New CBC original drama Coroner has found its lead. CBC, in association with Muse Entertainment and Back Alley Films, announced Wednesday that Vancouver-born actress Serinda Swan (Inhumans, Ballers) will star in the drama, created by Morwyn Brebner (Saving Hope). The series, which will consist of eight-one-hour episodes, will begin production in late summer 2018 in and around Toronto and premiere on CBC in winter 2019. Inspired by the best-selling series of books by M. R. Hall, Coroner centres on a newly appointed coroner investigating suspicious deaths in Toronto.
“Her story is about an empirical truth: How did they die? What were the circumstances? What were their social dynamics,” Executive producer and director Adrienne Mitchell told The TV Junkies at the recent CBC Upfronts. “What makes her such an interesting character is that even though the person is dead, she treats them as if they’re alive, and this person needs to have their truth told.”
Swan will play the title role of ‘Jenny Cooper’, a brave, determined yet vulnerable coroner driven by an intense desire for the truth. A former ER doctor and recently widowed mother, the passing of her beloved husband has unlocked a primal connection to death, tied to a secret in her past that is only now coming to the surface. She loves her son more than life itself and strives to support him while also trying to take care of herself.
“She goes by her instincts and does what she needs to do in a smart way, but in a way where she’ll take leaps that she doesn’t in the moment understand, but comes from a place of understanding about how people are,” says Brebner. “The actual motto of the coroner’s office is to speak for the dead to protect the living. They have a real mission, it’s an important job, and the people who do it are deeply passionate about it.”
With storylines based on real-life cases, Jenny is a coroner for our time, an advocate for the dead even when it’s inconvenient for the living, and defender of those who are powerless or in peril.
“We at Back Alley Films and our partners at Muse Entertainment are so excited to realize our dream of a creative collaboration with Morwyn Brebner to launch the exciting world of Jenny Cooper, played by the awesome Serinda Swan as a Toronto coroner, on CBC,” said Mitchell in the release.
While the supporting cast has yet to be announced, casting is well under way, something that Brebner says viewers should be looking forward to. “There’s a really good ensemble around her, and I think people will be really excited about that,” she says. “We’re trying to find an ensemble that’s reflective of the world that we live in.”
Swan most recently starred in the role of ‘Medusa’ in Marvel’s Inhumans, as well as playing the role of ‘Anne Bancroft’ in Ryan Murphy’s critically acclaimed Feud. Other recent television credits include a season-long recurring arc opposite Dwayne Johnson on the third season of HBO’s hit comedy series, Ballers, as well as starring roles in Breakout Kings and Graceland. Feature credits include James Franco’s recently wrapped Blood On Wheels, Disney’s Tron, and Fox’s Percy Jackson franchise.
What do you think of this casting? Are you looking forward to Coroner? Sound off below!
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.