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Posts Tagged ‘Debra McGrath’

Happy Birthday to Us!

Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 01:05 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]


Happy  Birthday to US!  Happy Birthday to US! Today, the blog celebrates  4 years of operation!

It’s hard to believe that it has already been four years since I first  opened this blog.When I first  started this site four years ago I was unsure of what it would become and   would not have believed  that I would be running it four years later. This site means so much to me and I have genuinely enjoyed running it and keeping readers informed about relevant subject matter. It has been a truly rewarding  experience and  provided enriching opportunities, which I never would have thought I would have. I am proud that this blog has been providing prominent coverage for thousands of readers each month on various television series which are of interest. Special thanks are extended to YOU the reader for supporting the blog through your continuous visits, comments and ongoing involvement in other interactive opportunities on the site. Without readers a site has no purpose or future. Your visits truly mean everything!

The last year has been the biggest and most successful year for this site. We welcomed nearly 44 000 visitors which is approximately  4 times the number of visits the site had in its initial year.  We continue to interact with readers through active monitoring of the blog`s Facebook and Twitter page . We pursued   affiliation with both CBC and Westwind pictures that supported the blog by endorsing its coverage of Little Mosque on the Prairie. The blog also further  expanded its diverse network this past year by having partnered with various cross cultural  blogs which have expressed interest in Little Mosque on the Prairie such as Marilyn Gardner`s Communicating  Across Boundaries and Knightley Emma. We were also recognized by the Canada Media  Fund  for  the site`s ongoing coverage of Little Mosque on the Prairie.  The blog connected with Gateworld .net , which is known as the leading online website for Stargate  where many of our interviews with cast members from the franchise were linked from. Thank you to  all of our affiliates for your support of the blog. I have  greatly enjoyed working with each of  your respective  organizations and/ or sites and hope that we  will continue to support one another in this coming year.

We continued our retrospective coverage of  the Stargate franchise after  it drew to an end after 17 years with SGU  through news reporting and interviews with SGU’S Jennifer Spence, Peter Kelamis and   brilliant main cast member , Brian J Smith. We also had the delight of interviewing  Stargate Atlantis, Rachel Luttrel! Thank you to each of  you for  kindly participating in the interviews. I tremendously enjoyed the rewarding experience and I trust each of you benefitted from it as well.

The past year has been a significant year for the blog’s coverage of Little Mosque on the Prairie as the show progressed in its sixth and final year.   In addition on going news coverage and weekly episode features, I   once again interviewed Little Mosque’s  Manoj Sood,   Debra McGrath,   Brandon  Firla  , Arlene Duncan and Aliza Vellani to  extensively discuss  roles within the show’s sixth and final  season. We also interviewed, for the first time, Little Mosque’s Derek McGrath to discuss  the impact  which the departure of his character had on the show as well as the fan favourite , Zaib Shaikh who provided an insightful overview of the show’s sixth and final season as well as  how the program represents  Canada.  Thank to you all of the cast members for your exceptional portrayals and for participating in the interviews. I sincerely hope you enjoyed the experience as much as I did and extend best wishes in the future of your acting careers. It has truly been truly an honour and my pleasure to work with each of you .

Indeed, this is the only online media outlet which has interviewed the entire cast of this ground-breaking series.The blog was  recognized  by other institutions of the media for its extensive coverage of Little Mosque on the various occasions for its extensive coverage of this ground-breaking series including   Aquila Asia, a cosmopolitan magazine which did a  complete overview on the series to introduce it to its south Asian  readership. The blog was also mentioned on a live streaming with the cast of Little Mosque on CBC Live where the entire cast of the show thanked  us for its extensive support as well as responding to additional questions which we had about the show’s end.  I also had a chance to appear on CBC`S The National in order to discuss the show’s impact

From February to April the blog hosted a few live chats with various cast members of Little Mosque on the Prairie  including Aliza Vellani, Manoj Sood and Debra McGrath as a way of providing  viewers with the chance to directly  interact with  the stars themselves. Thank you to these prominent Canadian talent and all of the readers who joined in the discussion!

We also covered various other series on the blog. Back in September we launched coverage of FOX`S  new science fiction series,Terra Nova through weekly episode previews as well as through our  interactive features. Although  this show was not renewed for a second season, I greatly enjoyed discovering the series.

The blog launched its coverage of The Office and Web Therapy back in September and January respectively .As a result we have begun to welcome a new audience to the readership  through ongoing news coverage .Interviews  with various cast members of both series may be scheduled within the upcoming period.

I would also like to take  a moment to extend thanks to Youtube group, supportfire115@http://www.youtube.com/user/supportfire115 for kindly providing the decorations used for this celebratory post. Thank you for helping make this special  day even more memorable through your assistance in this regard.Thanks also goes to the blog’s occassional communications auditor , Nisreen O’Neill.

What plans do we  have for year number 5? With Little Mosque and Stargate having ended, we look forward to occasional  ongoing respective coverage of these significant and  defining series for this blog.  The blog will continue to cover  The Office  as we approve its impending ninth season and provide extensive , ongoing coverage of Showtime’s Web therapy through ongoing news, weekly episode guides as well as  interviews with various cast members of this unique  comedy. The blog will also be launching coverage of  CBC`S, Mr. D as the show approaches its second season.  Expect other science fiction series to be covered as well. The blog may launch a music aspect  by  covering  works of  prominent North American  musicians. Further details will follow  next month once precise  plans have been finalized.

Although our previously announced plans to launch a held hosted site have been terminated at this time, we are  in the process of  assessing  various other templates  within WordPress.com. Readers can therefore look forward to a new  design .

What  would you like to see on the site for our  upcoming year. Share your thoughts in the comments section or by e-mail. Thank  you for being apart of the community and I  look forward to another exciting year with the readership where we continue to work together to make the site the best it can be.

Little Mosque on the Prairie Season 6 Episode 10- The Worst of Times[ Series Finale -Part 1]

Monday, March 26, 2012 @ 11:03 AM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Tune in for  the first half of the series finale of Little Mosque on the Prairie to tonight @ 8:30pm eastern  standard time on CBC!

In the lead up to the series finale, Amaar reveals to Baber that he plans to be the Imam of the new Mosque. In turn, Baber revolts and forms a splinter Mosque. Meanwhile, Ann is distraught over Charles’ upcoming nuptials to a younger woman and comes up with a bizarre strategy to fight for her man. And Sarah attempts to rejoin the church choir, with fiery results.[CBC]

What prompted Amaar to change his mind about being the Imam for the community? How will Baber`s revolt affect the unity of Mercy`s Muslim community?What  is Ann`s  bizarre strategy and will she  be successful in   uniting with Charles?How will Sarah disrupt the choir with her fiery results and how will this affect her ability to  effectively reintegrate into the Anglican community. Share your thoughts  and speculations in the comments section of the episode.

Notes and Spoilers

Little Mosque on the Prairie Season 6 Episode 7 Preview-Mosque of Dreams

Monday, February 20, 2012 @ 07:02 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

 Only 5 episodes left!Tune in for  a new episode of Little Mosque tonight @ 8:30pm eastern time on CBC!

Amaar tries to get the town to support his new Mosque, but finds only disinterest and some outright derision when he reveals that his divine inspiration came from a chicken. Meanwhile, Baber is determined to prove the town isn’t ready for a new mosque by trying to get himself arrested.   Sarah has a crisis of faith and considers eating bacon, while Ann suffers a crisis of love while sexting the now absent Charles Thorne.[CBC]

Will Amaar manage to convince others of the supposed validity of his plan?  Does Baber’s behaviour seem uncharacteristic, given that he was initially  opposed to having the  mosque in  a church? Has his friendship with Thorne impacted his  position on the mosque being in a church? How will Baber’s arrest impact the relations between  Mercy’s  Muslim community and the  general population?

How will Sarah respond to her current  crisis and to what extent has her divorce impacted this  change in behavior?  What will become of Ann’s relationship  with Charles Thorne, given that  he is to be engaged?When do you think the fate of this affair  yet surprising  discovery of true love will be established?

Share your thoughts and speculations in the comments section below!

  Notes/ References

Peter Keleghan will reappear as his character in one more episode

http://abbaskarimjeeweblog.com/2012/02/06/little-mosque-on-the-prairies-debra-mcgrath-discusses-the-shows-final-season/[ Interview with  Debra McGrath]

Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Debra McGrath Discusses The Show’s Final Season

Monday, February 6, 2012 @ 08:02 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

McGrath  discusses her response to the show’s cancellation as well as the mood which was present amongst the show’s cast throughout the final weeks .We also extensively discuss   some of the challenges involved with Mayor Popowicx‘s serious romantic relationship   this season as well as how the pursuit such a serious relationship speaks to how the Mayor has developed over the course of the show. With Sarah Hammoudi’s divorce, also being a key element in the final season, we learn how the two’s friendship is impacted as Ann tries to support her best friend.

 The actress also further reflects on her final experiences with the show, explaining why she thinks viewers will find the series finale satisfying as well as how she thinks both  Little Mosque and  the character of Mayor Popowicx  will be remembered. McGrath also gives us an update on a spinoff series which she has been working on with Little Mosque’s  Sheila McCarthy as well as some of her other recent acting projects.

 Take a read through our complete interview, below!

Abbas Karimjee:Since we last connected, it was announced that Little Mosque on the Prairie will end upon the conclusion of its upcoming sixth season. What was your initial reaction when you learned of this and what are your thoughts on the factors which led to the shows cancellation?

The cast of Little Mosque on the Prairie share a toast as filming for the series draws to a close[ June 2011

Debra McGrath:I was never sad to hear it.We all believed that season five was going to be the end which  made season six such a bonus, which it certainly turned out to be.

AK: Could you please describe the atmosphere and mood which was present on set, amongst the shows cast and crew throughout the final weeks of production?

DM:The last weeks of this show were the finest I have known on a set. Everyone was emotional, more emotional than we expected I think. This cast and crew has been through lots together, births and deaths alike. We bonded over this time and we knew that the end would take us in different directions and that we would miss seeing one another at “Mosque camp”. We had our own wonderful farewell celebrations, large and small, on and off the set. The mood was high and sweet. I will never forget it.

AK: In the upcoming sixth season, Mayor Popowicz will find love with Charles Thorne [Peter Keleghan], who is Reverend William Thornes younger brother. Could you please give us an idea of the circumstances and factors which draw Mayor Popowicz and Charles together?

DM:Like all good love stories, they start out despising each other and then find themselves dealing with a very strong sexual attraction. I don’t want to give too much away because the way in which they come together is fraught with twists and turns.

  AK: Could you please give us an idea of some of the challenges which the two will face over the course of their relationship?

DM:I will say one thing without giving too much away. The biggest challenge they face is the fact that Charles is engaged to be married to someone else. Always a bit of a stumbling block for a new relationship wouldn’t you say?

 AK: When we last connected, you mentioned that one of your potential aspirations for the character of Mayor Popowicz would be that she leaves her position as mayor of Mercy for love. Does the Mayors discovery of true love influence her performance on the job or make her reconsider her desire to run as mayor of Mercy?

DM:Nope. In fact much to Charles chagrin, she remains very much a career gal.I could not have been happier that they gave her a true love. Better than leaving office methinks.

AK: Mayor Popowicz is a character who has been known for engaging in casual relationships. How do you think being involved in a real, serious relationship speaks to the characters development over the course of the show?  In what other ways do you think the character has also developed?

 DM:Oh yeah the Mayor has done her share of dabbling!!! And the beauty of her relationship with Charles is that it has the best of both worlds, it was an affair and true love both! I think we have seen the softer side of Ann these last two seasons and what I have loved is that we have been able to see her true love for Sarah. The relationship between Ann and Sarah has been such a happy thing for both Sheila and myself. These characters had such a funny odd relationship and it became more and more layered as the years went on. When Yasir left, we were able to tap into that more. But don’t get me wrong, we really missed Carlo.

AK: Peter Keleghan recently mentioned that you two have been real life friends for over 25 years. How do you think you think a preexisting friendship enhanced the portrayal of Mayor Popowicz relationship with Charles?

DM:I think Peter and I had a built in rapport so that was great. But I did blog about the fact that it is hard when old friends have to make out on camera. I called it “Comedians. Don’t. Kiss.”

AK: According to a press release issued by CBC, Sarah and Yasser finalize their divorce in the sixth season. How does Sarahs divorce impact the twos friendship, in terms of the level of support Ann provides her with?

AK:Could you please give us an idea of what else is in store for Ann Popowicz in the show’s final season, both in terms of her role as mayor of Mercy and as a member of the community?

DM:Without giving too much away, she saves the day in a big way towards Mercy having it’s own mosque and I think that becomes her greatest and ONLY unselfish act as Mayor. Mind you, I am sure she has wrestled with the idea of them naming it Mayor Ann Mosque!

 AK: In general, what else is in store for Little Mosques sixth and final season? How do you think this season will serve as a satisfactory ending to the six seasons of the show?

DM:I am speaking the truth when I tell you that the show is tied up in such a beautiful way. The end is true to the intention and a wonderful gift to the fans and more importantly to the tone and message of the show. I could not be prouder of the way it wraps up.

AK: How do you think both Little Mosque and the character of Mayor Popowicx, in particular will be remembered as?

DM:Little Mosque will be remembered I hope, as a groundbreaking CANADIAN show that dared to be humane, that tried to be inclusive and dispelled stereotypes. I think the mayor will remembered as that sassy little sarcastic gal who was often drunk, frankly.

AK. Sheila McCarthy has been working with you on writing a spinoff. Are there any details regarding the concept of this spinoff, which you are able to reveal? What progress has been made to date on its development?

DM:Sheila and I are working hard to get another series going for she and I to partner in. It has strayed from the spinoff formula. Right now we have many ideas we  are working on. We are throwing all our balls up in the air and seeing what lands.

AK: With Little Mosque coming to an end, is there a final message which you have for fans of the series?

DM:I would first say thank you from the bottom of my heart to the fans, many of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting over the years. And then I would say that they are lucky to see the show they loved have a proper and beautiful ending. Many times you find out your show has been cancelled between seasons and you never have that joy of finishing, really finishing. I have many TV shows in my life that have meant so much to me. And to those who have loved Mosque, I say you will love this final season.

AK: With both Little Mosque and your recent series on Showcase,Single White Spenny having concluded,  are there any other projects which you have been involved in?

DM:Yes, my writing partner, my husband and myself are developing something and working hard at that. Right now my husband and I are together shooting Stephen Leacock’s “Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town” and it is just a charming project filled with the Who’s Who of Canadian Comedy world.

Thanks so much for allowing me to say a farewell in this article. I will miss my Mosque. Already do.

Live Chat With Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Debra McGrath Tonight at 9:00pm Eastern Time

Monday, February 6, 2012 @ 08:02 AM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Debra McGrath has been  leading  a prominent career within the Canadian entertainment industry for years, having appeared in various television series such as This Is Wonderland, Burnt Toast, Paradise Falls as well as animated series such as George Shrinks, Babar, and Little Bear. Additionally, Debra has appeared in various film productions The Real Blonde, Termini Station, One Magic Christmas and Expecting. In addition to her official credits, Debra’s sketch group, Women Fully Clothed undertook a national tour and even appeared at the Edinburgh festival. More recently, Debra McGrath has  also been portraying  a role in a series called Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, which focuses on the stars of Canadian comedy.

Moreover, for the past six years,Debra McGrath has been portraying a  prominent role  on CBC’s hit sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie . On the show she plays the  sarcastic, self serving yet quite comedic  character of Mayor Anne Popowicx.

Join us tonight @ 9:00pm eastern time, right  after tonight’s new episode of Little Mosque on the Prairie airs, for a chat with Debra . YOU will have the chance to interact with the actress herself, through the comments section!

Feel free to discuss the most recent episode, ask questions/ share comments  related to McGrath’s work on Little Mosque on the Prairie  as well as some of the actress’ other past or current projects.With Little Mosque in its sixth and final season and tonight’s episode revolving around a new love triangle for the character of Mayor Popowicx, its both a great time and  way for fans to interact with the  delightful actress.

The comments section will open up  shortly before 9:00pm eastern standard time!Please note that after posting a comment, you should refresh the page in order to see your response[s] from Debra McGrath as well as to  see the additional discussion which  other readers are having  with the actress.

We look forward to hosting this event!

Chat Live With Little Mosque’s Debra McGrath on Feb 6

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 @ 10:01 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

 

 Join us on the blog on Monday, February 6 @ 9:00pm eastern time  right after  the upcoming episode of Little Mosque’s  current season airs, to engage in a live chat with Debra McGrath, who plays Mayor Popowicx. The actress will be chatting with fans   for half an hour, given that  the week’s episode will launch a story arc  based around her character, Mayor Popowicx.

A post will be created on the blog’s homepage, outlining  further details about the event and readers will be able to  interact with the actress in the comments section!

Will you be joining  the chat?Do you have any questions about the event? Let us know in the comments section!

Interview With Peter Keleghan on Little Mosque Season 6 and on the End of 18 To Life

Thursday, August 25, 2011 @ 10:08 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Actor,Peter Keleghan has been leading a successful career within the Canadian and American television industry.Born in Montreal,Peter has been described by the Toronto Star  in 2003 as “the funniest man in Canada” and has also been bestowed with four  Gemini awards over the course of his career.Peter’s lengthy experience as an actor  can specifically be seen from various television credits including Newsroom,The Red Green Show and Seinfield.

Peter’s more recent  role is on CBC’S 18 To Life as the intimidating yet conservative judge and father ,Ben Bellow.The show which recently aired its  final season,involves two middle class neighbors with opposing viewpoints who are forced to unite as family when their  18 year olds, Tom Bellow[Michael Seater] and Jessie Hill [Stacey Farber] run off and get married.

Additionally,Peter will be appearing in Little  Mosque the Prairie’s  impending sixth and final season as  the true love of Mayor Popowicx[ Debra McGrath].With Peter being kind enough to participate in an interview with me and Little Mosque approaching its sixth season, we discuss the background of  Peter’s character on the show, the circumstances which draw the Mayor and his character together, the number of episodes in which he will appear in for  the season, the challenges which the couple will face  and more!

With 18 to Life having recently concluded in its recent second and final season, we discuss Peter’s  reaction on the show’s cancellation and the factors which he think led to its end. Peter also reflects on Ben’s growth over the course of the show, reflects on the suitability of the way in which the show ended as well as offering his final message to fans of the show.

 Peter  also takes the opportunity to share details on some of his other current projects,his career aspirations and plans as well as the actor’s perspective on the value of Canadian television towards the North American entertainment industry.Read our exclusive interview with the actor,below.

Abbas Karimjee:You play Mayor Ann Popowicx’s [Debra McGrath] true love in the impending sixth and final season of Little Mosque on the Prairie.Could you please reveal your character’s name and  provide some details on his background?

Peter Keleghan:My character is Charles Thorne and is literally a thorn in the side of his younger brother Rev. William Thorne. I take great pleasure in calling him Billy! He first appears as a Canada Revenue auditor to audit the town of Mercy.He says he is there because of his little brother but soon Ann Popowicz usurps all of his attention.This despite he is already engaged!

AK: Could you please give us a brief idea of what draws both Mayor Popwicz and your character together? 

PK:Well, honestly? Sex initially. After a while they are inseparable. Soul mates. Charles breaks off his engagement and proposes to Ann.

AK:How many episodes will you be appearing in for the sixth  season of Little Mosque on the Prairie?

PK:3

AK: What are some of the challenges which the two will face over the course of the sixth season of Little Mosque on the Prairie?

PK:The major dilemma is Charles’ engagement. Billy, I mean William, tries to undermine his love for Anne calling him a cad. They are like feuding young brothers —quite funny actually.

AK:Are there any other plot points regarding the relationship, which you are able to reveal?

PK: Do they get married? Stay tuned!

AK: Are there any other main characters on Little Mosque, with whom your character will have notable interactions with

PK:I really just deal with William and Anne ,however Zaib’s Imam character helps us figure things out between our fragmented relationship.

AK:Little Mosque is currently in its sixth and final season. Could you please briefly describe the experience of joining the team in the final season and any challenges which were involved? 

PK:I felt like a party-crasher to be honest. I was embraced whole-heartedly which is a testament to the wonderfully giving nature of the production and especially the producers and cast. I came in at their 11th hour and still had sorrow when it was over. Not like they must have of course, but it was a lovely set to work on.

AK:As an experienced Canadian artist, what are your thoughts on how Little Mosque has represented Canadian culture, given that it is the first of its kind, in terms of building bridges between the Muslim community and western society?

PK:The more ways we can find ways to bring us together in this world the better. This show was certainly a fun and funny way to bridge the gap between unfamiliar religions

AK: You have previous experience of portraying relationships, particularly in CBC’S 18 To Life, as Ben Bellow, a right-wing conservative judge who was married to a Jewish character, Judith [Ellen David].

 How has such previous experience allowed you to enhance your performance in this role on Little Mosque and how is the relationship of Ben and Judith different from your character on Little Mosque’s relationship with Mayor Popowicz?

PK:The mayor and Charles have a tumultuous relationship. Charles is certainly no conservative! The trick with playing all relationships is to have honest good feelings for each other. To help with this, in 18-Life, I actually dated Ellen David in university, (I grew up in Montreal) and in Little Mosque, Deb and I have been good friends for about 25 years.

AK: Let’s discuss the recent second and final season of 18 To Life.  What was your initial reaction when you discovered the show has been cancelled and what factors do you think resulted in the series cancellation?

PK:It was a big disappointment when it was cancelled. Other shows that were not as well rated or reviewed were picked up and we weren’t, so it was very frustrating. I thought Montreal looked fabulous in the show and it is hard to imagine why it was not renewed for at least one more season –if only to prove it had legs. People seemed genuinely shocked to hear it was not renewed. It certainly has gotten more Gemini and Comedy Award nominations than most other Canadian series. The only explanation is that it was a financial decision.

AK: When 18 To Life first began, the character of Ben was  quite upset with his son Tom’s, marriage with   the girl next door, Jess , given that he had great hopes for his son’s future .Ben displayed his disapproval of the marriage in various ways, particularly when  he drafted an annulment, in his failed attempt to end the marriage .How do you think Ben has developed over the course of the show and had 18 To Life continued, how else would you have liked for the character to develop?

PK:Ben certainly mellowed through the 2 years. However, the show needed the dramatic counterpoint to continue to be interesting. So he didn’t change THAT much!

AK:What are your thoughts on the suitability of the episode, House of Cards as an ending to the show?

PK:We were not prepared to realize that the show would not be picked up. It came as a shock to us so we did not have a series ending.

AK: On 18 To Life you had a main cast role for the show’s two seasons.  How has working on the show impacted both your career as well as your personal life, in terms of the show’s central themes about family and love as well as the friendships which you formed?

PK:Honestly it has not. Ben could not be more opposite to me as a person. Politically and every other way. Charles on Mosque is also very different. It’s fun to play and expand. I’ve been told people enjoyed my performances, and that’s enough for me. It would be nice to see more Canadians watching Canadian shows however. We are being fed a constant diet of low brow food which I call ‘fast food culture’. Cheap, fast, glitzy and addictive—it is not about us – it’s American, and so it’s completely un-nutritious.

AK:  In retrospect, how do you think the character of Ben and 18 To Life, in general will be remembered as?

PK: As a blow-hard, soft hearted, insecure, conservative father!

AK:With 18 To Life having drawn to end, what message would you like to convey to fans of the show? 

PK:Sorry we didn’t do more of them. It would have been nice to have a proper ending to wrap things up. The show deserved at least that as did the fabulous Montreal crews and cast.

AK:As an experienced Canadian actor, you have also been involved in animated productions of various TV series including, Ned’s Newt and Ruby Gloom as well as productions such as Seinfeld, 18 To Life and Little Mosque on the Prairie. Which type of acting do you prefer to work in and what particular benefits are associated with your selection?

PK:I think most people see Canadian actors as being much more well-rounded performers because we have to be. There is work, but it pays much less. Something tells me that if I did 5 popular American series and had 4 Emmy awards, I could easily retire a rich man. Not so in Canada. It would be nice if Canada recognized it artists as much as it’s athletes. It’s the best country in the world in all other ways and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

AK:What current projects are you involved in or future aspirations do you have for your acting career

PK:I helped start a credit union in Canada for artists called The Creative Arts Savings and Credit union. I’m on the board of directors and that takes a good chunk of time. Also I am currently shooting episodes of Republic Of Doyle, and my continuing character Terrence Myers on Murdoch Mysteries. In the fall I start shooting Sunshine Sketches – a story about Stephen Leacock in Canada in the 1920s which stars my father in law Gordon Pinsent as Leacock. I also hope to have my own series within a couple of years called The Factotum.

AK: What activities do you enjoy during your spare time?

PK:I love traveling with my wife Leah and we share our home life with a neurotic cocker spaniel named Higgins. I also collect antique wrist watches and fly small planes.

Little Mosque on the Prairie to End With Season 6

Monday, June 27, 2011 @ 10:06 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

 

Indeed, Little Mosque on the Prairie will conclude its run on CBC, with its upcoming sixth and final season. According to a press release issued by the CBC, the sixth season will mark the show’s final year and will consist of 11 episodes,which are set to begin airing in winter 2012.

 When Little Mosque made its debut in January 2007,the series earned a record-breaking rating for CBC, with over 2 million viewers.The program’s ratings decreased greatly over the seasons and the show was unable to garner the same audience, despite having made notable cast changes, such as replacing the character of  Reverend Magee[Derek McGrath] for Reverend William Thorne[Brandon Firla].By the end of the previous, fifth season, the show dropped to less than a quarter of its original audience.

The show’s  previous season saw Mercy Mosque’s Imam, Ammar Rashid [Zaib Shaikh] marrying  Rayyan Hamoudi and the couple embarking on their honeymoon, as they consider the possibility of relocating from Mercy to Montreal.

When Little Mosque returns for its final season, viewers  will note that Ammar and Rayyan have   returned  from their honeymoon early, only to find Sarah [ Sheila McCarthy] finalizing her   divorce with  her husband , Yasser[ Carlo Rota].Viewers will also  discover that Baber[Manoj  Sood] and Thorne[Brandon Firla] have been becoming best of friends and that  Mayor Poopwicx is in a  relationship with a man who may actually be the “one”.

Little Mosque on the Prairie, CBC

Ammar and Rayyan will also learn to live as a married couple on their own, without the support of chaperones. Viewers will have the chance to explore a wide range of scenarios in the town of  Mercy,such as fasting, town audits, sacred chickens, a haunted mosque and more , leading  into the epic series finale .

According to the press release, guest stars in the sixth and final season include Peter Keleghan (18 to Life), Mary Walsh (This Hour Has 22 Minutes) and Jennifer Robertson (Winging‘It)

To view the original  press release issued by CBC, click here.

Stay tuned for further information on Little Mosque on the Prairie’s sixth and final season as well as the circumstances regarding the show’s end in our exclusive interview with CBC’s Head of Media Relations, Jeff Kaey.

What is your reaction to on Little Mosque drawing to a close after six seasons? What are your thoughts on the upcoming storylines and which one are you the most excited for? How do you hope the show will conclude?Participate in  our poll below and elaborate in the comments section!

[polldaddy poll=5364693]

Interview With Little Mosque on the Prairie’s Derek McGrath

Friday, June 10, 2011 @ 06:06 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

Actor Derek McGrath has been leading a notable career within the Canadian entertainment industry,both as an actor as well as a singer.Some of  the actor’s roles on Canadian TV series include a wide range of animated series  such in roles for TV series such as Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Super Why! Wayside and Ruby Gloom.More recently, McGrath  has stated in CBC’S hit sitcom,Little Mosque on the Prairie as the cheerful and open-minded character  Reverend Duncan McGee,throughout the show’s initial three seasons.

With McGrath’s time on Little Mosque having drawn to a close last season and the actor being kind  enough to  partake in an interview with us, we took  the  opportunity to discuss playing the character of McGee,McGrath’s view  on the decision of the producers to  replace his character with Brandon  Firla’s, Reverend William Thorne  as well as the actor’s  return to Little  Mosque in the show’s  previous  fifth season. We also discuss McGrath’s  perspective on Little Mosque’s influence on Canadian culture and as well as how working on the show enhanced  both his acting career and  personal  perspective on the Muslim community.

The actor also  takes the time to share  some of the recent projects he has been working on,including a role on Vision TV’S , She’s The Mayor as well as details on his  latest CD.

Abbas Karimjee: Could you please walk us through this initial process and any challenges which were involved?

Derek McGrath: I was originally contacted by my  agent as per usual with an audition; I received an email with time and place for the audition, a brief description of the character and the material I would be reading. If I remember correctly, I auditioned twice. I was at a nursery, buying trees when I got the call from my agent telling me that I had been offered the role of Magee. I was really excited because I believed the show would have an important impact in terms of reducing misunderstandings about Islam. I also loved the character of Magee.

AK: What was the most challenging part playing Reverend Magee and what techniques did you use to overcome this?

DM:  The challenging part of playing Magee was in keeping him intelligent and witty as opposed to silly and one-dimensional. There are a lot of “over the top”characters on Mosque and I thought it was important to maintain a level of believability with Magee. I kept telling the writers “wise and witty, wise and witty…not silly”.

AK: How do  you relate to the character of Reverend Magee?

DM: I’m a great believer in tolerance. I think it very important to try to see the other guys point of view. I think it’s more powerful to stand up for my own views than it is to attack someone else’s view. That’s a subtle but significant difference. That’s how I think Magee approaches conflict.

AK:How do you  think Magee has developed over the course of the show and what aspirations do  you have  for him as the show draws to a close?

DM: I’m not sure you’re aware of it, but Magee is no longer in the show so I’m afraid I have no aspirations for him whatsoever.

AK:What was your reaction with the casting changes made upon the show’s fourth season which involved the character of Magee being replaced by Brandon Firla’s character, Reverend William Thorne? How do you think  Magee’s absence from the series has  impacted the overall storytelling on the show?

DM: I was very disappointed when I was told that Magee would no longer be part of the Mosque family but I was not bitter. I did not take it personally; I saw it as an artistic decision which obviously made sense to someone. In all honesty, I also believed it was a mistake. The audience reaction was very severe and I believe the decision alienated a large portion of the fan base as evidenced by the enormous number of negative emails sent to the Mosque website. As for Brandon Firla, I think he’s a wonderful actor and perfectly cast to play Thorne.  Again, in all honesty, I think the character as written is too harsh for the show, very funny but not right in the context of Mosque. None of the other characters is mean-spirited. Again, this has nothing to do with Brandon; he’s doing exactly what he was hired to do. Not sure why they didn’t correct this mistake and have us both on the show; but that’s not for me to decide.

AK: What resources did you use to help you effectively portray the character, given the religious background  of the character of  Reverend Magee?

DM: One of the things I did to prepare myself for the show was to read the bible in it’s entirety. And then to read the Koran as well as the Tao Te Ching. I wanted an understanding of where Magee was coming form and also where Amar was coming from. The Tao Te Ching to get another slant.

AK:As an experienced Canadian actor, you have also been involved in animated productions of various TV series including,  Super Why, Wayside and the 13  Ghosts of Scooby Doo  as well as  staged productions such as Little Mosque on the Prairie. Which type of acting do you  prefer to work in and what  particular  benefits  are  associated with your selection?

DM: Personally, I love being in front of a movie camera although there’s a lot to be said for the kind of regular work that a TV series provides. You get your own trailer and all the food you can eat…fabulous!!!

AK: Last season, you returned to the role of Magee after an absence of nearly two years. How did it feel  to return to the Little Mosque production  and what challenges were involved in readjusting to the role?

DM: Mostly, I just had to remember how I had played the role originally and try to be true to what I had already created.

 AK: Reflecting on your recent appearances towards the end of the fifth season, what were some of your favourite moments for the character of Magee, in terms of  his interactions with the  various members of Mercy?

DM: My favourite moments on Mosque were the times I got to work with Neil Crone and Deb McGrath and Sheila McCarthy because they were always so professional and so prepared. No B.S. with them.They show up on time ready to give their absolute best. And their best IS the best.

AK:How many episodes will you appear in for season 6?
DM:None

AK: What is your reaction to  Little Mosque ending this  season and  how do you hope   that  both the show and Magee,  in particular is remembered?

DM: I’m sorry to see the show ending because I think Canada, in fact the world needs shows like Little  Mosque which features people of decidedly different cultures learning to live peacefully alongside each other. As major centers become more and more multi-cultural, tolerance and acceptance will be absolutely necessary if we’re going to have any harmony in our day-to-day lives. I hope the show will be remembered as a genuinely funny and gentle reminder that people are people are people and I hope Magee will be remembered as the warm-hearted embodiment of that principal.

AK:Little Mosque on  the Prairie has  achieved international success , airing in over 68 countries  as  well  as in Canada, with the series premiere, earning a CBC    record breaking viewership of 2. 1 million. What impact do you think  Little  Mosque on the Prairie has had on Canadian culture and why do  you think the show has resonated with viewers so well?  How do you think it represents Canada, given that  the show is the   first of its kind?

DM: I think the show resonates with Canadians firstly because it’s genuinely funny and secondly because it enlightens us about an unfamiliar culture without ever getting preachy. I think they embraced the characters because they are  endearingly human with faults and qualities that we can all recognize in ourselves and in our friends and neighbours. As for the Anglo Saxons in the audience, I think the show was a comfort because it revealed Muslims as less frightening than they may have believed them to be and I think our Muslim audience was delighted to see their sisters and brothers portrayed as regular “joes” with the same hopes and fears as their Anglo Saxon neighbours.I think a lot of Canadians were surprised to see that Muslims have a sense of humour. The rest of course is just the mystery of show business.

AK: How has being a cast member on this series impacted your career and  how has it influenced your personal perspective on the Muslim community?

DM: Since the time that I was a very young boy, I have always insisted on being inclusive so that has not changed much. But, I think I’m much more educated on the subject of Islam. As I mentioned earlier, I read the Koran as a result of being cast in Mosque and of course I worked closely with genuine Muslims for the first time in my life and I could always for instance go to Zaib or Zarqua if I had any questions. Before this show, I was never certain whether or not a Muslim audience might embrace my sense of humour. In fact they did most warm-heartedly. People are people are people and humor is humor is humor.

AK:What other acting projects have your recently been working on, which you would like to share with viewers?

DM: Last summer I shot a series called SHE’S THE MAYOR for VISION TV. I play a corrupt politician named FRANK CRUMB. I think the show is very funny and it seems to be a hit on VISION. I believe the season is complete for this year but I’m certain there will be re-runs on VISION so do please watch for it. A lot of people don’t realize that I’m also a musician; I’m a singer/songwriter and I had the opportunity to work with some of the finest musicians in the world when I recorded my C.D. STRANGER. I warmly invite everyone to give it a listen at derekmcgrathmusic.com.

AK: What message do you have for fans  of the show, as Little Mosque draws to a close?

DM: I would never presume to preach but I will freely offer my opinion.There are only two basic emotions in the world, LOVE and FEAR. Fear makes you small and miserable; love makes you open and joyful. Fear kills; love creates. Choose love!

A Day In The Life of Little Mosque On The Prairie!

Sunday, June 5, 2011 @ 09:06 PM
Abbas Karimjee[ Administrator/ Owner]

With Little Mosque on the Prairie currently  filming in its   sixth and final season, the cast   of the show are actively  involved in the production.  Viewers of the show now have the chance to take a glimpse into  a day on the sets of Little Mosque  on the Prairie with the show’s Debra McGrath [  Mayor Ann Popwicx]

Visit  McGrath’s blog    to see the clip which covers  segments of  the actress’ experience on a typical day on set. The  7  minute  clip  also features  the show’s Sitara Hewitt[ Rayyan Hamoudi],  Sheila McCarth[ Sarah Hamoudi]  and Neil Crone[ Fred Tupper] as well as other various   cast and crew members.

On the blog, McGrath also   announced that Little Mosque would return to CBC this fall. We will have further details on Little Mosque’s sixth season  within the coming weeks.

What are your thoughts on the video and what is your reaction to Little Mosque ending  upon the conclusion of its upcoming sixth season? Drop us a line in the comments section,  below.