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5 YEARS

CBS orders new series 'The Bridge'

CBS has picked up another Canadian cop drama that could serve as a potential companion series to "Flashpoint." Filing from Toronto, here's THR's Etan Vlessing:

CBS on Thursday crossed over to "The Bridge" with a dealto co-produce its second Canadian cop drama with CTV after theCanadian network last year brought it the police procedural"Flashpoint" during the WGA strike.

"The Bridge," from E1 Entertainment and 990 Multi MediaEntertainment, was created by former cop and Toronto police unionhead Craig Bromell and written by Alan Di Fiore ("Da Vinci'sInquest).

Bromell and Di Fiore collaborated on the two-hour pilot for CTV andwill executive produce the first season of 11 one hours along withLaszlo Barna, Adam J. Shully and Robert Wertheimer. John Fawcett ("The Border") will direct.

"The Bridge" portrays cops battling criminals on the streets andtheir bosses and know-nothing politicians in the corridors ofpower. The series stars Aaron Douglas ("Battlestar Galactica") as apolice union head who locks horns with the police brass in anattempt to combat corruption.

Bromell said the Canadian series, a twist on the cops and consprocedural, takes viewers behind police lines to where ordinaryofficers are forced to combat corruption and skullduggery by theirtop brass and know-nothing politicians when not patrolling thestreets.

The Canadian cast includes Paul Popowich as Frank's partner andconfidante, Inga Cadranel, Frank Cassini, Michael Murphy ("AwayFrom Her") and Stuart Margolin ("The Rockford Files").

"The Bridge" is the second series greenlighted by CBS' Nancy Tellemfrom CTV senior program executives Ivan Fecan and Susanne Boyce,who developed "Flashpoint" before the series was produced byToronto-based Pink Sky Entertainment and Avamar Entertainment.

"We look forward to working with our creative partners at CBS,Nancy Tellem, Nina Tassler and David Stapf, in bringing yet anothergreat Canadian production to a North American audience," saidSusanne Boyce, president of creative, content and channels for CTV.

"Like Flashpoint, we see 'The Bridge' as a series that workscreatively and financially for both our network and studio -- andimportantly, for CBS Television viewers," added Nancy Tellem,president of CBS Paramount Network Television EntertainmentGroup.

As with "Flashpoint," "The Bridge" was in development for fouryears before CTV ordered a two-hour TV movie for itself. It thenhelped shop the series to CBS. Both series are set in Toronto.

A third CTV series, "The Listener," produced by Toronto-basedShaftesbury Films, was picked up by NBC and Fox International.

Production on "The Bridge" is set to begin in May in Toronto. Noword on an airdate. E1 Entertainment will handle internationalsales of the Canadian series.