DIRECTV has acquired all three seasons of the critically acclaimed, award-winning Canadian comedy series Less Than Kind. Produced and distributed by Toronto-based Breakthrough Entertainment, the series will make its exclusive U.S. debut this fall on DIRECTV’s Audience Network, joining fellow Canadian hit Call Me Fitz as part of the network’s stable of comedy programming. UTA, on behalf of Breakthrough Entertainment, brokered the deal with DIRECTV.
The comedy-drama series follows the trials and tribulations of Sheldon Blecher (Jesse Camacho), an overweight 15-year-old with a self-destructive driving instructor father, a pyromaniac mother and a failed- actor brother who won’t get out of his room. The family business, Blecher’s Driving School, is crashing and to add insult to injury the family lives in Winnipeg. As Sheldon struggles to escape his family and his family struggles to keep the business running, cars crash, hearts break, blood pressure boils and corned beef is eaten. Less Than Kind is a smart, edgy, dysfunctional half- hour comedy that chronicle’s Sheldon’s attempts to manage his teenage years and a sharp, humorous look at the twists and turns that take place between the hugs and kisses in a “loving” family.
“DIRECTV’s Audience Network is connecting with viewers throughout the U.S. and we are proud to have Less Than Kind as an important part of its prime-time line-up,” said Nat Abraham, Vice President of Distribution for Breakthrough Entertainment.
“Clever, smart and unpredictable, Less Than Kind is a perfect fit for the Audience Network,” said Patty Ishimoto, vice president Entertainment DIRECTV and general manager of the Audience Network. “We are thrilled to add it to our line-up of comedy programming and to introduce our viewers to the eccentric members of the Blecher family.”
Entering its third season January 2012 on HBO Canada and The Movie Network Canada, Less Than Kind boasts Mark McKinney as its executive producer. The Canadian actor-comedian is best known for his memorable work on The Kids in the Hall and Saturday Night Live, before moving on to write and star in the acclaimed Canadian series Slings and Arrows.
“This really is a tradition going back to Kids in the Hall,” said McKinney. “We would write the weirdest sketch we could and then try and make it accessible to the audience. You want your characters to have afflictions and have to deal with things. In this case, our lead is overweight but the irony is that he’s carrying the burden of this tremendously dysfunctional family.”
After debuting on Canadian television in October 2008, Less Than Kind was quickly embraced by TV audiences and critics alike. In 2010, the series earned fifteen Gemini Awards, including Best Comedy Series, Best Direction, Best Writing, and Best Individual Performances. Less Than Kind also earned nine individual Canadian Comedy Awards, including Best Writing, Best Ensemble Cast and Best Individual Performance in a Comedy Series, as well as multiple Best Comedy Writing awards from the prestigious Writers Guild of Canada.
Created by Marvin Kaye and Chris Sheasgreen Less Than Kind is a production of Breakthrough Entertainment and Buffalo Gal Pictures. The series is executive produced by Ira Levy, Peter Williamson, Phyllis Laing, Mark McKinney, Marvin Kaye and Chris Sheasgreen.