Lightning Strikes Twice: NBC Picks Up CTV's The Listener For U.S. Broadcast

    - Shaftesbury Films production becomes second CTV series this week
    to be picked up by major U.S. network -

    TORONTO, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - The Listener (working title), a new CTV Original
drama from Shaftesbury Films, will also air on NBC in the United States, it
was confirmed today. It's the second time this week a CTV-developed Canadian
series has been picked up for broadcast on a major U.S. network in primetime.
Produced by Toronto's Shaftesbury films, The Listener tells the story of a
young man who can read people's thoughts, and acts on them. It's the first
drama series from Shaftesbury Films to be broadcast in primetime on American
network television. NBC has ordered 13 episodes of the one-hour drama series,
which was green-lit by CTV last December. Set in Toronto, The Listener is
currently in pre-production with shooting set to begin this spring.

    (xx)Media Note(xx) - Download photos from The Listener at

    "Two different series, two different American networks, two different
producers - one huge success for CTV's original development team," said
Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. "It's been
an incredible week. Canadian television stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the
best content in the world. We have a long and successful relationship with
Shaftesbury Films and we are proud to partner with them on bringing The
Listener to such a wide audience."

    "We're delighted The Listener will be broadcast by NBC in the U.S. and
CTV in Canada. Shaftesbury has built strong relationships with U.S. networks
over the years. This opportunity to partner with CTV and NBC on a primetime
series is the next logical step," said Christina Jennings, Chairman and CEO of
Shaftesbury Films. "There seems to be a new pattern emerging at American TV
networks, which have lately become more open to working with production
companies outside the U.S."

    In The Listener, Toby Logan (Craig Olejnik, In God's Country) is a young
big-city paramedic with the power to listen to people's thoughts. With his
paramedic partner and best bud Osman Bey (Ennis Esmer, host of The Toronto
Show) along for the ride, Toby juggles life as a telepathic sleuth with that
of an urban twentysomething.

    Created by Michael Amo (Blessed Stranger: After Flight 111), The Listener
was developed by CTV with Shaftesbury Films beginning in 2006 with a pilot
directed by Clement Virgo (The Wire, Poor Boys Game) produced last summer. The
Listener was part of CTV's first venture into pilot production in 2007. It was
the first time CTV had ordered pilots as part of its development of new
Canadian television series. The pilot order reinforced the network's priority
in delivering critically-acclaimed Canadian programming enjoyed by the largest
audiences possible.

    The Listener is produced by Shaftesbury Films, (producers of CTV's No. 1
and No. 2 highest-rated TV movies, Eight Days to Live and In God's Country) in
association with CTV and NBC. Executive producers are Emmy and Gemini
award-winning Christina Jennings (ReGenesis, The Murdoch Mysteries), Scott
Garvie for Shaftesbury Films, Russ Cochrane (Whistler) and Michael Amo. The
Listener is distributed in the United States by Program Partners.

    Founded in 1987, Shaftesbury Films has established a reputation as one of
Canada's leading producers of high quality film and television programming.
Recent productions include the new one-hour drama series Murdoch Mysteries for
Citytv, the fourth season of the TV series ReGenesis for The Movie Network,
Movie Central and Showcase; the TV movies In God's Country and Eight Days to
Live, both featuring Kelly Rowan and both delivering record breaking ratings
for CTV; and The Robber Bride, the Emmy-nominated TV-movie starring Gemini
award-winner Mary-Louise Parker, for CBC. Shaftesbury Films also produces a
variety of kids' programming, including the highly successful kids' series
Life with Derek, currently airing on Family Channel and Disney Channel, and
broadcast in over 100 countries worldwide. Visit the Shaftesbury website at

    CTV, Canada's largest private broadcaster, offers a wide range of quality
news, sports, information, and entertainment programming. It has the
number-one national newscast, CTV National News With Lloyd Robertson, and is
the number-one choice for prime-time viewing. CTVglobemedia Inc. is Canada's
premier multi-media company which owns CTV Inc. and The Globe and Mail. CTV
Inc. also owns radio stations across the country, and leading national
specialty channels. Other CTVglobemedia investments include an interest in
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and in Dome Productions, a North American
leader in the provision of mobile high definition production facilities. More
information about CTV may be found on the company website at

For further information:

For further information: Scott Henderson, CTV Inc., (416) 332-5305 or; Sue Baldaro, Shaftesbury Films, (416) 363-1411 ext 154 or
(416) 573-8481 (mobile) or; Liza Rindge-Peterson, NBC
Entertainment, (818) 840-3627 or

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