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"Squad cast gets cold shoulder"
by Claire Bickley
The Toronto Sun
26 May 1999

Canadian crime drama Cold Squad will start its third season with a whopping body count this fall. The CTV series has dropped almost all of its core cast.

Only Julie Stewart, who stars as Sgt. Ali McCormick, and Jay Brazeau, whose character leads a forensic unit, have dodged the axe.

Michael Hogan, who plays McCormack's partner, is gone after the first two fall episodes, as is Peter Wingfield, who plays the inspector on the police team that investigates old, unsolved murders. Also dropped as regulars are actors Joy Tanner, Paul Coeur, Hiro Kanagawa, Linda Ko, Lori Triolo and Bob Frazer, co-creator and executive producer Matt MacLeod confirmed yesterday.

"It's tough. We made some difficult decisions," said MacLeod.

"It was not fun at all," he said. "I was a cop for 30 years and I had to tell a lot of people a lot of bad news. I thought I was getting away from all that."

Emily Of New Moon actor Stephen McHattie will join Cold Squad as a police detective, and casting continues for three other new lead characters. The aim is to attract a younger audience, more male viewers and to revitalize the series, MacLeod said.

"We're trying to shake it up," he said. "We're trying to do it in an interesting way, though. No one walks in with a machine gun and kills everyone the first episode."

Storylines will also expand by making the Vancouver Cold Squad part of a Canada-wide network of investigators and by focusing more on the cops' personal lives.

Cold Squad has a 13-episode order from CTV. It airs in Europe now and is on the verge of a syndication deal to the U.S.

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