Tag Archives: Cardinal

Why Are Thrillers and Mysteries so Popular in Canada?

Research has found that thrillers and mysteries are the fifth-most watched TV genre in Canada, with 45 percent of the population enjoying this type of content. Making up the other top four genres are comedies, dramas, news, and documentaries. There seems to be a high volume of top-quality content being released and rather than the thriller genre becoming over-saturated, viewers are hungry for more. This has spread out into other forms of entertainment as well, with games and books also featuring a heavy number of thrills and mystery.

Top Thrillers and Mysteries in Canada
One of the primary reasons for the rise of thrillers in Canada could be the success of Criminal Minds. This is the fourth-most popular TV series in Canada according to IMDB, behind The Expanse, Vikings, and the popular comedy, Schitt’s Creek. The procedural drama began in 2005 and ran for 15 seasons until 2020. In total, there were 324 episodes, and the original series also led to two spinoffs called Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. Similar offerings like Murdoch Mysteries, Frankie Drake Mysteries and Cardinal are also hugely popular across the country.

Now that the CBS series has finished, it has left a vacuum in the market for thrillers. Canadian viewers are hungry for more of the same, so it is not surprising to see a vast number of other options emerging in Criminal Minds’ wake. The multiple award-winning series also led to other Criminal Minds-related content in different forms of entertainment, as well as a South Korean version that was launched in 2017.

Other types of thriller and mystery have been successful in Canada as well, and some of these are worlds apart from the procedural structure of the Jeff Davis offering. Some of the other most popular mysteries also belong in the fantasy and sci-fi genres. These include The Magicians, The 100, and the iconic sci-fi offering, The X-Files. Perhaps the main reason why the thriller and mystery genre is so popular in Canada is down to the fact that it is so broad, and can encompass a wide variety of shows.

Thriller and Mystery in Other Forms of Entertainment
The thriller genre isn’t just making waves on television, it is also prevalent across all other forms of mainstream entertainment. For example, it is a common source of inspiration for slot developers. This could be because it is associated with being exciting and intriguing. Agent Jane Bond Returns and Hitman are two examples of thrilling slots that have attracted a lot of players and are used on the front pages of slots sites to draw people in. The ubiquity of Sherlock Holmes across various forms of entertainment also shows how people have a strong desire to experience mystery. There have been eight games in the Frogwares Sherlock Holmes series, with the ninth installment, Chapter One, due for release in 2021.

Thrillers and mysteries continue to rank among the top genres in the world of books. Some of the most notable titles of the last 20 include Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and Before I go to Sleep by S. J. Watson.

What Other Great Thrillers and Mysteries Should Viewers Watch?
For Canadian viewers who simply can’t get enough of the thriller and mystery genre, there are plenty of great options to check out in 2021. As long as the market is there, studios will keep creating content. And because there are so many offerings in the genre, it serves to maintain a high standard.

One of the most popular Netflix series of recent times is Lupin. This is a French mystery thriller starring Omar Sy as an expert thief. Another one to watch out for in the year ahead is Clarice. This offering from CBS Studios focuses on the FBI agent Clarice Starling from Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. It is set one year after the events of the 1988 novel and stars Rebecca Breeds in the title role.

With the thriller and mystery genre being so diverse, it’s no wonder why it is so popular in Canada. It can span numerous other genres, from sci-fi to fantasy. As long as there is an audience for it, developers will keep creating enjoyable content. 2021 should see some great new offerings hitting television screens.

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Cardinal, Kim’s Convenience and Schitt’s Creek win during Night 3 of the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards Virtual Presentations

Cardinal, Kim’s Convenience, Schitt’s Creek and Baroness Von Sketch Show were among those who captured trophies during Night 2 of 2020 Canadian Screen Awards Virtual Presentations.

The Canadian Screen Awards, originally scheduled to air in March, moved online and was streamed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wednesday’s online ceremony celebrated Crafts in Scripted Programs, narrated by Evany Rosen and Kayla Lorette, and Scripted Programs and Performance, presented by Eric McCormack.

Here are the winners in Wednesday’s key categories:

Best Writing, Web Program or Series
Wendy Litner, How to Buy a Baby

Best Writing, TV Movie
Christina Welsh, Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey

Best Writing, Variety or Sketch Comedy
Baroness Von Sketch Show

Best Writing, Comedy
Jared Keeso and Jacob Tierney, Letterkenny

Best Writing, Drama Series
Patrick Tarr, Noelle Carbone and Aaron Bala, Cardinal

Best Guest Performance, Drama Series
Dalmar Abuzeid, Anne with an E

Best Guest Performance, Comedy
Amanda Brugel, Kim’s Convenience

Best Supporting Actress, Drama
Kristen Thomson, Cardinal

Best Supporting Actor, Drama
Thom Allison, Killjoys

Best Supporting Actress, Comedy
Emily Hampshire, Schitt’s Creek

Best Supporting Actor, Comedy
Andrew Phung, Kim’s Convenience

Best Supporting Performance, Web Program or Series
Emma Hunter, How to Buy a Baby

Best Lead Performance, Web Program or Series
Emily Hampshire, Save Me

Best Web Program or Series, Fiction
Save Me

Best Lead Performance, TV Movie
Kate Drummond, Nowhere to Be Found

Best Lead Actress, Drama Series
Karine Vanasse, Cardinal

Best Lead Actor, Drama Series
Billy Campbell, Cardinal

Best Lead Actress, Comedy
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek

Best Lead Actor, Comedy
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek

Golden Screen Award for TV Drama or Comedy
Murdoch Mysteries and Private Eyes

Best Sketch Comedy Show & Ensemble Performance
Baroness Von Sketch Show

Best TV Movie
Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey

Best Comedy Series
Schitt’s Creek

Best Drama Series
Cardinal

For the complete list of winners, visit the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television website.

Virtual Presentation Schedule:

Thursday, May 28, 2020

7 PM ET: Canadian Screen Awards for Cinematic Arts (Narrator: Théodore Pellerin)

Watch the Virtual Presentations on  Academy.ca, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Comments and queries for the week of May 15

I was crying through the last season of Cardinal and blubbering so hard during the last episode (rather incongruous for a murder mystery, I know). I’m glad that it wasn’t a tidy ending in that Delorme does end up going and Cardinal just starts on another case. I understand the actors would willingly return if there is a chance for more stories. I hope it happens. —John

I loved this show from the first episode in Season 1. Billy and Karine are unforgettable as Cardinal and Lise. I love them both. The music, the scenery, the shots … it was a treat to watch and I looked forward to every episode. Farewell, parting is such sweet sorrow.  Hope to see Karine again soon, but don’t expect that Billy is going to leave Denmark/Norway anytime soon. At least we had him for four [brief] seasons. —Judy

Canadian TV at its absolute best and on a par with Motive. I’m sad it has come to an end but how many more deranged serial killers could there be in Algonquin Bay?! Still, I’ll miss the scenery and stellar cast. —Paresh

On one level it was a shame the TV show attempted to blend the novels together. Each book alone could have been one season! On another level, some of the scenes in the novels couldn’t be filmed, right? But this show did an amazing job of bringing the books to life. Damn, I don’t want it to end!! —Stephen

Will miss this hauntingly beautiful show; maybe, just maybe, they can muster up another season or movie. The scenery’s too beautiful to waste, along with the fabulous leads. One can hope. —D Mac

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Farewell, Cardinal

This Monday night, a Canadian television series says goodbye. After four seasons, Cardinal ends, closing a chapter on some truly groundbreaking TV.

I was a fan of the Cardinal from the very beginning thanks to reading and loving the source material written by Giles Blunt years ago. The tale of a small-town Canadian cop solving crimes? I was all in. But would a television adaptation work? How would a lead character that was so in his head translate to the small screen?

There are a lot of folks to credit with how it was done, from Season 1 writer Aubrey Nealon, to actor Billy Campbell, director Podz, Sienna Films, and executives at Bell Media. Instead of going inside Detective John Cardinal’s head, we stayed outside, the camera coming in close on Campbell’s face, reading what was there in his expression and in his eyes. The same goes for Detective Lise Delorme. Karine Vanasse, and the creative folks get kudos for breathing life into this feisty, fantastic cop. I can’t imagine two actors more suited to the roles they were cast in. Re-reading the novels, which I will do this summer, means I’ll picture their faces as I scan the pages.

Northern Ontario—and the weather than comes with it—has played a huge role in Cardinal‘s storytelling, reflecting the changes in season in this country and adding another layer (pun intended) to each episode.

Back in 2004, Corner Gas debuted. It changed the way we looked at ourselves on the sitcom front, and proved Canada could do comedy just well—and I’d argue better—than the U.S. Now, with Cardinal Bell it has been done with the drama genre. I’m a huge fan of Nordic Noir—crime dramas set in Scandinavian locales—and Cardinal deserves to stand among the very best of those. And, I’m hoping, Cardinal will inspire more drama like it to be created in this country.

Thanks to Billy Campbell, Karine Vanasse, Glen Gould, James Downing, Kristen Thomson, Deborah Hay, Eric Hicks, Zach Smadu, Alanna Bale and the rest of the cast for bringing these characters to life in such a convincing way. Thank you to Aubrey Nealon, Sarah Dodd, Patrick Tarr, Jane Maggs, Gemma Holdway, Naben Ruthnum, Patrick Whistler, Alison Lea Bingeman, Jennica Harper, Russ Cochrane, Noelle Carbone, Aaron Bala, Shannon Masters, Penny Gummerson and Jordi Mand for writing such wonderful scripts. Thank you to Podz, Jeff Renfroe and Nathan Morlando for your directing. And thanks to the crew, producers, executives and everyone else who made Cardinal happen.

I’m going to miss Cardinal, but I’m so glad it was made in the first place. It’s hard to make television in this country, and even harder to do it right.

Cardinal did it right.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail