Canwest orders Ilana Frank series, more Howie

Mandel's Canadian-made series has lifted the 18-49 demo for both NBC and Global on Friday nights, where its first half-hour goes at 8 pm, followed by a second half-hour installment at 8:30 pm.

NBC Universal and Global Television have ordered 12 new half-hour episodes of Howie Mandel’s hidden-camera show Howie Do It.

And, as Canwest Global continues to spend its Alliance Atlantis benefits money, the broadcaster has also ordered 13 one-hour episodes of the homegrown drama Copper from Ilana Frank’s Thump Inc. and E1 Television.

The extended commitment to Howie Do It follows an impressive debut for the prank show after three weeks on Friday nights at 8 pm in simulcast.

Howie Do It bowed with 770,000 viewers in Canada, before it settled into a 650,000 range. The Canadian-made series has also lifted the 18-49 demo for both NBC and Global on Friday nights, where its first half-hour goes at 8 pm, followed by a second half-hour installment at 8:30 pm.

Howie Do It has proven to be a solid performer for NBC on Friday nights,’ Paul Telegdy, EVP of alternative programming for NBC and Universal Media Studios, said in a statement. The series is shot in Toronto by Mandel’s production shingle Alevy Production.

‘America loves to laugh along with Howie, and we think his latest pranks in these new episodes will be even more clever and entertaining,’ he added.

Christine Shipton, SVP of drama and factual content at Canwest, says Mandel and his crew will shoot episodes outside of Toronto as they pursue ‘marks’ with pranks countrywide.

The second-season episodes of Howie Do It are already in production. Mandel was at work on the new season when he suffered a high-profile fainting spell and hospitalization in Toronto in mid-January, owing to a heart ailment.

Elsewhere, Canwest has put in a straight-to-series order for Copper, which came to E1 Television via a first-look deal it has with producer Frank.

The series has financing from the Canadian Television Fund, and is being shopped stateside by E1 Television for a possible US broadcast partner.

Canwest Global is also weighing a separate pilot from E1 Television for Shattered, a crime drama that stars Callum Keith Rennie as a former star cop who solves crimes as a damaged recluse through the use of his multiple-personality disorder as a forensic tool.

From Playback Daily