Tag Archives: Wendy Crewson

Cop drama The Detail cancelled at CTV after one season

It’s one and done for The Detail; CTV has opted not to order another season of the cop drama.

“Canada! The last ever episode of @TheDetailCTV starts now!” star Shenae Grimes-Beech tweeted prior to the show’s first season finale on Sunday night. “Sadly we will not be coming back for a second season on @CTV but it’s been an absolute dream getting to bring Det. Jack Cooper to life!”

“CTV was so lovely, they were so passionate about the show and I know everyone really wanted it to go again,” Grimes-Beech continued on her latest YouTube post. “Unfortunately, due to finances, I think, and ratings and all of that kind of stuff it won’t be going again. I loved that show a lot. It was so much fun being a badass homicide detective and it was so much fun getting to play Det. Jack Cooper.” You can watch the full video below.

Developed by Ley Lukins (Saving Hope) who served as co-showrunner and co-executive producer alongside Adam Pettle (Saving Hope), The Detail was a 10-episode adaptation of the UK smash Scott & Bailey and starred Grimes-Beech as street-smart Detective Jacqueline “Jack” Cooper, who has keen investigative skills but a messy personal life. Angela Griffin starred as Detective Stevie Hall, a sharp quick-witted interrogator who is Jack’s mentor. Wendy Crewson played Staff Inspector Fiona Currie, the homicide unit’s boss, who works overtime to secure justice, no matter what the cost.

Supporting cast included David Cubitt as Detective Kyle Price, Stevie’s ex-boyfriend and new co-worker at the division; David Ferry as Harry Barker, Stevie’s stepfather and retired cop; Matthew Edison as Stevie’s husband Jono Hall; Ben Bass as Marc Savage, Jack’s boyfriend; Al Mukadam as Detective Aaron Finch; and Matt Gordon as Detective Donnie Sullivan.

Executive producers included Ilana Frank (Saving Hope), John Morayniss (Bitten), and Linda Pope (Rookie Blue), with co-executive producers Jocelyn Hamilton (Cardinal), Sonia Hosko (Saving Hope) and Gregory Smith (Rookie Blue).

The Detail‘s lack of a renewal is the latest move by Bell Media; the broadcaster announced InnerSpace and Daily Planet would not be back.

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The Detail’s Wendy Crewson on “mysterious” Fiona and the show’s “unapologetically female-focused” approach

Wendy Crewson knows a thing or two about the entertainment industry. Over a four-decade career, the widely-respected actress has appeared in over 130 TV shows and films in both Canada and the U.S., including recent credits Saving Hope, Room and Kodachrome. So when she says the industry is undergoing a major transformation in the way it treats women—both onscreen and behind the scenes—you can believe it’s true.

“I think it’s been a very telling time for women,” she says. “It’s a real sea change.”

And Crewson is proud that her latest project, CTV’s new detective series The Detail, is part of that wave. The series explores the complicated personal and professional lives of three female homicide detectives at Toronto’s Metropolitan Police Service. The Hamilton, Ont., native plays Staff Inspector Fiona Currie, the formidable—and somewhat secretive—boss of crime-solving duo Jack Cooper (Shenae Grimes-Beech) and Stevie Hall (Angela Griffin).

“To have a show like this, where the women, without fanfare, just happen to be the focus of the series makes it very different than most shows,” she says. “It’s not a token female in a male environment, it’s all women with men in the secondary roles, which you never ever see.”

She believes that dynamic offers something new—and necessary—to audiences.

“People really want to see this on their screens now,” she explains.

To prepare us for this Sunday’s new episode, “The Long Walk,” Crewson joined us by phone to tell more about The Detail, give the scoop on what’s coming up for Fiona and talk about the importance of onscreen representation.

We recently spoke with The Detail’s co-showrunners, Ley Lukins and Adam Pettle, and they said they always had you in mind to play Fiona. At what point did this role come on your radar?
Wendy Crewson: Well, I must say that years ago, just after we started Saving Hope, Ilana Frank, our executive producer, who has done a lot of female-led series with Rookie Blue, Saving Hope, and now The Detail, came to me talking about this idea that she had. She said, ‘Doesn’t this sound great?’ and I said, ‘It sounds fantastic. Count me in.’ So I did know that it was on the radar, but a million things can happen between someone being interested in you and the project actually coming to fruition and you actually being offered a role. It can go sideways in a lot of different ways, and I’m so glad that it didn’t, and I’m so glad that we managed to actually get it on the air.

Could you tell us a little bit about makes Fiona tick?
She’s a career professional in a paramilitary organization, so she’s spent a lot of time in a male-dominated world, making her way to the top, which as we know now, is so difficult to do in those male-dominated industries. She really, like Ginger Rogers, had to dance backwards in heels to make it happen. And you don’t have to be tougher than the guys, you just have to be smarter than the guys. I think she’s always taken that professionalism to a different level, and it’s made her into a great leader. And she really wants to make sure, most importantly, that she mentors other females to take those leadership positions. Which is why she is so concerned with and tight with the two younger detectives.

I think the fact that Fiona, Stevie and Jack are all at different stages in their lives and careers is one of the best things about the show. It gives viewers an opportunity to see a wide-ranging mosaic of women’s lives that isn’t available on many shows. Was that something that really appealed to you?
Of course, it’s a great feeling. As we say, representation matters. You can’t be what you can’t see. So until women start seeing themselves in these leadership positions, it’s hard to imagine what that might be like. To have a show like this, where the women, without fanfare, just happen to be the focus of the series makes it very different than most shows. It’s not a token female in a male environment, it’s all women and with men in the secondary roles, which you never ever see. I mean, how many years have I played the girlfriend, or wife, or the sidekick, or secretary to a man’s story? But we are unapologetically female-focused. From Ilana Frank, our executive producer, through Ley Lukins, our showrunner and writer, through several female directors that we’ve had on the show. It’s really been a remarkable experience, and I think the audience is hungry for female-led dramas. Women want to see themselves reflected back in these positions, and they like to see their lives and all the flawed messiness of it, and the compromise of family and work and how difficult it is to support your family and get ahead in your career. People really want to see this on their screens now. I think it’s been a very telling time for women. It’s a real sea change.

Ley and Adam also mentioned that you thought it was important for Fiona to hold back many of the personal details about her life in the early part of the series. Why was that?
I think, like the leaders in any kind of industry, Fiona keeps her cards pretty close to her chest. I think she feels she’s had to do this, in a way, to protect herself in an industry that is ready to sabotage her at every turn. And I think she’s found that the less people in her job know about her and about her life, the better. I think we’ll begin to see more and more, but I like the idea of keeping her out of the fray of what the other two women were going through—the boyfriends, the children, the husband, the affair. That’s all stuff that happens truly in your white-hot years. We get tidbits about things that are happening in her life, but I like keeping her a little mysterious and rolling it out a bit slowly. In the end, it’s more surprising when we start finding out things about her.

Are we going to learn more before the end of the season?
Yes. We start to learn a little more. Of course, she’s divorced. Her ex-husband is with the police force. He’s her superior, which makes things very difficult at work. We see her as boss now, and she’s formidable, but when he comes in, we see all the ways women can be diminished and belittled in a workplace through their superior. So we start to understand her and the way she has to manoeuvre her relationship with her ex-husband and her daughter and how women protect men after divorce because they are the father of their children because they don’t want to disappoint their children. [We also see] the ways in which some men do not always step up in the ways that they need to after divorce, and the way that women cover up for them. And I found that very interesting.

A pathologist, Rita Moretti (Elizabeth Whitmere), hit on Fiona earlier in the season. Does she appear again?
She does! I like the idea of questioning your sexuality at a certain point in your life and seeing, as you change through the years, how challenging the recognition of something like that is in somebody’s life. And I loved the idea that we are looking at that in Fiona, who is very buttoned down, who is not really open to personal change, and looking at how that might affect her life.

You are a vocal advocate of Canadian television. How do you think the industry is faring right now?
I think the domestic industry is still struggling, and I think that as we look to the new methods of broadcasting—as in over the top through Netflix and various organizations like that—I think the government and the CRTC struggle to find the right balance for supporting domestic industry. I mean, Netflix is a broadcaster, no doubt about it, and of course they should be contributing to our domestic industry the same way CTV does and Global and other private networks. It needs to contribute.

You know, we live beside this huge producer of cultural content, and it’s always important to leave some space for our own stories. I mean, this is a communication of storytelling that joins us as a nation, and it needs to be protected. And I will always be a big advocate of that. And as the idea of supporting our industries sort of wanes in popularity, I think it’s very important to keep that voice loud that these stories are meaningful.

And speaking of Canadian TV, you also play Nora on CBC’s Frankie Drake Mysteries. Are you going to be back for Season 2? 
Yes, I am in Season 2 of Frankie Drake, and I can’t wait!

The Detail airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

 

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The Detail: Angela Griffin and Shenae Grimes-Beech bond over murder cases, messy personal lives in new CTV detective drama

While female cops are, thankfully, commonplace on TV, it’s unusual for a crime series to centre on three female homicide detectives, as does CTV’s new crime drama, The Detail, which premieres Sunday, March 25, at 9 p.m. ET.

“You usually get a single female,” says Angela Griffin, who plays Stevie Hall, an experienced and disciplined homicide detective on Toronto’s Metropolitan Police Force. “You get your sole female lead, and you might get a sidekick, but it’s really rare to have three female leads in a show like this–and it’s great that it isn’t punctuated, it isn’t whacked over your head.”

The show focuses on the professional and personal lives of Stevie, her rough-around-the-edges rookie partner, Detective Jacqueline “Jack” Cooper (Shenae Grimes-Beech), and their tough boss, Staff Inspector Fiona Currie (Wendy Crewson, Saving Hope). The fact that these characters come from three different generations makes it all the more compelling.

“We’re on totally different pages in our journeys in life, and I think that gives people a lot to relate to,” says Grimes-Beech. “That, and the fact that these women truly are supportive of each other in today’s whole movement of female empowerment.”

That kind of support is on display in The Detail‘s debut episode, “Wake Up Call,” as the detectives investigate an apparent suicide the day after Jack learns a shocking revelation about her personal life and publicly acts out. The fallout makes Fiona question whether it’s worth keeping her on the team, otherwise known as “the detail,” but Stevie quickly comes to her partner’s defense, pointing out that, despite her screw-ups, Jack “sees things other people miss.”

According to Grimes-Beech, a Toronto native best known for Degrassi: The Next Generation and 90210, Jack’s penchant for trouble actually helps her on cases. “She definitely is a bit of a rule breaker because she thinks outside of the box,” she explains. “I think if Jack got her shit together, she may not be as good at what she does. But I think it lands her in hot water at work, and it certainly does not play out well in her personal life.”

That makes Stevie the apparent adult in the partnership. “Stevie’s really methodical, she comes from a family of cops,” says Griffin, a British actress with dozens of TV credits, including Coronation Street, Inspector Lewis and Brief Encounters. “There was never really any chance of her doing anything else, she always wanted to be a cop, and she absolutely plays by the rules. I think that’s one of the draws to Jack. There’s a real attraction because she’s so much more raw, she plays so much more on instinct. And Stevie can’t do that.”

However, while Stevie appears to have her professional act together, Griffin says the mother of two is dealing with some very real family problems. “There’s an honesty to Stevie that I think you don’t often get on TV,” she says. “Which is sometimes, when she closes the door on her family to go to work, she breathes a sigh of relief because it’s actually sometimes easier to go and deal with the dead bodies and deal with the murderers than it is to deal with a teenage daughter.”

As the season progresses, things will get messier for Stevie and Jack, as their professional and personal lives intersect in painful ways. An old lover (David Cubitt, Medium) and an old case present problems for Stevie, while the personal trauma Jack encounters in the pilot continues to evolve and fester, eventually threatening a case and straining Stevie and Jack’s partnership.

But, again, it comes down to support. “These women are putting their lives in each other’s hands every single day,” says Griffin. “They have to trust each other. They have to have a really quite incredible bond, and I think that they work at that.”

As for Griffin and Grimes-Beech, The Detail–which is very loosely based on the U.K. series Scott & Bailey–has provided each of them the opportunity to grow as actors.

Grimes-Beech never envisioned herself landing a detective role. “When I was in the audition waiting room, I felt very out of place,” she says. “But once I read the dialogue, I felt I had stepped right into this girl’s shoes.”

Executive producer Ilana Frank (Rookie Blue, Saving Hope) felt the same way and fought for her to play Jack. “Because of my age or whatever, people were a little unsure of giving me the job,” Grimes-Beech says. “But she really had my back the whole way along.”

Meanwhile, Griffin had to polish the North American accent she’s been keeping in her “back pocket” since she–and a wave of other British actors–began regularly participating in the annual pilot season for American and Canadian productions. “You’ve really got to get that accent off if you want to have a chance with a part, so I’ve been doing it for a couple of years,” she says. “And I was fortunate that we had an amazing dialect coach who came onto set and helped me out.”

Still, she was nervous about getting it right. “I’ve got to say, the first couple of weeks of filming, I was probably thinking about how I was talking more than what I was talking about,” she says.

To help, Griffin chose to stay in Stevie’s accent “from the moment I got up in the morning” until the show wrapped each night. She would then suddenly revert back to her British accent–a switch that sometimes startled her co-stars.

“We would forget, and then we would wrap, and she would [speak in a British accent],” Grimes-Beech laughs. “We all totally forgot that she wasn’t from here.”

The Detail airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Link: Saving Hope’s Wendy Crewson looks back on her time as Dana

From Christy Spratlin of The TV Junkies:

Link: Saving Hope’s Wendy Crewson looks back on her time as Dana
“Ilana Frank, our producer, has always been really great that way. She always writes with women in mind and certainly when I first started on Saving Hope our showrunner was Morwyn Brebner and she’s a terrific writer. She was really focused on making sure that the female roles were strong and believable. And it wasn’t just the women on the writing staff, the men as well, Adam Pettle and Aaron Martin, just to name a few, that were just terrific writers that could really speak with a strong female voice.” Continue reading.

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Production begins on The Detail, CTV’s new fast-paced detective series

From a media release:

CTV announced today, in association with Ilana Frank’s ICF Films and Entertainment One (eOne), that production has begun on THE DETAIL, the network’s new, one-hour, detective series. The 10-episode ensemble drama centers on three fiercely talented female homicide investigators who work tirelessly to solve crimes while navigating the complicated demands of their personal lives.

The new series stars the award-winning Wendy Crewson (SAVING HOPE, Room), along with Shenae Grimes-Beech (90210, DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION), and U.K. talent Angela Griffin (CORONATION STREET, BRIEF ENCOUNTERS).

From the producing and writing team behind the hit TV series SAVING HOPE, THE DETAIL is set to premiere as part of CTV’s 2017/2018 schedule and will continue to shoot in and around Toronto until July 25, 2017. The series has also been picked up by ION Television for broadcast in the U.S.

Shenae Grimes-Beech stars as street-smart Detective Jacqueline ‘Jack’ Cooper, with keen investigative skills, but a messy personal life. Angela Griffin stars as Detective Stevie Hall, a sharp quick-witted interrogator who is Jack’s mentor – even while she balances the demands of work and her complicated family life. Wendy Crewson plays Staff Inspector Fiona Currie, the homicide unit’s formidable boss, who works overtime to secure justice, no matter what the cost.

Also announced today, all-star supporting cast members joining the series include David Cubitt (MEDIUM, VAN HELSING) as Detective Kyle Price, Stevie’s (Griffin) old flame and new co-worker at the division; David Ferry (LEGION) as Harry Barker, Stevie’s (Griffin) step-father and retired cop; Matthew Edison (THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE) as Stevie’s (Griffin) husband Jono Hall; Ben Bass (ROOKIE BLUE) as Marc Savage, Jack’s (Grimes-Beech) silver-tongued boyfriend; Al Mukadam (SPUN OUT) as the well-connected Detective Aaron Finch; and Matt Gordon (Room, ROOKIE BLUE) as Detective Donnie Sullivan, the surly yet lovable lug of homicide.

THE DETAIL is produced by Ilana Frank of ICF Films with global independent studio eOne in association with CTV, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit. All distribution rights are handled by eOne.

The series was developed by Ley Lukins (SAVING HOPE, LOST GIRL) who serves as Co-Showrunner and Executive Producer with Adam Pettle (SAVING HOPE, KING). Executive Producers are Ilana Frank (SAVING HOPE, ROOKIE BLUE), John Morayniss (BITTEN, RANSOM), and Linda Pope (SAVING HOPE, ROOKIE BLUE), with co-executive producers Jocelyn Hamilton (CARDINAL), Sonia Hosko (SAVING HOPE, ROOKIE BLUE), and Gregory Smith (ROOKIE BLUE).

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