Recently featured in our article on ’10 TV Shows Your Mum Loved Watching’, we quickly realised that it wasn’t just our mums that really loved Due South, it was most of you too! Running from 1994 until 1999 for a total of 67 episodes, Due South followed Constable Benton Fraser, played by Paul Gross, who was an officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
A somewhat unlikely hit around the globe, Due South put Mounties on the map. Here are some facts about the beloved TV show you probably never knew!
10. It was created by a two-time Oscar winner
You may not have realised this, but Due South was created by Paul Haggis, who went on to win two Academy Awards.
Because, Haggis produced, co-wrote and directed the 2004 movie Crash, which won both the Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay oscar.
9. It was a breakthrough for Canadian television
Not only was it a brilliantly made and at times really funny comedy-drama, but Due South also was a first for Canadian TV.
Because, believe it or not, it was the first TV show made in Canada to have a prime time slot on a major US television network.
8. It was originally conceived as a TV movie
Due South actually Started life as a TV movie, but due to getting higher than anticipated ratings, it was turned into a continuing series.
Sadly, in the US, CBS constantly changed the time slot Due South was being shown, which meant that the show struggled to maintain a constant audience.
7. The dog received the first fan mail
We’re sure you’ll all remember Diefenbaker, the part-wolf, part-dog who met Fraser when the Mountie found him in an abandoned mine.
What you may not know is that, despite the show starring some well-loved actors, it was Diefenbaker who received the very first of the show’s fan mail!
6. It was initially cancelled after the first series
The struggle to maintain a consistent TV audience meant that the show was actually cancelled by CBS after the first 24 episode series.
Thankfully, its success in both Canada and the UK meant that the production company were able to raise enough money to create a second 18 episode series.
5. International investors like the BBC helped the show continue
After being off the air for a year, Due South was revived in 1997 with help from international investors, including the BBC.
This meant that it was on our TV screens for a further two series, until it finished for good in 1999.
4. David Marciano was replaced for the third series
Do you remember that David Marciano, who played Detective Raymond Vecchio, actually left the show after the second series?
He was replaced by Callum Keith Rennie who played Stanley Raymond Kowalski, but Marciano did still appear in both the first and last episodes of the final series.
3. It became a big hit in the UK
Despite receiving positive reviews from critics, Due South never became a big hit in the US, even though it is still one of the most highly rated shows ever broadcast by a Canadian network.
It was however extremely popular in the UK, being watched by over 8 million viewers at its peak, and becoming one of the few non-British shows to have a primetime weekday slot on BBC One.
2. Paul Gross contributed to the soundtrack
In addition to his brilliant performance as Constable Benton Fraser, Paul Gross was also executive producer of the final series, wrote four episodes, and even sang songs for the show, some of which can be found on the two Due South soundtracks.
Gross also went on to produce, write, direct and star in the 2008 war film Passchendaele, which sadly for him was both a critical and commercial failure.
1. There are still fan conventions for the show
There have been a number of Due South fan conventions over the years, the most well known being ‘RCW 139’, which was named after the show’s recurring license plate number.
Sadly that’s all for now. Be sure to share this post with your friends and family so they too can find out more about this popular 90s TV show!