Tag Archives: Industry News

Shaftesbury’s Ireland-Canada co-pro Dead Still currently in production for RTE, Acorn TV, and Citytv

From a media release:

Dublin-based Deadpan Pictures and Toronto-based producer Shaftesbury today announced that production is underway on new mystery drama series DEAD STILL (6 X 60). The Ireland-Canada co-production is co-commissioned by RTÉ and Acorn Media Enterprises (AME) alongside ZDF Enterprises. Set in 1880s Ireland in the Victorian era heyday of “postmortem photography,” the six-episode period drama follows a renowned memorial photographer as he investigates the murders of his recently deceased subjects. DEAD STILL is written by John Morton and directed by Imogen Murphy (Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope, Red Rock) and Craig David Wallace (Slasher, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Murdoch Mysteries). Acorn Media Enterprises has secured all rights in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom; co-premiere rights in Canada; and secondary rights in Ireland. ZDF Enterprises will distribute the series in the rest of the world. It was developed with the support of Screen Ireland and Creative Europe. DEAD STILL will premiere in 2020 on RTÉ in Ireland, on Acorn TV in the United States as an Acorn TV Original, and in Canada on Citytv, a division of Rogers Media. The series, with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI), is currently filming on location in and around Dublin through June 2019.

DEAD STILL blends mystery and drama with gallows humour, and features an incredible ensemble of acclaimed international actors including Michael Smiley (Luther as DS Benny Silver, Wire in the Blood, Death and Nightingales) as Brock Blennerhasset, Kerr Logan (Game of Thrones, Victoria, Alias Grace) as Conall Molloy, Eileen O’Higgins (Brooklyn, Mary Queen of Scots) as Nancy Vickers, and Aidan O’Hare (Jackie, Pilis) as Detective Frederick Regan. DEAD STILL also stars Jimmy Smallhorne (Taken Down, Clean Break) as Cecil Carruthers, Mark Rendall (Departure, Versailles) as Percy Cummins, Peter Campion (Derry Girls, Kat and Alfie: Redwater) as Henry Vickers, Michael Patric (Frontier, Supernatural), and Martin Donovan (Big Little Lies, Fahrenheit 451).

Dublin, 1880. The practice of memorial portraiture is at the height of its popularity – that is, the portrait photography of the recently deceased. As renowned memorial photographer Brock Blennerhasset (Smiley) expands his business with the help of his would-be actress niece Nancy Vickers (O’Higgins) and assistant Conall Molloy (Logan), someone with more sinister designs is getting in on the death photography game. A serial killer is cashing in on the sordid, developing taste for ‘snuff’ imagery – pictures of people in their death throes. The murders escalate and Detective Frederick Regan (O’Hare) of the Dublin Metropolitan Police suspects that Ireland may have its first serial murderer at large. As Blennerhasset becomes a possible suspect and his family is put in harm’s way, they must track down the serial killer before he strikes again.

DEAD STILL is executive produced by Paul Donovan, Ailish McElmeel, Christina Jennings, and Scott Garvie, and produced by Suzanne McAuley. DEAD STILL is an Ireland/Canada treaty co-production produced by Deadpan Pictures (Ireland) and Shaftesbury (Canada) in association with RTÉ, Acorn TV with Acorn Media Enterprises, ZDF Enterprises, and BAI, and with the participation of the Irish Tax Credit, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit. DEAD STILL was developed with the support of Screen Ireland and Creative Europe.

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Citytv celebrates Canadian storytelling with new 2019/20 original programming slate

From a media release:

A cop-and-canine crime-fighting duo, an 1880s photographer with a macabre specialty, and an intergalactic space queen are among the weirdly wonderful characters coming to Citytv in 2019/20. The new original Canadian programming slate includes scripted series Hudson & Rex (Season 2), Dead Still, and Vagrant Queen. And with six new Canadian shows in development for Citytv, there are even more original stories to come for TV lovers.

With a Season 2 order for Hudson & Rex, Citytv’s popular original Canadian scripted series returns to the Fall schedule with more of what audiences love. Produced by Shaftesbury and Pope Productions Ltd., in association with Citytv and Beta Film GmbH, the police-procedural drama set in St. John’s, Nfld. follows detective Charlie Hudson (John Reardon, Van Helsing) and his German Shepherd partner, Rex (canine Diesel vom Burgimwald). Hudson & Rex is Citytv’s highest-rated original scripted series since 2015, reaching more than 2.5M viewers during its first six debut episodes*. Based on the Austrian drama Inspector Rex, Hudson & Rex also stars Mayko Nguyen (Killjoys) as Doctor Sarah Truong, Kevin Hanchard (Orphan Black) as Superintendent Joe Donovan, and Justin Kelly (Wynonna Earp) as Tech Analyst Jesse Mills.

Citytv works with some of the most innovative content creators and global partners to bring to life great new stories to appeal to Canadians, and indeed, international audiences. Building on the success of Hudson & Rex, Citytv again collaborates with Toronto-based Shaftesbury on the new series Dead Still, an Ireland/Canada treaty co-production, with RTE as the Irish broadcaster and Acorn TV in the U.S. And a fierce new heroine also joins Citytv as live-action sci-fi drama series Vagrant Queen brings the graphic novel story to a whole new audience in a Canada/South Africa treaty co-production by Toronto’s Blue Ice Pictures, also broadcast on Syfy in the U.S. Both series join the Citytv schedule in 2020.

Hudson & Rex, Dead Still, and Vagrant Queen are the newest chapters in Citytv’s ongoing commitment to tell great stories by and for Canadians. Championing Canadian independent producers and production companies across the country, Citytv supports the local industry and invests in homegrown talent with commissions that capture Canada’s rich regional character. Citytv’s original content celebrates our uniquely Canadian perspective and delivers world-class entertainment to 30 million Canadians every week.

Citytv’s New Original Series Descriptions

Broadcast dates/times to be announced in the coming months

DEAD STILL
Citytv ventures to 1880s Ireland, during the earliest days of photography, with the original light-hearted drama series Dead Still. Brock Blennerhasset (Michael Smiley, Luther) is a master photographer with the unusual specialty of “memorial photography” – taking pictures of the dead. And he’s making a killing. But not every photo captures tranquil and eternal repose. The photographer and his assistant Connal Molloy (Kerr Logan, Alias Grace), find themselves embroiled in his subjects’ mysterious deaths or murders. Dead Still blends mystery and drama with gallows humour to present a comic thriller with a witty take on the complications of working as a photographer in the early years of the practice. Dead Still also stars Eileen O’Higgens (Brooklyn), Mark Rendall (Versailles), Martin Donovan (Big Little Lies), Aidan O’Hare (Jackie), Jimmy Smallhorne (Taken Down), and Peter Campion (Derry Girls).

VAGRANT QUEEN
Featuring an all-female team of writers and directors led by Jem Garrard, Vagrant Queen is a live-action adaptation of the popular graphic novel. Driven from her throne as a child, queen Elida (Adriyan Rae, Light as a Feather) has wandered the galaxy for 15 years, scavenging for space junk and trying to evade a Republic government out to extinguish her millennia-old bloodline. When old frenemy Isaac (Tim Rozon, Wynona Earp) shows up claiming her mother is still alive, they return to her former kingdom to stage a rescue – bringing Elida face-to-face with a deadly foe from her childhood, Commander Lazaro (Paul du Toit, Maze Runner). Executive Producers are Lance Samuels and Daniel Iron.

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CBC unveils 2019-2020 primetime schedule

In addition to the CBC revealing the new shows joining the lineup this fall and winter, the network pulled back the curtain on its primetime schedule.

We have yet to confirm actual debut and premiere dates, but here’s what each night will look like.

MONDAYS
8 PM – MURDOCH MYSTERIES *Season 13* (FALL/WINTER)
9 PM – FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES *Season 3* (FALL)
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

TUESDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *NEW SERIES* (LATE FALL)
8 PM – STILL STANDING *Season 5*(FALL)
8:30 PM – THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES *Season 27* (FALL/WINTER)
9 PM – TALLBOYZ *NEW SERIES* (FALL)
9:30 PM – BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW *Season 4*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

WEDNESDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *NEW SERIES* (LATE FALL)
8 PM – THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW *Season 3*(FALL)
9 PM – NORTHERN RESCUE *Season 1*(FALL)
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

THURSDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *NEW SERIES* (LATE FALL)
8 PM – BATTLE OF THE BLADES RETURNS (FALL)
9 PM – DRAGONS’ DEN *Season 14* (FALL)
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

FRIDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *NEW SERIES* (LATE FALL)
8 PM – MARKETPLACE *Season 47*(FALL/WINTER)
8:30 PM – IN THE MAKING *Season 2* (FALL)
9 PM – THE NATURE OF THINGS *Season 59* (FALL/WINTER) – New Night
10 PM – THE NATIONAL
11:30 PM – CBC ARTS: EXHIBITIONISTS (FALL/WINTER)

SATURDAYS
Afternoon – ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES *Season 5* (FALL/WINTER)
6:30 PM – HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA (FALL/WINTER)

SUNDAYS
Afternoon – ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES *Season 5* (FALL/WINTER)
7 PM – HEARTLAND *Season 13* (FALL)
8 PM – ANNE WITH AN E *Season 3*(FALL)
9 PM – THE FIFTH ESTATE *Season 45*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

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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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Canadian screenwriters and independent producers reach terms on new Independent Production Agreement

From a media release:

Today, the Canadian Media Producers Association and the Writers Guild of Canada jointly announced the successful conclusion of negotiations, resulting in an agreement in principle on the terms for a new Independent Production Agreement. The CMPA-WGC Independent Production Agreement establishes the terms, conditions and rates for writers, story editors, and story consultants.

“We are proud to have come to terms on an agreement that truly values the important alliance that exists between Canadian screenwriters and independent producers,” said Warren Ross, the CMPA’s Vice-President of National Industrial Relations and Senior Counsel. “I want to thank the individuals on both sides of the bargaining table for their commitment to finding solutions that serve to benefit the future of our sector and Canadian storytelling on screen.”

“As the industry continues to evolve in Canada, we are pleased to have reached this agreement with the CMPA,” said Maureen Parker, WGC Executive Director. “We feel it will continue to both protect the interests of Canadian screenwriters and maintain a good relationship with our producer partners for several years to come.”

The terms for the new three-year Independent Production Agreement will be sent to the CMPA’s Board of Directors, and distributed by the WGC, for ratification. The current agreement expires on June 30, 2019.

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