In advance of Thursday’s #CTVUpfront event where the fall schedule will be unveiled, Bell Media confirmed on Wednesday its first wave of new and returning original entertainment programming for the 2019/20 season. They also announced the lead cast for the upcoming CTV medical drama Transplant, one of 31 new originals coming to the Bell suite of channels in the next year.
Transplant tells the story of a brilliantly skilled emergency medicine doctor who fled Syria to Canada, as he’s challenged to make a place for himself in a new hospital and country. The ensemble medical procedural will also mix in the story of a new immigrant to offer a fresh take on the beloved genre for audiences. It was announced that Hamza Haq, Laurence Leboeuf, and John Hannah will star in the one-hour with production beginning this month. Season 1 will consist of 13 episodes.
In addition to Transplant, CTV also has the eight-episode series Albedo, set 150 years in the future and starring Evangeline Lilly. This drama finds Lilly as Detective Vivien Coleman who is dispatched to the edge of the solar system to investigate a scientist’s mysterious death on board an isolated space station. She soon finds herself trapped and cut off from Earth, along with the station’s small crew of brilliant scientists – all murder suspects, and all harbouring their own secrets.
Other highlights from Bell’s announcement on Wednesday include:
Cardinal returning for Season 4 to CTV this winter
New episodes of The Beaverton begin on July 23
A new six-pack of episodes of Letterkenny premiere on Crave on October 11 with production on another season beginning this summer in Sudbury, Ontario.
Crave will also head to Montréal for the Just for Laughs Festival this summer, shooting a series of four new specials featuring acclaimed Canadian comedians. The streaming network also goes into production on the original We’re All Gonna Die, a documentary about the end of the world. Drawing together science, psychology, pop culture, and philosophy, We’re All Gonna Die meets viewers’ fascination with the apocalypse head-on. Each episode explores one of the ways that humanity could meet its end – from nuclear war and asteroids to aliens – with the ultimate hope that humankind can come together to make the world a better place.
Production also kicks off June 17 in North Bay, Ontario on the new “true crime” comedy series New Eden. From Evany Rosen and Kayla Lorette, New Eden is an eight-part, half-hour anthology that follows the misguided attempt of two women, Katherine Whitfield (Lorette) and Grace Lee (Rosen), who started what would become the first, all-female cult of its size. After experiencing the oppression of a male-dominated cult, they decided to create a safe space for women, New Eden. In the inexperienced hands of Whitfield and Lee, the community quickly devolves into a drug-addled, pagan, and sometimes alien-worshipping, disaster space… with the possibility of some murders too.
More information on Bell Media’s slate of original programming can be found here.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.