Last week, Sue Maynard and I were invited to attend the CBC 2017 – 2018 Season Preview. We knew it would be a chance to catch up with some good friends, and perhaps make some new ones.
Arriving at 250 Front St West here in Toronto, we checked in and immediately were able to catch up and swap stories with a number of our fellow bloggers. All of whom were eager to see what the Canadian Broadcasting Centre had lined up for the coming year.
With a healthy dose of flash, a burst of pomp and a flare of lights we were run through the senior staff gambit as they each spoke of their divisions, and were met with applause as news coverage, and dedication to journalism with integrity were highlighted, and a rousing cornucopia of clapping followed the announcement of returning series like the beloved Kim’s Convenience, and hilarious Baroness Von Sketch. New series such as 21 Thunder and Frankie Drake Mysteries were mentioned, piquing the interest of the room.
Following the presentation, we joined fellow members of the media for a buffet lunch, including deserts – can you say maple bacon? – and then were allowed to make the rounds for their interviews.
First we were given the opportunity to chat with the cast and creators of 21 Thunder. Shot in Montreal the story follows the lives of the Montreal Thunder under 21 team. It promises to be a solid entertaining show, and it’s obvious that they love the project they are working on.
We chatted with series stars Stephanie Bennett, Emmanuel Kabongo, executive producer Kenneth Hirsch and showrunner, Malcolm MacRury, who shared their excitement, and love for their series.
From there we got to chat with Jonny Harris about his show, Still Standing, now returning for a fourth season! and touched on Murdoch Mysteries. (Unfortunately the CBC’s wifi interfered with our recording – our electronics kept trying to connect to it, disrupting the recording – stay tuned and we’ll see if we can patch it up.
We talked about the impact of his series, and the fact that it gives all Canadians a look at places in their own country they might never get to see, and how it’s filled with stories that unite us all.
Then, we were overjoyed to be able to chat with the incredibly funny cast of Baroness Von Sketch. These four women, Meredith MacNeill, Jennifer Whalen, Aurora Browne and Carolyn Taylor are incredibly entertaining, and damned hilarious. They return for a second season this year, and we can expect some more laugh out loud moments as they take on the every day and the unusual from their inspired perspective.
Then it was a sheer delight, and very difficult not to rave, so why stop myself, when we were able to chat with the cast and creative minds behind returning series, Kim’s Convenience, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Jean Yoon, Kevin White and Ins Choi.
We got to end our day with a catch up with our dear friend Lauren Lee Smith who, along with our friend, and now showrunner, has a new series, Frankie Drake Mysteries premiering this fall. Set in the 20s, the show follows the investigations of Toronto’s only female private investigator.
We caught up with her, and were introduced to her new cast mate, Chantel Riley, and by the sounds of it, these two are going to have a great time, on what promises to be an entertaining show. Especially if they let us keep pitching ideas!
From what we saw that day, the CBC looks to have a pretty entertaining season ahead of them! Make sure you check it out, and discover some new favourites to add to your list.
Okay, see you!