(CBS Local)– COVID-19 has altered the summer and fall TV slates for many networks in the TV industry and “Coroner” on The CW Network is one of several shows impacted by the shifting schedule.
The drama, starring Serinda Swan and Roger Cross, was bumped up to the summer and makes its U.S. debut on Wednesday, August 5. The series follows a recently widowed coroner named Dr. Jenny Cooper who investigates suspicious deaths in Toronto while also dealing with clinical anxiety and raising her son. Cross’s character Detective Donovan McAvoy is right there with Dr. Cooper in the field in the search for the truth. Both Swan and Cross believe this show will resonate with an American audience for several reasons.
“It’s been really wonderful to come home to Canada and shoot this with other amazing Canadians,” said Swan in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I think that’s something I always wanted to do, to come home and do a show that represents Canada. I picked a really dark show about death. This character, she is very multi-faceted. She’s kind of funny, quirky and this weird nerd and then on the other side she has tons of conviction and is really strong. She’s had this trauma at the beginning of our first season that has changed her life entirely. She’s slowly becoming unwound and the beauty of being shown and the crazy that’s in there.”
“They sent me episode five and it was an amazingly, beautiful story,” said Cross. “He [Detective McAvoy] goes back to his roots and he has to deal with some issues that were in the past that have come back to haunt him. The complexity and humanity of these characters made me say this is incredible work and these are incredible stories. I’m glad we were able to figure it all out because I was on a different show at the time. These characters, they have their jobs and it’s more about the human beings behind it. Donovan has some terrible relationships that he has to deal with, but he’s still strong and goes ahead and does it.”
Swan and Cross believe the idea of compartmentalizing personal issues from home and doing your job make their characters universally appealing. “Coroner” is based off the best-selling series from author M.R. Hall and both of the actors wanted to make sure they properly represented what had already been written about these characters.
“The biggest challenge was making sure I represented the character that was in the books,” said Swan. “It’s based off of a best-selling U.K. book series. It’s seven books, so it’s not like a character that has existed in some small capacity. She is well founded and people love this character. It was really important to me to make sure I had all her little idiosyncrasies. Then we changed her age and changed where she lived and changed so many things about her, but I wanted to make sure I had her soul and her essence. That’s why it was important for me to go and do things like see an autopsy or to sit with people who have that specific experiences that she has with anxiety. This is the first character I’ve felt like an artist as opposed to a commodity.”
“At the end of the day, I’ve done it for a long time and you want to look forward to going to work,” said Cross. “You want to look forward to being collaborative and they afford us that privilege. We get together and we can discuss anything about the script. It’s a very artistic endeavor and we make sure we cover all the bases. We talk to professionals, we have great consultants and it’s great to go to work and do that and have that freedom.”
Watch “Coroner” on The CW Network on Wednesday, August 5 at 9 p.m. EST/PST.