TORONTO, August 31, 2017 – Shaftesbury and CBC today revealed additional casting for new one-hour original drama FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (11 x 60). Starring Lauren Lee Smith (This Life, The Listener, The L Word) and Chantel Riley (Race, The Lion King) and set in 1920s Toronto, the series follows the adventures of Frankie Drake (Smith) and her partner Trudy Clarke (Riley) at Drake Private Detectives, the city’s only all-female detective agency, as they find themselves fighting crime in the age of flyboys, gangsters, rum-runners, and speakeasies. With production underway on location in Toronto and southern Ontario until late October, the series will air Mondays at 9p.m. ET (9:30 NT) on CBC and stream at cbc.ca/watch beginning November 6, and make its UK debut on Alibi (UKTV) in early 2018.
Joining the cast are Rebecca Liddiard (Alias Grace, Houdini & Doyle, Slasher 2: Guilty Party) as police morality officer Mary Shaw, Sharron Matthews (Mean Girls, Odd Squad) as morgue attendant Flo, and Emmanuel Kabongo (21 Thunder, Teenagers) as boxer Moses Page. Guest stars include Lucas Bryant(Haven, Shoot the Messenger), Wendy Crewson (Saving Hope, Slasher, Revenge), Laurence Fox (Inspector Lewis), Grace Lynn Kung (Carmilla The Movie, Mary Kills People), Steve Lund (Reign, Bitten), Charlotte Sullivan(Chicago Fire, Rookie Blue), and Laura Vandervoort (Bitten, Smallville).
“From Gatsby-esque garden parties to rough-and-tumble speakeasies, there’s a global appeal to the 1920s that we’re excited to bring to life in Frankie Drake Mysteries. This was a time in Toronto of booming construction, considerable population growth, and a major shift in the role of women from the home and farm into the workplace,” said Christina Jennings, Chairman & CEO, Shaftesbury / Executive Producer, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES. “Frankie has come back from the war to work as a private detective with her partner Trudy and a network of associates, from Mary who works in the police station as a Morality Officer, to Flo who works in the morgue. We are going to see women fighting crime and fighting the system – a lot of action and a lot of fun.”
Set in 1920s Toronto, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES follows the city’s only female private detectives as they take on the cases the police don’t want to touch. In a time of change and hopefulness, their gender is their biggest advantage as they defy expectations and rebel against convention. The Drake Private Detectives take on cases that explore every cross-section of Toronto, from gospel church choirs, bathing beauties and the early cinema scene, to the homes and private parties of the city’s elite. Frankie and Trudy’s fearless sense of adventure gets them into all kinds of trouble, but they always manage to find a way out. They are new detectives for a new world – but is the world ready for them?
Created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, who also serve as executive producers, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, and Cal Coons, who is also showrunner, and produced by Jonathan Hackett. The series is written by Hay, Ricci, Coons, Andrew Burrows-Trotman, John Callaghan, Ian Carpenter, and Adrianna Maggs and directed by Leslie Hope, Norma Bailey, Eleanor Lindo, Ruba Nadda, Peter Stebbings, and Sudz Sutherland.
A CBC original series, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES is developed and produced by Shaftesbury in association with CBC and UKTV, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, the Cogeco Program Development Fund, and the Bell Fund. Content Media is the global distributor of the series.
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Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television and digital platforms. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 11 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, UKTV, and ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment, detective drama Frankie Drake Mysteries for CBC and UKTV, and two seasons of critically acclaimed thriller series Slasher. Shaftesbury’s digital arm, Smokebomb Entertainment, produces original digital, convergent, and branded entertainment projects including the hit YouTube series Carmilla, funded by U by Kotex®, mystery series V Morgan Is Dead, brought to life by RBC, supernatural drama Inhuman Condition, and the Slasher VR app for iOS, Android, and Oculus Rift. In June 2014, Shaftesbury partnered with Youth Culture to launch shift2, a branded entertainment agency that drives profitable engagement with millennials using scripted series, turning brands into executive producers.
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective. In 2017, CBC/Radio-Canada will at the heart of the celebrations and conversations with special 2017-themed multiplatform programming and events across Canada.
For more information including series synopses, press releases, hi-res images, video clips and bios, please visit the CBC Media Centre at cbc.ca/mediacentre.
UKTV is a commercial broadcaster reaching over 41m viewers every month. The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands – UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for nearly 10% of the British commercial TV market. The company’s most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £344.8m and EBITDA of £91.3m. It invested £151.2m in programming and related launches last year, and is a significant investor in British creativity. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories. Now celebrating over 20 years at the forefront of digital television, UKTV – an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) – is proud to be the first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.