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.


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.

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

Images courtesy of CBC.


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:

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)

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

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*

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

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)  

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)

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

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

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – Bellevue *NEW DRAMA SERIES*


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 Earp, Satisfaction) as Anne’s husband Lionel; Olunike Adeliyi (Republic of Doyle, Flashpoint) as Frankie’s wife Giselle; Dennis Andres (Bed of the Dead) as Jenny’s husband Ian; Kevin Vidal (Sunnyside, The Second City Project) as Kate’s work nemesis Mo; Mimi Kuzyk (UnREAL, Blue Murder) as Kate’s mother Eleanor; and Peter Keleghan (Murdoch Mysteries, Ginger 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 Creek, This 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 Do, Rookie Blue), Diane Flacks (Baroness Von Sketch Show, Young Drunk Punk) and Ingrid Haas (The UCB Show, Vice). 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.