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Jerry O’Connell solves crimes in Bravo’s lighthearted Carter

If North Bay, Ont.’s tourism board is looking for a spokesperson, they should sign up Jerry O’Connell. The veteran actor of such series as The Defenders and Sliders speaks glowingly—and extensively—while discussing his next project, the Canadian original crime series Carter, debuting Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

“It’s a truly Canadian show,” O’Connell says on the line from London, England, where he’s shopping Carter worldwide for Sony Pictures Television. “I’ve worked on a lot of shows in Canada that have pretended to be San Francisco, painted out the Canadian flag and handled American money, but here they actually frame the Canadian flag and we actually use loonies and twonies. I feel like I’m a real ambassador for North Bay at this point.”

The project, created by Garry Campbell (The Kids in the Hall, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil) was filmed in the northern Ontario city—as was fellow Bell Media series Cardinal—and focuses on Harley Carter (O’Connell), an affable Canadian lad who made it big as a detective on the hottest cop show on American television. After a much-publicized meltdown, Harley has returned to his hometown of Bishop, Ont., where he reconnects with childhood friends Sam Shaw (Sydney Poitier-Heartsong) and Dave Leigh (Kristian Bruun). Sam, a veteran cop, quickly finds Harley inserting himself into her investigations while coffee truck owner Dave serves as Harley’s unofficial driver and wingman in some outrageous schemes. Unlike the dark, brooding of Cardinal, Carter is much more lighthearted, especially when Harley and Dave are bumbling their way through a plan to get information on a suspect. And, thanks for Harley’s years of playing a cop on television, he actually helps with investigations, much to Sam’s chagrin.

“I lived in L.A. for about 10 years and had a lot of Canadian friends there and I watched what it did to people,” Campbell says of the genesis of Carter. “You have enough people telling you, ‘You’re a star and everything should revolve around you,’ and you start to believe it. It changes people. I was fascinated with the idea of this Canadian boy who always had this idealized version of what Hollywood was in his head. The procedural element of the show is just gravy. I wanted to deal with a guy who gets away from his roots.”

Harley is far from his roots when viewers tune in to the debut instalment. Harley is basking in being recognized on the beach in Bishop when Sam appears and an awkward reunion follows. But when Harley’s housekeeper-turned guardian of 30 years is accused of murder (check out a photo gallery of Carter‘s cast, including Wynonna Earp‘s Varun Saranga) Harley demands he be included in the investigation. Yes, Harley is somewhat cocky, but what Campbell and his writing team of Larry Bambrick, Jenn Engels and Wil Zmak have created is someone immensely likeable. O’Connell, so long a co-star on series where he’s not the main man, steps into that role and owns it. The chemistry between he, Poiter-Heartsong and Bruun is palpable, especially in one key scene where the characters are relaxing in Muskoka chairs, sipping beer and recalling the old days.

“That was the moment, of all the moments when we kind of said, ‘Oh, we’re doing it. This thing is going to work,'” Campbell recalls. “We cast well. Those guys are amazing. And they’re just decent human beings and it shines through.”

Carter airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Photo gallery: Carter, Season 1

Where has the time gone? It seems just like yesterday when Bell Media announced Carter was in production up in North Bay, Ont. Now we’re just days away from the debut—Tuesday, May 15, at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo—and we’re sharing some gorgeous gallery images of the cast below.

Carter stars Jerry O’Connell as Harley Carter, the star of the hottest detective show in primetime television. After a much-publicized meltdown, Harley returns to the small town of Bishop to reconnect with his roots. Harley quickly reunites with his childhood friends Sam Shaw (Sydney Poitier-Heartsong) and Dave Leigh (Kristian Bruun) to solve crimes. Along for the 10-episode adventure are Varun Saranga as Vijay Gill, Brenda Kamino as Dot Yashuda, John Bourgeois as Chief Angus Pershing, Joanne Boland as Nicole Walker, Matt Barum as Wes Holm and Sherry Miller as Mayor Grace Hamilton.

Carter was created and written by Garry Campbell, developed with writer John Tinker and produced by Amaze Film + Television. Scott Smith directs. Executive producers are Amaze Film + Television’s Teza Lawrence and Michael Souther, and producer is Victoria Hirst.

Carter debuts Tuesday, May 15, at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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TV Eh B Cs podcast 77 — Elize Morgan vs. Alpaca vs. Llama

Elize Morgan is a writer of TV, games and digital series. She worked on Assassin’s Creed: Origins, was part of the Season 1 team for girls action animation series Mysticons, and is currently pitching for her co-created series Alpaca vs. Llama for the Independent Production Fund.

She created and produced two digital comedy series, Pretty In Geek and The Gate. She was also the editor of How to Make a Web Series (free on iBooks).

Elize wrote for the CSA-winning convergent project Grojband: The Show Must Go On and has been nominated for a WGC Award for her script “Heart of Gold” for the girls action series Mysticons.

Elize has worked on animated and live action properties for kids, including CBC’s Ollie: The Boy Who Became What He Ate, Rusty Rivets and Bagel & Becky. Elize has an MA in Popular Culture and is a graduate of the CFC’s Prime Time Television Writing Program.

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Anne, Alias Grace, Kim’s Convenience and Baroness von Sketch Show win big at Canadian Screen Awards gala

Alias Grace, Baroness von Sketch Show, Anne, Schitt’s Creek‘s Catherine O’Hara, Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany, Cardinal‘s Billy Campbell, Kim’s Convenience‘s Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and the series itself were among the winners at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards gala on Sunday night at Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Meanwhile, Murdoch Mysteries executive producer Christina Jennings made the fans’ night by revealing that Season 12 of the top-rated series had been ordered by CBC. Production starts soon.

The Academy Icon Award was delivered to Rick Mercer Report, Peter Mansbridge was given the Lifetime Achievement Award and Clark Johnson received the Earle Grey Award. Carmilla‘s Elise Bauman captured the Audience Choice Award.

The pre-broadcast winners were:

Golden Screen Award for TV Drama or Comedy
Murdoch Mysteries, CBC

Golden Screen Award for TV Reality Show
The Amazing Race Canada, CTV

Best Reality/Competition Program or Series
The Amazing Race Canada, CTV

The main television category winners were:

Best Lead Actress, Comedy
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek

Best Lead Actor, Comedy
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim’s Convenience

Best Performance, Sketch Comedy (Individual or Ensemble)
Baroness von Sketch Show, CBC

Best Lead Actress, Drama Series
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Best Lead Actor, Drama Series
Alexander Ludwig, Vikings

Best Drama Series
Anne, CBC

Best Comedy Series
Kim’s Convenience, CBC

Best Lead Actor, Drama Program or Limited Series
Billy Campbell, Cardinal

Best Lead Actress, Drama Program or Limited Series
Sarah Gadon, Alias Grace

Audience Choice Award
Elise Bauman, Carmilla

Best Limited Series or Program
Alias Grace, CBC

Here’s a list of the winners from TuesdayWednesday and Thursday‘s industry awards.

What did you think of last night’s awards? Did your favourite television show, actor or actress win? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

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Bravo original series Carter starring Jerry O’Connell premieres May 15

From a media release:

As announced yesterday at BANFF Connect TO, Bravo’s cheeky mystery-crime drama CARTER, starring Jerry O’Connell, premieres Tuesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET. CARTER joins Bravo’s exciting roster of diverse, exclusive dramas which includes LIFE SENTENCE, COLONY, SHOOTER and THE HANDMAID’S TALE. The entire season streams on CraveTV, after its exclusive run on Bravo.

Harley Carter (O’Connell) was living the dream. After moving to Hollywood from small-town Canada, he became a huge star as a detective on America’s #1 TV show. But years in the limelight and an endless blur of parties, premieres, and 16-hour workdays were starting to take a toll. It all bubbles over with a public showdown on a red carpet, prompting Harley to return to his hometown to reconnect with his roots. But as he tries to settle back into his old life, he finds himself in an odd new reality of playing a real-life detective with his childhood friends, no-nonsense police veteran Sam Shaw (Sydney Poitier Heartsong) and street-wise, coffee truck owner Dave Leigh (Kristian Bruun). Together, they’re solving crimes, with mixed results.

When Harley returns to his hometown, it’s difficult for people to see past his TV character and take him seriously, including his two best friends Sam and Dave, who think he might be having a midlife crisis. The mayor sees him as a potential tourist attraction for the town, while the police chief wants him nowhere near a crime scene. But Harley has turned a corner in his life and wants to prove that he’s more than a pretty face. It’s time for him to show the world that he doesn’t just play a detective on TV, but can solve real crimes, including the mystery of his mother’s disappearance 25 years ago.

In the premiere episode, “Koji the Killer” (Tuesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET), Carter returns to his hometown of Bishop, Ontario after a public scandal in Los Angeles. His housekeeper-turned guardian of 30 years has been accused of murder, and Harley demands to be included in the investigation. Along the way, he discovers that he has a knack for real detective work and may not return to L.A. so quickly after all.

CARTER also features Brenda Kamino and Koji Yasuda as Harley’s housekeepers/loving guardians; Varun Saranga as Vijay Gill, Harley’s enthusiastic but indecisive junior agent; John Bourgeois as Chief Angus Pershing; Joanne Boland as Nicole Walker, the town’s brilliant yet shifty pathologist; Matt Baram as Wes Holm, a highly competent and uptight forensic technician; and Sherry Miller as Mayor Grace Hamilton.

CARTER is written by Garry Campbell (MADTV), developed with writer John Tinker (CHICAGO HOPE), and produced by Amaze Film + Television. Scott Smith (THE MAGICIANS, CALL ME FITZ) directs. Executive producers are Amaze Film + Television’s Teza Lawrence and Michael Souther (THE STANLEY DYNAMIC and CALL ME FITZ), and producer is Victoria Hirst (THE STANLEY DYNAMIC).

CARTER is an original series for Bravo and the latest partnership between Bell Media and Amaze Film + Television, who produced the series for Sony Pictures Television Networks’ international channels, including AXN.

 

 

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