Lassie is a Canadian television series which aired from 1997 to 1999 on YTV in Canada and Sunday nights on the Animal Planet network in the United States, as a modified remake of the original Lassie series (1954–1973) about a boy and his faithful dog. As with previous Lassie TV versions and several movies dating back to the original Lassie Come Home movie of 1943, the star was Lassie, a trained Rough Collie.
Not to be confused with a previous, syndicated follow-up series entitled The New Lassie which aired 1989–1991, this Canadian-produced Lassie series starred Corey Sevier as 13-year-old Timmy Cabot in the fictional town of Hudson Falls, Vermont. The show was filmed in Quebec by Cinar Inc.. In this series' story line, Timmy and his recently widowed mother, Dr. Karen Cabot, move to Hudson Falls, where Karen takes over a veterinary practice.
In the first (1997) season, Lassie was played by "Howard", an eighth generation collie descended from "Pal", the dog in the original 1943 movie Lassie Come Home. As with all previous Lassie movies and television series beginning with Pal, Howard was owned and trained by Weatherwax Trained Dogs, founded by brothers Frank and Rudd Weatherwax. Midway through production, Cinar replaced Howard with a non-Pal descended dog. Following Lassie fan protests, "Hey Hey", son of Howard and a ninth-generation direct descendant of Pal, was brought in to assume the role of Lassie for the final thirteen episodes of the show.
Although young Corey Sevier impressed critics, others complained that the series relegated Lassie to a bystander role by focusing more on the Cabot family's dealings with various townspeople, at the expense of featuring Lassie's action stunts and feats as had been traditional in the famous canine's previous movie and TV incarnations.
The show was canceled after three seasons. A total of 52 episodes were produced.
The entire first season is available on DVD in Canada since April 4, 2006.
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Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program or Series
Environmental Media Awards, USA
Children's Live Action