I was thrown in the slammer today on the set of Rookie Blue. The Global/ABC cop show is in production on a fourth season, with 13 new episodes scheduled to begin airing next spring. The cast and crew were working on episode five today as I toured the massive stealth studio in Mississauga, just a John Daly tee shot away from Toronto’s Pearson airport.
At one point, Rookie Blue, The Firm and Saving Hope were all shot in this same, nondescript warehouse-turned-studio. It has to be the only soundstage anywhere to house a cop show, a lawyer show and a doctor show which have all played simultaneously on both a Canadian and a U.S. network.
Had a nice visit with Gregory Smith, the savvy Toronto lad who co-starred previously on Everwood. He directed an episode of Rookie Blue last season and is slated to helm the 12th and second-last episode this season. Smith sees this as a way to broaden and expand his career. It’s worked for Jason Priestley, and now series leads such as Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm are getting into the Director’s Guild act.
Met with Rookie Blue creator Tassie Cameron in her office. She can’t believe four seasons have whizzed by and is blown away by the impact the series has had on fans, especially those who take the character’s lives very seriously. Some fans have even sent her “couples therapy” books for when certain characters hit a rocky patch in their relationships.
Cameron, a Canadian Film Centre grad who previously wrote and produced episodes of The Eleventh Hour and Flashpoint, says she almost couldn’t go out in public last season when Noam Jenkin’s character, detective Jerry Barber, was killed off. Fans were irate that a favourite character was eliminated but Cameron felt a cop show must deliver real life and death consequences.
Later on I ran into pretty Charlotte Sullivan on the set. The restless blond says she’s toying with changing her hair colour to black, so don’t be surprised if her character Gail Peck goes undercover. I asked about her role as Marilyn Monroe on the History miniseries The Kennedys and then she threw me into a holding cell. Gotta love a gal who knows how to work a gag photo op.
|The cops have been after me for years. Hill and Renko bust Brioux circa 1986|
This isn’t the first time I’ve been roughed up by coppers on a TV set. That’s none other than Hill and Renko (Michael Warren and Charles Haid) giving me the third degree just outside the soundstage of NBC’s ’80s TV classic Hill Street Blues. The shot was taken way back in the day by my old pal Gene Trindl at CBS Radcliffe in Studio City. Over the years, I’ve been booked by the best.