Two new prime-time series get the green light from CTV

Canadian production The Bridge and co-venture Defying Gravity head into production in early 2009.

CTV has greenlit 11 episodes of the new cop drama The Bridge, following completion of a two-hour not-yet-aired MOW this past August. The network also signed on for the new space-based one-hour 13-ep drama series Defying Gravity, from Vancouver-based Omni Film Productions and Fox Television Studios. Both begin shooting in 2009.

The Bridge is exec produced by Adam Shully (Blood Ties) with former Toronto police union head Craig Bromell through their 990 Multi Media Entertainment Company, as well as Laszlo Barna of Barna-Alper Productions.

The series focuses on the inner workings of a big-city police department, based on Bromell’s own experiences during 26 years in law enforcement. It’s written by Alan Di Fiore (Da Vinci’s Inquest) and stars Aaron Douglas (Battlestar Galactica) as an outspoken union head. There’s no word on an airdate for the MOW.

The Bridge is the third new drama ordered by CTV (following Flashpoint and The Listener), and the fourth is Defying Gravity, starring Ron Livingston (Office Space). It will air in Canada on both CTV and Space. While the UK’s BBC and Germany’s ProSieben have also picked it up, there is no deal confirmed in the US, although Fox plans to shop the show across all US networks next year, Fox Television’s Leslie Oren tells MiC.

Set in the near future, Defying Gravity follows the journey of eight astronauts from five countries as they undertake a six-year space mission covering eight billion miles. Along the way, they discover that their real assignment is not what they expected.

The series is executive produced by award-winning writer/producer James Parriott (Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty) and Michael Edelstein (Desperate Housewives). The first episode will be directed by Canadian television director David Straiton (House, Life).‘ >

With files from Playback Daily