Tag Archives: Citytv

Link: Who’s a good boy? Hudson & Rex star living his best doggie life

From Melissa Hank of Postmedia:

Link: Who’s a good boy? Hudson & Rex star living his best doggie life
Vom Burgimwald’s character Rex is the kind of wounded soul fans swoon for, a true underdog. He was logging hours in the K9 unit when his partner died and then was transferred to major crimes at the St. John’s Police Department, where he was paired up with Hudson. Continue reading. 

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Hudson & Rex’s Sherri Davis fetches some info on the show’s canine co-star

Diesel vom Burgimwald is No. 1 on the Hudson & Rex call sheet. That’s because he’s in almost every scene being filmed. And, unlike his human co-stars, Diesel—who is one of three German Shepherds who portray Rex on Citytv’s canine-and-cops drama—has someone helping train him.

Meet Sherri Davis, who has trained and supplied a menagerie of animals to the film and television industry for 25 years. We spoke to Davis about Diesel vom Burgimwald, and the work that goes into prepping him—and his nephews—for primetime TV.

Give me a little bit of background Sherri. How did you get involved in Hudson and Rex in the first place?
Sherri Davis: I’ve been in film for over 25 years and about seven years ago they came to me with the script for Hudson & Rex. They thought it might take off and it didn’t come to head. So, seven years later I got a call and they’re like, ‘You still got your shepherds?’ I was like, ‘Yep.’

They came out and we looked at the shepherds. My shepherds at the time were very black. I had just gotten Diesel a week prior to them coming out. He knew absolutely nothing. One of my staff brought Diesel up because I was going to start training him. Originally on the show, it was a very different looking shepherd.

I’ve heard that there’s more than one shepherd being used during production.
SD: Yes, there’s Diesel and Izzy and Iko. Izzy and Iko are Diesel’s nephews. This bloodline is a bloodline from Germany. The dogs are extremely consistent in looks. In fact, these go back 15 generations to the original Rex, which was a pure fluke. I did not know that. The breeder figured that one out.

What kind of a journey has it been from taking Diesel from not being trained to being trained? Is that a month journey? Is it a year journey? Is it still going on?
SD: It’s still going on. We were training every day for 10 hours a day. Even to this day, I’m teaching him to sneeze. So he’s learning new things every day and it’s been over a year now.

When you’re teaching Diesel how to sneeze, is that so that you’ve got something that you can say to showrunner Derek Schreyer? Or are you doing it because it’s in an upcoming script? 
SD: It’s in a script and I’m like, ‘You want him to sneeze? Are you kidding me?’ I get the script and I break them down and then we work five days a week on set and they’re usually 12 to 14 hour days that we’re on set for. And then, on the weekends, we do about eight hours of prep for the upcoming script.

This is the first time the writers have written for a dog. Nobody really knew how far we could push Diesel. We’ve really worked on his training, so now it’s jumping out of the car windows and it’s traversing along a two by four and climbing a ladder.  In any of the shows in the past, the dog has not been your key cast.

When did you find out that you had a relationship with animals?
SD:  My grandparents, my great-grandparents, they always had animals and we’d go out to the farm and everybody would be in the house and I will be out with the dogs or the horses or the cows. I got my first dog when I was five and I’ve had dogs ever since. I work with dogs, cats, rats, mice, rabbits, skunks, raccoons horses, sheep. Maybe I’m part animal.

It just comes very natural and, and somewhat easy for me to relate to the animals and, and train them. And you know, I think it’s a respect thing. You respect me and I respect you.

Hudson & Rex airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Citytv.

Image courtesy of Rogers Media.

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Link: Tonight: Hudson & Rex return for a second season on Citytv

From Bill Brioux of Brioux.tv:

Link: Tonight: Hudson & Rex return for a second season on Citytv
One of the more fascinating things I observed last week on location with Hudson & Rex was just how much Diesel was into his job.

That would be Diesel vom Burgimwald, a magnificent, three-year-old german shepherd. He plays Rex on the series, which returns for its second season this Tuesday night at 8/7c on Citytv. Continue reading. 

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Hudson & Rex showrunner Derek Schreyer teases Season 2

After a break of only a few months, Hudson & Rex returns for its second season on Citytv. We couldn’t be happier. The crime drama, based out of St. John’s and starring John Reardon, Mayko Nguyen, Kevin Hanchard, Justin Kelly and German Shepherd Diesel vom Burgimwald is a must-see for anyone that enjoys their mysteries lighter in tone and with a great ensemble cast.

In Tuesday’s debut—at 8 p.m. ET on Citytv—Charlie (Reardon) and Rex (Diesel vom Burgimwald) discover a wanted criminal has been living in St. John’s under a false identity for 20 years and end up in the crosshairs when the man’s past catches up with him. Along for the ride are the capable Doctor Sarah Truong (Nguyen), Superintendent Joe Donovan (Hanchard) and Tech Analyst Jesse Mills (Kelly). And, with David Hewlett, Shiva Negar, Janet Kidder and Noam Jenkins in guest roles, it makes for a fast-paced and highly enjoyable first instalment.

We spoke to showrunner Derek Schreyer—who took over for Season 1 showrunner Ken Cuperus—about what’s to come, including a visit to France.

How’s filming been going?
Derek Schreyer: It’s been going great. It’s been really fun. For Season 2, we really pushed to get some scripts done in time for the summer, which relies on some of the amazing, amazing summer scenarios of St. John’s. So that’s been really a lot of fun.

I sort of jumped on board this as a showrunner about two-thirds of the way through Season 1. I’d never been there before, so it was like I just got thrown into the fire. It was two months of absolute pain because we were way behind and I had to do a lot of stuff. But I knew it’s the first year of the show, and every time there’s the first year of a show, there’s a lot of cooks and a lot of people really care about it, and want to make sure that it’s right. And this show’s been developed for 10 years. I mean, there’s a lot of different voices and whatnot.

I just started to really connect with the environment. I just loved St. John’s, and I love the area, and I love Diesel and the crew.

You were filming in Saint Pierre and Miquelon. What can you say about that storyline?
DS: My first episode, the one I co-wrote with my friend Alex Pugsley, is going to be set there. It’s kind of a Bon Cop, Bad Cop thing where the climax takes place in Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

Two men, a woman and a dog stand next to a parked car.One of the things about Hudson & Rex that I like is that everybody’s on an even keel, human and canine, and I love this team that you guys have established with this group of police officers that are solving these crimes.
DS: Yeah, I think it’s definitely interesting because this is obviously based on Inspector Rex. That had a certain model, and that was basically a man and his dog, which meant that there was always one of those two POVs. We’ve gone more with an ensemble feel with the dog at the mix. I just love being on a show where the No. 1 on the call sheet is a dog. It really lessens egos. They all really love just to interact with a dog. It really changes the chemistry of the set, I think.

One thing I wanted to do before we started season two is just to bring in Sherri [Davis, Diesel vom Burgimwald’s trainer] just to have her talk about the kind of things that Diesel can do. She’ll mention that she has a dog that can play as a wolf. And all of a sudden, there comes an episode right there. It could be an episode where we’re in the forest with a wolf, and plots appear, and then maybe Rex can do this, he can balance on a rope as he crosses. All of a sudden, plots ignite from that.

You already mentioned Saint Pierre and Miquelon; what are some themes and a couple of storylines that you follow in Season 2?
DS: We’ve got one that’s delved into the Insta celebrity culture. It’s kind of a comedy from Bridesmaids meets the Instagram culture. We have one called ‘The Woods Have Eyes,’ where this woman goes missing after she sees something, and the mother comes in and believes that she … we actually track her to the forest somewhere, and Rex and the team ended up discovering a sort of a shady, almost a Stranger Things-type organization, and try to figure out what they’re doing. That’s kind of neat.

Then we have one set which is super fun, it’s called ‘Game of Bones.’ It’s going to be set in the world of LARPing. It’s a completely eccentric cast of characters of LARPers who portray these characters on this battlefield. There’s a character that dies and has sort of a death rune carved in his body, and that’s symbolic of something in the sort of medieval Viking lore, and we have to explore that. So that’s kind of a really fun world.

We have one called ‘Rex in the City,’ which explores the dating culture. It’s a real bunch of mixed, fun stuff. Some of it’s a little heavier handed, and some of it’s lighter. But I think we’ve sort of figured out our tone, so we’re a fairly grounded show. We have a little bit of heart, a little bit of humour, and hopefully some really cool stories.

Hudson & Rex airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Citytv.

Images courtesy of Rogers Media.

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Hudson & Rex: Jessie Gabe on writing for a series where a dog is the star

Jessie Gabe took a bit of a circuitous route to writing for television. Initially interested in acting, she moved from Montreal to Toronto where she performed and wrote sketch comedy. But it was on a train where her professional writing career took off.

“I met a guy on a train and I very luckily wound up, through him, meeting his cousin, who is now my agent and who got me my first job as a writer on Being Erica,” Gabe says. A stint on Being Erica was followed by co-creating Agnes & Harold (which she also starred in), penning the film Cas & Dylan, and a writing and executive producer gig on Mr. D and Frankie Drake Mysteries.

She also was part of the writing staff and co-executive producer on Season 1 of Hudson & Rex. In this week’s episode, the team moves quickly when Donovan’s ex wakes up with blood on her hands and a dead roommate. We caught up with Gabe, who is freelance writing scripts for Season 2 of Hudson & Rex and co-writing a feature film on the life of Canadian Phil Hartman.

Had you ever considered writing before?
JG: I had written, but I actually had never considered being a professional screenwriter. I don’t think it had occurred to me. I was in my 20s, and I had written sketch and by a total fluke, I had written a couple of spec scripts quite a bit before that, just because a friend of mine was considering being a writer and it was an activity that I did with him. I had them on file, but it was like a game at the time. And I was working on a feature, that again, with really no knowledge of anything, no outline, just Page 1, fade in, because my roommate was a filmmaker and thought, ‘We don’t anything, and you’ll write it, and you’ll star in it, and I’ll film it.’ We were both struggling artists. Luckily, it didn’t get made, thank god. It turned into Cas & Dylan, and it got made with, thank god, not myself in the lead role.

A dog stands, looking into the camera.You were on Mr. D, then you were on Frankie Drake Mysteries. And once you were in the Shaftesbury door, I’m assuming that’s part of the reason you ended up on Hudson & Rex, is that true?
JG: Yeah, they just moved me over. I was winding down on Frankie, and they were like, ‘Hey, we need writers on Rex.’ Initially, I was hired to just do one script and four weeks on the show, and I really thought it was just a short little stint, because they initially had, what was it, 8, or 10 episodes?

And then I suddenly got a call saying, ‘They’ve just expanded it, can you do another script?’ And I was like, ‘Great!’ And then a few weeks later, they’re like, ‘We just found out now that the order is 16. Would you do another script?’ And it kept expanding, so I kept getting a few more weeks, and then another script, and a few more. And now, I’m freelancing on Season 2, writing another script.

What were your first thoughts when it came to writing Hudson & Rex?
JG: I think the initial challenge was what is the tone of the show? Probably everybody assumed going in that it was going to be extremely lighthearted and comedic. And that’s my wheelhouse anyway, so I figured that’s what I’m going to bring also. Comedy is more my thing really. And then I get into the room, and the storylines are pretty heavy and dark. And I thought, ‘What is happening here?’ But it’s interesting, it’s just not what I initially expected, and I think maybe I wasn’t alone to think that, so we started to adapt. Making the dog the star of the show and trying to tell a mystery that would be impossible to solve without the dog—the dog is supposedly Charlie’s superpower—that is the goal that we always strive for anyway. It can be challenging, but it’s interesting that the show itself is more like just a cop procedural. So it doesn’t have that childlike, or younger, tone that maybe we initially expected going on.

Even though the writers’ room is so collaborative, when it comes to writing, do you go off on your own, do you have a soundtrack that you listen to while you write, do you need to be in a Starbucks or something with some background noise, how does it work for you?
JG: I don’t like listening to music, because I’ll start singing along, or even humming to a tune. I’m not hearing the words and the dialogue, so I like being quiet. But at the same time, I’m happy to work in a coffee shop, so background noise doesn’t bother me. But I tend to work at home. I’m flexible. I don’t have only one way that I can do it. I have a four-year-old and sometimes it’s wherever.

Is there anything that you’re working on that you talk about at this point, or is it all just about focusing on Hudson & Rex?
JG: A feature that I’ve been working on, it’s a biopic about Phil Hartman. I have a co-writing credit with Jonas Chernick. He wrote the initial script that I was brought on to rewrite, but we’re co-writers on it. So yes, story biopic about Phil Hartman, and we’ll see where it goes. It’s being produced by Tyler Levine at Carousel Pictures. Phil Hartman’s daughter has been very supportive and got the creators of The Simpsons on board with us.

Hudson & Rex airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv.

Images courtesy of Rogers Media.

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