Breakthrough Entertainment has issued a press release announcing plans for an all-new, thirteen-episode television series based on L.M. Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables:
Leading Canadian production-distribution studio Breakthrough Entertainment and the heirs of beloved Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery have joined forces to develop and produce a 13-episode series for television based on one of Canada—and the world’s—most celebrated and eternal book series, Anne of Green Gables. Announcement of the all-new Anne of Green Gables television series was made jointly at the Banff World Media Festival by Breakthrough Entertainment principals Ira Levy and Peter Williamson, and Executive Producer Joan Lambur and Kate Macdonald Butler, granddaughter of author Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Set for production in 2013 in the Canadian Maritimes, Breakthrough Entertainment’s Anne of Green Gables will be a contemporary retelling of the famed book series while capturing author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s original vision for her characters and stories.
First published in 1908, Anne of Green Gables remains an iconic work selling more than 50 million copies worldwide. The eight classic Anne of Green Gables novels have attracted generations of readers inspired by the adventures of the spirited redhead Anne Shirley, who comes to stay at Green Gables and wins the hearts of everyone she meets.
For more on this contemporary retelling of Anne of Green Gables, see the article at Toronto.com as well as the article at The Hollywood Reporter.
UPDATE: For more on this new television series, see the article in the Montreal Gazette and the one on Canada.com.
Acclaimed actor Peter Donaldson, whose television roles included Reverend Leonard in Road to Avonlea and Ian Bowles in Emily of New Moon, died on 8 January 2011 at the age of 58. He is survived by his wife, actor Sheila McCarthy, and their two daughters. For more details, see articles in the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star.
I’m very sorry to report that Jackie Burroughs, a renowned and acclaimed film, television, and theatre actor who is best known in the Montgomery community for playing Hetty King in the television series Road to Avonlea and Mrs. Amelia Evans in the 1985 miniseries version of Anne of Green Gables, died this afternoon at the age of 71. For more details on her life and her work, see tributes to her on the Globe and Mail and CBC websites.
More Emily of New Moon DVD news! According to a post on TVShowsonDVD.com, Emily of New Moon: The Complete Fourth Season will be released on DVD in Canada on 20 July 2010! In the United States, Echo Bridge Home Entertainment will continue with The Complete Third Season, The Complete Fourth Season, and The Complete Series, all available on 1 June.
I frequently get messages from people asking when the rest of the series will be released on DVD, so I’m happy to spread the word, especially since the latter two seasons of Emily of New Moon aired sporadically on the CBC more than three years (2002-2003) after the first two seasons (1998-1999) did.
As a follow-up to my earlier post about this spring’s re-release of the first two seasons of the television series Emily of New Moon, I’m pleased to spread the news that the cover art for both seasons has been revealed and that the third season will be released on DVD on 22 June 2010. No news yet on the abbreviated fourth season of the series, but at this rate hopefully we will see that DVD set as well later this summer.
For the cover art, see the news item on TVShowsonDVD.com.
There is a new website for the Anime version of Before Green Gables, which has been airing on Japanese television as Konnichiwa Anne since April 2009. The series is directed by Katsuyoshi Yatabe and is produced by Nippon Animation, which produced the 1979 Akage no An anime. See also the entry on Konnichiwa Anne on the Anime News Network. Thanks to Yuka for bringing this to my attention.
The Sullivan Entertainment telefilm Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning has been nominated for two Director’s Guild of Canada awards, one for Best Television Movie/Miniseries and one for Ray Lorenz for Best Production Design in a Television Movie/Miniseries. The results will be known at the awards gala on 24 October 2009.
In addition, the telefilm was nominated for three Gemini Awards: for Best Costume Design (Martha Mann), Best Achievement in Make-Up (Lynda McCormack and Madeleine Russell) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Program or Miniseries (Barbara Hershey). For more information, visit the website for the 24th Annual Gemini Awards.
Sullivan Entertainment has announced on its Anne of Green Gables website that its latest film, Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning, will air on CTV on 14 December 2008, at 7:00 PM. They include a detailed synopsis:
It is 1945 and Anne Shirley (Academy-award nominee and Golden Globe winner, Barbara Hershey) now a successful, middle-aged writer has returned to Prince Edward Island for an extended visit. On a whim, she agrees to write a play for a theatre producer. The play, she reasons, will keep her busy—at least busy enough to not go out of her mind with worry about her only son who has yet to return from the war overseas. But a long-hidden secret in the form of a letter from her errant father, discovered under the floorboards at Green Gables, provides a distraction of its own. As Anne struggles to complete the play, she delves into long-buried memories, reliving the troubled years before she arrived as an orphan at the Green Gables farmhouse. She is forced to confront the fact that she made up stories about her life; after her mother died and when her father deserted his young daughter. During that time, Young Anne (newcomer Hannah Endicott-Douglas), is taken into the care of a wealthy matriarch, Amelia Thomas (Academy-award winner Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter-in-law, Louisa (Rachel Blanchard), which changes her life forever.
Over the course of one remarkable summer, Anne Shirley discovers the astonishing truth about her father, the origins of her quest for “kindred spirits” and the roots of her brilliant, magical imagination.
A new trailer for the telefilm is now available at Sullivan’s Anne of Green Gables website. While there is not yet any news about broadcast dates outside of Canada, they have also announced that the film will be released on DVD shortly.
Kevin Sullivan’s upcoming film Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning will have its world premiere at the 2008 Boston Film Festival on Monday, 15 September 2008, at 8:15 PM. The synopsis on their schedule reads as follows:
Kevin Sullivan’s original story explores the unwritten origins of the iconic character, Anne of Green Gables, as Anne finds a secret letter in the floorboards of Green Gables, almost 50 years after she arrived on Prince Edward Island, that reveals her troubled family history.
The 141-minute film, which stars Barbara Hershey, Hannah Endicott-Douglas, Rachel Blanchard, and Shirley MacLaine, will air on CTV this fall. A broadcast date has not been announced, nor has plans to broadcast the film outside Canada, but it will eventually be available on DVD. A novelization of the film will be published by Key Porter Books on 1 October 2008.