The Firm

Global Television, Entertainment One (eOne), Sony Pictures Television Networks and NBC announced today the highly anticipated drama series The Firm began production last week in Toronto. The one-hour series will be simulcast on both Global and NBC in 2012 (premiere date TBC).

Joining the cast in recurring roles are Canadian actors Tricia Helfer (“Battlestar Galactica”) as Alex Clark and Shaun Majumder (“Detroit 1-8-7”) as Andrew Palmer. The series is based on the 1991 best-selling novel by world-renowned author John Grisham (“The Pelican Brief,” “The Client”).

The Firm stars Josh Lucas (“The Lincoln Lawyer,” “Sweet Home Alabama”) as Mitch McDeere, Callum Keith Rennie (“The Killing,” “Californication”) as Ray McDeere, Molly Parker (“Deadwood,” “Swingtown”) as Abby McDeere and Juliette Lewis (“Natural Born Killers,” “Cape Fear”) as Tammy Hemphill.

The series continues the story of attorney Mitch McDeere who, as a young associate, brought down the prestigious Memphis law firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke, which operated as a front for the Chicago mob.  After a difficult decade, McDeere and his family now emerge from isolation to reclaim their lives and their future — only to find that past dangers are still lurking and new threats are everywhere.

The Firm is produced by eOne in association with Sony Pictures Television Networks and Paramount Pictures. The executive producers are Grisham, Lukas Reiter (“Law & Order,” “Boston Legal”), John Morayniss (“Haven,” “Hung”), Michael Rosenberg (“Hung,” “The Riches”) and Noreen Halpern (“Rookie Blue,” “Call Me Fitz”). David Straiton (“House,” “Fringe”) is confirmed to direct the two-hour premiere episode and Helen Shaver (“Judging Amy,” “Law & Order: SVU”) will serve as a co- executive producer and will direct multiple episodes.

Entertainment One (eOne), Sony Pictures Television Networks, NBC and Global are proud to announce that Canadian actress Molly Parker (“Deadwood,” “Swingtown”) has signed on to star as Abby McDeere in the new legal drama series “The Firm,” based on John Grisham’s best-selling novel and executive-produced by Grisham and Lukas Reiter.

Ten years ago, Abby helped her husband Mitch bring down a Memphis law firm that was a front for the Chicago mob.  Her life was never the same.  Abby’s a true partner to Mitch – a smart, resourceful woman who after a tumultuous decade is excited to start a new life in Washington, D.C. as a school teacher.

Parker joins previously announced cast including Josh Lucas (“The Lincoln Lawyer,” “Sweet Home Alabama”), as attorney Mitchell McDeere (the role originated by Tom Cruise in the film); Juliette Lewis  (“Natural Born Killers,” “Cape Fear”) as Tammy, Mitch’s feisty, sexy receptionist, and Callum Keith Rennie  (“The Killing,” “Californication”) as Ray McDeere, Mitch’s charming yet volatile older brother whose work as an investigator in Mitch’s office is uniquely informed by his past stretch in prison for manslaughter.  

Despite a “highly un-ambitious” nature that stands in stark contrast to his Harvard-grad brother, Ray shares one key quality with Mitch: a loyalty that is unbreakable.

Based on the blockbuster feature film and the best-selling novel of 1991 by world-renowned author Grisham (“The Pelican Brief,” “The Client”), “The Firm” continues the story of attorney Mitchell McDeere (Lucas) who, as a young associate, brought down the prestigious Memphis law firm of Bendini, Lambert & Locke, which operated as a front for the Chicago mob.  After a difficult decade, McDeere and his family now emerge from isolation to reclaim their lives and their future — only to find that past dangers are still lurking and new threats are everywhere.

“The Firm” is produced by Entertainment One in association with Sony Pictures Television Networks and Paramount Pictures. The executive producers are Grisham, Lukas Reiter (“Law & Order,” “Boston Legal”), John Morayniss (“Haven,” “Hung”), Michael Rosenberg (“Hung,” “The Riches”) and Noreen Halpern (“Rookie Blue,” “Call Me Fitz”). David Straiton (“House,” “Fringe”) is confirmed to direct the pilot episode which will commence production in Toronto this August. Helen Shaver (“Judging Amy,” “Law & Order: SVU”) has also joined the series as a Producer and will direct multiple episodes.

Illustrating its continuing commitment to the Canadian television production industry, Shaw Media announced today that it has 15 new scripted dramas planned for the next year – more than any other Canadian broadcaster.

This ongoing focus on outstanding Canadian productions, co-productions and partnerships delivered record audiences during the 2010/11 season with homegrown programs Rookie Blue, Lost Girl and The Kennedys.

“We’re extremely proud of the role we’ve played in championing original Canadian dramas,” said Barbara Williams, Senior Vice-President, Content, Shaw Media. “This past year proved to be a real turning point for our local productions attracting record Canadian audiences and unprecedented attention from the US. And with four US network simulcasts scheduled over the next 12 months, the future is only looking brighter for homegrown productions.”

Through Shaw Media’s many US and international partners, audiences can expect to see a wide spectrum of top notch productions – some based on best-selling novels, others inspired by true events and many original dramas from some of the country’s best creative team.

 

Productions of note include:

 

GLOBAL

 

Combat Hospital

Combat Hospitalis set in 2006 when Canadians played a pivotal role overseeing the medical and military personnel at the NATO Multinational Medical Unit at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. This highly charged series follows the frantic lives of the hospital’s resident doctors and nurses as they navigate their way through the relentless life-and-death battles on the operating table. Global’s latest original drama makes its series premiere Tuesday, June 21 – 10pm ET/PT in simulcast with ABC. Combat Hospital is a joint production of Canada’s Sienna Films and the UK’s Artists Studio, and is currently filming in Toronto

 

Rookie Blue,Season 2

This summer, the personal and professional lives of the rookies continue to collide. On and off the job, these cops still have a lot to learn. After premiering on Global last year as the most-watched debut season of any scripted Canadian TV series in two decades,Rookie Blue is back with season two Thursday, June 23 – 10pm ET/PT in simulcast with ABC. Developed by Thump Inc. and produced in partnership with Entertainment (eOne) Television, the 13-episode series was commissioned by Shaw Media and picked up last year by ABC Television Network during development. Rookie Blue II was shot earlier this year in Toronto.

 

The Firm

Already a bestselling novel and a box office smash hit, John Grisham’s The Firm has now been commissioned by Shaw Media for Global as an original 22-episode x 60-minute series. The Firmwill premiere midseason 2012 in tandem on Global and NBC as part of the networks’ fall TV seasons, and will be shot on location in Toronto. The Firmis produced by Entertainment (eOne) Television in association with Sony Pictures Television Networks and Paramount Pictures.

 

Bomb Girls

Set in 1940s Toronto, the 6-part x 1 hour series Bomb Girls delves into the lives of the exceptional women – peers, friends and rivals – who find themselves thrust into new worlds,building bombs on the assembly line in the munitions factory. Bomb Girls is a Muse Entertainment /Back Alley Film production set to shoot on location in Toronto. Written by Michael MacLennan (Queer as Folk, Godiva’s) and co-created by Michael Maclennan and Adrienne Mitchell (Durham County, Bliss), the series is Executive Produced by Janis Lundman (Durham County, Bliss), Michael MacLennan, Adrienne Mitchell and Michael Prupas (The Kennedys, The Pillars of the Earth). Bomb Girls will premiere on Global in winter 2012.

 

Titanic

Shaw Media, along with ABC, ITV Studios and Lookout Point present Titanic, an epic four-part (4x1hr) miniseries set to premiere in simulcast on Global and ABC. The story that continues to generate interest globally is brought back to life with a fresh take from BAFTA® winning producer Nigel Stafford Clark (Bleak House) and Oscar® winning writer Julian Fellowes, (Gosford Park). The television debut of the Titanic in spring 2012 will aptly commemorate the 100th anniversary of the tragic event. Filming began this spring on location in Budapest, Hungary.

 

SHOWCASE

 

Lost Girl,Season 2

Lost Girl follows supernatural seductress Bo (Anna Silk: Being Erica; Billable Hours), a Succubus who feeds on the sexual energy of mortals. The premiere onSeptember 12, 2010 garnered the highest ratings ever for an original Canadian scripted series on Showcase, pulling in over 400,000 viewers (2+). Based on this great success, work began almost immediately on season two. Lost Girlis developed and produced in partnership with Prodigy Pictures Inc. and Shaw Media, and is shot in the Hamilton area.

 

King, Season 2

King, starring Amy Price-Francis (The Cleaner, 24, Californication) as gutsy, no holds barred police detective Jessica King, is currently in early pre-production for season two. A critical success in its first season on Showcase, King is shot on location and in studio in Toronto. The series was developed by Greg Spottiswood (Shattered) and Bernie Zukerman (This Is Wonderland, Million Dollar Babies) for Indian Grove Productions Ltd. and commissioned by Showcase for Shaw Media.

 

World Without End

World Without Endis based on Ken Follett’s multi-million bestseller of the same name and will air on Showcase in 2012. Budgeted at US$43 million, this eight-hour special event is a Canadian/German production with Tandem Communications and Canada’s Take Five Productions in association with Ridley Scott and Tony Scott´s SCOTT FREE FILMS. Principal photography with director Michael Caton-Jones (Rob Roy, Shooting Dogs) is set for a July start on location in Hungary. 

 

Haven,Season 2

Havencentres on the small town of Haven, Maine, where FBI agent Audrey (Emily Rose, ER, Brothers and Sisters) discovers that this curious enclave is a long time refuge for people with supernatural afflictions. Currently in production for season two in Nova Scotia, this fantasy-noirseriespremieres Monday, July 18 on Showcase. Developed and produced by Entertainment (eOne) Television, and co-commissioned by Shaw Media with the Syfy Channel in the United States,Haven secured 2.6 million total viewers on Syfy and ranked as one of the top five series for Showcase (A25-54) for season one. Haven is based on The Colorado Kid by Stephen King.

Already a bestselling novel and a box office smash hit, John Grisham’s The Firm has now been commissioned by Global, NBC Universal and Entertainment One for an original 22-episode x 60-minute series. The Firm will premiere midseason 2012 in tandem on Global and NBC as part of the networks’ fall TV seasons.

“This series is an exciting extension of the popular Grisham brand and a key addition to Global’s new fall midseason primetime lineup,” said Barbara Williams, SVP, Content, Shaw Media. “The Firm is an excellent opportunity to steadily build upon our growing number of high-profile network partnerships, joining the likes of Titanic, Combat Hospital and the #1 new Canadian drama, Rookie Blue.”

Executive produced by Lukas Reiter (Law & Order, Boston Legal, The Practice) and John Grisham, The Firm continues the story of Mitchell Y. McDeere and his family, 10 years after the events of the popular film and novel.

As a young associate, Mitchell Y. McDeere brought down Bendini, Lambert & Locke, a prestigious Memphis law firm operating as a front for the Chicago Mob. His life was never the same. After a difficult 10 years, which included a stay in the Federal Witness Protection Program, Mitch and his family emerge from isolation determined to reclaim their lives and their future – only to find that past dangers are still lurking and new threats are everywhere.

Lukas Reiter serves as the series show runner; Canadian Alyson Feltes (The Associates, Shattered) joins Peter Noah, David Feige, William Rothko, Vincent Angell and Jonathan Shapiro as part of the series’ writing team.

The Firm is produced by Entertainment One in association with Sony Pictures Television and Paramount Pictures.

The Firm will be shot on location in Toronto. More details to be released in the coming weeks.