Unspeakable

About the Show

In the early 1980’s, AIDS emerged and quickly became an epidemic. Those responsible for public safety failed. Thousands died. A second virus, hepatitis C, infected tens of thousands more. People were kept in the dark, afraid to speak out. Ignorance, arrogance, politics and economics all lead to betrayal, to cover-up, to scandal. Unspeakable is told from the perspective of two families caught in a tragedy that gripped a nation, as well as the doctors, nurses, corporations and bureaucracy responsible. The series follows the decades long saga as people struggled to survive, change the system and battle for compensation for those who desperately needed it. 

Unspeakable is based on emotionally charged personal accounts as well as Andre Picard’s Gift of Death: Confronting Canada’s Tainted Blood Tragedy, Vic Parson’s Bad Blood: The Tragedy of the Canadian Tainted Blood Scandal, and The Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Canadian Blood Tragedy, led by Justice Horace Krever. 

It began as a disease that was nobody’s fault and became a catastrophe. A federal inquiry led to finger pointing and sweeping changes to the blood system. Billions of dollars in reparations were paid. Criminal charges were laid. The repercussions are still being felt today. The worst part is that it was largely preventable. We cannot forget. 

A CBC and SundanceTV original series, UNSPEAKABLE is created by Robert C. Cooper (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis) and stars actors Sarah Wayne Callies (Colony, The Walking Dead), Shawn Doyle (Bellevue, Big Love), Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1, Saving Hope) and Camille Sullivan (The Disappearance, The Man in the High Castle). It is produced by Mezo Entertainment, with Cooper and Meridian Artists' Glenn Cockburn serving as executive producers. The series is a passion project for Cooper, who himself was a victim, having contracted Hepatitis C from tainted blood. The series is written by Cooper, Carl Binder, Adriana Capozzi and Lynn Coady, with Cooper and Callies both directing episodes. AMC Studios manages worldwide distribution outside of Canada. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Programming; Helen Asimakis is Senior Director, Drama, Scripted Content; and Deborah Nathan is Executive in Charge of Production.

Photos

Program Name

Unspeakable

Program Type

Television Show

Appears On

CBC

Genre

Scripted

Schedule

Premieres on Wednesday, January 9 at 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. NT) | Winter 2019

Bios

Sarah Wayne Callies

Margaret Sanders | Unspeakable

Shawn Doyle

Ben Landry | Unspeakable
Peter Welland | Bellevue

Michael Shanks

Will Sanders | Unspeakable

Camille Sullivan

Alice Landry | Unspeakable

Robert Cooper

Creator | Unspeakable

Press Releases

CBC ANNOUNCES WINTER 2019 PREMIERE DATES

CBC ANNOUNCES WINTER 2019 PREMIERE DATES

CBC today announced broadcast and streaming premiere dates for its winter 2019 lineup of highly anticipated new titles and popular returning series, featuring original programming by Canadian storytellers. Read More »

CBC ANNOUNCES 2018-19 PROGRAMMING SLATE

CBC ANNOUNCES 2018-19 PROGRAMMING SLATE

Canada’s public broadcaster today announced its robust 2018-19 slate, including 17 new series and 36 renewed titles – one of CBC’s largest returning lineups to date. Read More »

CBC AND SUNDANCE TV CONFIRM CASTING FOR MINISERIES UNSPEAKABLE INCLUDING SARAH WAYNE CALLIES, SHAWN

CBC AND SUNDANCE TV CONFIRM CASTING FOR MINISERIES UNSPEAKABLE INCLUDING SARAH WAYNE CALLIES, SHAWN

CBC and SundanceTV today announced casting for the dramatic eight-part miniseries UNSPEAKABLE, which chronicles the tainted blood scandal beginning in the 1980’s. Acclaimed actors Sarah Wayne Callies (Colony, The Walking Dead), Shawn Doyle (Bellevue, Big Love), Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1, Saving Hope) and Camille Sullivan (The Disappearance, The Man in the High Castle) will lead the series. Production on UNSPEAKABLE begins spring 2018 in Vancouver, BC, for broadcast on CBC in Canada and SundanceTV in the U.S. Read More »

Program Name

Unspeakable

Program Type

Television Show

Appears On

CBC

Genre

Scripted

Schedule

Premieres on Wednesday, January 9 at 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. NT) | Winter 2019

Bios

Sarah Wayne Callies

Margaret Sanders | Unspeakable

Shawn Doyle

Ben Landry | Unspeakable
Peter Welland | Bellevue

Michael Shanks

Will Sanders | Unspeakable

Camille Sullivan

Alice Landry | Unspeakable

Robert Cooper

Creator | Unspeakable