Da Vinci’s City Hall set for Oct. 25 debut on CBC

Burnaby, BC: Canada's favorite fictional coroner returns to CBC this month with a new career and a new series.
Trading forensics for politics, Dominic Da Vinci moves into the mayor's seat in Da Vinci's City Hall. The sequel to the network's long-running Da Vinci's Inquest borrows heavily from reality, mirroring Vancouver coroner-turned-mayor Larry Campbell's real-life career switch.

Burnaby, BC: Canada’s favorite fictional coroner returns to CBC this month with a new career and a new series.

Trading forensics for politics, Dominic Da Vinci moves into the mayor’s seat in Da Vinci’s City Hall. The sequel to the network’s long-running Da Vinci’s Inquest borrows heavily from reality, mirroring Vancouver coroner-turned-mayor Larry Campbell’s real-life career switch.

Is Da Vinci’s new job just a coincidence? Absolutely not, laughs Laura Lightbown, a producer with the show and CEO of Vancouver’s Haddock Entertainment.

‘It was absolutely inspired, no question,’ says Lightbown. ‘Dominic is not Larry Campbell. But Dominic’s character as coroner was inspired by Larry Campbell, and obviously Larry going on to his next career was the obvious way to go.’

Just like the original series, the sequel brings Campbell on board as a consultant.

Coproduced by Haddock and Toronto’s Barna-Alper Productions – the same team behind Inquest – the 13-episode, one-hour series debuts Oct. 25 at 9 p.m. The show opens with Da Vinci’s first day on the job as mayor.

Lightbown calls the shift a ‘natural evolution.’ In the last two years of Da Vinci’s Inquest, the writers started to explore the political side of the stories and characters.

‘Even though they may not have recognized it, it was kind of happening naturally,’ says Lightbown.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing, however. The new show found itself fighting an uphill battle for attention during the nearly two-month CBC lockout.

‘The show hasn’t been promoted as well as it could be, but I think they can do a lot in the next couple of weeks,’ says Lightbown. ‘At least we’re fortunate that we’re one of the flagship shows on CBC and there’s an audience base already there.’

Many Inquest veterans are returning to City Hall. Gemini winner Nicholas Campbell continues to head the cast, while Ian Tracey takes over as coroner. Benjamin Ratner (19 Months) and Mylene Dinh-Robic (The 4400) round out the principal cast.

Writer and director Chris Haddock is the series’ creator. Haddock and Laszlo Barna are executive producers, while Lightbown and Arvi Liimatainen are producers, with Carwyn Jones coproducing.

The first season’s slate of directors includes Stephen Surjik, Stuart Margolin, David Frazee, Charles Martin Smith, Monica Mitchell, Sturla Gunnarsson, Stephan Pleszczynski and lead actor Campbell.

Each episode is budgeted at more than $1 million, with funding from Telefilm Canada and the Canadian Television Fund, as well as federal and provincial tax credits. Shooting started Aug. 12 and wraps on Dec. 21.