Movie Central/Movie Network announce original dramas

From a media release:

Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central and Astral Media’s The Movie Network announced today that two new original drama series will start production this summer – ZOS: Zone of Separation and The Weight. In addition, a fourth season of the Gemini award-winning dramatic series ReGenesis will also resume production this summer.

The eight-part series ZOS: Zone of Separation explores the life-and-death struggle to enforce a United Nations-brokered ceasefire, as peacekeepers face the harsh reality of living in a violent Zone of Separation. Produced by Whizbang Films (H2O and Men With Brooms), the series’ creative team includes executive producers Paul Gross, Frank Siracusa, Mario Azzopardi (The Outer Limits) and Malcolm MacRury (Deadwood, Canada Russia ’72, Lives of the Saints), with Mario Azzopardi directing and Malcolm MacRury as writer and show-runner. Screenwriters include Peter Mitchell (Cold Squad), Paul Aitken (North/South) and screenwriter/playwrights John Krizanc (The Trojan Horse, H2O), and Jason Sherman (ReGenesis, An Acre of Time). ZOS: Zone of Separation begins shooting in Bosnia in mid-June, before returning to Canada where production will continue in Toronto, Ontario, through October 2007. Movie Central and The Movie Network, which developed, commissioned and invested in the series, will premiere the series in spring/summer 2008.

The Weight is an eight-part series that tells the story of Max and Donny, two cops who are often as morally ambiguous as the criminals they pursue. Created and written by playwright/screenwriter George F. Walker (This Is Wonderland, Criminals in Love) and Dani Romain (This Is Wonderland), The Weight is being produced by the Nightingale Company. The series creative team includes executive producers George F. Walker, Dani Romain and Debbie Nightingale, producer Norman Denver, director Gail Harvey and executive story editor/associate producer Joseph Kay. Shooting in Toronto in mid-August, The Weight was developed and commissioned by Movie Central and The Movie Network, and will debut on Movie Central and The Movie Network in spring/summer 2008.

Also this summer, ReGenesis – the highly successful drama series that explores the threat of science on society – goes back into production in Toronto for 13 new episodes, bringing the series to 52 episodes to date. Produced by Shaftesbury Films with head writer Tom Chehak and actors Peter Outerbridge and Wendy Crewson among the creative talent, ReGenesis has sold in over 100 countries around the world, including the U.S. Movie Central and The Movie Network developed, commissioned and invested in the series. The fourth season of ReGenesis will premiere on Movie Central and The Movie Network in spring 2008.

In addition to these three series, Movie Central and The Movie Network have an active and robust drama series development slate with some of Canada’s finest creative teams. Projects include a series written and created by Alex Epstein (Naked Josh, Bon Cop, Bad Cop) with producer Robin Cass, from Triptych Media; an adaptation of Vincent Lam’s Giller Prize winning book Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures to be produced by Shaftesbury and written by Jason Sherman (ZOS, ReGenesis), and another series from writer/creator Angus Fraser and producer Jayme Pfahl, the team behind the networks’ critically-acclaimed series Terminal City.

“Canadian pay TV’s world-class drama series result from working with this country’s best creative teams and allowing creators the freedom to realize their unique vision, while providing broadcaster support and direction,” said Shelley Gillen, Head of Creative and Business Affairs for Movie Central. “In four short years, our dramas have met with both critical and commercial success, including most recently, Durham County. Just as HBO and Channel 4 dramas broke new ground, by pushing the boundaries of conventional television, we are equally ambitious and excited by what’s to come.”

“The past and recent successes of our Canadian original series such as Durham County, Slings & Arrows, Terminal City, and ReGenesis reinforce the fact that Canadians are looking for sophisticated, bold, high-quality television drama,” said Michelle Marion, Director of Canadian Independent Production, The Movie Network. “As a network, we are proud to be attracting innovative producers, writers, directors and actors who recognize pay-television as the ideal platform for telling stories that test boundaries, break rules and convey strong points of view.”