Tag Archives: Burden of Truth

Production begins on Season 4 of Burden of Truth

From a media release:

ICF Films, Eagle Vision, and eOne today announced that production is underway on Season 4 of CBC original drama series BURDEN OF TRUTH (8X60) in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Following lawyer Joanna Chang, (Kristin Kreuk; SmallvilleBeauty and the Beast), BURDEN OF TRUTH began production in early September and is set to shoot until late fall. Seasons 1-3 of BURDEN OF TRUTH are available now on the free CBC Gem streaming service. BURDEN OF TRUTH is also broadcast on The CW in the U.S. and on additional networks around the world.

BURDEN OF TRUTH follows Joanna Chang, a ruthless, big-city lawyer who returns to her small hometown in Millwood for a case that will change her life forever. Each season centres around a new life-altering legal case – the vulnerable plaintiffs searching for answers and the boots-on-the-ground lawyers fighting incredible odds to deliver justice.

Reprising their roles for Season 4 are executive producer Kristin Kreuk as Joanna Chang; Peter Mooney (Rookie BlueSaving Hope) as Billy Crawford; Star Slade (Frontier, Emerald Code) as law student Luna Spence; Meegwun Fairbrother (Mohawk GirlsHemlock Grove) as Police Chief Owen Beckbie; and Anwen O’Driscoll (Emerald CodeFlint) as new Millwood police recruit, Officer Taylor Matheson. Additional returning cast members include local Winnipeg actors Eugene Baffoe (Ruthless SoulsOur Scene) as Officer Thorpe; Skye Pelletier (Taken, Indian Horse)) returning from Season 2 as Saulteaux teen, Kip Bellegarde; and lawyer Nevin Page returns from Season 2 and 3, played by Paul Essiembre (ChloeWarehouse 13).

This season also welcomes new additions Brynn Godenir (The Middles, Journey Back to Christmas) as Stevie Nichols, Luna’s new law-student girlfriend, and Cherissa Richards (A Dog’s JourneyThe Secret Ingredient) as Joanna’s new adversary, Elise Moore.

Season 4 welcomes a talented array of directors including Doug Mitchell (The Pinkertons, Less Than Kind), Kelly Makin (Flashpoint, Saving Hope), Michelle Latimer (Trickster, Rise), Madison Thomas (Taken, Colour of Scar Tissue), and 2nd Unit Director, Tyson Caron (Wynter, Lovesick).

Writers this season include Brad Simpson, Madison Thomas, Eric Putzer, Shannon Masters, Hayden Simpson, Felicia Brooker, and cast member, Meegwun Fairbrother joins the writers this season.

In Season 4, when a mining company reopens a dormant mine outside Millwood, Joanna and Billy, lawyers and new parents, step in to protect a local woman’s home from certain destruction. When the mine swiftly retaliates, Joanna is forced to confront a long-buried secret from her past and scramble to protect the future of her career and her family. As both sides prepare for war with the fate of Millwood at stake, Joanna and Billy must juggle their life with a newborn with waging a legal battle against a corporate titan. When they come across evidence the mine isn’t what it claims to be, Joanna seizes an opportunity to launch an unexpected legal battle that will bring the company to its knees.

A CBC original series, BURDEN OF TRUTH is produced by ICF Films, Eagle Vision, and eOne. The series is created by Brad Simpson (Rookie Blue, King), who is also an executive producer. Brad Simpson and Adam Pettle (Saving Hope, The Detail, Nurses) serve as co-showrunners and also write on Season 4. BURDEN OF TRUTH is executive produced by Ilana Frank (Nurses, Saving Hope), Linda Pope (Nurses, Saving Hope), Adam Pettle (Nurses, Saving Hope), Jocelyn Hamilton (CardinalMary Kills People), Eagle Vision’s Kyle Irving (Taken, Ice Road Truckers) and Kristin Kreuk (Beauty & The Beast, Smallville). Co-Executive producers are Lisa Meeches of Eagle Vision (Taken, Ice Road Truckers) and Tyson Caron (Lovesick, Wynter).

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CBC renews Burden of Truth and Diggstown

From a media release:

CBC today announced the renewal of original dramas BURDEN OF TRUTH (Season 4, 8×60, ICF Films, Eagle Vision, and eOne) and DIGGSTOWN (Season 3, 8×60, Circle Blue Entertainment, Freddie Films, and Waterstar Entertainment Inc.). BURDEN OF TRUTH will start production in Winnipeg, Manitoba later this summer, with DIGGSTOWN set to return to Halifax, Nova Scotia to shoot in early 2021.

Set in Manitoba and starring Kristin Kreuk, BURDEN OF TRUTH follows Joanna Chang, a ruthless, big-city lawyer who returns to her small hometown in Millwood for a case that will change her life forever. Each season centres around a new life-altering legal case – the vulnerable plaintiffs searching for answers and the boots-on-the-ground lawyers fighting incredible odds to deliver justice.

A CBC original drama, BURDEN OF TRUTH is produced by ICF Films, Eagle Vision and Entertainment One (eOne) with executive producers Ilana Frank (Nurses, Saving Hope), Linda Pope (Nurses, Saving Hope), Adam Pettle (Nurses, Saving Hope), Jocelyn Hamilton (Cardinal, Mary Kills People), Brad Simpson (Rookie Blue, King), Eagle Vision’s Kyle Irving (Taken, Ice Road Truckers) and Kristin Kreuk (Beauty & The Beast, Smallville). Co-Executive producers are Lisa Meeches of Eagle Vision (Taken, Ice Road Truckers) and Tyson Caron (Lovesick, Wynter).

Starring Vinessa Antoine, DIGGSTOWN follows legal aid lawyer Marcie Diggs, who continues her exploration of a system fraying at the edges as she and her band of tireless colleagues fight to protect society’s most vulnerable from a capricious justice system. In Season 3, Marcie and her cohorts are pushed to the brink, frustrated by an under-resourced and overtaxed legal aid system.

A CBC original drama, DIGGSTOWN is co-produced by Circle Blue Entertainment, Freddie Films and Waterstar Entertainment Inc. Floyd Kane is creator, executive producer and showrunner, and Amos Adetuyi (Jozi-H, Jean of the Jones), Karen Wentzell (Seed), Brenda Greenberg (Being Erica) and Todd Berger (Wynonna Earp) are executive producers.

BURDEN OF TRUTH is also broadcast on The CW Network in the U.S., and DIGGSTOWN was recently acquired by BET+ in the U.S.

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Link: Burden of Truth’s Kristin Kreuk and Peter Mooney

From Charles Trapunski of Brief Take:

Link: Burden of Truth’s Kristin Kreuk and Peter Mooney
“The fans who love the show are very passionate about the characters and about the dynamics and they feel deeply connected.” Continue reading. 

From Melissa Girimonte of The Televixen:

Link: Kristin Kreuk and Peter Mooney are back in Burden of Truth Season 3
“Millwood represents stasis. He’s not growing there, and he’s got his patterns where he can hide from things. Going back and forth from the city to Millwood and the shift that happens each time forces him to make changes, which is difficult.” Continue reading.

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Kristin Kreuk previews Burden of Truth’s “emotional” third season

Burden of Truth is billed as a legal show, but in reality, it’s an intricate family drama that uses a deeply flawed—and systemically unequal—legal system as its highly-effective backdrop. 

This character-driven approach has been a big hit with both critics and viewers. It’s also one of the reasons series star and executive producer Kristin Kreuk initially wanted to do the series.

“I wanted to do something serialized, and I wanted to be able to delve into the lives of the people affected by these cases as well as our regulars,” Kreuk tells us in a phone interview. “On our show, we just happen to have legal cases that trigger all of our characters, and as the seasons have gone on, I feel that all of our leads are related to each other, like they’re all family in a way, so we kind of get to be This Is Us, but also a legal show, which I really like.”

Over the course of two seasons, Kreuk’s character—corporate attorney-turned-socially woke lawyer Joanna Chang—has experienced some This Is Us-level personal drama. At the start of Season 1, she was an emotionally disconnected corporate attorney working at her ruthless father David Hanley’s (Alex Carter) big-city law firm. However, after she teamed with small-town lawyer Billy Crawford (Peter Mooney) to investigate an environmental case in her rural hometown of Millwood, Manitoba, she discovered she had a secret step-sister named Luna (Star Slade), who was the product of a sexual assault committed by Hanley. As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, in the second season, Hanley was murdered, and Luna was falsely accused of the crime by racist cop Sam Mercer (Paul Braunstein). In the taut Season 2 finale, Joanna proved Luna’s innocence and—in a huge display of personal growth—gave up a posh corporate law gig in Singapore to pursue her budding relationship with Billy in Winnipeg.

During the Season 3 premiere, which airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. on CBC, we find a year has passed since Joanna missed her overseas flight, and she and Billy are in love, living together and running their new socially-conscious law firm, Crawford Chang. It all appears blissful at first glance, but as usual, there are new legal issues brewing that could shake things up.

“The beginning of Season 3 is this crazy time for Joanna,” Kreuk explains. “She’s started a business, and it’s probably not the smartest business choice to start a boutique law firm in Winnipeg and work primarily on cases that speak to a social conscience.” 

The fledgling law firm’s precarious position is immediately highlighted when Joanna and Billy lose a workplace negligence case, devastating their clients, forcing them to cut staff, and causing Joanna—who has never lost a case in her life—to be plagued by self-doubt.

“Joanna is being forced to reckon with the parts of herself where she perceives herself to be weakest,” Kreuk says. “She’s not as good at the things she’s chosen to do as the things that she’s done before, and she has a lot of people who are relying on her in a way that working in corporate law didn’t previously come into play. She’s the most vulnerable that we’ve ever seen her by far, and she’s starting to have a bit of anxiety rumble up.”

That anxiety is made worse when Kodie (Sera-Lys McArthur), an old high school friend, has her children taken away by Millwood Family Services, forcing Joanna to delve further into unfamiliar areas of law and, worse, face more family skeletons.

“There are some secrets in Joanna’s past that affect the way she perceives everything and that she’s kind of buried,” Kreuk hints. “Joanna’s mom was taken from her—not in the same way as Kodie’s kids are taken away—but her mom was taken away. And Joanna’s really mad because she thinks it’s her mother’s fault that her mother abandoned her, so there’s all this personal stuff with family for her: Who gets to have the kids? Who gets to keep them? Why did Joanna’s father get to keep her? What makes it possible for someone to raise their children and why? Who decides?”

Kodie’s struggle to regain custody of her children also continues the show’s exploration of the way the Canadian legal system treats indigenous individuals and communities.

“I have to be delicate here, but in Canada, in the foster care system, we have a lot of Indigenous children, and this storyline will represent that to some degree,” Kreuk explains.

In addition, she says that Owen Beckbie (Meegwun Fairbrother), who is now the Millwood police chief, will be increasingly pushed “to the edge” in Season 3, as he comes to terms with the light prison sentence his former boss Mercer received for causing the death of an Indigenous man. Meanwhile, Luna will be dealing with the aftermath of her false imprisonment, “trying to find her place in the world after seeing the reality of what her situation [as an Indigenous woman] in the country is.”

Luna’s journey of self-discovery—which includes working at Crawford Chang—will also cause some disagreements with her sister.

“Joanna is very strong-willed and can put a lot of pressure on people, like her father before her,” she says. “Despite her growing humanity, she still feels that the job is the job is the job. You do what it takes to make sure your client wins, and that is the most important thing. How you feel about it is irrelevant. And Luna isn’t that person—which is good in who she is—but that will result in conflict.”

The events of Season 3 will also be hard on Billy, who is unaware of the family secret that is driving Joanna to take on Kodie’s “unwinnable” case.

“She’s obviously choosing this for emotional reasons, but she won’t tell him what it is,” Kreuk says. “And indeed the audience won’t know the real reason until probably the end of the season.” 

The situation will lead to “the most intense period of difficulty” Joanna and Billy have ever experienced, she says, but despite this, their arc “is really gorgeous and culminates in a very moving way. This is the most emotional case that we’ve done.”

Burden of Truth airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem.

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Global’s Nurses brings viewers into the trenches with frontline medical workers

I first spoke to Adam Pettle during what turned out to be the last season of the medical drama Saving Hope. He and I—along with co-producers Noelle Carbone and Patrick Tarr—discussed, among other things, Saving Hope‘s longevity and its possible end.

Now Pettle is back with a new group of folks in scrubs, saving lives in a hospital. Debuting Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global, Nurses is a departure from Saving Hope, focusing almost solely on the nurses at the fictional St. Mary’s Hospital. Sure, there are doctors and surgeons flitting about, but the focus is on nurses Grace Knight (Tiera Skovbye), Ashley Collins (Natasha Callis), Keon Colby (Jordan Johnson-Hinds), Nazneen Khan (Sandy Sidhu) and Wolf Burke (Donald MacLean Jr.).

Pettle doesn’t pull any punches on the five in Monday’s debut. Moments after reporting for duty on their first day, they are thrown into the melée following a vehicle attack on pedestrians.

Days before Corus announced Nurses was renewed for a second season, we spoke to Pettle about how Nurses came about, why he was eager to re-visit the medical drama genre and what viewers can expect in Season 1.

Were you champing at the bit to get back into the medical stories, and this time focus on nurses? 
Adam Pettle: My dad’s a doctor. My mother’s a nurse. I kind of grew up in and around hospitals and so it’s always been a genre I’ve been really into. When I was making Saving Hope, [executive producer] Ilana Frank had read a book called A Nurse’s Story, which is a memoir by Canadian nurse Tilda Shalof. Ilana was like, ‘You know, I’ve always wanted to make A Nurse’s Story.’ We started talking about it and then I had been doing a Burden of Truth on CBC, and we continued to kind of talk through some ideas and, and then we landed on writing a show about five young, newly-graduated nurses.

On Saving Hope and most medical shows, the nurses are usually relegated to background performers. We thought it would be really great, especially in this time we’re living in. We know there’s some pretty selfish leadership going on all over the world, and I was really drawn to this idea of a job about caring and how we care for people as opposed to big splashy medicine, and kind of front line heroes. Unsung heroes.

What immediately struck me watching Episode 1 was what I loved about ER. Noah Wyle’s character is the viewers’ in because he was this fresh face coming in and you were learning about the intricacies of the ER through his eyes. On Nurses, you’ve got the same scenario.
AP: That’s exactly it. It’s like we are with them. Their newness and rookie mistakes, which have life and death stakes. It’s one thing to learn a job, but when it’s that job, I find it quite noble and heroic. It seems like it’s a lot of grunt work and shitty work. And it’s not just caring for patients, it’s caring for family members. I’ve talked to one nurse who was like, ‘It’s more about psychology and spirituality than it is about biology.’ And I love that idea.

There’s a guy named Mike Denby, who has kind of been my main consultant who’s a young, super handsome real-life nurse at The Hospital for Sick Children. He’s kind of connected me with a few nurses there. I went to St. Michael’s Hospital and interviewed, I think it was five or six ER nurses at different stages of their careers, which is fascinating too.

Why did you decide to use a vehicle attack as the main event in the debut episode to introduce us to everybody?
AP: I thought it was raw. It’s such a horrific local event that really terrified me when it happened. It’s very loosely based on that event. I really wanted a first-day event that all the stories kind of sprung from. The show, for me, was like seeing the different characters as body parts. Everything stemmed off of an event, I wanted quieter stories like the ICU story and like the pregnancy story, but I wanted them all to spring up out of the same inciting incident.

Something [like that] affects everybody and is so random and senseless. But the impact it has, on all ages, on all races on the whole. And I also wanted to throw them into the deep end as far as work.

Nurses airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global.

Images courtesy of Corus Entertainment.

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