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‘Degrassi’ producers cultivate ‘Gardens’

Schuyler, Stohn team with helmer-scribe Gero on series

MONTREAL — The team behind cult series “Degrassi: The Next Generation” is set to make a new show about struggling Canuck thesps living at an apartment-style hotel in Los Angeles.

“Highland Gardens” comes from producers Linda Schuyler and Stephen Stohn from Toronto-based Epitome Pictures.

It will be exec produced and written by Martin Gero, who directed “Young People Fucking” in 2007 and is supervising producer and one of the writers on HBO’s “Bored to Death.”

It will air on commercial channel CTV and MuchMusic in Canada.

The series is inspired by the real Highland Gardens hotel in L.A. that is popular with Canadian actors in town for pilot season. It has already been the subject of a documentary, “Camp Hollywood.”

“Highland Gardens” is a working title — Gero says they will come up with a fictionalized version of the hotel for the series.

“It’s not like most shows about Hollywood,” said Gero. “It’s an interesting companion piece to ‘Entourage.’ It’s about young Canadians trying to make it in Los Angeles, from actors to a budding hip-hop producer who’s working as an intern. It’s a really bohemian-lifestyle show.”

The six one-hour episodes will shoot in August in Los Angeles and Toronto, and the producers are currently shopping the series in the U.S.

CTV also announced Thursday that it has greenlit two one-hour original drama pilots.

Saving Hope” is set in a Toronto hospital and comes from producer Ilana Frank (“Rookie Blue”); “Stay With Me” is a legal procedural from producers Suzette Couture and Pierre Sarrazin (“The Man Who Lost Himself”) about a stay-at-home mother who becomes a lawyer.

Both will be produced next spring. Pilots are a new concept for CTV, which used to commission series without them.

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