Saturday, March 1, 2008

Terminal City - A place to go for award winning drama

Sundance Channel will premiere "Terminal City," an award-winning Canadian miniseries about a cancer-stricken housewife who becomes a reality TV star, beginning March 6, 2008.

"Terminal City" mixes drama and dark comedy as it tells this story of a family facing not one but two major upheavals: cancer and overnight fame. Maria del Mar stars as Katie Sampson, a loving wife and mother of three with a zest for life, a sardonic sense of humor and a flair for the grand gesture. When a mammogram confirms a lump in her breast, Katie heads to the hospital for a biopsy -- and walks straight into a live broadcast of "Post Op!," a flailing reality TV show.

Katie's star quality is immediately apparent to producer Jane Richards (Jane McLean), and within days, the telegenic housewife is hosting her own daytime program on the Acetylene Network. While Katie conquers the airwaves, her devoted husband Ari (Gil Bellows of Ally McBeal fame) tries to maintain some sense of day-to-day normalcy amongst the family, which includes two bickering teenagers, 16-year-old Sarah (Katie Boland) and 15-year old Nicky (Adam Butcher), as well as precocious 7-year-old Eli (Nico McEown) and Ari's volatile father Saul (Paul Soles). In the weeks and months to come, Katie's celebrity and illness will accelerate in tandem, and the members of the Sampson family find their own ways to cope with a terribly uncertain future.

"Terminal City" premiered on Canadian television in October 2005, receiving critical acclaim and numerous honors during the 2006 Canadian awards season. In an article for Toronto's Globe and Mail, Gayle MacDonald wrote, "Landing in the same groundbreaking genre that includes HBO's 'Six Feet Under' and 'The Sopranos,' 'Terminal City' embraces taboo topics in a respectful, honest manner, and ends up leaving viewers eminently entertained."

Series star Maria del Mar was recently honored as the best actress of 2006 by ACTRA, the Canadian equivalent of SAG. "Terminal City" won eight awards in the Dramatic Series section of British Columbia's Leo Awards, including Best Series, Direction (Rachel Talalay) and Screenwriting (Fraser). Also receiving honors were co-star Paul Soles, who received a Gemini Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series, and director Kari Skogland, who won the Director's Guild of Canada Craft Award for Outstanding Direction of a Television Series.

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