N picks up Canada-produced 'Girl'


TORONTO -- The N has picked up the Canadian teen series "About a Girl," its first scripted comedy, for a fall release.

The U.S. cable teen channel, which already has found ratings success with such Canadian dramas as "Degrassi: The Next Generation," "Whistler" and "Instant Star," will see the first season of "Girl," from Vancouver-based Brightlight Pictures, bow this fall simultaneously with its Canadian debut on Global Television.

The coming-of-age comedy, now shooting in Vancouver, stars Chiara Zhanni as a first-year university student who expects to be housed in a dorm room, only to end up living off-campus with four male roommates.

New York-based screenwriter and producer Adam Tobin originally developed the project for the N. The U.S. channel in turn brought the project to Vancouver-based Brightlight Pictures to take advantage of Canadian tax credits and other financial incentives from shooting north of the border.

"We love Canada, we've had a lot of good luck in Canada," Amy Friedman, senior vp original programming and creative director at the N, said of the decision to partner with Brightlight Pictures, which has the international rights to "Girl," excluding the U.S. market.

Steve Hegyes and Shawn Williamson of Brightlight Pictures and Tim O'Donnell ("Growing Pains") are executive producing the comedy, which also stars Jesse Hutch and Chelan Simmons.

The N airs another Canadian series set in a college, the Blueprint Entertainment dram "The Best Years." That series, like "Degrassi: The Next Generation" and "Instant Star," both from Epitome Pictures, are shot in Toronto.

"Whistler" and "Girl" are both shot in Vancouver.