Tag Archives: CBC

Preview: CBC’s excellent The Detectives recalls more crimes from Canada’s past

When Season 2 of The Detectives was greenlit by CBC, I was thrilled twofold.

Not because I was celebrating the deaths of human beings but because the true crime documentary series spotlights the law enforcement officers who refuse to give up on a case no matter how long it remains unsolved. I was equally excited because the project—returning Thursday at 9 p.m. on CBC—boasts an extensive stable of Canadian actors embodying the roles. Where Season 1 featured the likes of Jewel Staite, Eric Johnson, Hugh Dillon, Aidan Devine, Mylène Dinh-Robic, Marianne Farley, Mark Ghanimé, Tiio Horn, Michael Ironside, Daniel Kash, Lochlan Munro and Ron Lea, Season 2 aims for the same lofty heights with Maxim Roy, Janet Kidder, Michael Shanks, David James Elliott, Gil Bellows and—in Thursday’s return—Currie Graham.

Graham plays Greg Brown, an Ottawa detective who was called to the scene of a homicide in 2005. Like most nights, 18-year-old Jennifer Teague took the 10-minute walk home from her late shift at work in Barrhaven, Ont. But this time, she never made it there. As the missing person case turns into a homicide, Det. Brown chases down one promising lead after another until he’s left with nothing but the knowledge that the killer is a local.

Produced by Petro Duszara, Scott Bailey, Jennifer Gatien, Hans Rosenstein and Debbie Travis—yes, that Debbie Travis—The Detectives is head and shoulders above other true crime series because it includes the actual detectives telling their stories to the producers. This awful stuff really happened and affected the investigators for the rest of their lives. Throw in excellent recreations of the events as they unfolded, real news report footage and pictures of the victims and The Detectives is don’t miss television.

The Detectives airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of CBC.

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Preview: Baroness von Sketch Show deals more hilarity in Season 3

Hot on the heels of Baroness von Sketch Show‘s well-deserved Canadian Screen Award wins and continued kudos from American attention thanks to IFC picking the program up, the funny Canadian ladies are back for Season 3 on Tuesday at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Once again, writers, stars and executive producers Carolyn Taylor, Meredith MacNeill, Aurora Browne and Jennifer Whalen simply nail it with hilarious characters and dead-funny views in sketches both timely and evergreen. While some Canadian periodicals write lazy columns decrying a lack of funny at the CBC, I say the network has never been stronger because of Baroness, Still Standing, Schitt’s Creek, Mr. D and Kim’s Convenience. (The jury is still out on 22 Minutes, thanks to behind the scenes shakeups.)

The return episode, “Is that you Karen?” bursts out of the gate with immediate laughs, as two ladies who haven’t seen each other in 20 years reconnect in the oddest and most ludicrous of ways. And that’s before the revamped opening credits roll. Then, in the rat-a-tat roll out of sketches, viewers get reflections on the rites of spring (with three of the four ladies dressed as dudes), the dangers of accepting a ride home from a co-worker, rogue cops and what could happen when the barista gets the name wrong on your coffee cup.

Whenever I speak to folks about the television shows Baroness von Sketch almost always comes up. There’s a reason for that. With tight writing, stellar performances (MacNeill’s over-the-top physical comedy is a standout) and truly relatable topics, the baronesses are hitting a comedy home run every week.

Baroness von Sketch Show airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

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Preview: Jonny Harris showcases more Canadian communities in Still Standing

At long last, Jonny Harris and Still Standing are back on our television screens. In a bit of a shakeup, the programming folks moved Still Standing—and its Tuesday night partner Baroness Von Sketch Show—from summer until fall. That gives folks of Harris a double dose of the baby-faced comedian in this and his long-running gig on Murdoch Mysteries.

In the Season 4 return, Harris arrives in Tignish, PEI, a small community to—as is the series formula—showcase the place, the people, the struggles they’re enduring and then celebrate them through laughs and anecdotes. It’s a formula that works by playing to Harris’ strengths as a storyteller and wry observationalist. Still Standing isn’t a “woe is me” tale but one of making the best of things and/or striving to make them better.

That’s certainly the case in Tignish, located on the western tip of the province. Far away from the Confederation Bridge and Anne of Green Gables is this group of just over 700 citizens. The area, it turns out, was a favourite stomping ground for Stompin’ Tom Connors. The legendary singer-songwriter even wrote of the area in his tune “The Song of the Irish Moss.” The moss industry may have long gone, but the memory remains in that song and hoping to cash in on that Tignish built the Stompin’ Tom Centre. The facility, in addition to including Connors’ boyhood home and the one-room schoolhouse he attended, houses a concert hall where his gold and platinum records, guitar and hat and boots are on display.

Also keeping Tignish on the map is, of course, the lobster industry, which Harris gets an education on, and the life of dew worms. Both make it into his stand-up act and are very, very funny.

Upcoming locations on Harris’ journeys include Carcross, Yukon; Rogersville, Nova Scotia; Fraser Lake, British Columbia; Cobalt, Ontario; and New Denmark, New Brunswick.

Still Standing airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of CBC.

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CBC’s Street Legal confirms new and returning cast as production begins

From a media release:

More than 20 years after the original series came to an end, production is now underway on the highly anticipated revival of CBC’s STREET LEGAL (6×60). The reboot of the Canadian series sees Cynthia Dale reprise her role as Olivia Novak, with Cara Ricketts (The Book of Negroes), Steve Lund (Haven) and Yvonne Chapman (The Crossing) joining the series as the next generation of Toronto lawyers fighting the good fight. Original cast members Eric Peterson (“Leon Robinovitch”) and Anthony Sherwood (“Dillon Beck”) are also confirmed to return for special guest appearances. The series starts production this week for a winter 2019 premiere on CBC, the CBC TV streaming app and cbc.ca/watch.

Like the original, the rebooted series will combine cutting-edge storylines with ongoing serialized character development, focused on the people who practice law and the lives they lead both on and off the job.

The award-winning character-driven legal drama picks up 25 years after the original series with Olivia now a partner at a major Bay Street law firm. Beaten to the punch on filing a massive class-action lawsuit by an upstart firm of young social-activist lawyers, Olivia pursues them as an acquisition target. But when her own firm goes down in a flame of egos and departing partners, Olivia finds herself starting over at the boutique firm with new younger colleagues.

A CBC original series, STREET LEGAL is co-produced by IGP and Broken Clown Productions. Bernie Zukerman (Remedy, King) is Executive Producer. Bruce Smith (19-2) is Executive Producer and Showrunner. Cynthia Dale and Rayne Zukerman are Producers. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Programming; Helen Asimakis is Senior Director, Drama, Scripted Content; and Deborah Nathan is Executive in Charge of Production.

IGP Productions:
A boutique family-run company, IGP is renowned for its high-quality content. IGP produces for all platforms, leans into relevant and insightful content that inspires viewers to think differently. We’ve had success with our interprovincial and international co-productions. We’ve produced the scripted medical series Remedy for Global; the top international export Kinga police procedural for Showcase, and the CBC legal classic This is Wonderland. IGP has also produced a number of features, movies, and mini-series celebrating Canada’s history and its diversity with classics such as John A: The Birth of a Country; Niagara Motel; Victor: The Victor Davis Story; Million Dollar Babies; Conspiracy of Silence and The Many Trials of One Jane Doe. For more information, visit: www.igpproductions.com.

Broken Clown Productions:
Great television starts with great talent and a passion to create. This is the driving principal behind the new Montreal-based independent production company, The Broken Clown Company Inc. / La Compagnie Broken Clown Inc. owned by acclaimed Canadian showrunner, Bruce M. Smith. After years of driving the creative vision of numerous television series, including the award-winning internationally distributed 19-2, Bruce is broadening his vision to produce more internationally marketable television in Quebec. His strong relationships with writers, directors and actors puts him in an enviable position to attract the talent international drama requires. Supported with a leading Quebec-based business team knowledgeable in rights management and financing, The Broken Clown Company is well positioned for success. The company’s first series, Street Legal Reboot for CBC is slated for production in Montreal in the summer of 2018 (in co-production with Indian Grove Productions).

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Link: Yannick Bisson and Hélène Joy Talk “Murdoch Mysteries”

From Sabrina Bellissimo of Beyond Fashion:

Link: Yannick Bisson and Hélène Joy Talk “Murdoch Mysteries”
Not many television shows are able to air over ten seasons. Even less Canadian television shows get that opportunity. But Toronto based Murdoch Mysteries, with its successful combination of wit, romance, mystery, and originality, begins its 12th season Monday September 24th on CBC. Continue reading.

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