STRANGE EMPIRE DEBUTS ON LIFETIME NETWORK – Rise of the Women

Strange Empire, the celebrated Western series that ran for one season on CBC, has found a second life. The Lifetime Network is set to debut the show this coming Friday, May 29th at 9E/8C. With a new series tagline, “Rise of the Women”, Strange Empire is well-matched to the programming of Lifetime, which focuses upon women and importantly, women in lead roles.

Set in the 1869 border region of Montana and Alberta, the show’s leading characters are three quite different but strong women. Cara Gee plays Kat Loving, a Métis woman from Red River country (today’s Manitoba). Melissa Farman is Rebecca Blithely, a socially-awkward but intelligent and medically-skilled girl from the East. The third lead female character is Isabelle Slotter, played by Tattiawna Jones; Slotter is ambitious wife to coal mine & brothel owner John Slotter (Aaron Poole). Following a series of events in the first episode, Loving and Blithely are thrust into “Janestown”, the community run by the Slotters.  Cara Gee as Kat Loving / Image: mylifetime.com

Strange Empire will be delivered by Lifetime’s sister network LMN. The exposure the series will be given in the US is significant – some 82 million American households currently have access to LMN. Consider that the entire population of Canada, where the series was created and filmed, is only about 36 million! Further information about the show on LMN and a preview video can be found at Strange Empire on LMN. The preview is well-edited and features the powerfully moody track “Until We Go Down” by Ruelle.

This writer is pleased to see the series now reach a larger and new audience. Strange Empire adds to the important discussion of the process by which the North American West was settled by non-Indigenous peoples and does so within a dramatic framework featuring strong acting and layered writing. Further issues highlighted by the show include Indigenous rights, race relations, and expectations about gender.

As previously shared, as a college instructor, I can relay that within the Western genre classes I teach, college students, particularly young women, have been excited to learn about a show that features strong, independent, and complicated female characters. Regardless of gender, the series has expanded the idea for many as to what a Western can be. It will be interesting to track US audience reaction to the show to see if the same support emerges, as in Canada, for continuance of the series beyond the first season (CBC chose not to renew the show). Also, this writer is curious as to whether LMN’s showing of Strange Empire will debut any new arrangement of episodes or include previously-cut scenes.

Strange Empire on LMN will debut May 29th with two back-to-back episodes (1&2). Each Friday afterwards will be a single one-hour episode. UPDATE: To read the Westernsreboot.com review of the first two episodes, visit E1 Review &  E2 Review. This site has also reviewed each episode of the complete first season – to read those reflections after viewing an episode, visit the chronological listing at Season 1 Review List.

(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)

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50 thoughts on “STRANGE EMPIRE DEBUTS ON LIFETIME NETWORK – Rise of the Women

  1. Pingback: MOST WANTED – THE TOP TEN ON WESTERNSREBOOT – 2014 to 2015 | westernsreboot

  2. If they keep taking all the good movies off like strange empire, hell on wheels, longmire and others im gonna cry. Boo hoo!!!

    • Thanks for the time of a visit & comment, Katherine. I’m guessing you likely know that Longmire has been picked up by Netflix for its 4th season (later this year) and that the fifth & final season of Hell on Wheels will actually be delivered over the next two years (7 episodes each year). So, hopefully that will help with any withdrawal. 😉

      Cheers,
      Chad

    • I’m with you Katherine – I am NOT a fan of Hell On Wheels although hubby is…but I JUST found Strange Empire – and I LOVE it…dark, rich, totally different angle coming from these really well thought out & acted women…the men are all, well…never mind – – Is there ANY chance that LMN would do additional seasons? Have you heard anything at all?

      • Thanks for the visit, and I’m glad you have discovered and enjoy Strange Empire. At present, I have not read/heard of any Season 2 for the series – I will track and post any developments. To my mind, it could take a Netflix-like level of support to re-start the show and it is disappointing that it was abandoned by the original carrier, CBC, after only one season.

  3. Pingback: STRANGE EMPIRE DEBUTS ON LIFETIME NETWORK – Rise of the Women | CopperLeaf Treasures

  4. This show was a quality series and the only one on Lifetime that was worth watching. I am so disappointed to hear that there are no plans for a second season. It appears that Lifetime is more dedicated to airing boring and predictable movies and shows that appeal to the teenage viewers.

    • Hello Marilyn and Ana….thank you for your respective visits and comments. As of the time of this reply, I still have not read/heard of any Season 2 for the series (with any network) – I intend to do some further investigation this month and will track and post any developments.

      Thanks,
      Chad

      • Binge watching Strange Empire now on Netflix…this show is too good to be cancelled seriously…someone has to pick this up…I think Netflix would be a great place for this series to continue….how can we rally and get this show back on the air !

      • Thanks for the visit, Kymberly. I would surmise that many supporters have been actively contacting such networks as Netflix to let them know there is an audience for the series. 😉
        Cheers,
        Chad

    • Haven’t heard that they are, but we can only hope. What a shame that quality shows keep getting canceled. In a culture with all these horrible reality shows, what else can we expect.

  5. Another awesome series bites the dust. Strange Empire is amazing and has action, drama, romance and a whole lot more. I hope a second season shows up since I was hooked by just the first episode.

  6. Really enjoyed strange empire. They really need to do a season 2.and 3. I’m really hooked. I, also agree that there are too many reality shows on TV. I don’t care for them at all.

    • It’s amazing to me what some people call entertainment. Yes, I am being judgmental when a quality show like Strange Empire is canceled, and so many absolutely horrible shows continue to air. Maybe it’s the strong female characters that people don’t like. That would be unfortunate. The main female leads are all interesting in their own way. Let’s hope Netflix or some other network like LMN will step up.

  7. I will reiterate what has already been stated. Strange Empire is an amazing show and I am disappointed that they are not going to continue with a 2nd and 3rd season. I am also a fan of Longmire and look forward to seeing the next season on Netflix. I hope they will pick up Strange Empire for a Season two also!!!

  8. Pingback: THE ECHO OF STRANGE EMPIRE | westernsreboot

  9. Yes, please do keep us posted and I’ll be emailing both Netflix and LMN to try to encourage them to keep the show coming!!! I’m totally distraught over having binge watched it and now finding out there’s no more!!! 😦

  10. My family watched a few episodes together and all became hooked. I am 49 and my children range in ages from 29 down to 18. My husband even binge watched all 13 episodes in 2 days, a man who is no frequently interested in series, especially not a series on LMN. This is why we all use ROKUs for our television viewing and all subscribe to Netflix. Were it not for these services we would have missed out on many quality shows. Please, lst there be a second season….Netflix, do what you do and make this an exclusive. It was well written, had good acting, and appealed to a broad audience. I cannot understand why networks cancels ahows like this and keep rubbish.

  11. I’m almost too picky for tv. There is so much garbage out there these days. Strange Empire was one of the very few shows (ever) to keep me hooked ’til the end (or at all for that matter). So disappointing to see such a well-done show get cancelled. Thanks to Netflix and Lifetime for picking it up. Now we need more!

  12. I truly home lmn picks strange empire back up. I an going to have to add net flux to my already too high tv costs. I miss longmire and find strange empire to be quality programming. Listen to the viewers!

  13. I discovered this great show on the net from CBC way before it hit Lifetime.I fell in Love with this series.I was so hoping that it would be picked up for a second season so i googled it today to check and to my suprise found out it was cancelled.I sure wished Netflix or Lifetime one would pickup or continue this great series.All great shows today get killed off for younger viewers reality shows.Those shows drive me NUTTS!.Please someone bring back “STRANGE EMPIRE”!. Thanks.

  14. Loved Strange Empire! Would someone please start a petition to get this show back! There is obviously an audience for it… I would begin a petition but haven’t the foggiest idea where to even start. Hello? Anyone out there listening??

  15. Please bring back Strange Empire like you did for Longmire!!!!! O Pretty Please, Netflix?? Husband and I binged watched when we discovered this on Netflix!!! Love the show! Great acting/characters! Interesting story lines and beautiful Scenery!!! What more could be asked for?!
    Anyone listening out there?!!! Please consider, because this show rocks!!! 🙂

    • Thanks for the visit & comment, Sheila. I know that a number of Strange Empire fans have contacted/emailed Netflix in support of the show’s continuance and so you may wish to also do so.
      Cheers,
      Chad

  16. I know that this is a year out, but I just finished watching Strange Empire for the third time, and am still riveted. Why on earth would they cancel such a great series, and who is going to pick it up to continue it? Once Again, television executives have failed to feel the pulse of the viewers and continue to pull quality shows off the air. And of course, we, the viewers have no recourse and no say. Welcome to big(stupid) business.

    • Thanks for the visit & comment, Jerry. As you have likely seen on this site (and in the above comments), you are not alone in your disappointment with the show’s cancellation by CBC.

      Chad

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