(August 29, 2016 – Toronto, ON) Following quickly on the announcement that Anna Paquin would join the cast of the mini-series, Alias Grace, comes word that the Academy Award® and Golden Globe® award-winning actress will star a new 8 x one-hour drama series titled Bellevue and premiering on CBC in winter 2017. Actors Allen Leech (Downton Abbey, The Imitation Game, Rome) and Shawn Doyle (House of Cards, Big Love, Fargo) will star alongside Paquin in the series. Created by Jane Maggs and veteran producer/director Adrienne Mitchell, Bellevue is commissioned by CBC and produced by Muse Entertainment (The Kennedys, Tut) and Back Alley Film Productions (Durham County, Bomb Girls). Filming begins September 19 in and around Montreal.
Thrilling and eerie, Bellevue is a mystery set in a small blue-collar town with a lot of ‘good people’ who ‘live right’ and take it upon themselves to make sure the neighbours do too. Driving the series is Detective Annie Ryder, played by Anna Paquin, a cop whose intense and brazen personality has always been at odds with her hometown. When a transgender teen goes missing, Annie dives in to unravel the disappearance that suggests foul play, despite finding herself in a difficult position as she must cast suspicion on people she has known all her life. As the case pulls her further away from her family, she is also confronted by a mysterious person from her past with disturbing answers and a terrifying need to get inside her head. Leech will star as Annie’s on again, off again ex, Eddie, while Doyle will take on the role of Annie’s superior, Police Chief Peter Welland.
“Bellevue is a bold addition to CBC’s drama slate,” said Sally Catto, general manager, programming, CBC Television. “This series is a prime example of the distinct, premium storytelling we strive to deliver our audiences, anchored by extraordinary talent both behind and on the screen.”
Award-winning actress Anna Paquin is best known for her seven-season starring role as Sookie Stackhouse in the hit series True Blood. Born in Canada and raised in New Zealand, Paquin began acting at the age of 11 with her breakout role in The Piano, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the second youngest winner in Oscar history. She has since had a successful career, boasting high profile roles in the X-Men film franchise, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, The Squid and The Whale; 25th Hour; Finding Forester; Almost Famous; Amistad; Buffalo Soldiers; A Walk on the Moon; Fly Away Home; Jane Eyre; The Romantics; Margaret; Straight A’s; and History Channel’s remake of Roots.
Allen Leech is an Irish stage, television and film actor best known for his role as chauffeur-turned-son-in-law Tom Branson on the Golden Globe and Emmy®-winning historical drama Downton Abbey. Leech is a three-time SAG award winner and has appeared in television series The Tudors and Rome. He also starred in The Imitation Game opposite Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, which was nominated for 5 Golden Globes and 8 Academy Awards. Leech can next be seen in Jonathan Mostow’s The Hunter’s Prayer with Sam Worthington.
Canadian actor Shawn Doyle was born and raised in Wabush, Newfoundland. He has won two ACTRA awards for his performance in The Eleventh Hour and The Disappeared; a Gemini award for Eight Days to Live; and a Canadian Screen Award for John A: Birth of a Country. Other TV credits include the series Lost, CSI, Hannibal, Lie to Me, End Game, Republic of Doyle, Rookie Blue, 24, Desperate Housewives, Reign and Big Love. Doyle can currently be seen in the CBC drama series This Life; the Syfy series The Expanse; and the upcoming Netflix series Frontier.
“Anna Paquin is the perfect actress to bring this brilliant and complex detective to life,” said Executive Producer Michael Prupas, president of Muse Entertainment. “Anna, Allen Leech and Shawn Doyle are internationally recognized actors whose strong talents will draw audiences from across the globe into the rich world of Bellevue.”
“We are so excited by Anna’s passion and enthusiasm for the series and know that she’ll bring her signature artistry to this deliciously fraught and driven character,” said Executive Producers Janis Lundman and Adrienne Mitchell of Back Alley Film Productions.
Commissioned by CBC, Bellevue is produced by Muse Entertainment Enterprises and Back Alley Film Productions Ltd. The series was created by Jane Maggs and Adrienne Mitchell, with Maggs serving as senior writer, executive producer and co-showrunner with Mitchell, who is pilot director and executive producer. Executive producers are Janis Lundman, Michael Prupas, Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope, Rookie Blue) and Jesse Prupas. Muse Distribution International is handling the series’ international distribution.