Shaftesbury starts production on Ken Finkleman's hotly anticipated new
series, Good Dog

Lauren Lee Smith co-stars fresh off hit series CSI

TORONTO, June 29 /CNW/ - Shaftesbury Films, Canada's leading creator and producer of original content, today announced that the company has commenced production on Good Dog, a half-hour comedy created, written and directed by Ken Finkleman (The Newsroom). Starring Finkleman and Lauren Lee Smith (CSI, The L-Word), the 13-episode series will be shot on location in Toronto until August. Produced in association with Astral's The Movie Network and Corus Entertainment's Movie Central, Good Dog will premiere in 2011.

Good Dog centers on the life of George (Finkleman). He's self-absorbed, neurotic and he lives with Claire, (Smith) a gorgeous ex-model, half his age. It's a hot May-December relationship in which George discovers he must be a "Good Dog" if he wants it to work out. Did we mention Claire has two young children and a nanny, who over time come to live with them? George's friend, Doug (Jason Weinberg), bears the brunt of most of George's "bright ideas," which generally end badly, but not without revealing a nugget of truth!

"Ken Finkleman delivers the best, the funniest and the most interesting material. His stories are irreverent, excruciatingly personal, and yet they touch us all," said Peter Meyboom, Producer for Shaftesbury Films. "To welcome Ken into the fold of pay TV is a great marriage of art, comedy and a breakdown of boundaries," said Erica Benson, Vice-President Programming, Movie Central, "We are excited to see the progress of this series as production partners and fans of Ken's work."

"Ken Finkleman is a truly unique Canadian voice," said Aubie Greenberg, Director of Original Programming, The Movie Network. "We're proud to work with the amazing team at Shaftesbury to bring his inimitable comedic vision to life for our viewers, neuroses and all."

Finkleman is best known as the writer, creator and producer of the International Emmy award-winning series, The Newsroom for CBC TV and PBS. He also produced Married Life (Comedy Central) and Foolish Heart, Foreign Objects, More Tears and At the Hotel. Finkleman's first novel, Noah's Turn, will be published by HarperCollins in late August 2010.

After an extensive casting search, Vancouver native Lauren Lee Smith has been selected for the role of Georges' much younger girlfriend, Claire. Smith returns to Canada after playing CSI agent Riley Adams in season nine of the international hit series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation alongside Laurence Fishburne. Smith is also known for her starring role in Clement Virgo's award-winning film, Lie with Me, and the Showtime series The L-Word. Rounding out the cast is Jason Weinberg (Law & Order, Casino Jack) as George's friend, Doug.

Good Dog is produced with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, Rogers Cable Network Fund, Movie Central and The Movie Network. The series is executive produced by Shaftesbury's Christina Jennings and Scott Garvie and by Ken Finkleman, and is produced by Peter Meyboom for Shaftesbury. Ken Finkleman writes, directs and stars in the 13-episode half-hour series. Shaftesbury Sales Company holds international sales and distribution rights.

About Shaftesbury Films:

Founded in 1987, Shaftesbury is Canada's leading creator and producer of original content for television and multiple platforms. Recent productions include Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures for HBO Canada based on the Giller Prize-winning book by Dr. Vincent Lam; The Listener for CTV and Fox International Channels; and the third season of Murdoch Mysteries for Citytv and UKTV's Alibi. Shaftesbury also produces a variety of award-winning children's programming, including the global hit Life with Derek, which currently airs on Family Channel in Canada and is broadcast in more than 120 countries worldwide, and the upcoming movie based on the series, Vacation with Derek. Shaftesbury's newest series for kids, Baxter, follows the adventures of a group of teens at a performing arts school and premiered on Family Channel in May. Shaftesbury Sales Company, the organization's sales division, manages international sales and distribution for the company's content. Visit Shaftesbury online at

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at Images are free to accredited members of the media/


For further information: For further information: For more information or to arrange set visits and media interviews, please contact: Sue Baldaro, Shaftesbury Films,, 416.363.1411 ext. 154, 647.802.0739 mobile

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