THE BRIDGE: CBS orders new series ‘The Bridge’

CBS orders new series ‘The Bridge’
By: Etan Vlessing
Date: February 19, 2009
Source: The Hollywood Reporter


CBS has picked up another Canadian cop drama that could serve as a potential companion series to “Flashpoint.” Filing from Toronto, here’s THR’s Etan Vlessing:

CBS on Thursday crossed over to “The Bridge” with a deal to co-produce its second Canadian cop drama with CTV after the Canadian network last year brought it the police procedural “Flashpoint” during the WGA strike.

“The Bridge,” from E1 Entertainment and 990 Multi Media Entertainment, was created by former cop and Toronto police union head Craig Bromell and written by Alan Di Fiore (“Da Vinci’s Inquest).

Bromell and Di Fiore collaborated on the two-hour pilot for CTV and will executive produce the first season of 11 one hours along with Laszlo Barna, Adam J. Shully and Robert Wertheimer. John Fawcett (“The Border”) will direct.

“The Bridge” portrays cops battling criminals on the streets and their bosses and know-nothing politicians in the corridors of power. The series stars Aaron Douglas (“Battlestar Galactica”) as a police union head who locks horns with the police brass in an attempt to combat corruption.

Bromell said the Canadian series, a twist on the cops and cons procedural, takes viewers behind police lines to where ordinary officers are forced to combat corruption and skullduggery by their top brass and know-nothing politicians when not patrolling the streets.

The Canadian cast includes Paul Popowich as Frank’s partner and confidante, Inga Cadranel, Frank Cassini, Michael Murphy (“Away From Her”) and Stuart Margolin (“The Rockford Files”).

“The Bridge” is the second series greenlighted by CBS’ Nancy Tellem from CTV senior program executives Ivan Fecan and Susanne Boyce, who developed “Flashpoint” before the series was produced by Toronto-based Pink Sky Entertainment and Avamar Entertainment.

“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 of creative, content and channels for CTV.

“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,” added Nancy Tellem, president of CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group.

As with “Flashpoint,” “The Bridge” was in development for four years before CTV ordered a two-hour TV movie for itself. It then helped shop the series to CBS. Both series are set in Toronto.

A third CTV series, “The Listener,” produced by Toronto-based Shaftesbury Films, was picked up by NBC and Fox International.

Production on “The Bridge” is set to begin in May in Toronto. No word on an airdate. E1 Entertainment will handle international sales of the Canadian series.