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Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye
Genre Crime drama
Created by Dave Alan Johnson
Gary R. Johnson
Starring Deanne Bray
Yannick Bisson
Rick Peters
Enuka Okuma
Marc Gomes
Ted Atherton
Tara Samuel
Opening theme "Who I Am" by Jessica Andrews
Country of origin Canada
United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 57
Production
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Pebblehut Productions
Broadcast
Original channel CTV
PAX TV
Original run October 13, 2002 (2002-10-13) – May 22, 2005 (2005-05-22)
Status syndicated on Gospel Music Channel

Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye is a Canadian-American television series that premiered in the United States in 2002 and Canada in 2003. The show ended in May 2005 due to PAX TV's decision to no longer produce original programming. It was one of the two highest rated shows on PAX TV.[1] [2] In September 2009, Gospel Music Channel began airing the show. In October 2009, American Life Network also began airing the show.

Contents

Creation

Sue Thomas was created by Dave Alan Johnson and Gary R. Johnson for Pebblehut Productions Inc., loosely based on the true experiences of the real Sue Thomas,[3] a deaf woman whose ability to read lips landed her a job with an elite surveillance team at the FBI. Dave Alan Johnson and Gary R. Johnson also created Doc starring Billy Ray Cyrus for PAX TV. The TV series was distributed by CTV in Canada, PAX TV in the US, and the Hallmark Channel in the UK. Yuri Yakubiw was the cinematographer, Bill Layton the art director.

The series was once known as Lip Service. The actress who plays Thomas,[3] Deanne Bray, is deaf in real life. The show's theme song is "Who I Am," which is sung by Jessica Andrews and was written by Brett James and Troy Verges. Most filming took place in Toronto, Ontario.

Broadcast history

The television series premiered in the United States in 2002 on PAX TVand Canada in 2003 on CTV. The show ended in May 2005 due to PAX TV's decision to no longer produce original programming. It was one of the two highest rated shows on PAX TV.[4] [5]

The show began airing on Gospel Music Channel in September 2009 and on American Life Network in October 2009. In Canada, the series continues to air in daytime repeats on CTV.

Official DVDs of Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye will be available in October 2009 [6] with information available at the show's website [1].

Cancellation

The abrupt ending to the show was due PAX TV's decision to no longer produce original programming, rather than poor ratings. The last episode of the series ended with a title slate saying, "The End... for now." The Johnson Brothers, executive producers, have stated that they have not given up on the idea of the show.

Characters

Main characters

Sue Thomas (Deanne Bray)

Sue Thomas[3] is a young deaf woman who is able to communicate in both English and American Sign Language. She applies for, and is accepted, for a position with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Washington, D.C.. She leaves her home in Ohio and drives to Washington, picking up her first hearing dog, Levi, en route.

Thomas' parents are concerned that she will not be able to cope with life so far from everything she has known, despite the fact that they have strongly encouraged her in living in both a hearing and deaf environment. Her mother fought for her daughter to have every opportunity to live life to the fullest, which has made Sue a very independent young woman. She speaks, signs, reads lips, sings, plays the piano and ice skates. Sue has a college degree from Springfield College in Springfield MA. [7].

Thomas arrives at her job only to find she has been assigned to "Special Projects", with the mundane task of analyzing fingerprints. However, she has no intention of wasting her life examining fingerprints and marches into the personnel office to tell them exactly what she thinks. Having done this, she finds the man she has been telling off is not personnel, but a Special Agent, Jack Hudson. Impressed, Hudson meets her at lunch, where he tests her skills by having her lip-read Myles who is seated some distance away outside. After which, Thomas is taken on as part of Hudson's "team", and she becomes a Special Investigative Analyst.

Jack Hudson (Yannick Bisson)

Jack Hudson (Yannick Bisson) is the unit leader, and as such generally takes the lead in the team's cases. A lawyer from Wisconsin, he approaches his job as a Federal Agent with a burning drive. He is strongly attracted to Sue (who reciprocates) but unable to act due to their working relationship- he is her Training Agent and line manager. Everyone in the office can sense the severe chemistry between the two, but Jack and Sue refuse to go against the Bureau's policy. The two do have a firm, if complicated, friendship. His closest friends are Special Agents Manning and Gans.

Bobby Manning (Rick Peters)

Bobby Manning (Rick Peters) is a charming Australian. He provides a much-needed sense of humor and is best mates with Jack. They are similar ages and share a love of sports and the single life. Bobby is also a recovering gambling addict, and still attends Gamblers' Anonymous. However, only Jack knows about this, as it could effectively mean the end of Bobby's career with the FBI. In season 3, Bobby split from his girlfriend of two seasons, journalist Darcy D'Angelo (Polly Shannon), when the latter accepted an offer of a high profile job in Los Angeles. Shortly after this, he and Tara discover a mutual attraction. Bobby is highly protective of the women he works with. When he was a child, his father left his mother, but she has since remarried. Bobby is close to both his mother and stepfather, who still live someplace in Australia.

Dimitrius Gans (Marc Gomes)

Dimitrius is the father figure in the office, and the senior agent in terms of age and experience. He is the only married member of the team, and has two children: Tanya and Davy. In season two his wife, Donna, suffered a miscarriage of what would have been their third child. "D" often assumes the role of acting supervisor when the unit's normal supervisor is called out of the office.

Myles Leland III (Ted Atherton)

Myles is a Harvard-educated Bostonian with all the charm of a backbencher. He has a high opinion of both himself and his skills, and considers himself a cut above the rest of the team. He suffers a serious lack of a sense of humour, and is often the butt of the office jokes and other practical jokes. From the start he mistrusts Sue's place on the team and actively tries to have her removed. This backfires and Sue ends up saving Myles' place on the team. Over time Myles' relationship with Sue improved significantly. He once dated Lucy, but when she found out he was cheating on her, she dumped him. Their working relationship is polite, but frosty. Myles has a difficult relationship with his parents and only recently started forging a proper relationship with his sister, Anne.

Tara Williams (Tara Samuel)

Tara is the unit's computer expert, adept at tracking perpetrators via bank records, computer hard drives, GPS tracking and other cyber-sources. Tara is a fully trained and armed Special Agent. However she can give the impression of being shy, dizzy, and a ditz when immersed in her world of computers. She is best friends with Lucy and Sue, and they often go out together. She has dated Stanley Abbott, a steganographer who works for the National Security Agency. In a 2 episode series, "The Actor" & "Planes, Trains, And Automobiles", Tara dates a movie star named Adam Kinsey. However, when Stanley shows up to help break code and work with Tara, her and Adam's relationship ends. In season 3, she and Bobby Manning discovered a mutual attraction.

Lucy Dotson (Enuka Okuma)

Lucy is Sue's roommate and best friend. She is the team rotor, the unit's office manager and "base coordinator." Lucy is a student of ASL. She is close to her mother, although her father died some years ago. She is also close to her paternal grandmother. Lucy also dated Myles briefly, which ended badly.

Levi (Jesse)

Levi is Sue's hearing dog, a Golden Retriever. He has helped to solve several cases, and is protective of Sue and loving to everyone. Many episodes find Levi in difficult and dramatic situations, such as getting lost in the city of D.C. or getting shot while trying to protect Sue. He is very clever and playful, and the entire F.B.I. team adores him.

Secondary characters

  • Charlie (Jack Jessop), a friend of Sue outside the FBI
  • Troy Meyers (Troy Kotsur, Deanne Bray's husband)
  • Ted Garrett (Eugene Clark), the team's supervisor from the six episode of season one "The Signing" through to the midpoint of Season 3
  • Howie Fines (Jonathan Wilson), Sue's first informant, a talkative sanguine whose eager attitude often annoys the agents
  • Amanda Duffman (Sammi Bourgeois), a deaf girl who befriends Sue.
  • Randy (Ed Sahely) Pitts, the bespectacled, nasal, and cynical finance manager who often clashes with Myles and Bobby.

Cameos

  • Sue Thomas (agent), the "real" Sue Thomas, in the episode "Billy The Kid". Thomas, a consultant of the show, plays a deaf actress named Deanne (the first name of Bray, who plays Thomas). She meets Sue Thomas (Bray) in the hospital and has a quick chat with her. She also appears in the last episode in the same role. Thomas, using the name Sarah Kim, also plays another character, Sally Weddingston, in the episode "Bombs Away."[8]
  • Chantal Craig as Diana Grove in the episode "The Signing." Craig is married to Bisson (who plays Jack Hudson).

Cultural significance

Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye is one of the few television series to have featured a deaf lead character working a regular job not connected with an institution "for the deaf", such as Gallaudet University. More than that, both Sue and Lucy earned a reputation for building bridges between the deaf and hearing worlds. Viewers could see this in their relationship as roommates, and also in at least one episode in which Sue invited Lucy to join her at a social club for the deaf, all of whose members communicated exclusively by means of ASL.

The series gained two divergent fan bases- one primarily deaf and interested in issues affecting the deaf, and the other primarily hearing and interested mainly in the issues that the team's cases touched on, such as international terrorism, slavery, or domestic abuse. Many members of both fan bases visit the same Internet forums, which has provided more opportunities for mutual understanding between deaf and hearing persons, although the two sometimes disagree on topics.

For example, the repeated references to a possible romantic attachment between Jack Hudson and Sue Thomas irritated many of the show's deaf fans, which they saw as a distraction that cheapened the character and her story. The actual Sue Thomas is not known to have formed any romantic attachments with any other present or former Special Agent of the FBI.

In fitting with the anti-Terror attitudes prevalent in the early 2000s, the themes of many of the show's episodes involve terrorism.

References

External links








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