Queer as Folk a Showcase mainstay

Laura Michalchyshyn, Alliance Atlantis Communications’ senior VP of dramatic programming, admits to being a big fan of Dufferin Gate Productions. Small wonder – Temple Street Productions, Dufferin Gate’s sister company, coproduces Queer as Folk (along with Cowlip Productions and Tony Jonas Productions), an adaptation of a limited-run British series about gay relationships. The show is a major attraction for AAC’s Showcase specialty, sometimes pulling in more than 340,000 viewers per ep.

Michalchyshyn gives much of the credit to Temple Street president Patrick Whitley and VP Sheila Hockin as Queer as Folk’s executive producers.

‘They have taken an amazingly successful U.K. franchise and turned it into an entertaining and successful show that plays well in North America,’ says Michalchyshyn. ‘Moreover, they’ve managed to produce a series that satisfies both Showcase and Showtime, while employing the best of Canadian talent.’ In fact, many top Canadian directors, including Jeremy Podeswa, Bruce McDonald, John Greyson, Michael DeCarlo and Kari Skogland, have helmed Queer as Folk during its four seasons. Production on season five is ramping up for the fall.

Michalchyshyn credits Queer as Folk’s popularity to the prodco’s ‘keen sense and understanding of how to make great television.’ She further cites the company’s success at securing broadcaster deals in numerous territories.

‘It has found ways to cross international borders and tap into alternative forms of funding that are not government-based,’ Michalchyshyn says. ‘This is critically important at a time when we’re all experiencing a lapse in government funding of Canadian-based production.’