Tag Archives: Shaftesbury

Cameras roll on Season 14 of Murdoch Mysteries

From a media release:

Shaftesbury announced today that top-rated Canadian drama Murdoch Mysteries has begun production on Season 14 for CBC and UKTV, distributed by ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment. Shooting is now underway in Toronto on the acclaimed one-hour series for 11 new episodes, set to premiere on CBC TV and the CBC Gem streaming service in winter 2021.

Season 14 will continue to explore new developments in the lives of Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson), Dr. Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy), Inspector Thomas Brackenreid (Thomas Craig), Constables George Crabtree (Jonny Harris), Henry Higgins-Newsome (Lachlan Murdoch), Violet Hart (Shanice Banton) and Detective Llewelyn Watts (Daniel Maslany) as they tackle Toronto’s toughest mysteries, from the serious and historic to the comical and unusual. Returning cast members also include Arwen Humphreys and Siobhan Murphy. In the first episode alone, historic character highlights include a young Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and Buster Keaton.

Star Yannick Bisson returns to the director’s chair for the first two episodes of the season. Other episodes will be directed by Peter Mitchell, Gary Harvey, Warren Sonoda, Mina Shum and Ruba Nadda.

Murdoch Mysteries is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, Yannick Bisson, Hélène Joy, and Peter Mitchell, who also serves as showrunner, and produced by Stephen Montgomery and Julie Lacey. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports; Trish Williams is Executive Director, Scripted Content; Helen Asimakis is Senior Director, Scripted Content; and Nicole Mendes is Executive in Charge of Production.

In the U.S., in addition to broadcaster Ovation, the series is available on Acorn TV and earlier seasons air in syndication. The series has been licensed to broadcasters in 120 countries and territories worldwide to date. The series airs in the UK on Alibi and is one of the highest-rated programs in France on France Television (France3). Other countries include: Brazil, China, Hungary, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Turkey, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Italy, Poland, and Norway.

Murdoch Mysteries is developed and produced by creator and producer Shaftesbury, in association with CBC, ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment and UKTV, and with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and the Independent Production Fund/COGECO Program Development Fund.

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Link: COVID-19 hits Newfoundland set of TV show ‘Hudson & Rex’

From the Canadian Press:

Link: COVID-19 hits Newfoundland set of TV show ‘Hudson & Rex’
The canine-cop TV series “Hudson & Rex” has been hit by COVID-19, forcing it to shut down production for at least a day.

Show producer Paul Pope said Friday a woman involved in the Newfoundland-shot series had tested positive for the disease and was isolating. Continue reading.

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Mental health remains top of mind in Season 2 of Ghost BFF

When we last saw Ghost BFF‘s Amy (Vanessa Matsui), things weren’t going well. She and Mitchell (Dan Beirne) had broken up, and she’d been haunted—literally—by Tara (Kaniehtiio Horn), Amy’s best friend who had committed suicide.

Season 2 is a struggle too.

Available on Shaftesbury’s KindaTV now, Ghost BFF reunites the two best friends—one living, one dead—for more hijinks. Created and written by Matsui, she admits to being caught off-guard by a second season renewal.

“Never did I think a second season was going to happen,” she says with a laugh. “I had to write it really fast, much faster than I did with the first season. I learned that’s a real rookie move. You should have multiple seasons in mind in case that green light keeps going.” Like the debut season, Ghost BFF digs more deeply into Amy’s struggles as she addresses unemployment, single life, unexpected challenges, and the continued grief of missing her friend.

Often, a web series doesn’t allow for a ton of character growth outside of the main player. Not so with Ghost BFF. Horn’s Tara evolves, in search of closure with her mother (Angela Asher), to help Amy heal and to gain a better understanding of her own narrative of what happened the day she died.

“I have a hard time not finding layers in the characters that I portray,” Horn says. “It’s not fun to play someone who is one-note. This is a comedy about suicide and I didn’t want the humour to come at the expense of such an intense, serious subject.” Eight PSAs accompany the new episodes, offering advice on mindfulness, depression, anxiety, boundaries and self-care. With COVID-19 continuing to wreak havoc with our lives—and many Canadians staying indoors—mental health continues to be important and talking about it even more so.

“In Season 1, Amy would use band-aid solutions to deal with her mental health,” Matsui says. “In Season 2, she isn’t wearing band-aids. She is being forced to deal with her real self, which is I think what a lot of people have had to do in this very isolating time.”

“Normalizing talking about mental health is really important,” Horn says. “I used to joke about having a glass of wine in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other. But that was my coping mechanism. I was very lost for a long time. But the pandemic has forced me to face myself. And, with things like Ghost BFF, I’ve started to talk about my mental health.”

Season 2 of Ghost BFF is available on KindaTV now.

Images courtesy of Shaftesbury.

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Shaftesbury aces inclusive stories with Crave’s The D Cut

Shaftesbury truly is a production company providing stories for everyone. Want a time period drama? Check out Murdoch Mysteries, Frankie Drake Mysteries or Dead Still. How about a more middle of the road mystery? There’s Hudson & Rex and Departure, each with their own storytelling twist. Those looking for LGBTQ2S+ characters and stories can find that too, in Carmilla, CLAIREvoyant and the brand-new series The D Cut.

The D Cut, which debuted six Season 1 instalments on Crave, visits a combination bike shop and hair salon, the latter serving the LGBTQ2S+ community. Based on a true story, The D Cut stars Marie Marolle as hairstylist D and Amrit Kaur as her newest client Viva; the web-length instalments follow D as she interacts with her existing clients, friends and Viva.

The D Cut cast.

“The D Cut was inspired by a Montreal artist [who] had a salon that was in the back of a bike shop,” says Audrey Dwyer, who co-wrote the project with Wendy Litner (How to Buy a Baby). One of the interesting things about that, she explains, was there wasn’t a set price for haircuts, so it made the experience more accessible to people who wanted to explore their look or wanted just a simple haircut. Dwyer—an actor, director and playwright—was teamed with Litner by Shaftesbury, presented with a few real stories from the shop and created their own. And while there is a dramatic tale regarding the future of the salon hanging over all, the heart of The D Cut is the will-they-or-won’t-they between D and Viva.

The D Cut co-writer Audrey Dwyer.

“[Amrit and I] had very little time to connect,” Marolle says with a laugh. “We had just one day of rehearsal and had to make a connection right away. It wasn’t easy, but we hit it off and it went really well. I was super-nervous but there also wasn’t time to be nervous.” Though they had a tight production schedule of just four shooting days—with D. W. Waterson directing—in Toronto preceded by one day of rehearsals, the chemistry between Marolle and Kaur is there from the moment D and Viva lock eyes. It gave me goosebumps. It’s performances like theirs that get me excited about Canadian content, especially when there are inclusive, diverse stories being told.

“It’s actually pretty awesome watching a brown person kiss a French woman on-screen,” Kaur says. “I’ve never seen that, so I was really excited to be a part of it. Hopefully, I get to tell more gay stories because I love to.”

All six episodes of The D Cut are available on Crave now.

Cast images courtesy of Shaftesbury. Audrey Dwyer image courtesy of Caro Ibrahim.

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Citytv’s #1 original scripted hit series Hudson & Rex greenlit for Season 3

From a media release:

Who let the dogs out?! As announced on Breakfast Television this morning, Hudson & Rex – Citytv’s highest-rated original scripted series* – is back with more bite as it returns for Season 3. Produced by Shaftesbury and Pope Productions Ltd., in association with Citytv and Beta Film GmbH, the new 16-episode season is bound to deliver more action and heartwarming moments with the return of beloved duo John Reardon as Detective Charlie Hudson (@JohnHBReardon) and Diesel vom Burgimwald as Rex (@hudsonandrex).

Working within the provincial guidelines, production for Season 3 is scheduled to begin this July with the paw-some duo investigating new high-profile crimes and sniffing out mysteries for the St. John’s Police Department. Sold to more than 100 Territories including Italy, Germany, and France, Hudson & Rex will continue to be filmed in St. John’s, Nfld, where the series is set. Starring alongside John Reardon and Diesel are returning cast members Mayko Nguyen (@maykohaixep) as Dr. Sarah Truong, Kevin Hanchard (@KevinHanchard) as Superintendent Joseph Donovan, and Justin Kelly (@IsJustKelly) as Tech Analyst Jesse Mills.

Viewers can catch up on the first two seasons on the Citytv NOW app for iOS, Android, and fourth-generation Apple TV.  Details on broadcast dates for Season 3 will be announced in the coming weeks.

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