TORONTO, April 7 /CNW/ - VisionTV's original new comedy series She's The Mayor has commenced principal photography, the multi-faith and multicultural network announced today.
Janet-Laine Green (M.V.P., The Stone Angel) leads a diverse cast that includes Colin Mochrie (Getting Along Famously, Whose Line Is It Anyway?) and Tonya Lee Williams (The Border, The Young and the Restless).
Toronto-based Hungry Eyes Film & Television Inc. is producing the 13 half-hours. The series is expected to premiere on VisionTV in early 2011.
She's The Mayor tells the story of sixtysomething Iris Peters (played by Ms. Green), a former elementary school principal turned mayor of Fairfax, a mid-sized city that has seen better days. A political neophyte with a motley band of supporters and a habit of talking first and thinking later, Iris tries to bring her own brand of discipline to City Hall while fighting her feelings for handsome, roguish deputy mayor Bill Clarke (Scott Wentworth).
Colin Mochrie plays tightly wound, germophobic city manager Scott Hawkins, and Tonya Lee Williams plays Iris's glamorous, self-involved communications director, Maxine Williams. The cast also includes Joseph Motiki, Denis Akiyama, Paul Constable and Derek McGrath.
Mark Prasuhn, VisionTV's Chief Operating Officer and Chief Content Officer, said the team behind She's The Mayor has drawn inspiration from the wit and sophistication of classic British television comedies, a staple of the network's prime time schedule.
"Iris is an outspoken and dynamic older woman who makes her own rules - the sort of character we see all too seldom on Canadian television," Mr. Prasuhn said. "At a time when pop culture is dominated by the likes of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, we believe there's a large audience out there with a real hunger for stories about mature, sophisticated adult characters."
Added the network's President and CEO Bill Roberts: "VisionTV, with its loyal viewership of 50-plus Canadians, is one of the few networks in the world that would be bold enough to embrace a series built around a character like Iris. We happen to think VisionTV's audience will connect very strongly with her."
She's The Mayor was created for VisionTV by Jennifer Holness, Min Sook Lee and Sudz Sutherland.
Ms. Holness said Hungry Eyes and VisionTV embarked on nation-wide search to find the perfect actress for the lead, and are delighted that Janet-Laine Green has agreed to step into the role.
Said Ms. Holness: "In Janet, we have found a funny, warm and versatile performer who has the strength to anchor this show's richly talented ensemble, and who can embody Iris - an appealing yet believably flawed character - in all her glory."
She added: "We're thrilled to be collaborating with Janet, and to be welcoming Colin Mochrie and Tonya Lee Williams back to Canadian TV series comedy."
Ms. Holness and Mr. Sutherland have collaborated previously on the award-winning feature film Love, Sex & Eating the Bones, the TV movie Doomstown, and the acclaimed mini-series Guns, which made its national television premiere in September 2009.
Ms. Lee is a documentary filmmaker whose 2005 production Hogtown: The Politics of Policing won the award for Best Canadian Feature Length Documentary at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.
Said Joan Jenkinson, VisionTV's Director of Independent Production: "The cast and creative team on this project are among the best and most diverse we have ever been privileged to work with. We're excited about bringing Iris Peters and her world to life, and we're betting that her term as mayor of Fairfax is going to be an eventful one."
Added Ms. Jenkinson: "She's The Mayor was chosen from among the 280 submissions that VisionTV received in response to our call last year for comedy-drama series proposals. We think VisionTV's viewers are going to be as excited about this new series as we are."
VisionTV (www.visiontv.ca) is Canada's multi-faith and multicultural broadcaster, dedicated to entertaining and insightful programming that celebrates diversity and promotes understanding and tolerance among people of different faiths and cultures.
For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: David Todd, Media Relations Manager, VisionTV, Phone: (416) 368-3194 ext 207, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Suzanne Cheriton, President/Lead Publicist, Red Eye Media, Phone: (416) 805-6744, Email: email@example.com