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Smallville's Erica Durance Plays Doctor (and Producer!) In New Pilot - But There's a Catch

When Erica Durance sat down with TVLine midway through Smallville‘s final season, she said — with an eye on her post-Lois acting future — “I would love to step out on my own, for sure…. We’ll see if I get the chance.”

Well, she didn’t have to wait long.

On the market for barely a week after fulfilling her post-season Smallville duties, Durance landed the female lead in Saving Hope, a medical drama pilot that begins filming later this month in Toronto. But therein lies the “catch” — Saving Hope is being developed by CTV for the Canadian marketplace.

So, will we in the U.S. ever get to see it? All signs point to… maybe. But more on that in a sec.

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Inspired by newspaper columnist Ian Brown’s “Mount Hope” series and based on stories from Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, Saving Hope stars the Calgary-born Durance as Alice Joy, the idealistic Chief Surgical Resident at a hospital whose happenings are narrated by its comatose Chief of Surgery.

Durance is also a producer on the pilot, akin to how her former leading man Tom Welling was an EP on Smallville. Saving Hope‘s male lead — playing Alice’s rival and onetime lover — has yet to be cast.

Now, back to the show’s U.S. prospects. Saving Hope is being co-written by Morwyn Brebner, whose credits include Rookie Blue — a Canadian production that found a summertime, Stateside home on ABC, where it will premiere Season 2 on June 23. And Flashpoint is an example of a CTV drama enjoying ongoing success on a major U.S. outlet, CBS (where it’s currently airing its fourth cycle Fridays at 8). All of which to me suggests that Saving Hope, if ordered to series, could likewise hit U.S. airwaves.

That said — and especially since Saving Hope is merely at the pilot stage — a CTV rep cautions, “It’s too soon to speculate about potential U.S. network partners at this time.”

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38 Comments
  1. BP says:

    Good Luck to her. I’d love to see all the Smallville Alum go on to new things. But “always hold on to Smallville”.

  2. Rosie says:

    Thanks for the article, Matt. Love Erica, very excited for this show.

  3. Jack says:

    It would be a little bit of a giggle to see Tom Welling cast as Alice/Erica’s ‘rival and onetime lover’.

  4. Dre says:

    Go Erica!!! Hope this makes it past the pilot stage. Can’t wait to see you on my small screen again. :D

  5. Davi says:

    Good for her. Unlike certain casting decisions of other certain doctor shows that shall remain nameless, I can certainly see Erica playing a doctor role. She’s got enough seriousness about her to pull off the role without looking like she only got cast for her looks.

    I actually think that the Canadian market is a good place to start. Let the show gain some steam and the transfer over to compete with the 1,001 medical shows on US television.

  6. Drew says:

    Geez, they haven’t even finished Raising Hope yet, and they already have to Save Hope? The poor kid…

    Oh, it’s a new show with Erica Durance! Cool cool. Cool cool cool.

  7. fates3 says:

    I can’t wait!! I’m so very excited Erica will be back on our TV screens so soon. Will keep my fingers crossed that we American fans will get to see it too!

    Thanks sooooooo much for keeping us updated, Matt!!

  8. Don J says:

    I love Erica, but why would her agent land her a gig on a Canadian Pilot? You would think she would be getting a ton of offers from U.S. networks and studios. IMO, she’s already a star in the making. I wish her well and hope we’ll see her on U.S. TV screens again, but IMO this is a head scratcher.

    • Troy says:

      Nah man its a great way to start off. My fav show ‘Sanctuary’ was a Canadian pilot and got picked up by the Syfy network in the States its an awesome show. Rookie Blue and Flashpoint are also wicked shows on CBS which are CTV/Global produced shows up in Canada. CTV is the CBS network of Canada, they got cash to fork out on pilots and its a great way to get into the U.S. markets. CTV has great exposure for their shows and actors, for example Flashpoint is pretty huge. But as a Canadian viewer really cool to see Lois Lane back on my screen, CTV isn’t some lame ass network like the CW in the States, so based on that its a total WIN! Great way to start off her career! Woot!

      • Kathleen says:

        Hmm its sounds like a great opportunity for Erica. I mean hey Canadian’s gave me Due South with the sexyyyyyy, charming Paul Gross *swoooon* and they gave me Degrassi which is a big hit with my teenage daughters (and they are both CTV products).
        Enrico Colantoni from Just Shoot Me another fav show of mine back in the days (who also used to be on Veronica Mars) is on CTV doing Flashpoint so hey its not that bad. Don’t underestimate those Canadians, they’ve got some great shows up there doin pretty well internationally that are much better than some things I’ve seen State side.
        Now if someone can get Paul Gross to star with Erica I’d DIEEEEEEEE a happy woman… *fans myself* I should just stop now :P

        • Arlene says:

          Bad news. It was recently announced that Paul would be starring with Kim Catrell in the play Private Lives in Toronto and then move to Broadway. Sounds like he has other committments but your loss is my gain; I’m seeing him in TO.

      • Don J says:

        Yeah I know what your saying and I Erica is Canadian, so in that sense it makes sense. But, she turns 33 this Summer and IMO she still has the looks and acting skills to carry a U.S. TV series. I know Canada is a huge country, but only select shows like Flashpoint, Rookie Blue get exposure in America.

      • Deej says:

        CTV is far from the CBS network of Canada. As for cash the only reason Rookie Blue & Flashpoint were picked up by the US networks is that they US networks helped pay for the production. Same thing happened with Due South

        The Canadian television industry is very different from the US and much of it is government funded by the Canadian Television Development fund.

    • Captain says:

      She’s Canadian, why wouldn’t she want to be on Canadian television? Contrary to popular belief, America is not the center of the universe. Not all success is measured by whether it’s in America. Maybe she just wants to be in a good TV show regardless of whether it’s American or not.

  9. Shelley says:

    What about another Canadian Erica? Any idea who will run the final season of Being Erica since SOAPNet will no longer exist? And is an American version still in the works?

  10. Brent says:

    Awesome. CTV up here in Canada is a huge network their the head honchos up here she’ll get a lot more exposure than the CW ever could or can give a show, good luck to Erica.

  11. Anne says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful news! Erica Durance is a charming woman and a talented actress. I’ve never been a loyal viewer of any medical shows, but I like the premise behind this one. Erica being the lead and the producer makes it that much more appealing to me.

  12. Mena says:

    Awesome news! I think Erica does a great job with both comedy and drama, so I’m looking forward to seeing this show. If it’s not available on U.S. television, then I’ll definitely watch the seasons on DVD.

  13. Carrie says:

    I’m not surprised she landed another show so quickly. She’s absolutely gorgeous and talented.

  14. Daniel says:

    Will still miss Smallville, she a somes goods sexy scenes in there !!

  15. Christine says:

    What a wonderful opportunity for Erica Durance! Although there are a lot of medical shows out there, I’m definitely intrigued. I hope I’ll get a chance to see “Saving Hope” sometime in the near future here in the USA. Durance is a beautiful and talented actress. I’m already missing her Lois Lane. So I wish her luck and will definitely be checking out her new show, if I get the chance.

    Thanks, Matt!

  16. Tiva4Life says:

    Thanks Matt and I do hope it does make it so can crossover to the US market.

  17. sun says:

    Thank you so much, Matt for sharing this wonderful news about Erica’s new show! Hope you’ll continue posting any development on ED’s project and any news on former Smallville casts!

    Thank you, Matt for all the Smallville news of seasons’ past. It was truly appreciated.

    p.s. Isn’t Justin Hartley available to play doctor??

  18. revpjm says:

    Matt, thanks for keeping us up to date on what’s going on with one of the Smallville vets and for recognizing the passionate fanbase of the show in the process. Keep the Smallville alumni updates coming!

  19. Jem says:

    While waiting for crossover luck from our friends up north is there any way to purchase this show via say iTunes? I love ED and would love to continue having her presence on my screen on a weekly basis even sans Tom Welling.

  20. RJ says:

    Good for Erica! Selfishly, I was hoping she’d land a gig more in my wheelhouse; I’m more about the genre shows and fun USA network shenanigans than medical dramas. But for Erica, I’ll definitely watch this. If I get a chance, I mean; I really, really hope it airs here in the States.

  21. Manu says:

    SO happy for Erica… and for myself, I’d miss her to bits if she weren’t on TV for my viewing pleasure!

  22. Kiki says:

    I’m so excited for her. I love that Erica wasted no time to get busy… :) Her hardwork will be paid off real nice. :D

  23. dc says:

    sounds like erica is waiting for a male lead for some reason mabey i should go up there and try out for the lead or she is waiting for someone she knows tom welling you better run for a nother job every one knows that erica loves working with her old cast members just ask steve buyers she loves working with him she likes to help the ones who helped her witch is good of her.

  24. Eliza says:

    Thanks for your info on Erica. Love her so much. She’s such a great actress. Can’t wait to see her on TV again. I wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors. GO ERICA !!!!!!!!!

  25. Candice says:

    That’s great news!! Erica Durance is so talented, so I wish her nothing but the best.

  26. Jude says:

    Yay for Erica Durance! Of all the Smallville cast, she’s the one I’m rooting for the most to have a sparkling future after the show’s end. Tom Welling deserves to have a brilliant career too. Loved those two onscreen together.

  27. laura says:

    how do we find out when the pilot show will air on CTV?

  28. Lana says:

    Good for her! I hope it makes it to U.S. or online, so I can watch it. It would be cool to have Justin Hartley or Tom Welling star in it too. I miss seeing them all every week. Love them all:-).

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