A crop of new shows will receive financial backing from the Canadian Creative Accelerator program based on their likelihood of achieving crossover success in the United States, Deadline reports. According to Deadline, these shows will not only receive financial assistance; the producers will also gain access to mentor training “from Los Angeles-based advisors.” The 410, Bones of Crows, Jeremy Fisher Junior and Friends, Cosmo the Dodo Bird and Detox are among the upcoming series from the first Canadian Creative Accelerator cohort.
The Canadian Creative Accelerator program is engineered by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service at The Consulate General of Canada in Los Angeles. It launched in 2020 with the “aim to increase the scope and global reach of Canadian television,” according to the Canadian Media Producers Association website. Six production companies were chosen as finalists to develop television projects for the program, according to Content Canada. Evaluator personnel included writer Vera Santamaria (PEN15, Bojack Horseman), producer Andrew Barnsley (Jann, Schitt’s Creek) and actress Tonya Lee Williams (The Young and the Restless, She’s the Mayor), as reported by Deadline.
Story Shape Entertainment will work on the crime drama The 410, created by and starring Supinder Wraich (The 99, Guidestones). Three half-hour webisodes were produced for the Canada-exclusive streaming service CBC Gem in 2019, The Toronto Star reports.
Screen Siren Pictures, founded by Trish Dolman (Daydream Nation, Canada In A Day), will develop the limited series Bones of Crows. The show will be written and directed by indigenous Canadian playwright Marie Clements (The Unnatural and Accidental Women, Red Snow).
Two of the six finalists are making television shows for children. Vérité Films is developing Jeremy Fisher Junior and Friends. Vérité Films president Virginia Thompson (Corner Gas) has promised a multimedia launch for the show, including prototypes for a book and corresponding game, as reported by Content Canada. Meanwhile, Groupe PVP (Trulli Tales, Three Delivery) is at work on an adaptation of the book series The Adventures of Cosmo the Dodo Bird, according to their official website.
The last two finalists, Oya Media Group and Pier 21 Films, are signing on to make half-hour comedies. The former is working on Detox, created by former Sundance programmer and author Roberta Munroe (Girls Weekend, Stars in Shorts), according to the company’s Twitter account.
Time to celebrate! Oya Media Group’s show, Detox (created by @robertamunroe ), is one of six lucky shows picked to participate in The Canadian Creative Accelerator program. Read all about it here! https://t.co/Z1WKrQ4Ykw
— OYA Media Group (@oyamediagroup) September 18, 2020
Munroe initially attempted to crowdsource funding for the project under the title Dr. Detox, based on evidence of a 2019 IndieGoGo campaign. The campaign describes the show as “Six Feet Under meets Black-ish.” Pier 21 Films, the sixth finalist, has not released any details about their planned half-hour comedy, Deadline reports.
The Consulate General’s office recently posted a video on Twitter congratulating the finalists. In the clip, Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles Zaib Shaikh speaks about the larger sociopolitical goal of the Canadian Creative Accelerator initiative: “Giving these companies a real chance to grow is one of the ways we hope that the government is showing that we’re ready to tackle systemic racism in the media and entertainment industry.”