CTV Increases Order for Second Season of Hit Canadian Drama SAVING HOPE to 18 Episodes
SAVING HOPE was the most-watched Canadian drama of the 2011-12 broadcast year CTV announced today it has upped the ante on its second season order for its hit Canadian drama series, SAVING HOPE, to even more episodes. The broadcaster has ordered an additional five hours from ICF Films/Entertainment One (eOne), bringing its second season commitment to 18 episodes in total. The most-watched drama series on Canadian television this summer, SAVING HOPE reigns as the most-watched Canadian drama of the 2011-12 broadcast year, with an impressive Season 1 average of 1.7 million viewers each week.
Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, while working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. CTV series include the trailblazing, multi award-winning hit series FLASHPOINT and ratings success stories SAVING HOPE and THE LISTENER. One of three new scripted series ordered in 2012, CTV’s newest drama, MOTIVE, is currently in production, while the heart-warming, television holiday feature THE HORSES OF MCBRIDE is set to premiere in December. As well, Bell Media has also ordered pilots for two, half-hour comedy series, SATISFACTION and SPUN OUT, with both set to begin production shortly. In total, Bell Media has ordered 23 new original Canadian series in 2012, and put 31 scripted projects into development.
Bell Media’s Canadian specialty series include two-time Emmy®-nominated hit DEGRASSI, the critically acclaimed drama series THE L.A. COMPLEX, new game show comedy MATCH GAME, new documentary series ENGRAVED ON A NATION, pop culture series CELEBRITY STYLE STORY, and mythological/action series PRIMEVAL: NEW WORLD. Specialty series currently in production are ORPHAN BLACK and PANIC BUTTON, joining orders for JUST FOR LAUGHS: ALL ACCESS and BITTEN, all for 2013.
In SAVING HOPE’s climatic Season 1 finale, Alex (Erica Durance, SMALLVILLE) was left at the altar, as an out-of-coma fiancé Charlie (Michael Shanks, STARGATE ATLANTIS) comes to grips with his new reality. In full recovery mode, Charlie presses on and undertakes physiotherapy to learn how to walk again. But after an encounter with a deceased victim in spirit form, Charlie questions his relationship with Alex. Meanwhile, Dr. Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES) tells Dr. Dana Kinney (Wendy Crewson, Away From Her) he was offered her job as Chief of Surgery. Will Dana fight for her position or choose to leave Hope Zion Hospital for good?
SAVING HOPE also stars Huse Madhavji (CALL ME FITZ), Julia Taylor-Ross (ROOKIE BLUE), Kristopher Turner (THE LISTENER), and Benjamin Ayres (DAN FOR MAYOR).
Encore episodes of SAVING HOPE are currently airing on Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV Two and Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Bravo. Viewers can also catch up on full episodes across CTV’s digital platforms on CTV.ca, the CTV App, the CTV Mobile channel, and through video on demand partners.
SAVING HOPE is produced by Ilana C Frank Films (ICF Films) with eOne, in association with CTV. The series is executive produced by Ilana Frank and David Wellington for ICF Films, John Morayniss (HELL ON WHEELS, HAVEN) for eOne and Lesley Harrison. Morwyn Brebner (ROOKIE BLUE) is Executive Producer and Showrunner. The series was created by Malcolm MacRury (CRASH AND BURN, REPUBLIC OF DOYLE) and Morwyn Brebner. David Wellington directed the pilot. For Bell Media, Trish Williams is Director, Drama, Independent Production; Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production; Mike Cosentino is Senior Vice-President, Programming, CTV Networks; Phil King is President, CTV Programming and Sports. All distribution rights are handled by eOne.
TORONTO – Despite a quiet bow stateside, Canadian broadcaster has ordered another season of NBC’s Saving Hope from Ilana C Frank Films and Entertainment One Television.
The top-rated Canadian network also ordered a fourth season of The Listener, or another 13 episodes, from Shaftesbury Films.
The Saving Hope medical drama, which stars Erica Durance and Michael Shanks, also received a 13-episode order for a second cycle on CTV after it reigned as the top-rated Canadian series this summer in primetime.
“We’re excited that Canadian audiences have responded to Saving Hope with such enthusiasm,” said executive producer Ilana Frank of Ilana C Frank Films, who created the Canadian drama.
The first season of Saving Hope portrayed a chief of surgery (Shanks) whose sudden illness left the medical facility in chaos, and his doctor fiancé (Durance) in shock.
CTV has a track record developing Canadian dramas on U.S. networks such as Flashpoint, The Listener, which briefly aired on NBC, and now Saving Hope
Canadian producer Entertainment One handles the international distribution in all media for Saving Hope, including all television, DVD/Blu-ray, VOD and digital.
The series is produced by Ilana C Frank Films, with Entertainment One, in association with CTV and NBC.
Saving Hope is a new hour-long NBC drama series, premiering on June 7th, that follows the doctors and patients of Hope-Zion Hospital. When the Chief or Surgery, Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks), ends up in a coma, it leaves the hospital in chaos and his fiancée, Alex Reid (Erica Durance), in a state of shock. While he explores the hospital in the spirit form, his fiancée, along with her fellow doctors, press on to save his life and those of the other patients around them.
During this recent interview to promote the series, actress Erica Durance (previously known for her portrayal of Lois Lane on The CW series Smallville) talked about what it was that attracted her to this show and character, her anxieties about being the lead, what the day-to-day shooting schedule is like, the medical research that she did, filming in a real hospital for the pilot, and how badly people need hope in their lives. Check out what she had to say after the jump.
Question: What brought you back to TV and why this show?
ERICA DURANCE: Well, I love TV, and I love a good script. I had been given a bunch of different choices, and I kept coming back to this one because of the heart that’s in it and because of the love story. Yes, it has the medical side of it, and I think that there’s something in me that loves that side and all the angst and drama that can happen within that, but really at the core of it is the title. It’s about holding onto hope or refining hope within yourself. And, as far as the character went, it was about what you do when your world is falling apart. How do you hold onto the real, the rationale and the tangible, and how is she going to push through and bring him back to her? I think that it’s universal, and I think it’s really relatable for people because, if you want to demoralize somebody’s spirit, you take away their hope.
Was it important not to do another action or sci-fi show?
DURANCE: You know what? I didn’t even consider that. I just really fell in love with this, and that’s where we are right now with it. I think it has a little bit of something for everyone.
How is this show different, compared to Awake?
DURANCE: I think that that theme actually comes up and gets recycled in different formats, and you end up falling in love with the characters in each show, depending on how you relate to them. I know, for myself, I’m constantly drawn back to stuff like that. I can never get enough of that, and I’ll tune into what’s going on in their relationships and cheer for their love and their questions, and all that stuff. It’s like, “Okay, that’s fine, you’re there, but we’re here, too.” I think people will really engage in it and love it.
Are you filming in an actual hospital?
DURANCE: The pilot was filmed in an actual hospital, and then, given how difficult it was to be in, a hospital because you have to give deference to what’s really going on there and you don’t want to be in the way, they actually set up a whole studio for us that is a hospital. When we were in the actual hospital, we shot in a specific wing of it. What was strange and a little bit off-putting is that we would be in the middle of shooting a scene, and then you would hear, “Code Blue!,” and you would know that that was somebody actually experiencing a very specific, painful tragedy. We would get caught in that world, so it did have some of those elements to it, and that feeling. I’m constantly taking my own blood pressure, because they have machines in there, just to see how I’m feeling. We’re all becoming hypochondriacs.
How do you feel about the day-to-day shooting schedule and do you have any anxieties about being the lead of the show?
DURANCE: I constantly have anxiety about being the lead of the show. I don’t talk about it because it scares me, but I’ve always wanted to be a part of something where I could work on a character in such a big manner, and you get offered that with all the trappings of being the lead of the show. I’m really excited. There is a lot of really good balance of male and female voices writing her, and I think that’s really great because you get a full scope of the way women think, which is really, really lovely. The day-to-day schedule is crazy. We shoot seven-day episodes. We’re shooting nine pages a day. We’re shooting eight or nine scenes a day. I’ll start off in the morning, weeping and wailing over Charlie, and then I will be cutting into somebody’s abdomen later. I feel like one of the guys because I really get into all the prosthetics and the crazy side of it. It has been pretty insane, and it feels like a roller coaster. I’m really grateful I get an opportunity to do it for a little while again.
What kind of medical research did you do? Did you talk to any medical advisors?
DURANCE: I’m always learning jargon. The medical jargon is a little bit silly. I went to a hospital and I watched about six or seven surgeries, of the type of surgeries that my character does. She’s a general surgeon, which means I’m learning everything. That was a real, tangible thing that I was able to do. We have consultants and medical advisors that are actually there. They are gracious, and they come and give you advice, and tell you things that they would or wouldn’t do, so that’s been really, really good.
Were you squeamish at all, the first time you went to the hospital?
DURANCE: I wasn’t. I don’t know if I was compartmentalizing. Within the hospital realm, there was that sense of awe and respect that I had for the folks that were signing off to let a schmo in there to watch the surgery. But, I just was trying to take in everything that the doctors were doing. On set, I’m a bit of a silly monkey.
How important is the fact that Charlie is in a coma? If you get a second season, will you have to keep him in the hospital?
DURANCE: One of the things I love about the show is the idea that they have taken this overall theme of hope and positivity, and believing in something better than yourself, and they have used the situation with Charlie going into a coma to push it there. And then, with each episode, they pick some of the things we, as human beings, do to hold onto the hope that we fight desperately for. Are we blind to the reality of what’s going on? Because she needs, so badly, to believe in something, you see that interwoven throughout the show. And then, what you have is Michael’s character, who is able to view all of this going on. It’s a very non-judgmental thing, but it puts out those questions.
Anger Management (FX)
Premieres: Thursday, June 28 at 10/9c
He’s baaack! Charlie Sheen returns to TV as ex baseball player Charlie (can he ever play someone not named Charlie?) who overcomes his own anger issues to become an anger management therapist himself. (Do his methods involve tiger blood?) The series is based on the Jack Nicholson-Adam Sandler flick of the same name and also stars Selma Blair (as his therapist and possible love interest), Shawnee Smith (as his ex-wife) and fellow Chuck Lorre antagonist Brett Butler (as a bartender). Sheen’s ex-wife Denise Richards — never one to turn down a chance to appear on one of his shows (see: Spin City, Two and a Half Men) — will guest-star as a business partner of Smith’s character. And if the test audience is any indication, Sheen may be winning once again.
Around the World in 80 Plates (Bravo)
Premieres: Wednesday, May 9 at 10/9c
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if The Amazing Race and Top Chef had a baby, this would be the answer. Hosted by Curtis Stone and Cat Cora, the culinary competition series features 12 chefs traveling across 10 countries in 44 days to whip up local cuisines. Seeing as The Amazing Race and Top Chef are the only shows to ever win the reality-competition series Emmy Award, perhaps we ought to keep a close eye on this one.
Baby Daddy (ABC Family)
Premieres: Wednesday, June 20 at 8:30/7:30c
Think Raising Hope meets Three Men and a Baby. Twentysomething Ben (Jean-Luc Bilodeu) becomes a surprise dad to a baby girl when she’s left on his doorstep by a former gal pal. He decides to raise the baby with his motley crew of helpers: mom Bonnie (Melissa Peterman), his brother Danny (Derek Theler), his best buddy Tucker (Tahj Mowry) and his pal, Riley (Chelsea Kane), who has a secret crush on him. And no, the baby news does not diminish her feelings.
Beverly Hills Nannies (ABC Family)
Premieres: Wednesday, July 11 at 9/8c
Yep, it’s another reality series in the most famous zip code in the world. This one is, as the title suggests, about nannies who work for well-off families in town. Unsurprisingly, the show comes from the producers of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Real Housewives of Orange County. Can you say “crossover”?
Breaking Pointe (CW)
Premieres: Thursday, May 31 at 8/7c
Sadly, this is not a Grosse Pointe sequel. This reality series, from the producers of Big Brother and Dancing with the Stars, goes behind the scenes of the uber-competitive Ballet West company in Salt Lake City. If it’s anything like Black Swan, we’re there!
Bunheads (ABC Family)
Premieres: Monday, June 11 at 9/8c
Two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster makes her TV debut as a disgruntled Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man and moves to his small hometown, where she becomes a ballet teacher at her mother-in-law’s dance school. Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino is the mastermind behind this, so expect lots of rapid-fire wisecracks. So you think you can dance, Breaking Pointe? We can speak fast!
The Catalina (CW)
Premieres: Tuesday, May 29 at 8/7c
Snooki & Co. may be back on the Jersey Shore, but that doesn’t mean reality TV is done with South Beach. This docu-series follows the young staff at The Catalina hotel in Miami who work by day and party as hard as you’d expect them to by night. As long as they don’t have their own “GTL” slogan, we’ll be good.
The Choice (Fox)
Premieres: Thursday, June 7 at 8/7c
The Dating Game meets The Voice — spinning chairs and all! (no word on Purrfect the Cat yet, though) — in Fox’s new celebrity dating series. Four single celebs will sit in rotating chairs in front of a live studio audience, with their backs to a bunch of singles. The contestants can describe their life, their interests and their turn-ons — but the celebrities can only rely on their voice and their answers before spinning around. The star bachelors and bachelorettes include Joe Jonas, Tyson Beckford, Dean Cain, Jersey Shore‘s Pauly D and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Rob Kardashian and chef Rocco DiSpirito, Carmen Electra and Playboy Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk. We just hope someone will recite Meredith Grey’s “choose me” speech.
Common Law (USA)
Premieres: Friday, May 11 at 10/9c
USA already has a football player seeing a therapist, so why not cops too? Odd couple detective partners Travis (Michael Ealy) and Wes (Warren Kole) loathe each other and are ordered into couples counseling by their captain (Jack McGee) to work out their differences. Lost‘s Sonya Walger plays their therapist. But all of this begs the question: Wouldn’t it be easier to assign them new partners?
Premieres: Wednesday, June 13 at 9/8c
Ready to head back to Southfork? This is no reboot, but rather a continuation of the original CBS soap — so much so that original players Larry Hagman, Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy will reprise their roles. But Josh Henderson and Jesse Metcalfe will primarily be the ones getting knee deep in oil drama as dueling cousins John Ross Ewing III and Christopher Ewing, respectively. Jordana Brewster and Brenda Strong round out the cast. Fingers crossed for no dream season.
Dogs in the City (CBS)
Premieres: Wednesday, May 30 at 8/7c
Watch out, Cesar Milan! Dog-training guru Justin Silver plays mediator for New York City dog owners who are having various problems with their pooches. But don’t automatically blame the dogs! Sometimes it’s the two-legged creatures who are at fault.
Premieres: Thursday, May 24 at 8/7c
You can never have too many singing competition shows, right? Mentors John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, Robin Thicke and Kelly Clarkson (wonder what Idol thinks) travel the country to search for a singer to duet with them. They will each choose two singers to be his or her partner, and will perform in front of a live audience each week. The winner will get a record contract at Hollywood Records.
Premieres: Sunday, June 3 at 10/9c
Geek babes Katee Sackhoff and Cassidy Freeman on the same show?! Yep! But this is anything but a nerd’s wet dream. Based on Craig Johnson’s mystery novels, the series stars Robert Taylor as the newly widowed Walt Longmire, who, at the behest of his daughter Cady (Freeman), decides to run for re-election as sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyo., against Branch (Bailey Chase), a young deputy. Sackhoff plays Vic, a new deputy, and Lou Diamond Phillips plays Longmire’s confidant Henry Standing Bear.
Major Crimes (TNT)
Premieres: Monday, Aug. 13 at 10/9c
The Closer will (finally) wrap its seventh and final season this summer, but it’s never truly going away. Mary McDonnell will star in this spin-off focused on Captain Sharon Raydor, who takes over as the head of the Major Crimes division. A bevy of Closer stars will join her too: G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul, Raymond Cruz and Phillip P. Keene. See? The Closer is here to stay.
Men at Work (TBS)
Premieres: Thursday, May 24 at 10/9c
The men are Danny Masterson, James Lesure, Adam Busch and Kyle Cassidy. The work is at a magazine. The latter three’s characters help their pal/co-worker Milo (Masterson) re-enter the dating scene after he got dumped by his girlfriend. Breckin Meyer is the creator and executive producer.
The Newsroom (HBO)
Premieres: Sunday, June 24 at 10/9c
Aaron Sorkin returns to TV with this behind-the-scenes look (what other kind would he do?!) at fictional cable news network ACN. Jeff Daniels plays anchor Will McAvoy, who after a Howard Beale-like meltdown, sets out to put on News Night with his new executive producer (Emily Mortimer), his newsroom staff (Alison Pill, John Gallagher, Jr., Olivia Munn, Dev Patel, Thomas Sadoski) and their boss (Sam Waterston). Jane Fonda, in her first major TV role, will recur as Leona Lansing, CEO of ACN’s parent company. Surely, she must’ve learned a thing or two from Ted Turner.
Premieres: Monday, July 9 at 10/9c
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: A quirky genius with a keen understanding of the mind and human behavior consults with the federal government to solve cases. No, it’s not Patrick Jane, but Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack), whose team includes FBI agent and former student Kate Moretti (Rachael Leigh Cook), his teaching assistant Max (Arjay Smith) and Natalie (Kelly Rowan), his best friend. The difference between Jane and Pierce? Pierce is a neuroscientist. And he’s insane. (Yeah, The Crazy Neuroscientist doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as The Mentalist.)
Political Animals (USA)
Premieres: Sunday, July 15 at 10/9c
The six-part miniseries stars Sigourney Weaver as Elaine Barrish, a former First Lady and current Secretary of State, who struggles to keep her family together as she deals with the State Department’s crises. She strikes an unlikely friendship with a journalist (Carla Gugino) who has spent her career tearing Elaine down. (Isn’t that always the case?) The project comes from Brothers & Sisters Greg Berlanti and also stars Ellen Burstyn, James Wolk, Adrian Pasdar, Sebastian Stan and Brittany Ishibashi.
Saving Hope (NBC)
Premieres: Thursday, June 7 at 10/9c
Another Smallville hottie is back on TV! Erica Durance stars in this Canadian import as a surgeon whose life is turned upside down after her fiancée Charlie (Michael Shanks), the Chief of Staff at Toronto’s Hope-Zion Hospital, ends up in a coma. Little do she and the staff know, Charlie is roaming the halls in spirit form. The Vampire Diaries‘ Daniel Gillies also stars as new hot-shot surgeon Joel Goran. Can you say “supernatural love triangle”?
The Soul Man (TV Land)
Premieres: Wednesday, June 20 at 10/9c
Do you have faith in Cedric the Entertainer? The comedian headlines this Hot in Cleveland spin-off as Rev. Boyce “The Voice” Ballentine, who takes over his father’s church. Niecy Nash co-stars as his wife Lolli. So when will Betty White and the ladies drop by?
Sullivan and Son (TBS)
Premieres: Thursday, July 19 at 10/9c
Look! It’s another show about a son taking over the family business. Big city lawyer Steve Sullivan (Steve Byrne) abruptly decides to run his parents legendary Pittsburgh bar Sullivan & Son when he learns that they are planning to sell it during a visit. Let’s see how well this goes over with his girlfriend Ashley (Brooke Lyons). Dan Lauria and Jodi Long co-star as Steve’s Irish-American father, Jack Sullivan, and Korean mother, Ok Cha.
Take Me Out (Fox)
Premieres: Thursday, June 7 at 8/7c
If The Choice is not your speed, Fox has another dating show for you. Based on the popular Australian and British series, this fast-paced show features 30 single women who go through four rounds of speed-dating to find their soul mate. George Lopez will host and facilitate the matchmaking. Because if there’s anyone who should be playing cupid, it’s George Lopez.
Trust Us with Your Life (ABC)
Premieres: Tuesday, July 10 at 9/8c
Don’t worry — this isn’t some stunt-heavy trust-fall show. It’s actually an improv series from the Whose Line Is It Anyway? guys. Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie Jonathan Mangum will act out key moments in a celebrity’s life that they have just described. Fred Willard will host, and the participating stars are David Hasselhoff, Jerry Springer, Florence Henderson, Mark Cuban, Jack and Kelly Osbourne, Ricky Gervais and Serena Williams. (Quick! Count all the Dancing with the Stars alums.)