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Jason Priestley on His New Show as an Antidote to Dark TV, and Why He Didn’t Want to Revisit ‘90210’ — Turn It On Podcast

Priestley plays an ex-pro hockey player who becomes an unlikely private investigator in the Ion drama "Private Eyes." (Yes, it's named after the song.)

Us Actor Jason Priestley Poses During a Photocall For the Tv Series 'Private Eyes' at the International Audiovisual and Digital Content Market Miptv 2016 Held at the Festival Palace in Cannes France 04 April 2016 the Miptv Which Runs From 04 to 07 April is One of the World's Leading International Trade Events Dedicated to International Television Programs and to Digital Content and Interactive Entertainment For All Platforms France CannesFrance Media Miptv Fair - Apr 2016

Jason Priestley

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Don’t ask Jason Priestley about a “Beverly Hills, 90210” reboot. For one thing, it has already been done: The second “90210” aired on The CW from 2008 to 2013. And although Priestley returned to direct, he wasn’t interested in reviving his character and appearing on camera.

“I couldn’t figure out a reason why Brandon would still be hanging around there,” Priestley told IndieWire’s Turn It On. “He left. I couldn’t figure out why.”

Priestley has worked on plenty of TV and film since the O.G. “90210,” including series like “Tru Calling,” “Call Me Fitz” and “Haven.” But he’s also now a prolific director, working on both comedies like “Working the Engels” but also sci-fi shows like “Van Helsing” and “Dark Matter.”

Now he’s back on TV as the star of “Private Eyes,” a fun, light hearted procedural mystery drama from Canada that has made its way across the border on Ion.

IndieWire’s Turn It On recently sat down with Priestley to discuss what drew him to the show, which he also executive produces, and how it’s also a bit of a love letter to Canada. Listen below!

Jason Priestley and Cindy Sampson, “Private Eyes”

Ion

Priestley plays Matt Shade, a retired hockey player looking for a new career when he meets struggling private investigator Angie Everett (Cindy Sampson). Through their new partnership, they investigate high-stakes crimes, while Shade struggles to cope with where life has taken him.

As a Canadian native, Priestley grew up playing hockey, so the role of Shade isn’t much of a stretch.

“I played hockey my whole life until my ambition outstripped my ability, which happens to most Canadians around 15 or 16 years old,” he said.

“Private Eyes” has already aired two seasons in Canada, where it airs on Global. Ion has acquired all 20 episodes for its initial U.S. run. Priestley said he sees the show as counterprogramming to the darker dramas now dominating TV.

“We have a great opportunity to fill some of the other lanes that people want to see,” he said. “Our show definitely fills one of those lanes, a show that is a blue sky show. We solve a mystery every week. It’s like a ‘Moonlighting’ or a ‘Remington Steele.”

“Private Eyes” airs Sundays on Ion.

Michael Schneider and Jason Priestley

IndieWire

IndieWire’s “TURN IT ON with Michael Schneider” is a weekly dive into what’s new and what’s now on TV — no matter what you’re watching or where you’re watching it. With an enormous amount of choices overwhelming even the most sophisticated viewer, “TURN IT ON” is a must-listen for TV fans looking to make sense of what to watch and where to watch it.

Be sure to subscribe to “TURN IT ON” on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every week.

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