ABC renews summer hit


ABC and Canwest jointly announced today the renewal of this summer’s No. 1 new scripted series, “Rookie Blue.” The drama was renewed for a second season just three weeks following its highly rated premiere on ABC.

“Rookie Blue” stands as the most-watched television show in summer’s Thursday’s 9:00 p.m. hour. Sparked by this positive viewer response to the series, the second season is currently in development and will move into production in Toronto later this summer.

“We’re very pleased that the show has connected with viewers, especially considering the challenge of finding an audience in the summer, and are excited to pick it up for a second season,” said Quinn Taylor, senior vice president, Movies, Miniseries and Acquisitions, ABC Entertainment Group.

“We are so proud of ’Rookie Blue’s’ amazing success and are thrilled to announce its renewal alongside ABC,” said Barbara Williams, executive vice-president of Content, Canwest Broadcasting. “This homegrown series has delivered record-setting audiences, and we’re looking forward to giving fans even more of these fresh characters and gripping storylines in Season Two.”

“The creative troika of Tassie, David and Ilana is the secret behind the out-of-the-gate success of ‘Rookie Blue,’ ” said Noreen Halpern, president of Dramatic Programming, E1 Television. “They tell heartfelt, immersive human stories burnished with a sexy, glossy pop sheen. We’re thrilled that the stars seem to have aligned on this project, and that Canwest and ABC have been such incredible partners.”

For ABC, the new series ranks second on Thursday night among the broadcast networks to Fox’s time slot veteran, “So You Think You Can Dance,” among young adults (AD18-34/AD18-49). In Adults 18-49, “Rookie Blue’s” premiere telecast stands as TV’s top-rated summer scripted series debut in over a year and as ABC’s highest in nearly six years – since 5/26/09 and 7/18/04, respectively. “Rookie Blue” is producing year-to-year gains for ABC in the hour of 4.2 million viewers and 125% in Adults 18-49 from the Net’s Summer ’09 averages in the time slot. In Canada “Rookie Blue” was also the highest-rated premiere for a Canadian drama series on any network in that country in over a decade.

“Rookie Blue” was developed by Thump Inc. and produced in partnership with leading indie studio and distributor E1 Entertainment. The series is executive-produced by award-winning Tassie Cameron (“Flashpoint”), Ilana Frank (“The Eleventh Hour,” “Would Be Kings”), Noreen Halpern (“Hung,” “Haven”), John Morayniss (“Hung,” “Haven”) and David Wellington (“The Eleventh Hour,” “Would Be Kings”).

“Rookie Blue” follows the lives of five inexperienced rookies thrown into the world of big city policing. The series examines the trials and triumphs, competition and camaraderie of this rookie family which is learning that no amount of training can prepare them for this job – or for life.

Shot entirely on location in Toronto, Rookie Blue features Missy Peregrym (“Reaper,” “Heroes”), Gregory Smith (“Everwood”), Charlotte Sullivan (“M.V.P.”), Enuka Okuma (“24”) and Travis Milne (“My Green House”). Rounding out the cast is Ben Bass (“Would Be Kings”), Eric Johnson (“Millville”), Matt Gordon (“Rent-A-Goalie”), Noam Jenkins (“Flashpoint”) and Melanie Nicholls King (“The Wire”).

(source: ABC)