Brand new live-action Family Mystery Series from the Producers of Degrassi, and developed in association with marblemedia
Ramona Barckert (2014 Canadian Screen Award winner) is Showrunner and Writer
HALIFAX, LOS ANGELES, LONDON, TORONTO, VANCOUVER, Aug. 5, 2014 /CNW/ -
Three-time Emmy®-nominated production company Epitome Pictures (Degrassi, Instant Star, The L.A. Complex), a DHX Media company, is starting production today on OPEN HEART a new original teen, live-action drama series. The 12 x 30-minute
series was commissioned by YTV and TeenNick and is developed in
association with marblemedia.
Exciting newcomer Karis Cameron stars as lead character Dylan Blake with
the series also starring Tori Anderson, Justin Kelly, Cristine
Prosperi, Kevin McGarry, Patrick Kwok-Choon, Jenny Cooper, Demore
Barnes, Jeff Douglas, Elena Juatco, Mena Massoud, and Dylan Everett.
The family mystery series will shoot this August through October in
Toronto. DHX Media will handle worldwide distribution for the show.
Steven DeNure, President and COO of DHX Media said: "DHX Media has a
proven track record in creating standout, globally successful
live-action shows for the tween and teen demographic. With the addition
of Epitome to our group, we have added significant strength in this
area and OPEN HEART promises to be an exciting, relevant drama of the caliber of Degrassi."
OPEN HEART is a gripping mystery series, folded into a sprawling family saga, set
against the high-stakes workplace and relationship drama of a hospital.
Dylan Blake, the rebellious daughter of a fractured family of doctors,
uses her stint as a youth hospital volunteer to secretly investigate
the mysterious disappearance of her father. OPEN HEART is being produced with the financial participation of the Shaw Rocket
Fund, the Cogeco Program Development Fund, Bell Fund and RBC Royal
The series stars:
Karis Cameron (Signed, Sealed, Delivered; The Haunting Hour) as Dylan Blake, the gutsy and headstrong heroine who is determined to
unravel the mystery that plagues the halls of Open Heart Memorial
Tori Anderson (The L.A. Complex, Warehouse 13, Flashpoint) as Dr. London Blake, Dylan's brainy older sister and first-year
Justin Kelly (Degrassi, Lost Girl, Latest Buzz) as Wes Silver, the cool and playful charmer, with a smart mouth that
gets him out of trouble just as often as it gets him into it
Cristine Prosperi (Degrassi, Nicky Deuce) as Mikayla Walker, the bright and bubbly ally to Dylan who distracts
herself with all the hospital's social drama
Kevin McGarry (Being Erica, Saw 7) as Dr. Timothy "Hud" Hudson, the first-year medical resident and
rugged bad boy of Open Heart Memorial
Patrick Kwok-Choon (Nikita, Rookie Blue, Being Erica) as Seth Park, loveable hipster-nerd lab tech, whose knowledge of
biochemistry is exceeded only by his collection of indie novels and
Jenny Cooper (Hemlock Grove, Scandal, NCIS, C.S.I. Miami, 24) as Dr. Jane Blake, mother to Dylan and London, and the leading trauma
doctor who would rather save lives than deal with her own family
Demore Barnes (Hemlock Grove, The Listener, Flashpoint) as Dr. Dominic Karamichaelidis, the handsome attending emergency
physician and resident advisor who doesn't mind being the bad guy if it
means saving lives
Elena Juatco (Repo! The Genetic Opera, Breaking the Rules, Sorority Surrogate) as Scarlet, the first-year medical resident, whose stunning beauty
often leaves her razor sharp medical skills underestimated by others
Mena Massoud (King, Combat Hospital, Poser) as Jared, the snarky and upfront head of the youth volunteer program who
plays by the rules and relishes the marginal authority his position
Dylan Everett (Degrassi, Wingin' It, The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story) as Teddy, Dylan's old friend - a bored rich kid and a very bad
"It's so exciting to be starting production on Epitome's first new
series as part of DHX Media, working with outstanding broadcast
partners in both Canada and the U.S." said executive producer at
Epitome Pictures, Linda Schuyler. "I've always enjoyed telling stories about the high school experience. With OPEN HEART, I am looking forward to exploring the drama that can unfold in a
completely different environment."
"For me, OPEN HEART is a dream show, blending together my favorite television genres and
following a strong, complicated teen heroine as she finds her place in
the world," said executive producer, show-runner and writer Ramona
Barckert. "I'm very excited to introduce everyone to Dylan Blake and
all the fun characters that surround her."
"With the popularity of serialized dramas, YTV is thrilled to be adding
a new series to our prime-time slate," said Jamie Piekarz, Director of
Content, Corus Kids. "OPEN HEART will have our teen viewers on the edge of their seats with mystery,
suspense and family drama"
"This brand-new family mystery series is a great way to extend our
relationship with Epitome," said Keith Dawkins, Senior Vice President
and General Manager, Nicktoons, TeenNick and Nick Jr. "The team behind Degrassi will now bring our viewers an original storyline and introduce new
faces to TeenNick."
OPEN HEART is executive produced by Linda Schuyler and Stephen Stohn, Ramona
Barckert, Matt Hornburg and Mark Bishop. The series is developed in
association with marblemedia, which is also taking the lead in
producing a fully integrated interactive digital component to the
series. Directors are Stefan Brogren and Samir Rehem. Writers include
Ramona Barckert, Chris Pozzebon, Scott Oleszkowicz, Brendan Gall,
Brendon Yorke and Barbara Haynes. Production Executives for Corus
Entertainment are Jamie Piekarz and Chris Bell and for TeenNick, Kim
Celebrating 25 years in television, YTV is a leading cross platform
entertainment brand for kids and families. The channel offers quality
entertainment with hilarious animated and live-action comedy series,
popular Nickelodeon series, blockbuster movies, top-rated original
Canadian programming, music, celebrities and the channel's after-school
block, The Zone. Through its multiple platforms and exclusive digital
and interactive content, YTV is the voice of Canadian youth culture.
YTV is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc.
TeenNick, Nickelodeon's 24-hour TV network exclusively for and about
teens and tweens, is available in almost 73 million households via
cable, digital cable and satellite. Featuring a roster of ever-popular
Nick favorites, original programming and award-winning series, the
brand presents an authentic teen experience, with all its emotional
intensity, energy and humor, across multiple platforms and integrated
social media. TeenNick and all related titles, characters and logos
are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).
About Epitome Pictures
A DHX Media company, Toronto-based EPITOME PICTURES has produced
award-winning youth and family drama for more than 34 years. Its
flagship programs, including The Kids Of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High, and the current series, Degrassi: The Next Generation, now known simply as Degrassi, have been honoured with multiple Gemini Awards, Teen Choice Awards, the
Television Critics Association Award, The Peabody Award, two
International Emmy© Awards and three Primetime Emmy© nominations. Past
Epitome series include The L.A. Complex, Instant Star, Riverdale, and Liberty Street.
About DHX Media
DHX Media Ltd. (www.dhxmedia.com), a leading broadcaster, creator, producer and marketer of family
entertainment, is recognized globally for such brands as Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou, Teletubbies, In the Night Garden, Inspector
Gadget, Johnny Test, and the multi-award winning Degrassi franchise. DHX Media Ltd. is the owner of Family Channel, the
most-viewed children's television channel in Canada, as well as Disney
Junior (English & French) and Disney XD. The Company markets and
distributes its library of more than 10,000 episodes of entertainment
programming worldwide, and licenses its owned properties through its
dedicated consumer products business. DHX Media Ltd.'s full-service
international licensing agency, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group
Ltd. (CPLG), represents numerous entertainment, sport and design
brands. DHX Media Ltd. has offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, Vancouver,
Halifax, London, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Munich and Amsterdam, and is
listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker DHX.
About marblemedia develops, produces and distributes engaging multiplatform entertainment
experiences for audiences around the world. With nearly 250 hours of
programming distributed in more than 200 territories, marblemedia has
been honoured by Playback Magazine with the 2013 Outstanding
Achievement Award, in addition to being named Transmedia Producer of
the Year (2011) by the publication. marble has won a Canadian Screen
Award, two Gemini Awards, been nominated for an Emmy® Award and was
identified as a Next Generation Content Producer (2009) by The
Hollywood Reporter. The company owns a 50-acre production ranch and
operates a Toronto-based studio, home to 50 staff. The company was
co-founded by Mark Bishop and Matt Hornburg in 2001. www.marblemedia.com
SOURCE: DHX Media Ltd.
For further information:
For investor relations, please contact:
David A. Regan - EVP, Corporate Development & IR, DHX Media Ltd.
Media, please contact:
Shaun Smith - Director, Corporate Communications, DHX Media Ltd.