Erica ‘built to compete’

In the works for about two years, CBC's comedic drama Being Erica started out with a young girl who could go back in time, via her grandma's paintings, to the 1920s, and morphed into a story about a woman who relives key moments from her own life through time-travelling sessions with a therapist.

In the works for about two years, CBC’s comedic drama Being Erica started out with a young girl who could go back in time, via her grandma’s paintings, to the 1920s, and morphed into a story about a woman who relives key moments from her own life through time-travelling sessions with a therapist.

The 13 x 60 series from Jana Sinyor (Dark Oracle) is due to join the Ceeb schedule this mid-season, and is ‘built to compete with American network dramas,’ says Ivan Schneeberg of Temple Street Productions.

‘It’s a universal theme, wanting to go back,’ says Schneeberg, who exec produces with Sinyor, Aaron Martin of Degrassi: The Next Generation fame and his Temple Street (How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?) co-president David Fortier. ‘The challenges are always in the writing when it comes to making a time-travel piece work… It’s about attention to detail.’

It would also appear to be about building on the success CBC had last season with its quirky and female-aimed comedy Sophie.

‘We got a sense [the CBC] was looking for something that was less male-skewed, and without too much edge – more family viewing, primetime, network family viewing,’ says Fortier, though he referred any further questions on positioning to the network. CBC, as usual, is keeping quiet on the show until closer to its debut in January.

Being Erica, originally titled The Session, delves into the life of over-educated but underachieving Erica Strange, played by The L Word’s Erin Karpluk. Her therapist, played by This Is Wonderland’s Michael Riley, has the power to send her back in time to moments she’s always regretted. BBC Worldwide, which recently bought a 25% stake in Temple, is handling international distribution.

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