Sketch-comedy Fans Get Their Laughs Sunnyside Up, as City Greenlights New Original Series
– Sketch-comedy series is created by award winners Gary Pearson and Dan Redican and stars top Canadian comedic talent, including Kathleen Phillips, and Pat Thornton –
– Homegrown series to be co-produced by Toronto-based Counterfeit Pictures and Winnipeg-based Buffalo Gal Pictures –
– Start of production on six, half-hour episodes gets underway this September in Winnipeg –
TORONTO (August 19, 2014) Welcome to Sunnyside, the not-so-typical neighbourhood where anything can happen, and almost always does. City has greenlit the all-new original sketch-comedy series from award-winning creators Gary Pearson (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Ron James Show) and Dan Redican (The Kids in the Hall, The Jenny McCarthy Show). With principal filming on the six-episode, half-hour series slated to get underway this September in Winnipeg, the all-Canadian cast features one of the industry’s brightest and hottest comedic talents, Kathleen Phillips. Developed and commissioned by Rogers, to be co-produced by Counterfeit Pictures and Buffalo Gal Pictures, Sunnyside will air mid-season on City. Additional broadcast details to be announced at a later date.
“Canada loves comedy, but the raw, unpredictability of a homegrown sketch-comedy series is something we feel audiences just aren’t getting enough of on their prime-time schedule,” said Nataline Rodrigues, Director of Original Programming, Rogers Media. “City is proud to be working with some of the country’s top comedic talent to bring this format back to prime time and deliver this fresh brand of comedy to viewers.”
Sunnyside is a quirky neighbourhood in transition, where residents aren’t always what they seem and surprises lurk around every slightly dingy corner. Featuring people from all walks of life – from hipsters and young professionals to yoga moms and romantic crooks – Sunnyside is brought to life by a talented ensemble cast, led by the hilarious Kathleen Phillips. See below for full cast biographies.
Phillips is a rising star who has quickly become a staple of Toronto’s comedy scene. Originally from Keswick, ON, she was recently named NOW Magazine’s Best Character Comedian. She has written and starred in a series of one-woman shows, including The Loner Show and Kathleen Phillips Is A Haunted House. Phillips has been a regular contributor, as both a writer and performer, to the radio program This Is That, and has had recurring roles on Howie Do It, Dan for Mayor and, most recently, Mr D.
Thornton is an established stand-up and sketch performer, appearing at festivals such as SXSW, Just For Laughs, and JFL Toronto. He is also a founding member, former head writer, and one of the stars of Sunday Night Live with his troupe, the Sketchersons (for which they won a 2007 Canadian Comedy Award). A Kingston, ON native, Thornton has acted in comedy series such as Satisfaction, Punched Up, and The Jon Dore Show.
Goodman is an established star of the stage and small screen. Her TV credits include Platinum, produced by Sofia Coppola and John Ridley, Road Crew, Maximum Dimensions, and most recently, The Firm, in which she starred alongside Josh Lucas. Born in Toronto, Goodman’s extensive stage credits include 18 years with Little Red Theatre Company, the lead role in Touch the Sky at Young People’s Theatre, and, most recently, a role in the award-winning New York City stage play First Hand Woman.
Hailing from Oakville, ON, Moran spent 2013 touring the United States as a writer and star of both Spank! (Official Selection: "Just For Laughs” 2013) and Hungry Hungry Games. She is a regular improv performer, having appeared in such shows as Provocateur, The Video Game Show, Whedonesque, and Throne of Games (Official Selection: Toronto Next Stage Festival 2013). Moran can be seen on episodes of Space Janitors, The Next Step, and Too Much Information, as well as on YouTube as one half of the comedy duo “Wildcats” with Jon Blair.
Vidal is currently starring on The Second City Mainstage and drawing rave reviews for his performances in shows such as We Can Be Heroes and Sixteen Scandals. A Toronto native, he started his sketch and improv career in 2009 with a University of Toronto group called Skule Nite and with classes at The Second City Training Centre. Vidal’s recent credits include RENT (Fallen Rock and Lower Ossington Theatre), and Hairspray (Curtain Call Players).
Norman is an acclaimed screenwriter, director, actor, improviser and Canadian Comedy Award winner. Originally from Markham, ON, his writing credits include The Beet Party, Versus Valerie, Sexy Nerd Girl, Guidance, and the animated feature film The Nut Job, starring Will Arnett. Norman is currently a member of “MANTOWN” (2013 Canadian Comedy Award winner for Best Improv Troupe), and a performer with Toronto’s Just for Laughs festival.
The original series is produced by Counterfeit Pictures and Buffalo Gal Pictures. Anton Leo, Shane Corkery, and Dan Bennett from Counterfeit Pictures and Phyllis Laing from Buffalo Gal Pictures serve as Executive Producers. For Rogers, Nataline Rodrigues is Director of Original Programming, and Hayden Mindell is Vice President of Television Programming & Content.
About Counterfeit Pictures
Counterfeit Pictures is a newly formed production company established in November 2013 by industry veterans Anton Leo, Shane Corkery, and Dan Bennett. Counterfeit aims to create innovative and eye-catching content for television and online audiences, both in Canada and around the world. They recently produced the first season of Felt Up, and are currently developing comedies and dramas for multiple platforms.
About Buffalo Gal Pictures
Buffalo Gal Pictures is an independent film and television production company based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. President Phyllis Laing has developed and produced many challenging and diverse projects, including the acclaimed comedy Less Than Kind, by creating collaborative relationships with creative talent and building successful co-production partnerships.
City™ television stations in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal and Saskatchewan offer viewers intensely-local, urban-oriented, culturally-diverse television programming. A distinct alternative to other conventional television stations, City engages its viewers with dynamic on-air personalities and delivers an entertaining mix of news, local-interactive formats, such as Breakfast Television and Cityline, as well as local Canadian and acquired prime-time entertainment programming. City is part of Rogers Broadcasting Limited, a division of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: RCI and NYSE: RCI), which is a diversified Canadian communications and media company. For more information on City stations and programming, visit Citytv.com.
Stephanie Perron, City, email@example.com, 416.764.3253