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TORONTO (May 5, 2014) – Canadians are invited back into the dangerous and exciting world of the Integrated Investigative Bureau (IIB) with the Season 5 return of CTV’s hit original series THE LISTENER, Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT beginning May 26 on CTV and CTV GO. The all-new season sees the IIB team moving forward professionally and personally as telepathic crime-solver Toby Logan (Craig Olejnik) advances in his policing skills to become an even-more effective member of the elite unit, while Sgt. Michelle McCluskey (Lauren Lee Smith) struggles to balance motherhood and a fulfilling career. Complicating matters further is the return of Supervising Inspector Brian Becker (Anthony Lemke, LOST GIRL), whose unfinished business with Toby from Season 1 creates problems for the team.
For the third season in a row, CTV is commissioning a digital series that chronicles characters and storylines that branch off from the broadcast series. The Season 5 digital series expands upon Becker’s (Lemke) suspicions about Toby (Olejnik), as Becker digs deeper into his questionable crime-solving abilities and mysterious background. Becker doesn’t trust Toby, and he intends to find out his secret through interrogations with key individuals from his past. The series will launch mid-season on CTV’s exclusive new digital hub CTV EXTEND, located at CTV.ca.
THE LISTENER continued to drive million-plus audiences in its fourth season, including a series-high 1.4 million viewers, resulting in an average audience of 1.1 million. The series ranks among the Top 5 most-watched Canadian series in all genres.
“Season 5 of THE LISTENER promises viewers more of the action and intrigue they love, with new and returning characters shaking up the team dynamic, and unusual and exciting cases challenging the IIB,” said Mike Cosentino, Senior Vice-President, Programming, CTV Networks. “Fans across the country will be captivated as they watch their beloved characters tackle new situations and roles in their personal and professional lives.”
** Media Note ** Download photos from THE LISTENER at BellMediaPR.ca
Craig Olejnik as Toby Logan from CTV’s THE LISTENER
In the Season 5 premiere episode entitled “The Wrong Man,” Toby (Olejnik) and Dev (Rainbow Sun Francks) investigate a serial killer who leaves live snakes with his victims, echoing the calling card of a past culprit (Shawn Doyle, REIGN) who Michelle (Smith) had previously put behind bars. Meanwhile, Michelle is trying to enjoy her maternity leave with her new baby girl and husband Adam (Kris Holden-Ried, LOST GIRL), but when her credibility is doubted with the suggestion that she may have arrested the wrong suspect, she must return to the IIB in order to save her professional reputation.
THE LISTENER’s IIB team investigates a series of complex crimes this season, including the abduction of a ballerina; murder by magic when a tattooed illusionist’s stunt goes awry; the death of a legendary treasure hunter; and the poisoning of a cooking show contestant on live television. But their biggest obstacle might be the return of Supervising Inspector Brian Becker (Lemke), who is sceptical about Toby’s contributions to the IIB and must be cautiously won over by the team. Alex Kendrick (Natalie Krill, ROOKIE BLUE) also joins the team as a forensics technician. Her savvy doesn’t go unnoticed by Dev, who is thrilled to have an attractive new colleague and collaborator.
Toby also contends with the new status of his romantic life. Having moved in with crime reporter Tia Tremblay (Melanie Scrofano, BEING ERICA), he treads a fine line between being too open about his work and holding back, while Tia begins to look into his mysterious past. Michelle juggles motherhood with her policing duties, and disappointment at being passed over for a promotion. Meanwhile, Toby’s best friend, Oz Bey (Ennis Esmer), steps away from hospital administration and the world of EMS to take care of people in new ways – as the owner of a popular gastropub.
Guest stars on THE LISTENER this season include Shawn Doyle (REIGN, BIG LOVE) as a manipulative suspect who may have been wrongly imprisoned; Natalie Brown (BITTEN, CRACKED, SOPHIE) as a scheming psychiatrist; acclaimed Canadian chefs and restaurateurs Alvin Leung and Claudio Aprile, who serve as judges on Season 1 and the upcoming Season 2 of CTV’s hit culinary competition MASTERCHEF CANADA; and Gabriel Hogan (HEARTLAND), who plays an ambitious mayoral candidate implicated in the disappearance of a young campaign worker.
Viewers can catch encore episodes of THE LISTENER Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV starting May 31, Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV Two starting June 1 (visit CTV.ca for local broadcast times), and Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo (visit bravo.ca for local broadcast times) starting May 30. The day after each episode of THE LISTENER airs on CTV, viewers can watch the full episode on CTV.ca and the CTV GO app.
The cast of THE LISTENER includes Craig Olejnik as telepathic former paramedic Toby Logan; Lauren Lee Smith as IIB Sergeant Michelle McCluskey; Ennis Esmer as Toby’s best friend, Oz Bey; Rainbow Sun Francks as IIB security and technical expert Corporal Dev Clark; Peter Stebbings (THE BORGIAS) as IIB head Alvin Klein; Kris Holden-Ried as Adam Reynolds, Michelle’s reformed gambler husband; Tara Spencer-Nairn (CORNER GAS) as Sandy Wardwell, Oz's girlfriend and St. Luke Hospital triage nurse; Melanie Scrofano as crime reporter Tia Tremblay, Toby’s girlfriend; Anthony Lemke as Supervising Inspector Brian Becker; and Natalie Krill as forensics technician Alex Kendrick.
One of Canada’s top-rated homegrown dramas, THE LISTENER is broadcast on CTV and Bravo in Canada, ION Television in the United States, Fox International Channels internationally, and distributed by Shine International. The series has been licensed in 120 countries and 33 languages worldwide. Produced by Shaftesbury in association with CTV and Fox International Channels, the series is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, Craig Olejnik, and Peter Mohan (LOST GIRL, THE BRIDGE), who is also showrunner. Tina Grewal (HEARTLAND) is producer. Sharon Tal Yguado is executive producer for Fox International Channels. Tom Hastings and Rebecca DiPasquale are production executives for Bell Media. Trish Williams is Director, Independent Production, Bell Media and Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. Mike Cosentino is Senior Vice-President, Programming, CTV Networks, Bell Media. Phil King is President, President CTV Sports and Entertainment Programming. THE LISTENER is produced with the financial participation of The Canadian Film or Video Tax Credit and The Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
THE LISTENER on Twitter:
Craig Olejnik: @craigolejnik
Ennis Esmer: @heyennisshutup
Lauren Lee Smith: @L_L_S
Rainbow Sun Francks: @RainbowFrancks
Tara Spencer-Nairn: @TSpencerNairn
Anthony Lemke: @ranthonylemke
Natalie Krill: @nkrilova
With offices in Toronto and Los Angeles, Shaftesbury is a thought leader and innovator of original content for television and multiple platforms in more than 120 countries. Shaftesbury’s slate includes five seasons of THE LISTENER for CTV, Fox International Channels and ION Television; eight seasons of MURDOCH MYSTERIES for Citytv, UKTV, ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment and CBC; and the hit kids series LIFE WITH DEREK. Shaftesbury’s groundbreaking digital media division, Smokebomb Entertainment, creates convergent experiences for television and original digital content including the comedy series BACKPACKERS for The CW and CTV Extend; tween series TOTALLY AMP’D and UNLIKELY HEROES for YTV.com and Hulu; and 3D sci-fi series STATE OF SYN for Hulu and Google Glass. Visit us online at http://shaftesbury.ca and http://smokebomb.ca.
About Bell Media Independent Production
Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit CTV series include ratings success stories SAVING HOPE, THE LISTENER, MOTIVE, and THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, the record-breaking, Canadian-produced complementary version of the hit international series. New to CTV in 2014 are hit international format MASTERCHEF CANADA and multi-cam office comedy SPUN OUT, one of the most-watched new comedies of the season. Among the scripted series on Bell Media pay and specialty channels are the two-time Emmy®-nominated hit DEGRASSI, the internationally acclaimed ORPHAN BLACK, the most-watched original series in Space history BITTEN, Bravo’s most-watched new drama 19-2, TRANSPORTER: THE SERIES, and upcoming dramas SENSITIVE SKIN, and KILLJOYS. Bell Media specialty channels are also home to hit factual series HIGHWAY THRU HELL and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, among others. In 2013, Bell Media ordered 27 original Canadian series and currently has 84 projects in various stages of development.
CTV is Canada's #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 12 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at CTV.ca
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