CTV’s THE BRIDGE Picked Up by CBS for U.S. Broadcast

From a media release:

  • CTV joins with CBS on second production
  • Becomes third Canadian drama series to air on a major U.S. network
  • Independent studio E1 Entertainment to begin production in Spring

CTV’s original Canadian drama series THE BRIDGE has been picked up by CBS for broadcast in the United States, the two networks announced today. After screening the pilot and ordering the series in November 2008, CTV shared the pilot with top executives at CBS late last year. The deal further develops CTV’s relationship with CBS, currently partners on the North American hit drama FLASHPOINT.
In development since 2005, CTV originally commissioned the production of a two-hour movie of the week and back-door pilot, shot in Toronto last summer. Inspired by the insights of veteran insider and outspoken former Toronto police union head Craig Bromell, THE BRIDGE provides an unflinching look at the struggle street cops face as they battle criminals – and their own bosses – in order to protect society and, ultimately, themselves. E1 Entertainment will begin production of THE BRIDGE in late spring in Toronto and will distribute the series internationally.

THE BRIDGE becomes the third Canadian drama series in under 18 months, all from CTV, to be picked up by a major U.S. network, following in the footsteps of FLASHPOINT and the upcoming drama THE LISTENER (NBC).
 “We look forward to working with our creative partners at CBS, Nancy Tellem, Nina Tassler and David Stapf, in bringing yet another great Canadian production to a North American audience,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “Craig Bromell and Alan Di Fiore and their teams at E1 and 990 have done a beautiful job in creating a distinct and authentic view of life behind the scenes of a modern police force.”
“Like FLASHPOINT, we see THE BRIDGE as a series that works creatively and financially for both our network and studio — and importantly, for CBS Television viewers,” said Nancy Tellem, President, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group.  “Nina {Tassler} and David {Stapf} both consider THE BRIDGE a high-quality, compelling drama that fits with the network’s line-up and the studio’s roster, respectively.  And, we all look forward to working again with our creative partners at CTV. Together, we’ve already launched an exciting new show and a successful new model to deliver programming to the North American market.”
Written by five-time Gemini Award winner and six-time nominee Alan Di Fiore (DA VINCI’S INQUEST, THE LIFE, THE HANDLER), THE BRIDGE peels away the veneer of a big-city police force to reveal the political machinations underneath. After the rank and file unanimously vote street cop Frank Leo (BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA’S Aaron Douglas) into office as union head, he begins his quest to put street cops first and clean up the force from the ground up. But the old boys’ network running the police force and the city’s self-serving politicians are not about to sit idly by while a former street cop makes up his own rules. Frank walks a thin blue line as he battles wiretaps and a concerted campaign to bring him down, letting nothing stop him from fulfilling his unwavering vow that when cops are in trouble, he will be there.
THE BRIDGE Development Timeline
Oct., 2005      Former Toronto Police Union chief Craig Bromell pitches the idea of a television series inspired by his life as a cop.
Dec., 2005     The project is put into development. Barna-Alper Productions is brought on board to co-produce with Bromell’s 990 Multi Media.
Sept., 2007    CTV initiates further development; commits to two-hour MOW/back-door pilot.
Jan., 2008     CTV suggests award-winning writer Alan DiFiore to re-write script. With Di Fiore on board and award-winning director John Fawcett tapped to helm the MOW, CTV commits its own equity investment in the MOW to ensure top talent is attached to the project. At CTV’s suggestion, Aaron Douglas is secured as the lead.
July, 2008      Production of MOW/pilot begins in Toronto.
Sept., 2008    MOW/pilot delivered to CTV.
Oct., 2008      Series bible delivered to CTV.
Nov., 2008     CTV orders THE BRIDGE to series.
Dec., 2008     CTV brings THE BRIDGE to CBS.
Feb., 2009     CBS orders CTV’s THE BRIDGE for broadcast in the U.S.
May, 2009      Production scheduled to begin on series by E1 Entertainment.
“With THE BRIDGE, we are setting out to make the most realistic drama about cops ever seen on TV, and are thrilled that it will be broadcast not only on CTV in Canada but by CBS in the U.S. as well,” said Craig Bromell, Executive Producer, 990 Multi Media Entertainment Company. “The series will expose the inner workings of a big city police force – with compelling, hard-hitting storylines revolving around the police, power and politics behind the blue line. We are grateful to CTV’s Ivan Fecan and Susanne Boyce who were with us from the beginning and look forward to reaching an even broader audience through our new relationship with CBS and Nina Tassler.”

THE BRIDGE stars Aaron Douglas (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, SMALLVILLE) as outspoken union head Frank Leo; Paul Popowich (ANGELA’S EYES, I ME WED) as Frank’s partner and confidante Tommy Dunn; Gemini-Award nominee Inga Cadranel (RENT-A-GOALIE, MVP) as Jill, the free-spirited cop on the force; Frank Cassini (Vice, INTELLIGENCE) as Staff Sergeant Bernie Kantor; Theresa Joy (ALL THE GOOD ONES ARE MARRIED, Sixty Days) as feisty tomboy Police Constable Billy; Ona Grauer (STARGATE SG-1 and STARGATE ATLANTIS) as beautiful, passionate prosecutor Abby St. James; Michael Murphy (Away from Her, X-Men: The Last Stand) as Chief of Police, and political animal, Ed Wycoff; and two-time Emmy Award winner Stuart Margolin (THE ROCKFORD FILES, TOM STONE) as Frank’s father, Vic Leo.

THE BRIDGE is produced by E1 Entertainment, 990 Multi Media Entertainment Company and Jonsworth Productions, in association with CTV and CBS Paramount Network Television. Executive Producers are Craig Bromell, Laszlo Barna, Adam J. Shully, Alan Di Fiore and Robert Wertheimer. Wendy Grean is producer. CTV’s Production Executive is Brett Burlock. Susanne Boyce is President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc.


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