Intelligence returns, quietly

CBC has moved the crime drama off Tuesdays -- away from House but up against Heroes -- with little promotion. 'It deserves to be seen by Canadians who pay for it,' says Haddock

VANCOUVER — Intelligence, on TV? Yes, and it’s coming back for a second season when Chris Haddock’s smart and savvy Vancouver-based crime drama returns Monday night at 9 p.m. on CBC.

It’s a new night for the show, which debuted last year Tuesdays at 9 p.m. across from House, where it drew about a tenth of the eyeballs focused on the Global medical drama.

‘We got slammed into a tough spot,’ confirms Haddock, speaking to Playback Daily while shooting on location in a sketchy downtown Vancouver nightclub. ‘But in Canada you can’t worry about that, because with the lack of promotion we’re always crippled against U.S. productions. We’re getting none. It’s a shame.

‘It deserves to be seen by Canadians who pay for it,’ he adds. ‘We should be in the 10 o’clock drama slot, but with CBC, there are only nine o’clock slots, since the news runs at 10.’

Fred Fuchs, executive director of arts and entertainment at CBC, says Monday will be better, noting that season two ‘has a better lead-in following Dragon’s Den, which did very well last year.’ It will now face Heroes on Global and Dancing with the Stars and Corner Gas on CTV

Fuchs admits CBC hasn’t invested a lot in promoting its returning shows. ‘But we did make a deal with Showcase to air season one. This is unusual, we usually hold back longer before sub-licensing,’ he says.

Despite the inherent roadblocks of producing a 100% Canadian show, Haddock says he’s not going anywhere. ‘I’m here to stay, but my question is, how long are we going to be run by the hall monitors of the old guard, who take casual cynical swipes at a thriving industry?’ He refused to clarify or expand upon this remark, however.

In the meantime, Haddock, who masterminded Da Vinci’s Inquest, is pleased with critical and audience response to Intelligence. ‘We’re airing in more than 80 countries abroad, and the repeats are doing very well.’ The 12-episode first season picked up 11 Gemini nominations, including best actor and best actress in a dramatic series, for Ian Tracey and Klea Scott, and best direction, best writing, and best dramatic series for Haddock.

Intelligence stars Tracey (Da Vinci’s Inquest) as a drug smuggler-turned-informant alongside Scott (Millennium) as the intelligence officer tracking him. ‘Season two we’re coming out with all guns fired, amping it up. It’s more of the same but better,’ asserts Haddock.