Tag Archives: Call Me Fitz

Moonshine’s Sheri Elwood: “What a gift to be able to write for women in their 30s and 40s”

I became a fan of Sheri Elwood when Call Me Fitz, starring Jason Priestley, exploded onto the scene in 2010. Since then, she’s produced, executive-produced and written on U.S. shows like Lucifer and Whiskey Cavalier. Now Elwood is back north of the border with a project that’s very close to her heart.

Moonshine, debuting Tuesday at 9 p.m. on CBC, tells the story of the Finley-Cullens, a group of adult half-siblings battling for control of the ancestral business, The Moonshine, a run-down summer resort in rural Nova Scotia. The cast is a who’s-who of talent, including Jennifer Finnegan as Lidia, Anastasia Phillips as Rhian, Emma Hunter as Nora, Tom Stevens as Ryan, Corrine Koslo as Bea and Peter MacNeil as Ken. All shine in the debut episode and set up the Season 1 journey to come.

We spoke to Sheri Elwood about how Moonshine came about and its killer cast.

How did Moonshine come about, and how did you end up back in Canada making it?
Sheri Elwood: I got a call a couple of years ago from a producer, Charles Bishop, and I was a fan of his and he said, ‘How would you feel about coming home to do a show?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, oh my God, that would be great.’

I had been trying to get back to Nova Scotia, for personal reasons. Also, my family is still here. He said, ‘Let me get a little more specific and said, how about a family drama?’ I said, ‘I have one.’ I actually have been noodling on this idea for a while now. He presented it to CBC and we had a show. It happened fairly quickly.

How close was the noodling to what Moonshine ended up being when it hits the air in the fall? 
SE: The noodling is almost exactly what it ended up being. There’s this funny autobiographical element to the story, but my family runs a summer resort and on the social of Nova Scotia and I come from a big blended family of half-siblings. The characters are a huge departure from what we’re really like, but, but that core idea of coming home, I stayed fairly true to that idea. This takes place in a part of Nova Scotia that hasn’t really been seen on TV all that much. It’s a little less manicured, it’s a little more dysfunctional, both geographically and emotionally.  

Anybody that’s ever been to a summer camp, or spent some time at a cottage, can relate to that setting and that relaxation that’s supposed to take place when you’re not arguing with your family about something. 
SE: We were really trying to capture that yearning of summers past, which that is that, that timeless, timeless quality of your wet towels and sand on the floor and turning on the radio and it’s the same 20 pieces of classic rock, but they somehow sound fresh every single time. We’re really trying to capture that time and a place, summers with the family and at the beach, which I think is pretty universal. 

You have a pretty large ensemble cast. Was that a bit of a challenge working with so many moving parts? 
SE: This is a very large cast, but everyone feels like they’re the star of their own show. It was really easy to write for each and every one of them, and that’s a testament to the cast as well.

It’s like Christmas every single day because they’re so fantastic. I had to cast them all via Zoom because of COVID. All the chemistry reads, everything was done by Zoom, which is terrifying. I was blown away by this treasure trove of a cast, especially the women. Holy smokes, what a gift to be able to write for women in their 30s and 40s. 

The tone of your shows is always great, and the conversations between the characters always seem so natural. Is that something you have to work at?
SE: That’s really the nicest compliment I’ve ever received about my writing. I’m so happy that it feels natural. I just really always try to write from character. I just really try to make sure that there are emotional cues to everything. 

Moonshine premieres on Tuesday at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Natalie Urquhart joins Amaze Film + Television

From a media release:

June 11, 2018 – Amaze Film + Television is proud to welcome Natalie Urquhart as their new Director of Development. Formerly an Associate Producer on the NBC/UNIVERSAL series SUITS, Natalie also produced the scripted half-hour comedy ROGUE BRIDAL for the Makeful Channel. Natalie is a graduate of the University of Southern California and the CFC – Canadian Film Centre.

Natalie will oversee development in Canada while working with Burrad Marsh who was recently promoted to Senior VP of Television, spearheading the US operations for Amaze Film + Television in Los Angeles. Burrad is a former TV Literary Agent for ICM and was VP of Development for Shed Media in the United Kingdom.

Most recently, Amaze Film + Television produced the one-hour comedic drama procedural CARTER, created by Garry Campbell and starring Jerry O’Connell. CARTER premiered on BRAVO to 1.1 million viewers during its first week in May, 2018. The 10-episode series has enjoyed a very successful global release through Sony AXN and Sony Distribution.  CARTER was recently added to CTV’s main network summer schedule and will air on UKTV in June.

Michael Souther and Teza Lawrence launched Amaze Film + Television in 2000. Amaze Film + Television produced four seasons of the internationally acclaimed series CALL ME FITZ for HBO Canada and 52 episodes of the multi-cam sitcom THE STANLEY DYNAMIC for YTV. Film projects include SAINT RALPH, FINN ON THE FLY, and in 2016 the documentary BEING CANADIAN. They currently have a diverse television slate including projects in development with Rogers, and Amazon.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Link: Jason Priestley on his Canada’s Walk of Fame induction

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Jason Priestley on his Canada’s Walk of Fame induction
“The 48 episodes we made of Call Me Fitz are the 48 episodes of television that I am most proud of in my entire career. I think that was pretty close to perfection. I’m incredibly proud of that show and what we accomplished on it.” Continue reading. Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Jason Priestley injured on set of Global’s The Code

We’re sending out well wishes to Jason Priestley, who suffered an injury while filming Global’s new 2016 drama The Code. The drama project has been shut down for at least three days after Priestley was bucked off a horse while filming in Toronto; he won’t return until given a clean bill of health from a neurologist.

We understand the precaution. Priestley suffered a serious head injury, fractured spine, broken nose and fractured feet in a 2002 car crash during the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series at Kentucky Speedway.

As previously announced, The Code stars Priestley as Matt “Shadow” Shade, an ex pro hockey player who uses his ability to read people and anticipate their next move to success as a crime-solving private investigator. The 10-part one-hour project also stars Cindy Sampson (Rookie Blue) as Angie Everett; Barry Flatman (Defiance) as Matt’s father, Don; and Jordyn Negri (Warehouse 13) as Matt’s daughter, Jules.

Based on the book of the same name by G.B. Joyce, The Code is executive-produced by John Morayniss and Rachel Fulford for eOne along with Shawn Piller, Lloyd Segan, Shelley Eriksen, Alan McCullough, Tassie Cameron, Kelly Makin and Priestley.

Priestley has become a staple of Canadian TV both in front of and behind the camera in the last couple of years, appearing on Haven, Package Deal and Spun Out, and directing episodes of Saving Hope, Rookie Blue and Working the Engels. He’s also set to star alongside Molly Ringwald in Family Channel’s original series The Wonderful Wayneys.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Call Me Fitz and Orphan Black take home top Canadian Screen Award TV titles

Cancelled comedy Call Me Fitz and cult hit Orphan Black were the big winners in the television categories at the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards on Sunday night.

“It’s an honour to make great Canadian TV for the world from our own backyard,” Orphan Black co-showrunner Graeme Manson said from Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts stage after claiming the trophy. Orphan Black lead Tatiana Maslany took home the title for Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role.

19-2‘s Jared Keeso took home the hardware for Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role.

Cancelled Movie Network/Movie Central sitcom Call Me Fitz took home two awards for Best Comedy Series; co-star Joanna Cassidy won for Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role.

Bomb Girls: Facing the Enemy had a bittersweet goodbye earlier in the night with a win for Best Dramatic Mini-Series or TV movie; star Jodi Balfour captured Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series.

Lost Girl was given the Fan’s Choice Award.

Here’s a list of the television winners (Bold text indicates the winner of each category.)

Best Dramatic Series
19-2
Continuum
Motive
Orphan Black
Remedy

Best Comedy Series
Call Me Fitz
Mr. D
Seed
Spun Out
Tiny Plastic Men

Best Reality/Competition Program or Series
The Amazing Race Canada
Big Brother Canada
MasterChef Canada
The Ultimate Fighter Nations – Canada vs. Australia
Unusually Thicke

Best International Drama
Vikings
The Great Martian War

Best Variety of Sketch Comedy Program or Series
Rick Mercer Report
Funny as Hell
Seth Rogen: Hilarity for Charity
This Hour Has 22 Minutes

Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role
Gerry Dee, Mr. D
Adam Korson, Seed
Don McKellar, Sensitive Skin
Dave Foley, Spun Out
Mark Meer, Tiny Plastic Men

Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role
Joanna Cassidy, Call Me Fitz
Julia Voth, Package Deal
Carrie-Lynn Neales, Seed
Kacey Rohl, Working the Engels
Andrea Martin, Working the Engels

Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
Adam Beach, Arctic Air
David Sutcliffe, Cracked
Jared Keeso, 19-2
Michael McLeod, Forgive Me
Dillon Casey, Remedy

Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
Meaghan Rath, Being Human
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Megan Follows, Reign
Jennie Raymond, Sex & Violence
Jackie Torrens, Sex & Violence

What did you think of the Canadian Screen Awards? Did your favourite take home a trophy? Comment below or via @tv_eh.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail