A television series shot in Newfoundland that hasn’t even gone to air yet has been renewed for a second season, and executive producer Allan Hawco says that’s good news for the cast and the province.
While news was released publicly on Tuesday, Hawco said he has known for awhile that the first season of Frontier, which airs Nov. 6 on Discovery Canada, and in 2017 on Netflix, won’t be the last.
“We just had to wait for crossing all the Ts and dotting all the Is and dealing with two big powerhouses … We’re just stoked and we’re so happy that both networks have confidence in what the boys are writing,” he said.
“We have an amazing team of people, locals, doing this international Netflix show so we’re stoked.”
Frontier is set during the fur trade of northern Canada in the 18th century, and is a “gold mine” for story ideas, according to Hawco.
“It’s basically a group of warring factions in the 1780s fighting for control of the most valuable commodity in the world at that time, which was beaver pelts.”
The series is directed by Brad Peyton, known for Hollywood hits such as San Andreas, and stars Jason Momoa — from Game of Thrones. Hawco plays a Scotsman who comes to Canada with his brother and dreams of making a fortune.
“I’m honoured that I’m even in the cast. This was not a vehicle for me. This was a vehicle for our company.”
‘Not chump change’
Hawco said the company, Take the Shot Productions, is committed to building a film industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We’re strong believers in the province and we’re strong believers in providing employment. We’ve got hundreds, in some cases thousands of jobs over the last seven years, over $170 million of production financing spent in the province over the last seven years … that’s not chump change,” he said.
“It’s just so exciting for us to be here, and working …This show is set in the middle of Ontario, it’s set in James Bay. We’re stretching everything we can to make this industry working for us here.”
‘We’re strong believers in the province and we’re strong believers in providing employment.’
– Allan Hawco
Hawco said these days he looks nothing like Jake Doyle, the character he played in Republic of Doyle, and he’s getting reaction from local fans.
“I walked into Costco the other day and missus grabbed my hand at the counter and she looked at me, at my beard and my hair, and was like ‘Are you okay?'”
As for how long Frontier could last, Hawco said, “There’s 60 years of storytelling … we’re hoping the show could go in a million different ways.”