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TORONTO (Sept. 17, 2013) – Money. Guns. Cars. Drugs. Thursday night gets a dose of suspense this fall with the premiere of CTV’s compelling new original undercover cop drama PLAYED. Launching with CTV’s biggest promotional investment of any other network priority this fall, PLAYED joins CTV’s blockbuster Thursday night line-up at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning Oct. 3 (visit CTV.ca to confirm local broadcast times). And with a goal of driving awareness of the new series ahead of its debut, CTV announced today it will sample the emotion and tension-filled premiere with a one-week sneak peek, exclusively at CTV.ca, on the CTV App, and the CTV Mobile Channel on Bell Mobile TV, beginning Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9 a.m. ET.
PLAYED follows the Covert Investigations Unit (C.I.U.), an elite, Toronto-based undercover police unit formed to infiltrate criminal worlds. In nerve-wracking confidence games or “plays,” these smooth-talking cops flirt with killers, befriend gang members, and arrange gun shipments – all to collect evidence, coax confessions, and make arrests.
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“Closing out Thursday night’s powerhouse lineup on CTV, PLAYED is not-to-be missed. It will keep Canadians at the edge of their seats and have them counting down the days until the next episode,” said Phil King, President, CTV Programming and Sports. “Launching in the prime Thursday at 10 p.m. timeslot and with our most significant promotional push of the fall, as well as a week-long digital preview, PLAYED is well positioned for a successful run on CTV.”
With all elements created by the Bell Media Agency, the far-reaching promotion and marketing campaign in support of PLAYED leverages Bell Media’s extensive English-language radio, television, and digital networks. A one-month on-air launch campaign is currently underway, featuring more than a dozen different executions. The campaign is also supported through outdoor executions in key metropolitan markets, including bus kings, transit shelters, and posters, as well as digital assets including banner and mobile ads, and pre-roll promos. In all, the seven-figure promotional value of the PLAYED campaign results in the largest marketing investment by CTV of any of its series this fall.
In PLAYED, the C.I.U. team faces the risks of going undercover to infiltrate, and bring down, criminal organizations. With the new style of short-term, high-intensity undercover work, each covert “play” is crafted quickly and executed at an even faster pace. Placed into various worlds of crime without a safety net, the cops are in constant danger. Wearing wires, coaxing confessions, and setting up stings, the cops of the C.I.U. must think quickly, talk smoothly, and rely on pure instinct. If these cops aren’t convincing, if they aren’t real, if they miss one cue – their lives are over in an instant. They slip in and out of characters so often, they sometimes lose track of who they really are. The bonds within the team are close, and the conflicts are intense. The team is everything.
The talented and instinct-driven Detective John Moreland (Gemini Award-nominee Vincent Walsh, DECEPTION, LOST GIRL) is used to being in charge, but when consummate strategist Rebecca Ellis (Chandra West, NYPD BLUE, JOHN FROM CINCINNATI) is suddenly given the reins, conflict ensues. Balancing her keen intellect against his from-the-hip instincts, Rebecca and John need each other to pull off their risky plays – and they know it.
In the heart-pounding premiere, entitled “Drugs” (Thursday, Oct. 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, and in a digital preview beginning Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9 a.m. ET across CTV digital platforms), undercover detective John Moreland (Walsh) faces suspension after assaulting a Drug Squad officer. He gets a second chance when Detective Sergeant Rebecca Ellis (West) recruits Moreland and his team into her newly formed Covert Investigations Unit. The C.I.U.’s first case is to take down David Thorpe (Serge Houde, 50/50), an elusive drug kingpin Moreland has been hunting for years. Rebecca’s leadership and her fragile relationship with Moreland are severely tested when Thorpe suspects that Moreland is a cop.
Set and shot in Toronto, the high-risk drama also stars Lisa Marcos (THE LISTENER, FLASHPOINT) as Maria Cortez, a cop who has an exceptional ability to read a mark and transform herself to adapt to any situation; Dwain Murphy (COMBAT HOSPITAL, NIKITA) as Daniel Price, whose confidence and magnetic warmth easily dispel suspicion; Agam Darshi (SANCTUARY, RING OF FIRE) as Khali Bhatt, whose effortless skill with technology is a real asset for the team; and Adam Butcher (REPUBLIC OF DOYLE, BOMB GIRLS) as Jesse Calvert, the undercover unit’s explosive rookie.
Viewers can catch full episodes of PLAYED live on CTV Mobile (visit CTV.ca to confirm local broadcast times), as well as on demand across CTV’s digital platforms: including CTV.ca, the CTV App, the CTV Mobile channel on Bell Mobile TV, and through video on demand partners such as Bell Fibe TV following the broadcast. PLAYED can also be seen Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo beginning Oct. 9.
PLAYED is produced by Muse Entertainment Enterprises and Back Alley Film Productions Ltd. in association with Bell Media. The series was created by Greg Nelson (SAVING HOPE, ROOKIE BLUE), and developed in association with executive producers Janis Lundman and Adrienne Mitchell (DURHAM COUNTY, BOMB GIRLS). Greg Nelson serves as executive producer and is co-showrunner with Adrienne Mitchell who also directed the pilot episode. Other episode directors include: Charles Binamé (CYBERBULLY), Kelly Makin (FLASHPOINT), Bradley Walsh (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST), Andy Mikita (BITTEN), Rachel Talalay (BOMB GIRLS), and Jerry Ciccoritti (LIVES OF SAINTS). The director of photography is Thom Best (THE BRIDGE), and the production designer is Aidan Leroux (BOMB GIRLS).
Tom Hastings is production executive for Bell Media. Trish Williams is Director, Independent Production, Bell Media. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. Mike Cosentino is Senior Vice-President, Programming, CTV Networks. Phil King is President, CTV Programming and Sports.
About Muse Entertainment
Muse Entertainment is a leading film and television production company known for its well-crafted and high-quality productions. Since its founding in 1998, Muse has produced, co-produced or provided production services on more than 170 TV movies and mini-series, television series and feature films and has won over 100 awards and garnered over 300 award nominations! Muse Entertainment’s most recent television series are BOMB GIRLS and BEING HUMAN. In 2011, its topical, 8-hour historical drama, THE KENNEDYS, earned 10 Emmy® Award nominations and won 4. Its PILLARS OF THE EARTH also won an Emmy® along with several other awards. Muse’s other award-winning programs are DURHAM COUNTY, BEN HUR, THE LAST TEMPLAR, IMPACT, HUMAN TRAFFICKING, ANSWERED BY FIRE, THIS IS WONDERLAND and TALES FROM THE NEVERENDING STORY. The company’s head office and its Quebec production centre are in Montreal. Muse also maintains development and production operations in Toronto and Los Angeles. For more information please visit www.muse.ca.
About Back Alley Film Productions Ltd.
Back Alley Film Productions Ltd. has been producing entertaining and provocative film and television in Canada for over 20 years and is known internationally for its dramatic series. Founded by Janis Lundman and Adrienne Mitchell, the company most recently co-created and produced the WWII drama BOMB GIRLS and the critically acclaimed dramatic crime series DURHAM COUNTY. They also created and produced the series BLISS and the first interactive dramatic series in Canada, DROP THE BEAT, set in the world of hip hop music, as well as the Gemini award-winning STRAIGHT UP. In 2001 Mitchell and Lundman won the Production Award for Excellence from Women in Film & Television –Toronto. Back Alley has offices in Toronto and Montreal. http://www.backalleyfilms.ca.
About Bell Media Independent Production
Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit CTV series include ratings success stories SAVING HOPE, THE LISTENER, MOTIVE, the #1 new Canadian scripted series of the 2012/13 season, and THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, the record-breaking, Canadian-produced complementary version of the hit international series. CTV is also home to relationship comedy SATISFACTION, and premiering in the 2013/14 season are drama series PLAYED, multi-cam office comedy SPUN OUT, and hit international format MASTERCHEF CANADA. Among the scripted series on Bell Media pay and specialty channels are the two-time Emmy®-nominated hit DEGRASSI, the recently renewed ORPHAN BLACK, CSA-winning CALL ME FITZ, and upcoming dramas BITTEN, SENSITIVE SKIN, and 19-2. Bell Media specialty channels are also home to reality series such as BRAVE NEW GIRL, game shows MATCH GAME and POP QUIZ, and factual series HIGHWAY THRU HELL and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, among others. So far in 2013, Bell Media has ordered 24 original Canadian series and put 67 projects into development.
CTV is Canada's #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 12 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, and digital. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at CTV.ca.
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