Decode creates a Buzz

The busy Toronto shop is shooting its tween sitcom The Latest Buzz following a 13-episode order from Family Channel

The Family Channel has signed on for The Latest Buzz, a new 13 x 22 sitcom from Decode Entertainment about a youth-oriented magazine that replaces its staff with teens. The tween-aimed comedy is currently shooting in Toronto under noted director Brian Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Drew Carey Show).

Executive producer, showrunner and creator Brent Piaskoski – who won a best youth series Gemini for Decode’s Radio Free Roscoe in 2005 — describes Buzz as ‘Friends for tweens’ and says he got the idea about two years ago from scouring the Internet.

‘I was looking for story ideas for Radio Free Roscoe. I came upon a magazine in New Mexico that was hiring students as interns to be on staff, and I thought it would be an interesting idea for a series,’ Piaskoski tells Playback Daily.

The story department is made up of Piaskoski, Vera Santamaria (Naturally, Sadie), Barbara Haynes (Naturally, Sadie) and Heather Jackson. Beth Stevenson and Kevin May produce for Decode, which also holds the worldwide distribution rights.

While no airdate has been determined, Piaskoski says he’s hoping for a timeslot in the fall, noting that the series is scheduled to complete shooting at the end of March.

‘It just seems like an exciting time in Canada for fresh, new TV shows,’ he says.

The Latest Buzz features an ensemble cast comprised of mostly unknowns from Ontario. Zoey Belkin stars as 14-year-old Rebecca, who has all the makings of a modern-day Mary Tyler Moore; Demetrius Joyette plays the office gossip; while Vanessa Morgan portrays the rich girl fashionista whose father owns the magazine.

Piaskoski, who divides his time between Los Angeles and Toronto, started out as a standup comedian in the 1980s and tried his hand at writing TV scripts while on the road. He got his first break as a writer on the B.C.-shot high school series Breaker High.