CBS, White Pine sign pilot script development deal

Agreement covers episodic police drama

TORONTO -- Canadian indie producer White Pine Pictures has signed a script development deal with CBS for an episodic police drama set in a Canadian-U.S. border town.

The Canuck ensemble police drama was created by veteran actors-turned-scribes Mark Wilson and Patrick McKenna, who will work with showrunner David Barlow to complete a pilot script.

Barlow and White Pines principal Peter Raymont will executive produce the project.

The freshly-inked deal with CBS follows a pitch session between eight Canadian producer/showrunner teams and senior commissioning editors for eight U.S. networks and cable channels that took place August 3 at the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles.

"There may some other development deals in discussion. The feedback was really positive," David Fransen, Consul General in Los Angeles, said following his Hollywood match-making effort.

The CBS development deal is noteworthy for having no Canadian broadcaster attached.

Canuck producers traditionally first secure a commitment from a Canadian TV network for a homegrown drama before flying to Los Angeles to possibly bring a U.S. broadcaster on board to complete their project financing.

White Pines last year had a development deal with CBS for "One U.N. Plaza," a one hour Canadian drama set against the backdrop of the United Nations in New York City, that didn't proceed to pilot.

White Pines also produced "The Border," the Sofia Milos and James McGowan-starring action drama about an elite Toronto immigration and customs tactical team, that ran for three seasons on the CBC in Canada and ION Television stateside.