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Wynonna Earp: Showrunner Emily Andras sounds off on Season 3

Canadian Wynonna Earp fans have had to wait a few days longer than our friends in the U.S. That’s because Syfy offered up a special preview of “Blood Red and Going Down” this past Monday while those grumpy Guses at Space stuck to their guns (see what I did there?) and are waiting until Friday for us to see it.

Being a member of the media has its advantages. I’ve seen Season 3’s return “Blood Red and Going Down.” Simply put? It’s sublime. After a year away, sliding back into Purgatory alongside Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano), Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), Doc (Tim Rozon), Dolls (Shamier Anderson), Nicole (Kat Barrell) and Jeremy (Varun Saranga) has been ever so sweet. And with new characters via Kate (Chantel Riley) and big bad Bulshar (Jean Marchand), this pile of episodes promises to be a thrill ride.

We spoke to Wynonna Earp showrunner Emily Andras while we were at the Banff World Media Festival and she had the following to say.

The support behind Wynonna Earp has been incredible, especially from folks like Josh at Syfy.
Emily Andras: Yes, I feel like we are so lucky that we have tapped into something that we just can’t buy, which is kind of fan-driven passion. So I’m so happy people are leaning in. Even the excitement around the trailer, like ‘We trended on Twitter.’ I just think everybody’s kind of having fun with it and being like ‘OK, anticipation, here we go.’

I am constantly fascinated by the passion of the fans and how they really latched on and it’s beloved. So that said, can you not kill anybody on the show now?
EA: I think I have to still make the show be dramatic, how about that? Because … it is still a supernatural show with huge stakes and it’s terrifying. Yes, it’s terrifying, especially when you don’t have Walking Dead numbers. We kind of have a cast of six, maybe eight if you’re doing some funky Canadian TV math. Yeah, it’s incredibly challenging but at the same time, it’s a show about life and death. The metaphor I always use, I drive it into the ground is ‘I’m gonna drive the bus. You can get on the bus, you can be drunk on the bus and probably should be. You can scream at the bus driver, you can get off the bus and flip the bird and say I’m not riding this stupid bus anymore but we can’t all grab the wheel of the bus or the bus is going over a cliff.’ I definitely feel it’s a fascinating time for creators insofar as with so much immediate feedback, does that help or hinder storytelling? I’m like, ‘If Nicole Haught wears the wrong sweater, I’m gonna hear about it. My family is going to have to go to witness protection.

I’m only partially kidding. I went to a panel in Austin and I wanted to be really careful about this. It was about modern fandom and there was a lot of bemoaning from people about ‘Well the fans just don’t understand behind the scenes why decisions were made.’ And so often it’s budget or a network executive or an actor wants to lead is another thing that happens, a ton of times. But at the same time, as the showrunner, I feel like the buck stops with me and that’s the covenant with the fans. I have asked them to be on social media helping me push this delicious content so when they’re unhappy it super sucks but … maybe you just gotta weather it a bit. So remind me I said that. If anything terrible happens this year.

It’s true because you walk that line as a showrunner, a head writer and you’ve got a room full of writers, you’re writing the show for yourselves.
EA: Exactly.

But you also have to walk that fine line with the fans because you want to keep them entertained, you want them in your corner. You don’t want to anger anyone but you also don’t want to make a show that’s just for the fans to keep them happy because then you’ve got a boring show.
EA: Lots of people would like domesticated Wayhaught sitting on the couch making cookies and I’ll try to give you that scene if I can but that is not a Syfy show and Syfy’s not going to want that show. And you’re not actually going to love that show. It’s going into a third season because this is it. In the first season, we made the whole thing. We were running around the woods in Calgary and being like ‘Is there even film in this camera?’ But it kind of felt like we were doing some crazy demon hunting skits in the woods and then it dropped and people liked it.

And then in the second season, people were just so happy to have more of it. But now in the third season, there’s no doubt. People have expectations, people have wants, people have put their hopes and dreams on characters and storylines. I have done this dance before with Lost Girl … with semi-Canadian success comes semi-Canadian responsibly. So I’m ready, but I think the only rule I tell my writers to keep us all grounded when we’re kind of flailing and nervous is the one rule is the story has to be consistent with character.

The characters have to act the way the characters would act. Even if terrible things happened or they make mistakes, or they die, or they break up, or what have you, as long as it feels like, ‘Yes, this character would do it,’ even if you hate their decision as you would hate it if your friend made a terrible decision, I hope to fans are at least like ‘I don’t love this but it still feels like my show.’ That’s the only thing I can try to do. It’s not to do with story for story’s sake but to have it come from who these beloved characters are.

This third season, is this where you’re chugging along like ‘Yeah, this is where I wanted to be’?
EA: Yes, great question. The third season is batshit insane. So we’ll see if people like it. But there’s such a confidence to the performances in particular. It’s so delightful. Everybody just hits the ground running, very few people are pregnant this season, some would say none.

I’m just so incredibly proud of this cast because you feel it in the confidence. And their confidence with the material, their confidence to deliver both wit and quips while fighting a demon and hopefully getting the emotion and ending in tears.

Every year from the writer perspective, you have to be like, ‘How are we gonna up the stakes, what crazy cliffhangers are we gonna have?’ But there is a confidence this year that just feels like if you love the show, I just think you’re going to be so happy from the first moment you see Wynonna to hopefully the last.

Wynonna Earp airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Space.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.
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Photo gallery: Season 3 of Wynonna Earp

Yes, I know that Entertainment Weekly already posted these exclusive Wynonna Earp Season 3 gallery images the other day. But honestly, I can’t get enough of them. So when Space dropped these puppies—sans the EW watermark and therefore PERFECT for downloading as using as my new wallpaper—well, I just had to post them myself.

As Wynonna Earp fans already know, Season 3 returns to Space on Friday, July 20, at 9 p.m. ET. We already aware Megan Follows will portray Mama Earp, Jann Arden drops by for a recurring role, Zoie Palmer will play Jolene and Frankie Drake MysteriesChantel Riley checks in as Kate.

Like I said, this was just an excuse to post these gorgeous images again. Enjoy, and update your wallpaper while you’re at it.

 

Wynonna Earp returns Friday, July 20, at 9 p.m.  ET on Space.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Jerry O’Connell solves crimes in Bravo’s lighthearted Carter

If North Bay, Ont.’s tourism board is looking for a spokesperson, they should sign up Jerry O’Connell. The veteran actor of such series as The Defenders and Sliders speaks glowingly—and extensively—while discussing his next project, the Canadian original crime series Carter, debuting Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

“It’s a truly Canadian show,” O’Connell says on the line from London, England, where he’s shopping Carter worldwide for Sony Pictures Television. “I’ve worked on a lot of shows in Canada that have pretended to be San Francisco, painted out the Canadian flag and handled American money, but here they actually frame the Canadian flag and we actually use loonies and twonies. I feel like I’m a real ambassador for North Bay at this point.”

The project, created by Garry Campbell (The Kids in the Hall, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil) was filmed in the northern Ontario city—as was fellow Bell Media series Cardinal—and focuses on Harley Carter (O’Connell), an affable Canadian lad who made it big as a detective on the hottest cop show on American television. After a much-publicized meltdown, Harley has returned to his hometown of Bishop, Ont., where he reconnects with childhood friends Sam Shaw (Sydney Poitier-Heartsong) and Dave Leigh (Kristian Bruun). Sam, a veteran cop, quickly finds Harley inserting himself into her investigations while coffee truck owner Dave serves as Harley’s unofficial driver and wingman in some outrageous schemes. Unlike the dark, brooding of Cardinal, Carter is much more lighthearted, especially when Harley and Dave are bumbling their way through a plan to get information on a suspect. And, thanks for Harley’s years of playing a cop on television, he actually helps with investigations, much to Sam’s chagrin.

“I lived in L.A. for about 10 years and had a lot of Canadian friends there and I watched what it did to people,” Campbell says of the genesis of Carter. “You have enough people telling you, ‘You’re a star and everything should revolve around you,’ and you start to believe it. It changes people. I was fascinated with the idea of this Canadian boy who always had this idealized version of what Hollywood was in his head. The procedural element of the show is just gravy. I wanted to deal with a guy who gets away from his roots.”

Harley is far from his roots when viewers tune in to the debut instalment. Harley is basking in being recognized on the beach in Bishop when Sam appears and an awkward reunion follows. But when Harley’s housekeeper-turned guardian of 30 years is accused of murder (check out a photo gallery of Carter‘s cast, including Wynonna Earp‘s Varun Saranga) Harley demands he be included in the investigation. Yes, Harley is somewhat cocky, but what Campbell and his writing team of Larry Bambrick, Jenn Engels and Wil Zmak have created is someone immensely likeable. O’Connell, so long a co-star on series where he’s not the main man, steps into that role and owns it. The chemistry between he, Poiter-Heartsong and Bruun is palpable, especially in one key scene where the characters are relaxing in Muskoka chairs, sipping beer and recalling the old days.

“That was the moment, of all the moments when we kind of said, ‘Oh, we’re doing it. This thing is going to work,'” Campbell recalls. “We cast well. Those guys are amazing. And they’re just decent human beings and it shines through.”

Carter airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Photo gallery: Carter, Season 1

Where has the time gone? It seems just like yesterday when Bell Media announced Carter was in production up in North Bay, Ont. Now we’re just days away from the debut—Tuesday, May 15, at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo—and we’re sharing some gorgeous gallery images of the cast below.

Carter stars Jerry O’Connell as Harley Carter, the star of the hottest detective show in primetime television. After a much-publicized meltdown, Harley returns to the small town of Bishop to reconnect with his roots. Harley quickly reunites with his childhood friends Sam Shaw (Sydney Poitier-Heartsong) and Dave Leigh (Kristian Bruun) to solve crimes. Along for the 10-episode adventure are Varun Saranga as Vijay Gill, Brenda Kamino as Dot Yashuda, John Bourgeois as Chief Angus Pershing, Joanne Boland as Nicole Walker, Matt Barum as Wes Holm and Sherry Miller as Mayor Grace Hamilton.

Carter was created and written by Garry Campbell, developed with writer John Tinker and produced by Amaze Film + Television. Scott Smith directs. Executive producers are Amaze Film + Television’s Teza Lawrence and Michael Souther, and producer is Victoria Hirst.

Carter debuts Tuesday, May 15, at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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