Everything about Workin’ Moms, eh?

CBC’s Workin’ Moms spotlights the raw honesty of being a mom

Right out of the gate viewers will notice Workin’ Moms isn’t a typical comedy series, and certainly not the usual for the CBC.

In Tuesday’s debut at 9:30 p.m., a trio of moms sit at daycare, holding their infants and bemoaning how childrearing has ravaged their bodies, particularly their breasts. They speak of sagging, drooping and other changes while looking down. Then, suddenly, a wide shot of the ladies with their breasts totally exposed for primetime television. No editing, now pixelating, no black bars. This is Workin’ Moms, lumps and all.

“Bringing up a child, you lose a certain amount of privacy with your body and what happens to your body is incredibly humbling,” series creator, executive producer, writer and star Catherine Reitman says during a CBC press day. “To create a show about a mom where you don’t witness what happens to a mom’s body felt inauthentic to me … to not show it in a raw and honest way. It’s funny, but I also find heart and truth in it.”

Reitman—who appears sans top alongside her co-stars Dani Kind (The Good Witch) and Juno Rinaldi (The Killing); all have two boys in real life—has used her own experiences as a mother as the basis for Workin’ Moms. Reitman’s Kate is headed back to work at an advertising firm after maternity leave and struggles not only to spend hours away from her son but find her place in an office environment she left for months. Yes, there are funny moments in Kate’s days—reluctantly leaving her cherub with the nanny and she has to pump her breasts the bathroom, with the squirting results you’d expect—but there are sobering, serious moments that reflect on what it means to be a mother. The most poignant may be when Kate breaks down crying in the middle of a meeting with her male co-workers.

(l-r): Jessalyn Wanlim, Dani Kind, Catherine Reitman, Juno Rinaldi

“I think that’s part of being a mother and a parent,” Reitman says. “There are moments of comedy and moments of pain. But, usually, in those moments of pain you have to laugh.” She recalls how when her first son was born (he’s now three), she went back to work after just a couple of weeks and was wracked with post-partum depression. Like Kate, Reitman was joking around with male friends. The jabs went too far and before she knew it, she was crying and the men went silent, awkward and unsure of what to do. When Reitman got home, she told the story to her husband Philip Sternberg—he’s executive producing and co-stars on Workin’ Moms—who told her to get out her laptop and write it down.

“Catherine’s writing has a real floor to them,” Sternberg says. “These are real experiences, so you relate to them, and when the humour comes out, it really works and hits hard. I don’t think it would hit so hard if you didn’t believe the characters and the struggle.” He’s right. All of the ladies are dealing with something. Rinaldi’s Frankie Coyne is a successful real estate agent who in one moment makes a flippant remark about post-partum depression and in another is sticking her head in a swimming pool, dreaming of drowning. Kind’s Anne Carlson is just getting into the swing of things with her baby when her doctor tells her shocking news, throwing her life into uncertainty.

And while, at first glance, CBC may not have been the most obvious home for Workin’ Moms, Reitman couldn’t be happier because it meant her vision would stay intact and not turned into a broad comedy or watered down.

“We got here, and we realized it was nothing but working mothers,” Reitman says. “I’ve never seen a network where I literally shook hand after hand of working mothers. [CBC general manager of programming] Sally Catto watched it, and it struck so deeply with her as a working mother that we knew she would do it justice.”

Workin’ Moms airs Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Photo gallery: First look at CBC’s Workin’ Moms

The last couple of months have been crazy at TV, Eh? On top of bringing you the latest Canadian television news, reviews and polls, we’ve hit the road for several set visits, including CBC’s upcoming Workin’ Moms.

Created and starring Catherine Reitman, the half-hour comedy focuses on four women who are struggling to keep their feet in the rat race while bringing up infants and dealing with postpartum depression, new job opportunities and unplanned pregnancy. With a cast that includes Dani Kind, Juno Rinaldi, Jessalyn Wanlim, Philip Sternberg and Wynonna Earp‘s Katherine Barrell, here’s a first look at the key cast.

 

Workin’ Moms debuts Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 9:30 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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CBC announces winter broadcast premiere dates for new and returning series

From a media release:

CBC today announced premiere dates for its winter 2017 television season, featuring distinct, premium storytelling anchored by extraordinary Canadian voices and creative talent. The winter lineup includes five new primetime titles and five returning series spanning comedy, drama, factual and arts programming.

New additions to CBC’s primetime lineup include drama series PURE (6×60), premiering Monday, January 9, which tells the story of a Mennonite pastor battling drug trafficking within his community; Catherine Reitman’s bold new comedy WORKIN’ MOMS (13×30), premiering  Tuesday, January 10, which tests the modern ideal that women really can have it all; acclaimed BBC One drama THE A WORD (6×60), premiering Sunday, January 15, centering on a messy, extended family with an autistic child; docu-series TRUE NORTH CALLING (6×30), premiering Friday, February 17, which offers an intimate look at Canada’s North and young Canadians living in one of the harshest environments in the world; and drama series BELLEVUE (8×60), premiering Monday, February 20, which stars Oscar® and Golden Globe® award-winner Anna Paquin, Allen Leech and Shawn Doyle and unravels the mystery of a missing transgender teen in a small blue-collar town.

January will also bring all-new episodes of returning primetime favourites to viewers. Beginning Tuesday, January 10, Eugene Levy, Daniel Levy, Catherine O’Hara,  Annie Murphy and Chris Elliott are back with a new season of hit comedy series SCHITT’S CREEK(Season 3, 13×30); and World War II espionage drama X COMPANY (Season 3, 10×60) returns on Wednesday, January 11 with a thrilling series finale, as the first group of operatives from Camp X complete their final covert mission.

Picking up five years after the critically acclaimed Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays, Matt Watts, Bob Martin and Don McKellar return to CBC with MICHAEL: EVERY DAY, (Season 2, 6×30) with weekly back-to-back episodes beginning Sunday, January 15.

Lastly, CBC’s innovative arts programming is back to inspire audiences on Sunday, February 5 with the high-energy, immersive series CRASH GALLERY (Season 2, 5×30) and the 2016 International Emmy® Award-nominated docu-series INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM(Season 2, 5×30).

Highlights of the CBC 2017 winter television schedule are as follows:

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Marketplace (Season 43 continues)
8:30 p.m. (9 NT) — Hello Goodbye (Season 2 continues)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — the fifth estate (Season 42 continues)

MONDAY, JANUARY 9
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) – Murdoch Mysteries (Season 10 continues)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Pure *NEW DRAMA SERIES*

TUESDAY, JANUARY 10
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) – Rick Mercer Report (Season 14 continues)
8:30 p.m. (9 NT) – This Hour Has 22 Minutes (Season 24 continues)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Schitt’s Creek *SEASON 3 PREMIERE*
9:30 p.m. (10 NT) – Workin’ Moms *NEW COMEDY SERIES*

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) – Dragons’ Den (Season 11 continues)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – X Company *SEASON 3 PREMIERE*

THURSDAY, JANUARY 12
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — The Nature of Things: The Secret Life of Owls (Season 55 continues)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Firsthand: Once an Immigrant (Season 2 continues)  

SUNDAY, JANUARY 15
4:30 p.m. (5:00 NT) – Exhibitionists (Season 2 continues)
7 p.m. (7:30 NT) — Heartland (Season 10 continues)
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) – The A Word *NEW DRAMA SERIES*
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – Michael: Every Day *SEASON 2 PREMIERE*
9:30 p.m. (10 NT) – Michael: Every Day (Season 2 continues)

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – Interrupt This Program *SEASON 2 PREMIERE*
9:30 p.m. (10 NT) – Crash Gallery *SEASON 2 PREMIERE*

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17
8:30 p.m. (9 NT) – True North Calling *NEW FACTUAL SERIES*

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – Bellevue *NEW DRAMA SERIES*

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Production begins on Catherine Reitman’s Workin’ Moms for CBC

From a media release:

Wolf & Rabbit Entertainment ULC and CBC today announced that production is underway on the highly anticipated original comedy series WORKIN’ MOMS (13 x 30). Created by Catherine Reitman (Black-ish, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Breakin’ it Down with Catherine Reitman), who serves as showrunner and also stars in the series, WORKIN’ MOMS dares to shatter the ‘cult of mom.’ Production will continue in Toronto until the end of October with the series premiere on CBC set for winter 2017.

Largely drawn from Reitman’s own personal experiences, WORKIN’ MOMS is an ensemble comedy that examines the modern ideal that working mothers can have it all. When long-time friends Kate (Reitman), a warm and grounded PR Exec, and Anne (Dani Kind; The Good Witch), a no-nonsense therapist, meet timid IT tech Jenny (Jessalyn Wanlim; Orphan Black) and lovable mess real estate agent Frankie (Juno Rinaldi, The Killing) in a judgmental mommies’ group, the four quickly form an unlikely friendship. The series follows the struggles of these urban moms, providing a raw and honest look at how they juggle their burgeoning identities as mothers.

Previously announced cast members Kind, Rinaldi and Wanlim are joined by Philip Sternberg—Reitman’s real life husband and producing partner—as Kate’s husband Nathan; Ryan Belleville (Wynonna EarpSatisfaction) as Anne’s husband Lionel; Olunike Adeliyi (Republic of DoyleFlashpoint) as Frankie’s wife Giselle; Dennis Andres (Bed of the Dead) as Jenny’s husband Ian; Kevin Vidal (SunnysideThe Second City Project) as Kate’s work nemesis Mo; Mimi Kuzyk (UnREALBlue Murder) as Kate’s mother Eleanor; and Peter Keleghan (Murdoch MysteriesGinger Snaps) as Kate’s boss, Richard Greenwood.

WORKIN’ MOMS is executive produced by Catherine Reitman and Philip Sternberg (Divorce Corp., Six Little McGhees). Reitman is set to direct two of the episodes with Paul Fox (Schitt’s CreekThis Life) and Aleysa Young (Baroness Von Sketch Show) directing the remaining 11 episodes. The series is written by Reitman, Rebecca Kohler (Kim’s Convenience,This Hour Has 22 Minutes), Karen Moore (What Would Sal DoRookie Blue), Diane Flacks (Baroness Von Sketch ShowYoung Drunk Punk) and Ingrid Haas (The UCB ShowVice). Series cinematography by Maya Bankovic (Below Her Mouth), production design by Elisa Sauve (Milton’s Secret, Zoom) and costume design by Sheila Fitzpatrick (Degrassi: Next Class).

Commissioned by CBC, WORKIN’ MOMS is produced by Wolf & Rabbit Entertainment ULC with the participation of the Canadian Media Fund. The series is distributed internationally by Coldsprings Media LLC and represented by Vanguarde Artist Management and CAA.

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CBC announces 2016-17 season

From a media release:

CBC ANNOUNCES 2016–17 SEASON ANCHORED BY DISTINCTLY CANADIAN CONTENT

  • New daytime series to feature a team of hosts including Steven Sabados and Jessi Cruickshank
  • Television slate includes nine new original series and 25 returning titles
  • Largest investment ever in CBC digital original content including nine new series

GemCBCCBC today announced its 2016–17 fall and winter season, featuring a uniquely Canadian slate of new and returning original drama, comedy, factual, news, documentary, sports, arts and digital content from diverse voices and perspectives.

The 2016–17 television slate includes an all-new one-hour weekday daytime lifestyle series (title to be announced) launching on October 3. Hosted by a team including beloved personalities Steven Sabados and Jessi Cruickshank, the program will bring a fresh approach to daytime, offering playful inspiration and information on food, home, fashion and health. Additional hosts will be announced in the coming weeks.

New primetime series include crime-thriller SHOOT THE MESSENGER (8×60), focused on the complicated relationships between crime reporters and the police, and PURE (6×60), a dramatic miniseries about Mennonites who control one of the most efficient drug-trafficking operations in North America. CBC continues to increase its investment in smart, premium comedy with KIM’S CONVENIENCE (13×30), the funny, heartfelt story of a Korean-Canadian family running a convenience store in Toronto, based on the award-winning play by Ins Choi; WORKIN’ MOMS (13×30), a brash comedy from Catherine Reitman that tests the modern ideal that women really can have it all; and the return of the acclaimed MICHAEL: TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS (6×30). Taking on contemporary issues that are important to Canadians through authentic storytelling, new factual series include THIS IS HIGH SCHOOL (6×60), offering unprecedented and unfiltered access to real life at a British Columbia high school, and docu-series TRUE NORTH CALLING (7×30), which follows a group of young Canadians as they carve out lives at the edge of the Arctic.

With an extensive digital reach that includes 52 percent of all online millennials across Canada every month**, CBC is also investing in its largest slate of digital original programming to date, including new comedies COMING IN, from the creators of Shit Girls Say, MY 90-YEAR-OLD ROOMMATE, THE AMAZING GAYL PILE, THE WHOLE TRUTHS, THIS IS THAT and THAT’S WHAT SHEENA SAID! at CBC Comedy; a wide-ranging slate of short-form digital documentaries at cbc.ca/shortdocs; and arts titles DISRUPTING DESIGN with Matt Galloway, and JET AGE and MEET YOUR MAKER for CBC Arts, expanding CBC’s multiplatform arts strategy announced last fall.

New Kids’ CBC original series include the world premiere of DOT. (52×11), an animated series from entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg, and photography competition series SNAPSHOTS (6×30).

Building on the success of last season’s acclaimed and award-winning programming lineup, returning drama, comedy, factual and arts series include CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON (season 3); CORONATION STREET (season 18); CRASH GALLERY (season 2); DRAGONS’ DEN (season 11); EXHIBITIONISTS (season 2); HA!IFAX COMEDY FEST (season 21); HEARTLAND (season 10); HELLO GOODBYE (season 2); INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM (season 2); JUST FOR LAUGHS: GALAS; MR. D (season 6); MURDOCH MYSTERIES (season 10); RICK MERCER REPORT (season 14); THE ROMEO SECTION (season 2); SCHITT’S CREEK (season 3); THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (season 24); THIS LIFE (season 2); THE WINNIPEG COMEDY FESTIVAL (season 15); and X COMPANY (season 3).

CBC will bolster its slate of award-winning news, investigative and documentary programming with the launch of a new investigative program hosted by Diana Swain, which will take Canadians behind the scenes for a closer look at the process of investigative journalism. CBC journalist Peter Armstrong will host a reimagined business show. Returning flagship titles include news and investigative programs THE NATIONAL, MARKETPLACE (season 44) and the fifth estate (season 42), thought-provoking documentary series FIRSTHAND (season 2) and David Suzuki’s THE NATURE OF THINGS (season 56).

Following the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, CBC Sports will build on its commitment to promote and elevate high-performance sport and athletes in Canada with expanded coverage leading into the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. In addition to events such as FIS ski and snowboard and IBSF bobsleigh and skeleton, CBC Sports has signed a new three-year agreement for exclusive Canadian coverage of ISU figure skating and speed skating.

The CBC-TV 2016 primetime fall programming schedule is as follows:

MONDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Murdoch Mysteries *NEW SEASON*
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) —Shoot the Messenger *NEW SERIES*

TUESDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Rick Mercer Report *NEW SEASON*
8:30 p.m. (9 NT) — This Hour Has 22 Minutes *NEW SEASON*
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Kim’s Convenience *NEW SERIES*
9:30 p.m. (10 NT) — Mr. D *NEW SEASON*

WEDNESDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Dragons’ Den *NEW SEASON*
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — The Romeo Section *NEW SEASON*

THURSDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — The Nature of Things *NEW SEASON*
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Firsthand *NEW SEASON*

FRIDAY
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Marketplace *NEW SEASON*
8:30 p.m. (9 NT) — Hello Goodbye *NEW SEASON*
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — the fifth estate *NEW SEASON*

SATURDAY
6:30 p.m. ET — Hockey Night in Canada

SUNDAY
7 p.m. (7:30 NT) — Heartland *NEW SEASON*
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — This is High School *NEW SERIES* (October)
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Canada’s Smartest Person *NEW SEASON* (November)
9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — This Life *NEW SEASON*

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