Everything about Street Legal, eh?

Comments and queries for the week of September 14

I welcome [the Street Legal] sequel to the original series. Admittedly, I was a young kid when my mom watched it back in the day so I only remember bits and pieces about it but I’m glad they are doing this as a sequel series rather than a reboot. I hate reboots and find the idea of a reboot lazy. Charmed, for instance, could have done much better as a sequel than a reboot. —Alicia

My wife and I were 37 and 32, our son was 10 in 1987 when the original Street Legal with its dynamite theme music showcasing Toronto and iconic CN Tower, the dynamic cast and crew and the fantastic episodes blasted onto TV sets in Canada, wowing Canadian viewers like never before. The 1980s were exciting times for Canada in many ways including Canadian TV shows. —Steve


It was an epic finish to the end [to The Amazing Race Canada]. Any of the three teams could have won. I wished CTV had an after show wrap-up like they did in the previous seasons. It would have been nice to see all the teams who competed all together. —Donna

I am so happy for Courtney and Adam. They overcame obstacles and having fans say they did not deserve to be in the finale. They sure did. I picked them to win right from the start. They saved the best till last. I am so proud of them and they deserve the win. Congratulations Courtney and Adam. —Debbie

A decent finale and quite an upset for the underdogs to take it all. Congratulations. Also, Canada’s first co-ed team to win. The airport calling was a good mental task. The dog/skiing task didn’t seem hard but had some good scenery and that epic face plant-flip of Taylor’s. I liked the tension of shopping for the memory task rather than just a typical puzzle. I particularly enjoyed the journey to the Mat at the end rather than just having it right next to the memory task. A decent finale and an OK season. Still, the overall sameness of the locations/tasks/casting archetypes does prevent it from being as great as it could be. No After the Race this year? I hope that’s not a bad sign. —DanAmazing

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.

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CBC’s Street Legal confirms new and returning cast as production begins

From a media release:

More than 20 years after the original series came to an end, production is now underway on the highly anticipated revival of CBC’s STREET LEGAL (6×60). The reboot of the Canadian series sees Cynthia Dale reprise her role as Olivia Novak, with Cara Ricketts (The Book of Negroes), Steve Lund (Haven) and Yvonne Chapman (The Crossing) joining the series as the next generation of Toronto lawyers fighting the good fight. Original cast members Eric Peterson (“Leon Robinovitch”) and Anthony Sherwood (“Dillon Beck”) are also confirmed to return for special guest appearances. The series starts production this week for a winter 2019 premiere on CBC, the CBC TV streaming app and cbc.ca/watch.

Like the original, the rebooted series will combine cutting-edge storylines with ongoing serialized character development, focused on the people who practice law and the lives they lead both on and off the job.

The award-winning character-driven legal drama picks up 25 years after the original series with Olivia now a partner at a major Bay Street law firm. Beaten to the punch on filing a massive class-action lawsuit by an upstart firm of young social-activist lawyers, Olivia pursues them as an acquisition target. But when her own firm goes down in a flame of egos and departing partners, Olivia finds herself starting over at the boutique firm with new younger colleagues.

A CBC original series, STREET LEGAL is co-produced by IGP and Broken Clown Productions. Bernie Zukerman (Remedy, King) is Executive Producer. Bruce Smith (19-2) is Executive Producer and Showrunner. Cynthia Dale and Rayne Zukerman are Producers. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Programming; Helen Asimakis is Senior Director, Drama, Scripted Content; and Deborah Nathan is Executive in Charge of Production.

IGP Productions:
A boutique family-run company, IGP is renowned for its high-quality content. IGP produces for all platforms, leans into relevant and insightful content that inspires viewers to think differently. We’ve had success with our interprovincial and international co-productions. We’ve produced the scripted medical series Remedy for Global; the top international export Kinga police procedural for Showcase, and the CBC legal classic This is Wonderland. IGP has also produced a number of features, movies, and mini-series celebrating Canada’s history and its diversity with classics such as John A: The Birth of a Country; Niagara Motel; Victor: The Victor Davis Story; Million Dollar Babies; Conspiracy of Silence and The Many Trials of One Jane Doe. For more information, visit: www.igpproductions.com.

Broken Clown Productions:
Great television starts with great talent and a passion to create. This is the driving principal behind the new Montreal-based independent production company, The Broken Clown Company Inc. / La Compagnie Broken Clown Inc. owned by acclaimed Canadian showrunner, Bruce M. Smith. After years of driving the creative vision of numerous television series, including the award-winning internationally distributed 19-2, Bruce is broadening his vision to produce more internationally marketable television in Quebec. His strong relationships with writers, directors and actors puts him in an enviable position to attract the talent international drama requires. Supported with a leading Quebec-based business team knowledgeable in rights management and financing, The Broken Clown Company is well positioned for success. The company’s first series, Street Legal Reboot for CBC is slated for production in Montreal in the summer of 2018 (in co-production with Indian Grove Productions).

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Reaction: CBC’s slate of new programs for the 2018-19 broadcast season

I spent a couple of days in Ottawa this week, which meant I missed attending CBC’s presentation for its 2018-19 broadcast season. You can check out the full announcement here, which includes a list of the shows returning to the schedule, programs that are moving and even better news for Kim’s Convenience fans. (Not so for 21 Thunder and Hello Goodbye; the former has been cancelled and the latter is on hiatus.)

In no particular order, here are my thoughts on (almost) everything that CBC revealed on Thursday morning.

— A lot of folks, myself included, were scratching their heads over the decision to bring back Street Legal for another go-round. What more could be said about those characters over 20 years later? That all changed once I saw Bruce Smith named as showrunner. He’s the guy behind two of my favourite TV series in recent memory, Cracked and 19-2. Both were gritty, realistic portrayals of life, so I expect the same from Street Legal as well as catching up on what Olivia Novak is up to. And I can’t wait to have Cynthia Dale back on my TV screen.

— CBC does family drama, really, really, well. Just look at the success of Heartland for crying out loud. I’m expecting big things from Northern Rescue and all it offers: tragedy, redemption, starting a new life in an unfamiliar place and Kathleen Robertson.

— I was unaware of Floyd Kane until this week, though he’s been involved in several projects I’ve watched or admired, including writing for Continuum and Backstage and producing That’s So Weird and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. He’s a bona fide lawyer, so it makes sense he’d create a series about being one in Diggstown. I’m into this, especially after learning Diggstown marks the first original Canadian drama series to feature a black Canadian female in the lead role.

— I’m excited to see Back Alley Films—the folks behind the excellent Bellevue—working with the CBC on Coroner. Based on the best-selling book series by M.R. Hall and created for TV by Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope), it’s about former ER doctor Jenny Cooper who now investigates suspicious deaths.

— I’m over the moon that Kim’s Convenience, which just began production on Season 3, has been greenlit for Season 4. I’m equally jazzed that Paul Sun-Hyung Lee has been tagged to host Canada’s Smartest Person Junior.

— Banger Films are the folks behind must-see music documentaries like Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, Super Duper Alice Cooper and Rock Icons. I’m intrigued and excited by From the Vaults, which takes a look at Canadian history and music by utilizing the CBC’s archives.

— High Arctic Haulers. Remote northern communities relying on ships to bring them supplies? Right in my wheelhouse.

— Baroness Von Sketch Show and Still Standing both moving to the fall on CBC is a curious move, as is bumping Kim’s Convenience to the winter. Regardless, it gives the CBC a solid night of comedy on Tuesdays all year long.

— Heartland is back, but for only 11 episodes. That’s a little concerning and I can’t help but wonder if this might be the last season for the long-running Canadian drama. I have no evidence to back this up—it may be because some castmembers want to do other things—it’s just a gut feeling.

— Murdoch Mysteries is currently listed at 18 episodes, which would indicate to me there will be no holiday special this year. Again, I have nothing to go on other than the number.

What are you most looking forward to or excited about from CBC’s announcement? Let me know in the comments below.

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