Tag Archives: Frankie Drake Mysteries

Shaftesbury Kids expands development and production slate and commences virtual writing rooms for four new series

From a media release:

Shaftesbury, the award-winning production company behind the global hit TV series Murdoch Mysteries, is expanding the Shaftesbury Kids production and development  slate to include four new series: Mary and Flo: On the Go!, Life With Luca, Miikshi and Stinky Science. This ambitious slate, led by Jennifer McCann, Executive Producer, Shaftesbury’s Kids and Family, has united key creatives from across Canada and established virtual writers’ rooms for each series.

About the four new series:

In development
Life With Luca – (26 x half hrs) – Life With Luca is a live-action spin-off comedy series based on the long-running hit Life with Derek. The series picks up 15 years later, as Derek and his “Type A” personality daughter Skyler prepare to move in with aunt Casey and her extended family. What makes things complicated is that Derek’s daughter is way more like her aunt, and Casey’s “Type Z” personality son way more like his uncle. As Derek and Casey’s stepsibling dynamics are reignited, Skyler tries to adjust to her new life with an aunt she barely knows and FOUR cousins. But the biggest adjustment of all will be living with Luca, a charming yet rebellious prankster. The series is being developed with funding assistance from the Shaw Rocket Fund and the Canada Media Fund.

In production
Stinky Science (26 x 3 mins) – In pre-production. With animation from Smiley Guy Studios, this smart and gleefully gross series explores the science behind why things stink. Vibrant animation, loveable characters, smelly songs and stink-loads of comedy blend together in this magazine-style show, produced, performed and hosted by the characters from the acclaimed Stinky Science books written by Ed Kay with illustrations by Mike Shiell. The series is being produced with funding assistance from the Shaw Rocket Fund.

Mary and Flo: On the Go! (9 x 7-mins) – Inspired by Shaftesbury series Frankie Drake Mysteries, with animation by Smiley Guy Studios, this animated series is currently in production and follows beloved characters Mary and Flo as they travel the world encountering famous women and men of the 1920s. Part buddy caper, part history lesson, these two fearless heroines solve problems, resolve mysteries and help people everywhere with a healthy dose of girl-power to fuel their adventures. The series was co-created by its two stars Rebecca Liddiard (Mary) and Sharron Matthews (Flo) along with Carmen Albano (Detention Adventure). The series is being produced with funding assistance from the Shaw Rocket Fund and the Canada Media Fund.

Miikshi – (10 x 7 mins) – In pre-production. From creators Lindsay and Justin Lee, Miikshi follows the adventures of a shy but genius sheep scientist who saves the world one day at a time… quietly. Using her quick, resourceful mind and scientific smarts, this live-action puppet series provides a strong and unique female role model for a generation of STEAM-loving kids. The series is brought to life through hand puppets and model miniature effects. The series is being produced with funding assistance of the Independent Production Fund and the Shaw Rocket Fund.

Shaftesbury has released its full library of new and legacy kids programming on the Shaftesbury Kids YouTube channel, to provide families with free and easy access to entertaining and educational content. Some of these series are also available on CBC Gem and Citytv in Saskatchewan. The programming available includes The Solutioneers (released Monday, March 30, with new episodes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday), Life with Derek (all four seasons on CBC Gem) as well as the all-new series, ClearWaterKids Challenge, also launching on CBC Gem in May.


Preview: Frankie Drake Mysteries, “A Sunshine State of Mind”

And, just like that, Frankie Drake Mysteries‘ season finale is here. I’m so used to its Monday night partner, Murdoch Mysteries, being at least 18 instalments that I’m surprised when Episode 10 of Frankie shows up in my Inbox.

Yet here we are, and much has changed during this third season. With showrunner Peter Mitchell at the helm, I feel like the series has finally found its stride, from Lauren Lee Smith keeping her blonde locks to Rebecca Liddiard and Sharron Matthews really getting to expand the characters of Mary and Flo, respectively. Chantel Riley’s Trudy has evolved as well, making the show feel more confident and well-rounded. And, with storylines addressing sexual assault and racism, Frankie Drake Mysteries isn’t afraid to tackle tough subjects.

Here’s what the CBC has revealed about the season finale, “A Sunshine State of Mind,” written by Jennifer Kassabian and Keri Ferencz, and directed by Ruba Nadda:

After Nora and Mildred are swindled by a fake land-selling conman, Frankie and Trudy vow to get their money back.

And here is more information from me after watching a screener of the episode.

Things are getting hot
When we catch up with Frankie and the team, they’re sweltering under a heatwave in Toronto.

Recurring guests reunite
Wendy Crewson and Karen Robinson both appear in Monday’s season finale, which makes sense because Nora and Mildred, as noted above, get swindled.

Mary learns about her father
A quick task introduces Mary to Officer McKinlay (Andrew Gillies), who was her father Matthew’s former partner.

Joe Perry returns
Luke Humphrey reprises his role as Joe Perry. We last saw Joe in the episode called “Whisper Sisters.” This time, Frankie isn’t so happy to see him, as Joe’s visit involves a man named CC Glendale, played by Patrick McKenna.

Catch past seasons of Frankie Drake Mysteries on CBC Gem.


Preview: Frankie Drake Mysteries, “Ward of the Roses”

Last week’s episode of Frankie Drake Mysteries took a 90-degree turn from the light storylines we’ve come to expect from the series.

In a tearful exchange between Flo and Mary, Flo discussed being sexually assaulted years before. It was a bold choice to cover a topic like that on a show I’ve come to view as lighter in tone than its Monday night neighbour, Murdoch Mysteries. I doff my cap to showrunner Peter Mitchell and his writing team for tackling the subject.

Here’s how the CBC describes this week’s episode, “Ward of the Roses,” written by Andrew Burrows-Trotman and directed by Stephen Reizes.

An old friend of Trudy’s needs her help when she finds herself at the centre of a highly fraught election campaign.

And here are more details from me after watching a screener.

Olunike Adeliyi guest stars
The Workin’ Moms and American Gods actress joins 1920s Toronto as Etta Rose, who is running for Alderwoman of The Ward. While discussing how the voting preparations are going with Trudy and Frankie, they are visited by former Alderman William Hubbard. Look for Richard Walters to reprise his role as Tickles Malone, Flashpoint‘s Mark Taylor as Boyzey Pembroke, Marvin Kaye as a talkative bartender and Jann‘s Deborah Grover.

A history of The Ward
Anyone who is interested in Toronto history and learning about The Ward will enjoy some of the facts unearthed by Frankie, Mary, Flo and Mary in “Ward of the Roses.” If you want to learn more, read this excellent book.

No Frankie next week
Frankie Drake Mysteries is pre-empted on Monday, Nov. 18, because of the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Frankie Drake Mysteries airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.


Preview: Frankie Drake Mysteries, “Out on a Limb”

Last week, Frankie Drake and the team infiltrated a phone exchange to solve the case of harassment against a toymaker. This week they go undercover again but in a very different setting.

Here’s what the CBC has revealed about “Out on a Limb,” written by Frankie Drake Mysteries co-creator Carol Hay and directed by Ruba Nadda.

When a showgirl dies, Frankie’s investigation leads her to go undercover as a server at a mermaid-themed nightclub.

And, as always, a little bit of insight from me after watching the episode.

Paula Brancati guest stars
The last time I saw Paula Brancati on my television was on Netflix where she was being dispatched in a bloody way on Slasher: Solstice. This time she’s in a very different role as Maxine, a former showgirl at the nightclub. Also, Emmanuel Kabongo returns as Moses. Look for James Gilbert, Lou Jurgens, Daniel Henkel, Sara Mitich, Gregory Calderone, Richard Fitzpatrick and Keelin O’Hara in guest roles.

New team hangout?
When we meet up with the team, all four are at the morgue where Mary and Flo give updates on the case. The scene is just a few minutes, but I loved it. Having the ladies together in that setting really made an impact on me. I hope they do it more this season.

A serious storyline
Monday’s newest episode deals with a subject that is all too recognizable today and was just as prevalent in the past. One particular scene features Mary and Flo in an emotional discussion very different from what we usually see on Frankie Drake Mysteries.

Frankie Drake Mysteries airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.


Preview: Frankie Drake Mysteries, “Life on the Line”

After a week away because of the federal election, Frankie Drake Mysteries is back with an all-new episode. Thanks to previews, we already know that Sean Cullen drops by, but what else can be gleaned before Monday night?

Here’s what the CBC has released as a synopsis for “Life on the Line,” written by Keri Ferencz and directed by Adriana Maggs.

When a toy store owner is the target of a harassment campaign, the gang goes undercover at a telephone exchange to nab the culprit.

And here is more info after I watched a screener.

Flo is at a crossroads
We’re so used to seeing Flo working on—and making jokes over—cadavers. But, what if she passes all of her medical tests and becomes a doctor? Aside from her studies, Flo and Mary don headsets and do some detective work.

Matt Watts guest stars
Watts, who has starred in The Newsroom, Michael: Every Day and The Writers’ Block, is a major part of the A-storyline as Ernie Penny, the focus of the harrassment. He hires Frankie and the team to uncover the person behind it. Watts is pitch-perfect, a neurotic, twitchy, bundle of nerves who is convinced someone is out to get him. Also, look for Katy Breier, who portrayed Lydia Hall on Murdoch Mysteries, Rodrigo Fenandez-Stoll of Kim’s Convenience, Hannah Cheesman and Alice Snaden in guest gigs.

Bill and Trudy
Romaine Waite figures into Monday’s episode too. She calls him to move their lunch date—work and all—and he gives the telephone a quizzical look as he hangs up. What’s going on with these two?

Frankie Drake Mysteries airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.