ION picks up two Canadian dramas

Latest in trend of U.S. firms heading north for content

As MyNetworkTV is pulling out of the original programming business, ION Television is stepping up.

The network has picked up two Canadian drama series, "The Border" and "The Guard."

Both will make their U.S. debuts on ION later this year.

"The Border," from Fireworks International, follows members of the Canadian Immigration and Customs Security Unit working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to secure the border on both sides of the line.

The series, which airs on Canada's CBC, drew interest from several U.S. broadcast networks, including ABC and CBS, during the writers strike.

"The Guard," from Lionsgate, revolves around the members of a Coast Guard Search and Rescue team.

ION has acquired all U.S. television, digital media rights, Internet streaming and video-on-demand rights for both shows.

"'The Guard' and 'The Border' are two original dramas that will fit nicely with proven hits like 'NCIS' and 'Criminal Minds' on our schedule this fall," said ION's chairman and CEO Brandon Burgess. "Our new programming chief Leslie Glenn Chesloff will expand on this vision with further syndicated content, originals, and made-for-TV projects."

"The Border" stars James McGowan, Sofia Milos, Grace Park, Graham Abbey, Mark Wilson, Jim Codrington and Jonas Chernick.

"The Guard," which runs on Canwest's Global TV, stars Steve Bacic, Jeremy Guilbaut, Sonya Salomaa and David James Elliot ("JAG," "Closer to Home").

Canadian procedural dramas are growing in demand south of the border. CTV's "Flashpoint" and "The Bridge" have been picked up by CBS, while another CTV drama, "The Listener," was acquired by NBC.
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