Finding the love of your life and lifelong friendships along the way go hand in hand as W Network and Nikki Ray Media Agency greenlight and begin production on a set of romantic made-for-TV movies, The Love Club (4x120min). Corus Studios will distribute The Love Club internationally. Starring Brittany Bristow (Holiday Date), Lily Gao (Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City), Chantel Riley (Frankie Drake Mysteries), and Camille Stopps (Running with Violet), the made-for-TV movies are produced by Nikki Ray Media Agency for W Network and Corus Studios. The first of the four movies is currently filming in the Hamilton area with all movies shooting back-to-back until July. The four movies are slated to premiere Winter 2023 and onwards on W Network and will be available to stream live and on demand on Corus’ premium streaming service, STACKTV.
At a New Year’s Eve college party, four women, each dealing with their own dating debacle, take a vow as the clock counts down to call on one another if they are ever in romantic trouble again – a vow that has them resurrecting their “Love Club” ten years later as each of them search for their unique happily-ever-after. Over the course of four distinct movies, Nicole (Brittany Bristow), Sydney (Lily Gao), Lauren (Chantel Riley) and Tara (Camille Stopps) each are the lead in their own love story, while their friends are involved in helping them find true love. Each movie, told from the point of view of one of the Love Club women, will thematically open with a flashback that takes viewers back ten years earlier to the fateful New Year’s Eve party where the women meet and form the Love Club. Ten years have passed since the Love Club women made their vow and while they have remained friends, their busy lives have led them to go their separate ways, until now.
The Love Club also stars Marcus Rosner (Arrow), Jesse Hutch (Batwoman), Andrew Bushell (Jump), and Brett Donahue (Private Eyes).
The Love Club is written by Canadian Screen Award winner Barbara Kymlicka (Glass Houses), directed by Jill Carter (The Bold Type), and produced by Nikki Ray Media Agency in association with Corus Studios, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund.
Secrets of the past continue to haunt Bridgeport and layers of mystery are revealed in the second season of The Hardy Boys (10x60min), premiering Monday, April 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on YTV. New episodes will roll out every Monday at 8 p.m. and will be available to stream live and on-demand on STACKTV. Based on the beloved books by Franklin W. Dixon and nominated for a Daytime Emmy® Award and three Canadian Screen Awards, the popular mystery series is developed and produced in Canada by Nelvana, a world-leading international producer, distributor, and licensor of children’s animated and live-action content, and Lambur Productions, in association with Corus Entertainment.
The second season picks up six months after the events of Season 1, building on the mystery and drama of the inaugural season and welcoming new friends and suspects. In Season 2, when a Bridgeportclassmate mysteriously disappears, Frank (Rohan Campbell) and Joe Hardy (Alexander Elliot) drop their new normal routine to get back to detective work. But when they discover the mystical relic they destroyed last year is still in play, it becomes clear their simple missing person case is actually part of something far more sinister. The Hardy boys and their friends must quickly learn who they can and can’t trust as they race against time to unravel the truth, and ultimately realize that no one is safe from their past.
Filmed in Toronto and Southern Ontario, the series features an all-Canadian cast and crew. The Hardy gang is back in action with returning cast Rohan Campbell (Virgin River) as ‘Frank Hardy,’ Alexander Elliot (Locke and Key) as ‘Joe Hardy’, Keana Lyn (The Yard) as ‘Callie Shaw’, Adam Swain (A Million Little Things) as ‘Chet Morton’, Cristian Perri (A Simple Favor) as ‘Phil Cohen’, and Riley O’Donnell (Big Top Academy) as ‘Biff Hooper’. Joining the cast this season are Canadian actors Krista Nazaire (Before We Crash) as ‘Belinda Conrad’ and Sadie Munroe (Workin’ Moms) as ‘Lucy Wayne’.
The first season of The Hardy Boys received industry-wide recognition, recently earning three Canadian Screen Award nominations for Best Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or Series, Best Direction, Children’s or Youth and Best Photography, Drama, in addition to a Daytime Emmy® Award nomination for Outstanding Young Adult Series, two DGC Award nominations for Outstanding Directorial Achievement and Best Picture Editing, and a CSC Award nomination for Best Cinematography in TV Drama. The Hardy Boys also secured the #1 program spot last spring on YTV* and is currently the #2 streamed YTV show on STACKTV**.
YTV can be streamed via STACKTV, available on Amazon Prime Video Channels, Rogers Ignite TV and Ignite SmartStream. The network is also available through all major TV distributors, including Shaw, Shaw Direct, Rogers, Bell, Videotron, Telus, Cogeco, Eastlink and SaskTel.
*Source: Numeris PPM Data, Total Canada, SP’21 (Jan 4 – May 30/21) confirmed data, 3+ airings, Ind. 2+ AMA(000), YTV
The folks at Family Law are in a pretty sweet position. With Episode 7 set to air this Friday at 9 p.m. ET on Global, a second season has already been filmed and in the can; we’re just waiting to find out when they’ll be broadcast. Having a second season already completed is rare in television and led to some nerves for Jewel Staite.
Staite—who has starred on Canadian projects like The Detectives, Motive and Stargate: Atlantis and U.S. projects like Blindspot, The Magicians, The Killing, Wonderfalls and, of course, Firefly—was nervous about how viewers would take to the show and her character, Abby.
When we first meet Abby, she is at her lowest point. A recovering alcoholic, Abby has moved out of her family’s house and moved back in with her mother. As a condition of her probation to return to her legal duties, Abby works at the firm owned by her estranged father, Harry (Victor Garber), alongside half-brother Daniel (Zach Smadu) and half-sister Lucy (Genelle Williams), leading to plenty of drama and laughs.
We spoke to Jewel Staite about filming Family Law and crafting a complicated character like Abby.
We’re getting near the end of Season 1 of Family Law, and a second season has already been shot and in the can. That’s a pretty unique position to be in. How does it feel? Jewel Staite: It’s pretty amazing. It shows that the network has a lot of faith in the show and is very behind it. We have felt supported, and the writers have felt supported by them and it’s great. Now, obviously, because it’s now on the air, things are a little bit more real. [Laughs.] We are open to public opinion now and it’s not just a show that we made in secret for us. Now, all we really want is a Season 3.
Are comedic performances in your background? From the eye rolls to physical comedy, your performance is a joy to watch. JS: Thanks, I appreciate that. I don’t get to do a ton of comedy, so when I do I like to have a lot of fun with it. Luckily, the people around me on the show, including [creator] Susin Nielsen, really like the idea of going for the humour in scenes.
In the audition process, I tried to stand out by making it funny and making Abby a little quirky in how she was written. I’m grateful that they appreciated that and agreed with me that that was the route to go with her. Some of her behaviour is a little unlikable, and I thought, ‘How can I make this person more acceptable to the audience in her actions and the things that she says?’
Making a lead character tough to cheer for is a tall order. JS: Exactly. I think, in the beginning, I was concerned that she wouldn’t be likable. I remember having this conversation with my husband where I said, ‘I just hope people like her.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, but if you go that route, you’re never going to approach it with honesty.’ I thought, ‘That’s completely right.’ It shouldn’t matter, and I should stick to making her as honest as possible, even if it means that, sometimes, she’s unlikeable and her behaviour is a little ugly.
Comedic moments aside, Family Law doesn’t shy away from tough conversations and scenes. When we meet Abby, her daughter, Sofia, is so embarrassed by her mother’s behaviour, and the larger themes of the show are dysfunctional relationships. JS: Yeah, it is. And it’s real. It’s an entertaining show in that there are a lot of fun, shocking moments and some laughs, but the reality is these people are going through hard times, especially Abby. It’s a heartbreaking time for her; she misses her kids a lot, she has screwed up her life and sometimes feels like she’s never going to get it back on track. She is so desperate to get her family back. There are a lot of sad moments.
And then the cases that we deal with are really sad. There is a lot of tough subject matter in these episodes, but it’s a great juxtaposition. The goal was to make the audience laugh and cry in every episode. [Laughs.] It’s beautifully written and tugs at the heartstrings.
The dialogue and conversations these characters have are very believable. Susin Nielsen chalked a lot of that up to the relationship between the writers and the cast. JS: As an actor, it’s so much easier to prepare and to remember the lines when it feels naturally conversational. Our writers are very gifted in that respect because we’re not improv-ing any of that stuff; everything is on the page and it flows beautifully. The characters surprise you with the things that they do and the things that they say but, at the same time, the way the characters are written and fleshed out, you feel like you are getting to know them very quickly.
The chemistry on this show was there from the very beginning. I don’t know if that was because the casting director [Maureen Webb] is amazing—because she is—or if it was just luck because we all just get each other. We’re on the same page and we have the same work ethic. We don’t rehearse a ton—we move very fast when we are shooting this show—and it keeps us on our toes and the day interesting. My favourite scenes are with the family because it feels so natural.
Family Law airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.
Debts and detonations. That’s a key message delivered in Thursday’s Season 2 return of Big Timber on History.
The reality series once again rides alongside logger Kevin Wenstob and his team of family and staff as they work deep in the heart of Vancouver Island. This time the stakes are even higher than before. Aside from pulling down and shipping timberâ€”and the dangers and drama associated with thatâ€”mounting debts at the mill, and possible bankruptcy, cause Kevin and his crew to forge into uncharted waters. Literally.
During the last timber season, Kevin purchased a new claim and heads there … with a little help from his mini ‘dozer and grader. With snow too deep to cut much-needed red cedar, Kevin is on the financial ropes, especially after receiving some mail from the government. As with many documentary series of this type, drama is presented via situations like the aforementioned two problemsâ€”usually just before a commercial break and often ad nauseamâ€”and I have to bite my tongue and soldier through the storytelling trope to get to the good stuff.
Thankfully, Big Timber is full of good stuffâ€”like Kevin plotting to use a beloved old boat in the timber processâ€”and I’m looking forward to watching the full season.
Big Timber airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.
Link: Interview: Nurses’ Tiera Skovbye I may have interviewed Nursesâ€˜ star Tiera Skovbye more than any other performer. Thankfully, the delightful Vancouver-based actress is extremely kind and generous, and speaking through Zoom video turned out to be the ideal format to discuss the coming season of Nurses. Continue reading.