With “Republic of Doyle” about to start filming its fifth season, the show will soon start appearing on American television screens.
Trifecta Entertainment of Los Angeles has made a deal to distribute the show in the United States, and the show’s star says the deal will help the provincial government recoup its investment.
“We’re super excited about it, and this is really, really big news,” Allan Hawco, producer and actor who plays the show’s Jake Doyle, told The Telegram on Tuesday. “A sale in the U.S. is huge because it means that when the show goes into syndication — the United States is our biggest market and we hadn’t sold there yet. It’s only happened right now, essentially, because we got ordered for Season 5; that brings us into syndication numbers — that means the show will be playing all across the United States, likely for years, an unquantifiable amount of years, which is very exciting.”
Broadening the audience for the show is how its funding partners — including the Newfoundland and Labrador government and CBC — make their money back, and profit, said Hawco.
“But eventually, if the show does half decent in years to come, the return on the investment on the province, from the CBC, all the shareholders get a portion of any profits that will eventually come.”
Despite the size of the U.S. market, Hawco said he was happy making a show just for Canadian audiences.
“When we started designing the show, I stayed away from trying to partner with an American network, because I didn’t want to bastardize or water down the Newfoundland or Canadian content. I wanted to make this show real and truthful to the place, obviously while spinning it with the mystery, detective elements,” he said.
“I didn’t want Jake carrying a gun, or etc. etc. etc. I didn’t want American influence to be dictating the creative.”
Work on the show’s fifth season — extended to 16 episodes, more than the 13 of the last few seasons — began late last fall, with shooting to start in May. Season 4 wraps up Sunday night with two new episodes back to back.