The verdict is in! Today, Global announced that Season 3 of hit Canadian legal drama Family Law has been greenlit for an all-new 10-episode season. Produced by SEVEN24 Films and Lark Productions, and created by Canadian award-winning author Susin Nielsen, Season 3 is set to begin filming in Vancouver on May 24. The principal cast including Jewel Staite, Victor Garber, Zach Smadu, Genelle Williams and Lauren Holly all return for the new season. This renewal comes ahead of the show’s Season 2 premiere, which will be announced at a later date.
Family Law is a witty, heartfelt look at the trials and tribulations of an imperfect family. The one-hour legal drama follows Abigail ‘Abby’ Bianchi (Jewel Staite) as she navigates her new life with her family including Abby’s father Harry Svensson (Victor Garber), her half-brother Daniel Svensson (Zach Smadu), and half-sister Lucy Svensson (Genelle Williams). Season 3 will follow Abby and her dysfunctional family as they help other dysfunctional families – all while navigating their own personal dramas. Guest stars for the new season will be announced soon.
Lauded as “the unexpected drama worth bingeing right now,” viewers can catch up on Season 1 of Family Law with STACKTV and the Global TV App.
Family Law is produced by SEVEN24 Films (Heartland, JANN) and Lark Productions (Motive, Fortunate Son). It was created by Susin Nielsen (Robson Arms, Cedar Cove), who also serves as executive producer and showrunner. The series is executive produced by Jordy Randall, Tom Cox, Erin Haskett and Andy Mikita. This season’s writers include Sarah Dodd, Ken Craw, Sonja Bennett, Corey Liu and Jordan Hall, and directors include Andy Mikita, Jordan Canning, David Frazee and Alysse Leite-Rogers.
Today, Global announced it has greenlit a new original scripted series Robyn Hood (8×60). Created by prolific Canadian music director and renowned TV director and filmmaker Director X, and written by award-winning screenwriter Chris Roberts (Orphan Black, Frontier), the new near-fi action drama is a contemporary re-imagining of Robin Hood. The eight-episode scripted series, produced by Boat Rocker, is slated to begin production this summer in the Toronto and Hamilton area and will premiere on Global in the 2023 broadcast year. Additional information including casting and start of production for Robyn Hood will be announced at a later date.
In this modern take on the Robin Hood legend, Robyn is a fearless young woman who is not just another superhero, with abilities normal people don’t have. She is a Gen Zer driven by the injustices of today who embraces the heroic, hopeful and playful elements of the world’s most recognizable folk hero. She learns to fight for what’s right, to care for and lead her followers. And like all Robin Hoods since the first ballad, Robyn holds those in power to account by using their greed against them to help her community.
Robyn Hood follows Robyn Loxley, a young woman whose masked hip-hop band, The Hood, is known for their inventive videos and anti-authoritarian message. She lives in Sherwood Towers, a cluster of rental high-rises in a working-class corner of New Nottingham, a near-fi city where the cost of living has skyrocketed, leaving an ever-widening gap between the rich and everyone else.
When Robyn finds herself fighting for her home and her family against local property developer John Prince and The Sheriff of New Nottingham, Robyn and her band The Hood decide to fight back, righting the wrongs of the corrupt elite to give back to the people who are living under their regime.
Robyn Hood is produced by Boat Rocker in association with Corus Entertainment. The series is executive produced by Director X (Superfly, Mister Tachyon), Chris Roberts (Orphan Black, Frontier), Kerry Appleyard (Orphan Black, X-Company) for Boat Rocker Studios, Jill Green (Alex Rider, Magpie Murders) for Eleventh Hour Films, and Luti Fagbenle (Maxxx) for Luti Media, with Boat Rocker Rights handling distribution.
The folks at Family Law are in a pretty sweet position. With Episode 7 set to air this Friday at 9 p.m. ET on Global, a second season has already been filmed and in the can; we’re just waiting to find out when they’ll be broadcast. Having a second season already completed is rare in television and led to some nerves for Jewel Staite.
Staite—who has starred on Canadian projects like The Detectives, Motive and Stargate: Atlantis and U.S. projects like Blindspot, The Magicians, The Killing, Wonderfalls and, of course, Firefly—was nervous about how viewers would take to the show and her character, Abby.
When we first meet Abby, she is at her lowest point. A recovering alcoholic, Abby has moved out of her family’s house and moved back in with her mother. As a condition of her probation to return to her legal duties, Abby works at the firm owned by her estranged father, Harry (Victor Garber), alongside half-brother Daniel (Zach Smadu) and half-sister Lucy (Genelle Williams), leading to plenty of drama and laughs.
We spoke to Jewel Staite about filming Family Law and crafting a complicated character like Abby.
We’re getting near the end of Season 1 of Family Law, and a second season has already been shot and in the can. That’s a pretty unique position to be in. How does it feel? Jewel Staite: It’s pretty amazing. It shows that the network has a lot of faith in the show and is very behind it. We have felt supported, and the writers have felt supported by them and it’s great. Now, obviously, because it’s now on the air, things are a little bit more real. [Laughs.] We are open to public opinion now and it’s not just a show that we made in secret for us. Now, all we really want is a Season 3.
Are comedic performances in your background? From the eye rolls to physical comedy, your performance is a joy to watch. JS: Thanks, I appreciate that. I don’t get to do a ton of comedy, so when I do I like to have a lot of fun with it. Luckily, the people around me on the show, including [creator] Susin Nielsen, really like the idea of going for the humour in scenes.
In the audition process, I tried to stand out by making it funny and making Abby a little quirky in how she was written. I’m grateful that they appreciated that and agreed with me that that was the route to go with her. Some of her behaviour is a little unlikable, and I thought, ‘How can I make this person more acceptable to the audience in her actions and the things that she says?’
Making a lead character tough to cheer for is a tall order. JS: Exactly. I think, in the beginning, I was concerned that she wouldn’t be likable. I remember having this conversation with my husband where I said, ‘I just hope people like her.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, but if you go that route, you’re never going to approach it with honesty.’ I thought, ‘That’s completely right.’ It shouldn’t matter, and I should stick to making her as honest as possible, even if it means that, sometimes, she’s unlikeable and her behaviour is a little ugly.
Comedic moments aside, Family Law doesn’t shy away from tough conversations and scenes. When we meet Abby, her daughter, Sofia, is so embarrassed by her mother’s behaviour, and the larger themes of the show are dysfunctional relationships. JS: Yeah, it is. And it’s real. It’s an entertaining show in that there are a lot of fun, shocking moments and some laughs, but the reality is these people are going through hard times, especially Abby. It’s a heartbreaking time for her; she misses her kids a lot, she has screwed up her life and sometimes feels like she’s never going to get it back on track. She is so desperate to get her family back. There are a lot of sad moments.
And then the cases that we deal with are really sad. There is a lot of tough subject matter in these episodes, but it’s a great juxtaposition. The goal was to make the audience laugh and cry in every episode. [Laughs.] It’s beautifully written and tugs at the heartstrings.
The dialogue and conversations these characters have are very believable. Susin Nielsen chalked a lot of that up to the relationship between the writers and the cast. JS: As an actor, it’s so much easier to prepare and to remember the lines when it feels naturally conversational. Our writers are very gifted in that respect because we’re not improv-ing any of that stuff; everything is on the page and it flows beautifully. The characters surprise you with the things that they do and the things that they say but, at the same time, the way the characters are written and fleshed out, you feel like you are getting to know them very quickly.
The chemistry on this show was there from the very beginning. I don’t know if that was because the casting director [Maureen Webb] is amazing—because she is—or if it was just luck because we all just get each other. We’re on the same page and we have the same work ethic. We don’t rehearse a ton—we move very fast when we are shooting this show—and it keeps us on our toes and the day interesting. My favourite scenes are with the family because it feels so natural.
Family Law airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.
Eden Summer Gilmore first cut her acting teeth as a baby in a Gerber baby food commercial. But it wasn’t until she stepped onto the set of Riverdale, playing little Betty, when she was bitten by the acting bug.
“It was my first-ever speaking role, so I didn’t really know what to expect when I got onto the set,” Gilmore says. “I just remember the crew being so incredibly nice and it was the first time I was on-set, playing with my scene partner… getting to tap into the character made me realize that I wanted to tap into other characters too.”
Gilmore’s latest character is Sofia Bianchi, daughter to Abby (Jewel Staite) in Global’s Friday night legal drama Family Law. When viewers first meet Sofia, they witnessed a teen daughter who is not happy with her mother’s recent life choicesâ€”recovering alcoholic Abby very publicly threw up in a courtroom and has been separated from her husband, daughter and son as part of her probation, in addition to working in her father’s law office alongside her half-brother and half-sisterâ€”and is downright hostile at times.
That’s totally understandable, Gilmore says, because no part of Sofia’s life is a refuge.
“Going to school could be an escape from being at her house,” Gilmore explains. “But that’s not the case, and home isn’t safe either. Dealing with what she is, specifically, just makes it 10 times harder.”
Gilmore immediately connected with the character as soon as she read the first script, both because she and Sofia are almost the same age, and related to her so much.
“I also clicked with her because, if I saw Sofia on-screen, I would have fallen in love with her too,” she explains. “I want to be that for other girls. And it’s fun to play a smart and manipulative character.”
Family Law airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.