Tag Archives: Tassie Cameron

Mary Kills People: Amy Cameron on the last-minute renewal and what’s coming in Season 2

In a perfect world, the creators and producers of a television show find out their show’s been renewed with plenty of time to develop scripts, scout locations for filming and nail down schedules for cast and crew.

That didn’t happen with Mary Kills People. On June 5, Corus announced via press release that a second season of the drama, starring Caroline Dhavernas, had been ordered. The producers were informed of the renewal just days before the press release dropped.

“People kept asking me if we’d been renewed and they thought I was being coy,” executive producer Amy Cameron says. “I really didn’t know. We got a surprise phone call from Rachel Nelson [Corus’ director of original content] who said, ‘We want to release the news, so don’t tell anybody.’ It was that specific and that quick.” Days later Dhavernas was in Toronto promoting a second season that is, well, still be developed. It’s suddenly a very busy year for the trio at Cameron Pictures. The production company, consisting of Amy and Tassie Cameron (Rookie Blue) and Caledonia Brown, has got Ten Days in the Valley set for broadcast this fall on ABC—and CTV in Canada—and Little Dog in production in Newfoundland to air this winter on CBC.

But back to Mary Kills People. When we last left Mary (Dhavernas), she was no longer being investigated for her role in the deaths of terminally ill patients, Des (Richard Short) seemed to have gotten his life back on track and Ben (Jay Ryan) and Mary appeared to be a couple. Meanwhile, Grady (Greg Bryk) was dead and Mary’s sister, Nicole (Charlotte Sullivan), announced she wanted to be part of Mary’s team. Will the duo angels of death become a trio in Season 2’s six new instalments?

“We are moving quickly,” Cameron says. “We’re at outline stage on about half of the episodes and hoping to be pitched the back half in the next week or two.” She’s particularly excited to have—in addition to series creator Tara Armstrong, writer Marsha Greene, script coordinator Justin Giallonardo and showrunner and executive producer Tassie Cameron—newcomers Lara Azzopardi (Backstage) and Rookie Blue and Saving Hope co-creator Morwyn Brebner in the writing room. Cameron acknowledges Mary Kills People deals with dark subject matter, but credits the writing team and cast for keeping the tone from being too heavy and a downer to watch. Cameron is mum on sophomore season storyline details—those are still being worked out—but did give us a hint.

“The writers have come up with an organic direction to go in that is still going to surprise the audience,” Cameron says. “We’ve always talked about exploring the edges of the line, that grey area, and we’ll continue to do that.”

Images courtesy of Corus.

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CTV picks up series by Canadian showrunners Tassie Cameron, David Shore and Martin Gero

From a media release:

Following a season in which CTV delivered the Top 2 most-watched new programs of the year with A25-54, and six of the Top 10 most-watched programs overall, CTV announced today it has landed 13 big, buzzy, new series from this year’s Los Angeles Screenings.

TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY
Logline: In TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY, Kyra Sedgwick is Jane Sadler, an overworked television producer and single mother in the middle of a fractious separation. When her young daughter goes missing in the middle of the night, Jane’s world – and her controversial police series – implodes. Life imitates art, everything is a mystery, everyone has a secret, and no one can be trusted.

Synopsis:
TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY stars Kyra Sedgwick (BROOKLYN NINE-NINE) as Jane Sadler, an overworked television producer and single mother in the middle of a separation whose life is turned upside down when her young daughter goes missing in the middle of the night. Just like her controversial police TV show, everything is a mystery, everyone has a secret, and no one can be trusted. TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY stars Kyra Sedgwick (BROOKLYN NINE-NINE) as Jane Sadler, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (MAJOR LAZER) as John Bird, Kick Gurry (SENSE8) as Pete Greene, Erika Christensen (ADOPTED) as Ali Petrovich, Felix Solis (ONE DAY AT A TIME) as David Gomez, Josh Randall (PITCH) as Tom Petrovich, Malcolm-Jamal Warner (SUITS) as Matt, Abigail Pniowsky (CHANNEL ZERO) as Lake, and Francois Battiste (THE FAMILY) as Gus.

Created and written by Canadian award-winning screenwriter Tassie Cameron (Rookie Blue) TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY is produced by Skydance Television. Sedgwick is also on board to executive produce.

THE GOOD DOCTOR
Logline: In THE GOOD DOCTOR, Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore, BATES MOTEL), a young surgeon diagnosed as autistic with savant syndrome is recruited into the pediatric surgical unit of a prestigious hospital. Doubts are raised about whether someone who doesn’t have the ability to relate to people can actually save their lives.

Synopsis:
THE GOOD DOCTOR centres on Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore, BATES MOTEL), a young surgeon diagnosed as autistic with savant syndrome who relocates from a quiet country life to join a prestigious hospital’s surgical unit. Alone in the world and unable to personally connect with those around him, Shaun uses his extraordinary medical gifts to save lives and challenge the skepticism of his colleagues. The series is from Canadian David Shore (HOUSE) and LOST star Daniel Dae Kim. The series stars Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy, Antonia Thomas (MISFITS) as Dr. Claire Brown, Nicholas Gonzalez (RESURRECTION BLVD) as Dr. Neal Melendez, Chuku Modu (GAME OF THRONES) as Dr. Jared Kalu, Beau Garrett (GIRLFRIENDS’ GUIDE TO DIVORCE) as Jessica Preston, Hill Harper (CSI: NY) as Dr. Marcus Andrews, and Richard Schiff (THE WEST WING) as Dr. Aaron Glassman.

The series is produced by Shore Z Productions and 3 AD in association with Sony Pictures Television. David Shore is writer and executive producer. Daniel Dae Kim (HAWAII FIVE-0), Erin Gunn (BATTLE CREEK), David Kim (DRAMAWORLD) and Sebastian Lee (DRAMAWORLD) are also executive producers. Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses, THE GOLDBERGS) directed the pilot and is also an executive producer.

DECEPTION
Synopsis:
When his career is ruined by scandal, superstar magician Cameron Black (Jack Cutmore-Scott, DRINKING WITH THE STARS) has only one place to turn to practice his art of deception, influence and illusion — the FBI. Using every trick in the book and inventing new ones, he will help the government catch the world’s most elusive criminals while staging the biggest illusions of his career. DECEPTION stars Jack Cutmore-Scott (DRINKING WITH THE STARS) as Cameron Black/Jonathan Black, Ilfenesh Hadera (MASTER OF NONE) as Kay Daniels, Lenora Crichlow (FLAKED) as Dina Clark, Amaury Nolasco (PRISON BREAK) as Mike Alvarez, Justin Chon (DR. KEN) as Jordan Kwon, Laila Robins (QUANTICO) as Special Agent Deakins, and Vinnie Jones (ARROW) as Gunter Gustafsen.

DECEPTION is from Berlanti Productions and Quinn’s House in association with Warner Bros. Television and is directed by David Nutter, who is also executive producer. The series is from writer/executive producer Chris Fedak (CHUCK) and executive producers Greg Berlanti, Canadian Martin Gero and Sarah Schechter. Illusionist David Kwong (NOW YOU SEE ME) will co-produce.

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Caroline Dhavernas returns to TV in Global’s controversial Mary Kills People

“We’re not trying to say what’s right and what’s wrong. We’re just trying build a place where the debate can happen.” That, says Caroline Dhavernas, is at the heart of Mary Kills People, Global’s newest original drama.

Debuting Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the network, Mary Kills People will certainly elicit discussion about the subject matter. Dhavernas is Dr. Mary Harris, an emergency room doctor and mother who—with the help of her friend Des Bennett (Richard Short, Covert Affairs)—assists those who want to die. Mary struggles to keep her two careers in order while keeping her night job a secret from her family as the authorities—led by Det. Frank Gaines (Lyriq Bent, Shoot the Messenger)—investigates her. Add to that Mary’s intense feelings for a terminal patient named Joel (Jay Ryan, Beauty and the Beast) and her plate is full. (Look for Bitten‘s Greg Bryk, Rookie Blue‘s Matt Gordon and Charlotte Sullivan, and InSecurity‘s Grace Lynn Kung in key roles.)

Created by Tara Armstrong and executive-produced by Tassie and Amy Cameron alongside Armstrong, Jocelyn Hamilton and director Holly Dale, the six-part event provides plenty of dark comedy to go along with the serious subject matter. (That’s 19-2‘s Adrian Holmes in the opening twisted, gruesomely giddy opening scene.)

We spoke to Dhavernas about her character, the subject matter and where the show goes in the next six episodes.

(l-r) Bent, Ryan, Dhavernas and Short

Can you give me some background on Mary?
Caroline Dhavernas: She’s an ER doctor and a mom. She has this side gig where she assists people in their wish to die. Of course, it’s completely illegal and she will get in trouble for it. It comes from a place of compassion, really, because she has been very close to people who have had to make that decision and she deeply understands where that desire comes from. She doesn’t judge it and she also knows it’s not about her.

It’s a very emotional debate and there is a lot of grey zone. It becomes a lot about not knowing what death is all about because no one has come back to say what it is. We’re very afraid to send people over the edge because it almost feels like pushing them into a place that’s too dangerous. But the place these people are in is so damaging to them that they would rather go to the unknown. I think she gets all that. Not everyone does, and that’s why she gets into real trouble. What’s fascinating about this show is that we’re not trying to say what’s right and what’s wrong. We’re just trying build a place where the debate can happen. It’s fascinating subject matter and a great part. There are a lot of levels to play.

Where do you stand on the debate of doctor-assisted suicide?
I’m on Mary’s side. [Laughs.] It’s good, as a society, to have both sides to the discussion and hear what everyone else has to say. The more you talk about it, the more you know where you stand. If anything, this solidified how I feel about it.

Describe Mary’s relationship with Des.
We don’t really explain where they’re coming from, but I’m pretty sure they went to school together and have been friends forever. Des is going through a hard time because he’s done things that are very wrong for a doctor to do and she is trying to include him in all this and make him feel like a doctor again. They’re in this together and they have a very strong bond.

How many people know what Mary is doing? I feel like she’s going to get caught soon.
It is very illegal, so she will get in trouble for it. She is trying to not let too many people know but these people have families and diaries that she can’t control. Mary has one partner at the hospital, a nurse named Annie, who sees who needs help and meets with people who are asking for that help.


Related: Our podcast chat with Mary Kills People creator Tara Armstrong, executive producer Tassie Cameron and co-producer Marsha Greene


What were your first thoughts when you read the script?
I like bold, daring subject matter and this is certainly that. I like the fact that we’re not judging anything. And, also, a strong female lead is so rare still. The director is female, the writers are female as well … that is so rare and it’s so great to be part of this team. When I met with everyone there was an immediate connection. I’d never worked with Holly Dale before, but when she showed me the mood boards and the water theme … visually it’s going to be stunning as well.

Mary Kills People airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.

Images courtesy of Corus.

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TV Eh B Cs podcast 58 — Who makes Mary Kill

Tassie Cameron is a Gemini and Canadian Screen Award-winning screenwriter, who has written for television series, MOWs, mini-series, and feature films.

Cameron is currently the showrunner and executive producer on Global’s upcoming six-part series, Mary Kills People (under her new production company, Cameron Pictures, in partnership with eOne). She is also an executive producer on Global’s Private Eyes, Jason Priestley’s new hit P.I. series. Cameron was the co-creator, executive producer, and showrunner on the hit series, Rookie Blue which ran for seven seasons on Global and ABC.

Co-executive producer on the first season of Flashpoint, Cameron’s other credits include The Robber Bride, Would Be Kings, The Eleventh Hour, Degrassi: The Next Generation and Tom Stone.

Tara Armstrong is a recent graduate from UBC’s Creative Writing Program and the Canadian Film Centre Prime Time TV Program. Since graduating, Tara has written for Global’s television series Private Eyes which premiered on Global in summer of 2016, and Showcase’s Travelers.

A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre Prime Time Television program, Marsha Greene also has an Honours BA in Creative Writing from York University, and a graduate certificate from Humber College’s TV Writing and Producing program, where she was won the Brian Linehan Award for Outstanding Artistic Promise.

Marsha has lent her skills to scripted and unscripted productions for Global, CBC, Discovery Channel and Food Network. She was the Interactive Writer for the YTV/Teen Nick mystery-drama Open Heart. Marsha was a story editor on Global’s Remedy and Private Eyes, and a co-producer on Mary Kills People.

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Photo gallery: First-look photos of Global’s Mary Kills People

We’ve been jazzed about the Season 1 debut of Mary Kills People since we visited the set a few months ago. Now, not only has Global revealed the drama series debuts Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, but they’ve released a handful of images too.

Executive-produced by Tassie Cameron, Amy Cameron, Tecca Crosby and Holly Dale and co-executive producer Tara Armstrong, Global describes the series thusly:

Set in the morally grey world of assisted suicide, Mary Kills People is an intense, controversial, and thought-provoking drama.  The series follows Dr. Mary Harris (Caroline Dhavernas), a single mother and emergency doctor by day, who also moonlights as an underground angel of death — helping terminally ill patients who want to die and slip away on their own terms. So far Mary has managed to stay under the radar; but business is booming, and her double life is getting complicated.  When her world starts to unravel, Mary realizes she’s going to have to fight dirty if she’s going to stay in the killing game.

Additional cast includes Jay Ryan as Joel, one of Mary’s terminally ill clients; Richard Short as Des, Mary’s trusted partner in crime; Lyriq Bent as Frank, Joel’s friend; Greg Bryk as Grady, Mary’s drug supplier; Abigail Winters as Mary’s teen daughter; and Charlotte Sullivan as Nicole, Mary’s concerned sister.

 

Mary Kills People debuts Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.

Images courtesy of Corus.

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