CBC telefilm has 'Da Vinci' back on case


TORONTO -- The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. on Monday unveiled plans for a two-hour telefilm spinoff of its "Da Vinci's Inquest" police drama, now in syndication across the U.S. market.

The CBC said "The Quality of Life -- A Dominic Da Vinci Movie," being shot in Vancouver by Thunderbird Films, will air in the fall.

On hand for the telefilm is Nicholas Campbell, who returns to play Dominic Da Vinci -- a crusading Vancouver coroner fighting for justice on the mean downtown streets -- Ben Ratner and Patrick Gallagher (who also appeared in the series).

Kirstine Layfield, CBC executive director of network programming, cited Dominic Da Vinci as an iconic Canadian character to explain her network's choice to resurrect the Da Vinci franchise as a telefilm.

"Da Vinci's Inquest" comprised 91 episodes that aired in Canada from 1998-2005. It has been cleared in 98% of the U.S. market by L.A.-based distributor Program Partners, reaching more than 4 million viewers weekly.

Program Partners will handle "The Quality of Life -- A Dominic Da Vinci Movie" in the U.S. market, making it available as part of its syndication package for "Da Vinci's Inquest."

Showcase Television, Canada's cable drama channel, has grabbed the second window rights to "The Quality of Life" telefilm, with an eye to a 2008 air date.

The CBC also aired a 13-episode spinoff of the crime series "Da Vinci's City Hall," which ran until 2006 before it was canceled.

Directed by John Fawcett, "The Quality of Life" screenplay was penned by Chris Haddock with Alan DiFiore.

In the telefilm, Dominic Da Vinci, by now mayor of Vancouver, becomes a peripheral witness to a scandalous murder occurring while he hosts a high-profile urban crime conference.