Tag Archives: Sphere Media

Transplant’s Laurence Leboeuf: “Something is about to happen that I don’t think people are going to see coming”

Medical shows are a dime a dozen. As such, it takes a special kind of show in that genre to make me perk up, take notice and—most importantly—tune in every week.

Transplant is that special kind of show. Created by Joseph Kay, Transplant is a medical drama with a twist—a Syrian refugee and his sister come to Canada where he works in a Toronto hospital—filled with characters that are flawed, complex and, thankfully, memorable. There is a reason the show is No. 1 in this country and was recently picked up to air on NBC. Yes, it’s that damn good.

Actress Laurence Leboeuf is an integral part of Transplant‘s success. Leboeuf, who I saw last on Bell Media’s equally excellent cop drama 19-2, plays Mags Leblanc, a workaholic resident who—as the season has progressed—has become quite close with newbie Bash (Hamza Haq).

We spoke to Laurence Leboeuf ahead of Wednesday’s season finale, which promises to be a nailbiter if CTV’s synopsis is to be trusted: Bash and Mags race to save a woman with mysterious symptoms who was nearly killed by their team’s medical error, Dr. Bishop and Claire face a devastating realization, Theo tries to help a gravely ill teen and his family deal with the possibility that medical hope has run out, and June finds a mystery patient unconscious in the waiting room and goes to battle to save him.

Give me your origin story. How did you get involved? Did you have to audition for the character of Mags or because of your relationship with Sphere Media Plus; did they already have you in their stable of talent?
Laurence Leboeuf: Yeah, exactly. It was through that beautiful gang of people that I knew from 19-2 and then they, I guess read this role and they were like, ‘We think Laurence would be great for that.’ And I met with Joseph Kay, whom I didn’t know before, so I met him through FaceTime and talked about the character and the journey for Mags. That was it. I was part of the show. It was an amazing way to be cast.

She’s a fascinating character, she’s loyal and hard-working and she’s smart but she’s also seeking approval. She lives at work and she’s very complicated. She must be a fantastic and exciting character to play because there are so many levels to her. She isn’t a one-note character.
LL: Yeah, definitely. That’s such a great gift as an actor to have a great character like that to play and to play around with. And her complexity and her devotion to her work is just, that’s how she works. She’s giving it her all and she lives for that. And at the same time, she’s realizing that it might get the best of her. She doesn’t find that balance. And that’s really interesting to play and to play something that’s so far away from my life and my reality, like a doctor. It’s just amazing to dive into that world with her and her passion and devotion are just really nice to play with.

Are you the type of actor that likes to know the arc for a character, or are you happy with just reading the scripts as they come in?
LL: I don’t actually. It’s true that I like some backstory but it is nice to discover the character as we go along. And sometimes we even find different directions as we go along and we’re like, ‘Oh, this would be extremely interesting for this character…’ We’re not stuck in anything and I like that. I mean, there’s a base for everything but I like that openness and the fact that we can just play around with the character.

It’s alluded to that maybe there might be something between Mags and Bash that might not be just professional. Is that a logical progression for those characters?
LL: I think so, in a way. Since the arrival of Bash things have changed for Mags. The way that he works is so different from hers, that she was completely thrown off guard by his arrival. And I think she was really intrigued and admired his talent and could see that he had that raw medical talent and that same passion as hers to save their patients at all costs. They share that. She’s always been attracted and intrigued by this man that just got into the hospital. Yeah, I think there’s definitely some attraction there.

He’s so mysterious, too.
LL: Yeah, exactly. And I think, she likes that, too. I think it’s going to force her, maybe, to open up more or to go and reach out more because she’s also shut down all of that part of her life. The hospital is her boyfriend.

Let’s discuss the medical jargon. Was there a boot camp that you had to go to, to learn about processes? 
LL: Yeah, we did. On the weekends, we would get together with our onset doctor, Dr. Zachary Levine, and our nurse, Mike Richardson. We had these boot camps with them to coordinate the big scenes that we had to do. Like the double traumas that we had to do and how we were going to handle that. And that was amazing to have them around and to be able to help us with looking natural when we do our manipulation at the same time as we talk that crazy jargon and have to be believable. We had to pretend that we were so confident in what we were doing that it looked like we know what we’re doing. The boot camps were amazing for that.

That tracheotomy that you did in the elevator looked pretty convincing to me.
LL: Oh, my god.

I think you could do it.
LL: Yeah, right. Oh, my god. I’m wouldn’t want to try. I had a hard time doing it on a fake neck because I was so stressed out. Oh, yeah. But Mags did good, though.

Can you tease Transplant’s season finale? Is it going to be a cliffhanger? Is it going to be shocking?
LL: I think so. I think there’s going to be a bit of a mix of all that. Definitely, we’re going to be left with a cliffhanger and something is about to happen that I don’t think people are going to see coming. We’re going to have those surprises coming our way.

Transplant‘s season finale airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Exclusive photo gallery: First-look photos at CTV’s Transplant

Clearly, we here at TV, Eh? were good boys and girls last year because Bell Media has given us one heck of a cool belated Christmas gift: an exclusive first-look at CTV’s newest original series, Transplant.

As previously announced, Transplant stars Hamza Haq, John Hannah, Laurence Laboeuf, Jim Watson and Ayisha Issa.

 

Here is the official synopsis for Transplant direct from Bell Media:

Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq), a Syrian doctor with battle-tested skills in emergency medicine, makes the difficult decision to flee his country with his younger sister Amira. With the hope of returning to his career in medicine, together Bash and Amira strive to build a new life in Canada while managing the struggles that come with a new country. With life experiences and a medical background unlike his Canadian counterparts, Bash works to navigate a new environment and forge new relationships after earning a coveted residency in the Emergency Department of one of the best hospitals in Toronto, York Memorial.

Transplant debuts this spring on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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CTV and NBCUniversal International Studios partner on new medical procedural The Transplant from Montréal-based Sphère Média Plus

From a media release:

Canada’s leading television network CTV, together with NBCUniversal International Studios, today announced THE TRANSPLANT, a new, one-hour, primetime medical procedural slated for CTV’s 2019/20 broadcast season. Developed by CTV, the series is from award-winning Montréal-based producer Sphère Média Plus (19-2). NBCUniversal will have distribution rights outside of Canada. The announcement was made from the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) Prime Time conference in Ottawa.

When a truck plows into the busy street café where he works, Bash, a struggling Syrian refugee, draws on bold skills and warzone instincts from his former life as a doctor to save multiple people. Among these victims is the chief of the busiest trauma centre in Toronto and the one person who can give Bash the opportunity to return to a career in emergency medicine that he so deserves.

THE TRANSPLANT tells the story of this charismatic man with an elusive past as he joins a team of doctors, challenged to make a place for himself in a new hospital and country. The drama blends a modern immigrant tale with an ensemble medical procedural, offering audiences a fresh take on a beloved genre. The first cycle consists of 13 episodes, with production set to begin in Summer 2019.

The series is created and written by Joseph Kay (FRONTIER, LIVING IN YOUR CAR). Executive producers are Jocelyn Deschenes, Bruno Dube, Virginia Rankin, Jeremy Spry, and Tara Woodbury of Sphère Média Plus, the producers behind Bell Media’s multiple award-winning drama 19-2.

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City renews blockbuster original drama Bad Blood for Season 2

From a media release:

“We take care of our friends… so long as you remain a friend.” Following a successful six-episode Season 1 run, City is taking care of its viewers by greenlighting eight new one-hour episodes for Season 2 of the compelling, original drama Bad Blood, starring Canadian powerhouse Kim Coates. Produced in partnership with New Metric Media and Sphère Média Plus, in association with distributors DHX Media and Skyvision, writing on the new season is currently underway with production slated to begin this summer for a Fall 2018 premiere. Additional broadcast details will be announced at a later date.

Season 1 of Bad Blood is nominated for three 2018 Canadian Screen Awards, including nods for Kim Coates and Maxim Roy for Best Lead Actor and Actress, Drama or Limited Series, respectively, and Michael Konyves for Best Writing, Drama or Limited Series. Both Coates and Roy are among the confirmed presenters for Sunday night’s CSA broadcast gala.

Reaching 3.2 million Canadians and consistently holding a spot in the Top 10 shows among all English stations during its time period (Ind. 2+), Season 1 of Bad Blood followed the true-crime saga of one of Canada’s most notorious mafia bosses, Vito Rizzuto (Anthony LaPaglia). Now, five years after Rizzuto’s death, his former right-hand man Declan Gardiner (Coates) is the reigning king of the Montreal drug trade – that is, until a new breed of mafiosos arrive to wage war in an attempt to wrestle the city from his grasp.

Michael Konyves will return as showrunner, alongside writers Patrick Moss and Alison Bingeman. Additional casting details will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

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