From North of the Border

(Above: Luke Kirby and Rachel McAdams in ‘Slings & Arrows,’ courtesy Acorn TV)

Due to Covid-19, the Canadian/US border is closed to non-essential travelers. But TV shows can still travel freely, essential or non-essential. So let’s look at three Canadian series coming to US channels over the next week: Slings & Arrows, Transplant and The Sounds.

Slings & Arrows (Sundance Now)

Definitely essential to anyone who loves comedy and/or theater, this cult favorite has been running on Acorn TV since last November and debuts on sister subscription streamer Sundance Now today, August 27.

Slings & Arrows, “a comedy about drama” follows the trials and tribulations of a Shakespearean theater company in the fictional town of New Burbage, Ontario. The superb ensemble cast includes Mark McKinney (The Kids in the Hall, Glenn on Superstore) and — in the first seven episodes –a pre-Hollywood Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) and Luke Kirby (Lenny Bruce in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel).

The first season of Slings & Arrows drops today on Sundance Now, season two on Thursday, September 23, and – we’ll wager a guess – the third and final season on Thursday, October 29. Each season consists of six episodes. The series ran originally on Canada’s Movie Network and Showcase channels from 2003 to 2006.

Transplant (NBC and Peacock)

This 13-episode medical drama gets transplanted onto NBC, Tuesdays at 10 pm ET/PT starting September 1. It will stream Wednesdays on Peacock starting September 2.

Transplant centers on a doctor who, surprise, doesn’t do transplants. Instead, the doctor is a specialist in emergency medicine, with the show’s title referring to the fact that he (Hamza Haq) is a Syrian refugee.

Transplant ran originally on Canada’s CTV this past February through May, and has been renewed for a second season.

The Sounds (Acorn TV)

We’re cheating here just a little, since this eight-episode psychological thriller takes place in New Zealand. But it’s a Canadian co-production and the story is about a Canadian couple, married for 20 years, who move halfway around the world for a peaceful new beginning in a sleepy, remote town, but…you guessed it…the town hides lots of secrets.

Canadian Rachelle Lefevre plays the wife and New Zealander Matt Whelan is the husband. He goes kayaking in the first episode, and disappears.

Acorn TV will debut two episodes of The Sounds on Thursday, Sept. 3, and then one episode weekly on Mondays, from September 7 through October 12. The series will run those same dates on Acorn in Canada before debuting on CBC later in the fall.

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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