Tag Archives: Frankie Drake Mysteries

Comments and queries for the week of May 31

To misquote Billy Joe Armstrong “Wake Me Up When December Ends.” Except for Frankie Drake, Baroness and occasionally TNOT, I’m afraid none of the shows [on CBC’s fall schedule] appeal to me. The winter slate of shows look more interesting with The Sounds. —King

Wow, after all these years there’a finally a Canadian version of Family Feud. I wonder who will host it. I will definitely watch this. I’m glad Northern Rescue is getting a good window in the fall but I wonder if that means a potential second season might take a whole extra year to debut if it gets renewed. I also enjoyed Battle of the Blades. Definitely a great family show. CBC actually has a fabulous family slate coming up in the fall and the thing with the family shows is they get watched soon after airing because I often run out of things I want to watch with the kids. My own adult shows I have to wait till the kids are in bed to watch IF I don’t go to bed soon after them, lol. —Alicia


We love [Hudson & Rex], and while I don’t necessarily need every character to sound like a Newfoundlander, it would sure be nice if the odd one did. Why go to the trouble of letting us know where it takes place if we’re not going to hear one single person with an accent, like a whole retirement home and not one senior sounds like a Newfoundlander? It bothers me and it doesn’t seem realistic. You’re going to offend people from the east coast. Can we try to fix that next season? Thanks. —Julie

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.

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The women of Frankie Drake Mysteries jump back in action as filming on season three begins for CBC and UKTV

From a media release:

Shaftesbury today announced that production is underway on the third season of the award-winning drama series FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES, for CBC and UKTV, distributed by Kew Media Distribution. A top-rated drama for CBC and Alibi, the 10 x one-hour episode third season of the hit series set in 1920s Toronto kicked off production with a shoot in London, U.K. in April; the series will film on location in Ontario through to the fall. The third season sees Frankie face a family secret while episodes bring her and the Drake Private Detectives team into the world of British aristocrats, illegal boxing, the supernatural, and political fundraisers.

Nominated for “Best Debut Drama Series” at the 2018 Content Innovation Awards, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES was nominated for five 2019 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Drama Series. One of CBC’s most-watched dramas since it first launched in Canada in 2017, the series launched on UKTV’s Alibi channel in January 2018 and season two remains one of Alibi’s top-performing shows of the year alongside Shaftesbury’s Murdoch Mysteries.

FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES stars Lauren Lee Smith (The Shape of Water, The Listener) as the private eye with a mysterious past, Frankie Drake; Chantel Riley (Wynonna Earp, Pearson) as Frankie’s fearless and clever partner, Trudy Clarke; Rebecca Liddiard (Departure, Alias Grace) as morality officer, Mary Shaw; and Sharron Matthews (Mean Girls, Odd Squad) as morgue attendant, Flo Chakowitz. Returning guest stars include Wendy Crewson (The Detail, Slasher, Saving Hope) as Frankie’s occasional-con-woman mother, Nora; and Grace Lynn Kung (Mary Kills People, The Carmilla Movie, Star Trek: Discovery) as café and speakeasy owner, Wendy Quon; new guest stars this season include Honeysuckle Weeks (Foyle’s War, The Five) as Agatha Christie.

Set in 1920s Toronto, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES follows the city’s only female private detectives, Frankie Drake (Smith) and her partner Trudy Clarke (Riley) as they fight crime with the help of keen police morality officer Mary Shaw (Liddiard) and spirited morgue attendant Flo Chakowitz (Matthews). In a time of change and hopefulness, their gender is their biggest advantage as they defy expectations and rebel against convention. The Drake Private Detectives take on cases that explore every cross-section of Toronto, from gospel church choirs, bathing beauties and the early cinema scene, to the homes and private parties of the city’s elite. Frankie and Trudy’s fearless sense of adventure gets them into all kinds of trouble, but they always manage to find a way out. They are new detectives for a new world – but is the world ready for them?

Created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, Peter Mitchell, and Carol Hay; Peter Mitchell also serves as showrunner. John Callaghan and Julie Lacey are co-executive producers, and Teresa Ho serves as producer.

A CBC original series, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is developed and produced by Shaftesbury in association with CBC and UKTV, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit. Kew Media Distribution is the global distributor of the series.

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Hudson & Rex’s Justin Kelly: “I get to really play with these quirks”

I first became aware of Justin Kelly’s work back in 2015 when he was part of the ensemble cast of YTV’s cancelled-way-too-soon family drama Open Heart, playing a sarcastic scamp named Wes. Followed by roles on Citytv’s Between and Space’s Wynonna Earp, Kelly has returned to his old Citytv stomping grounds on Hudson & Rex.

Kelly plays Jesse, described in the show’s press materials as “the quintessential millennial: young, driven, more than a little awkward, and right at home in front of a computer.” What should be added to that logline is one more word: unlucky. With just four episodes broadcast so far, Jesse has been shot, drugged and almost drowned. We spoke to Kelly about his dangerous new gig.

So far Jesse has been shot, and in the latest episode, he was roofied and almost drowned. What’s going on with this poor guy?
Justin Kelly: I mean, that’s what happens when he decides to leave the desk. He gets into trouble. A lot goes down in the first few episodes with him. And we later learn that he might just be better behind his desk than being out in the field. But the field stuff is fun, so hopefully, we can expect more of that.

St. John’s is particularly special to me. What about you?
JK: Absolutely. It was a bucket list thing for sure, wanting to get out there. And I’m just lucky enough that I was able to get out there for work and for such a long period of time. It’s a beautiful, beautiful city. We’ve been shooting there throughout its winter, which can be pretty harsh, especially this winter has been a little crazy, there are still so many reasons to love it in spite of that. And I had the opportunity to really explore the city and walk around and do what the locals do. Yeah, I love the city, it’s great.

Tell me how you ended up being on the show in the first place. Did you go through the usual audition process?
JK: I did, yeah. It came out of nowhere. It was presented to me as this opportunity, that is like, ‘Come in and audition for this role of Jesse.’ I read one of the scripts, and it was something I hadn’t done before. I loved the idea of working for a major crimes unit in a police station. That was last summer, and it was around the time I was working with Shaftesbury on an episode of Frankie Drake Mysteries. I had gotten to know a few of the producers from Shaftesbury through that first, and then I auditioned. And about probably a week later, I found out I got the part, and the next thing I knew, I was out in St. John’s. It’s been a bit of a wild six months.

What goes into your thinking when you’re choosing a role? On a show like Open Heart, Wes was funny. On Wynonna Earp, Robin was a little bit strange and funny as well. Jesse’s a little bit offbeat, definitely the youngest guy in the team. What do you look for in a role?
JK: I think that’s exactly it. I’m a huge fan of comedy myself. One thing that these roles have in common was there was a place to go in terms of finding these quirks in these characters. I feel like every character needs to have something quirky and something off centre about them. That’s something I saw in Wes when Open Heart happened, was that he was the sarcastic Chandler Bing character that I grew up watching.

Robin was very similar. Robin was hilarious and this amazing damsel in distress, and was weirdly unaffected by all this crazy stuff that was happening around him in Purgatory. And with Jesse, I get to really play with these quirks and explore the nerdy comedic side of him, because he’s the youngest one on the team. He’s the millennial. He makes the jokes that the older folks don’t quite understand. That’s something that I just always latched onto and always really enjoyed.

The interesting thing about Hudson & Rex is that this group of humans are really tight. These characters don’t feel as though they’re the straight men to the dog. It’s great to have a dog on the show, but you also want to have characters that interact well with each other.
JK: Completely. You’re absolutely right, and that’s really important to me as well. When you deal with a certain formula of TV, where every episode is a different case, and you’re not necessarily following a linear pattern, you’re watching these characters grow within each episode. We’re so lucky that we have a great cast and that we get along really well. That happened right away, and that’s something that we’ve been playing with. A lot of these scenes that we have in the bullpen is really our opportunity to see how these four, and the dog, all react with one another. That’s the thing that keeps us going as well, is wanting to learn more about these characters as well as the dog.

What’s it been like working with Diesel?
JK: Having Diesel on-set is almost like … it’s almost like having Al Pacino on set. He’s so good, and he’s so well trained. He’s this presence, that as soon as he’s on set doing his work, everybody’s in awe of him a little bit. He’s this regal dog and is just there to do his job and is in it for the roast beef. And he’s all business, and it’s great to see. The episode that we just watched, ‘School Days,’ he’s pulling me out of a pool. To see how that all panned out and how it all worked was pretty amazing because they obviously did tests before, but he’s pulling me out. I’m wearing wet clothes and adding up to probably about 175 pounds. He’s just panting, trying to get me out. It’s really neat to see him work, and it really brings a bit of the camaraderie to the set, and everybody’s really just happy to have him there.

You just spoke about being in the pool. Was that a long day of production for you? 
JK: I think I was in and out of the pool for about five hours. I didn’t have to do a whole lot in terms of swimming, or anything. You come to find after about an hour, that treading water with wet clothes on is a lot harder than it seems, and it can really knock it out of you. I remember going home that day … I was finished by one o’clock, and I just konked out, and was like, ‘Wow, that was tough.’ I mean, I just watched the episode on video with my fiancée probably about an hour ago, and I was like, ‘I’m really happy with how that cut together and how it looks.’

Jesse is described as being this quintessential millennial. He’s young, driven, more than a little bit awkward, and right at home in front of a computer. What else are we going find out about this guy?
JK: Not to give too much away, but we really learn about how much his work means to him. I like to think that he’s going home and he’s still working, and he has that personality. So we really see how invested he becomes in this job and in working with these people. And that just continues to grow and grow.

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

Images courtesy of Rogers Media.

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CBC announces first round of renewals for the 2019-20 season

From a media release:

As Canadian Screen Week kicks off and CBC celebrates 236 nominations at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards, the national public broadcaster is confirming an initial round of original scripted and unscripted renewals for the upcoming 2019-20 season on CBC and the CBC Gem streaming service. To date, 17 titles across drama, comedy, factual, arts and documentary programming have been confirmed to return, with additional renewals across all genres and content areas to be announced later this spring.

Returning series for 2019-20 confirmed to date are as follows:

  • ANNE WITH AN E (Season 3, 10×60, Northwood Entertainment)*
  • BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW (Season 4, 10×30, Frantic Films)*
  • BURDEN OF TRUTH (Season 3, 8×60, ICF Films, Entertainment One and Eagle Vision)
  • CBC ARTS: EXHIBITIONISTS (Season 5, 26×30, CBC Arts)
  • CBC DOCS POV (Season 5, 18×60)
  • CORONER (Season 2, 8×60, Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films and Cineflix Studios)
  • THE DETECTIVES (Season 3, 8×60, WAM Media GRP Inc.)
  • DRAGONS’ DEN (Season 14, 10×60, CBC)*
  • FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (Season 3, 10×60, Shaftesbury)
  • THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW (Season 3, 9×60, Proper Television)*
  • HEARTLAND (Season 13, 10×60, Seven24 Films and Dynamo Films)
  • IN THE MAKING (Season 2, 8×30, White Pine Pictures)
  • KIM’S CONVENIENCE (Season 4, 13×30, Thunderbird Entertainment)*
  • MURDOCH MYSTERIES (Season 13, 18×60, Shaftesbury)
  • THE NATURE OF THINGS (Season 59, 18×60)
  • SCHITT’S CREEK (Season 6, final season – 14×30, Not A Real Company Productions Inc.)*
  • STILL STANDING (Season 5, 13×30, Frantic Films)*

*Previously announced as returning

CBC is celebrating 236 nominations at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards, a new record for the national public broadcaster. ANNE WITH AN E and SCHITT’S CREEK each received 15 nominations – the most for any scripted series this year. THE NATURE OF THINGS was honoured with 21 nominations and CBC DOCS POV received seven. Other returning titles that were nominated include: BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW (5), FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (5), THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW (5), MURDOCH MYSTERIES (5), STILL STANDING (4), IN THE MAKING (3), THE DETECTIVES (2), BURDEN OF TRUTH (1) and DRAGONS’ DEN (1).

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Comments and queries for the week of January 18

Why has Frankie Drake Mysteries disappeared? It was great fun and very interesting. —Doris

Season 2 of Frankie Drake Mysteries has completed its 10-episode run on CBC. We’re waiting, with fingers crossed, for a third season renewal.


As much as I enjoy all of the [Murdoch Mysteries] characters and the actors who portray them, I agree with many who would like William and Julia to be front and centre in the episodes rather than making an appearance now and then in the B storylines. I got interested in the show because of Yannick Bisson and wish he were in 90 per cent of the scenes, like in the good ole’ days. On another note, Julia has been a coroner, a family physician in private practice, an alienist and a university adjunct professor. Am I the only one who remembers Julia was also head of pediatric surgery in a new children’s hospital in Buffalo? So why is she “in school” to learn surgery? —Lynne

I love the show. References to old Toronto, Murdoch’s inventions, and Crabtree’s titles are fun. Seeing other characters take the lead is like taking a break; you need to develop those people too. I also find John B. a little flat. What I really want is for William and Julia to have a child. Thanks for a great watch. —Judith

The young lady who portrayed Annabella was like a beam of light. I really was into the character. We need to see her back again with the attraction to the young constable as a theme for another episode. Kudos! —Jack

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg.david@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.

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