WildBrain Television, one of Canada’s most-loved kids’ and family broadcast networks, is pleased to unveil a new, fun-filled live-action slate of Canadian content, including three exclusive premieres, for the whole family to enjoy. The excitement kicks off on Family Day weekend with the global debut of the highly anticipated movie Life with Luca and continues into spring with premieres for two brand-new series: I Woke Up a Vampire and Home Sweet Rome. Plus, Canadian audiences can catch more action during a national free preview across WildBrain’s English channels from February 13 to March 20.
Katie Wilson, VP Channels & Global Acquisitions, WildBrain Television, said: “We’re delighted to continue to support best-in-class content by partnering with talented Canadian producers and creators, and we’re eager to share their incredible stories with audiences. These new live-action series are an exciting addition to the robust slate of both live-action and animated content on our WildBrain networks for Canadian families to discover and enjoy together.”
Canadian content from WildBrain:
Life with Luca (1×90’) –premiering exclusively on Family Channel on Monday, February 20 at 7 p.m. ET/PT
Life with Luca is the spin-off of the long-running, beloved franchise Life with Derek, with the movie picking up eighteen years later. Derek (Michael Seater) blew off university to form a band in Europe, leaving his stepsister Casey (Ashley Leggat) to pack up his stuff and break up with his girlfriend. Now Derek is a successful musician in Paris and the single dad of a 14-year-old girl named Skyler (Isabel Rose Silva) who’s recently been testing the limits. This is perplexing as Derek has never had to set limits before. Casey, on the other hand, a married mother of three in Toronto, is quite comfortable setting limits, but her eldest, 14-year-old Luca (Marcus Cornwall), constantly crosses them—with disastrous results! Not easy for a mother with a busy legal career, and a hockey player husband overseas for the duration of the season. At a loss, both Derek and Casey spontaneously decide to surprise their own parents at their recently constructed ‘forever home’ in rural Ontario but encounter each other instead – George (John Ralston) and Nora (Joy Tanner) having decided to attend a relative’s birthday in New Jersey. Casey and Derek are happy to see each other, but the teenaged cousins—who have barely seen each other over the years (and never really liked what they saw)—don’t get along at all, uniting only to get into serious trouble. Meanwhile George and Nora embark on a ridiculous road trip to come home, followed by the jewel thief whose car they inadvertently stole.
The 90-minute live-action film is produced by Shaftesbury, with the participation of the Canada Media Fund and Shaw Rocket Fund, as an original commission by WildBrain’s Family Channel. It was created by Life with Derek series creator, Daphne Ballon, and Life with Derek writer, Jeff Biederman. Ron Murphy (Jann, Trailer Park Boys) directs. Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, Liz Levine and Jennifer McCann are executive producers, and Marek Posival and Alex House are producers. WildBrain is global distributor for Life with Luca and the Life with Derek library.
I Woke Up a Vampire (16×22’) –premiere coming to Family Channel spring 2023
Carmie Henley (Kaileen Chang) wakes up on her thirteenth birthday to discover she suddenly has supernatural powers. With help from her comic aficionado best friend Kev (Niko Ceci), she discovers she’s a “Vampling”: half human, half vampire, as depicted in the Blended comic book series about the children of humans and mythical legends. Carmie, who is adopted, finds herself on a journey to discover the who, what, when, where and how of herself. A lot to ask of a kid who’s juggling puberty, the middle school musical, and a Van Helsing vampire hunter on her tail! Carmie finds herself in a unique kid position: she wants to be seen vs she has to hide. Additional key cast include Zebastin Borjeau as Dylan, Ana Araujo as Leanna, Aaliyah Cinello as Madison and Kris Siddiqi as The Collector.
From legendary creator and showrunner Thomas W. Lynch, I Woke Up a Vampire is developed and produced by WildBrain’s Family Channel, in association with Netflix, who will be streaming the series later this year, and with the financial participation of the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and Ontario Creates.
Home Sweet Rome (13×30’) – premiere coming to Family Channel spring 2023
Home Sweet Rome centers on 13-year-old Lucy (Kensington Tallman, Drama Club) who moves from the U.S. to start a new life in Rome with her dad and stepmom, Francesca (Italian actor and singer, Eleonora Facchini)—who happens to be a famous Italian pop star! As Lucy learns to adapt to her new city, new friends, amazing food and haute fashion, she’s also navigating through the growing pains of being a teenager, and the additional challenge of her best friend, Kyla, being 6,000 miles away. With Francesca’s help, Lucy embraces her love for music and launches her own path to pop stardom, and as her adventures abroad begin, discovers what the meaning of “When in Rome” is all about.
Home Sweet Rome is based on a concept by Hannah Montana and That’s So Raven creator Michael Poryes, developed and written by Degrassi alums, Humanitas winner Matt Huether and Daytimeâ Emmy-nominee Courtney Jane Walker, who served as showrunners. The series is executive produced by Pedro Citaristi of Red
Monk Studio and Christina Piovesan of Canada’s First Generation Films, along with Doug Schwalbe, Jérémie Fajner, and Clément Calvet of SUPERPROD Group, Matt Huether, Courtney Jane Walker and Michael Poryes. A Canada-Italy treaty co-production, the series was commissioned by Family Channel in Canada and RAI in Italy, with the support of the Shaw Rocket Fund. Production is helmed by Award-winning Italian-Canadian director, Stefan Scaini.