ET Canada is proud to announce that Sangita Patel has been promoted to host, after ten seasons as a reporter on the Canadian Screen Award winning entertainment news program. Patel will now help lead the nightly broadcast alongside longtime host Cheryl Hickey, when ET Canada’s 18th season premieres Monday, September 12 on Global.
“It’s been an incredible journey to be part of ET Canada for the past 10 years, bringing the best in entertainment to our viewers,” stated Patel. “I am honoured to be joining the one and only
Cheryl Hickey as co-host, the first time that two women will be hosting together. It’s going to be an amazing ride!”
“It is so empowering to have our show back with two hosts, and leading the way into Season 18 with Sangita,” exclaimed Hickey. “This is an important time for all of us at ET Canada, and I am excited for what the future holds!”
Since joining ET Canada, Patel has been delivering entertainment news headlines to viewers across the country. In 2016, she was announced as host of HGTV Canada’s popular home renovation series Home to Win, garnering a Canadian Screen Award nomination for her hosting duties. Dedicated to utilizing her national platform to shine a light on organizations close to her heart, Patel is a supporter of Pathways to Education, Children’s Wish and ONE Campaign. Most recently, she spearheaded ET Canada’s HELP INDIA broadcast special when India was battling the nation’s worst COVID-19 crisis, bringing together some of the biggest names in entertainment to help raise over $135,000 for the Humanitarian Coalition’s emergency response efforts.
“Whether she is laughing with Julia Roberts, on the beach with Dwayne Johnson, or broadcasting from an aircraft carrier with Tom Cruise, Sangita’s energetic yet thoughtful interviews are what makes her an incredible journalist and an immeasurable asset to ET Canada,” stated executive producer John Kampilis. “We are thrilled to have Sangita hosting alongside Cheryl [Hickey], and have this unstoppable duo lead the show into our 18th season, this fall!”
ET Canada airs weeknights at 7:30 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT on Global. For up-to-the-moment entertainment news, celebrity interviews and more, visit etcanada.com, and stream ET Canada live and on demand with STACKTV and the Global TV App.
All aboard! Global is set to launch Season 2 of event thriller Departure on Wednesday, July 13 at 9 p.m. ET, with an encore presentation Friday, July 15 at 8 p.m. ET on Global and Monday, July 18 at 9 p.m. ET on Showcase. Departure stars Emmy Award® winner Archie Panjabi and the late Academy Award® winner Christopher Plummer, in his last onscreen role. The intense conspiracy series follows the ensuing investigation into a mysterious crash of a controversial new high-speed train travelling between Toronto and Chicago. Back for an action-packed all-new six-episode season, Departure was a Top 20 hit with total viewers and the #1 Canadian series across all key demos when it premiered in 2020.
Alongside Panjabi (The Good Wife) and Plummer (Knives Out), Season 2 features an all-star ensemble cast including Kris Holden-Ried (The Umbrella Academy), Jason O’Mara (The Man in the High Castle), Karen LeBlanc (The Kings of Napa), Donal Logue (Gotham), Mark Rendall (Versailles), Etienne Kellici (Murdoch Mysteries), Kelly McCormack (A League of Their Own), Wendy Crewson (Frankie Drake Mysteries), Charlie Carrick (Reign), Dion Johnstone (Sweet Magnolias), David Hewlett (The Shape of Water), Greg Bryk (Mary Kills People) and Florence Ordesh (Dublin Murders). The gripping drama is directed by Canadian Screen Award winner T.J. Scott (Orphan Black, Star Trek: Discovery) and created by Vincent Shiao (Ransom).
Departure Season 2 is a six-part event series that follows the investigation into the derailment of high-speed train The Apollo. Brilliant investigator, Kendra Malley (Archie Panjabi), heads to the U.S. to find the cause of the devastation in rural Michigan. With the eyes of the entire world on her, Kendra and her team unravel a series of interconnected threads, which lead to a number of mysterious motives. Was it the tech mogul inventor of the train’s automation software? Was it a mysterious member of a Mexican drug cartel? Was it a disgruntled employee resisting new technology? Working in conjunction with the FBI, Kendra must race to uncover the truth behind the crash and help to heal the damage caused by the terrible tragedy.
Departure Season 2 is a Canada/Ireland Co-Production from Shaftesbury (Canada) and Deadpan Pictures (Ireland), in Association with Corus Entertainment, Starlings Television and Red Arrow Studios International. Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, Malcolm MacRury, Jackie May, T.J. Scott, Paul Donovan, Ailish McElmeel, and Archie Panjabi are Executive Producers. Vincent Shiao and Chris Moreton are Co-Executive Producers. Patrick Cassavetti is Producer.
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.