CBC Gives Green Light To New Original Drama “Frankie Drake”

Series comes from the producers of "Murdoch Mysteries."

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

CBC recently announced it has greenlit new original drama series Frankie Drake (working title) from Shaftesbury, the producers of Canada’s most-watched drama, Murdoch Mysteries. Set in the 1920s and starring Lauren Lee Smith (This Life, The Listener), the series follows Toronto’s only female private detective, Frankie Drake. It is created by Murdoch Mysteries writers Carol Hay and Michelle Ricci.

Frankie Drake is a forward-thinking drama about a woman ahead of her time, challenging convention and the status quo during a period of sweeping change, not unlike our own times,” said Sally Catto, general manager of programming at CBC, in a press release. “The Shaftesbury team is known for their success delivering a winning combination of history that mirrors contemporary themes and thrilling mystery brought to life by characters that audiences want to return to week after week, and we are excited to partner with them once again on this female-driven series.”

Frankie Drake is a real labour of love for us. It is a story about a spirited woman, breaking barriers and calling the shots, in a world that might not be ready for her. This is a one-hour detective series, set in the 20s – but this is not the roaring 20s we have seen onscreen before,” said Christina Jennings, chairman and CEO at Shaftesbury. “We are so pleased to bring this show to life, in partnership with our friends at the CBC, and with a creative team who have been part of our Shaftesbury family for many of our hit series. And of course – what a treat to work with the wonderful Lauren Lee Smith again. I can’t wait for the world to meet Frankie Drake.”

Set in Toronto during the 1920s, Frankie Drake follows the city’s only female private detective (Lee Smith) as she takes on the cases the police don’t want or can’t handle. Her gender is her biggest advantage – who would ever think a woman could be a detective? She has a knack for solving cases but she’s no cop – her brand of justice doesn’t always follow the law. Along with her partner Trudy, Frankie and the Drake Detective Agency take on cases of all shapes and sizes. From airplanes and booze running to American G-men, Communists and union busters, Frankie’s fearless sense of adventure gets her into all kinds of trouble, but she always manages to find her way out. In a time of change and hopefulness, Frankie is a woman ahead of everyone. She’s a new detective for a new world. But is the world ready for her?

Frankie Drake will begin production this summer for a fall 2017 launch on CBC.

Photo: Murdoch Mysteries/CBC