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CanWest releases 2010 TV schedule with 14 new shows

2010-07-09 09:23 ET - News Release

Ms. Christine Shipton reports

CANWEST PRODUCING A RECORD NUMBER OF SCRIPTED ORIGINAL PROJECTS SLATED FOR GLOBAL AND SHOWCASE; INCLUDES SEVEN ONE-HOUR DRAMAS, FOUR HALF-HOUR COMEDIES AND THREE BACK-DOOR PILOTS FOR THE 2010/2011 SEASON

Hot on the heels of Rookie Blue's record-breaking launch and upcoming premiere of Haven, a partnership with SyFy, CanWest Global Communications Corp. has released an impressive roster of additional Canadian series for Global and Showcase. CanWest is producing seven original one-hour dramas, four half-hour comedies and three backdoor pilots, set to premiere throughout the 2010/11 broadcast season.

"Our slate of Canadian scripted programming is more vibrant and robust than ever," said Christine Shipton, senior vice-president, drama and factual content, CanWest Broadcasting. "We have enlisted some of Canada's most accomplished writers and producers for these projects and are thrilled to be giving them the opportunity to flex their creative muscles, no doubt resulting in a new crop of stellar original programming for Global and Showcase."

The lineup of new series includes high-profile partnerships with Canadian, American and foreign broadcasters and production companies.

New programming

Dramas

Blackstone (spring 2011) -- eight by 60 minutes

Intense, compelling and confrontational, Blackstone is an unmuted exploration of power and politics on an Indian reserve. A newly elected female chief struggles to lead a broken community against the betrayal and corruption of the old regime. The series stars Carmen Moore, Eric Schweig, Michelle Thrush and Nathaniel Arcand. A CanWest partnership with APTN, Blackstone is produced by Prairie Dog Film plus Television and executive produced by Ron E. Scott. The series was created by Mr. Scott and Gil Cardinal who share writing credits along with Selina Williams and Damon Vignale.

Endgame (spring 2011) -- 13 by 60 minutes

Endgame introduces viewers to Arkady Balagan, a brilliant chess master. Traumatized by the murder of his fiancee, Mr. Balagan has become a prisoner in his luxury Vancouver hotel, terrified to step outside. To pay his bill, Mr. Balagan starts solving mysteries -- using an unlikely band of hotel employees and chess fanatics to do his legwork. Using the skills that made him an international chess champion, Mr. Balagan solves the crimes that mystify others. It is developed and produced by Thunderbird Films in association with Front Street Pictures; the creator and showrunner is Avrum Jacobson, and Michael Shepard and Harvey Kahn serve as executive producers.

XIII (spring 2011) -- 13 by 60 minutes

Based on the popular graphic novel of the same name, XIII is an action-packed and intriguing series following a skilled and lethal secret agent as he desperately searches for his true identity. The closer he gets to uncovering the riddle of his past life, the more complex and deadly the mission becomes. XIII is produced by Prodigy Pictures & Cipango and executive produced by Jay Firestone, Thomas Anargyros, Edouard de Vesinne and Gil Grant, who also serves as the writer on the series.

King (spring 2011) -- eight by 60 minutes

King is a sexy character-driven cop drama about Jessica King, a charismatic but flawed female detective. King is produced by Indian Grove Productions. Executive producers are Bernie Zukerman and Greg Spottiswood, both of whom serve as series creators.

Combat Hospital (fall 2011) -- 13 by 60 minutes

A Canadian/United Kingdrom co-production set in a military-medical hospital in Afghanistan, the drama focuses on the doctors and nurses who often have to put their own lives at risk to help save the lives of others. Sienna Films and Artists Studios are producing the project with Look Out Point. Executive producers are Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny for Sienna Films, Gub Neal, Justin Thompson-Glover and Patrick Irwin for Artists Studios, and Simon Vaughan for Look Out Point; it is developed with Steve Lightfoot and created by Douglas Steinberg and Jinder Chalmers.

Comedies

The Kenny Hotz Television Program (working title) (winter 2011) -- six by 30 minutes

Kenny vs. Spenny's cult icon Kenny Hotz goes solo in a new series. Each week, Mr. Hotz is saddled with an insane Herculean task he must accomplish. The series is executive produced by Mr. Hotz and E1's John Morayniss.

Single White Spenny (spring 2011) -- eight by 30 minutes

Poor Spenny can't catch a break. After being tossed out of his marriage, he sets out to prove to the world that he's not an "emotionally inept lovetard incapable of having a functional relationship." Good luck. He'll need it. Single White Spenny is produced by Breakthrough Films and Television with Ira Levy serving as executive producer. The series is created by Rice and written by Howard Busgang and Tom Nursall.

Untitled Belleville brothers project (spring 2011) -- eight by 30 minutes

When the seemingly slick go-getter Terry inherits the comic book store he spent his life trying to escape, he has to return to the quirky strip mall where he spent his youth and team up with his socially awkward head-in-the-clouds brother Peter. Together they must put the past behind them, keep dad's dream alive, and try not to kill each other along the way. E1 is producing with Jason Belleville and Ryan Belleville serving as creators, writers and executive producers on the project. The series is also executive produced by Laszlo Barna and Noreen Halpern.

Pilots

Befriend & Betray (spring 2011) -- one by 120 minutes

Based on a true story, Befriend and Betray tells the story of Alex Caine, a civilian infiltrator-for-hire who helps law enforcement agencies battle some of the world's most dangerous criminal organizations. His private life is no less complicated. Befriend and Betray is produced by DHX and executive produced by Charles Bishop, Floyd Kane and Michael Amo. The pilot is written by Michael Amo and is based on the book "Befriend and Betray" by Mr. Caine.

Jack of Diamonds (spring 2011) -- one by 120 minutes

Jack of Diamonds is a comedic drama in the vein of Ocean's Eleven about a career thief and his young protege who plan a series of heists against some of the wealthiest people in world -- for all the right reasons. Jack of Diamonds is produced by Muse Entertainment. Michael Prupas, Joel Rice and Christian Davin serve as executive producers, and Peter Hume as writer.

Rave Squad (spring 2011) -- one by 120 minutes

A young international law enforcement team is recruited to investigate crime found in the most alluring global locales. Rave Squad is produced by Chesler/Perlmutter Productions Inc. with Lewis Chesler and David Perlmutter serving as executive producers. Rave Squad is written by Josh Kotcheff.

Previously announced programming

Shattered (fall 2010) -- 13 by 60 minutes

Shattered stars acclaimed actor Callum Keith Rennie (Californication, 24) as an unconventional homicide detective harbouring the secret of his battle with multiple personality disorder.

Lost Girl (fall 2010) -- 13 by 60 minutes

Lost Girl follows supernatural seductress Bo, a succubus raised by humans, who just discovered she was born of a secret line of inhuman beings called Fae. Making her living as a private investigator, each week she must solve a new mystery while trying to remain neutral in the ancient battle between the light and the dark Fae and searching for the mother who abandoned her. Lost Girl was developed by Prodigy Pictures, in association with CanWest Broadcasting and Showcase. Executive producers are Jay Firestone, Michelle Lovretta, Peter Mohan, Plato Fountidakis and Paul Rapovski.

The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour (winter 2011) -- six by 30 minutes

Chaos ensues for Mike, Robb and JP when the entire cast of their new comedy series, The Happy Funtime Hour, ingest an addictive hallucinogen and begin to believe they really are the characters they portray on the show -- including deranged pirates, drug-addled playboys from an eighties television show and a group of not-so-super superheroes. The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour is written by Mike, JP and Robb. They also serve as executive producers on the series alongside Louis Thomas. Ron Murphy has been tapped as director, and the producer is Paul Pope. The series is produced by Happy Funtime Productions 2007 Inc. in association with Showcase, the Canadian Television Fund, Film Nova Scotia and the Bell New media fund.

Additional announcements regarding cast and crew are forthcoming.

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