April 19, 2014

"Already 2014 has been shaping up to be something of a breakout year for Canadian TV."

The Star "The new 'golden age' of television is due in large part to the increasing prominence of the writer as the creative executive on television shows; the person ultimately responsible for that singular, passionate vision." by Tony Wong

'The lineup includes Vancouverite Daegan Fryklind’s Bitten, the Toronto-shot werewolf thriller starring Laura Vandervoort (Smallville’s Supergirl) on Space channel. It is joined by Greg Spottiswood’s well-received hospital drama Remedy on Global. And Season 2 of Graeme Manson’s Toronto-produced science fiction thriller Orphan Black premiered Saturday after winning 10 Canadian Screen Awards for the first season.

 Orphan Black Season 2 is ‘a bit nutty’

 Laura Vandervoort plays female werewolf on Bitten

'Meanwhile, Ellis and Morgenstern’s next moves are being watched closely in the industry as the married couple have several irons in the fire, working on two series simultaneously for competitors CBC and CTV. One of them will be a detective show remake of a Belgian TV crime thriller.

 '“I think you’re seeing television really explode because, finally, the storytellers have control over the story; it’s become a writer’s medium,” says Maureen Parker, the executive director of the Writers Guild of Canada, which gave the 2013 Showrunner of the Year award to Ellis and Morgenstern. Perhaps too slowly for some, Canada is emerging into its own star culture for writers. Showrunners such as Tassie Cameron of the cop drama Rookie Blue and Manson of Orphan Black, while not household names, have become more widely recognized.

 'In the movie industry, the director is god. In television, it’s the showrunner.

'“Writers tell stories. And if you look at some of the most successful series, they are guided by writers who are truly visionary, who have this extraordinary skill,” says Rob Labelle, the executive producer of the Canadian-produced cop drama Motive.

 Lauren Holly returns as Dr. Betty Rogers in Motive

  'Nowhere is this more apparent than in Hollywood. Considering that these are the typically unassuming folk who write TV shows, the cult of the runner in Los Angeles is remarkable. Familiar names such as J.J. Abrams, the creator of Lost, Shonda Rhimes of Grey’s Anatomy, Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad or Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer will elicit massive lineups at any fan expo.'

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