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Series premiere: The Listener

In nbc, series debut, summer 2009, television, tv on 06/03/2009 at 8:58 am

Series name
The Listener

Debuts
Wednesday, June 3 at 7 p.m. ET on Space, repeating at 10 p.m. ET on CTV and on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. (A second episode airs Thursday at 7 p.m. ET on Space, repeating at 10 p.m. ET on CTV and NBC.)

Regularly airs
Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV and NBC and Saturdays at 8 p.m. ET on Space.

Premise
Paramedic Toby Logan hears things, sees things from other people’s minds. Has done since childhood, which he doesn’t remember well. Has hidden it from everyone except a psychology prof who tells him “No one can know about you.” Even so, Toby’s decided to embrace his “gift”. But can he confide in his aloof doctor girlfriend?

Primary cast and crew
Craig Olejnik (In God’s Country, The Timekeeper) as Toby Logan. His piercing blue eyes and extra-wide-eyed stare have their own actors’ guild memberships.

Ennis Esmer (Billable Hours) as Osman “Oz” Bey, his paramedic partner and stater of things obvious.

Lisa Marcos (Flashpoint, Kevin Hill) as Det. Charlie Marks. But you don’t need the title to know she’s a detective. The tight police-issue tank top is what tells you she is a cop. That and the cascade of crisp curls and the cold, cold demeanor.

Mylene Dinh-Robic (Stargate Atlantis) is Olivia Fawcett, the doctor girlfriend. Or at least he’d like her to be. Girlfriend, that is.

Colm Feore (24, Changeling) is psychology expert Ray Mercer, Toby’s only confidante so far.

Buzz buzz
Hoping for Flashpoint mojo, this being the next big Toronto-made, Toronto-set series to be picked up by a major U.S. network. I like it better than the early Flashpoint. For what that’s worth.

But what do I know anyway? After having seen the first two episodes I proclaim…

I like all the characters. I like the acting. I don’t like the try-too-hardness. Toby cares. That’s his special power. The telepath thing is not adding anything substantive to the plot so far. Here’s hoping, because… it’s summer and this is sweet and light. If you’re looking for something dark and deep, take a nap until June 14 when vampire drama True Blood returns to HBO Canada.

Other reviews
John Doyle over at the Globe and Mail (is anybody else have a big wad of trouble navigating their new site?) is very much not a fan.

Newsday was a little more scathing, not just to The Listener: “The Canadians make nice TV – pleasant, intelligent TV, where people, even the bad guys, are civil and fundamentally decent. In a word, “The Listener” is boring. Or, if you prefer alliteration, listless.”

Official CTV website
Fancy! Panarama of Toronto street scene in which the main characters, coming guests stars and red-herring types are posed, just waiting for your cursor to reveal episode names, access to video interviews with cast and the like. Me? I’d like something a little more straightforward.

Can’t wait for the next new-series preview?
Edie Falco’s new half-hour series Nurse Jackie debuts June 8. Stay tuned!

Wondering when the other new series and returning series are kicking off?
Click here for the complete and updated list of summer premieres and other important dates. Who am I to tell you what to do, but you could consider bookmarking it…

— Denise Duguay

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