Pit Pony Enters Second Season
Cochran Entertainment, producers of the popular CBC-TV prime-time series Pit Pony, is in production for a second season.
Eighteen episodes will be filmed at the Filmscape soundstage in Cape Breton from July to November, employing about 200 people including cast and crew.
During the first production season, among the longest in Nova Scotia's film and television history, 70 per cent of the cast and crew were from Cape Breton and 20 per cent from mainland Nova Scotia. Many of the Cape Breton crewmembers took part in a groundbreaking on-the-job training program with ongoing mentoring by department heads. The training helps propel Cape Bretoners into one of the fastest-growing industries in the province.
"The training program has long-term implications for the film industry in Cape Breton," said Andrew Cochran, executive producer of the family series. "A local production crew and experienced cast are very attractive to new projects, simply for the economics."
Economic Development and Tourism provided a $2.5-million loan for Pit Pony's first season and will provide another loan of $1.749 million for its second season.
"Renewal of this series is great for this industry and for the island's economy," said Manning MacDonald, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism. "Pit Pony injected $23 million into Cape Breton's economy the first time around, and its second season should result in over $17 million more."
In the second season, Pit Pony will continue to explore the life of Willie MacLean as he grows up amid the turbulent change of a new century. Both the TV series and the original triple Gemini Award-winning movie are derived from the best-selling novel of the same name by author Joyce Barkhouse.
Pit Pony stars 13-year-old Alex Wrathell from Dominion as Willie. Denny Doherty reprises his role as Charley, Willie's spiritual father and confidant, and Jennie Raymond returns as Nellie Hall, Willie's headstrong and loving older sister. Shaun Smyth plays Ned Hall, Nellie's husband and Willie's trusted friend.
Andrew Cochran, founder and CEO of Cochran Entertainment, is executive producer of the series. Stephen Reynolds (Pit Pony cycle 1 [or first season], Divine Ryans) and Michael Clattenburg (Pit Pony cycle 1, Made in Canada) return as directors, and T.C. Martin (Pit Pony movie, Pit Pony cycle 1) and Dennis Chapman (Total Recall, FX the Series) are producers of the series. Supervising producers and writers are Paul Ledoux (Pit Pony cycle 1, Dream a Little Dream) and Lori Houzer (Pit Pony cycle 1, Groundling Marsh).
Cochran Entertainment produces quality family programming with a special focus on children's series and films for which it maintains and manages world rights in all media, including television, the Internet, home video, educational materials, toys and publishing. In addition to the 44 half-hour Pit Pony series, recent productions of Cochran Entertainment include Theodore Tugboat, part of the prestigious PBS Ready to Learn block of children's programming, and the PBS series Life on the Internet. Programs produced by Cochran Entertainment are seen in more than 80 countries.