Prime Video Steps Up Canadian Production and Announces New Slate of Canadian Originals at the Prime Video Presents Canada Showcase Event in Toronto
Apr 13, 2022
Prime Video’s slate of Canadian Original productions includes the previously announced The Kids in the Hall, set to launch on May 13; the companion docuseries The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks, set to launch May 20; The Lake, set to launch June 17; The Unsolved Murder of Beverly Lynn Smith, set to launch May 6; LOL: Qui Rira Le Dernier?, set to launch later this year; and Three Pines, launching in early 2023
Previously unannounced Canadian Amazon Original productions include a revival of the adult animation series Gary and His Demons, set to launch in the fall; the feature film Sugar, set to launch in 2022; the recently greenlit dramedy series The Sticky, and a newly greenlit untitled documentary project on the iconic rock band The Tragically Hip
TORONTO—April 13, 2022—Today, at its Prime Video Presents Canada showcase event at Massey Hall, Prime Video presented a slate of 10 Canadian Amazon Original productions with release dates, first looks and trailers for six previously announced Canadian Originals, and four new projects. The new projects include The Sticky, a new English-language dramedy set in Quebec and inspired by the real-life Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist. The newly greenlit series is produced by Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Television, Jonathan Levine’s Megamix, Jamie Lee Curtis’ Comet Pictures, and Canadian producers Sphere Media. Another project is a new greenlit untitled documentary from award-winning director Mike Downie, with Courage Films, on the iconic Canadian band The Tragically Hip.
Dozens of Canadian and international actors, directors, and producers attended Prime Video Presents, including The Kids in the Hall stars Dave Foley, Mark McKinney, Scott Thompson, and Bruce McCulloch; The Tragically Hip band members Rob Baker, Gord Sinclair, Paul Langlois, and director Mike Downie; The Lake stars Jordan Gavaris, Madison Shamoun, and Julia Stiles; Gary and His Demons creator Mark Little; The Unsolved Murder of Beverly Lynn Smith director Nathalie Bibeau; and Sugar stars Jasmine Sky Sarin and Anthony Timpano. Three Pines lead actor Alfred Molina and series author Louise Penny, The Sticky executive producers Jamie Lee Curtis and Jeremy Gold, and LOL: Qui Rira Le Dernier? host Patrick Huard made virtual remarks.
Since 2021, Prime Video has announced and launched 13 Canadian Amazon Original projects, confirming its commitment to Prime members in Canada. Prime Video’s investment in the Canadian film and television production sector includes Canadian-shot Amazon Originals like The Boys, The Expanse, Tales from the Loop, and Reacher.
“We have already had success in Canada with local content including All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs and LOL: Last One Laughing Canada. The slate shared today demonstrates our focus and investment in developing the highest quality content for our Prime members in Canada,” said Magda Grace, head of Prime Video Canada. “Our roots in Canada run deep with productions like The Boys, Reacher, The Man in the High Castle, The Expanse, and Upload being shot in Canada, but now our slate of Canadian Amazon Originals underlines our investment in the local creative community and commitment to our Canadian audiences.”
“Canada has incredible stories to tell, and we have been fortunate enough to work with the best local producers, directors, writers, and actors to start to bring these stories to our Prime members in Canada. Our upcoming Canadian slate offers something for every Canadian entertainment fan—from comedies and dramas, to true crime films, documentaries, and animation,” said Christina Wayne, head of Originals, Canada, Amazon Studios. “Along with the Canadian producers including Muse, Blue Ant Studios, AMAZE, and Attraction—who we are already working with—we are proud to collaborate with the best internationally, including Left Bank and Blumhouse, to work with Canadian talent and have our local development team shepherd these upcoming Canadian stories.”
At the event, Magda Grace, head of Prime Video, Canada; Christina Wayne, head of Canadian Originals, Amazon Studios; Nav Saini, head of content, Canada, Prime Video; and Brent Haynes, head of Scripted Originals, Canada, Amazon Studios, made a series of announcements, including:
- The Sticky is a half-hour series revolving around Ruth Clarke, a tough, supremely competent, middle-aged Canadian maple syrup farmer who’s had it with being hemmed in by the polite, bureaucratic conventions native to her country’s identity—especially now that Canada’s bureaucracy is threatening to take away everything she loves: Her farm, her comatose husband, and her right to freedom. With the help of Remy Bouchard, a pint-sized local blockhead and Mike Byrne, an aging low-level mobster, Ruth changes her fate—and transforms the future of her community with the theft of millions of dollars’ worth of maple syrup. Brian Donovan and Ed Herro (Little Darlings) wrote the pilot script and will executive produce and co-showrun alongside Canadian co-showrunner/executive producer Kathryn Borel (Anne With An E). Jonathan Levine (Nine Perfect Strangers) will direct and executive produce. The Sticky is produced by Blumhouse Founder & CEO Jason Blum’s indie studio Blumhouse Television, Jonathan Levine’s Megamix, Jamie Lee Curtis’ Comet Pictures, and Canadian producers Sphere Media.
- The untitled documentary project on The Tragically Hip from director Mike Downie is a multipart docuseries that will feature exclusive, never-before-seen footage, photos, performances, and stories from the band’s long and storied career. Woven throughout the interviews will be lead singer (and Mike’s brother) Gord Downie’s personal writing from his notebooks and journals, lyrics, and correspondence with family, friends, and fans. The documentary will cover everything from the band’s early days playing weekends at Kingston's infamous strip bar, to their hitting the small towns of Ontario in a broken-down van, to winning over Toronto one club at a time, to their first fateful trip out west. The film will culminate with the band’s sold-out coast-to-coast tours, where fans in every city roared at the first chords of their favourite songs and sang along with the band in thunderous unison. The band is ready to share 40 years’ worth of stories—the highs and lows, the private and public, the friendships and frustrations, the milestones and missed birthdays—all of the essential elements of a long, complicated, and wildly successful musical marriage.
- The iconic Canadian comedy troupe—Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Kevin McDonald, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson—is back with a new season of their groundbreaking sketch series, featuring a fresh batch of fun, off-beat characters and beloved favourites, with sketches that pack a satirical punch, laced with the hilarious, edgy, and fearless comedy The Kids are famous for. The Kids in the Hall is produced by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video and Canadian production company Project 10. The Kids in the Hall is created, written and executive produced by Foley, McCulloch, McDonald, McKinney, and Thompson. The Canadian Amazon Original series The Kids in the Hall will be available exclusively on Prime Video on May 13 in 240 countries and territories worldwide. The series trailers: green band version here and red band version here.
- Joining the Kids series revival is The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks, a two-part documentary produced by Blue Ant Studios. Directed by Reg Harkema, the docuseries features interviews with Fred Armisen, Lauren Ash, Jay Baruchel, Lewis Black, Janeane Garofalo, Eddie Izzard, Mae Martin, Eric McCormack, Lorne Michaels, Mike Myers, Matt Walsh, Reggie Watts, and other industry insiders and fans, and explores how the group’s comedy inspired their peers and subsequent generations of sketch comedians, and continues to endure today. Following its recent premiere at SXSW and screening at the Hot Docs Festival in May, the Canadian Amazon Original The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks will launch on May 20 in 240 countries and territories worldwide. The docuseries trailer can be found here.
- Set in cottage country, The Lake is a 30-minute episodic comedy starring Jordan Gavaris (Orphan Black), Julia Stiles (Hustlers, The Bourne Identity), and Madison Shamoun (#blackAF, Black-ish). Produced by AMAZE and written and executive produced by Julian Doucet, the series follows Justin (Gavaris) as he returns from living abroad after a break-up with his long-term partner, in the hope of reconnecting with the biological daughter that he gave up for adoption in his teens. His plans to create new memories with his city-loving daughter Billie (Shamoun) at the idyllic lake from his childhood go awry when he finds out his father left the family cottage to his "picture-perfect" stepsister, Maisy-May (Stiles). The Canadian Amazon Original The Lake will launch exclusively on Prime Video on June 17 in 240 countries and territories worldwide.
- Filmed in Montreal and rural Quebec, Three Pines stars Alfred Molina and is based on Canadian author Louise Penny's New York Times- and Globe and Mail-best-selling Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. Three Pines comes from Amazon Studios and is produced by Left Bank Pictures, the Sony Pictures Television-owned production company behind The Crown, with Canadian production company Muse Entertainment providing production services. The Canadian Amazon Original series will launch exclusively on Prime Video in Canada, the U.S., the UK, and other Prime Video territories in early 2023.
- From Nathalie Bibeau, the director of The Walrus and the Whistleblower, the Amazon Original docuseries The Unsolved Murder of Beverly Lynn Smith dives deep into the elaborate and controversial sting operation that was designed to investigate a suspect in the murder of 22-year-old Beverly Lynn Smith—but only ended up raising more questions. Diving into a search for justice that spans decades, The Unsolved Murder of Beverly Lynn Smith is from Amazon Studios and produced in association with Muse Entertainment. The Canadian Amazon Original true crime docuseries will have its world premiere at the Hot Docs Festival before launching exclusively on Prime Video on May 6 in 240 countries and territories worldwide. The docuseries trailer can be found here.
- Featuring host Patrick Huard, LOL: Qui Rira Le Dernier?, the Quebec version of the global hit comedy format, will be shot in Montreal this spring and feature a cast of popular French-speaking comedic actors and stand-ups competing to make each other laugh first. The series is produced by Attraction. The Canadian Amazon Original LOL: Qui Rira Le Dernier? will be available exclusively on Prime Video later this year in 240 countries and territories worldwide.
- The animated series Gary and His Demons follows a cantankerous, aging demon-slayer who has nothing left to lose. Burdened by his “Chosen One” status and backed by a team of specialists he can’t relate to, Gary struggles to remain interested in saving the Earth—a duty he never asked for and doesn’t want. The series is created by Mark Little, who serves as head writer, co-director, and the voice of Gary. The Canadian Amazon Original Gary and His Demons is produced by Look Mom! Productions, a Blue Ant Media production company. The series will launch in fall with the release of Season Two and the relaunch of Season One on Prime Video in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
- Katherine McNamara (Shadowhunters, Maze Runner: The Death Cure), Jasmine Sky Sarin (Perfect High), Éric Bruneau (Coroner, Laurence Anyways), and Anthony Timpano (Imperfect High, Riverdale) will star in the Canadian Amazon Original film Sugar, a Canadian-Mexican co-production from British Columbia-based Sepia Films and Montreal-based Connect3 Media and directed by filmmaker and cinematographer Vic Sarin (Partition). The feature follows two young influencers who are coaxed by a charming man into joining a luxury vacation aboard a cruise ship bound for Australia. But as they sail through the Caribbean and South Pacific, the dream trip quickly becomes a nightmare when the women find themselves ensnared in a deadly drug smuggling operation. With their lives at stake—and nowhere to run—the walls begin to close in on them. The film will launch in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand on Prime Video later this year. Cineflix Rights will distribute the film internationally.
This slate of new Canadian Amazon joins recently launched Canadian Amazon Original series All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs, LOL: Last One Laughing Canada, and Rupi Kaur Live. Since 2015, Amazon Studios has filmed over 25 Amazon Original series and films in Canada, including The Man in the High Castle and Upload in British Columbia; The Boys, Reacher, and The Expanse in Ontario; Tales from the Loop in Manitoba; as well as parts of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and The Voyeurs in Quebec.
The Canadian Amazon Originals will join the thousands of TV shows and movies from Hollywood and around the world in the Prime Video catalogue, including award-winning and critically acclaimed Amazon Originals like Reacher, The Boys, The Wheel of Time, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, and Emmy- and Golden Globe-winners Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
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