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[03/22/04 - 12:00 AM]
'North Shore' Set as FOX's First New Fall Drama
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- Just a few days after making "Method & Red" its first comedy series order of the 2004-05 season, FOX has made its first drama series pick-up: "The North Shore."

The series, previously known as "Oahu" and "The Big Island," is a one-hour serial drama that takes place at a luxury hotel in Oahu, Hawaii where the international elite stay and revolves around the hotel's twentysomething employees and how they handle relationships among themselves and with the wealthy hotel guests.

Rob Estes ("Melrose Place"), Kristoffer Polaha ("Tru Calling"), Rachel Shelley ("Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India"), Nikki Deloach ("Walker, Texas Ranger"), Navi Rawat ("The O.C."), Corey Sevier ("Black Sash"), Jason Momoa ("Baywatch") and Michael Ontkean ("Twin Peaks") all star in the 20th Century Fox Television project, which has a 13-episode commitment (including the pilot). Momoa and Ontkean have only recently been revealed as cast members.

Estes plays Vincent Boyd, a managing partner of said hotel, while Shelley is set as the hotel manager with Rawat as the hotel's concierge. Polaha plays a hotel executive and a former lover of Shelley's character. The other actors' roles have yet to be specified.

Peter Elkoff ("Mr. Beautiful") created the series, which will be executive produced by Chris Brancato and Bert Salke ("Boomtown"). Brancato and Salke will take over for Kevin Falls ("The West Wing") as showrunners of the series as Falls was only signed on for the pilot. The pair's involvement includes a blind put pilot commitment from the network for next season. The duo is no stranger to the 50th state, as they were behind "The Break," a failed Hawaii-based cop drama starring Dylan Bruno at FOX last season.

Industry insiders say FOX was so impressed with the pilot, which was directed by Peyton Reed ("Bring It On"), they gave the order after seeing only a brief 15-minute presentation of the project. "It felt like a show that delivers on good characters and relationships, along with a huge dose of wish fulfillment," FOX executive VP Craig Erwich told Daily Variety. Like "The O.C." last season, it's possible "North Shore" could launch this summer however FOX has yet to commit to a premiere date.





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· BAYWATCH (SYNDICATION)
· BLACK SASH, THE (WB)
· BOOMTOWN (NBC)
· BREAK, THE (FOX)
· METHOD & RED (FOX)
· NORTH SHORE (FOX)
· OC, THE (FOX)
· TRU CALLING (FOX)
· WALKER, TEXAS RANGER (CBS)
· WEST WING, THE (NBC)





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