(Toronto, Canada/London, UK) Catalyst, the Toronto-based development and funding company focusing on content created by women, has announced that its latest commission for a new female-lead unscripted comedy series, the untitled Carolyn Taylor project (6×30), is currently in production, furthering its ambition to become the destination for women content creators.
The series is commissioned by Bell Media’s Crave, and produced by Catalyst and Blue Ant Studios as part of their strategic partnership to develop female-generated programming for the global marketplace. The comedy offering from Canadian actor and comedian Carolyn Taylor, best known as the star and co-creator of CBC’s comedy hit Baroness von Sketch Show. The series is slated to premiere on Crave in 2023. Blue Ant International oversees worldwide distribution.
The action plays out at the intersection of amateur ability and enormous ambition — in this case, inspired by Katerina Witt and the 1988 Calgary Olympics, Taylor’s unlikely quest to choreograph the perfect pairs figure-skating routine to be performed in front of an audience of skating stars and fans. What begins as a light-hearted challenge soon morphs into a real-life mission. Despite having zero figure-skating knowledge or skill, Taylor manages to convince an A-list cast of skaters to help her achieve her dream, including two-time Olympic Gold Medallist Ekaterina Gordeeva, Olympic Gold Medallist David Pelletier, four-time World Champion Kurt Browning, two-time Olympic Silver Medallist Brian Orser, World Champions Barbara Underhill & Paul Martini, Olympic Silver Medallist Elizabeth Manley, World Silver Medallists Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara, United States Champion Adam Rippon, and social media skating sensation Elladj Baldé.
Taylor is aided and abetted on her figure-skating journey by BAFTA-winning actor and comedian Mae Martin (Feel Good) and Emmy-winningfigure skating choreographer Sandra Bezic (Battle of the Blades).
When asked for a quote while rehearsing at the rink, Taylor said: “I’m exhausted, terrified, way out of my league and have absolutely no time to give you a quote.”
Catalyst founder, Julie Bristow said: “Carolyn’s latest comedy offering hits all the notes for Catalyst, not least that we all need more reasons to laugh in our complicated and troubled world. But it also demonstrates that Catalyst’s raison d’etre — to give female-generated unscripted projects the very best start in life — is not just a worthy mission but a sound commercial proposition. Carolyn proves that believing in yourself and following your dreams can lead to remarkable things. And luckily for us all, figure skating is only one of Carolyn’s dreams. Turns out she has lots of them for future seasons.”
The series is produced by Catalyst with Blue Ant Studios, with which Catalyst has a non-scripted co-production joint venture, and supported by Rogers Cable Fund and Bell Fund. The unscripted comedy series is created by Taylor, co-directed by Taylor and Zack Russell, and exec produced by Taylor, Russell. Serving as executive producers are Catalyst’s Vibika Bianchi and Julie Bristow and Blue Ant Studios’ Laura Michalchyshyn, Aileen Gardner and Sam Sniderman.
Earlier this year, the first commission to come from Catalyst and Blue Ant Media’s non-scripted co-production joint venture was Mission: Unexplained for T+E in Canada. The eight-part docu-series examines inexplicable events witnessed by military veterans on the front line, from mystifying lights through vanishing civilians to terrifying apparitions. The JV’s mission is to co-produce female-generated unscripted content for the global marketplace. The untitled Carolyn Taylor project is the second project to be generated from the collaboration.
Catalyst, formerly the Content Catalyst Fund (CCF), rebranded and expanded last month to sharpen its focus on enabling and empowering female content creators, and attracting more women into non-scripted television. It has also embarked on an intensive growth strategy, which includes the launch of ‘Community Connector Events’ designed to build a global network of female creative talent.
Catalyst is the destination for women creators. A mission-driven, for-profit business dedicated to catalysing the creation of commercially viable content for an underserved global market by powering women creators and investing in their ideas. Catalyst partners with women creators and producers to advance their projects from inception through to full monetisation of content. The company invests strategic, business and creative power in the best ideas, with the aim of ensuring they are realised. www.catalystforcreators.com
Blue Ant Studios is a leading studio and award-winning production business with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto. The company’s premium slate of programming spans documentaries and docuseries, scripted, unscripted, and reality competition, with recent hits including the Hollywood Critics Association TV Award-nominated docuseries The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks (Prime Video), Banished: Prince Andrew (Peacock), breakout investigative docuseries Epstein’s Shadow: Ghislaine Maxwell (Peacock and SKY) and Evil by Design: Exposing Peter Nygård (Starz and CBC); the multi-award-winning Canada’s Drag Race seasons 1-3 (Crave for Bell Media); the Daytime Emmy Award-winning scripted series The Healing Powers of Dude (Netflix); and the upcoming Canada Vs. the World (Crave for Bell Media). Blue Ant Studios is a subsidiary of Blue Ant Media.