, ON, and premieres in Spring 2025 on Citytv and Citytv+. Auditions for Season 4 are now open onCitytv.com.  

Winning over the hearts of Canadians week after week, Citytv’s favourite cop-and-canine duo Hudson & Rex returns for Season 7, set to premiere on Citytv in early 2025. Produced by Shaftesbury Productions, in association with Citytv, Hudson & Rex begins production this month in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Kickstart mornings with Sid & Meredith on Breakfast Television, weekdays from 6-10 a.m., for a dynamic mix of news, weather, traffic updates, and entertainment, alongside the rest of the BT family – Devo Brown, Tammie Sutherland, Stephanie Henry, and Frank Ferragine. Starting this September, Citytv debuts an all-new national hour of BT from 10-11 a.m. serving up an extra slice of lifestyle entertainment with beloved Canadian media personalities Cheryl Hickey and Tracy Moore. BT with Tracy and Cheryl will feature in-depth conversations that will make you feel seen, life hacks, and tons of fun giveaways, plus fashion, décor, and food content delivered by Canadian influencers you know and love.

Available to stream across Rogers Ignite TV, Amazon Prime Video, and online at CityNews.ca, CityNews 24/7 in Ontario and BC provides in-depth coverage of breaking news stories, and live events, plus exclusive interviews and in-depth insights. Beginning this July, CityNews 24/7 will expand to serve Alberta, building on the company’s commitment to offer Canadians timely local news.  

OMNI Television’s hit satirical sketch comedy series ABROAD has been renewed for a fourth season, in partnership with Longhope Media Inc. Co-created by and starring Filipina comedian Isabel Kanaan, ABROAD Season 4 will feature six all-new 30-minute episodes in English and Tagalog, airing on OMNI Television in Spring 2025. Loosely based on Isabel’s experience immigrating to Canada as a teenager, ABROAD presents a humorous look at how immigrants think, perceive, and deal with living in Canada.  

Over the last 10 years, Rogers has invested $6.9 billion in Canadian content, part of its commitment to bring Canadians the best content.  

*Source: Numeris, Total Canada, 2+, National Conventional English TV, M-S 7-11p, AMA(000), Consolidated (Live+7), Broadcast Year to Date (2023-08-29 to 2024-03-17)


Links: Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent, Season 1

From Bill Brioux of Brioux.tv:

Link: T.O. looks so good it is almost criminal in Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent
The city gets plenty of face time on Thursday night’s premiere episode of Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent. You see the main detectives played by Canadian-Australian actor Aden Young and Karen Munroe, rush walk-and-talk past the bright Toronto sign in front of City Hall. Restaurants and other landmarks are also in view. Two extras playing homeless men are glimpsed in one shot on a sidewalk in a nod to the fact that this isn’t Toronto the Good anymore. Continue reading.

From Teghan Beaudette of CBC:

Link: With Law & Order spinoff, Toronto finally gets its big break — as itself
Executive producer Erin Haskett says the show has been in the works for years, but it took some convincing that it could be done on budget with Canadian talent. Rogers calls the show its “biggest investment in Canadian original programming” to date. Continue reading.

From Amber Dowling of Variety:

Link: ‘Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent’ Offers Compelling Canadian Spin to Familiar Franchise: TV Review
“Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent” may be the biggest original TV series premiere Canada has ever had. That means, when that famous “dun-dun” opens the series on Feb. 22 via Citytv, the pressure is on. Continue reading.

From The Canadian Press:

Link: Cast and crew of ‘Law & Order Toronto’ on fervent first reactions to the spinoff
Few TV franchises are as cherished as “Law & Order,” and the stars of its new Canadian spinoff learned of its deep resonance firsthand when they were cast on the Toronto-based show. Continue reading.

From Johanna Schneller of The Globe & Mail:

Link: Toronto is getting its own Law & Order with tales ripped from the headlines
But in this police station, the wall map is of Toronto, and the name drops are unabashedly 416: Cherry Beach, Bay Street, the Rosedale ravine, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. Episode 1 begins with a beauty shot of the skyline from Lake Ontario; a scene card reads SINGH FABRICS, GERRARD STREET EAST; an outdoor walk-and-talk moves from new to Old City Hall. Continue reading.

From David Friend of The Canadian Press:

Link: With ‘Law & Order Toronto,’ the pressure looming over the show’s creators is immense
Nobody wants to be the person who mucked up the “Law & Order” franchise. It’s a fear that’s haunted veteran procedural writer Tassie Cameron since she embarked on the most daunting responsibility of her career: turning Dick Wolf’s beloved legal drama into the new spinoff “Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent.” Continue reading.

From Elisabetta Bianchini of Yahoo! News Canada:

Link: ‘Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent’ scripts are so gripping, the cast couldn’t put them down
“We spent more time together over four months than I’ve spent with most human beings over the course of many, many years. We were working together every day on the show, and so the dynamic of two people who were really kind of in the thick of it, working through some stuff like that, that all felt very real.” Continue reading.

From Eric Volmers of the Calgary Herald:

Link: Alberta expat lands major role in Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent
Not long after graduating from the University of Calgary’s theatre program, actress Karen Robinson would watch the seminal police procedural Law & Order every week, often challenging herself to guess who the culprit might be before it was revealed. Continue reading.


Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent is a killer homegrown addition to the storied franchise

It was about time that the Law & Order franchise headed north of the border. With four international versions airing around the world, Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent debuts Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern on Citytv.

You may have seen the massive billboards in Toronto, the teasers on Citytv, the cast appearances at a recent Toronto Maple Leafs tilt and the social media posts. Rogers/Citytv is expecting big things from Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent. Judging from the first episode I screened, the show will deliver.

Starring  Aden Young (Rectify, The Disappearance) as Detective Sergeant Henry Graff, Kathleen Munroe (Chicago Med, Call Me Fitz) as Detective Sergeant Frankie Bateman, Karen Robinson (Schitt’s Creek, Pretty Hard Cases) as Inspector Vivienne Holness and K.C. Collins (Pretty Hard Cases, Shoot the Messenger) as Deputy Crown Attorney Theo Forrester, the first episode of Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent hits the ground running and never looks back. Mixing the wry humour of the Law & Order franchise with crimes and a killer guest cast, I can’t believe it’s taken this long for a Canadian take to air.

We spoke to executive producer Amy Cameron about how the series came about, “being Canadian,” and how the iconic “dun-dun” can and can’t be used.

Walk me through the process of how Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent came to be.
Amy Cameron: Well, it came through Erin Haskett at Lark Productions. Erin has Lark Productions, which is based in Vancouver. Universal Studio Group are minority shareholders and they hold the format license for Law & Order. They’re always looking for different places to bring Law & Order and what would make sense and what’s the right fit.

I think this conversation started a couple of years ago now with Erin and Rogers about whether or not they could do a Law & Order Canada. And when push came to shove, ultimately people felt that Law & Order Toronto was the sort of city where they wanted to have this start in Canada rather than Vancouver. They’re a Vancouver production company.

I used to be an exec on a project of Erin’s when I was at CBC, but other than that, we hadn’t worked together, but we are friends and enjoy each other’s company and similarly think about the industry. Last Christmas, she came to us and said, just after Christmas, ‘Would you guys be willing to take something on with me and produce it in Toronto and be our co-producer on the show?’ Sure.

Aden Young and Kathleen Munroe

And then it turned out it was Law & Order, which honestly, I spent the winter and the spring kind of feeling like it was all a bit of a surreal joke. I’m not actually checking out studio space for Law & Order Toronto. I’m not actually looking at crew for Law & Order. I mean, I was such a super fan

Tassie [Cameron] ended up writing a pilot that was presented and that was accepted, and we found out that it was green-lit on a Thursday. I should look at the dates, but it was the Thursday, a Thursday night, we found out that we were going to go ahead and it was announced to the world on the Monday.

Were still reeling with the information that we were green-lit, and we were going to produce Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent when the rest of the world found out too. That was the end of May, the beginning of June, and we started filming at the end of August. So it was insanely quick to turn around, locking down a studio space, getting our key creatives in place, having our designer design a set, and finding directors. The casting process was so wild, how do you define what’s Canadian? There’s the idea of trying to define how Canada is different from the U.S. What is Canadian versus what is American? No one thing can, there’s no one way to answer that question. It feels like it’s a million little decisions,

We wanted to make sure that this version of Law & Order was imbued with Canadian creatives, Canadian decisions, very much embedded in the Canadian culture and mindset and way of doing and creating. It was pretty wild. We were on the road for the first two weeks because our sets weren’t ready. It was wild. So much fun though. No time to stop and second-guess things. You’re just going.

This being a Dick Wolf creation, is there kind of a checklist that you had to meet? Did he see episodes and have to approve anything?
AC: With the format agreement, you have access to Wolf executives for consultation purposes. We had a wonderful conversation with their post-producer, and we were able to sort of dig into, ‘OK, how do you do this? What’s this with those location cards, with the use of dun-dun? It was so incredibly valuable to have someone just say it out loud, which is the dun-dun sound is never used as an exclamation mark on a scene or music. If you have a score going, you can never count on the dun-dun as the thing that takes you. It’s a small nuance, but it’s its own entity, and it’s not meant for emphasis.

There are certain guidelines, when it came to writing the scripts. For Criminal Intent, you’re aiming for about 10% of the episode from the criminal’s perspective. It is much more an intellectual pursuit of a criminal rather than a physical one.

But for the most part, Wolf and Dick Wolf were hands-off. That said, he did watch the first episode, and he really liked it. The feedback we got was the Canadians did good work.

Karen Robinson

The cast is so strong. Aden Young, Kathleen Munroe, Karen Robinson and K.C. Collins really hit the ground running and are wonderful. Was there chemistry with the cast right away?
AC: The only character that Tassie wrote with the actor in mind was Holness, Karen’s character. We had worked with Karen, and we knew that she would be able to bring it, that she would be able to bring in that humanity and humour when needed.

Working with K.C. on Pretty Hard Cases, we knew how strong an actor he was and really loved working with him again. Aden and Kathleen have worked together in the past. They get along very well.

Rogers and Citytv couldn’t have given you a better time slot on Thursday. You’re right after the mothership. Are you cautiously optimistic for a second season?
AC: We don’t know about the second season, but I feel we have done everything we can to get a second season. If this season is the only season that we get to share with fans, I would be disappointed. And yet I’m incredibly proud. I’m so proud of our crew, they knocked it out of the park. The sets are spectacular. Oleg Savytski is our production designer. Unbelievable. The performances from our actors, the commitment of the writers to cracking the formula, cracking the format, just even our post team, the editors, and the attention to detail in terms of the edit and understanding that … I don’t think there’s anything else we could have done. It is up to Canadian audiences to show up if they want a second season.

Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on Citytv.

Featured cast image courtesy of Steve Wilkie. Images courtesy of Rogers Media.


Link: “The episodes are based on real crime headlines”: Meet the showrunner behind the new Law & Order Toronto

From Courtney Shea of Toronto Life:

Link: “The episodes are based on real crime headlines”: Meet the showrunner behind the new Law & Order Toronto
“Contrary to popular belief, we have a lot of material to work with. There are also some things about the Canadian system that are different, and it’s interesting to look at those nuances. In the court scenes, for example, our background players are in legal robes. You would never see that in the US version.” Continue reading.


Casting announced for Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent coming to Citytv Spring 2024

From a media release:

Lark Productions and Cameron Pictures Inc., in association with Citytv, announce casting for the highly-anticipated crime drama Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent. The Canadian iteration of the longest-running scripted drama brand in TV history features an all-Canadian ensemble cast that includes Aden Young (Rectify, Black Robe) as Detective Sergeant Henry Graff, Kathleen Munroe (City on Fire, Patriot) as Detective Sergeant Frankie Bateman, Karen Robinson (Schitt’s Creek, Echoes) as Inspector Vivienne Holness, K.C. Collins (The Cleaning Lady, White Dog) as Deputy Crown Attorney Theo Forrester, Nicola Correia-Damude (Shadowhunters, Resident Alien) as Forensic Pathologist Dr. Lucy Da Silva, and Araya Mengesha (Nobody, Anne with an E) as tech expert Mark Yohannes.

A psychological thriller wrapped in a criminal investigation, the Canadian adaptation follows two elite detectives from the Specialized Criminal Investigations unit as they investigate high-profile crimes and homicides in metro Toronto. Production on the 10 one-hour original episodes is underway in Toronto and is slated to air on Citytv in Spring 2024.

Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent, based on the classic series created by Dick Wolf for Universal Television, follows the Criminal Intent format the international brand is known for, showcasing original Canadian stories written, produced by and starring Canadians.

Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent is produced by Lark Productions and Cameron Pictures Inc. in association with Citytv and distributed by Universal Television. Tassie Cameron (Pretty Hard Cases, Mary Kills People, Rookie Blue) is the series Showrunner. Tassie, Erin Haskett, Amy Cameron, David Valleau, Alex Patrick and Holly Dale serve as Executive Producers. Tex Antonucci and Jillian Locke are Co-Executive Producers, Wanda Chaffey is Producer and Caledonia Brown is Co-Producer.

Award-winning filmmaker Holly Dale (Transplant, Mary Kills People, Law & Order SVU) directs the premiere episode, episode 103, and the finale. Additional directors tapped for this season are Peter Stebbings (102), David Wellington (104), Sudz Sutherland (105), Rachel Leiterman (106), Winnifred Jong (107), Sharon Lewis (108), and David Straiton (109).

Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent is produced under the jurisdiction of ACTRA and the WGC in Canada.