UPDATE: As per a feature in Playback magazine, New Metric Media has found a new home for What Would Sal Do? The series has been acquired by Bell Media and will air on TMN and HBO Canada.
It wasn’t the news the creators and producers of Slasher, What Would Sal Do? and Tiny Plastic Men wanted to hear. Making a television show in Canada is difficult enough, but it’s impossible when the company responsible for broadcasting your series goes into creditor protection.
That’s the sad scenario facing the trio of original Canadian productions after Super Channel’s parent company, Allarco Entertainment, was granted creditor protection for 30 days under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act in early June. Now, two months later, things are dire. All three properties have been released back to the production companies to be shopped around to new broadcasters. Because the case is still in the courts, the series’ creators, showrunners and producers aren’t able to comment, but Super Channel did provide an official statement regarding What Would Sal Do?
“Unfortunately, we will not be moving forward with the series at this time,” Melissa Kajpust, head of creative development, said. “Due to our recent CCAA filing we have had to do some financial restructuring and unfortunately this was one of the projects affected.” That, to put it frankly, sucks. Shot in Sudbury, Ont., Sal stars Dylan Taylor as entitled underachiever, Sal, who is challenged to be a good person when he discovers he’s the Second Coming of Christ. The modern day parable also stars Jennifer Dale as Maria, Sal’s mother, a virgin and devoted catholic, Ryan McDonald as Vince, Sal’s best friend and Scott Thompson as the career driven Father Luke, Maria’s friend and confidant. TV, Eh? visited the set while cameras were rolling and we’ve seen the first couple of episodes and it’s not only damn funny and boundary-pushing, but it’s heartfelt. Taylor, in particular, is splendid as Sal.
Sal is written, created and executive produced by Andrew De Angelis alongside writers Kurt Seaton, Mark Forward, Alex Levine, Mark DeAngelis and Brandy Hewitt. Sal director Samir Rehem has been nominated for a Directors Guild of Canada Award for his work on the pilot episode, an additional kick in the crotch for a series that has eight instalments filmed, edited, in the can and ready for broadcast. And yet it has nowhere to be broadcast. New Metric Media is currently seeking a home for the series.
If there is a second season of Slasher, it won’t be on Super Channel. Created by Aaron Martin, the horror series—filmed in and around Sudbury and Parry Sound, Ont.—starred Katie McGrath as Sarah Bennett, a young woman who returns to the small town where she was born, only to find herself the centrepiece in a series of horrifying copycat murders based on the widely known, grisly killings of her parents. Slasher co-starred Brandon Jay McLaren, Wendy Crewson, Steve Byers and Dean McDermott. The series’ production company, Shaftesbury, couldn’t comment on what was happening with regard to a sophomore season.
Tiny Plastic Men, meanwhile, was in the middle of production on Season 4 when the filing shut them down. The Canadian Screen Award and Canadian Comedy Award nominee, from Mosaic Entertainment, stars writers Chris Craddock, Mark Meer and Matt Alden as Crad, October and Addison, three man-boys who test bizarre toy prototypes in their playroom of an office at the eccentric Gottfried Brothers Toy and Train Company.
Fingers crossed things are sorted out for all three.