Parent of Canuck b'caster also announces exec shuffle in production

Canuck broadcaster CTV ordered 12 one-hour episodes of original hospital drama “Saving Hope” as parent Bell Media announced an exec reshuffle of its production unit on Wednesday.

Series is exec produced by Thump Inc. founder Ilana Frank (“Rookie Blue”), Lesley Harrison and veteran TV helmer David Wellington, who is also the series director.

Co-created and written by Malcolm MacRury and Morwyn Brebner, “Hope” was inspired by a three-part series of articles, published in 2005, by Globe and Mail scribe Ian Brown, who spent eight weeks in Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

“Hope” stars Michael Shanks (“Stargate Atlantis”) as Dr. Harris, chief surgeon of a fictional Toronto hospital, who lies in coma and wanders the wards in spirit form. Erica Durance (“Smallville”) stars as his fiancee and fellow surgeon, and Joel Goran (“The Vampire Diaries”) is the hot new surgeon.A pilot was shot this summer. No word yet on when lensing begins.

Bell Media is re-aligning its production unit, headed by senior VP Corrie Coe, to reflect development and production by genre across all Bell properties, a shift from the channel-focused model.

Trish Williams is now the unit’s director of drama (shows airing across CTV, Space, Muchmusic and Bravo); Sarah Fowlie is director of comedy (the aforementioned as well as The Comedy Network); and Susan Makela is director of Canadian programming management.

Coe continues to helm Bell’s factual and reality series development and production.

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