PMA Productions’ Extraordinary Canadians, Returns to CBC


PMA Productions’ Extraordinary Canadians Returns to CBC


WED. JUNE 28 – 8:30pm (9 NT)
Dr. Vincent Lam on Tommy Douglas

THURS. JUNE 29 – 8:30pm (9 NT)
Daniel Poliquin on René Lévesque

SAT. JULY 1 – 6:30pm ET (3:30 PT)
André Pratte on Wilfrid Laurier


Extraordinary Canadians, the celebrated series of biographical portraits pairing Canada’s most distinguished writers with great Canadians, is back with three new episodes premiering during Canada Day week on CBC June 28 and June 29 at 8:30pm (9 NT) and July 1 at 6:30pm ET (3:30 PT).

Biographies with a point of view, Extraordinary Canadians is an innovative series providing a personal take on the lives of eminent Canadians from the perspective of celebrated writers who have themselves shaped contemporary thinking. Produced by PMA Productions, the series is adapted from the best-selling Penguin Random House Canada book series of the same name, edited by John Ralston Saul.


Wednesday, June 28 – 8:30pm (9 NT): DR. VINCENT LAM ON TOMMY DOUGLAS

Preacher, boxer and devout social activist, Tommy Douglas is lauded for establishing many social programs that have come to define Canada, most notably, the universal healthcare system. Vincent Lam brings his unique spin to the world of Tommy Douglas from the eyes of a medical doctor working within the system Tommy established. This episode was directed by Adrian Wills.

Thursday, June 29 – 8:30pm (9 NT): DANIEL POLIQUIN ON RENÉ LÉVESQUE

As the founder and leader of the Party Quebecois, René Lévesque made an instrumental contribution to the Quebec and Canadian identity: egalitarian, inclusive and fair. Translator, political essayist and author Daniel Poliquin, a great admirer of Lévesque, while critical of some of his ideas, believes Lévesque’s successes have made Quebec and Canada a better place. This episode was directed by Karen Cho.

Saturday, July 1 – 6:30pm ET (3:30 PT): ANDRÉ PRATTE ON WILFRID LAURIER

Wilfrid Laurier governed Canada at a pivotal time in our history and was the calm center of many political storms. The first French Canadian Prime Minister, Laurier was the pioneer of Canadian nationalism, helped create peaceful co-existence between French and English Canadians, through compromise and patience. André Pratt is a political writer, journalist and federalist thinker; he brings Laurier’s forgotten ideas into focus and demonstrates how they laid the foundations for modern Canada. This episode was directed by Karen Cho.


“This remarkable series has been a decade in the making – from the first seed of the idea to now,” says Kenneth Hirsch, Producer, PMA Productions. “There has been nothing quite like it before – a collection of biographies conceived simultaneously for books, television, print, and digital media. It has been an incredible experience teaming up with Random House Penguin, John Ralston Saul, Canada’s best writers and the country’s most creative filmmakers to craft an innovative television series that will remain relevant for years to come. I am thrilled to present more episodes of this dramatic and engaging take on our recent history, to Canadians across the country.”

Unique among television biography series, Extraordinary Canadians captures the relationship between writer and subject that lies at the heart of the biography process, and probes the distinctive link between the two.  Each episode presents insights into the lives of both biographer and subject, as each writer chronicles the life of a great Canadian from whom they have themselves drawn inspiration.

About PMA Productions:

Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, PMA Productions Inc. was founded in 2004 by Kenneth Hirsch, and has since gained an international reputation for the production of prestigious film, television, and digital media content. An independent company, PMA Productions works with Canada’s most talented creators to produce entertaining and provocative programming for audiences in Canada and abroad. Its programs have aired around the world, in multiple languages, on CBC/Radio-Canada, Discovery Television, PBS, ZDF, Channel 4, TV5, Canal D, Explora, City TV, the Biography Channel, and iTunes. PMA has its first scripted series, 21 Thunder, an 8×1-hour serial drama for television, which debuts this summer on CBC and will be made available internationally through Content, a Kew Media Company.

About Penguin:

Penguin Random House Canada is the Canadian division of Penguin Random House, the world’s most global trade book publisher, which was formed on July 1, 2013. Penguin Random House comprises the adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing businesses of Penguin and Random House in Canada in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa, and Penguin’s trade publishing activity in Asia and Brazil. Penguin Random House Canada is comprised of Penguin Canada and Random House of Canada, trade publishers and distributors of books from their sister imprints in the U.S. and the U.K.