Canadian Drama 'Saving Hope' Seeks U.S. Partner

Erica Durance
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Entertainment One and "Rookie Blue" creator Ilana Frank will pitch the Erica Durance and Michael Shanks-starring medical drama in Los Angeles next week.

TORONTO – American fans of Smallville’s Erica Durance and Michael Shanks could yet see their new Canadian medical drama Saving Hope on U.S. TV sets after Entertainment One jumped on board as the international distributor.

A U.S. broadcast slot is now a top priority for the Canadian series.

Toronto-based eOne has the worldwide TV, home entertainment, VOD and digital distribution rights to the Canuck drama from Rookie Blue creator Ilana Frank.

Frank and execs at the Canadian distributor will be in Los Angeles next week to pitch Saving Hope to U.S. networks and cable channels.

That follows Canadian broadcaster CTV ordering 12 one hours of the fast-paced Toronto hospital drama about a chief of surgery (Shanks) whose sudden illness leaves the medical facility in chaos, and his wife, also a doctor and played by Durance, in shock.

Homegrown Canadian dramas rarely get off the ground these days unless a Canadian indie producer can secure a U.S. broadcast partner, and other international financing.

Saving Hope, which includes a pilot episode shot in Toronto in spring 2011, also stars Huse Madhavji, Julia Taylor-Ross and Kristopher Turner.

The Canadian drama comes from indie producer Thump Inc.’s Ilana Frank and David Wellington.

The series pilot was written by co-creator Malcom MacRury and Morwyn Brebner.

Frank and Wellington, who will direct the drama, will executive produce Saving Hope along with Lesley Harrison.

Frank’s cop drama Rookie Blue has been renewed by ABC and Global Television in Canada for a third season.