Thursday, January 2, 2014
There's Hope For Saving Hope
By current standards of Canadian TV the medical drama series Saving Hope should have been cancelled after its first season.
The show aired on CTV and was picked up by NBC. But the peacock proud network dropped it after a lackluster summer showing and CTV usually would have done the same.
After all the superb Canadian made series Combat Hospital suffered a similar fate when it flourished on Global but was cancelled by ABC because of low ratings.
It's always been an "unproud" Canadian tradition that a big budget home grown drama needs an American partnership --and if that fails the show is over.
But wiser heads prevailed at CTV. The show was not only renewed for a second season but the episode order was ramped up from 13 to 18.
And so CTV ran part of the second season last summer to constantly growing ratings.
And now Saving Hope is back for its second second season with a winter run of nine more fresh episodes.
CTV apparently has confidence in this show and is even giving it the important time slot of Thursdays at 9 --yes it's the traditional spot for Grey's Anatomy which is going on hiatus.
And need any one say it but Saving Hope is very much in the tradition of Grey's Anatomy. The stars are super handsome, the hospital setting very slick indeed and the concentration is on the romantic entanglements of the principals.
Erica Durance stars as the beauteous Dr. Alex Reid --I've never met a female doctor in my life who was half as drop dead gorgeous.
Her fiance Dr. Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks) is also handsome --he's the one who came through a near death experience and now sees ghosts in every episode.
And there's the staff lady killer Dr. Joel Goran (Daniel Gilles) who was getting all hot and heavy with guest star Erin Karpluk of Being Erica fame.
I vehemently disagreed with the producers' decision to downgrade dependable Wendy Crewson who used to be veteran chief of surgery's Dr. Dana Kinny in favor of more time for Julia Taylor Ross (as Dr. Maggie Lin) and Kristopher Turner as Dr. Gavin Murphy but what do I know.
This second season Eric Johnson is being imported as a super sexy gynecologist --he used to toil on another series made by executive producer Ilana Frank --Rookie Blue which still runs summers on Global and ABC.
What Saving Hope has going for it is a certain professional smoothness --just a few years back a Canadian TV drama had a distinct look about it and could be spotted a mile away. One of the reasons is the steady hand of house director David Wellington.
If Gillies seems familiar he's also starring in the spin off of The Vampire Diaries called The Originals --there is an overlap so he some days must play two very different parts in two very different series.
My only problem with Saving Hope is the ghost angle --I hope it gets down played as much as possible. Several loyal viewers I was taking to told me they wish it would eventually be dropped for good.
And just to indicate its continuing support for Saving Hope CTV has already renewed it for a full season three ghosts or no ghosts.
SAVING HOPE RETURNS TO CTV THURSDAY JANUARY 2 AT 9 P.M.