11:30am PT by Rick Porter
NBC Snags Canadian Drama 'Transplant' to Shore Up Schedule
NBC has acquired a Canadian drama to help shore up its primetime schedule in a time when its own series have uncertain futures.
The network has picked up Transplant, a medical drama that has delivered strong ratings for broadcaster CTV in its first season. The series, which debuted Feb. 26, is the most watched Canadian show in the country in the current broadcast year (Canada's networks also air a number of American shows).
Transplant centers on Dr. Bashir "Bash" Hamed (Hamza Haq, Quantico), a Syrian doctor with battle-tested skills in emergency medicine who fled his country with his younger sister, Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus). Together they struggle to build a new life in Canada while Bash strives to rebuild his career in medicine.
The cast also includes Laurence Leboeuf, John Hannah, Jim Watson and Ayisha Issa.
Joseph Kay created the show and executive produces with Jocelyn Deschênes, Bruno Dube, Randy Lennox, Virginia Rankin, Jeremy Spry and Tara Woodbury. It's produced by Sphère Média Plus in association with CTV and NBCUniversal International Studios.
With the novel coronavirus pandemic still ongoing and no certain date for production to resume, broadcasters are looking to acquisitions as one potential way to fill holes in their schedules. The CW, which announced its 2020-21 schedule Thursday, is pushing all of its scripted series to January 2021 and will fill the fourth quarter with a mix of unscripted shows and acquisitions.
Sources told The Hollywood Reporter that NBC is also looking for content that doesn't already have SVOD deals, like Universal Kids' American Ninja Warrior Junior. The network also has four episodes of Ted Danson-Tina Fey comedy Mr. Mayor completed.