Tag Archives: CBC

Molly Parker, Brian J. Smith, Stephen McHattie, Finlay Wojtak- Hissong and Kevin Durand lead cast of CBC’s Essex County

From a media release:

Molly Parker, Brian J. Smith, Stephen McHattie, Finlay Wojtak- Hissong, and Kevin Durand lead the cast of Essex County (5×60), EP and First Generation Films (FGF) CEO Christina Piovesan announced today. Based on Jeff Lemire’s graphic novel, Essex County is a limited series that follows the intertwining lives of two families living in a rural community. The series explores how loss, betrayal, and trauma can impact generations and how redemption can be found through human connection.

ITV Studios and Media Musketeer Studios will launch the show internationally at MIPCOM. The limited series premieres in Canada on CBC and CBC Gem in Winter 2023.

Sprawling in scope yet intensely intimate, Essex County is written by creator Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth; Black Hammer; Secret Path) and Eilis Kirwan (The Whistleblower; Nurses) and directed by Emmy- winner Andrew Cividino (Schitt’s Creek, Sleeping Giant). Production wrapped on September 30th in North Bay, Ontario.

Despite the appearances of a close-knit community, many of the Essex County residents are isolated and lonely. Eleven-year-old Lester (Finlay Wojtak-Hissong) has moved in with his uncle Ken (Brian J. Smith) after the death of his mother. Ken, a stoic farmer, must contend with his own grief and fears while raising Lester, even as Lester looks for a father in Jimmy (Kevin Durand) – a man who can barely take care of himself. Anne (Molly Parker) a nurse and mother who, after a lifetime of caring for others, finds herself at a crossroads when her daughter leaves for university. When Anne takes over the care of her estranged uncle, Lou, (Stephen McHattie) who is suffering from worsening dementia and the ghosts of his past, she begins to unearth family secrets. It is through Lou and Lester that the viewer enters a world of magic realism – Lou’s present begins to merge with his past and he literally haunts his own memories; Lester escapes into his imaginary world as he struggles to overcome his crushing grief.

BIOS/CREDITS
Showrunner/EP/writer Jeff Lemire is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of such graphic novels as Sweet Tooth, Essex County, Underwater Welder, and Mazebook as well as co-creator of Black Hammer, Gideon Falls, Descender, The Bone Orchard, and many others. He has worked extensively for both Marvel and DC Comics and his graphic novels have been translated into dozens of languages, establishing him as one of the most prolific and celebrated comic book creators of his generation. Many of his books are in development including Descender at NBC Universal with Lemire attached as an executive producer. Sweet Tooth has been adapted into a popular Netflix original series produced by Susan and Robert Downey Jr., and Essex County is currently in post-production with Lemire writing, show-running, and producing.

EP/Writer Eilis Kirwan is an award-winning writer from Dublin, Ireland, where she began writing plays at University College Dublin. She came to the U.S. as a Fulbright scholar, and received her MFA in Film from Columbia University. Her graduating film, Nostradamus And Me, was a finalist for the Student Academy Awards. Kirwan went on to co-write the award-winning The Whistleblower, starring Rachel Weisz and Vanessa Redgrave, which premiered at TIFF in 2011. Kirwan has written and developed multiple features, pilots, and mini-series in addition to working as a supervising producer and writer on Nurses for Global/NBC.

EP/Director Andrew Cividino is a writer, director, and producer from Toronto. He began his career directing commercials and short films that garnered international recognition after winning prizes at TIFF and Locarno. Cividino’s debut feature, Sleeping Giant, opened the competition at the 2015 edition of Semaine de la Critique in Cannes. The film went on to win more than a dozen awards, including prizes at TIFF, VIFF, Munich, and Mumbai. He was named TIFF’s Artist in Residence and was a frequent director on Schitt’s Creek, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement for Direction in 2020.

Molly Parker (Anne) is an Emmy and SAG award-nominated actress and director known for such series as House of Cards, Deadwood, Lost in Space, Dexter, and the soon to be released The Accused. Features include Pieces of a Woman, Jockey, The Center of the World, Kissed, and the soon to be released Peter and Wendy and The Mothership.

Brian J. Smith (Ken) is known for his role as Will Gorski in Netflix’s Sense8; Lt. Matthew Scott in the Syfy series Stargate Universe; and for his Tony Award-nominated turn as Jim O’Connor in the 2013 revival of The Glass Menagerie on Broadway.

Stephen McHattie (Lou) is a prolific Canadian actor who has amassed more than 200 film and television credits including Orphan Black, Emily of New Moon, Cold Squad, Seinfeld, and many more. He won a Genie Award (CSA) for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Rocket and a Gemini Award for Life with Billy.

Finlay Wojtak-Hissong (Lester) began his acting career at the age of eight and is known for The Kindness of Stranges, Blood, Dreamkatcher, and Robin Wright’s feature directorial debut Land.

Kevin Durand (Jimmy) can be seen in Locke & Key, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Resident Evil: Retribution, Ballers, Robin Hood, and Lost. He recently starred in Swamp Thing and it was just announced that Durand has joined the cast of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

Commissioned by CBC, and produced in association with ITV Studios and Media Musketeers Studios, Essex County is executive produced by Jeff Lemire, Eilis Kirwan, Christina Piovesan, and Andrew Cividino. Jeff Lemire is the showrunner; the series is written by Jeff Lemire and Eilis Kirwan; Andrew Cividino is the director.

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CBC original series Race Against the Tide is renewed for a third season

From a media release:

Leading international award-winning production company, marblemedia, is thrilled to announce that production is underway on an epic third season of the sand sculpture competition series, RACE AGAINST THE TIDE. Filmed on New Brunswick’s breathtaking and iconic New River Beach, on the Bay of Fundy, the summer hit will premiere on CBC in 2023. The stakes are higher than ever for season three, as the show introduces an all-new format, with more world-class competitors and an unforgettable season showcasing the strongest competition yet.

This series has quickly become a must-see, as it has consecutively ranked among the top of the Canadian TV ratings on Sunday nights each week*; and has seen resounding interest in the format from around the world.

Taking the series concept to a whole new level, season three will see 12 world-class sand sculpting teams of two tap into their artistic creativity more than ever before in the world’s toughest sand sculpting competition yet. Divided into two groups of six, the teams will dig, pound, carve and sculpt through four qualifying rounds. The top two teams from each round will face off in a sand-flying semi-final. In the end, only one team will reign supreme and walk away with the grand prize of $10,000…and the beach bragging rights of being crowned Race Against the Tide champions.

Returning as host this season is New Brunswick’s own, award-winning godfather of Canadian Hip Hop, Maestro Fresh Wes. Wes will be joined by returning judges, Karen Fralich, who herself has competed in over 120 master-level contests around the globe, and is a five-time World Champion; and Rusty Croft, a seasoned sand sculptor who holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the “tallest sand castle” as a member of the Sand Guys. He has also appeared on every episode of Discovery Channel’s Sand Wars and Sand Blasters.

Race Against the Tide is executive produced by Matt Hornburg and Mark Bishop of marblemedia; series producer and writer is Carly Spencer, and Donna Luke of marblemedia serves as co-executive producer. Co-produced with Hemmings House Films, for which Greg Hemmings serves as Co-Executive Producer and Stephen Foster as Producer. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual and Sports; Jennifer Dettman is Executive Director, Unscripted Content; Alexandra Lane is Senior Director of Production; and Ann-Marie Redmond is Executive in Charge of Production.

*Source: Numeris PPM TV, Total Canada, Ind2+ AMA, CBC Total, Sundays, July 10-September 11, 2022.

Image courtesy of Riley Smith.

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Marcie Diggs’ fight for justice to end in Season 4 of Diggstown

From a media release:

Season 4 of DIGGSTOWN will offer audiences a dramatic final chapter for titular character Marcie Diggs (Vinessa Antoine), starting on Wednesday, October 12 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC and CBC Gem. The six-episode finale season will be a tumultuous ride filled with searing emotional battles and transitions driven by trauma, where even though the victories are few and hard fought, Marcie and her team continue to be relentless in their fight for justice right until the very end. The series finale will air on Wednesday, November 16.

“For four seasons we’ve had the pleasure of bringing Marcie Diggs and the beauty of the communities of Dartmouth, Halifax, Charlottetown, North Preston and East Preston into homes across Canada. We’re so grateful to have been able to walk this journey with our incredible cast led by the force, that is, Vinessa Antoine. It’s been a privilege to collaborate with the amazing team of production professionals in Nova Scotia, Ontario and PEI who brought Diggstown to life. Your commitment to making Diggstown its best will always be remembered,” said Floyd Kane, creator, showrunner and executive producer.

Diggstown has always been fearless in its portrayal of the inequities that still exist in the Canadian legal system and our country as a whole, through authentic storylines and powerful performances,” said Sally Catto, General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports, CBC. “We are honoured to have partnered with Diggstown through four compelling seasons. Thank you and congratulations to Floyd, Amos, Vinessa, the entire cast, crew and creative team and our production partners at Circle Blue Entertainment, Freddie Films Inc. and Waterstar Entertainment Inc for everything you’ve achieved with Diggstown.”

In the final season of DIGGSTOWN, Marcie is struggling mentally and physically after last season’s shooting, while she faces threats and defections from all sides. As she grapples with one crisis to the next, a former ally’s actions threaten to spell the end of Marcie Diggs & Associates. This season will zero in on mental health, the plight of migrant workers, the treatment of a pregnant trans man within the healthcare system, sterilization of Black women and Indian Day School abuse, among other true to life stories. 

Created by Floyd Kane (Across the Line), who serves as showrunner and executive producer, Season 4 of DIGGSTOWN stars Vinessa Antoine (Being Erica) as Marcie Diggs; Natasha Henstridge (Species) as Colleen; Antoinette Robertson (Dear White People) as Vivian; Brandon Oakes (Through Black Spruce) as Doug; C. David Johnson (Street Legal) as Reggie; Nicole Muñoz (Van Helsing) as Ellery; Shailene Garnett (Shadowhunters) as Iris; and Dwain Murphy (Degrassi: The Next Generation) as Avery. Cast regulars also include Arlene Duncan as Velma Diggs, Maurice Dean Wint as Austin Diggs, Matthew Bennett as Steve Conway, Jenny Brizard as Emily Diggs, and Kim Roberts as Ona Reeves. Mpho Koaho returns as Percy Lincoln, Crystle Lightning as Michelle Knockwood, Tim Rozon as Carson Myers, Karen Leblanc as Marcie’s aunt, Rolanda Diggs, along with Stacey Farber, who reprises her role as Pam MacLean.

Joining the cast this season as The Clawford family – a powerful farming family of the fictional Goldenview Fields in the Atlantic provinces – are John Maucere (No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie) as patriarch Ewan Clawford who communicates with his family and team using American Sign Language (ASL) throughout the six episodes; Fiona Highet (Rookie Blue) as Ewan’s wife Regina; with Rigo Sanchez, Donald Maclean Jr., Zahra Bentham, and Dorren Lee, in the roles of their children Brian, Walt, Kristin and Andrea, respectively. Keeya King (Yellowjackets) appears as Trudy Willis, the girlfriend of migrant worker Basil Allen who makes a plea to Marcie regarding allegations that workers are being mistreated at Goldenview Fields.

DIGGSTOWN is an authentic legal drama that highlights the very real inequities that exist in the Canadian legal system and has never shied away from delving into issues of class, race, and gender. After years of lobbying, last season’s birth alert storyline helped to call enough attention to the issue that a few weeks following the broadcast, the province of Nova Scotia dropped the controversial practice; one of the last Canadian provinces to do so.

A CBC original drama, DIGGSTOWN is co-produced by Circle Blue Entertainment, Freddie Films Inc. and Waterstar Entertainment Inc. Floyd Kane is creator, executive producer and showrunner and Amos Adetuyi (Jean of the Joneses) is executive producer along with Brenda Greenberg (Being Erica) and Karen Wentzell (Seed). Directors for the season are Cory Bowles (Black Cop), Rama Rau (Honey Bee), Shamim Sarif (SkyMed) and Floyd Kane. Ronald Gilbert (Quantico) is producer. Series writers are Kane, Lynn Coady (Burden of Truth), Ellen Vanstone (Departure), Lakna Edilama (Utopia Falls), Roxann Whitebean (SkyMed), Caleigh Bacchus (Murdoch Mysteries), James Battiston (Shoot the Messenger) and JP LaRocque (Coroner). Series cinematography by Ken Leblanc (Diggstown), production design by Krystyna Byers (Christmas in Toyland) and costume design by Claire Nadon (Three Pines).

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Links: Moonshine, Season 2

From Noel Ransome of The Canadian Press:

Link: ‘Moonshine’ star Jennifer Finnigan on embracing her chaotic CBC character
As an actress, Jennifer Finnigan, star of the CBC series “Moonshine,” embraces her assignment faithfully, but perhaps a bit too personally. Continue reading.

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Moonshine stars preview Season 2’s tumultuous relationship
Despite the fact that the weather is getting cooler and the days are getting shorter, it’s still the heart of summer in Nova Scotia when Season 2 of CBC’s Moonshine premieres this Sunday, October 2 at 9 p.m. Continue reading.

From Melissa G. of The Televixen:

Link: Return to the Moonshine with Jennifer Finnigan and Allan Hawco
“There are so many things going on with her. She now knows she’s here to stay. Season 1 was ‘Am I staying here? Am I going? I don’t know if this is right for me. This isn’t who I am anymore.'” Continue reading.

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