Doyle's future uncertain

Andrew
Andrew Robinson
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Producer pleased with early response

Gander native Rob Blackie watched the premiere episode of CBC television's Republic of Doyle Jan. 6 at a special gala screening at the Majestic Theatre with a wealth of guests, including cast, crew, St. John's city councillors and Premier Danny Williams.

"It was magical," said Blackie, one of the producers on the show. "It was surreal, terrifying and exhilarating. You want it to be received well, you want the humour to work and you want it to be technically strong. ... A lot of people took risks to make this show happen."

Republic of Doyle producer Rob Blackie (left) takes a break on the set of the television series with Canadian acting veteran Nicholas Campbell (centre) and executive producer John Vatcher. The premier episode of the series, which aired on Jan. 6, attracte

Gander -

Gander native Rob Blackie watched the premiere episode of CBC television's Republic of Doyle Jan. 6 at a special gala screening at the Majestic Theatre with a wealth of guests, including cast, crew, St. John's city councillors and Premier Danny Williams.

"It was magical," said Blackie, one of the producers on the show. "It was surreal, terrifying and exhilarating. You want it to be received well, you want the humour to work and you want it to be technically strong. ... A lot of people took risks to make this show happen."

Republic of Doyle is a detective series mixing comedy and drama, centred around a father-and-son private detective business in St. John's. Each week, they solve a different case while managing ongoing family matters.

Blackie was pleased with early reactions to the show, which premiered to 969,000 viewers, according to unofficial figures released by CBC.

"We're thrilled about the response. The numbers have been fairly good. We're apprehensive about reading too much into them," Blackie said, adding they have yet to hear official viewing figures for any of the early episodes.

That response can also be tracked through online reaction, of which there has been plenty. A fan page on Facebook had more than 26,000 fans as of Monday.

"The response has been really positive. There's been a lot of buzz on the Internet. There's been a fair bit of activity on our Twitter site, too, so generally, we have nothing to complain about. What's surprising is the response has been very positive across the country."

While it seems fair to assume a television show set in Newfoundland and Labrador would play well provincially, banking on success on the mainland is harder to gauge.

"We've always felt like we're making a show for both. We always thought of it as a show made for a television audience generally, and the television audience in North America and outside (the continent).

"We hope people like the characters, and that Jake Doyle is intriguing enough, and funny enough, and that he also gets himself in enough trouble that it can be entertaining. The show has incredible female characters. The women cover the gamut and are the heart-and-soul - they run the household and run the world of Doyle, although the guys think they run it. It's a lot like Newfoundland culture, really."

Creating drama

Action and plot are also key elements Blackie said he hopes will draw people to the series. An upcoming episode will feature a car chase through downtown St. John's that took two days to shoot and utilized some of the best stunt drivers in the country, he said.

"They worked miracles," Blackie said.

Viewership aside, Blackie said the reaction from media to the show's debut was very encouraging.

"The national press has been really, really positive, which has been a pleasant surprise and something we're happy about."

It has been commonly reported within the television industry that Canada's public broadcaster will stick with a series if it can maintain at least 500,000 viewers per episode, which would bode well for Republic of Doyle based on its start.

However, Blackie said he is hesitant to read too much into the numbers with regards to the possibility of a second season for the show.

"I really have no idea. We officially won't know anything until around the end of March, and until then I won't actually know. We have our hopes, and we obviously would be very thrilled to do another season, but I really have no idea what the probability of that is."

Blackie said many external factors - including advertisers, internal CBC politics, the exchange rate's effect on raising funds from the foreign market and tax credit policy - could affect Doyle's chances.

The push to attract audiences is not restricted to Canada at this point. Blackie said the show has a sales agent in London, England, called Content Film. They also have an office in Los Angeles and are actively marketing the show internationally.

"We're very much hoping there'll be sales in foreign markets - as many as possible."

Even though filming wrapped up Dec. 22 for the show's first season, Blackie continues to work on post-production details in St. John's.

Editing, mixing and colouring are amongst the necessary tasks required to complete the final seven episodes out of 12. That work should clue up in the middle of March, he said.

Even though his constant involvement in creating the show could conceivably make him weary of watching the series as it airs, Blackie said he continues to watch in order to ensure quality control.

"The things we're intending in terms of sound, colouring, editing, they need to be rendered clearly. We want the audience to have a particular kind of experience, and the only way we'll know they're getting it right is if we watch it."

Organizations: CBC, Majestic Theatre

Geographic location: St. John's, Republic of Doyle, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada North America London England Los Angeles

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • Sharon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    This is, by far, the best show I have seen in a long time.....it ranks right up there with CSI. Each show has gotten better and better. The scenery is beautiful but the actors are tops. I hope there are many more seasons to come. Can't wait for Wednesday nights to watch it.

  • H
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    This show is amazing. I had to watch the first two to three episodes to really get into the show but it is incredible! The scenery alone is enough to capture your attention but it mixes comedy with everyday issues! I hope to see many more seasons as this is the best Wednesday nights I have ever had! Go Mr. Blackie and the rest of the crew!

  • Pat
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    This show is so amateur and it shows, get it off the air - another Newfie joke.

  • Perry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Finaly a show from NFLD worth watching . This is much better than that embarressment that Hatching Matching and Dispatching was . Much much better that that show about the cab company a few years ago .

  • Lola
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Pat from nl is a douchebag who doesn't know where it's at. Biggest premiere numbers ever for the CBC, all star Canadian cast, renowned directors (the likes of Dexter and trailer park boys) and a 30 million dollar budget?

    Yeah totally amateur... Could've shot in my own backyard.... Stop being a pissypat.

  • Jill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Absolutely love the show, love the actors, love the storyline, love Jake. Really love the scenary shots. Have watched all episodes and will continue to follow. Hope they are able to make more seasons. Only thing is it kind of makes me homesick.

  • BOB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    I RARELY WATCH ONE HOUR CRIME/DRAMA SHOWS ON TV. BUT I WAS GREATLY SURPRISED BY THE REPUBLIC OF DOYLE, I REALLY LIKED IT NOT BECAUSE IT WAS FILMED IN NL BUT IT WAS INTERESTING AND AMUSING BOTH. ALLEN HAWCO IS A VERY GOOD ACTOR AND IS EXCELLENT AS THE CHARACTER JAKE DOYLE. I ALSO LIKE THE ROLE PLAYED BY SEAN MCGINLY AND THE ACTRESS WHO PLAYS THE POLICE DETECTIVE . ALL THE ACTORS ARE STRONG PERFORMERS AND ARE NOT TRYING TO USE OUR NORMAL BROGUE JUST TO APPEAL TO A NL AUDIENCE. I WILL BE TUNING IN AS LONG AS IT IS ON THE AIR.

  • Merin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    I love the show, but also felt some of the sex scenes are gratuitous. The guest actors are terrific and I can't wait for whoever shows up next time. I'm hoping for a 2nd season, but so far, best Cdn series ever has to go to Corner Gas. I'm rooting for Doyle, though.

  • Judith
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    I loved the show but have to agree with Mrein and Chargex that the sex scences are unnessary. It can easily become a great show for the whole family to watch together during prime time hours. The sex scenes didn't add anything to make it better and may even be a reason for a drop of in viewers. Think bigger comedy can include the whole family. Hope to see a second season!

  • Jerry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    From being away from home (St. John's) this show just brings me back home .
    I think it has a great mix of action, comedy, great shots of the city, warmth and bonding and so natural with nothing being put on . It's like a breath of salt air. As long as it keeps going I really don't care if it's CBC or CTV that carries it. GOOD LUCK!
    I was also a fan of Hatching, Matching and Dispatching and was sorry to see it go off the air.

  • Ann Marie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Great show, keep up the good work...would love to see a 2nd, 3rd and 4th Season....just love it!!

  • Larry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Republicans of Doyle!!!!! Excellent job!! fast paced, great talent, as a tourism company owner, pics say a thousand words and bring tourism dollars!! Great to see a city behind this and real police as talent, not costume rentals!! Has a US TV look and feel, keeper rolling, we will be WATCHN!!

  • Ruby
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I have live in On for 15 years and when i watch the show it makes me homesick. Please kkep up the good work and lets keep it on the air for a few more years.

  • WatchingTheRatings
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I like the scenery in the show and the fact that is is shot here. I have yet to talk to a friend or relative from outside of Newfoundland that has watched after the first couple of shows which is not a good sign.

    From what I have seen the show has been dropping in the ratings show by show.

    From 969,000 it fell to 715,000 second viewing, 685,000 third viewing. I think that the biggest problem ratings wise is that it is loosing over 1 million views from its lead in program, Dragons Den.

    Time will tell how it does...

  • Keith
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    As an expat who spends time in St John's each summer, it loads of fun trying to figure out where each scene was shot. Great guest casting too. We have a lot of fun checking out the minor characters too, to see if there's anyone we know; so far, my wife & I have spotted at least one person per episode. I agree with the comments about all the sex scenes though; my 12-year-old daughter likes to watch with us & while she covers her eyes each time, I still cringe...

  • Elizabeth
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    We love all aspects of the show - the plots, the actors, the scenery and its uniqueness. Wouldn't miss it!

  • CHARGEX
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    I am really really TRYING to like this show. Yes, the scene shots are good, but why do they always have to resort to SEX for shock value to hang on to ratings? Im not a prude, but come on by!

  • Patricia
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Republic of Doyle is absolutely fantastic! St. John's looks wonderful, acting by all concerned is totally professional, and the CBC would be totally cracked to even consider cancelling this show. Congratulations to all the cast and crew, and keep up the good work! For the record, I've spoken to a number of people who are planning a visit to St. John's because of what they see on the show. It makes this Newf living on the mainland very proud. Well done, Jake and Co.!

  • Windowsfree
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Some of the best camera shots of St. John's I've ever seen. The filming of this show is by far the best CBC has offered in a while and it's a good show to boot! I hope to see a second season.....keep up the good work b'ys!

  • Susan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    LOVE the show! LOVE Jake! LOVE the scenery! It's a must-watch show! FANTASTIC!

  • Jenny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    If 'This is Wonderland' was cancelled, I don't see any hope for this show.

  • Nathan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Sorry karl, Trailer Park Boys is the best Canadian show of all time. Republic of Doyle has a long, long way to go before it reaches Trailer Park Boys status.

  • Mark
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    This may be a good show but the title is a turn off and makes it seem boring.

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    The CBC has a habit of cancelling shows that then end up on another network and become a huge success. Perfect example of that is Corner Gas. It was offered to CBC first the refused CTV took it and the rest as they say is history. The CBC would rather pump money into the likes of Don Cherry and Bob Cole who are both past their best before date. Cherry promotes fighting with his rock em sock em crap and Cole cant even remember what game he is attempting to call half the time.

  • Huck
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Unfortunately I missed the pilot episode, but I have religiously tuned into every show since. I am a big fan and try to encourage others to watch as well. Long Live the Republic of Doyle!!

  • kevin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Like the show, don't love it.ease up on the Towny accent were all not all like that.i like GBS,but the OHH YAA!! at the end come on.Love the secenery..
    Good Luck

  • Cecilia
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I love the show I love to sit each week and try to remember where the scene was shot asking myself was that taken at such or such a pub or is tht one street or another. Those father and son team are just superburb. If any man took the beatings that Jake takes he 'd be in hospital a long time.

  • Nathan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Best Canadian series ever has to go to Corner Gas? Have there been any Corner Gas movies released in theaters? Have there been any Corner Gas movies at all? Does corner gas have a religious following? I'm sorry Merin, but Trailer Park Boys takes the cake when it comes to Canadian T.V., It's pure genius.

  • R
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Love the show. The wife and friends even stop playing cards to watch it. I emailed relatives in the US to watch it on line but it doesn't stream outside Canada. Why not ??? We all have relatives in the US.

  • karl
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    A great great show. I have talked to friends from the mainland and they think it is the best canadian show of all time.

  • Ian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Hey this photo is wrongly credited to Andrew Robinson. I know because I took the photo. Maybe you guys can update it. I am the unit photographer for Republic of Doyle. Nothing against Andrew. - Ian Vatcher

  • Nisa
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Keep in mind that all episodes were shot from May to December so anything you see in there for shock value has nothing to do with the prior week's ratings. Those plotlines were written long ago.

  • TJ
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Trailer Park Boys is absolute garbage compared to The Kids In The Hall.

  • Cathy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Hey Pat, Leave it to a homegrown Newf to put down a home grown show. We are indeed our own worst enemies. If you don't like it, keep your negative opinion to yourself.

  • Becca
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    I absolutely love the way the City of St. John's has been captured on film. The shots of the city are just wonderful. This show can only get better. I just hope that the CBC doesn't drop it. I feel so involved with the story line now that I can't wait each week to tune in and see what's going to happen next. We don't have cable right now and this is the only show we've been watching each week. Republic of Doyle has a lot to be proud about and Newfoundlanders should be proud of it too.

  • Sharon
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    This is, by far, the best show I have seen in a long time.....it ranks right up there with CSI. Each show has gotten better and better. The scenery is beautiful but the actors are tops. I hope there are many more seasons to come. Can't wait for Wednesday nights to watch it.

  • H
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    This show is amazing. I had to watch the first two to three episodes to really get into the show but it is incredible! The scenery alone is enough to capture your attention but it mixes comedy with everyday issues! I hope to see many more seasons as this is the best Wednesday nights I have ever had! Go Mr. Blackie and the rest of the crew!

  • Pat
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    This show is so amateur and it shows, get it off the air - another Newfie joke.

  • Perry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Finaly a show from NFLD worth watching . This is much better than that embarressment that Hatching Matching and Dispatching was . Much much better that that show about the cab company a few years ago .

  • Lola
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Pat from nl is a douchebag who doesn't know where it's at. Biggest premiere numbers ever for the CBC, all star Canadian cast, renowned directors (the likes of Dexter and trailer park boys) and a 30 million dollar budget?

    Yeah totally amateur... Could've shot in my own backyard.... Stop being a pissypat.

  • Jill
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Absolutely love the show, love the actors, love the storyline, love Jake. Really love the scenary shots. Have watched all episodes and will continue to follow. Hope they are able to make more seasons. Only thing is it kind of makes me homesick.

  • BOB
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    I RARELY WATCH ONE HOUR CRIME/DRAMA SHOWS ON TV. BUT I WAS GREATLY SURPRISED BY THE REPUBLIC OF DOYLE, I REALLY LIKED IT NOT BECAUSE IT WAS FILMED IN NL BUT IT WAS INTERESTING AND AMUSING BOTH. ALLEN HAWCO IS A VERY GOOD ACTOR AND IS EXCELLENT AS THE CHARACTER JAKE DOYLE. I ALSO LIKE THE ROLE PLAYED BY SEAN MCGINLY AND THE ACTRESS WHO PLAYS THE POLICE DETECTIVE . ALL THE ACTORS ARE STRONG PERFORMERS AND ARE NOT TRYING TO USE OUR NORMAL BROGUE JUST TO APPEAL TO A NL AUDIENCE. I WILL BE TUNING IN AS LONG AS IT IS ON THE AIR.

  • Merin
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    I love the show, but also felt some of the sex scenes are gratuitous. The guest actors are terrific and I can't wait for whoever shows up next time. I'm hoping for a 2nd season, but so far, best Cdn series ever has to go to Corner Gas. I'm rooting for Doyle, though.

  • Judith
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    I loved the show but have to agree with Mrein and Chargex that the sex scences are unnessary. It can easily become a great show for the whole family to watch together during prime time hours. The sex scenes didn't add anything to make it better and may even be a reason for a drop of in viewers. Think bigger comedy can include the whole family. Hope to see a second season!

  • Jerry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    From being away from home (St. John's) this show just brings me back home .
    I think it has a great mix of action, comedy, great shots of the city, warmth and bonding and so natural with nothing being put on . It's like a breath of salt air. As long as it keeps going I really don't care if it's CBC or CTV that carries it. GOOD LUCK!
    I was also a fan of Hatching, Matching and Dispatching and was sorry to see it go off the air.

  • Ann Marie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Great show, keep up the good work...would love to see a 2nd, 3rd and 4th Season....just love it!!

  • Larry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Republicans of Doyle!!!!! Excellent job!! fast paced, great talent, as a tourism company owner, pics say a thousand words and bring tourism dollars!! Great to see a city behind this and real police as talent, not costume rentals!! Has a US TV look and feel, keeper rolling, we will be WATCHN!!

  • Ruby
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    I have live in On for 15 years and when i watch the show it makes me homesick. Please kkep up the good work and lets keep it on the air for a few more years.

  • WatchingTheRatings
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    I like the scenery in the show and the fact that is is shot here. I have yet to talk to a friend or relative from outside of Newfoundland that has watched after the first couple of shows which is not a good sign.

    From what I have seen the show has been dropping in the ratings show by show.

    From 969,000 it fell to 715,000 second viewing, 685,000 third viewing. I think that the biggest problem ratings wise is that it is loosing over 1 million views from its lead in program, Dragons Den.

    Time will tell how it does...

  • Keith
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    As an expat who spends time in St John's each summer, it loads of fun trying to figure out where each scene was shot. Great guest casting too. We have a lot of fun checking out the minor characters too, to see if there's anyone we know; so far, my wife & I have spotted at least one person per episode. I agree with the comments about all the sex scenes though; my 12-year-old daughter likes to watch with us & while she covers her eyes each time, I still cringe...

  • Elizabeth
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    We love all aspects of the show - the plots, the actors, the scenery and its uniqueness. Wouldn't miss it!

  • CHARGEX
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    I am really really TRYING to like this show. Yes, the scene shots are good, but why do they always have to resort to SEX for shock value to hang on to ratings? Im not a prude, but come on by!

  • Patricia
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Republic of Doyle is absolutely fantastic! St. John's looks wonderful, acting by all concerned is totally professional, and the CBC would be totally cracked to even consider cancelling this show. Congratulations to all the cast and crew, and keep up the good work! For the record, I've spoken to a number of people who are planning a visit to St. John's because of what they see on the show. It makes this Newf living on the mainland very proud. Well done, Jake and Co.!

  • Windowsfree
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Some of the best camera shots of St. John's I've ever seen. The filming of this show is by far the best CBC has offered in a while and it's a good show to boot! I hope to see a second season.....keep up the good work b'ys!

  • Susan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    LOVE the show! LOVE Jake! LOVE the scenery! It's a must-watch show! FANTASTIC!

  • Jenny
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    If 'This is Wonderland' was cancelled, I don't see any hope for this show.

  • Nathan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Sorry karl, Trailer Park Boys is the best Canadian show of all time. Republic of Doyle has a long, long way to go before it reaches Trailer Park Boys status.

  • Mark
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    This may be a good show but the title is a turn off and makes it seem boring.

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    The CBC has a habit of cancelling shows that then end up on another network and become a huge success. Perfect example of that is Corner Gas. It was offered to CBC first the refused CTV took it and the rest as they say is history. The CBC would rather pump money into the likes of Don Cherry and Bob Cole who are both past their best before date. Cherry promotes fighting with his rock em sock em crap and Cole cant even remember what game he is attempting to call half the time.

  • Huck
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Unfortunately I missed the pilot episode, but I have religiously tuned into every show since. I am a big fan and try to encourage others to watch as well. Long Live the Republic of Doyle!!

  • kevin
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Like the show, don't love it.ease up on the Towny accent were all not all like that.i like GBS,but the OHH YAA!! at the end come on.Love the secenery..
    Good Luck

  • Cecilia
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    I love the show I love to sit each week and try to remember where the scene was shot asking myself was that taken at such or such a pub or is tht one street or another. Those father and son team are just superburb. If any man took the beatings that Jake takes he 'd be in hospital a long time.

  • Nathan
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Best Canadian series ever has to go to Corner Gas? Have there been any Corner Gas movies released in theaters? Have there been any Corner Gas movies at all? Does corner gas have a religious following? I'm sorry Merin, but Trailer Park Boys takes the cake when it comes to Canadian T.V., It's pure genius.

  • R
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Love the show. The wife and friends even stop playing cards to watch it. I emailed relatives in the US to watch it on line but it doesn't stream outside Canada. Why not ??? We all have relatives in the US.

  • karl
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    A great great show. I have talked to friends from the mainland and they think it is the best canadian show of all time.

  • Ian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Hey this photo is wrongly credited to Andrew Robinson. I know because I took the photo. Maybe you guys can update it. I am the unit photographer for Republic of Doyle. Nothing against Andrew. - Ian Vatcher

  • Nisa
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Keep in mind that all episodes were shot from May to December so anything you see in there for shock value has nothing to do with the prior week's ratings. Those plotlines were written long ago.

  • TJ
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Trailer Park Boys is absolute garbage compared to The Kids In The Hall.

  • Cathy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Hey Pat, Leave it to a homegrown Newf to put down a home grown show. We are indeed our own worst enemies. If you don't like it, keep your negative opinion to yourself.

  • Becca
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    I absolutely love the way the City of St. John's has been captured on film. The shots of the city are just wonderful. This show can only get better. I just hope that the CBC doesn't drop it. I feel so involved with the story line now that I can't wait each week to tune in and see what's going to happen next. We don't have cable right now and this is the only show we've been watching each week. Republic of Doyle has a lot to be proud about and Newfoundlanders should be proud of it too.