Tag Archives: Citytv

Production begins on new original drama, Rex – coming to Citytv in 2019

From a media release:

Shaftesbury, Pope Productions, and Citytv announced today that production has begun on new drama series REX (wt). Centred on the partnership between a police detective and his hardworking dog, REX is a procedural drama with a twist. Starring John Reardon (Van Helsing, Continuum), Mayko Nguyen (Killjoys, Fahrenheit 451), and Enrico Colantoni (Bad Blood, Flashpoint), the eight-episode, 60-minute series is based on the long-running, international hit series Rex, a Cop’s Best Friend. Executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, and Paul Pope, the series has begun shooting in St. John’s, Newfoundlandand will continue through December 2018.

Set in St. John’s, Newfoundland, REX is an action-packed police procedural drama focused on the partnership between a dedicated detective and his extraordinary former K9 dog. Rex and Charlie are a detective team that combine their individual skills to solve the most puzzling crimes. This is the first English-language adaptation of the highly successful European format that has aired in 125 countries around the world for 18 seasons.

Starring John Reardon as Detective Charlie Hudson, Rex’s partner; Mayko Nguyen as chief of forensics Sarah Truong; Enrico Colantoni as Superintendent Joseph De Luca; and Diesel (a Canadian Kennel Club Grand Champion) as Rex.

Shaftesbury and Pope Productions Ltd. produces REX in association with Citytv, a division of Rogers Media, and Beta Film GmbH. Beta Film GmbH holds worldwide distribution rights. Produced with the participation of the Newfoundland and Labrador Film Development Corporation, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Rogers Documentary and Cable Network Fund.

REX is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, Paul Pope, Ken Cuperus, and Avrum Jacobson, followed by Laura Harbin as Supervising Producer, Julie Lacey as Producer, and Lisa Porter as Associate Producer. Friedemann Goez and Oliver Bachert are Executive Producers from Beta Film GmbH. Episodes are written by Showrunners Ken Cuperus, Paul Aitken, John Callaghan, Jessie Gabe, Avrum Jacobson, Simon McNabb, and Celeste Parr. Episodes are directed by Felipe Rodriguez, Alison Reid, and John Vatcher.


Jessica Lucas to star in new original crime drama The Murders, coming to Citytv 2019

From a media release:

Jessica Lucas (Gotham, Cloverfield) is set to star as Detective Kate Jameson in new original crime drama The Murders, coming to Citytv in 2019. Produced by Muse Entertainment in association with Citytv, the eight-part, 60-minute episode season began shooting in Vancouver on October 9, 2018.

The Murders is a police procedural crime drama that features an episodic case of the week coupled with serialised character elements and a powerful soundtrack. Kate Jameson is a rookie homicide detective who searches for redemption in her investigative work after her negligence is the cause of a fellow officer’s death. In the pilot episode, Detective Kate Jameson is partnered with Detective Mike Huntley (Lochlyn Munro) as they navigate the case of a mysterious serial killer who uses music for destructive ends. Joining Lucas and Munro are star-studded cast members Dylan Bruce(Orphan Black), Terry Chen (Jessica Jones), Luvia Petersen (Ghost Wars), and Venus Terzo (Arrow).

Muse Entertainment produces The Murders in association with Citytv, a division of Rogers Media. Creator, Showrunner, and Executive Producer is Damon Vignale, followed by Executive Producers Jesse Prupas and Michael Prupas of Muse Entertainment, Shawn Williamson, Jamie Goehring and Jessica Lucas. Arielle Boisvert is the Producer. Lucas is represented by LA-based The Gersh Agency and Thruline Entertainment. From Rogers Media, Nataline Rodrigues is Director of Original Programming, Hayden Mindell is Vice President of Television Programming & Content, and Colette Watson is Senior Vice President of TV & Broadcast Operations.

The Murders will be distributed around the world by About Premium Content, a Paris-based distributor headed by Emmanuelle Guilbart and Laurent Boissel.


The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco: Rachael Stirling on Millie’s upcoming revelation and filming in Canada

When asked if she’s ever been to Canada before this year, British actress Rachael Stirling is quick to say no. And then she pauses for a moment.

“Oh, yes!” she corrects. “I spent one night, an overnight in Toronto with Jonny Lee Miller.”

It’s not what it sounds like. Stirling and the Elementary star were simply working on different projects with the same production company and had a layover on the way to the U.S.

“We went inside the interior of a pool bar—or many pool bars,” she laughs.

That particular night in The Great White North might be a bit hazy in Stirling’s mind, but she got a proper introduction to the country when she filmed The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco in Vancouver this spring, and it was a much more memorable experience.

“The whole thing was an absolute joy,” she says. “Canada looked after us beautifully when we were there.”

Stirling, who phones us from London, played Millie on the 2012-2014 U.K. series The Bletchley Circle, which focused on a group of former Second World War codebreakers who use their skills to solve crimes in 1950s England. In the new spin-off, Millie and Jean—played by Stirling’s fellow original series castmember Julie Graham—follow a murder mystery to San Francisco and form a new codebreaking circle with Iris (Crystal Balint) and Hailey (Chanelle Peloso). After the initial crime is solved, both Brits decide to stay and build new lives in the Bay Area, and more mysteries come their way. 

Stirling says she had no qualms about flying to Canada to reprise her role—”I’d just had a baby, I had no time to have any reservations,” she laughs—but it was “an odd thing not to be able to see a script before you sign on. They weren’t all finished.”

However, that script delay ended up giving her the opportunity to influence the growth of her character once production began.

“I think by the end of the show, we really enjoyed the kind of communication [that occurred] between execs and us and our beautiful showrunner Michael MacLennan,” Stirling notes. “It became a symbiotic sort of thing, where we collaborated increasingly, and I very much enjoyed that process.”

Stirling says that Canadian television shoots at a much quicker pace than it does in the UK. This led to a nightly “kick bollocks scramble” known as the “Bletchley Blitz,” where the cast and crew attempted to film the last scene of the day in a short amount of time—often through fits of fatigue-induced giggles. But that breakneck speed exposed the professionalism and “Canadian can-do” that was present on the set.

“It was so different from filming in England,” Stirling marvels. “There feels, to me, like there’s less of a hierarchy on set. Because a script editor can turn into a director. And indeed one of our best directors, Alexandra La Roche, started off as a script editor, and another director had been a [director of photography], David Frazee. I really enjoyed that work ethic. Everyone seems to understand a little bit more about what the other person is trying to do.”

If shooting in Canada was an enjoyable change of pace for Stirling, she believes moving the show’s setting from London to San Francisco was also invigorating for the series.

“I think it’s less dark by virtue that we’re in the California sunshine, and we replicated that pretty beautifully,” she explains. “And there’s something hopeful in the palate of this show. Something a bit more sparkly. It takes itself just as seriously, but I think it’s more fun. There are more hijinks involved. It’s just joyous and a bit more waggily-tailed and a bit less spectacled.”

Another change between the original series and the spin-off is the amount of time dedicated to character growth.

“What I loved about the San Francisco version is that the characters are slightly more interrogated as the show goes along,” Stirling says. “Whereas, the first two [seasons], you had a bit less room to find out who the women were and see how they relate to each other outside of the crime scenes.”

Viewers will particularly get to know more about Millie and Hailey in upcoming Episodes 5 and 6, “Not Cricket” and “Iron in War (written by MacLennan and Daegan Fryklind, respectively, and directed by La Roche),” when the codebreakers try to crack the patterns behind a series of vicious assaults in the city.

“You learn a lot about [Millie’s] history, and there were always certain things in the previous show that were supposed by viewers, and we address that in terms of where she’s been and who she’s been with and where she sees herself in society,” she hints. “It’s a real revelation.”

Stirling says she’d be willing to jet back to Vancouver for another season of Bletchley, so long as her husband, Elbow frontman Guy Garvey (who makes a late-season cameo), and their young son, Jack, can come along like they did this spring. “We were all able to just go together as a family, and I really relished that,” she says.

She also believes that it’s important for the stories to continue to be top-notch because she’s protective of Bletchley‘s characters.

“You just want something to be as good as it can possibly be and not take your eye off the ball,” Stirling says. “That’s how I feel about these women. I want to look after them as best we can.”

The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on Citytv.

Images courtesy of Omnifilm Entertainment


Kim Coates on Season 2 of Citytv’s Bad Blood: “It’s epic”

When we last left Declan Gardiner, he was alone. Everyone associated with him in Season 1—Vito Rizzuto, Bruno Bonsignori, Gio, Nicolo Rizzuto Sr. and Gio—were dead and someone was, literally, gunning for Declan. In the season finale’s final moments, a gunshot rang out. Was Declan dead?

Nope. Declan is alive and well. And, when viewers meet up with him in Season 2 of Bad Blood—returning Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv—he is still on his own. A lone wolf. Just the way he likes it.

Season 1 of Bad Blood was based on real life, the story on Montreal mob boss Vito Rizzuto (played by Anthony LaPaglia). It was adapted by Simon Barry (Continuum) and Michael Konyves from Business or Blood: Mafia Boss Vito Rizzuto’s Last War by Antonio Nicaso and Peter Edwards. But the sophomore eight instalments, written by Konyves, Alison Lea Bingeman and Patrick Moss, go off in a brand-new direction, following Declan’s adventures.

“There’s no book anymore,” Coates says during an interview earlier this year. “It’s our own highway. It was [Michael Konyves] who said, ‘I think we need to start present-day.’ The last thing we saw was Declan sitting at his cottage, finishing off his book. Bang! Bullet hole. Slow turn. ‘What the fuck is happening?’ You don’t know. So we start five years later. It’s epic.” (Coates has had an epic year or so himself. In addition to a Canadian Screen Award for his role as Declan Gardiner, he won rave reviews and the best actor trophy at the Dora Mavor Moore Awards for his role in Jerusalem.)

Half a decade later, Declan is running his own squad. That, of course, attracts some unwanted attention. Cue a new group of mafiosos from Calabria, Italy, to Canada in the form of twins Teresa (Anna Hopkins) and Christian Langana (Gianni Falcone). Once they arrive, the Langanas present themselves to Hamilton, Ont., brothers Domenic (Louis Ferreira) and Enzo Cosoleto (Daniel Kash) and their sons, Luca (Franco Lo Presti) and Nats (Dylan Taylor). Together, the sextet takes aim at Declan. Meanwhile, the Organized Crime Task Force gets ready to take everyone down with the help of a confidential informant. Although he prefers to work alone, Declan realizes that, in order to remain on top, he’ll need to enlist some help. To do that, he partners with Rose Sunwind (Sharon Taylor).

“My world meets their world and it comes together,” Coates says. “This is going to be bigger than the first season.”

Like Season 1, the second of Bad Blood was filmed in and around Sudbury, Ont., and Montreal. That meant a return to the cold Coates dealt the first time around. And while he hails from Saskatoon, Coates admits the years in Hollywood have had a dampening effect on his endurance with dropping mercury.

“We were in Sudbury and Montreal in November, December, a bit of October,” Coates says with a smile. “We got all kinds of different patterns. We’re all Canadian, but I’m a baby now. I don’t like the cold. I’ve become soft. Don’t tell my buddies.”

Bad Blood airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Citytv.

Images courtesy of Rogers Media.


Links: Bad Blood, Season 2

From Bill Brownstein of the Montreal Gazette:

Link: Montreal plays principal role in aptly titled crime thriller Bad Blood
It might not have the chests of all locals swelling with civic pride, but for those who have long bemoaned the fact that our city has played everything from Moscow to the moon, they will certainly concur that Montreal takes centre-stage in the aptly titled Bad Blood. Continue reading.

From Tony Wong of the Toronto Star:

Link: “I’m friggin’ in charge now”: Kim Coates talks about Citytv’s Bad Blood Season 2
Few actors can summon that kind of menace, levied with a sense of grace that emanates from the craggy-faced Saskatoon native. It also pretty much sums of the theme of Season 2 of Bad Blood, the City TV Montreal Mafia series that he stars in as mobster Declan Gardiner. Continue reading.

From Charles Trapunski of Brief Take:

Link: Interview: Bad Blood’s Kim Coates
At times an interview can be something of a challenge. At other times, the challenge is simply sitting and listening while a pro takes over (which is to say, it’s no challenge at all but a pure delight). Continue reading.

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

Link: Bad Blood’s second season is a deftly made, superior crime drama
Better and more textured, it’s about a lone-wolf criminal keeping a tight grip on his crime empire and obliged to recognize the limits of his power. The events of the book, based on the true story, are over. This narrative is new, inspired by and extrapolated from the original, but allowed to soar without sticking to the prosaic, albeit homicidal, truth. Continue reading.