Tag Archives: Gerry Dee

Survey says it’s time for Family Feud Canada

The air was immediately electric as I walked into the Studio 40 at CBC headquarters in Toronto. Anyone who’s ever watched an episode of Family Feud knows exactly what the show’s about, whether it was the Richard Dawson era, the more comical years hosted by the late Ray Combs, or the current version with Steve Harvey at the helm. And Family Feud Canada—debuting Monday at 8 p.m. on CBCdoesn’t disappoint; it’s impressive right from the start. From the iconic name tags to those oh-so-familiar sights and sounds, it’s exactly how you remember it—with a Canadian spin.

“We might have a French-Canadian question, you might hear the word ‘hockey’ a bit more, you might get a poutine reference. But it’s not forced,” host Gerry Dee told us during the show’s recent media day. “We had a family from Winnipeg here and they were pumping up the Grey Cup. So there are some very proud Canadians on set because it is our version.”

And because of its Canadian-ness, expect it to be pretty darn nice. “It’s ironic, it’s called Family Feud but there’s no feuding,” laughed Dee. “They really love each other. One team feels bad to beat a team. So far, so Canadian.”

Literally. Nearly 2,000 families across the country applied and the show has received 10,000 emails from those who want to be in the studio audience. All who are surveyed are Canadian, and the questions range from Canadian to more Canadian to super-Canadian. And they’re all vying—albeit, politely—for that $10,000 prize.

Family Feud may be a game show at heart, but because of all the comedy that comes with it, it’s pretty perfect for the actor-comedian. Dee found out that Family Feud Canada was in the works about five months after Mr. D, which ran for eight seasons on the broadcaster, wrapped. “When Mr. D was done, there was nothing. Then this came along and it was perfect.”

Luckily for Dee, he didn’t have to audition as the broadcaster knew what a good thing it had with him. He joked that CBC asked five other people before turning to him but acknowledged, “I think that they probably were looking at all the great choices Canada has and I’m very lucky that they thought of me. It was a pretty cool call to get but it was never on my radar.”

But as far as Dee is concerned, he was never not going to do this. “This is right in my wheelhouse. I’m not saying I’m perfect for it but it’s a perfect fit as far as for me, it is.”

The only difference between Canada’s version and the U.S., Dee points out is, well, him. “Obviously it’s going to be very different with me as the host. Some people will like it, some won’t, and that’s a given. There always is in entertainment.

“The only thing that could be worse is me,” he continued. “That’s the only thing that could be worse. But it might not be. Not sure yet. We’ll find out.”

Family Feud Canada airs Monday to Thursday at 8 p.m. on CBC before moving to its regular timeslot of 7:30 p.m. the following week.

Image courtesy of CBC.

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Family Feud Canada and Fortunate Son among CBC’s new series; Workin’ Moms, Diggstown and 22 Minutes renewed

A Canadian version of Family Feud with Gerry Dee at the helm, a drama based on Eden Robinson’s award-winning Trickster novels and a spy drama based on Heartland, Wynonna Earp and Jann executive producer Tom Cox were among the new series announced by CBC at the network’s Upfront presentation on Wednesday.

The network confirmed that Halifax-based legal drama Diggstown, sketch comedy 22 Minutes and comedy Workin’ Moms have all been renewed for new seasons.

Some sad news: CBC confirmed that Little Dog, Cavendish and Crawford have not been renewed.

Adapted from Eden Robinson’s novels and co-created by Michelle Latimer and Tony Elliot, The Trickster—from Sienna Films (Cardinal)—is described as a darkly humorous coming-of-age story that combines dysfunctional family drama with supernatural thriller. Jared, an Indigenous teen, meets Wade, a mysterious stranger who turns Jared’s life upside down.

Based on the real-life of Tom Cox’s family experience, Fortunate Son—created by Andrew Wreggit—is an eight-episode drama from Seven24 Films and Lark Entertainment about the matriarch of an American activist family who helps smuggle Vietnam war deserters and draft dodgers across the border. He is pursued by the FBI.

Gerry Dee is back on the CBC as the host of Family Feud Canada. Airing weekdays at 7 p.m., the 60-episode program showcases homegrown families from across the country competing to guess the most popular answers to fun, family-friendly survey questions from a sample of Canadians.

The Sounds, a co-production between Canada and New Zealand created by author Sarah-Kate Lynch, is being billed as a relationship drama about the goings-on in Pelorus Sounds, where nothing is quite as it seems. Peter Stebbings will direct all eight episodes.

New and returning unscripted series include Back in Time for Winter, Fridge Wars, High Arctic Haulers and Tallboyz.

CBC also made some casting announcements, noting Great Canadian Baking Show is swapping out Daniel Levy and Julia Chan for Baroness Von Sketch Show‘s Aurora Brown and Carolyn Taylor. As much as I’ll miss Levy and Chan, Brown and Taylor are going to be amazing.

And finally, Kurt Browning has been named head judge for Battle of the Blades with Ron MacLean back as the host. Olympians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will participate as guest judges. Those confirmed to take to the ice for the competition include figure skaters in Violetta Afanasieva and Vanessa James, and hockey players Sheldon Kennedy and Natalie Spooner.

The new series announcement comes just over a month after CBC revealed the projects returning for new seasons this fall and winter, including Murdoch Mysteries, Frankie Drake Mysteries, Heartland, Still Standing, Baroness Von Sketch Show, Anne with an E, Coroner, The Detectives, Kim’s Convenience and Schitt’s Creek.

Which new shows are you planning to check out this fall and winter? Let me know in the comments below.

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Preview: Mr. D clocks in for his final year

I remember the first few seasons of Mr. D well. Debuting in 2012 just as the U.S version of The Office was winding down, the CBC sitcom revelled in the uncomfortable and cringe-worthy. Every scene centring on mediocre teacher-coach Gerry Duncan (Gerry Dee) was an exercise in wincing. What would he say to embarrass himself? What would he do to make my stomach turn into nervous knots?

But over the last seven seasons, the award-winning show has evolved. Yes, Gerry is still putting his foot in his mouth, but the characters around him have grown to take on the comedy lifting and inject a ton of heart into the show as well. I credit that maturation to co-creators Dee and Mike Volpe, the show’s writers and cast for allowing the show to grow and breathe and become what it is today: a funny, heartfelt family comedy.

Now it’s coming to an end. Season 8 kicks off Wednesday at 9 p.m. on CBC with two back-to-back episodes. The first, “Big in Japan,” picks up right where the Season 7 finale left off: Gerry boarding a flight to Japan after an investigative report labelled him the “Nation’s Worst Teacher.” Hoping for a fresh start, Gerry decides (with Bill’s help) that being an ESL teacher in Japan would be best.

But hold on. Turns out firing Gerry would admit the exposé was all true. Instead, Robert (Jonathan Torrens) is instructed to hire Gerry back and claim the report was, you guessed it, fake news. While Robert is trying to do that, things at Xavier Academy are in a bit of a disarray. Lisa (Lauren Hammersley) is doing some investigating of her own and it appears new phys ed. teacher/librarian Emma Terdie (Kathleen Phillips) is making outrageous claims of her own. Mr. D has boasted a brilliant use of music as part of its storytelling; it’s used to great effect in Wednesday’s first episode as Gerry teaches two children English while Alphaville’s “Big in Japan” plays. And, by the end of the episode, a curveball is thrown that appears to affect the tone and direction this final season will take.

Tune in and enjoy Mr. D‘s final ride. I certainly will.

Mr. D airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Image courtesy of CBC.

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Link: See him after class: Comedian Gerry Dee looks at life after Mr. D

From Eric Volmers of the Calgary Herald:

Link: See him after class: Comedian Gerry Dee looks at life after Mr. D
“I think there’s a difference between being an idiot on purpose and not trying to be. I think that’s why he gets away with it and why it works. He speaks his mind, he doesn’t hide anything. Most people don’t do that. He has no filter. But it doesn’t come from a bad place. He’s just a bit of a buffoon and that’s why people accept it.” Continue reading.

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CBC renews Mr. D for Season 7

It’s lucky No. 7 for the kids and teachers of Xavier Academy: CBC has renewed Mr. D for a seventh season. Show creator, writer and star Gerry Dee made the announcement via his Twitter page on Thursday morning:

“We couldn’t be happier!! CBC has been so great to us and we are so thankful that they continue to believe in our show,” Dee said in a statement to TV, Eh. “Our loyal fans are awesome too.”

Based on Dee’s real-life experiences as a high school teacher before he switched to stand-up comedy full-time, Season 1 debuted in January 2012 to 1.3 million viewers, the highest-rated scripted show premiere on the network in seven years.

Gerry has been through a lot in the past six seasons at Xavier, embarrassing himself in front of Roberto Alomar and Donovan Bailey and accidentally marrying Lisa Mason (Lauren Hammersley). The Season 6 finale, “Gerry Charters a New Course,” found Gerry upset about his contract not being renewed at Xavier and considering starting his own school with help from Malik (Suresh John). Meanwhile, Lisa was without a job after quitting following a miscommunication.

Mr. D also stars Bette MacDonald, Jonathan Torrens, Emma Hunter, Bill Wood, Darrin Rose, Kathleen Phillips, Mark Little, Naomi Snieckus and Wes Williams.

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