Apr 04, 2017

Set in 1920s Toronto, new series stars Lauren Lee Smith as a fearless female private detective

CBC today announced it has greenlit new original drama series FRANKIE DRAKE (working title, 11 x 60) from Shaftesbury, the producers of Canada’s most-watched drama*, MURDOCH MYSTERIES. Set in the 1920s and starring Lauren Lee Smith (This Life, The Listener), the series follows Toronto’s only female private detective, Frankie Drake. Created by MURDOCH MYSTERIES writers Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, FRANKIE DRAKE will begin production this summer for a fall 2017 launch on CBC.

FRANKIE DRAKE is a forward-thinking drama about a woman ahead of her time, challenging convention and the status quo during a period of sweeping change, not unlike our own times,” said Sally Catto, general manager, programming, CBC. “The Shaftesbury team is known for their success delivering a winning combination of history that mirrors contemporary themes and thrilling mystery brought to life by characters that audiences want to return to week after week, and we are excited to partner with them once again on this female-driven series.”

FRANKIE DRAKE is a real labour of love for us. It is a story about a spirited woman, breaking barriers and calling the shots, in a world that might not be ready for her. This is a one-hour detective series, set in the 20s - but this is not the roaring 20s we have seen onscreen before,” said Christina Jennings, chairman and CEO, Shaftesbury. “We are so pleased to bring this show to life, in partnership with our friends at the CBC, and with a creative team who have been part of our Shaftesbury family for many of our hit series. And of course - what a treat to work with the wonderful Lauren Lee Smith again. I can’t wait for the world to meet Frankie Drake."

Set in Toronto during the 1920s, FRANKIE DRAKE follows the city’s only female private detective (Lee Smith) as she takes on the cases the police don’t want or can’t handle. Her gender is her biggest advantage – who would ever think a woman could be a detective? She has a knack for solving cases but she’s no cop – her brand of justice doesn’t always follow the law. Along with her partner Trudy, Frankie and the Drake Detective Agency take on cases of all shapes and sizes. From airplanes and booze running to American G-men, Communists and union busters, Frankie’s fearless sense of adventure gets her into all kinds of trouble, but she always manages to find her way out. In a time of change and hopefulness, Frankie is a woman ahead of everyone. She’s a new detective for a new world. But is the world ready for her?

A CBC original series, FRANKIE DRAKE is developed and produced by Shaftesbury with the participation of the Canada Media Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit. Shaftesbury Sales Company holds worldwide distribution rights for the series. Created by Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci, who also serve as executive producers, FRANKIE DRAKE is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie and Cal Coons, who also serves as showrunner. The series is produced by Jonathan Hackett and Julie Lacey.

*With a 2016/17 season-to-date (Season 10 confirmed to date) average of 1.3M (2+AMA), MURDOCH MYSTERIES is the most-watched Canadian drama series in Canada. Source: Numeris TV Meter, Oct. 10, 2016 - March 19, 2017, CBC Total, A2+, Mon 8-9pm, Total Canada, AMA, generated by InfoSys+TV 

About CBC/Radio-Canada
CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions. We are Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We also provide international news and information from a uniquely Canadian perspective. In 2017, CBC/Radio-Canada will at the heart of the celebrations and conversations with special 2017-themed multiplatform programming and events across Canada.

For more information including series synopses, press releases, hi-res images, video clips and bios, please visit the CBC Media Centre at cbc.ca/mediacentre.

About Shaftesbury
Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television and digital platforms. Shaftesbury's slate includes 11 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, UKTV, and ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment; Houdini & Doyle for Sony Pictures Television, Corus Entertainment, ITV, and Fox; thriller series Slasher for NBCUniversal's Chiller and now available on Netflix; and Kids' CBC series The Moblees. Shaftesbury's digital arm, Smokebomb Entertainment, produces original digital, convergent, and branded entertainment projects including the hit YouTube series Carmilla, funded by U by Kotex®; mystery series V Morgan Is Dead, brought to life by RBC; fashion comedy series MsLabelled, produced in partnership with Shaw Media and Tetley Tea; supernatural drama Inhuman Condition; and the Slasher VR app for iOS, Android, and Oculus Rift. In June 2014, Shaftesbury partnered with Youth Culture to launch shift2, a branded entertainment agency that drives profitable engagement with millennials using scripted series, turning brands into executive producers.


For further information, please contact:
Cathleen Saville, CBC, cathleen.saville@cbc.ca, 416-205-7976
Judy Lung, Shaftesbury, jlung@shaftesbury.ca, 416-363-1411 ext 186 or 416-993-6915