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[07/09/10 - 10:50 AM]
Canwest Producing a Record Number of Scripted Original Projects Slated for Global and Showcase
New dramas include "Blackstone," "Endgame," "XIII," "King" and "Combat Hospital."

[via press release from Canwest Media]

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

TORONTO, July 9 /CNW/ - Hot on the heels of Rookie Blue's record-breaking launch and upcoming premiere of Haven, a partnership with SyFy, Canwest confirms 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 back-door 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 line-up of new series includes high-profile partnerships with Canadian, American and foreign broadcasters and production companies.

New Programming ---------------

Dramas ------

Blackstone (Spring 2011)

8x60 min

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 + Television and executive produced by Ron E. Scott. The series was created by Ron E. Scott and Gil Cardinal who share writing credits along with Selina Williams and Damon Vignale.

Endgame (Spring 2011)

13x60 min

Endgame introduces viewers to Arkady Balagan, a brilliant chess master. Traumatized by the murder of his fianc�e, Balagan has become a prisoner in his luxury Vancouver hotel, terrified to step outside. To pay his bill, 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, Balagan solves the crimes that mystify others. Developed and produced by Thunderbird Films in association with Front Street Pictures; creator and showrunner, Avrum Jacobson; Michael Shepard and Harvey Kahn serve as Executive Producers.

XIII (Spring 2011)

13x60 min

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)

8x60 min

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)

13x60 min

A Canadian/UK 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, Patrick Irwin for Artists Studios and Simon Vaughan for Look Out Point; developed with Steve Lightfoot and created by Douglas Steinberg and Jinder Chalmers.

Comedies --------

The Kenny Hotz Television Program (Working Title) (Winter 2011)

6X30 min

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

Single White Spenny (Spring 2011)

8x30 min

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)

8x30 min

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)

1x120 min

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 Alex Caine.

Jack of Diamonds (Spring 2011)

1x120 min

Jack of Diamonds is a comedic drama in the vein of Ocean's Eleven about a career thief and his young prot�g� 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)

1x120 min

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)

13x60 min

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)

13X60 min

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)

6X30 min

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 80's 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 Producer is Paul Pope. The series is produced by Happy Funtime Productions 2007 Incorporated 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.

About Canwest Broadcasting

Canwest Broadcasting operates Global Television and nineteen of the country's most popular specialty channels, including HGTV, Mystery TV, National Geographic Channel, Showcase, History Television, Food Network and TVtropolis. Canwest Broadcasting is a division of Canwest Media Inc.

About Canwest Originals:

Canwest is the proud home of the most diverse slate of Canadian Original programs across the Dramatic, Lifestyle and Entertainment genres. As a steadfast supporter of the Canadian production community, Canwest is dedicated to bringing the best of the country to audiences nationwide - including shows such as: Rookie Blue, Family Restaurant, Holmes Inspection, Ice Pilots: NWT, 16:9, Re-Vamped and Canada's most trusted entertainment news show Entertainment Tonight Canada.

About Canwest Media Inc.

Canwest Media Inc. is a subsidiary of Canwest Global Communications Corp. (www.canwest.com), Canada's largest media company. In addition to owning the Global Television Network, operating 19 industry-leading specialty channels and having ownership in 5 specialty channels, Canwest is Canada's largest publisher of English language paid daily newspapers and owns and operates more than 80 online properties.





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