From a media release:
Beyond the Badge: CTV’s Authentic New Drama Series THE BRIDGE Peels Away Layers of Big-City Police Force, March 5
- Series stars Aaron Douglas (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) along with Paul Popowich, Inga Cadranel, Frank Cassini, Theresa Joy, Ona Grauer and Michael Murphy
- Episodes of THE BRIDGE available post-broadcast on CTV.ca
Cops take an oath to be honest and faithful in their police duties and private life. They’re trusted protectors of the public and the law. But, what happens when the “old boys” establishment behind the badge reveals a different – often conflicting – message? Written by five-time Gemini Award-winner Alan Di Fiore (DA VINCI’S INQUEST, THE HANDLER) and inspired by the insights of former Toronto police union head Craig Bromell, the new CTV Original Series THE BRIDGE debuts Friday, March 5 at 9 p.m. ET on CTV with a special two-hour premiere before moving to its regular Fridays at 10 p.m. ET timeslot beginning March 12 (visit CTV.ca to confirm local broadcast times). Starring Aaron Douglas (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) as police union head Frank Leo, THE BRIDGE is an authentic and compelling twist on the police procedural told through the lens of a charismatic and dynamic union leader, working to protect his fellow officers.
Following broadcasts on CTV, THE BRIDGE will also be available on demand on the CTV Video Player at CTV.ca.
After the rank and file unanimously vote tough and dedicated street cop Frank Leo into office as head of the Police Union, he begins his quest to put street cops first and clean up the force from the ground up. But the old boys’Â 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 the thin blue line as he battles criminals on the streets, corruption in the ranks and the politically motivated department brass, letting nothing stop him from fulfilling his unwavering vow that when cops are in trouble, he will be there to protect the protectors.
Shot in and around Toronto, Ontario, the 13-episode series was originally commissioned as a two-hour back-door pilot by CTV, ordered to series in November 2008, and later picked up by CBS last year.
THE BRIDGE 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 – CTV puts the project into development. E1 Entertainment (formerly Barna-Alper Productions) is brought on board to co-produce with Bromellï¿½s 990 Multi Media.
Sept., 2007 – CTV initiates further development; commits to two-hour back-door pilot.
Jan., 2008 – Award-winning writer Alan DiFiore is brought on to re-write script. With Di Fiore on board and award-winning director John Fawcett tapped to helm, CTV commits its own equity investment in the backdoor pilot to ensure top talent is attached. Aaron Douglas is secured as the lead.
July, 2008 – Production of pilot begins in Toronto.
Sept., 2008 – 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 – E1 completes deal for CBS order of CTV’s THE BRIDGE for broadcast in the U.S.
May, 2009 – E1 Entertainment and 990 Multi Media begin production on the series.
“Once I jumped in with both feet, I thought the only way we were going to be successful at this was if I take my knowledge of the street plus the boundaries of a police station and made it as authentic as we could – as real as possible,” said Craig Bromell, Executive Producer, 990 Multi Media Entertainment Company.
Bromell’s time with the Toronto force was spent as an officer at 51 Division. The unit patrolled a district that ranged from the wealthy Rosedale neighbourhoods to the low-income Regent Park. Dividing these two opposing vicinities was a bridge.
“I started thinking deeper about the bridge that separated these two neighbourhoods and social classes and applied it to law enforcement in general,” explains Bromell. “I found that there was also a bridge between the rich and the poor, the good guy and the bad guy, the rank-and-file and the brass. So we use the title as a metaphor for many different opposing elements.”
In the special two-hour series premiere (Friday, March 5 at 9 p.m. ET), beat cop Frank Leo is fed up. Bridge Division is understaffed, and good cops are being blamed for a spate of mysterious drug rip-offs. Then Frank’s mentor, framed by the corrupt police brass, commits suicide. When Frank realizes the brass won’t give his mentor a police funeral, it’s the last straw. He leads a walkout strike, putting his career and the careers of his entire division on the line. Then, when Frank and his fellow officers are blamed for an act ofÂ “Contagious Fire”, the brass sees the perfect opportunity to get rid of Frank once and for all. Frank realizes that in order to save himself and change things, he must take over the reigns of the Police Union. He soon finds himself thrust into a treacherous world of politics, intrigue and violence. And just as he’s become head of the Police Union, Frank is forced to make a critical decision that could ultimately bring him down.
THE BRIDGE also stars Paul Popowich (ANGELA’S EYES, TWICE IN A LIFETIME) 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 (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) as Frank’s father, Vic Leo.