CBC is bringing the buzzy and critically acclaimed Blackberry to wide audiences across Canada.
On Thursday 9 November the limited series will air on CBC Gem and CBC TV. This extended three-part CBC original series brings new, never-before-seen footage. On 9 November, all three episodes will be available to stream for free on CBC Gem. Then beginning that evening, a new episode will air weekly on CBC TV at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT).
From Rhombus Media and Zapruder Films, Blackberry is director and co-writer Matt Johnson’s (Nirvanna the Band the Show) riotous take on the essential Canadian story of the two men who charted the course of the spectacular rise and catastrophic demise of the world’s first smartphone, starring Jay Baruchel (This Is The End) and Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia).
History of Smartphones
CBC will also be hosting a BlackBerry Museum pop-up to celebrate the extended three-part series premiere, running during mall hours from Wednesday, November 8 through Friday, November 10 at the CF Toronto Eaton Centre (Albert’s Way entrance). The museum will chart the journey of the once-popular phone with displays featuring photos and props from the series, as well as BlackBerry photo opportunities and a nostalgia-inducing BBM type-off challenge with prizes. The activation was planned by Initiative Media and produced by Makers.
Blackberry tells the story of tech wizard Mike Lazaridis (Baruchel) and cunning businessman Jim Balsillie (Howerton). Seemingly overnight, the duo revolutionized the way people work, communicate and connect. Millions of people around the world became addicted to their BlackBerrys and the company completely dominated the market. That is, until some shady business dealings, personal grievances, and, perhaps most dangerously, the iPhone, devastated the company’s incredible success.
The series also stars Johnson, as Mike’s friend and business partner Doug Fregin, Cary Elwes (Saw), Saul Rubinek (Hunters), Rich Sommer (Mad Men), Martin Donovan (Tenet, Big Little Lies), and Michael Ironside (Total Recall).
Adapted by Johnson and Matthew Miller from bestselling book Losing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, BLACKBERRY originated at CBC, where Losing the Signal was optioned and developed over the course of four years as a three-part series and feature film. The film had its world premiere at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival. Blackberry was released theatrically in Canada on May 12. It will air on CBC Gem and CBC TV in 2024.
Johnson, Miller, Niv Fichman, Fraser Ash and Kevin Krikst executive produce the series. Executive Producers also include Noah Segal and Adrian Love from Elevation Pictures and Nate Bolotin, Aram Tertzakian, Nick Spicer and Maxime Cottray from XYZ Films. Jay McCarrol and Robert Upchurch are Co-Executive Producers. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports; Trish Williams is Executive Director, Scripted Content; Sarah Adams is Director of Current Production, Drama; and Gosia Kamela is Executive in Charge of Production. BLACKBERRY is an Elevation Pictures, XYZ Films and Telefilm Canada presentation of a CBC Original. It is produced with the participation of Ontario Creates, in association with IPR.VC and the Canada Media Fund.