Tag Archives: Frankie Drake

Preview: Frankie Drake Mysteries returns with a change in tone in Season 2

There are changes afoot in Season 2 of Frankie Drake Mysteries both behind and in front of the camera. As its production company, Shaftesbury, and CBC announced earlier this year, James Hurst took over showrunning duties from Cal Coons. Co-creator Michelle Ricci, meanwhile, has moved on pen Hallmark’s Hallie Dean Mystery movies starring Kellie Martin.

Fans will notice changes in front of the camera. As Hurst told me recently, a shift in tone has taken place for the series’ sophomore season. Serious themes will still be addressed, he says, but there will be less heavy storytelling.

Here’s what the CBC has released as an official synopsis for “The Old Switcheroo,” written by co-creator Carol Hay and directed by Ruba Nadda:

In the Season 2 premiere, Frankie (Lauren Lee Smith) learns that her mother Nora (Wendy Crewson) has joined the board of the Royal Ontario Museum, promising to bring an influx of treasures to the museum’s fledgling antiquities collection. Frankie and Trudy (Chantel Riley) investigate a break-in but find nothing’s been stolen. Meanwhile, Flo (Sharron Matthews) and Mary (Rebecca Liddiard) are embroiled in a mystery of their own after discovering a body in the morgue has been intentionally misidentified. 

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

Is Nora going legit?
After a lifetime on one side of the law, can Nora exist on the other? It would seem that’s her goal. Though, her promise to bring more treasures to the ROM had me wondering how she’d get them while staying above board. Speaking of the ROM, it’s a stunning backdrop in Monday’s return.

An X Company star drops by
Yes, I still miss Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern’s excellent Second World War drama terribly. The hurt was tempered a bit by getting to see Lara Jean Chorostecki back on my screen. She portrays Marian Hartley, a woman whose past is tied to Frankie’s. As with Murdoch Mysteries, Frankie Drake often drops historical references into its fictional tales. Tonight we hear about Howard Carter and Hiram Bingham III. Learn a little more about them here and here.

Flo and Mary take on their own case
These characters are great together. They’re both quirky and unintentionally funny, a winning combination in my book. Seeing Mary struggle to say a certain French dish and the pair teaming to identify the body in the morgue is a real treat. See if you agree.

An adversary for Frankie is unearthed
I’ve been waiting for someone to seriously challenge Frankie since Episode 1 of Season 1. It arrives Monday in the form of Dark Matter‘s Anthony Lemke. He plays Detective Greyson, a veteran cop who gets under everyone’s skin. Also? Slasher‘s Steve Byers drops in to play Hiram Bingham III.

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

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Frankie Drake Mysteries roars into Season 2

From a media release:

Production has begun on the second season ofShaftesbury’s 1920s-set FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES, a co-production with CBC and UKTV and distributed by Kew Media Group. Season one saw secrets emerge from Frankie’s tightly hidden past, from discovering her mother alive and working as a con woman, to her friends uncovering her past as a spy. In the sophomore season, cases will take Frankie and her team of gal pals across prohibition-era Toronto, from renowned museums and high fashion houses, to dance halls and baseball leagues. Season one of the series garnered an audience average of 782,000 on CBC, making it CBC’s second-most-watched drama of the current broadcast season*. Starring Lauren Lee Smith (The Shape of Water, The Listener, The L Word), the homegrown hit series will film on location in Ontario this summer.

FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES stars Smith as the private eye with a mysterious past, Frankie Drake; Chantel Riley (RaceThe Lion King) as Frankie’s fearless and clever partner, Trudy Clarke; Rebecca Liddiard (Alias Grace, Slasher: Guilty Party) as keen police morality officer, Mary Shaw; and Sharron Matthews (Mean GirlsOdd Squad) as spirited morgue attendant, Flo Chakowitz. Wendy Crewson (The Detail, SlasherSaving Hope) will return as Frankie’s occasional-con-woman mother, Nora; as well as Grace Lynn Kung (Mary Kills People, The Carmilla Movie, Star Trek: Discovery) as café and speakeasy owner, Wendy Quon; along with new guest stars for this season including: Natalie Brown (The Strain, Dark Matter, Channel Zero), Steve Byers (Slasher, Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments, Far Cry 5), Lara Jean Chorostecki (Designated Survivor, X Company, Hannibal), Alan Davies (Jonathan Creek, Damned, The Bromley Boys), Anthony Lemke (Blindspot, Dark Matter, The Listener), Romane Portail (Fearless, Sense8, Urban Jungle), and Vincent Walsh (The Fall, Played, Deception).

FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES series one launched on UKTV’s Alibi channel in January 2018. The show remains one of Alibi’s top-performing shows of the year alongside Murdoch Mysteries and is up 210% on slot on average.

Season two episodes will be directed by Ruba Nadda (helming five episodes as lead director), Cal Coons, Peter Stebbings, and Sudz Sutherland, and written by co-creator Carol Hay, showrunner James Hurst, Andrew Burrows-Trotman, John Callaghan, Cal Coons, and Jessie Gabe.

Set in 1920s Toronto, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES follows the city’s only female private detectives as they take on the cases the police don’t want to touch. In a time of change and hopefulness, their gender is their biggest advantage as they defy expectations and rebel against convention. Their cases take them through every cross-section of Toronto, meeting people of all backgrounds and means, as well as historical characters, along the way. 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, Carol Hay, and James Hurst, who also serves as showrunner; Ruba Nadda serves as lead director/co-executive producer, John Callaghan and Jessie Gabe co-executive produce, and Teresa Ho is producer. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Programming; Helen Asimakis is Senior Director, Scripted Content; and Melanie Nepinak Hadley is Executive in Charge of Production. Bonnie Brownlee is Executive Director, Marketing.

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 Group is the global distributor of the series.

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Comments and queries for the week of February 9

Like so many others, Frankie Drake and her pals grew on us and we certainly hope to see a Season 2. Good cast, lots of fun. —Andy

Strong characters and great stories. CBC should definitely renew for a long run. Lauren Lee Smith is smart, sexy and shows a great diverse cast with interesting stories. See ya in September. —James

The fact that Wendy Crewson had a role in this show originally made it of interest to me. Now I’m hooked on the storylines, the character development and the fine performances. I’m sad it’s over until next fall. —Debbie

I’ve enjoyed the series and hope it will be renewed. —John

This show grew on me. In my opinion, at the top, it was trying hard to be the anti-Murdoch instead of the pro-Frankie. Peter Stebbings’ directed episode is the one that hooked me and I look forward to seeing his next one. —Mel

 

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

 

 

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Link: Our TV critic moonlights as an extra in Frankie Drake Mysteries

From Tony Wong of the Toronto Star:

Link: Our TV critic moonlights as an extra in Frankie Drake Mysteries
I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or offended. After all, I was being offered a role on the new CBC series Frankie Drake Mysteries.

“You can play a waiter in a Chinese restaurant!” the publicist cheerfully suggested.

After years of interviewing Asian American actors such as John Cho (Star Trek), Eddie Huang (Fresh Off The Boat) and Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken) about the lack of Asian representation in movies and television, playing an ingrained stereotype lacked appeal, to say the least. I had also, in the past, pointedly called out Canadian television producers for making racist comments. So maybe I wasn’t the best candidate. Continue reading.

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Link: Frankie Drake Mysteries stars preview CBC’s unique new series

From Kelly Townsend of The TV Junkies:

Link: Frankie Drake Mysteries stars preview CBC’s unique new series
“It was great to read this script and to see that they made Trudy on the same level as Frankie. It’s not like one is better than the other, they’re both highly intelligent women. Especially being a black woman on television and having that role, is also very important for myself. Being able to see that character be as strong as she is and as courageous as she is was very exciting for me to be able to jump into.” Continue reading.

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