Tag Archives: eOne

Entertainment One bolsters Canadian unscripted creative team

From a media release:

Entertainment One (eOne) announced today the addition of Christine Diakos, who joins the company as Vice President, Development, Unscripted – Canada, Television. In her new role, Diakos will be responsible for the development, creation and pitching of non-scripted content, with a focus on lifestyle, reality and competition series.

Prior to eOne, Diakos was Senior Vice President of Production and Development at Big Coat Media, where she served as a Supervising Producer on such series as Love It or List It (HGTV), Love It or List It Vancouver (HGTV) and Jillian and Justin (W Network). She’s also served in a variety of senior production and development roles at Shaw Media and Peacock Alley Entertainment, working on content as varied as A Users Guide to Cheating Death (VisionTV) and Hockey Wives (W Network), among others.

Working alongside Diakos is Scott Boyd, who has been elevated to VP, Development, Unscripted and will oversee factual, true crime, and docuseries content. Boyd joined eOne in 2017 as a Development Producer, following eOne’s acquisition of Paperny Entertainment, and quickly progressed to Director of Development, steering such projects for eOne as Make it to the Moon (Discovery) and two-time Canadian Screen Award-winning Arctic Vets (CBC). Prior to eOne, Boyd worked as a Producer and Director across multiple unscripted genres and on several hit series such as Dragons’ Den (CBC) The Big Decision (CBC) and Undercover Boss Canada (W Network)

Both Diakos and Boyd report to Jocelyn Hamilton, President – Canada, Television.

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Lea Thompson and Stacey Farber cast as dynamic mother and daughter duo in CTV original series, The Spencer Sisters

From a media release:

CTV and Entertainment One (eOne), together with Buffalo Gal Pictures, today announced that award-winning television and film actress, director, and producer Lea Thompson (Back To The Future, CAROLINE IN THE CITY) and acclaimed Canadian actress Stacey Farber (VIRGIN RIVER, SCHITT’S CREEK) will headline the upcoming CTV Original procedural series, THE SPENCER SISTERS.

Created by Alan McCullough (PRIVATE EYES, ROOKIE BLUE) and executive produced and co-showrun by McCullough and Jenn Engels (SORT OF), the lighthearted 10-episode, one-hour series centres on a hot-headed former police officer Darby Spencer (Farber) and her estranged, internationally renowned, mystery novelist mother, Victoria Spencer (Thompson). Despite opposite personalities, differing sensibilities, and a complicated history, they embark on the unlikeliest of ventures: becoming partners in a private detective agency. THE SPENCER SISTERS is set to begin production next month in Winnipeg, with broadcast slated for 2023. Additional details are to be announced at a later date.

As one of the titular characters, Victoria Spencer (Thompson) is an intelligent, charismatic, and renowned best-selling author of mystery novels, who is suffering from crippling writer’s block. When her estranged daughter Darby returns home, Victoria seizes the opportunity to reconnect with her. After the two work to solve a crime together, Victoria is inspired by the experience – and the possibility of a mended relationship with her daughter – to sit behind the keyboard once more.

Darby Spencer (Farber) is a smart, opinionated, and passionate woman who follows in her late father’s footsteps and becomes a police officer – much to Victoria’s stark disapproval. Carrying an innate intellect and the natural intuition of an experienced detective, Darby’s career aspirations come to a halt when she impetuously quits her job as a police constable after an unjust reprimand. About to turn 30 and in a dead-end relationship with a cheating boyfriend, she returns home, where to her surprise, she finds she may have more in common with her mother than she thought.

Talent biographies for the leading actresses are as follows:

Lea Thompson
Lea Thompson is actress, singer, and director, continuously honing her craft for over 40 years. She is best known for starring in the iconic Back To The Future films. Thompson has also starred in All The Right Moves with Tom Cruise, George Lucas’s Howard The Duck, John Hughes Some Kind Of Wonderful, and Red Dawn. Thompson won the People’s Choice award for the title role in the NBC sitcom CAROLINE IN THE CITY. Her acting credits are many, including Sally Bowles in Cabaret on Broadway, THE JANE DOE MYSTERIES, 102 episodes of the Peabody award-winning series SWITCHED AT BIRTH, and many telefilms and Sundance indies. Some of her directing credits include THE GOLDBERGS, Chuck Lorre’s CBS comedy MOM and YOUNG SHELDON, RESIDENT ALIEN, Greg Berlanti’s, STARGIRL, and STAR TREK: PICARD. Lea is perhaps most proud of her feature directorial debut The Year Of Spectacular Men, which her daughter Madelyn Deutch wrote, scored, and starred in, along with Lea and her other talented daughter Zoey Deutch. She has been married to their father, director Howard Deutch for 33 years. She is represented by Gilbertson Entertainment, Innovative Artists and Yorn, Levine, Barnes, Krintzman, Rubenstein, Kohner, Endlich & Gellman.

Stacey Farber
Stacey Farber is known for her compelling performances in numerous hit TV series— both dramatic and comedic. She recurs as grief-stricken Tara in the Netflix chart-topper VIRGIN RIVER and played villainous Leslie Larr in The CW’s breakout SUPERMAN & LOIS. She can also be seen in the award-winning comedies SCHITT’S CREEK (CBC/Pop TV), GRACE AND FRANKIE (Netflix), and 18 TO LIFE (CBC) as well as UnREAL (Lifetime), THE BRAVE (NBC), DIGGSTOWN (BET+), CHICAGO JUSTICE (NBC), SAVING HOPE (CTV/Ion TV), and ROOKIE BLUE (GLOBAL/ABC). For seven years, Stacey portrayed the fan-favourite character Ellie Nash in DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION (CTV). She is represented by The Characters Talent Agency, Manager Christina Gualazzi and A3 Artists Agency.

A CTV Original series, THE SPENCER SISTERS is produced by eOne together with Buffalo Gal Pictures with the participation of the Canada Media Fund and the Bell Fund, and is distributed internationally by eOne. The series is executive produced by McCullough and Jenn Engels, who are both co-showrunners. Jocelyn Hamilton serves as Executive Producer for eOne. Phyllis Laing and Jennifer Beasley are executive producers for Buffalo Gal Pictures.

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East Coast dramedy Moonshine set to return for Season 2 on CBC next fall, with Allan Hawco joining the cast

From a media release:

Following last week’s Season 1 finale of original east coast Canadian family dramedy series Moonshine (8×60), CBC is revealing casting and production details for Season 2. Created by Sheri Elwood (Lucifer, Call Me Fitz) and produced by Six Eleven Media and Entertainment One (eOne), the series follows the Finley-Cullens, a dysfunctional clan of adult half-siblings battling for control of their family business – a ramshackle summer campground called The Moonshine. Production on the eight-episode second season recently wrapped in Nova Scotia and is set to premiere on CBC in fall 2022, with the entire first season now available to stream on CBC Gem.

The new season will see renowned Canadian star, Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle, Caught, Frontier, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Another Life) join the cast as biker Gale Favreau, following his steamy meeting with Lidia (Jennifer Finnigan) in the Season 1 finale. Picking up where the first season ends, Season 2 will include epic dance routines, dirty bingo, snow crab-jacking and a high stakes turf war with a band of outlaw bikers. Fate will manifest very differently for the entire family, with characters fighting their destiny tooth and nail as Lidia goes to extremes to save the business from financial ruin.

Moonshine stars Jennifer Finnigan (Salvation), Anastasia Phillips (Reign), Emma Hunter (Mr. D), Tom Stevens (Wayward Pines), Alexander Nunez (Avocado Toast), Corrine Koslo (Anne with an E), Peter MacNeill (This Life), Erin Darke (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Farid Yazdani (Suits), Allegra Fulton (The Shape of Water), James Gilbert (Salvation), Celia Owen (A Small Fortune), and Calem MacDonald (Umbrella Academy).

Guest stars rounding out the cast in Season 2 include Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernie’s), Shelley Thompson (Trailer Park Boys), Jonathan Torrens (Mr. D), Leigh Ann Rose (The Young and the Restless), Ernie Grunwald (Call Me Fitz), Joe Cobden (The Sinner), and Kirstin Howell (Diggstown).

A CBC original series, Moonshine is produced by Six Eleven Media and eOne. Created by Sheri Elwood, who is also showrunner, the show is executive produced alongside Six Eleven Media’s Charles Bishop. Jocelyn Hamilton serves as executive producer for eOne. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports; Trish Williams is Executive Director, Scripted Content; Sarah Adams is Executive in Charge of Production; and Gosia Kamela is Executive in Charge of Production, Drama. The series is produced with the assistance of the Government of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Film & Television Production Incentive Fund. Additionally, funding comes from the Canada Media Fund, Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and the Canadian Film or Video Tax Credit. Moonshine is distributed internationally by eOne.

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Heartland Season 15 begins production in Alberta

From a media release:

CBC’s original family drama HEARTLAND began filming Season 15 in Alberta yesterday. Produced by Dynamo Films and SEVEN24 Films, Season 15 will premiere on Sunday, October 17 at 7PM (7:30PM NL) on CBC and CBC Gem. HEARTLAND is the longest-running one-hour drama in Canadian television history, and the first episode of Season 15 will celebrate the 225th episode of the series.

Following the dramatic and emotional fourteenth season, the Bartlett-Fleming family learned a hard lesson: life is short and you have to live each day to the fullest. In Season 15 of HEARTLAND, they will put what they learned into practice. Last season, Amy said goodbye to the past. This season, she embraces the future – raising her daughter, working with the horses who continue to heal her, branching out into a new phase of her life and profession. She is moving forward and feels determined to leave a legacy. In fact, Jack, Lisa, Lou and Tim have all decided that now is not the time to pull back, but to ramp up, to create new dreams and fulfill old ones. And, as they always do, the family will pull together to help each other…and will ultimately end up stronger than ever.

HEARTLAND is a multi-generational family drama that is much loved by fans of all ages, not only in Canada, but all around the world. CBC’s HEARTLAND shares homegrown Canadian content portraying everyday family life on an Alberta ranch. HEARTLAND can be viewed on Netflix globally, as well as UPtv Faith & Family and Hulu in the United States. HEARTLAND has made its way into the hearts of families in more than 119 countries.

Filming locations for Season 15 include Calgary, High River, Millarville, and Longview in Alberta, Canada.

HEARTLAND is based on the bestselling series of books by Lauren Brooke. The executive producers are Michael Weinberg, Tom Cox, Jordy Randall, and Heather Conkie who also serves as the showrunner. The series is produced by Dean Bennett. The series writers are Heather Conkie, Mark Haroun, Ken Craw, and Alexandra Clarke. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports ; Trish Williams is Executive Director, Scripted Content; Sarah Adams is Director, Current Production, Drama; and Mehernaz Lentin is Executive in Charge of Production. A CBC original series, HEARTLAND is produced by Dynamo Films and SEVEN24 Films with the financial participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Government of Alberta, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit.

eOne is the international distributor of the series.

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Burden of Truth: Kristin Kreuk breaks down Joanna’s Season 4 struggles

Burden of Truth could have ended after last season. The Season 3 finale wrapped up the legal show-turned-family drama’s storylines in a neat bow, with lead character Joanna Chang, played by Kristin Kreuk, completing her metamorphosis from emotionally damaged corporate lawyer to self-aware justice seeker and mom-to-be.

But just like after the show’s first season—which so efficiently resolved its legal-heavy environmental plot that it looked like it had nowhere left to go—it found a way forward by digging deeper into its characters.

“This year, we thought the only way to really do another season is to take it all away from Joanna and see what happens,” says Kreuk, who is also an executive producer on the series.

And in the Season 4 premiere, airing Thursday at 8 p.m. on CBC, Joanna is clearly struggling. She and Billy (Peter Mooney) are trying to find their footing as new parents while waging a legal battle against a powerful mine company that wants to reopen an old gold mine outside of Millwood.

“[Joanna] and Billy are really trying to parent without any support,” says Kreuk. “They’re just doing it on their own in a vacuum while both of them are working.”

The situation is made worse by the mine’s ruthless legal team—who use the same aggressive tactics that Joanna did when she was a corporate lawyer.

“She sees this mining company come in with predatory behaviour that she was part of in her past,” Kreuk explains. “So she’s trying to defeat her shadow self.”

We recently caught up with Kreuk and asked her to break down Season 4’s biggest storylines and explain what it was like to film during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect production this year?
Kristin Kreuk: We got kind of a late pickup for the show this year due in part to, in March, nobody knew what was going on or what would happen or how quickly the pandemic would resolve itself. Then we started shooting later than we normally would for our show. We didn’t start shooting until basically the end of August.

In Winnipeg and Manitoba at that time, they had very few cases, they hardly had a first wave. And so for a while there, it looked like we may be able to skate by a little bit. But even from then, before we even got on a plane, we got tested. We tested the minute we arrived. On set, everybody was wearing masks and shields, everyone was kind of placed in pods. People had to step away from set to eat, and there were hand-washing and hand sanitising stations. We worked shorter work days so people could get more rest, so they didn’t get tired and their immune systems didn’t weaken.

So a lot changed, and it was a very different season of television. And Winnipeg’s cases started to go up quite a bit in the fall, and they were the worst in Canada for a while, so towards the end, we got worried. But it always felt safe because of all the precautions. In many ways, I felt safer on set than I did anywhere else.

Were there any story changes because of the pandemic?
KK: Yes, totally. One of the main things was ensuring that we didn’t have very many background performers, so we didn’t do courtroom scenes really. We used to have big courtroom set-pieces at the end of every season, and we didn’t do that this year. We had to change it up.

Season 3 ended on a very positive note for Joanna, but as this season begins, she’s having some problems adjusting to motherhood and also finding it hard to be on the less powerful side of a corporate case. What can you hint about her journey this season?
KK: Joanna and Billy, when we left them last season, were probably in the happiest place they’ve ever been. The pregnancy wasn’t too hard for Joanna, she was able to work, they were doing very well, and she had kind of healed a bunch of her stuff. At the top of this season, the reality is sinking in more for them, and Joanna’s really struggled. She’s feeling the pressures of what motherhood should be and feeling all of the narratives that have been put on motherhood, and they weigh on her.

And then there’s the fact that the job she does is so dangerous in many ways because she’s taking on the underdogs in cases. It’s something that the other mothers that she’s meeting aren’t able to comprehend. So she’s kind of in this place of doubt.

As you said, Joanna and Billy were in a very happy place at the end of last season, but being a new parent is hard. How are they going to handle that?
KK: What I love about Joanna and Billy is that they love each other, that’s not a question. But this year, you’ll see the differences in what makes them feel secure and safe. For Joanna, it has to do with her ability to do the things she’s best at, particularly because she feels like she’s failing at being a mom, which is debatable. If you just look at what she’s doing, she’s not, but she really feels like she is. She feels most secure through being able to be great at her job.

Billy’s sense of security also comes through Joanna being great at her job, but he also wants a more traditional life. And I think those two things butt up against each other because that’s not what Joanna wants or needs, but that is what he wants and needs. So we kind of see that unfold between the two of them, particularly because Joanna’s choosing, similar to last year, a case that isn’t helping them to make money for their firm.

Two recurring themes I’ve noticed are finding the meaning of home and finding your identity after trauma, and it looks like Season 4 will continue that trend. Was it always the show’s intention to explore those themes?
KK: We are aware of what you’re talking about, but I think that when we started the show, we only understood one small aspect of what that meant—at least, I don’t know if this was [series creator] Brad [Simpson]’s scheme all along. I think that we were really focused on Joanna’s own trauma, and we weren’t looking at it as completely, but each season we’ve delved deeper and deeper into that.

A manifestation of that through Taylor [Anwen O’Driscoll] this season is her trying—and her storyline is so beautiful this year—to find her place in a town that she thought she’d never come back to, that’s a representation of her horrible relationship with her father and her loss of a future she saw for herself, of having to like reacquaint herself with her dreams and her place on that land. This season is very much about kind of repositioning yourself on your land and in your home and how you can do that while incorporating the trauma of your past into that without forgetting it.

I thought Owen Beckbie’s fight against racism in the police department was a very interesting storyline last season, and Meegwun Fairbrother did a great job with it. What will happen with Beckbie this season?
KK: [Meegwun] wrote half a script this year, so he’s been a big part of the season. Beckbie’s in an interesting place where he’s finding himself in a position of power, and he thought maybe, as an Indigenous man in a position of power, could change things. But he’s realizing through being on the ground that that isn’t true, that the system is the system. And so this season is sort of about him evaluating his place in that system and how he can create the changes he wants. You see that through the cop aspect of [the story] and also through this kid, played by Skye Pelletier, who he sort of takes on. His relationship with Beckbie is a big part of the season.

Burden of Truth hasn’t been afraid to hold up a mirror to some of the darker aspects of Canada’s history, particularly its treatment of Indigenous communities. Have you gotten a lot of positive feedback about that?
KK: Honestly, I think people are mostly really excited that we’re delving into those stories. Some people have told me that they’re actually learning from the show, which is kind of sad because our education system should be doing that. But it’s also great that we can do that because I have always believed that one of the powers of scripted television or feature films is that you fall in love with people, with characters and then you can develop empathy for them in a way that you feel more connected to. So feedback wise, people have said that to me, people really appreciate it. But I’ve also seen some really negative stuff about how we’re super white-hating, which is clearly also not true.

Did you have a favourite episode or storyline this season?
KK: It’s hard to say because it’s such a serialized show, but there are images that have stuck in my head as I’ve watched them through all the edits. There’s a moment with Beckbie, he has a scene with Crystal [Michaela Washburn], who we briefly saw in Season 3. She’s a criminal and he is a cop, and they’re both Indigenous and they have an all-out, intense discussion. It’s a very good scene, and there’s a small moment that follows that I find really moving, where Beckbie is kind of facing his cop self.

There’s stuff with Luna [Star Slade] that’s really powerful this year as she tries to decide what path she wants to take for her career, whether she wants to focus on legal aid, or if she wants to sort of go in the direction that Joanna went, and she has to decide what will make more of an impact based on what she wants to do with her life.

And there’s stuff with Billy and Joanna as they manage being parents that I find really beautiful. They come to an understanding with each other and they have therapy scenes, which I think are also really interesting. There are a lot of things to look forward to from all these characters.

Burden of Truth airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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