Da Vinci spins off new series
Vancouver: With his audience numbers in decline, Canada's busiest and longest-running television coroner is getting a new job and new series this fall on CBC. Dominic Da Vinci, played by actor Nicholas Campbell for seven seasons so far, will move from Da Vinci's Inquest to become Vancouver's mayor in the sequel Da Vinci's City Hall - a move identical to that of the character's inspiration, Larry Campbell, Vancouver's former chief coroner and current mayor.
Vancouver: With his audience numbers in decline, Canada’s busiest and longest-running television coroner is getting a new job and new series this fall on CBC. Dominic Da Vinci, played by actor Nicholas Campbell for seven seasons so far, will move from Da Vinci’s Inquest to become Vancouver’s mayor in the sequel Da Vinci’s City Hall – a move identical to that of the character’s inspiration, Larry Campbell, Vancouver’s former chief coroner and current mayor.
‘It didn’t start out as the Larry Campbell story,’ says series creator Chris Haddock of Vancouver’s Haddock Entertainment. ‘We got him elected to research for the show,’ he adds, perhaps only half-joking. Campbell was a technical advisor on Inquest and wrote some scripts. He will continue as an advisor on City Hall.
Haddock describes the City Hall concept as a political procedural set to the pace of a police procedural, with the new storyline shifting Da Vinci out of Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside and into the crimes of other city business like gambling, property development and waste management. Da Vinci’s City Hall opens with the lead character’s first day on the job as Vancouver’s top politico and chair of the Vancouver Police Board. Haddock maintains the series shift is about the natural evolution of the character more than a need to revitalize the series. According to the CBC, the seventh season of Da Vinci’s Inquest generated average per-episode audiences of 546,000 in 2004/05. That’s a drop of 32% compared to the average of 803,000 viewers per episode in 1999/00.
Toronto producer Laszlo Barna of Barna-Alper and the same production team behind Inquest will be backing City Hall. Each hour-long episode will cost more than $1 million. According to Haddock, the CBC has ordered 13 one-hours for the next season. Haddock will also apply to the CTF for money to do the two-hour pilot for a potential new series starring Da Vinci’s Inquest regular Ian Tracey.