Global Television Network

Best Years, The (Global)

Network: Global Television Network

Broadcast Run: 2007

Broadcast Medium: Television

The Best Years was an original drama from Global Television and Aaron Martin (writer/executive producer, Degrassi: The Next Generation), capturing the highs and lows of campus life and growing up through the eyes of six college freshmen as they transitioned from being teenagers to young adults.  Though a Canadian production, the setting was a fictional Ivy League college located in Boston, Massachusetts. 

The central character was Samantha Best (Charity Shea) as she began her freshman year at the prestigious Charles University. She was orphaned at a young age and shuffled through foster homes.  Now she was leaving that past behind, full scholarship in hand, to take on the future.  However, as she struggled to find her own identity, she faced mounting pressures as she discovered the ins and outs of life on campus.   

She soon met an assortment of new friends, acting as an occasionally dysfunctional surrogate family, including socialite roommate Kathryn Klarner (Jennifer Miller); fellow scholarship recipient, star basketball player and potential crush, Devon Sylver (Brandon Jay McLaren); Dawn Vargas (Athena Karkanis), a former child star who traded in Hollywood for university; Trent Hamilton (Niall Matter), part-time student and full-time bartender at Boston’s hot spot nightclub, Colony; and Noah Jensen (Randal Edwards), Devon’s roommate, a business major with a future planned in Hollywood. Samantha also worked at Colony, part-time, to help with school expenses.  Her employer there was Lee Campbell (Alan van Sprang). 

Rounding out the cast was Sherry Miller, playing Samantha’s scholarship benefactress Dorothy O’Sullivan; Sui Ta as Cynthia Song, an overprotected young woman who grew up in a strict and very private family who was now experiencing a social life for the first time; and Gabriel Hogan as Samantha’s uncle Patrick. The Best Years was shot in Toronto and in the nearby cities of Hamilton and Guelph.  Exteriors for Charles University were shot at the University of Guelph. Music also played a role in this series providing an energetic vibe and included an opening theme song specifically adapted for the show called “Infinite Possibility”. 

The Best Years was also slated to premiere in the summer of 2007 on The N, a programming arm of MTV Networks in the US, and was distributed internationally by FremantleMedia Enterprises, the commercial arm of FremantleMedia, one of the largest international creators and producers of program brands in the world. 

Broadcast: Debuted May 22, 2007

Time slot:  Tuesdays, 10 pm

Running time: 60 minutes 

Creator:  Aaron Martin 

Production:  BLUEPRINT ENTERTAINMENT in association with CanWest MediaWorks Inc. and The N (a teen TV network in the U.S.), with the participation of The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit; and The Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit.  

Executive Producers: BLUEPRINT ENTERTAINMENT’s Noreen Halpern and John Morayniss.   

Producers:  Brenda Greenberg, Peter Bray, Wendy Grean

Consultant: Paul Jackson

Co-producers: Karen McClellan, Sean Reycraft 

Production Executive: Karen King-Chigbo  

Christine Shipton is Vice President, Original Programming for Global Television.     

Written by Joanne Ingrassia – June, 2007