Has Omnifilm Entertainment found Canada’s Outlander? Everyone at the production company are crossing their fingers and going all in on Nora Roberts’ Blood Magick and snagged former Lost Girl showrunner Emily Andras to head it up.
Omnifilm, which has produced homegrown series like Arctic Air, Ice Pilots NWT, Robson Arms, Primeval: New World, Defying Gravity and Edgemont, announced earlier this year that they had secured the rights to Roberts’ The Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy. Set in Ireland, the books spotlight sorcerer cousins Iona, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer as they take on the dark sorcerer Cabhan; Blood Magick is the third book title. Of course, fans of Lost Girl know Andras, who departed showrunning duties on the Showcase drama after Season 4.
“If I had my druthers I would only work on a show in the female-driven genre going forward and Blood Magick really ticks all of those boxes,” she says. “It’s all about the power of magic, it has an incredibly strong female protagonist, it has very high stakes and themes of family and love. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s set in one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland.”
She jokes it wasn’t until she signed on to develop and executive-produce Blood Magick that her mom finally understood what her daughter did for a living.
“My mother was a librarian and has read everything that Nora Roberts has written,” Andras says. “I think she thought I fixed TVs … I’m not sure. But now she’s like, ‘Look, Andras, you better not screw this up.'” One could excuse Andras for being nervous about adapting Roberts’ works into a TV series; there are more than 500 million copies of her 200-plus novels in print and every book she has released since 1999 has been on the New York Times bestseller list. And while the Toronto-based TV writer, who has worked on everything from Instant Star and Degrassi: TNG to King and the upcoming Killjoys admits to being a little nervous, she’s received nothing but support from the woman who wrote the source material.
“I had the pleasure of speaking to Nora Roberts and she is such a professional,” Andras recalls. “She could not have been so supportive insofar as, yes, the world and the characters are there and that’s what really set the books apart and makes them so incredible, but she understands that because you’re going to a visual medium some things will change.”
Andras is currently working on the adaptation. There’s no time-frame attached to when Blood Magick will debut on the small screen, but according to Omnifilm partner Brian Hamilton, broadcasters are already lining up to talk about possible partnerships.
Blood Magick is one of a number of scripted series in development at Omnifilm that include Pacific Spirit, a family drama tied to CBC; Lovejoy, an adaptation of Jonathan Gash’s mystery novels; Beowulf, a serialized drama for The Movie Network and Movie Central; Homegrown Terrorist, set in the world of domestic terrorism and law enforcement; Corrective Measures, a superhero drama developed from Arcana Comics’ series; and The Last Spike, a miniseries based on Pierre Berton’s historical novel.