February 2014 Issue

February 2014

Canada’s Call Sheet

By Judith Klassen

Bitten, Towed and Spun Out!
She’s not in Smallville anymore

February 2014Being a photojournalist in the digital age is one tough gig; being the world’s only female werewolf is even tougher—but at least it’s a niche market. Based on the NYT’s bestselling urban fantasy series by Canadian author Kelley Armstrong, SPACE channel’s Bitten is the story of Toronto photographer Elena Michaels, (Laura Vandervoorf of Smallville), who is compelled to return to her pack years after being bitten by her sexy mentor, Clayton Danvers (Greyston Holt). Fitting into this boy’s club takes more than killer confidence and a salty sense of humour, and luckily Bitten’s big blonde wolf has tenacity, intuition, and, like the woman who plays her—a black belt.

Turning Armstrong’s prose into tense, terrific TV is another smart blonde babe in a predominately male world. Bitten showrunner, Daegan Fryklind (Motive) works tirelessly with her pack to bring the books to life. Says Fryklind, gesturing to the wolves on the red carpet, “We have the most incredible cast of Canadians ever assembled.”

Gathered at the TIFF Bell Lightbox for the Canadian International Television Festival, the werewolves of Bitten radiate camaraderie. At the centre of the pack is Alpha wolf Greg Bryk, (A History of Violence). Flanking Bryk are: Michael Xavier (Rookie Blue), Paulino Nunes (Republic of Doyle), Joel Keller (The Hanging Garden), and Steve Lund (Haven). Keller quips that he’s the rock ’n’ roll wolf—and they all agree that Lund is the GQ wolf. Smells like another victory for SPACE.

Good spin

February 2014Quirky comic actress Rebecca Dalton (L.A. Complex), and Canuck superstar Dave Foley (The Kids in the Hall, News Radio) star as desperately dutiful daughter and spin-doctor dad in the new CTV multi-cam comedy, Spun Out.

Doing a little role reversal on the red carpet, Foley opines the challenge he faces “playing a young woman trying to impress her father,” which inspires Dalton to boast of her sexual prowess as the spin-doctor father figure. This easy comedic chemistry can make a show, and co-creators/exec producers Jeff Biederman (Life with Derek), Brent Piaskoski (Radio Free Roscoe), and Brian K. Roberts (The Drew Carey Show) have enlisted a very cool cast of Canucks, including: Paul Campbell (Battlestar Galactica), Darcy Michaels (One Skinny Bitch), Al Mukadam (Radio Free Roscoe), Holly Deveaux (Less Than Kind), and awesome American actor J.P. Manoux (Modern Family). Guest stars include: Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica) as Dalton’s intense, foxy mother, and all of The Kids: Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson.

Werewolves are from Toronto. Bros are from Hamilton.

February 2014The uber popular web series Bill and Sons Towing features the award-winning sketch troupe and Variety Magazine’s Top 10 to Watch, The Imponderables: Eric Toth, Dave Brennan, Jon Smith, and Tony Lombardo. The Imponderables play brothers from four different mothers. Their common dad, Bill Vanderchuck, a Hamilton tow truck baron played by Canadian icon Nic Campbell (Da Vinci’s Inquest) enlists his disparate 30-something sons to run his mighty fleet of three trucks.

Created by Ready, Set, Panic’s writer / producers: Mark DeAngelis and Charles Ketchabaw, and directed by Vivieno Caldinelli, Bill and Sons drives home the freedom inherent in making a series for the web. Says DeAngelis, “We wanted to do something bigger with The Imponderables, and the IPF (Independent Production Fund) made it happen. They really let you do your thing.”

February 2014Celebrity moms to the bros are Jayne Easton, Angela Asher, Mary Toth, and Sonja Smits. Eric Toth (who writes the series with DeAngelis & Ketchabaw) admits to having a childhood Traders crush on his web mom, Smits. “It’s a bit awkward. When she first walks onto set I can’t speak.”

Judith Klassen is a Toronto-based writer, comedian, filmmaker, and host of the celeb talk show Judecast.

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