Canwest, CTV lure indie producers

Susan Alexander, Virginia Rankin join ranks

TORONTO -- Canadian networks have reached into the country's indie production ranks to bolster their homegrown drama development slates.

Canwest Broadcasting has lured Susan Alexander away from indie producer Barna Alper Prods. to become a production executive for drama content.

Alexander produced the first season of "Little Mosque on the Prairie," whose U.S. format rights were picked up this summer by 20th Century Fox Television.

And rival CTV has hired indie producer Virginia Rankin on a short-term contract to get scripted series into development or production for Canada's top-rated conventional network.

Rankin's main focus is "Flashpoint," the Canadian-made cop drama from Pink Sky and Avamar Entertainment that was recently renewed for a second season on both CTV and CBS.

Rankin recently completed a producer stint at indie shingle Shaftesbury Films, where her series credits included "The Jane Show" and "Regenesis."