Life with Derek
Life with Derek is a Canadian television sitcom that aired on Family Channel (English) and VRAK.TV (French) in Canada and on Disney Channel in the United States. The series premiered on Family on September 18, 2005, and ran for four seasons, ending its run on March 25, 2009. Reruns aired on Family Channel and multiplex sister channel Family Chrgd until September 2016. The series stars Michael Seater and Ashley Leggat as the two oldest children in a stepfamily.
|Life with Derek|
|Created by||Daphne Ballon|
|Developed by||Daphne Ballon|
|Theme music composer||Gary Koftinoff and|
|Opening theme||"Livin' Life with Derek",|
sung by Cheyenne Twiner of Uncensored, performed by Gary Koftinoff
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||70 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||Daphne Ballon|
|Camera setup||Film; Single-camera|
|Running time||24 minutes|
|Production companies||Shaftesbury Films|
Pope Productions (season 1)
|Original network||Family Channel|
|Original release||September 18, 2005 –|
March 25, 2009
|Followed by||Vacation with Derek |
(2010 TV movie)
It ended having aired 70 episodes, and was followed by one spin-off television film, entitled Vacation with Derek, which was filmed in northern Ontario in fall 2009, and it aired on Family Channel on June 25, 2010.
On May 12, 2020, Shaftesbury Films announced that a spinoff series set 15 years later, titled Life with Luca, was in development.
George Venturi (John Ralston), a divorced man from London, Ontario who had custody of his three children from a previous marriage: sons Derek (Michael Seater) and Edwin (Daniel Magder), and daughter Marti (Ariel Waller), marries a divorced woman named Nora McDonald (Joy Tanner), who has two daughters of her own from a previous marriage: Casey (Ashley Leggat) and Lizzie (Jordan Todosey). Up until that point, Casey was perfectly content with her life. Growing up as the oldest child in a household in Toronto with only her mother and sister had suited her well and brought her up as a self-sufficient and independent young woman.
After George and Nora's marriage, the McDonalds moved in with the Venturis in London, Ontario. Casey was originally upset about having to move to London, Ontario from Toronto, a much bigger city (as shown in the episode "How I Met Your Stepbrother"), for many reasons including Derek, but she eventually got over her own problems and agreed to move there for Nora and George's sake once she saw how much they cared for each other.
Cast and characters
- Ashley Leggat as Cassandra "Casey" McDonald, the oldest daughter. She is idealistic and independent, as well as academically ambitious. She has a Type A personality, being very particular about her academics and frequently studies in advance and never accepted poor grades. Casey is a Straight A student. She frequently clashes with Derek because of their conflicting personalities and because of their roles as the oldest children in the household. She loves to dance and compete in jazz dance competitions. She is also a cheerleader at some point in the show. She eventually got into Queen's University along with Derek. In the film Vacation with Derek, it is revealed that Casey will double major in English and Economics.
- Michael Seater as Derek Venturi, the oldest clueless child and the titular "Derek" of the series. Unlike Casey, he is lax-mannered and somewhat underhanded about achieving his goals and excelling in his academics, though is not entirely unkind. Derek is a straight-D student. It is shown that he has a bond with Marti because he calls her "Smarti" and she calls him "Smerek". However, he enjoys annoying and pulling pranks on Casey. Derek has his own band called D-Rock in which he plays guitar. In the final season, he receives admission to Queen's University along with Casey.
- Jordan Todosey as Elizabeth "Lizzie" McDonald, Casey's tomboyish younger sister and her "sidekick". She usually sides with Casey, though as a middle child, finds common ground with Edwin. She is very patient and gives in to things her sister says very easily. She also likes to do sports such as soccer, gymnastics, and Taekwondo.
- Daniel Magder as Edwin Venturi, Derek's younger brother. He looks up to Derek and is Derek's frequent accomplice in various schemes. He sometimes likes to stand up to Derek but then eventually backs down feeling weak.
- Ariel Waller as Martina "Marti" Venturi, the youngest of the Venturi children. As the youngest child, she enjoys attention from everyone in the family and can be swayed both ways in McDonald-Venturi conflicts, but can easily and rebelliously not to agree with anyone as well.
- Simon McDonald Venturi - Derek, Casey, Lizzie, Edwin, and Marti's half brother and the newest addition to the family. Nora is surprised to discover that she's pregnant with Simon at the end of the series. He had his debut in the film Vacation with Derek. He is only shown in the film, so he did not have a role in the TV series. Simon is the only biological child of Nora and George.
- Joy Tanner as Nora McDonald Venturi, the mother of Casey, Lizzie, and Simon and the stepmother of Derek, Edwin, and Marti. She works as a window treatment specialist and was recently married to a lawyer named Dennis.
- John Ralston as George Venturi, the father of Derek, Edwin, Marti, and Simon and the stepfather of Casey and Lizzie. He works as a lawyer and was recently married to a marine biologist named Abby.
- Shadia Simmons as Emily Davis, Casey's best friend and next door neighbor who had a crush on Derek. She dated Sheldon Shlepper who moved to Newfoundland. She and Derek went on a date once, but decided it wouldn't work out when Derek admits he only asked her out to bother Casey. However, they began to date again after Derek realized he did like her and asks her to the prom. She often tries to help Casey become more popular at school, helps her fit in and helps her figure out boys along the way. According to Casey, she has a "lighthearted way of dealing with Casey's many problems". She started dating Derek in the episode "Surprise", but they broke up, since Derek took interest in Roxy.
- Arnold Pinnock as Paul Greebie, Casey's guidance counselor. She constantly goes to him for advice when she gets stressed; however he usually asks questions so that Casey can figure out her problem on her own. She will ask him questions and then immediately answer them herself. His last appearance is in the episode "Futuritis".
- Kit Weyman as Samuel "Sam" Richards, Derek's best friend and Casey's first crush since she moved in with the Venturis. After receiving Derek's permission, they begin dating in the episode "Male Code Blue". After breaking up numerous times, they call it quits in the episode "Middle Manic", but decide to stay friends in the episode "Battle of the Bands" when Casey becomes the lead singer of Derek's band.
- Lauren Collins as Kendra, popular girl, friend of Casey's and Derek's ex-girlfriend after the episode "Misadventures in Babysitting". She still has a major crush on Derek, and she attempts reuniting with him in "Just Friends".
- Robbie Amell as Max Miller, the school's quarterback and Casey's boyfriend beginning in "Misadventures in Babysitting". He dated the head cheerleader Amy before asking Casey out. They broke up in the episode "Allergy Season". Casey wanted to get back together with him in the episode "Two Kisses, One Party", but he had already moved on.
- Shane Kippel as Ralph Papadapolis, one of Derek's friends and fellow band member. In season 4, Ralph harbors a crush on Casey.
- William Greenblatt as Sheldon Schlepper. He dated Emily. He is currently living in Newfoundland. All of his siblings have once been class president except him.
- Keir Gilchrist as Jamie, Lizzie's best friend who harbors a crush on her.
- Kate Todd as Sally, Derek's co-worker who starts to like him after breaking up with ex-boyfriend, Patrick. With some interference and planning from Casey and Nora, they finally begin to date. Sally and Derek break up after Sally decides to go to UBC, get back together soon afterward, and then break up for good when Sally actually goes to Vancouver.
- Joe Dinicol as Truman French, a new boy in school that Casey has recurring dreams about. Casey denies her feelings for him, but in the end, finally agrees to date him. Truman first appeared in "6½". They agree to go with each other in "No More Games" and they start going out in the episode "Teddy's Back". They break up in the episode "Truman's Last Chance" because Casey sees Truman being kissed by Vicki and think it's vice versa. Casey was upset, but she reunites with Truman at the prom, and they reconciled in "Surprise;" however, they broke up.
- Alex House as Trevor, a "punk" boy who goes to Casey's school. Derek bets Casey she can't get him to ask her out, and Casey takes the bet, soon developing a crush on him. She loses the bet after telling him about it after Derek interferes and makes her feel guilty for lying to him. She finds out Trevor was only hanging out with her because he had a crush on Emily, but the two stay friends.
- Adam Butcher as Noel Covington, an "artistic" boy who Casey befriends when he auditions for the lead role in a play on a dare, and, surprisingly, gets it, which leads him to co-star with Casey. He develops a crush on her. In the episode "Just Friends", Casey begins hanging out with him to prove to Derek that a guy and a girl can be friends, but it backfires when Noel thinks Casey asked him out on a date. He returns for his role in the episode "Just Friends" one last time before the end of the series.
- Hannah Lochner as Michelle, who first appears at Lizzie and Edwin's birthday party and becomes Edwin's girlfriend after kissing him there. Although she only appears in three episodes, she is often mentioned.
- Sarah Gadon, later Paula Brancati as Victoria "Vicki", Casey and Lizzie's cousin from Toronto. She and Casey appear to be friendly but turn tense when Casey and Derek volunteer to organize the wedding reception of Vicki's mother, and Casey later finds out that Derek and Vicki made out when nobody else was aware.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||September 18, 2005||January 22, 2006|
|2||13||July 1, 2006||December 15, 2006|
|3||26||May 11, 2007||July 5, 2008|
|4||18||July 19, 2008||March 25, 2009|
|Series finale||June 25, 2010|
Life with Derek and another Canadian sitcom, Naturally, Sadie, were both added to Disney Channel in the United States in 2005. In June 2007, Naturally, Sadie was pulled from the channel, but Life with Derek was left on. Though many episodes were originally broadcast on Family in Canada, Disney often advertised the episodes as being new episodes (though they were only first-run broadcasts in the United States). Life with Derek has not aired on the Disney Channel since January 2, 2010, but reruns continued to air on Family, Family CHRGD until September 2016, and VRAK.TV in Canada.
The first two seasons were added to CBC Gem on December 26, 2019. The remaining episodes launched February 14, 2020.
|Season||Release date||Ep #||Additional information||Bonus Features|
|Season 1||United States/Canada: October 1, 2008||13||This two disc box set includes all 13 episodes from Season 1.||
|Season 2||United States/Canada: August 11, 2009||13||This two disc box set includes all 13 episodes from Season 2.||
|Season 3||United States/Canada: March 23, 2010||26||This three disc box set includes all 26 episodes from Season 3.||
Awards and nominations
- 2009 - Television Series - Family (Nominated)
- 2007 - Television Series - Family (Nominated)
- 2006 - Outstanding Television Series - Family (Nominated)
- 2009 - Best Children's or Youth Fiction Program or Series (Won)
- 2009 - Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series - Michael Seater (Won)
- 2009 - Best Writing in a Children's or Youth Program or Series - Jeff Biederman for episode "Just Friends" (Nominated)
- 2008 - Best Original Music Score for a Program or Series - Gary Koftinoff for episode "Fright Night" (Nominated)
- 2008 - Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series - Ashley Leggat
- 2007 - Most Popular Website
- 2007 - Best Cross-Platform Project (Nominated)
- 2006 - Best Original Music Score for a Dramatic Series (Nominated)
- 2006 - Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series (Nominated)
- 2006 - Youth (Won)
- 2008 - Best Performance in a TV Series: Supporting Young Actor - Daniel Magder (Nominated)
- 2007 - Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) - Leading Young Actor - Michael Seater (Nominated)
- 2007 - Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) - Leading Young Actress - Ashley Leggat (Nominated)
- 2007 - Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) - Supporting Young Actor - Daniel Magder (Nominated)
- 2007 - Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) - Young Actress Age Ten or Younger - Ariel Waller (Nominated)
- 2006 - Best Young Ensemble Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) - Ashley Leggat, Daniel Magder, Michael Seater, Jordan Todosey, Ariel Waller (Nominated)
- "Pack your bags! 'Vacation with Derek' is now in production" (Press release). Family Channel and Shaftesbury Films. September 16, 2009 – via CNW A PR Newswire Company.
- "SHAFTESBURY KIDS EXPANDS DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION SLATE AND COMMENCES VIRTUAL WRITING ROOMS FOR FOUR NEW SERIES" (Press release). TV, Eh?. May 12, 2020. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
- "New television series to be filmed in province". Executive Council, Tourism, Culture and Recreation, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. July 16, 2004.
- "What's coming to CBC Gem in December 2019". CBC.ca. December 2, 2019. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
- "What's coming to CBC Gem in February 2020". CBC.ca. January 31, 2020. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
- "Life with Derek - The Complete 1st Season". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2009-08-01.
- "Life with Derek - The Complete 2nd Season". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2009-08-05.
- "Life with Derek - The Complete 3rd Season". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2010-05-04.
- "Life with Derek - Let the Games Begin!". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on 2009-08-01.
- "2007 Directors Guild of Canada Awards Nominations" (Press release). The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC). August 13, 2007 – via CNW A PR Newswire Company.