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Billable Hours is a Canadian comedy series that was aired on Showcase from 2006 to 2008.[1] Set in the fictional Toronto law firm of Fagen & Harrison, the series focuses on three young lawyers struggling to balance their expectations of life with the difficult realities of building a career in the driven Bay Street corporate environment,[2] and engaging in immature and unprofessional behaviour to cope with the soul-crushing drudgery of working life.[3]

Billable Hours
GenreLegal drama
Comedy
Created byFabrizio Filippo
Adam Till
StarringFabrizio Filippo
Brandon Firla
Jennifer Baxter
Opening theme"Working Man"
Ending theme"Working Man" (instrumental)
Country of originCanada
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes26
Production
Executive producer(s)Frank Van Keeken
David Fortier
Ivan Schneeberg
Production location(s)Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Temple Street Productions
Shaw Media
Release
Original networkShowcase
Original releaseApril 16, 2006 –
December 3, 2008

The series was created by Adam Till, a former lawyer who quit law after becoming disillusioned with the corporate environment, and actor Fabrizio Filippo.[4]

Contents

ProductionEdit

The first season was filmed in a real Bay Street office building, in offices recently vacated by a real law firm.[5] The space was taken over by another company by the time the second season went into production, however, and with no suitable new office space available Temple Street was forced to build a new office set in its own studios.[5]

BroadcastEdit

The series debuted on Showcase in 2006, and was produced by Temple Street Productions.[1] Its first episode received what was at the time the channel's highest ratings for an original series premiere.[6] The second season premiered in April 2007,[6] and was accompanied by a 10-part webisode series entitled Billable Minutes. The third season of the show premiered in October 2008.[3]

The series ended on December 3, 2008. The series also received a second-window broadcast on the terrestrial Global television network.[7]

In Australia, the series premiered on ABC2 in August 2009, with all three seasons airing as one continuous run.[8]

AwardsEdit

At the 23rd Gemini Awards in 2008, the series received nominations for Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series for the episode "Monopoly Man", and Best Writing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series for the episode "One Hit Wonder".[9] At the 24th Gemini Awards in 2009, the series won the awards for Best Writing in a Comedy or Variety Program or Series for the episode "A Manson for All Seasons", and Best Sound in a Comedy, Variety, or Performing Arts Program or Series for the episode "Pigeon Lawyer".[10]

CastEdit

Episode listEdit

Season 1Edit

Episode Total Title Director Writer Original Airdate
1011"The Nicotine Gum"Ron OliverFabrizio Filippo, Adam TillApril 16, 2006 (2006-04-16)
Sam's high school bully, now a prominent actor, visits the firm to research a role.
1022"The Parking Spot"Adam WeissmanAdam Till, Fabrizio FilippoApril 23, 2006 (2006-04-23)
Sam and Clark battle for a parking spot while Robin has relationship troubles.
1033"The Jewish Holiday"Bradley WalshAdam Till, Fabrizio FilippoApril 30, 2006 (2006-04-30)
Sam and Clark compete for religious favouritism while Stu tries to win Robin's affection.
1044"The Jedi Mind Trick"Ron OliverFabrizio Filippo, Adam TillMay 7, 2006 (2006-05-07)
Sam uses the Jedi mind trick on his colleagues and thwarts Clark's attempts to acquire a new office chair. Robin tries to convince a partner of her worth.
1055"The Foosball"Bradley WalshAdam Till, Fabrizio FilippoMay 14, 2006 (2006-05-14)
Robin's boyfriend Tim dies before she has a chance to break-up with him. Sam and Clark convert Tim's office to host their foosball tournament -- best 50 of 99 games.
1066"The Handicapped Bathroom"Adam WeissmanFabrizio Filippo, Adam TillMay 21, 2006 (2006-05-21)
Clark convinces Sam to use the handicapped bathroom. Sam gets interrupted thinking Clark is playing a prank, in return opening the door and cursing to find out it is Fagen's young disabled nephew. Sam in return is sent to counseling on a lower floor. Fagen's nephew becomes lustful towards Robin.
1077"The Chocolate-Covered Almonds"Ron OliverAdam Till, Fabrizio FilippoMay 28, 2006 (2006-05-28)
Sam buys chocolate-covered almonds from a secretary who is selling them on behalf of her daughters fund-raiser, while constantly having to give them away due to every female co-workers astonishment towards them. Clark and Sam compete to win the affection of a Spanish custodian who is fed up of cleaning after Fagen's dog. Robin becomes worried after having a dream with a possible sexual meaning that involved Sam.
1088"The Strip Club"Bradley WalshFabrizio Filippo, Adam TillJune 4, 2006 (2006-06-04)
The mutually disliked man named Murray is new to the office. He announces he is going to be married Sam feels obligated to host a bachelor party, at the local strip club

Season 2Edit

Episode Total Title Director Writer Original Airdate
2019"Birthday Suits"Shawn ThompsonFabrizio Filippo, Adam TillApril 22, 2007 (2007-04-22)
Robin is depressed on her birthday, even after Murray throws her a surprise party. Sam loses big to Fagen in a poker game.
20210"Cancer, Baby!"Ron MurphyMatt MacLennanApril 29, 2007 (2007-04-29)
When it is rumored that Robin is pregnant, she decides to pretend that it is Clark's baby to check out the firm's maternity package. Meanwhile, Sam pretends to have cancer.
20311"15 Minutes of Shame"Paul FoxAdam Reid, Max ReidMay 6, 2007 (2007-05-06)
Sam is chosen as the legal news presenter for a business-oriented TV show. Robin is revealed to be a former movie "scream queen."
20412"Corporate Retreat"Shawn ThompsonFabrizio Filippo, Adam TillMay 13, 2007 (2007-05-13)
It's time for the firm's annual spiritual retreat.
20513"One Hit Wonder"Paul FoxAdam Reid, Max ReidMay 20, 2007 (2007-05-20)
After Clark turns a boring story of Sam's into a hit one-liner, Sam tries to do the same. Meanwhile, Robin pretends to be an alcoholic so she can use AA for networking.
20614"The Sting"Ron MurphyFabrizio Filippo, Adam TillMay 27, 2007 (2007-05-27)
Clark seeks revenge on the wasp that stung him, while Sam tries to protect it. Meanwhile, Robin uncovers a secretarial plot after declining to contribute money for a baby-shower gift.
20715"Peer Review"Chris GrismerAdam Till, Fabrizio FilippoJune 3, 2007 (2007-06-03)
Robin's displeasure at the peer review she got from Clark escalates into a prank war. Meanwhile, when Sam doesn't receive any such evaluation, he worries that he's about to be fired.
20816"Lunch Stealers"Chris GrismerSarah GlinskiJune 10, 2007 (2007-06-10)
Clark tries to find out who is stealing his lunch. Meanwhile, Robin tries to prove to Sam and Clark that she does not hate other women, and Sam loses his office to Vic.
20917"Monopoly Man, II"Thom BestMatt MacLennanJune 17, 2007 (2007-06-17)
Sam tries to motivate Clark by getting him a pet hamster, but the office is unprepared for the emotions that are released. Meanwhile, Robin tries to write a children's book.
21018"Killer Comma"David WharnsbySarah GlinskiJune 24, 2007 (2007-06-24)
A medical evaluation makes Clark think he is going to die soon. Meanwhile, while playing hide and seek in the heating vents, Sam overhears news about a problem with a major company deal.

Season 3Edit

Episode Total Title Director Writer Original Airdate
30119"My Millie For a Muffin"Thom BestFabrizio Filippo, Adam TillOctober 15, 2008 (2008-10-15)
In an effort to win a $500 bet made with Clark, Sam weasels a deal with Maxine. Clark decides that his food cravings are unbearable and hastily trades Millie for a snack. Robin finds it impossible to concentrate without the usual noises around the office.
30220"Shortstop"Don McCutcheonMark SteinbergOctober 22, 2008 (2008-10-22)
When a new firewall threatens the sanity of everyone at Fagen & Harrison, Sam befriends the I.T guys, Stacey and Keach. After discovering that she has a powerful pitch, Robin joins the firm's softball team.
30321"Lil' War Photo"Ron MurphyEmer Connon, Kyle MuirOctober 29, 2008 (2008-10-29)
After dropping Fagen's prized war photo into an aquarium, Robin attempts to remedy the situation by recreating the photo with the help of Sam. Meanwhile Clark, deals with a crisis of his own when he is exposed in the company calendar.
30422"Pigeon Lawyer"Paul FoxFabrizio Filippo, Adam TillNovember 5, 2008 (2008-11-05)
When Robin refuses to turn over a joint to Clark for his enjoyment, Clark retaliates by telling Kaplan that Robin has a drug problem. Instead of reprimanding Robin for her drug use, Kaplan mistakes Robin for a dealer, asking her to hook him up. Sam is forced to dress up in a pigeon costume for Fagen's Children's Charity.
30523"Citizen Clark"Ron MurphyFabrizio Filippo, Adam TillNovember 12, 2008 (2008-11-12)
Clark returns home from a holiday to discover that his father has entered him in the electioneering for City Council. His campaign hits a snag when his opponent starts a smear campaign. Determined to win, Clark pretends to be gay to get media attention and community support.
30624"Creepy Artwork"Chris GrismerFabrizio Filippo, Adam TillNovember 19, 2008 (2008-11-19)
After hearing that Sam wasn't happy with his office artwork, Vic generously gives him some artwork of his own, forcing Sam to feign a profound appreciation of the borrowed art. Fagen and Harrison initiates mandatory lie detector testing for all its employees, resulting in Sam and Clark learning some surprising news about Robin.
30725"A Manson For All Seasons"Shawn ThompsonAdam Reid, Max ReidNovember 26, 2008 (2008-11-26)
Tired of watching men get promoted over her, Robin invents a fictitious male lawyer, Allen McBeal. Sam is ecstatic when film producer Leonard St. Cross wants to make his movie, but has second thoughts when the film begins to move in a more adult direction.
30826"Insane in the Membrane"Fabrizio FilippoAdam Reid, Max ReidDecember 3, 2008 (2008-12-03)
Having never had the chicken pox, Clark tries desperately, and fails miserably, to quarantine himself when an outbreak reaches employees at Fagen and Harrison. Robin looks forward to the tropical vacation she's been awarded for billing the most hours at the firm, but is unpleasantly surprised when all she gets is an old fashioned roasting.

NotesEdit

  • In the opening of the episode 201, "Birthday Suits", a lawyer attempts to demonstrate the strength of the office building windows by throwing himself against one of them, but the window shatters and he falls to his death.[11] Such an incident actually took place in a Toronto law firm in 1993.[12] The plot device of falling through a shattered skyscraper window also figures prominently in the Canadian film waydowntown, starring series co-creator Fab Filippo.
  • In episode 203, "15 Minutes of Shame", it is discovered that Robin played a zombie in a low-rent horror movie. This was a joke referencing Jennifer Baxter's 2005 appearance as a zombie in George Romero's Land of the Dead.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Beppi Crosariol, "Bay Street veterans play law life for laughs". The Globe and Mail, November 9, 2005.
  2. ^ "Funny as charged: Even lawyers can laugh at these lawyer jokes". Edmonton Journal, April 16, 2006.
  3. ^ a b "Calgarian brings laughable nastiness to comedy; Billable Hours step up from actor's tree gig". Calgary Herald, October 15, 2008.
  4. ^ "When did Bay Street become a bummer?". National Post, April 17, 2006.
  5. ^ a b Jim Bawden, "Double billing in dark humour department; Billable Hours pushes envelope in Season 2". Toronto Star, April 22, 2007.
  6. ^ a b "Repatriation a boon for Billable Hours". Prince Albert Daily Herald, April 19, 2007.
  7. ^ "Global Ushers in the New Year with New Series Premieres & Returning Fan Favourites". Canada NewsWire, December 11, 2008.
  8. ^ "ABC2 Programming Airdate: Billable Hours (episode one)". ABC Television Publicity. 27 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Not just CSI: Muddy York; Gemini Awards; Murdoch Mysteries leads Canadian TV nominations". National Post, August 27, 2008.
  10. ^ "Gemini Award winners". Ottawa Citizen, November 15, 2009.
  11. ^ "Bay Street banality". The Globe and Mail, April 20, 2007.
  12. ^ "Lawyer killed in fall thought window panes shatterproof". Windsor Star, July 12, 1993.

External linksEdit