The unlikely law-enforcement pairing of a straight-laced, by-the-book Canadian Mountie and a streetwise Chicago cop formed the premise for this very successful one-hour comedy-action series. Paul Gross played the polite, unflappable Constable Benton Fraser, and David Marciano was cast as the sharp-tongued Detective Ray Vecchio. He left after two seasons, to be replaced by Callum Keith Rennie as Detective Stanley Kowalski. Veteran Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent appeared from time to time as Fraser's dead but available-for-advice father, Sergeant Fraser, and Camilla Scott, Beau Starr and Anne Marie Loder were also featured. For many, the star of the show was the deaf, lip-reading Diefenbaker, a Siberian Husky who was Constable Fraser's faithful companion. Two different dogs, Lincoln and then Draco, played the Diefenbaker role over the four-year run of the series.
Alliance Entertainment produced the series, having enlisted participation from CBS, and after the two-hour movie pilot had had a successful airing in April 1994, Due South debuted as a series on CTV in September 1994 on Thursdays at 8:00pm, in simulcast with CBS. When the U.S. network cancelled the series after one season, CTV and Alliance kept the series going, and CBS eventually came back to reinvest in the second season. When CBS then withdrew, CTV went it alone for another two years, scheduling the program at 7:00pm on Sundays, with the 66th and final episode airing in 1998.
Written by Pip Wedge - April, 2002