It’s so rare when things work out in such a common sense way in Canadian television that I’m not even sure this is real. Yet everyone I just interviewed for the hurry up CP story says its true–Murdoch Mysteries has been saved.
The Canadian historical drama, readers here will recall, was set to be phased out by Rogers-owned City-TV after a fifth and final season. The last full day of production was set to take place today out in Toronto’s East end. (Murdoch shoots on the old converted factory sound stages where Kevin Sullivan’s Wind at My Back was produced.) Originally, that’s where I was supposed to be today.
Unit publicist Mario Tassone re-arranged those plans last night. Instead, I spent the afternoon working the phones after word was leaked 10 minutes prior to the official release that CBC had come to the rescue.
News that Murdoch Mysteries will be extended into a sixth season is a personal relief to me. I traveled with star Yannick Bisson, executive producer Peter Mitchell, Tassone and several others way up to Dawson City in The Yukon this summer, dragged before the cameras as an extra. I was beginning to fear that, as “Miner No. 7,” I had killed the series. Now I can write those stories about being an extra on the set of CTV’s upcoming Highland Gardens. The curse has been lifted.
Beyond that, I’m just happy that some talented, hard-working and dedicated Canadians get to keep telling stories on Canadian television. That trip to Dawson was great fun, but also a perfect example of what a tight Canadian cast and crew can do in two speedy days when they are left to do what they do best. Seeing the impact of that show and that process on that community was also a revelation. The whole experience should have been bottled and sent to the CRTC and to the heads of all the Canadian networks, and they should be forced to drink it all in. This is why we are all in this crazy business. When it all comes together, it is awesome.

I even suggested in print that picking up Murdoch was exactly what CBC should do–although I think what I wrote was that CBC should trade City even up, Murdoch for Michael Tuesdays and Thursdays. If a release about that drops tomorrow, screw blogging, I am opening up a consulting business.
In any event, I’m hoping CBC can find a way to keep that show in production, too. (Show it at 11:05 p.m. Give Strombo a rest, at least one night a week. Do it and thank me later.)
For now, hats off to CBC, Kirstine Stewart, Christina Jennings, Yannick Bisson and everybody else at Shaftesbury. You have to love it when good things happen to good people.

1 Comment

  1. Once I read the news, I had to hop over here to see your reaction Bill. I knew you’d be happy about it.

    I was worried that the production process at CBC was too bureaucratic to jump on this. But I was wrong, and happy to be so. We have a greenlit sixth season when Season Five has yet to air!

    The only way things could be better would be if CBC got the Season Five rights. You know they’d schedule it properly, unlike the dithering programmers at City.

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