This afternoon, CBC unveiled its new and returning series for the Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 seasons. While the announcements are dampened a bit by the cancellation of fan favorites Frankie Drake Mysteries and Kim’s Convenience and the decision to end Trickster with its first season earlier this Spring, we’re thrilled that two of our favorites — Coroner and Pretty Hard Cases — will be back next winter!
The full, refreshingly diverse, line up is posted here, but let’s break down those renewals we love and highlight the brand new dramas and comedies.
To start, Coroner will return for its fourth season next Winter, with an even bigger 12 episodes — up from eight the first two seasons and ten in Season 3. For our US fans, Season 3 will hit the CW on July 16th. All our coverage is here.
Pretty Hard Cases won us over, and the network, too. It’ll be back next winter with 12 episodes — two more than its freshman season — and they’re already back in production, so keep an eye on the social feeds for the show and Cameron Pictures for behind-the-scenes goodies. Our coverage is here.
Other drama renewals include Workin’ Moms, Diggstown, Murdoch Mysteries, and Heartland.
The new dramas
Moonshine — Premieres Tuesday, September 14th, on CBC TV and CBC Gem
We’re not going to lie. This one has a BONKERS pedigree of people attached to it, onscreen and off. Created by Sheri Elwood (Lucifer, Whiskey Cavalier), the series follows the dysfunctional Finley-Cullens clan of adult half-siblings battling for control of their family business, The Moonshine, a ramshackle summer resort on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.
The eight-episode first season (and it’s already been renewed) stars Jennifer Finnigan (Salvation), Anastasia Phillips (Reign/Killjoys), Emma Hunter (Mr. D), Tom Stevens (The 100), Alexander Nunez (Avocado Toast), Corrine Koslo (Anne with an E), Peter MacNeill (This Life), Erin Darke (Good Girls Revolt, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Farid Yazdani (Suits), Allegra Fulton (The Shape of Water), and Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernie’s).
Here’s the logline: Moonshine is an epic tale of lust, legacy, and lobster, set against the backdrop of financial hardship, small town intrigue and a long-buried secret that threatens to annihilate the Finley-Cullens once and for all. Koslo and MacNeill play Bea and Ken Finley-Cullen, the heads of the family and owners of The Moonshine, their own little slice of paradise that is starting to become a nightmare — if only they could decide which of their flawed brood is fit to take over the business.
Finnigan plays Lidia, an architect and the eldest sibling who wants to redevelop and exploit the valuable coastal property, giving her an opportunity to shine and overcome past disappointments, and Phillips plays her often-overlooked younger sister Rhian, who sees The Moonshine as her own chance to emerge from the shadows.
Other family members include Lidia’s sister Nora (Hunter), the sexy local DJ, who knows all the family secrets; Nunez is Sammy, Lidia’s musically gifted adopted brother who holds secrets of his own; and Stevens plays aging party boy Ryan, Rhian’s twin, who is running his own (illegal) business out of the resort. Fulton is Jill LeBlanc, an old family friend with some nefarious motives and secrets of her own. Silverman (Finnigan’s real-life husband) is Daniel Bennett, Lidia’s husband and a star architect, suffering through his own mid-life crisis.
We also spotted our Allan Hawco in the trailer — which I’ll embed when it’s made public, so we’re in. Caveat for me is: if they spend too much time on the lobster part of that plot, I’ll be fast-forwarding through that.
The Porter — Winter 2022
A co-production with BET+, the eight-episode drama is set in the 1920s and inspired by the true story of US and Canadian railway workers who joined together in the fight for the world’s first Black union. In the midst of the struggle, their loves lives and friendships suffer and thrive.
Set primarily in Montreal, Chicago, and Detroit as the world rebuilds after the First World War, the series focuses on the Black community in St. Antoine, Montreal — known, at the time, as the “Harlem of the North.” They’re young, gifted, and Black, from Canada, the Caribbean, and the US, and they find themselves thrown together in an era that boasts anything is possible. If change isn’t coming for them, they will come for it.
The series co-stars Aml Ameen (I May Destroy You, Yardie), Ronnie Rowe Jr. (Star Trek: Discovery, Pretty Hard Cases), and Mouna Traoré (Self Made, The Umbrella Academy), was originated and created by Arnold Pinnock (Altered Carbon, Travelers) and Bruce Ramsay (19-2, Cardinal), and is led by showrunners and executive producers Annmarie Morais (Killjoys, Ransom, American Soul) and Marsha Greene (Private Eyes, Ten Days In The Valley, Mary Kills People), and directors and executive producers Charles Officer (Akilla’s Escape, Ransom, Coroner) and R.T. Thorne (Blindspot, Utopia Falls). It starts filming this month.
The Red — Just greenlit
The extremely timely investigative drama series is created and written by Canadian Métis director, writer, and producer Marie Clements and inspired by real crimes, following Payton Thiso (Sarah Podemski, fresh off Coroner) and Gia Jonsson (Sarah Gadon), two women from completely different backgrounds, who find themselves thrown together inside the newly formed Indigenous Task Force, looking for answers while unearthing the systemic racism within the criminal and social justice systems. This one will be part of the 2022 lineup, TBD.
The new comedies
Here’s the skinny from CBC on new comedies coming soon.
Sort Of — Premieres Tuesday, October 5th, on CBC Gem and Tuesday, November 9th, on CBC TV
The eight-episode series from creators Bilal Baig (Acha Bacha) and Fab Filippo (Save Me), is a big-hearted dramatic comedy about Sabi Mehboob (Baig), a fluid millennial who straddles various identities from sexy bartender at an LGBTQ bookstore/bar, to the youngest child in a large Pakistani family, to the de facto parent of a downtown hipster family. Sabi feels like they’re in transition in every aspect of their life, from gender to love to sexuality to family to career. When Sabi’s best friend, 7ven (Amanda Cordner), presents them with an opportunity to live and find themself in the “queerest place in the galaxy,” Sabi instead makes the decision to stay and care for the kids they nanny after their mom has a serious bike accident. Do they regret it? Sort of. A coming-of-age story, Sort Of is a show about how each and every one of us is in transition.
Strays — Premieres Tuesday, September 14th, on CBC TV and CBC Gem
The ten-episode series follows Shannon Ross (Nicole Power) from Kim’s Convenience as the new executive director of the Hamilton East Animal Shelter, where she is boss to an eclectic staff. Now in her 30s, Shannon is ready for a change and new challenges. She’s putting Toronto in the rearview to focus on her new job, new relationships, reuniting with family, and learning more about herself. Shannon’s trademark positivity is put to the test as she manages an oddball team, including her apathetic cousin, Nikki (Nikki Duval), her over-eager animal care manager, Kristian (Frank Cox O’Connell), her overly sheltered office manager Joy (Tina Jung), and the building’s maintenance guy, Paul (Tony Nappo), whose straight-faced prison humour keeps everyone on their toes.
Run the Burbs — Winter 2022
The 13-episode series created by comedian, writer, and actor Andrew Phung (Kim’s Convenience) and his best friend and collaborator, filmmaker Scott Townend (The Secret Marathon) follows a young, bold Canadian family taking a different approach to living life to the fullest in the suburbs, featuring Phung as a stay-at-home dad with an entrepreneur wife and two kids.
Son of a Critch — Winter 2022
The 13-episode season is based on the award-winning, best-selling memoir from Mark Critch (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), created by Critch and Tim McAuliffe (The Office (U.S.), Last Man on Earth) and produced by Andrew Barnsley (Schitt’s Creek) and follows the story of 11-year-old Mark coming of age in St. John’s, Newfoundland in the 80s. It’s a heartfelt window into the life of a child — much older inside than his 11 years — using comedy and self-deprecation to win friends and connect with the small collection of people in his limited world.
Photos courtesy of CBC