CTV, Space want more of telepathic paramedic
NBC’s cancellation hasn’t stopped “The Listener” from returning for a second year.The Canadian-based series has scored a sophomore season pickup from Canada’s CTV network and its sister sci-fi/fantasy cabler Space. Fox Intl. Channels is also onboard to carry the show internationally. “The Listener” stars Craig Olejnik as a telepathic paramedic. CTV, Space and Fox Intl. Channels have picked up 13 episodes of a second season. Shaftesbury Films produces “The Listener” in conjunction with CTV, Space and Fox Intl. Channels. Shine Intl. handles global distribution. Show aired Thursdays this summer on the Peacock but was ultimately yanked off the air due to low ratings — posting well below a 1 rating among adults 18-49. “The Listener” hasn’t yet secured a new U.S. outlet for its second season. But “The Listener” has performed well in Canada, and with international sales in place, the show can continue even without a U.S. buyer. “We don’t need a U.S. outlet right now, for sure,” said Shaftesbury chairman-CEO Christina Jennings. “But once the story department starts up in the new years and we get some scripts under our belt, we’ll canvas the U.S. outlets to see. Certainly ‘The Listener’ had fans in the States.” “The Listener” was one of several international co-productions to land a U.S. network home over the past two years, as domestic broadcasters look for alternative means of airing low-cost scripted fare. So far, however, only CBS’ “Flashpoint” — a co-production with CTV — has shown much staying power. “Thanks to our partnership with Shaftesbury and Fox Intl., we created a new and different financing model that brought ‘The Listener’ to viewers in every country of the world,” said Shine Intl.’s John Pollak.