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Midtown Fella
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OMG...

Toronto plays itself in 2 shows set for CTV

Jun 03, 2008 04:30 AM
Raju Mudhar
Entertainment Reporter

As the sun sets on Dog River, Sask., Toronto had better be ready for prime time.

CTV announced details of its new fall season, and the highlights include the final season of Corner Gas; two new series based and shot in Toronto, The Listener and Flashpoint; and the Canadian version of a dance reality show, So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

"Why is it the last season? Because we're not doing it any more," deadpanned Corner Gas creator Brett Butt, while surrounded by the cast of his hit show. "I made the analogy before, I don't even feel like I made the decision. I feel like the show made the decision. I feel like the show came up, tapped me on the shoulder and said, `I think I should go now.'"

While Butt is closing a chapter on a surprisingly successful homegrown series – and before Corner Gas, there was plenty of doubt that a Canadian sitcom could do well – some of the show's legacy could be seen in CTV's new offerings.

The Listener and Flashpoint are slated to air on NBC and CBS, respectively, making them the first Canadian dramas since Due South in 1994 to be simulcast in the U.S.

Both shows feature Toronto playing itself, as opposed to standing in for an American city.

The Listener stars Craig Olejnik as a young doctor who can read people's minds and reluctantly uses his superpowers, but only for good.

"I was really trying to make sure that the city looked great," said Clement Virgo, who directed the pilot in Toronto. "Take a look at Batman: he has Gotham city – or it stands in as New York City. Superman has Metropolis. And so we wanted to create an iconic city, a city that's a little bit heightened. ...

"I want to really represent the city like it is today, which is beautiful, cosmopolitan, multicultural."

The other new drama, Flashpoint, stars Enrico Colantoni and Hugh Dillon as part of an elite team of cops on Toronto's Emergency Task Force. The pilot's story is similar to the hostage-taking at Union Station in 2004, and the shots of Toronto's downtown depict a gleaming city of industry.

The producers said the idea of changing the location came up in early meetings with NBC, but there wasn't much pressure; Toronto was deemed a fresh setting for American viewers. Now, they just have to convince Canadian viewers.

"It's sad isn't it, that one of the highest compliments a Canadian production can get is that it doesn't look Canadian?" said Anne Marie La Traverse, executive producer of Flashpoint. "I think that is changing, and hopefully that idea of a Canadian stigma will become a thing of the past."

Traverse says what will distinguish Flashpoint from other cop shows is that the police will try to stop the escalation of violence, and it "will really want to focus on the human cost of heroism and how it affects the characters' lives." Flashpoint begins airing on July 11.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars has also been added to CTV's fall schedule, airing on Sunday nights.

And Access Hollywood will be paired with E-Talk to create an hour of weekday entertainment gossip from 7 p.m., replacing Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy, which are moving to CBC.

CTV is also developing a talk show, named for its host, Marilyn Denis, who recently left Citytv's CityLine.
 

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Thug Life
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I was excited too, especially when I heard it a couple days ago. After thinking about it though, I realized it doesn't mean much unless the series are picked up, which is hard for any pilot. Then I thought it would still be good as it means a step forward for Canadian content, but I've since changed my mind again. If both shows aren't picked up, it could be seen by CBS/NBC as proof that Canadian cities can't sell to an American audience. So in conclusion, I will be very excited if one or both are picked up, but until then there isn't a whole lot to celebrate.
 

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13 episodes of Flashpoint were already ordered from CBS. It's been picked up in both cases. It's just a matter of how long they'll stay on for. I hope they both do well, yet "The Listener" seems a little dull.

Hugh Dillon is amazing in that mini series Durham County. I think he could definately carry a show like Flashpoint. I was actually very surprised by Durham. Much darker then I ever though Canadian TV would go. It obviously has a huge HBO influence (6 Feet Under mainly) but Durham County is a show I hope the States will develop. I could see that being the next Cold Case (which came from Canada's Cold Squad)
 

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There was a TV show set in Toronto last season that was pretty damn good. I forget its name, but it had to do with some geneticist working at what looked to be CAMH.
 

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you would think that American's would be more interested in shows set in places like Toronto, Montreal, etc.

Aren't they bored of NYC yet?
 

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~ Mysterious Entity ~
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There was a TV show set in Toronto last season that was pretty damn good. I forget its name, but it had to do with some geneticist working at what looked to be CAMH.
Does anyone else remember the name of this show? I'd be interested in taking a look.
 

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This is actually old news. It's just new i guess because they will be coming up soon. Flashpoint has a pretty dull time slot of Friday nights on CBS. And it will be during the summer season. The Listener will be shown on NBC next summer too.
 

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Actually, I found the name. Its called ReGenesis. Apparently its been on The Movie Network for a while now, but they began syndication just last year.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReGenesis
Great show, it still airs on Showcase at 7PM daily. I've spoken to Americans and Brits who have seen AND love the show too! The cast seem to have moved on though, Ellen Page has gone on to Juno and Smart People, Sarah Strange bounced to Stargate and Men in Trees (which apparently hasn't been renewed), and Peter Outerbridge has apparently migrated to Whistler, although it's not clear if the move is permanent. As much as I love the show, the fact that these characters have moved on means that the show has been a good springboard based on it's audience acceptance.
 

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The Greatest
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old news ... I'd be surprised to see either or last more than 6 epidsode on US Networks ... not because they are set in Toronto but because successful shows like those already exist ... the strike is over too
 

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THIS is what the CBC should be pushing if they want people to watch it.

Oh well, back to Simpsons reruns.
 
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