Canine Intervention & A. Smith & Co.’s Purposeful Entertainment Mission

Canine Intervention & A. Smith & Co.’s Purposeful Entertainment Mission Frank Sinton chats with Worldscreen’s TV Real about creating purposeful content, storytelling, and ‘Canine Intervention.’

A. Smith & Co. Productions creates unscripted content across multiple genres, counting among its titles the network reality competition Hell’s Kitchen, sports entertainment series American Ninja Warrior and docuseries such as American Gangster: Trap Queens and Unsung. “Our goal is to be the best in whatever genre we’re in,” says Frank Sinton, president of A. Smith & Co. Dox. “We consider ourselves storytellers. For every show we do and for every act we produce, we challenge ourselves to not only tell the best story, but to tell that story in the most compelling way. The other core value we challenge ourselves with when developing or producing a show is identifying the show’s purpose; we strive to tell stories that have a purpose. Of course, there is nothing wrong with the purpose solely being entertainment, but we look for a deeper reason with each show.”

When it comes to A. Smith & Co.’s Canine Intervention, for which Sinton serves as executive producer, he explains that the purpose of the series goes beyond merely shining a spotlight on dog training. “Our goal is to enrich the viewers’ lives by acknowledging the special relationship we have with dogs and how they impact us humans. It is also about highlighting Jas Leverette, an inspiring man who has proven that hard work, talent and passion have no bounds.”

In Canine Intervention, which streams on Netflix, Oakland dog trainer Leverette is front and center as he runs the Cali K9 dog training facility. In each episode, Leverette is shown using his unique training methods and techniques to fix obedience and behavioral issues in dogs across all breeds. When Eli Baldrige, A. Smith & Co.’s VP of development, introduced Leverette to the company, the promise for a series led by him was apparent. “For us, finding amazing talent is like striking gold,” says Sinton. “Our goal with the show was to try to get out of the way and let the viewer experience [Leverette’s] unique talent with the hopes that his methods could help and inspire people all over the world. As you see in the show, he is not only helping the dog, but helping the entire family.”

And it’s Leverette’s charisma that sets Canine Intervention apart from other shows that are set within the world of dog training, according to Sinton. “There is nobody like him on television, and his authenticity is what makes him an ideal person to be front and center of this show,” he says. “The Jas you see on Canine Intervention is the same Jas you’d see if he came to your home. He is passionate about what he does and is committed to being the very best dog trainer he can be. He is fearless and will never refuse a dog because it’s ‘too dangerous.’ And he is really, really good at what he does. He has a presence that dogs can feel, and that same presence is what makes him so compelling to watch as well.”

When it comes to  A. Smith & Co’s content goals and core mission as a company, Canine Intervention is an ideal fit as what Sinton describes as “purposeful entertainment content.” He adds that for the company, “a home run is a show with purpose that can also make you feel something. For me, the emotional heart of these stories is a sweet spot for what we love to do. We love to tell stories that make the audience feel, and I think we accomplished that with Canine Intervention.”

Sinton admits that in a year that has seen the entire world reckoning with a profound health crisis, it has been an ideal time for the factual content industry. “Not only are there more outlets for this type of content than ever before, but there are so many talented storytellers out there creating incredibly captivating content,” he says. “True crime is clearly having a moment, but it’s also great to see the sheer volume and variety of documentaries.”

So as Sinton looks ahead to the next year or two, he sees the road paved with more possibility than challenges. “I’m proud of how our company came together during this past year and I feel like the future is very bright,” he says. “We’re at a great time in the industry, with so many outlets for content and high demand for quality programming. We’re very fortunate to be a trusted content provider during this time, and I think the demand will only increase.”