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Due South (CBS 1994-1998, Paul Gross, David Marciano)

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Set on the mean streets of Chicago, Due South premiered on the CBS network in September 1994 and lasted three seasons.

Filmed on location in Toronto, Canada, this lively comedy/adventure series marked the first time an American network had produced a prime-time series featuring a Mountie since Sergeant Preston of the Yukon starring Richard Simmons in 1955. Although the premise of Due South is relatively straightforward, it’s the execution that gives this series it’s quirky charm.

Constable Benton Fraser (Paul Gross) is a polite by-the-book Mountie from the frozen North who is paired with Ray Vecchio (David Marciano), a wise-cracking Chicago cop with a flexible sense of morality. Brought together in the windy city by a mysterious murder which has personal ramifications for both men, these unlikely new partners must find a common ground amidst overwhelming differences. Due SouthJoining them is Diefenbaker, Fraser’s dog, who is part wolf and also happens to be completely deaf.

Other characters who are introduced into the series include Captain Welsh (Beau Starr), Ray’s precinct boss; fellow detectives Louis Guardino (Daniel Kash) and Jack Huey (Tony Craig); Elaine (Catherine Bruhler), the attractive dispatcher who has eyes for the handsome mountie. During the third season of the series, Ray Vecchio goes on a deep undercover assignment and detective Stanley Raymond Kowalski (Callum Keith Rennie) is called in to protect his cover and serve as Fraser’s new partner.

A comedy of errors predicated upon the foibles of human nature, Due South is a character study of differing styles and attitudes conjugated for the common good. Fraser is the “knight in shining armor” who can’t leave a crime unpunished or a wrong not made right; whereas Ray is the street smart cop who always bends the rules to achieve his means. The tongue-in-cheek quality of the series particularly endeared viewers to the show. The producers made fun of American stereotypes of Canadians and Canadian stereotypes of Americans and managed to weave spoofs of almost every television genre into the stories. Canadian audiences particularly enjoyed an in-joke involving Fraser’s deaf, lip-reading pet wolf, Diefenbaker. The latter is named after a former Canadian prime minister.

production detail
Canada – USA / CB/ – Alliance – BBC / 1×100 minute episodes 61×50 minute episodes / 15 September 1994 – September 1998

Creator: Paul Haggis / Executive Producers: Paul Haggis, Jeff King, Kathy Slevin

cast
PAUL GROSS as Con Benton Fraser
DAVID MARCIANO as Det Ray Vecchio
CALLUM KEITH RENNIE as Det Stanley ‘Ray’ Kawalski
BEAU STARR as Lt Harding Welsh
RAMONA MILANO as Francesco Vecchio
TONY CRAIG as Det Jack Huey
TOM MELISSIS as Det Thomas E. Dewey

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Clochmerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochmerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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