Interview | Fred Ewanuick, Dan for Mayor

Dan for Mayor‘s second season – which premiered Sunday, June 5 at 7:30 PM ET – mirrors Dan Phillips’ run for the mayorship of Wessex, Ontario.  Dan didn’t really “win” the election so much as survive it.  Dan for Mayor‘s second season is the result of an almost-across-the-board renewal of CTV’s 2010-11 output, as DfM‘s mid-season decline didn’t do the show any favours.

Fred Ewanuick is a survivor himself.  The Vancouver native is best known for playing Hank Yarbo on Corner Gas (2004-09.)  For three seasons, he was Nick Papathanasiou on CTV’s Robson Arms (2005-08.)  Regardless of what one thinks of Dan for Mayorthe show splitting off into “good” and “shit” camps, with little inbetween – Ewanuick deserves his Dan for Mayor starring role.  Given his early background and acting career, Ewanuick’s taken the long road to television infamy.

Ewanuick was reached by phone through the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, Ontario, on Saturday, June 4.

So, what should fans expect from Dan for Mayor, Season Two?

I kinda describe Season One as a thirteen-part pilot…Season Two, we’re kinda in the world of Dan for Mayor.  It’s more episodic, and Dan, he’s obviously now the mayor [of Wessex.]  It’s Dan trying to prove to everybody he can be mayor, and himself and other people are kinda getting in his way causing trouble, and him having to fix the circumstances he gets into.

Now the show, I remember it debuted with I think was around two million [viewers?]


And the [viewership has] levelled off to around five hundred thousand around the end of the season.

I think we had a big drop…the first few episodes weren’t so bad of a drop, and then we got shifted around a bit, and really dropped.  As the season went on, towards the end, we started picking up numbers again.

How do you think the show will do, though, in the second season?

Yeah, I have no idea.  It’s hard to tell.  You just…you can’t control that.  We do our bit, and CTV promotes the show as they see fit, and then you go from there.  To be completely honest, a summer launch we know isn’t ideal.  We all are aware of that, but CTV has given us a pretty good slot.  If you’re going to go in the summer, Sunday is probably the best day to go for a comedy.  To be following The Big Bang Theory, we really shouldn’t have too many excuses.  That’s going to be a really good lead-in to us.

It’s a fairly good summer for Canadian television, though.  Single White Spenny and The Yard are debuting…

Which one?

The Yard.  That would be the [HBO Canada] show.

I’m a little out of the loop.  My wife and I gave up cable this year.

Oh, did you?

Being here in Toronto, I’m just starting to get up to speed.

What is it like working with people like Mary Ashton [who plays Claire Kendall] and Paul Bates [Jeff]?

It’s great.  Those guys, we get along really well, for one thing, which makes it nice.  You can joke around, and nobody’s worried about screwing up a scene or something, ’cause they know nobody’s going to get upset at them.  We’ve been hanging out since I’ve been here [in Toronto.]

It’s really fun hanging out with these guys, so when you go to work with people you really like, it’s great.  After the first season, I was pretty sure that I was in good company…if I wasn’t funny, those guys would be funny.

How were the CTV upfronts this year?  Did you attend them?

I did!  We were there, and it looked all impressive.  They have a big, huge, strong American lineup that should do them really well…it’s all glitz and glam, and “hey, you know, buy our time ’cause we’re awesome.”

So, what about the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

Ha, ha!  I’ll get to see it tonight.  I saw the last game.  I don’t know if you know, I come from Vancouver, so I’ve been a Canucks fan my entire life.  It’s pretty exciting right now.  Are you from here?

I’m actually from Stirling, Ontario.

Are you a [Toronto Maple] Leafs fan?  Do you follow hockey?

I don’t really follow hockey all that much anymore.


When I lived in Ottawa, I changed allegiances from Leafs to Senators.  I mean, the Leafs are the Leafs.  If they find a way to screw up, they will.

The Canucks have been like that for years, too.  One of the CBC commentators was making a comment on this one game.  The fans were really quiet, it was a one-goal game or something, and so he was kinda slagging the fans.  I was doing an interview on TSN Radio.  I was trying to explain, “like, you don’t understand, we’ve had years of disappointment.  When things aren’t looking good, we start getting nervous.”

Even with the Senators, you had the team that was out of the playoffs [two years] after [they appeared in] the Stanley Cup Finals.  You start to get the whole San Jose Sharks choke team [feeling.]

We’ve been through that, too.  It’s frustrating.  What can you do?  Not watch, I guess.

How do you feel about CTV greenlighting two pilots?  There was a TV movie (The Horses of McBride), I mentioned that.  They’ve basically renewed…well, I don’t want to say the entire slate.  The Bridge is gone.

I think they renewed The Listener and Flashpoint.  I don’t know about the two new pilots.  I’m not sure which ones those are.

Saving Hope and Stay with Me.

And are those dramas, or…?

Yeah, they would be dramas.

That’s good they’re still making Canadian stuff…probably since they have to, but I don’t know.  With the new changeover at Bell [Media], I can’t say ’cause I don’t have a feel for this new team coming in.  I’m not sure what their objectives are, or their desires, so it’s really hard to comment.

Obviously, I hope we get renewed.  You just kinda hope for a fair shake.  In Season One, it was really tough ’cause [Dan for Mayor] started getting jumped around, and we were up against hockey playoffs.  I’m not trying to sound like I’m making excuses, but when you consider all the things that were going on, I thought the fact that we held a pretty good, solid average – all things considered, that’s a good indication that there’s potential for the show.

I’m hoping, obviously, that we can manage better numbers this year.  I think the show’s better this year.  I know the show’s better this year.  In all honesty, I think [CTV’s] giving us a pretty fair shake at the can right here, now.  They’ve guaranteed us we’re not going to move around.  We’re going to stay on that timeslot for the entire run.  Like I said, [CTV] gave us a good lead-in, and we’re squished between [The Big Bang Theory] and Hot in Cleveland.

We’re sandwiched between two shows that perform pretty solid.  With our shows being better, I anticipate the numbers to be better.  I’d be surprised if they’re not.  Hopefully, that’s enough to get another season, and I think we can improve Dan for Mayor even more.

C. Archer
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