Homegrown Series Sets New Record as Biggest Canadian Drama Premiere on Any Network in Over a Decade
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TORONTO, July 12 /CNW/ - Today, Canwest and ABC jointly announced the renewal of this summer's biggest new series, Rookie Blue. The sexy hit Canadian drama was greenlit for a second season only three weeks following the ground-breaking premiere on Global Television and ABC.
A bullet-proof winner since its debut, Rookie Blue has hooked a combined weekly average of 8.5 million viewers on both sides of the border, and has garnered a rap sheet full of critics' accolades. Sparked by this extraordinary response to the new blue, the second season is currently in development and will move into production in Toronto later this summer.
"We are so proud of Rookie Blue's amazing success and are thrilled to announce its renewal alongside ABC," said Barbara Williams, Executive Vice-President of Content, Canwest Broadcasting. "This homegrown series has delivered record-setting audiences, and we're looking forward to giving fans even more of these fresh characters and gripping storylines in season two."
In Canada, the series premiere garnered a record-breaking 2.1 million viewers on Global (Ind 2+, national - up from the preliminary overnight number of 1.8 million) - the highest-rated premiere for a Canadian drama series on any network in over a decade. Bolstered by an extensive marketing campaign across the country, Rookie Blue is the most successful original Canadian drama ever commissioned by Canwest.
"We're very pleased that the show has connected with viewers, especially considering the challenge of finding an audience in the summer," said Quinn Taylor, Senior Vice-President, Movies, Miniseries and Acquisitions, ABC Entertainment Group, "and thrilled to pick it up for a second season."
Rookie Blue was developed by Thump Inc. and produced in partnership with leading indie studio and distributor, E1 Entertainment. The series is executive produced by award-winning Tassie Cameron (Flashpoint), Ilana Frank (The Eleventh Hour, Would Be Kings), Noreen Halpern (Hung, Haven), John Morayniss (Hung, Haven) and David Wellington (The Eleventh Hour, Would Be Kings).
"The creative troika of Tassie, David and Ilana is the secret behind the out-of-the-gate success of Rookie Blue," said Noreen Halpern, President of Dramatic Programming, E1 Television. "They tell heartfelt, immersive human stories burnished with a sexy, glossy pop sheen. We're thrilled that the stars seem to have aligned on this project, and that Canwest and ABC have been such incredible partners."
E1 owns worldwide distribution rights for its TV productions and markets its programs to broadcasters, digital outlets and retailers around the globe. Along with the sales to ABC and Canwest, the exclusive global pay-TV rights (excluding U.S., Canada, France and Germany) for Rookie Blue were previously acquired by Universal Networks International, the global channels division of NBC Universal.
Rookie Blue follows the lives of five inexperienced rookies thrown into the world of big city policing. The series examines the trials and triumphs, competition and camaraderie of this rookie family learning that no amount of training can prepare them for this job - or for life.
Shot entirely on location in Toronto, Rookie Blue features a diverse lineup of Canadian actors including Missy Peregrym (Reaper, Heroes), Gregory Smith (Everwood), Charlotte Sullivan (M.V.P.), Enuka Okuma (24) and Travis Milne (My Green House). Rounding out the cast is Ben Bass (Would Be Kings), Eric Johnson (Smallville), Matt Gordon (Rent-A-Goalie), Noam Jenkins (Flashpoint) and Melanie Nicholls King (The Wire).
Rookie Blue airs Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT on Global and ABC. In this week's episode, "Signals Crossed" (Thursday, July 15), Andy (Missy Peregrym) trades in her uniform for something more risqué when she goes undercover as a prostitute. Tensions run high when Dov (Gregory Smith) puts an informant's life in jeopardy and it's up to Andy to infiltrate a risky gun deal in progress to save her.
Viewers can catch up on the first three episodes of Rookie Blue at www.GlobalTV.com.
Canada: Data as of August 31st 2009, BBM Canada PPM Overnight & Confirmed Data based on Ind 2+, Total Canada. All other historical data based on BBM/NMR, BBM Canada or Nielsen People Meter data from January 2001 to August 2009, Total Canada.
U.S.: Nielsen Media Research (Fast Affiliate, Live + Same Day Ratings), Jun24 - Jul8/10 inclusive.
Global Television is a Canwest Broadcasting network.
About Canwest Broadcasting
Canwest Broadcasting operates Global Television and 19 of the country's most popular specialty channels, including HGTV, Mystery TV, National Geographic Channel, Showcase, History Television, Food Network and TVtropolis. Canwest Broadcasting is a division of Canwest Media Inc.
About Canwest Originals
Canwest is the proud home of the most diverse slate of Canadian Original programs across the Dramatic, Lifestyle and Entertainment genres. As a steadfast supporter of the Canadian production community, Canwest is dedicated to bringing the best of the country to audiences nationwide - including shows such as: Rookie Blue, Family Restaurant, Holmes Inspection, Ice Pilots: NWT, 16:9, Re-Vamped and Canada's most trusted entertainment news show, Entertainment Tonight Canada.
About Canwest Media Inc.
Canwest Media Inc. is a subsidiary of Canwest Global Communications Corp. (www.canwest.com), Canada's largest media company. In addition to owning the Global Television Network, operating 19 industry-leading specialty channels and having ownership in five specialty channels, Canwest is Canada's largest publisher of English language paid daily newspapers and owns and operates more than 80 online properties.
About Canwest Global Communications Corp.
Canwest Global Communications Corp. (www.canwest.com), (TSX-V: CGS and CGS.A) is Canada's largest media company. In addition to owning the Global Television Network, operating 19 industry-leading specialty channels and having ownership in five specialty channels, Canwest is Canada's largest publisher of English language paid daily newspapers and owns and operates more than 80 online properties.
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