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Culture

Melina Kanakaredes’ Family-Inspired “Greek Candy” on IMBDb TV

LOS ANGELES – The latest streaming platform to delve into scripted original series, the Amazon-backed IMDb TV, announced five new series in development including a comedy based on Greek-American actress Melina Kanakaredes’ family and their 100-year-old chocolate factory in Akron, Ohio, The Hollywood Reporter (THR) noted on May 3.

The semi-autobiographical family half-hour, single-camera comedy series from Sony Pictures Television, is titled Greek Candy, and is co-written by Kanakaredes and Marc Firek, THR reported.

The “multigenerational family comedy about a mom and dad with three teenage daughters, and very Greek immigrant grandparents, is a celebration of vibrant Greek culture in a changing America,” THR reported, adding that “Kanakaredes stars and serves as executive producer for the series alongside Marc Firek, Josh Berman and Jennifer Robinson in association with Osprey.”

Since the show is in development, there was no information available yet about a definite release date at press time.

Kanakaredes posted on social media about the series, including this Twitter post: “So happy to let you all know what I’ve been working on! It amazing working with @marcfirek @bermanjosh @SonyTV and everyone @IMDbTV I love sharing my hilariously delicious Greek family with you!” followed by two heart emojis. The post may be viewed online: https://twitter.com/TherealMelinaK.

Also in development for IMDb TV are the following: Primo, previously developed at ABC; satire Blessed and Highly Favored; a Federal Reserve drama from All American showrunner Nkechi Okoro Carroll; and Indian comedy Pradeeps of Pittsburgh, PA, inspired by the life of writer Vijal Patel with Sara Gilbert and Michael Showalter among its exec producers. 

IMDb TV is a free and ad-supported streaming platform.

According to her IMDb biography, Kanakaredes was born in Akron to Connie (Temo), who owned a candy company, and Harry Kanakaredes, an insurance salesman. Her love of musical theater, especially the work of Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera, inspired her as a child. She began performing locally; singing with her sisters and making her acting debut at age eight in the community theater production of Tom Sawyer.

Kanakaredes attended Ohio State University to study music, dance and theater, later transferring to Point Park College in Pittsburgh. She appeared in commercials, industrial films and on stage at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and Pittsburgh Public Theater. Upon graduation, Kanakaredes moved to New York City where she supported her acting dreams by working in off-Broadway plays.

Kanakaredes' early television credits include a recurring role as Jimmy Smits' reporter-girlfriend on NYPD Blue. She starred in the drama series New York News (1995) and Leaving L.A. (1997), and guest-starred on The Practice (1997) and Oz (1997). She also received two Emmy nominations for her work on the long-running daytime drama series Guiding Light.

She then starred for five seasons as Dr. Sydney Hansen on the critically acclaimed NBC series Providence (1999), receiving the 2000 TV Guide Award for Favorite Actress in a Drama (as voted by more than one million TV viewers) and was nominated for the same award in 2001.

Kanakaredes played Sally Bowles in the Broadway revival of Cabaret in 2003 and returned to television in the CBS series CSI: NY opposite Gary Sinise from 2004-10. Her TV credits also include Hawaii Five-O, Extant, Notorious, and The Resident from 2018-19.

Her film credits include The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996), Rounders (1998), Dangerous Beauty (1998), and 15 Minutes (2001) in which she co-starred opposite Robert De Niro. She also appeared as Athena in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010). In 2020, she voiced the character of Ariana in the Netflix animated series Blood of Zeus.

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