Shades of Black: The Conrad Black Story has an Airdate

Nov 9th 2006

Albert Schultz and Lara Flynn Boyle are Conrad Black and

Barbara Amiel in CTV’s Shades of Black, December 4

- Schultz delivers cunning character portrait of Lord Black of Crossharbour -

- Jason Priestley co-stars as fictionalized media foe -

Toronto, ON (November 9, 2006) CTV announced today that Shades of Black, the much-anticipated original movie about Canada’s own Lord and Lady Black, will premiere Monday, December 4 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV and in High Definition on CTV HD East / West (check local listings). Shot in the fall of 2005 in Toronto and England, the timely, original Canadian drama stars acclaimed actor Albert Schultz as the legendary Conrad Black and Hollywood actress Lara Flynn Boyle as the equally notorious Barbara Amiel Black. Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills 90210) co-stars as fictionalized reporter Jeff Sargeant. Today’s announcement comes as the latest book about the headline-grabbing couple, Conrad and Lady Black: Dancing on the Edge, hits bookstores across the country this week.

** Media Note ** Download photos from Shades of Black at www.ctvmedia.ca.

Inspired by true events and based on the book by Richard Siklos, Shades of Black takes place in the Fall of 2004 before Lord Black of Crossharbour business tycoon, financier and biographer was charged with civil fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Already removed as CEO of the company he controlled, Hollinger International, Black holes up in his Toronto mansion as he copes with the personal and professional fallout from fraud allegations that surfaced a year earlier. As Conrad Black, Schultz delivers a cunning character portrait of a man who - betrayed by friends and attacked by business partners - steadfastly maintains his innocence in the face of enormous legal challenges and social exile. As Black’s glamorous second wife, Barbara Amiel, Lara Flynn Boyle portrays a woman of style and substance who unfailingly stands beside her embattled husband as he confronts the biggest challenge in his life.

Central to the two-hour movie is Black’s provocative love/hate relationship with the media, represented through fictionalized reporter Jeff Sargeant (Priestley). Through a series of flashbacks prompted by his interviews with Sargeant, Black reflects on his rise to power and fame and ultimately the events leading up to his removal as Chairman and CEO of Hollinger. The flashbacks detail his relationship with lifelong business partner and friend David Radler (Jason Schombing). At the end of the movie, the story fast forwards to September, 2005, when Black learns that Radler has pled guilty to fraud charges and agreed to cooperate with the U.S. prosecution.

Albert Schultz and Lara Flynn Boyle deliver scintillating performances as Conrad Black and Barbara Amiel, said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group. It’s a story that continues to captivate audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

Our greatest ambition for Shades of Black is to bring to our audience a spectacle of wealth, intellect and elegance with more than a little intrigue to keep it spicy, said Executive Producer Mary Young Leckie. With a gripping script and a spellbinding cast, settings from London to Toronto and Palm Beach, and a spectacular wardrobe worthy of Lady Black, Shades of Black delivers on every level.

As Conrad Black, celebrated Canadian actor Albert Schultz portrays one of Canada's most fascinating personalities. An award-winning actor, singer, writer, director and producer, he most recently won critical acclaim for his performance as Hamlet in Soulpepper Theatre Company’s 2005 production. Schultz's television credits include roles on Street Legal, Side Effects and a Gemini-nominated performance on Going Home. He became the Founding Artistic Director of the Soulpepper Theatre Company in 1998, and he is also the founding General Director of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, which opened in January of 2006.

Lara Flynn Boyle rose to fame as Donna Hayward in the popular series Twin Peaks. Her numerous television and film credits include the hit series Las Vegas, the legal drama The Practice and the box-office hit Men In Black II. Boyle is currently filming A West Texas Children’s Story alongside Val Kilmer (Déj Vu, Alexander).

Canadian-born Jason Priestley first broke hearts as Brandon Walsh in the pop-cult hit Beverly Hills 90210. His numerous television credits include the critically acclaimed Love Monkey and Tru Calling, along with Sleep Murder and Chicks with Sticks<. In 2003 Priestley appeared on the big screen in Die Mommie, Die! which premiered to great acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize Award. Priestley also co-stars in CTV’s upcoming Original Movie Luna: The Way Home>, opposite Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers).

Rounding out the cast is Amy Price Francis (Our Fathers, Cake) as Shirley Black, Conrad’s first wife; Rick Roberts (Plague City, This is Wonderland) as Conrad’s brother Monty; Michael Seater (Life with Derek) as the young Conrad; and Cedric Smith (The Company, This is Wonderland) as Conrad’s father George.

Shades of Black is a CTV Original Movie produced by Screen Door, in association with CTV. Mary Young Leckie and Heather Haldane (Spirit Bear, Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story) are Executive Producers for Screen Door. Gub Neal and Justin Thomson-Glover (Gunpowder>, Treason and Plot>) are Service Producers for U.K.-based Box TV. Shades of Black is written by Gemini award-winner Andrew Wreggitt (One Dead Indian, In the Blue Ground) and directed by Alex Chapple (Torso: The Evelyn Dick Story, Law and Order: Criminal Intent). Tim Bider (Terry>, >Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story) is Production Designer and multi award-winning René Ohashi (Shattered City, The Crossing) is cinematographer. Robin Johnston is CTV's production executive overseeing the movie. Tecca Crosby is Acting Senior Vice-President, Dramatic Programming for CTV. Susanne Boyce is President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group.

Shades of Black is the seventh original movie from CTV’s Heroes, Champions and Villains production strand that focuses on remarkable Canadian personalities, characters and stories. Previous HCV titles that have enjoyed critical and ratings success include Eight Days to Live, which attracted more viewers than any other all-Canadian CTV original movie since the advent of electronic measurement, with an average audience of 1.7 million viewers; the two-part mini-series Lives of the Saints; Terry, the story of Terry Fox’s remarkable Marathon of Hope; and The Man Who Lost Himself, the true story of football hero Terry Evanshen which was the most-watched Canadian television movie of 2005 with an audience of 1.5 million. Upcoming HCV titles slated for broadcast includes In God’s Country starring Kelly Rowan (Eight Days to Live, The O.C.) and>Luna: The Way Home.

CTV, Canada's largest private broadcaster, offers a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming. It has the number-one national newscast, CTV National News With Lloyd Robertson, and is the number-one choice for prime-time viewing. CTV owns 21 conventional television stations across Canada and has interests in 16 specialty channels, including the number-one Canadian specialty channel, TSN. CTV is owned by Bell Globemedia, Canada's premier multi-media company. More information about CTV may be found on the company website at www.ctv.ca.


» return to press list