From a media release:
Hooray for Hollywood? Production Begins Today on Bell Media’s New Original Drama HIGHLAND GARDENS
- Casting for new series announced, including Canadians Joe Dinicol, Chelan Simmons, Jewel Staite, Cassie Steele, and Benjamin Watson
- Linda Schuyler and Stephen Stohn are executive producers
- Canadian Martin Gero is executive producer, show-runner and director
“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss
and fifty cents for your soul.” -Marilyn Monroe
It’s one of the great migratory phenomena. Hordes of aspiring performers from Canada and around the world descend upon Hollywood with one single dream: to make it big. But for every success story, there are thousands of others who struggle to keep their dreams afloat. Bell Media announced today that production has begun on the new original drama HIGHLAND GARDENS (working title). Produced by Emmy®-nominated Epitome Pictures and executive produced, written, and directed by Martin Gero (HBO’s BORED TO DEATH, Young People F*cking), the one-hour, six-part scripted series begins shooting in Toronto today before continuing in Hollywood this Fall.
Set in and around an apartment-style hotel that draws aspiring performers from Canada, the U.S. and all over the world, HIGHLAND GARDENS is a no-holds-barred, character-driven relationship drama that follows the exploits of six young hopefuls in search of celluloid and stardom in Hollywood. Full of heart-rending moments, salacious temptations and hilarious escapades, HIGHLAND GARDEN’s coming-of-age dwellers grapple with life’s defining moments as they deal with the unreality of the show-biz industry.
Whether they stay a week, a month, or 40 years, the denizens of HIGHLAND GARDENS provide something to each other that’s in short supply elsewhere in Hollywood: support. The ensemble drama stars:
- Joe Dinicol (MURDOCH MYSTERIES, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) as “nice-guy” Nick, a struggling stand-up comedian from Edmonton who is always the best friend and never the boyfriend;
- Andra Fuller (The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Entourage) as Kaldrick, the extremely successful Hip-Hop artist hailing from the streets of Oakland, California;
- Jonathan Patrick Moore (Neighbours, All Saints) as Connor, a break-out Australian with drop-dead good looks and a dark past;
- Chelan Simmons (SMALLVILLE, SUPERNATURAL, KYLE XY) as Alicia, a sensitive, aspiring dancer from Regina who will do whatever it takes to make ends meet;
- Jewel Staite (FLASH FORWARD, STARGATE ATLANTIS) as the street-smart Haligonian Raquel, who’s frightened of becoming yesterday’s news;
- Cassie Steele (DEGRASSI, RELIC HUNTER) as Abby, the naïve Toronto actor who is ready to fight to get to the top;
- and Benjamin Charles Watson (Todd and the Book of PURE Evil, The Listener) as Tariq, the confident and talented African-Canadian hip-hop artist with a secret on the down low.
About HIGHLAND GARDENS
HIGHLAND GARDENS is executive produced by Linda Schuyler and Stephen Stohn of Epitome Pictures (DEGRASSI, INSTANT STAR) and Martin Gero. Directors are Martin Gero and Stefan Brogren. Writers are Martin Gero, Aaron Abrams, Matt Huether, Cole Bastedo, Karen Hill and Brendan Gall. Ben Rotterman and Trish Williams are Production Executives for MuchMusic and Bell Media, respectively. Corrie Coe is SVP, Independent Production, CTV.