Tag Archives: Bell Media

Cardinal’s Billy Campbell: “The best role I’ve had in my career”

When asked what his experience has been like playing John Cardinal for four seasons, Billy Campbell hesitates and then states the following:

“This really has been maybe the best job I’ve had in my career, and the best role I’ve had in my career.”

Pretty lofty words for a guy whose career has included roles in such series as The Killing, Once and Again and The 4400. Still, Cardinal really is a series like no other. Based on the books by Giles Blunt, the past three seasons of Cardinal have proved Canada can do Nordic Noir too. And do it darned well.

Returning Monday at 10 p.m. ET on CTV, the final season of Cardinal—tagged Until the Night after Blunt’s sixth and final John Cardinal novel—follows Detective John Cardinal (Campbell) and Detective Lise Delorme (played by Karine Vanasse) as they investigate the deaths of several townsfolk in the sleepy fictional town of Algonquin Bay. Monday’s debut catches up with the pair in the dead of winter as they investigate the disappearance of a legal prosecutor. Cold and snow have been a hallmark of Cardinal—the first season was set in winter, followed by jaunts in the spring and fall—and adds to the feeling of isolation and, perhaps, being unable to escape.

“You’re right about the isolation,” Vanasse says. “The whole environment is supporting that isolation and feeling that you have to be quick when you’re outside. If someone is left outside, yes, he’s going to freeze the death.” Isolation and drawing inward have been a staple of Cardinal and Delorme’s relationship too. Yes, they’re work partners, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing karaoke after shifts. In Season 1, Delorme joined the force to investigate supposed dirty dealings by Cardinal; it can be hard to truly trust someone whose been keeping tabs on you. Add to the fact that, in Monday’s Episode 1, Delorme drops a career bombshell on him … Cardinal even at the best of times can be frustratingly distant.

“That’s Cardinal,” Campbell says simply. “That’s who he is, and he’s a prototypical human male in that respect. He has a very difficult time expressing his feelings and these, I imagine, are such powerful feelings. He just has no framework for even dealing with these feelings inside of himself.”

Veteran actor Currie Graham—most recently seen on The Rookie—plays Neil Cuthbert, the villain stalking Algonquin Bay. According to Bell Media’s press notes, there is a final showdown where Cardinal and Delorme put everything on the line to save an innocent life. (Look for more about that showdown next week in my interview with co-showrunner/director Nathan Morlando.)

With the final six episodes scheduled, and interviews in support of it underway, Cardinal‘s conclusion is sinking in for its co-stars. Vanasse and Campbell admit to claiming key wardrobe as physical souvenirs of their time filming in Sudbury and North Bay, Ontario—she Delorme’s winter gear, he Cardinal’s winter boots—and memories of their time filming.

“The biggest thing that I keep from the show is just the profound happiness of working with this crew,” Vanasse says. “That’s what I’m leaving with. It’s been just wonderful from Day 1 to the end.”

“I get misty thinking about the fact that I won’t be going back to North Bay to do another season of Cardinal with people that I love, and with the characters that I love,” Campbell admits.

Cardinal: Until the Night airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Fan-favourite original series Jade Fever returns March 23 on Discovery

From a media release:

Discovery digs into spring with a new, high-stakes season of the MADE®-in-Canada original unscripted series, JADE FEVER, with two, back-to-back episodes airing Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT, beginning March 23.

Following the success of its last season, where back-to-back episodes made Discovery the top English entertainment specialty channel in the timeslot, JADE FEVER returns with 14 new, half-hour episodes. Season 6 continues to follow the Bunce family, as they gamble in search of million-dollar boulders of jade, in Northern B.C.’s Cassiar Mountains. After years of struggling to survive in the tough business, the Bunce’s luck may finally take a turn for the better when they get an unexpected early season call from a Vietnamese buyer. While the big sale could be a game changer, harsh weather, devastating breakdowns, and family turmoil make it tough to keep their eyes on the prize.

The new season kicks off with a bang on Monday, March 23 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT with “The Big Deal,” when Claudia receives a $250,000 jade order. But things quickly turn sour when her crew questions if they have a big enough boulder to complete the sale. Then, at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT, after years of getting the raw end of the deal with Scrappy Larry, Robin pulls a prank on his old buddy, but the fun and games abruptly end when Claudia’s buyer makes an unexpected request.

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CTV announces new half-hour original comedy Children Ruin Everything

From a media release:

Canada’s leading television network, CTV, announced today from Prime Time in Ottawa its newest original series CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING. The new, half-hour MADE®-in-Canada comedy showcases one couple’s efforts to reclaim a piece of their old lives which are continually thwarted by their young children in surprising and absurd ways. But somewhere in the toy-filled, pee-stained wreckage of what they once had, they find a new life that’s pretty good, too.

The series has been in development at CTV since 2016 and is now set to begin production in Spring 2020 in and around Toronto. Casting is underway.

From award-winning L.A.- and Toronto-based producer New Metric Media, CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING is created by veteran comedy writer and producer Kurt Smeaton (SCHITT’S CREEK, KIM’S CONVENIENCE). Alongside Smeaton, one of television’s premier comedy writers, Chuck Tatham (MODERN FAMILY, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT) joins multiple Canadian Screen Award-winner Mark Montefiore (LETTERKENNY, WHAT WOULD SAL DO?) as executive producer, with Beth Iley (KILLJOYS) serving as producer.

“This is a hilarious series with broad, universal comedy at its heart, from an amazing creative team in Kurt and Chuck together with our talented partners at New Metric Media,” said Mike Cosentino, President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. “Commissioning this new series also provides the opportunity to deliver a hit series for CTV while simultaneously expanding the roster of titles for our Bell Media Distribution catalogue.”

Cosentino also confirmed that Bell Media Distribution has stepped up to become the series’ International Distributor, and has subsequently named New Metric Media as its exclusive Sales Agent for the program. CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING joins LETTERKENNY in New Metric Media’s growing comedy catalogue.

CHILDREN RUIN EVERYTHING is produced by New Metric Media in association with CTV and with the participation of the Canada Media Fund.

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Timely and emotionally charged new CTV original drama Transplant premieres Feb. 26

From a media release:

CTV announced today that new MADE®-in-Canada series TRANSPLANT is set to air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT beginning Feb. 26 exclusively on CTV and everywhere CTV content can be found. The CTV Original drama comes from Sphère Média Plus, the producers behind Bell Media’s multiple award-winning and International Emmy-nominated drama series 19-2, in association with NBCUniversal International Studios. NBCUniversal is also handling global distribution.

TRANSPLANT is about Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq, THE INDIAN DETECTIVE), a Syrian doctor with battle-tested skills in emergency medicine who makes the difficult decision to flee his country with his younger sister Amira. Together they struggle to build a new life in Canada, as Bash strives to rebuild his career in medicine.

Shot in Montréal and set in Toronto, the first season of TRANSPLANT consists of 13 one-hour episodes and stars an ensemble cast anchored by Haq and also starring Laurence Leboeuf (19-2) as Dr. Magalie “Mags” Leblanc, an empathetic ER resident seeking perfection, along with John Hannah (MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., Four Weddings and a Funeral) as Dr. Jed Bishop, the hospital’s Chief of Emergency Medicine.

TRANSPLANT also features Jim Watson (MARY KILLS PEOPLE) as Dr. Theo Hunter, a pediatric fellow in the emergency department; Ayisha Issa (Polar, Immortals) as Dr. June Curtis, an ambitious surgical resident; Sirena Gulamgaus (ORPHAN BLACK) as Bash’s sister Amira; Torri Higginson (DARK MATTER, THIS LIFE) as head ER nurse Claire Malone; Linda E. Smith (19-2) as Dr. Wendy Atwater; Grace Lynn Kung (THE INBETWEEN, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES) as social worker Vivian Barnes; and Sugith Varughese (KIM’S CONVENIENCE) as senior surgeon Dr. Aajay Singh.

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