NBCU, Canwest to co-produce 'Combat'

Series to debut Nov. 2010; 'Spenny' also on Canwest slate

TORONTO -- NBC Universal has joined with Canwest Global Communications Corp. to co-produce the Canadian medical procedural "Combat Hospital" from indie producer Sienna Films for Global Television.

The drama about a military field hospital in Afghanistan manned by doctors and nurses from around the world and serving injured coalition troops and Afghan civilians is part of an expanding homegrown scripted slate from Canwest Global that includes an eight-episode order for "Single White Spenny" from Breakthrough Films & Television for its Showcase cable channel.

"Combat Hospital" is executive produced by Simon Vaughan of Lookout Films. Vaughan helped finance the CBS/CTV drama "Flashpoint" while with Alchemy TV.

The medical drama is set for delivery in November 2010.

Canwest Global and NBC Universal earlier co-produced the Howie Mandel-starring hidden camera reality series "Howie Does It."

The Canadian broadcaster is also a keen buyer of U.S. series from NBC Universal Domestic Television for its Canadian schedule.

But it's on the domestic series front that Canwest Global is making deep in-roads these days.

Showcase picked up "Single White Spenny," a coming-of-age comedy about a dysfunctional 36 year-old man, played by Spencer Rice ("Kenny vs. Spenny").

The Canadian comedy was co-created by Stevie Ray Fromstein ("Roseanne") and executive produced by David Steinberg ("Seinfeld").

Debra McGrath, Nikki Payne, Dana Puddicombe and Mark Breslin co-starred in the earlier "Single White Spenny" pilot.

Howard Busgang will show-run the first-season of "Single White Spenny," with Rob Cohen directing.

The Canadian comedy is executive produced as well by Breakthrough Films' Ira Levy and Peter Williamson.

Also coming down the Showcase pipeline is the female cop drama "King's Eye," with the pilot produced by veteran Toronto TV producer Bernard Zukerman of Indian Grove Productions.

Showcase hasn't made a decision on a second season of "Pure Pwnage," the TV mockumentary from ROFLMAO Productions originally spawned on the Internet.
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