- Best Drama Series
- Best Lead Actress, Drama Series: Amybeth McNulty
- Best Guest Performance, Drama Series: Dalmar Abuzeid
- Best Direction, Drama Series: Anne Wheeler
- Best Direction, Drama Series: Amanda Tapping
- Best Writing, Drama Series: Moira Walley-Beckett
- Best Writing, Drama Series: Jane Maggs
- Best Photography, Drama: Catherine Lutes
- Best Picture Editing, Drama: Gillian Truster
- Best Picture Editing, Drama: Lisa Grootenboer
- Best Sound, Fiction: Alan deGraaf, Scott Shepherd, John Elliot, Tyler Whitham, Danielle McBride, Joe Bracciale, Joe Mancuso, Zenon Waschuk
- Best Production Design or Art Direction, Fiction: Jean-François Campeau, Michele Brady, Elliott Carew
- Best Costume Design: Alexander Reda
- Best Achievement in Make-up: Diane Mazur
- Best Achievement in Hair: Zinka Tuminski
- Best Original Music, Fiction: Amin Bhatia and Ari Posner
- Best Achievement in Casting: Stephanie Gorin
Lo! a ripe sheaf of many golden daysL.M. Montgomery’s poem “September,” included in The Watchman and Other Poems (1916)
Gleaned by the year in autumn’s harvest ways,
With here and there, blood-tinted as an ember,
Some crimson poppy of a late delight
Atoning in its splendour for the flight
Of summer blooms and joys—
This is September.
“Harvest is ended and summer is gone,” Anne Shirley declares at the start of Anne of the Island (1915)—a statement that, as Rea Wilmshurst notes in her 1989 article “L.M. Montgomery’s Use of Quotations and Allusions in the ‘Anne’ Books,” is in fact a misquotation of Jeremiah 8:20 (“The harvest is past, the summer is ended”). For me as an academic, September also means the start of a new school year after a summer busy with research and writing projects—which this year included steady work on the next four volumes in The L.M. Montgomery Library. It doesn’t always make sense to work on four books at once, but in this case I became like the little boy in Anne of the Island (and originally in one of Montgomery’s “Around the Table” columns) who went to see a biograph: “I have to look for what’s coming next before I know what went last.”
This year, September also coincided with the next phase in my latest overhaul of this website. After I published my three-volume critical anthology, The L.M. Montgomery Reader, I added the items included in those volumes—including hundreds of reviews of Montgomery’s books appearing in periodicals from eight countries—to the bibliography of sources. Until recently, the vast majority of the items in that bibliography were listed multiple times: by author, by type (journal article and review, for instance), and again by periodical title. As I started adding to that bibliography items appearing in A Name for Herself and A World of Songs, I soon saw that this duplication was going to be unmanageable, given that some of these items (like Montgomery’s tract “What to Teach Your Son,” originally from her 1901 sketch “Half an Hour with Canadian Mothers“) were reprinted dozens of times.
In order to make this website more manageable, I decided to eliminate individual pages for periodicals except for those in which Montgomery published her hundreds of short stories, poems, and miscellaneous pieces between 1890 and 1942. As more and more newspapers have been digitized and made text searchable, I’ve noticed some of these items being reprinted again and again, sometimes anonymously. Her 1898 poem “Irrevocable,” for instance, appeared in The Congregationalist, a Boston periodical, before being reprinted in several newspapers between 1899 and 1901, including once, without Montgomery’s signature and under the title “Beyond Recall,” in the Brown County World of Hiawatha, Kansas. I haven’t yet found any more publications of that poem in the few years after that, but another burst of citations of this poem as “Beyond Recall” starts in 1905, usually unsigned, and sometimes attributed to Ewing Herbert, who owned the Brown County World. I’ve decided to list all these newspaper reprints but not create pages for each periodical given that Montgomery in all likelihood had no knowledge of how widely her work was recirculating, and given that more and more newspapers are being digitized all the time, there will always be more instances of reprinting to discover.
I’ve also created a page for the alternate signatures Montgomery used, particularly early in her career, including “Maud Cavendish,” “Joyce Cavendish,” “Cynthia,” and “J.C. Neville”—a form of authorship that I talk about in my afterword to A Name for Herself.
September is meaningful for another reason, too: the critically acclaimed television series Anne with an “E” is returning on CBC starting on Sunday night for a third season of ten episodes (it will appear on Netflix around the world, except Canada, on 3 January 2020). As I wrote in a blog post last year, the titles of all first-season episodes are quotations from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, whereas the titles of all second-season episodes are quotations from George Eliot’s Middlemarch. Brontë and Eliot were prominent models of nineteenth-century women’s authorship for Montgomery, so it was fitting that the episode titles for the first two seasons referred to their work. For the third season, the episode titles that I’ve seen so far all allude to another prominent book by a British woman—Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which I find quite intriguing. And based on what I’ve read about the storylines for this season, I do look forward to seeing what lies ahead for Anne, her friends, and the community of Avonlea in this most recent incarnation of Montgomery’s story.
Although many Canadian viewers were disappointed to learn that the second season of Anne with an “E” would drop on Netflix months before it would air in Canada, tonight that wait is over, since the first episode of the second season, “Youth Is the Season of Hope,” airs tonight on the CBC, with the remaining nine episodes airing throughout the fall on Sunday nights. As I mentioned in a blog post last year, adaptations of Montgomery’s books have been a Sunday-night tradition for the CBC, since it was on Sunday evenings that the CBC aired the first halves of Sullivan Entertainment’s Anne of Green Gables (1985) and Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987) as well as nearly the entire run of the episodic series Road to Avonlea (1990–1996) and Emily of New Moon (1998–1999, 2002–2003).
By coincidence, the third Anne movie from Breakthrough Entertainment, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: Fire and Dew, which aired on YTV on 1 July 2017 and which was released on DVD just this week, has its U.S. premiere on PBS this evening. So it looks as though both American and Canadian viewers finally get the chance to see a much-anticipated follow-up production that their neighbours across the border have already been talking about!
Yesterday, I took a hard copy of the proofs of my afterword to A Name for Herself: Selected Writings, 1891–1917 with me when I went to get an oil change, because when a deadline looms, every spare minute counts. Because the goal of the volumes in The L.M. Montgomery Library is not simply to reprint Montgomery’s work but also to provide some original content that’ll place that work within its historical and literary contexts, the afterword of this first volume discusses Montgomery’s career and her choice of an androgynous signature (“L.M. Montgomery”) in the context of British women writers who preceded her, especially Charlotte Brontë and George Eliot. There are numerous parallels between these three authors, particularly between Montgomery and Brontë, to the point that Carole Gerson, in her contribution to Storm and Dissonance: L.M. Montgomery and Conflict (2006), declares that “at one level, Montgomery is always rewriting Jane Eyre.” I’m going a bit further with this, speculating that Montgomery may have named her two major book protagonists Anne and Emily after two of the Brontë sisters but refrained from naming a third one Charlotte in order to make the point of connection less definite. (Not to mention that Charlotte Brontë’s second novel is entitled Shirley.)
Although I was somewhat distracted from my proofreading by the soccer game between Brazil and Belgium, I reached the endnote in which I mentioned another point of connection between Montgomery and Brontë—the fact that the titles of all seven episodes of the first season of the CBC/Netflix series Anne with an “E” are quotations from Jane Eyre: “Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny,” “I Am No Bird, and No Net Ensnares Me,” “But What Is So Headstrong as Youth?,” “An Inward Treasure Born,” “Tightly Knotted to a Similar String,” “Remorse Is the Poison of Life,” and “Wherever You Are Is My Home.”
Then I remembered that the second season of Anne with an “E” was released that day on Netflix everywhere in the world (except Canada, meaning that I’ll have to wait until late September, when it starts airing on the CBC, to watch it), so I posted on Facebook a request from my non-Canadian friends with access to Netflix to share the episode titles from the second season, to see if they, too, were quotations from Jane Eyre.
A friend who’s on holiday outside Canada posted the list shortly thereafter:
S2E10: The Growing Good of the World
S2E09: What We Have Been Makes Us What We Are
S2E08: Struggling against the Perception of Facts
S2E07: Memory Has as Many Moods as the Temper
S2E06: I Protest against Any Absolute Conclusion
S2E05: The Determining Acts of Her Life
S2E04: The Painful Eagerness of Unfed Hope
S2E03: The True Seeing Is Within
S2E02: Signs Are Small Measurable Things, but Interpretations Are Illimitable
S2E01: Youth Is the Season of Hope
They sound familiar, right? But they’re not from Jane Eyre. They’re from Middlemarch. By George Eliot.
Looks like I’m going to need another endnote. And maybe I should make the time to read Middlemarch before the new season of Anne with an “E” starts on the CBC.
CBC and Netflix released today nearly identical trailers for the second season of Anne with an “E” (now apparently called Anne with an “E” on CBC as well). Differences between them? Besides the background music, the release date: in a reverse of the first season, which aired weekly on the CBC in March and April 2017 before being released the rest of the world on Netflix that May (it then appeared on Netflix in Canada this past January), the second season of ten episodes will appear on Netflix on July 6 but won’t be available in Canada until the CBC begins airing them starting on September 23.
I’m so looking forward to the new season!
The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television announced today the nominees for the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards. The CBC television series Anne with an “E” (which airs everywhere else in the world as Anne with an “E”) leads with thirteen nominations, and L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: Fire & Dew, the last of three Anne movies from Breakthrough Entertainment, is up for four awards.
Congratulations to all the nominees!
Nominations for Anne/Anne with an “E”
Best Dramatic Series
Best Costume Design: Anne Dixon (“Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny”)
Best Original Music, Fiction: Amin Bhatia and Ari Posner (“Remorse Is the Poison of Life”)
Best Picture Editing, Drama: David Coulson (“Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny”)
Best Production Design or Art Direction, Fiction: Jean-François Campeau, Friday Myers and Andrew Berry (“I Am No Bird, and No Net Ensnares Me”)
Best Achievement in Casting: Stephanie Gorin
Best Supporting Actor, Drama: R.H. Thomson
Best Lead Actress, Drama Series: Amybeth McNulty
Best Supporting Actress, Drama: Geraldine James
Nominations for L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: Fire & Dew
Best Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or Series
Best Direction, Children’s or Youth: John Kent Harrison
Best Writing, Children’s or Youth: Susan Coyne
Best Performance, Children’s or Youth: Ella Ballentine
When news broke earlier this month that the CBC television series Anne with an “E” (broadcast everywhere else in the world on Netflix as Anne with an “E”) had been renewed for a second season of ten episodes, to be broadcast in 2018, it reminded me that I was still curious about possible differences between the two versions. Like many fellow viewers, I had been mystified by the last-minute title change for Netflix, not to mention unimpressed with the obvious doctoring of a promotional image of lead performer Amybeth McNulty. Would they simply change the title, or would they even go so far as to replace the Tragically Hip theme song with something more universally recognizable (in other words, less Canadian)? After all, when Road to Avonlea was broadcast twenty-five years ago, it aired in slightly different form (mainly in terms of additional scenes) on the Disney Channel as Avonlea.
Given that the CBC’s Anne version is the only one I’ve seen on entertainment platforms in Canada, there seemed to be no way to satisfy my curiosity. Recently, however, someone posted to YouTube the opening credits for the Netflix version of the series, which reveals some slight differences between the two versions.
In each version, the initial title card follows current practice, which is to begin an episode with an explicit statement about the network on which it airs. Note that “A CBC Original” and “A Netflix Original Series” aren’t parallel to each other, but each phrase mirrors similar statements made on other CBC or Netflix shows.
The second title card claims ownership of the series in terms of the production company. And yet, while on the Netflix version this card reads “A Northwood Entertainment Production in Association with CBC,” the CBC version simply states “A Northwood Entertainment Production,” with no mention of Netflix. In fact, I couldn’t find any mention of Netflix at all when I read through the opening and ending credits of the episodes that aired on CBC.
The cast and crew credits are otherwise unchanged from one version to the next, except for this list of executive producers. In the CBC version, Sally Catto (General Manager, Programming at CBC English Television) is given billing above Elizabeth Bradley (VP of Content at Netflix) and Alex Sapot, whereas in the Netflix version, Bradley and Sapot appear above Catto. Road to Avonlea did likewise when it list CBC and Disney Channel executives attached to the series: the CBC broadcast listed the CBC executive(s) first, whereas the Disney Channel listed the Disney Channel executive first.
Finally, the main title card, which evidently had to be redone for the Netflix title but obviously is made to look almost identical.
And there you have it! I’ll be curious to see whether the CBC Anne or the Netflix Anne with an “E” gets released on DVD and Bluray. In the meantime, Buzzfeed published last May a fascinating account of the creation of this opening credits sequence.
The first season of Northwood Entertainment’s series Anne with an “E”, which had successful run on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in March and April, launches today in the rest of the world on Netflix under the title Anne with an E.
Fittingly, Anne has made the news numerous times in anticipation of its worldwide release. Here are some highlights:
- “The Other Side of Anne of Green Gables,” by Willa Paskin (The New York Times)
- “Anne with an E Is the Best Kind of Adaptation,” by Sophie Gilbert (The Atlantic)
- “Why the 1980s Anne of Green Gables is Such a Hard Act to Follow” (Vanity Fair)
- “The Sisterhood of Anne of Green Gables Is Ready for Anne’s Next Chapter,” by Katie Calautti (Vanity Fair)
- “How Not to Adapt Anne of Green Gables,” by Sarah Larson (The New Yorker)
- “Why You Need to Watch the New Anne Series—Yes, I’m Talking to You, Fellow Purists,” by Sarah Bessey
- “Who Is Anne with an E Star Amybeth McNulty?” by Eleanor Brey Griffiths (Radio Times)
- “Netflix’s ANNE Bridges the Divide between Us and Our Childhood Dreams,” by Mishka Hoosen (The Ploughshares Blog)
- “A ‘Breaking Bad’ Writer and Producer Is Behind a New Anne of Green Gables,” by Erin Blakemore (Smithsonian)
- “Lush, Sad and Perfect: At Last, TV Gives Us an Anne of Green Gables for Our Times,” by Chitra Ramaswamy (The Guardian)
- “Anne with an E Offers a Winning, Darker Take on a Familiar Tale,” by Gwen Ihnat (The A.V. Club)
Today, Netflix released its own official trailer for Anne with an “E”, the episodic series whose first three episodes have already aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Netflix will make the series available everywhere else in the world starting 12 May 2017.
During the broadcast of the first episode of Anne with an “E” last Sunday evening on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, several commercials announced what had to be a bold move for the broadcaster: while the CBC announced plans to air the first episode of another new show, Canada: The Story of Us, the following week (March 26), Anne would return on Sunday, April 2, with a rebroadcast of the first two-hour episode (“Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny”) immediately preceding the initial broadcast of the second episode (“I Am No Bird, and No Net Ensnares Me”). This in spite of the fact that the first episode can now be watched on the CBC website (at least within Canada) and can be downloaded for free on iTunes.
Just yesterday morning, I came across the following tweet from the show’s official Twitter account:
Why wait two weeks? CANADA LOVES ANNE so much, we're bringing an all-new episode THIS Sunday 8/8:30NT! pic.twitter.com/66X67DVLVi
— Anne with an E (@AnneTheSeries) March 21, 2017
Now, according to my PVR machine this morning, here is what’s scheduled to happen next: this Sunday, March 26, CBC will air episode two, “I Am No Bird, and No Net Ensnares Me,” in the series regular time slot of 8:00 p.m. (8:30 in Newfoundland). And then on Sunday, April 2, CBC will rebroadcast, in a four-hour block, the two-hour-long episode one and episode two, followed by the initial broadcast of episode three, “But What Is So Headstrong as Youth?”
Check your local listings for updates: who knows how this schedule might change again!
Tonight the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will air the first episode of the Northwood Entertainment series Anne with an “E”, written and created by Moira Walley-Beckett. Although this series is not a remake or a reboot of earlier screen versions of Anne of Green Gables but a new adaptation of Montgomery’s book, CBC’s decision to broadcast the series on Sunday evenings acts as a return home, so to speak, connecting this to so many television adaptations of Montgomery’s books that came before it.
After all, Kevin Sullivan’s miniseries Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, and Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story were all broadcast on the CBC starting on Sunday nights (1 December 1985, 6 December 1987, and 5 March 2000, respectively), each concluding the following night; Sullivan Entertainment’s episodic series Road to Avonlea and the first two seasons of the CINAR/Salter Street Films series Emily of New Moon aired on Sunday nights during the 7–8 p.m. “family hour” time slot for most of the 1990s. In a few cases, two Montgomery television productions were shown on Sunday evenings back to back: Sullivan’s movie Lantern Hill aired on 30 December 1990 immediately after a second-season episode of Road to Avonlea, while its follow-up reunion movie Happy Christmas, Miss King aired on 13 December 1998 immediately after a second-season episode of Emily of New Moon. These productions also re-aired several times on CBC, almost always on Sunday nights.
In a sense, then, Canadian viewers have been watching adaptations of Montgomery’s work on CBC on Sunday nights for over thirty years. And although Anne consists of a decidedly new take on the source material, I like the sense of continuity that comes with this scheduling decision, particularly for viewers who have fond memories not only of the earlier adaptations themselves but also of the experience of watching them on CBC on Sunday nights. And I look forward to tuning in on Sundays over the next seven weeks in order to discover where this new Anne universe will take us.
Anne in the news:
- “The New ‘Anne Of Green Gables’ On CBC Is Super Dark, Feminist” (The Huffington Post)
- “‘This ain’t your grandmother’s Anne’: New Series Gives Gritty Green Gables amid Glut of Anne Adaptations” (CBC News)
- “Breaking Bad Writer Brings ‘Dark Sensibility’ to Anne of Green Gables” (The Globe and Mail)
- “New Telling of Anne Starts with Dynamic Lead” (The Winnipeg Free Press)
- “Anne of Green Gables Given Fresh New Life in CBC’s Anne” (TV, Eh?)
This version, on the evidence of Sunday’s two-hour opener, is not reverential, nor is it overcontemporized, but it affords Anne Shirley an agency that is formidable. . . . It imagines rather than remembers or reveres previous versions, no matter how beloved they were. This Anne should be approached and appreciated in the same spirit—it’s a sublimely reinvigorated Anne of Green Gables.
My PVR machine has revealed the titles of the first two episodes of Anne with an “E”: “Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny” and “I Am No Bird, and No Net Ensnares Me.” Both are allusions to Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre, which had a profound influence on L.M. Montgomery’s writing.
This highly anticipated series premieres on CBC Television next Sunday, March 19, and on Netflix on Friday, May 12. Several clips have been posted to the Anne web page at CBC.ca, including a scene, released last week on International Women’s Day, depicting the women of the Avonlea sewing circle discussing the term “feminism.”
Earlier today, the CBC website released an official trailer for Anne with an “E”, the upcoming series that will premiere in Canada on Sunday, March 19. It has also released a two-minute clip from the first episode. Check it out, along with information about cast and crew, on the Anne web page at CBC.ca!
The premiere dates for CBC/Netflix’s upcoming series Anne with an “E” were announced today on the website The Televixen: the first episode will air Sunday, March 19 on CBC Television and on Friday, May 12 on Netflix! The series, written and created by Moira Walley-Beckett, will consist of a first season of seven episodes.
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.