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Gracepoint is something ‘really special,’ Fox network boss says

Fox chairman sings series’ praises at network’s fall schedule unveiling; crime drama gets prime Thursday slot
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Anna Gunn and David Tennant in a scene from the crime drama Gracepoint. The 10-episode series has been shooting in the region since January.

Gracepoint, the TV mystery series being filmed around Victoria, will air this fall on Thursday nights at 9 p.m., the Fox network has announced.

While Victorians eager to see the series know which day of the week to watch, a launch date hasn’t been determined, said a spokesman for Shine America, which is producing the 10-part U.S. remake of the British crime series Broadchurch.

In unveiling the 2014-15 schedule for the network, Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly told international media at New York’s Beacon Theatre that Gracepoint, which will follow Bones, adheres to the new big-event strategy employed by the network, whose other offerings include Gotham, M. Night Shyamalan’s Wayward Pines and a live telecast of Grease.

Audiences can get a taste of the series from the newly released trailer.

The slick, three-minute preview showcases locations including Oak Bay Avenue, Island View Beach and the Gracepoint police headquarters built on Sidney’s waterfront.

It also reveals star David Tennant’s American accent for his role as Det. Emmett Carver, the U.S. homicide detective based on his Broadchurch character Det. Insp. Alec Hardy.

“The landscape of the fictional seaside California town is strikingly similar to the Dorset coastline,” noted Britain’s The Independent newspaper, comparing Gracepoint to Broadchurch.

Reilly described Gracepoint as “really special,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, adding: “The Gracepoint clips seem reminiscent of [AMC’s hit crime series] The Killing. They better solve this one in the 10 episodes.”

The series will be “closed ended” and have a different ending than Broadchurch, Reilly confirmed.

While initial reaction was mixed, with some British writers sniping that a Broadchurch remake was pointless, it was mostly favourable.

“Gracepoint looks great. They had me at Anna Gunn,” tweeted Variety’s Cynthia Littleton.

Gracepoint also merited a mention in Vulture.com’s 10 Things We Learned at the Fox Upfronts with an item titled Gracepoint Sure Looks Like Broadchurch.

“Think The Killing,” it said.

“One case, one pair of cops, one town, etc. Anna Gunn looks appropriately ‘she-copped’ (blazer, empathetic smile), but this definitely looks like it’s for newcomers, not fans of the original.”

Closer to home, film commissioner Kathleen Gilbert weighed in with her own review of the show’s prospects after seeing the trailer.

“I’m pretty sure the acting’s as good as the scenery and, if so, it should be a winner,” said Gilbert, who hopes to arrange an advance preview of the Gracepoint première episode as a potential fundraiser for the Vancouver Island South Film and Media Commission.

Chances are Tennant won’t be in attendance, however.

After wrapping here, he heads back to the U.K., where he will reunite with Olivia Colman to shoot the second season of Broadchurch.

Fans hoping for a glimpse of Tennant and Gunn shooting scenes for Gracepoint in Victoria on Monday were out of luck.

While the cameras rolled at the Gracepoint Journal offices in Oak Bay and at Holy Trinity church, the stars were in New York singing the show’s praises to Madison Avenue ad buyers and media types.

Before he flew east, Tennant said he hoped they’d get as warm a welcome in Manhattan during the Upfronts — they did — as they’ve had in Victoria while shooting Gracepoint.

“I had never been to Canada before, and if the rest of Canada is as welcoming as Victoria and Vancouver Island, it’s clearly the place to be,” said the Scottish actor, shrugging off some weather issues.

“I’ve felt a little more at home than some of our Californians working on the show.”

They were joined in New York by co-stars Michael Pena, Virginia Kull and executive producers of the show.

mreid@timescolonist.com

 

To watch the trailer for Gracepoint, visit timescolonist.com/gracepoint