Tag Archives: Train 48

ET Canada Reunion Week Reunites the Casts of Five Fan-Favourite Canadian Television Series

From a media release:

With TV production currently on hold, viewers are finding nostalgic comfort with a recent surge of virtual cast reunions. Now it’s time for fans of Canadian TV shows from the 1990s and 2000s to get ready for a throwback, with a lineup of five classic shows set to reunite for audiences.

ET Canada Reunion Week is reuniting the Canuck casts of Ready or Not, Train 48, Falcon Beach, The Red Green Show and North of 60, catching up with the actors as they look back at their time working together, the cultural significance of their programs, and recealing which of these five groundbreaking series is officially working on a reboot!

Viewers looking to reminisce can watch all new episodes of ET Canada beginning on Monday June 1st, when each episode will include a reunion segment with the cast of one of Canada’s most memorable television programs.

See below for the full lineup, and catch the long-awaited get-togethers all week long on ET Canada Reunion Week, beginning Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Global.

Monday, June 1
Ready or Not
Canadians growing up in the 90s remember the iconic friendship between Busy and Amanda, as the duo navigated their way through adolescence. Series stars Lani Billard and Laura Bertram come together for the first time since the show’s end in 1997, as they discuss how reruns of their popular teen-drama series taps into a comforting nostalgia that audiences are currently looking for.

Tuesday, June 2
Train 48
Global’s unscripted soap opera series ran from 2003 to 2008, as viewers followed the lives of twelve daily commuters. The series helped launch the career of Kim’s Convenience star Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee’s Allana Harkin, who join the rest of the Train 48 cast to discuss the impact the show had on Canadian television, 15 years after the series finale.

Wednesday, June 3
Falcon Beach
Filmed in the real-life town of Falcon Beach in Manitoba, the show originally premiered as a TV movie in 2006, going on to produce two seasons that aired in over 40 countries worldwide. The cast joins together for the first time since the finale, to chat about what they miss most and what it was like to film a teen drama series before the age of social media.

Thursday, June 4
The Red Green Show
One of Canada’s most beloved comedy series, The Red Green Show continues to find new audiences every year, with past episodes available for fans to enjoy on Youtube. Steve Smith and the rest of the cast reunite to discuss how the show became a part of Canadian TV history, their epic 15 season run, and how the duct tape legacy continues to live on.

Friday, June 5
North of 60
Actress Tina Keeper took on the lead role in North of 60, becoming the first Indigenous person to front a Canadian television drama series when it launched in 1992. Tom Jackson joins Keeper and the rest of the North of 60 cast as they chat about how the actors became like family, as well as the unexpected success of the show following its 1992 premiere.


Can Train 48 get back on track in Canada?

Steve Levitan is trying to get Train 48 back on track, and now seems like the perfect time to do it.

“The format that, at the time, I thought was innovative today is even more strategically smart,” Levitan says.

For those who don’t recall, Train 48 was an anomaly on the Canadian TV landscape. Broadcast on Global from 2003 until 2005 and based on the Australian series Going Home, the soapy series followed the daytime commute of a small group of characters from Toronto to Burlington, Ont. Before cell phones became the norm, folks would travel on the train and talk about the day’s events, often amongst the same four people sitting together. Levitan and his writers mirrored that for Train 48, mapping rough conversations and then letting the cast go, free forming the discussions to make them more real. Among the cast on Train 48 were Krista Sutton, Paul Braunstein, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Joe Dinicol, Raoul Bhaneja, Amy Price-Francis and Lisa Merchant, who filmed an episode every weekday for two years.


“I sort of vaguely remember getting up at 4:30 a.m. to drive into the set,” Merchant, who played Brenda Murphy, recalls. “We’d get into costume and have a meeting with the producer, have breakfast, and then it was time to get rolling. We’d be finished by 2:30 p.m. and then would do it all over again the next day.”

“Even though those of us who did it have done a lot of things in our careers, we’ve haven’t done anything like it again,” Bhaneja, who portrayed Pete Subramani, says. “It was such a unique journey. We’d be picked up in a van convoy, climb into our fake GO Train set, film and then what we did would be on TV that night. It was crazy.”

As a daily commuter into Toronto myself at the time, I totally got what Train 48 was all about. Aside from being tonally different from what was on television at the time, Train 48 broke new technological ground as well. Levitan recalls how Global wanted to drive traffic to its fledgling Canada.com website; the show placed Pete on the phone his bookie betting on that night’s Toronto Blue Jays-New York Yankees game. Viewers were urged to visit the website to vote who they thought would win the game; Canada.com crashed for days.

So, why the attention for Train 48 after 13 years? Because episodes are rolling out on the show’s YouTube channel. The show’s distributor, Syndicado (a deal structured through Farrago Media Inc.), suggested they be posted online and Levitan said yes. Train 48 certainly works airing on YouTube, but it would be a perfect fit for Canada’s streaming channels CraveTV and shomi. Levitan thinks so too, but no broadcaster has been interested. He also believes the format is the perfect formula for television today. Levitan points to Orphan Black, which attracts 250,000 viewers for Space every week at a cost of millions per episode versus his show, which attracted 250,000 viewers or more every night of the week at a cost of $40,000 per instalment. The model, he says, still works today.

“There are lots of ways to keep doing Train 48,” Levitan says. “And there are lots of ways to update or change the creative focus of that format, depending on who your network or audience is.”

Check out all of Train 48’s episodes as they roll out on YouTube.