L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, the recent telefilm that aired last February on YTV in Canada and that is scheduled to air on PBS on American Thanksgiving, will be released on DVD from PBS on 8 November 2016. It is available to preorder from the PBS Shop.
The Hollywood Reporter announced yesterday that PBS has acquired U.S. broadcasting rights to Breakthrough Entertainment’s recent telefilm L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, featuring Ella Ballentine in the title role, with plans to broadcast the movie on Thanksgiving Day, 24 November 2016.
UPDATE: Breakthrough Entertainment also announced on Twitter over the weekend that the movie is set for theatrical release in Australia and New Zealand!
— Breakthrough (@breakthru_ent) June 11, 2016
Breakthrough Entertainment’s new telefilm L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, which airs tonight on YTV, has received a tremendous amount of coverage in the press. Here are a few highlights:
- Ella Ballentine, who plays Anne Shirley, interviewed by the Toronto Sun;
- Sara Botsford, who plays Marilla Cuthbert, interviewed by The Televixen;
- Ella Ballentine and Sara Botsford both interviewed by Monsters and Critics;
- Kate Macdonald Butler, L.M. Montgomery’s granddaughter and an executive producer of the movie, interviewed by The Toronto Star;
- Martin Sheen, who plays Matthew Cuthbert, interviewed by The Televixen and by the Globe and Mail;
- Melanie Fishbane, author of an upcoming YA novel based on the teen years of L.M. Montgomery, has contributed both a review of the telefilm and a tour of its set to the website Cinefilles;
- Additional coverage at the Charlottetown Guardian and at CBC News.
Have I missed anything? Let me know!
Plans to broadcast the movie outside Canada or to release it on DVD have not yet been announced.
UPDATE: “Young Actress ‘Excited’ to Play Anne of Green Gables in New TV Movie” (CBC News)
A press release circulated on CNW: A PR Newswire Company confirms that the world premiere of Breakthrough Entertainment’s telefilm L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables will be on YTV on Monday, 15 February 2016 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM EST. Also published today is a slightly extended trailer for the telefilm, which stars Ella Ballentine as Anne, Sara Botsford as Marilla, and Martin Sheen as Matthew.
Video: L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables premiering Monday, February 15 at 6 p.m. ET/PT on YTV.
An article in the Charlottetown Guardian announced today that Breakthrough Entertainment’s telefilm L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables will premiere on the YTV network in Canada on 15 February 2015, to coincide with Islander Day in Prince Edward Island. No news yet on broadcast details outside Canada or plans for a DVD release.
This news coincides with the announcement that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has ordered an eight-episode series based on Anne of Green Gables from writer/producer Moira Walley-Beckett—an announcement that has prompted a wide range of responses from commentators. Also published today is an interview with Miranda de Pencier, who is one of Walley-Beckett’s collaborators on the project and who played Josie Pye in three Anne of Green Gables television miniseries from Sullivan Entertainment: in her view, given how highly popular remakes are in Britain, there is definitely room for an ongoing Anne of Green Gables series alongside existing adaptations of the book for stage and screen: “They can all exist alongside one another.”
To see the trailer for Breakthrough’s highly anticipated telefilm, visit the website for Breakthrough Entertainment.
As I reported yesterday, news broke this week that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation had ordered an eight-episode limited series based on L.M. Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables from producer Moira Walley-Beckett, whose past writing credits include the television series Breaking Bad. The news received rather mixed comments, judging by the comments left on various news sites and even on the Facebook page for L.M. Montgomery Online: for some commentators, Sullivan Entertainment’s 1985 miniseries is of such high quality that any attempt to remake it is pointless (for several fans, no one but Megan Follows can ever play Anne), whereas others voiced concern about the decision to hire Walley-Beckett to helm the project, given not only her past writing credits but also the statement that the series would “chart new territory” by depicting “new adventures reflecting timeless issues, including themes of identity, sexism, bullying, prejudice, and trusting one’s self.”
In the midst of this mixed reaction, several additional articles were released in the last few days, emphasizing why a new take on L.M. Montgomery’s 108-year-old novel is not only understandable but absolutely necessary:
- Nora Caplan-Bricker’s “Why Anne of Green Gables Is a Patron Saint of Female Outsiders,” on Slate;
- Jocelyn Rish’s “Who Should Star in the ‘Anne of Green Gables’ Remake?”on MTV;
- Lorilee Cracker’s “7 Reasons Why This Anne of Green Gables Superfan Welcomes the New Miniseries,” on her blog Peace, Love, & Raspberry Cordial;
- Sarah Seltzer’s “What Do Nancy Drew and ‘Anne of Green Gables’ Have to Offer the Age of Peak TV?” on Flavorwire;
- Heather Dockray’s “What ‘Anne of Green Gables’ Could Look Like with a ‘Breaking Bad’ Writer,” on Mashable
As for me, I’m thrilled that a talented writer/producer wants to interpret Montgomery’s best-known novel and ever-appealing protagonist for the twenty-first century, just as I am always fascinated by adaptations of Anne of Green Gables and its sequels for stage and screen, from a 1934 Hollywood “talkie” and Kevin Sullivan’s work to the recent hit play Anne and Gilbert and Breakthrough Entertainment’s upcoming telefilm. Given how meaningful the character Anne Shirley is to so many readers worldwide, surely there is room for a new take on this ever-popular character.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation announced yesterday that it had greenlit a new, eight-episode television series based on Anne of Green Gables. Entitled Anne, the project is expected to go into production this spring for release sometime in 2017. The project will be created and written by Moira Walley-Beckett, who received an Emmy Award for her work as a writer on the television series Breaking Bad and who will serve as executive producer alongside Miranda de Pencier, Alison Owen, and Debra Hayward.
At its heart, ANNE is a coming-of-age story about an outsider who, against all odds and numerous challenges, fights for acceptance, for her place in the world and for love. The drama series centres on a young orphaned girl who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers, is mistakenly sent to live with an elderly spinster and her aging brother. Over time, 13-year-old Anne will transform their lives and eventually the small town in which they live, with her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination. While the new series will follow a similar storyline to the book that millions of readers around the world know and love, it will also chart new territory. Anne and the rest of the characters in and around Green Gables will experience new adventures reflecting timeless issues, including themes of identity, sexism, bullying, prejudice, and trusting one’s self.
This story has been reported widely, in venues including The Hollywood Reporter, The Toronto Star, Variety, Entertainment Weekly, Entertainment Tonight Canada, The Guardian, the National Post, Quill and Quire, and Jezebel. The satiric website The Beaverton has also commented on this development, in a news story entitled “CBC Courts Younger Viewers with Another Reboot of 100 Year Old Novel”:
“Kids these days are done with stories where things happen,” said CBC consultant and world’s oldest child psychologist Obadiah Sugarman. “We’ll finally be giving them the stiff Victorian morality that I assume is in vogue. Not to mention, doing a period piece is a great way to make sure white people are adequately represented on television.”
“I can’t wait for yet more Anne,” enthused 22 year-old Alexandra Lewis, who has only been alive for 7 of Anne’s over two dozen adaptations. “Honestly there’s no better use of public funds than promoting the work of a long-dead, already immensely popular author.”
Jokes aside, what few if any of these reports has mentioned is that a new telefilm version of Anne of Green Gables by Toronto company Breakthrough Productions is already in post-production and is expected to air on YTV in the months to come, or that a film version of Anne of Green Gables: The Musical was announced as in development in September 2013. And what none of the sites reporting on this story has noted, as far as I know, is that producer Miranda de Pencier portrayed Josie Pye in three Anne of Green Gables miniseries by Sullivan Entertainment.
In light of the thirtieth anniversary of Sullivan Entertainment’s first Anne of Green Gables miniseries (its world premiere on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was on 1–2 December 1985), the CBC website has published a segment entitled “Anne of Gif Gables.” It contains links to rare interviews on CBC Digital Archives.
This movie poster for Breakthrough Entertainment’s upcoming telefilm L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables was released this week via Twitter by “Anne” herself, Ella Ballentine! No news yet on a broadcast date on YTV (or outside Canada), but the fact that it appears with the subtitle “Holiday Special” indicates that it may be released by the end of 2015.
A first trailer for Breakthrough Entertainment’s upcoming telefilm L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables has been added to its corporate website. The ninety-minute telefilm stars Ella Ballentine as Anne, Sara Botsford as Marilla, and Martin Sheen as Matthew. Stay tuned for information about its release in Canada and around the world!