Tag Archives: Cracked

Award-winning writer/producer Bruce Smith to lead story room for 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program

From a media release:

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Bell Media are pleased to welcome one of Canada’s top drama showrunners Bruce Smith as the Executive Producer in Residence of the 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program. From September to December 2019, Smith will lead the story room as well as the six television writers selected to participate in this year’s program as they work together to develop Smith’s original series.

Bruce Smith was most recently creator and showrunner of Street Legal on CBC. Previously, he was the showrunner of CTV’s award-winning drama 19-2 and of Cracked (CBC). Over its four-season run, 19-2 earned more than 30 Canadian Screen Awards nominations, including the win for Best Dramatic Series in 2016, when it was also nominated for an International Emmy in the same category. Additionally, Smith has worked as a writer/producer on numerous dramas, including Durham County (HBO CANADA), and has penned multiple award-winning MOWs and miniseries, including The Sleep Room (CBC), Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story (CBC), The Investigation (CTV), and John A: Birth of a Country (CBC), for which he won a 2013 Canadian Screen Award. Smith has received three WGC Screenwriting Awards, including the WGC Showrunner Award in 2015 and the McGrath Service Award in 2019.

The 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program participants are:

  • Henry Campbell (BC)
  • Imogen Grace (ON)
  • Amy Halloran (QC)
  • Rose Napoli (ON)
  • Lori-Ann Russell (ON)
  • Ian Steaman (ON)

This year’s program begins on September 23, 2019. The Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, now in its 20th year, delivers a real-world story room experience and an intense professional and project development process for six TV writers a year. The program has attracted some of Canada’s most prolific and successful showrunners to lead the story room as Executive Producer in Residence, including Michael MacLennan, Karen Walton, Brad Wright, Dennis Heaton and Alexandra Zarowny. The program has played a vital role in developing numerous hit series through its story room, including Travelers and the Emmy Award-winning series Orphan Black. Learn more about the program here.


Review: Cracked actor makes an impact on Rookie Blue

I miss Cracked. CBC’s dark drama starred David Sutcliffe as Aiden Black, a Toronto detective who teamed with psychiatrists to help folks with mental issues. Sutcliffe returned to primetime TV during Thursday’s new episode of Rookie Blue, where he made an immediate impact as a father with a pretty strict belief system.

“Perfect Family” was in stark contrast to last week’s return, focusing more on circumstances outside the precinct rather than inside, though Dov and Marlo’s continuing investigation into the evidence room bombing uncovered a link between a missing munitions contractor and the force itself. Also, a tearful Andy confirmed to Swarek she’ll stick around to help raise his and Marlo’s baby, the spark between Juliet and Nick burned a little brighter and Dias is getting in deep with Jarvis.

But the bulk of “Perfect Family” was a character study and analysis of changing times and family values viewed as out of date. Written by Adriana Maggs, the script spotlit a missing 16-year-old girl named Hayley Hill (Orphan Black‘s Zoé De Grand’Maison). Bringing her family in for questioning revealed some interesting little tidbits about her father, Lloyd (Sutcliffe). The boss of the house, Lloyd was religious, believed in abstinence and wasn’t above doling out punishment with his belt or making Hayley sleep in the garage. None of what he was doing was against the law, but it was certainly disturbing.

I caught myself shaking my head at Lloyd’s backward thinking before I quickly realized there are people who think that way, and raise their children without cell phones, banning them from wearing revealing clothing and demanding respect from their elders. In Lloyd’s eyes, the world is going to hell and he was making sure his family wasn’t going along for the ride. Was what Lloyd was doing out of line? Not in his own eyes.

But by the end of the episode the blinders were off his wife’s eyes and she was ready to face him in court over his actions, which included making Hayley sleep in a freezer when she misbehaved. (I knew right away that son Jeremy would poison his sister’s pop; the way he looked at her when she drank it betrayed his actions.) Lloyd’s arrest after he beat the crap out of Connor, the boy trying to save Hayley from harm, closed the door on the case, but cemented in Swarek and Andy’s minds the type of parents they want to be—and not be—for the baby.

Notes and quotes

  • I love the jangly rock music that started the episode.
  • Travis Milne has a gift for physical comedy. That scene where he was checking Jarvis’ wife’s car had me snickering.
  • Andy wishing she was a fish so that she wouldn’t feel emotions was alternately heartbreaking and hilarious.
  • “People talk. Screw ’em.” Amen, Dov. Amen.
  • “I know how to Skype a Thai hooker if I’m so inclined.” —Dov
  • This is the second week in a row that Gail hasn’t had much to do. Fingers crossed that changes next week.

Rookie Blue airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.


Comments and queries for the week of Jan. 23

Is it my imagination or is Schitt’s Creek actually the same set as Little Mosque‘s town of Mercy!?  The town hall looks like the mosque. The diner looks like the same diner Fatima ran.—A

It may look familiar, but while Little Mosque was filmed in and around Regina, Schitt’s Creek‘s external shots were filmed in Goodwood, Ont., about an hour northeast of Toronto. Creek‘s sets are in Pinewood Studios in Toronto.

I’m getting about 100 new emails from TV, Eh? a day. Is there any way to just get one daily digest of them all?—Steve

Hey Steve, yes you can! Sign up here and you’ll get a daily email of the top stories and links from the website.

Meanwhile, a couple of readers—Kate and Heather—were wondering how they could get their hands on DVD copies of Cracked. What I thought would be an easy answer isn’t. In the U.S., Season 1 of Cracked lists the first seven episodes of the 13-episode season in a package being sold as Cracked: What Lies Beneath through the BBC store. There is another version of Cracked Season 1 available, but it doesn’t contain an episode list so I’m not sure if they’re all in that set.

If you don’t mind not owning Cracked on DVD, you can stream both Season 1 and 2 via CBC.ca. I checked the links and they work … if you live in Canada. It’s also available on Netflix Canada.

Pretty sure the only mention of Joel’s father [on Saving Hope] was earlier this season when Joel headed to New Zealand for his fifth wedding … and that marriage is already failing. Looks like Joel is so afraid of turning into his father that he actually is, in a way. 

At the moment it’s show vs. tell with Joel and Charlie. Joel says he wants to be there for the baby if it’s his, while Charlie is setting the bar fairly high. Loved Charlie and Henry. Couldn’t figure out who Henry was, that was a good twist.

Looks like next week will be huge. The possible ‘revealing’ moment I’ve been expecting for a long time now. Can’t wait!—Hallie


Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? greg@tv-eh.com or head to @tv_eh.