Network: Global Television Network
Broadcast Run: 2004 to 2008
Broadcast Medium: Television
Billed as a brave youth drama, Renegadepress moved to Global in 2007 for its fourth season after spending the first three on Global’s CH group of stations.
Renegadepress.com followed the story of aboriginal teenager Jack Sinclair (Bronson Pelletier) and his best friend Zoey Jones (Ksenia Solo) who were determined to expose what was really going on in the lives of the day’s youth by using their teen generated e-zine ‘renegadepress.com’ as their platform. What starts as a pet project soon takes on a life of its own, pushing Jack, Zoey and their crew of renegade reporters to deliver the real story on what was going on in the lives of teens.
The series’ storylines were inspired by real news events and included: series’ characters dealing with crystal methamphetamine use and the destruction the drug had on the user, their friends and family; other characters struggling with who they were and what they wanted from society, from themselves and from each other; and a variety of issues around sex and sexuality.
Renegadepress.com revealed the raw, sometimes harsh truths that confronted teens with sensitivity and humour. Cast included: Rachel Colwell as Crystal Sinclair sister to Jack; Shawn Erker as Oscar Cherniak, a young teen who had been open and honest about his bisexuality to his girlfriend Patti but found his relationship with her facing serious challenges; Ingrid Nilson as Patti, who was starting to lose some her former naivety – she showed she was not afraid to stand up for herself and protect herself from hurt when she saw it coming; Ishan Davé as Sandi Bhutella, the guy who’d always been girl crazy and joined a punk band to try to get close to one particular girl. He was good friends with Oscar and when Oscar revealed his sexuality, he realized being friends meant accepting everything about your friend.
The adult cast included: Lorne Cardinal as Wayne Sinclair, the father of Jack and Crystal. He left his life on the “rez” (reservation) a long time ago and was now Executive Director for the Native Centre. He wanted his family to be proud of their culture and themselves.
Zoey’s parents were played by Wendy Anderson as Linda Jones and David Neale as Brian Jones . The Jones family had had their fair share of ups and downs since Jack and Zoey got renegadepress.com started and Zoey had watched her parents’ relationship basically disintegrate before her very eyes. She lived with her dad and was dealing with her parents’ new relationships.
Accompanying the show was a real world internet newspaper (e-zine) designed specifically for teen viewers of renegradepress (www.renegadepress.com) where kids could leave comments and ask questions of the show’s cast about the controversial topics covered on the show (the cast responded in character). After each show, specific content was displayed on the web site about the topic. The series was filmed in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Broadcast: First three seasons on Global’s CH channels, season four to air on Global Network Fall 2007. After the series’ end in 2008, it was not renewed.
Produced by: Saskatchewan’s Vérité Films (Corner Gas, Incredible Story Studio), founded by producer, Virginia Thompson and writer/director Robert de Lint Created and produced by: Robert de Lint who handled several roles as key director, producer, writer, co-creator
Executive producer, co-creator: Virginia Thompson
Supervising producer: Jordan Wheeler (North of 60, The Rez)
Executive Story Editor: Sara Snow (Edgemont, Brace Face) Contributing writer: Carol Greyeyes (For Love of the Land).
Guest directors included: Jeff Beesley (Borderline Normal), Rob King (Just Cause), and Lorne Cardinal (actor, Corner Gas).
Produced with the participation of The Canadian Television Fund – Licence Fee Program; Aboriginal Peoples Television Network; Global Television, a division of CanWest Media Works Inc.; SCN; TFO – TVONTARIO; Knowledge Network; Shaw Rocket Fund; CanWest Western Independent Producers Fund; Independent Production Fund; SaskFilm; Filmoption International; The Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit; The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.
Developed with the participation of SaskFilm and the CTV Saskatchewan Program Development Fund.