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The Listener (TV series)

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The Listener (TV series)

The Listener
Genre Science fiction
Drama
Created by Michael Amo
Starring
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 65 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Location(s) Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Running time 38~43 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original channel CTV
Original release March 1, 2009 – August 18, 2014
External links
Website

The Listener is a Canadian fantasy drama created by Michael Amo. The series stars Craig Olejnik as Toby Logan, a paramedic with telepathic powers, who finds himself consulting with law enforcement to make a change in the world by helping others while listening to the thoughts of victims and criminals, and seeing images that they saw.

The series was broadcast in Canada on CTV and was produced by Shaftesbury Films, in conjunction with CTV and Fox International Channels.[1]

The series premiered on CTV on June 3, 2009.[2] CTV renewed the series for four more seasons, each consisting of 13 episodes, premiering February 8, 2011,[3][4] May 30, 2012,[5][6] May 29, 2013,[1][7] and May 26, 2014.[8] In August 2014, CTV announced that they had cancelled the show. The series finale aired on August 18, 2014.[9]

Plot

Season One (2009)

Toby is a 28-year-old first year paramedic who never knew his father and grew up in foster homes.[10] Until now, Toby has kept his abilities to listen to people's surface thoughts and see visions of the future a secret and the only one he has shared it with is his old counsellor and confidant, Dr. Ray Mercer (Colm Feore), prior to the series' first episode. While he crosses the city of Toronto in his ambulance with his partner Osman "Oz" Bey (Ennis Esmer), Toby helps people in crisis and on the way come to terms with his own past. With the help of Detective Charlie Marks (Lisa Marcos) and his on-and-off girlfriend Olivia Fawcett (Mylène Dinh-Robic), an E.R doctor, Toby realizes that his gift can serve to help other people.

Season Two (2011)

It's a year and a half later and Toby has finally come to terms with his telepathic powers and is still working with his paramedic partner Osman Bey. While assisting with an undercover case investigated by the Integrated Investigative Bureau (a special unit of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Toby reveals his gift to Sgt. Michelle McCluskey (Lauren Lee Smith). Despite her initial scepticism, she realises that Toby's special abilities could be her team's secret weapon. So alongside his paramedic work Toby joins Michelle and other members of the IIB to help solve some of their most difficult and high-profile cases ranging from suspicious homicides to cases of arms dealing. But the price to pay for having such a gift is the emotional and physical effects of delving into some of the most deranged criminal minds out there and it is his old flame Dr Olivia Fawcett who helps him deal with his problems.[11]

Season Three (2012)

Toby stopped being a confidential informant for IIB after Liz Simmons was killed. He had been having intense headaches that Olivia said could kill him. He finds himself in trouble again after he goes into the bank that's about to be robbed. He makes the decision to go into the bank after withdrawing cash and Michelle and Dev race to rescue him. Klein finds out about his abilities after he demands to know why Michelle and Dev are so insistent on saving Toby. It isn't until after the guard who was shot tells Michelle personal details about the robbers that he begins to believe it. He makes a deal to start a unit for cases that are either cold and/or can't be solved by normal procedures. Toby joins IIB as a special consultant, working for the IIB the majority of the time, while picking up shifts as a paramedic.

Season Four (2013)

Bell Media announced the series was ordered for a fourth season on July 25, 2012.[12] It premiered May 29, 2013 in Canada.[13] Toby’s personal life heats up as his relationship grows with crime reporter Tia Tremblay (Melanie Scrofano), who is inexplicably the one person he can’t read. Sgt. Michelle McCluskey struggles through a complicated marriage with her husband (Kris Holden-Ried), while IIB head Alvin Klein (Peter Stebbings) attempts to protect himself and his team from the political maneuverings of the ambitious new police superintendent, Nichola Martell (Ingrid Kavelaars). Meanwhile, new director of emergency services Oz Bey realizes that being the boss is harder than he expected.

Season Five (2014)

On October 7, 2013, CTV renewed the series for a fifth and final season consisting of 13 episodes. It premiered in Canada on Monday, May 26, 2014, and ended when the series finale (episode #65) aired at 9 p.m. ET on Monday, August 18, 2014.

Series star Craig Olejnik said in a ctv.ca[14] finale interview that "I think (executive producer) Peter Mohan and the writers did a good job of wrapping up some of the bigger ideas that we have presented. Something comes full circle that people have been waiting for, for a long time."

Production

The series is produced by Shaftesbury Films, in conjunction with CTV (seasons 1-4), Space (seasons 1-2), and Fox International Channels (seasons 2-4).[15][16][1][17]

The series was created by Michael Amo. The pilot episode was directed by Clement Virgo.[18] Production began in spring 2008.

Production for the second season began in September 2010 and ended February 2011.[19]

With the delayed second season came several production changes. The entire writing staff was replaced, Michael Amo and Dennis Heaton have been replaced by Jason Sherman and Wil Zmak.

In terms of storylines and overall tone, star Craig Olejnik has said that "season two is more mature, stronger, smoother, and it really picks up... it really moves into a whole new world."[20] Examples of this "new world" include the ways in which Toby finds himself in cases. In season one, the majority of cases in which Toby was involved were approached by Toby. That is, Toby, as a paramedic, was called to a location and found himself wrapped inside of a case. On the other hand, season two sees Toby approached by Sergeant McCluskey on most cases. In addition, season one had more of a mysterious, conspiracy sci-fi theme whereas season two has, as star Lauren Lee Smith states, "no real sci-fi aspect to it... It’s a guy who can read people’s minds and he helps the cops out with that." [21] Season two nearly abandons Toby's search for his mother and an understanding of his powers. Colm Feore's character is gone, and the telepathic link is only through Toby solving crimes. Rather than try to discover what has happened to his mother and to learn more about his psychic sense, Toby "further embraces his telepathic powers to help solve criminal investigations".[22] Season three continues the strictly procedural trend, with Toby becoming more officially involved with Sgt. McCluskey's position in IIB.

Cast

Reception

In Italy, The Listener not only grew the timeslot average by 470%, according to research company Auditel/AGB, but it was the second-most watched show ever on Fox.[23]

In the US, NBC pulled the show off the air after the July 23, 2009 airing of the episode "Inside the Man" due to low ratings.[24]

Crossover

In episode 8 of the third season, The Listener crossed over with Flashpoint when the character Michaelangelo "Spike" Scarlatti crossed over in a brief scene in which he was leaving the hospital after getting medical attention and interacted with Osman "Oz" Bey who had just brought a patient to the hospital.

Broadcast

Fox International Channels premiered the series in the first week of March 2009 simultaneously in over 180 territories, making it the first-ever global premiere. This also meant that the series premiered three months before it premiered in Canada and the U.S.[25]

The series premiered on NBC in the U.S. on June 4, 2009. The series was dropped after airing 7 episodes (of the 13 episode season) due to poor ratings, with the remaining episodes being made available for viewing online at NBC.com and Hulu.com.[2][26] In 2011, it was announced that Ion Television had purchased the rights to the first two seasons of the series to be aired in 2012, with an option to purchase successive seasons.[27] Then in 2014, ION Television signed on to become co-producer to the show.[28] In November 2014, ION Television acquired the rights to Season 5.

The series premiered on FX in the U.K on March 8, 2009,[25][29] with season two returning March 1, 2011.[30]

The series premiered on GO! in Australia on March 3, 2010.[31] However, it was taken off the air twice due to low ratings.[32] The series was later purchased by SoHo (formerly W) who have broadcast the first three seasons.[33] Season 4 premiered on SoHo on August 5, 2013,[34] with season 5 returning August 4, 2014.[35]

DVD release

Season one of The Listener was released on DVD in the UK for Region 2 and Region 4 on September 13, 2010.[36] The release date for season one to be released for Region 1 is yet to be announced, as well as the release of consecutive seasons for all regions.

See also

References

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  14. ^ http://www.ctv.ca/TheListener/Articles/News/listener_series_finale_craig_olejnik_mixed_emotion.aspx
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  25. ^ a b
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External links

  • Official CTV site for The Listener
  • Official Fox International Channels site for The Listener
  • Official NBC site for the Listener
  • The Listener at the Internet Movie Database
  • The Listener at The TV IV
  • The Listener at TV.com
  • The Listener at Epguides.com
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