U.S. Studios Head to Canada With Drama Pilots

Jennifer Carpenter
Jennifer Carpenter
 Kevin Winter/Getty Images

TORONTO – The TV pilot season is filling local soundstages in Hollywood North.

Vancouver and Toronto are hosting a raft of U.S. studio shoots as the Canadian dollar falls in value against the American greenback and generous tax breaks draw even more Los Angeles producers northwards.

ABC Studios has five pilots in Canada, including the ABC drama pilot Sea of Fire, based on the Dutch format Vuurzee, shooting in Vancouver from March 4 to 20, with Dexter's Jennifer Carpenter playing an FBI agent investigating the disappearance of a young girl.

Also in Vancouver is the ABC medical drama pilot Warriors, which has Eloise Mumford starring and production slated for March 12 to 25, and Exposed, another ABC pilot about an investigative reporter with questionable relationships that is set to shoot from March 17 to 27.

ABC Studios-based Mark Gordon Co. is shooting two drama pilots in Toronto: the sci-fi thriller pilot Clementine, from Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life screenwriter Dean Georgaris, and Agatha, a character-driven procedural that Jace Alexander is directing.

Toronto also is playing host to CBS TV Studios' Taxi 22, a comedy pilot based on the French-Canadian hit by the same name that centers on a misanthropic and politically incorrect New York City cab driver. Tad Quill's half-hour is set to shoot from March 28 to April 6, with Rob Greenberg directing and Quill, Clark Peterson and Dennis Erdman executive producing.

The late James Gandolfini was attached as an executive producer via his Attaboy Productions shingle.

Toronto and Vancouver remain in competition with New York City and other U.S. locales to lure shoots for comedy and drama pilots that could turn into full-season orders from U.S. networks.

Back in Vancouver, the CW pilot iZombie, a DC Comics adaptation about a medical student-turned-zombie, is set to shoot from March 20 to April 8, as is another CW pilot, The Flash, the Arrow spinoff to shoot through March.

And the cameras have already started rolling in Vancouver on the TNT action/adventure pilot Agent X, which stars Sharon Stone as America's first female vice president and comes from The Bourne Identity's William Blake Herron.

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