Had a nice chat this morning with Marvin Kaye, the creator and executive producer of the upcoming comedy Less Than Kind (premiering Oct. 13 on City-TV). The interview was for an upcoming Starweek cover story.
A journeyman actor before becoming a writer, Kaye has hit the lottery jackpot in Canada and he knows it. His first TV series pitch, based mainly on his own zany family experiences growing up in Winnipeg, not only got picked up (the only new scripted Canadian-produced fall series launch, at least until CTV's The Listener, a co-production with NBC, gets a start date), but it stars the great Maury Chaykin, who plays a broadly-based version of Kaye's own driver instructor dad. It's also being supervised by one of Kaye's comedy heroes, Mark McKinney (Kids in the Hall, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip). To top it all off, it is being well paired with Curb Your Enthusiasm on City's schedule.
Kaye was quick to credit the National Screen Institute's "Totally Television" mentoring program, an initiative to assist new screenwriters and producers, for helping to make Less Than Kind happen. His show, along with Global's Da Kink in My Hair and several others, got a vital boost from the NSI.
So, yeah, the NCI is one of the funding agencies hit by prime minister Stephen Harper's recent cuts to culture agencies.
"They're cutting the administration costs, which is, of course, the bread and butter of the program," says Kaye. "Without that program--which really introduced us to the networks and to our executive producers (at Breakthrough Films)--we'd be in really terrible shape."
Talk about less than kind. Hey, isn't this show creating jobs in Winnipeg?