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Da Vinci's Da Mayor!

Astute TeeVee readers may remember my praise for gritty Canadian crime drama Da Vinci's Inquest, the show which predates (and easily outshines) American fare like CSI and Crossing Jordan despite having a tiny fraction of those shows' budgets. Well, there's news: episodes from Da Vinci's seven seasons are airing in syndication throughout the U.S. to surprisingly good ratings, so if you don't receive the CBC, check your local listings for a dose of Nick Campbell and some of the sharpest television crime drama ever produced.

And more news: although there's no eighth season of Da Vinci's Inquest, our friends up north have made a brand-new show: Da Vinci's City Hall (CBC, Tuesday nights). The seventh season saw the cranky, intrepid coroner Dominic Da Vinci gearing up to run for mayor of Vancouver. Da Vinci's City Hall opens with Da Vinci taking office and taking to its dirty politics like a fish to water (or a moose to beer, depending on your perspective). Several cast members make the jump to the new series, including Ian Tracey's Mick Leary taking over the Vancouver coroner job, Venus Terzo's detective Angela Kosmo getting partnered with Patrick Gallagher's Joe Finn (the IA officer who almost brought her down last season), and The Untouchables Charles Martin Smith in a recurring role Friedland, a homeless advocate. (Sadly, Donnelly Rhodes is not returning as Leo Shannon: we wish him the best playing the pack-a-day ship's doctor over on Battlestar Galactica.)

On the "art imitates life imitates art" front, Da Vinci is as weird as ever. The show is loosely based on Larry Campbell (no relation to Da Vinci actor Nick Campbell), the former British Columbia coroner who later became mayor of Vancouver, partly by riding momentum from the Da Vinci's television show. Got that? It gets weirder. Larry Campbell acted as a consultant and helped write some episodes of Da Vinci's Inquest, and, after initially opposing B.C. Premiere Gordon Campbell's (again, no relation!) bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics, recently decided not to run for re-election—and then found himself appointed to the Canadian Senate. Huh? And now Da Vinci has followed Campbell's steps into the mayor's office, and Larry Campbell had weekly script meetings with Da Vinci creator Chris Haddock to craft the new show. "He reads everything I write," Haddock said in a Canadian Press interview. "He's actually given much more now that he's off to the Senate and he doesn't have to protect that mayor's seat."

Well, Da Vinci has always kept me in my seat. If you receive CBC, give it a shot.


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