Two major ABC television series to be shot in Toronto

Designation Survivor and Conviction will start shooting this month

designated survivorTwo one-hour television series Designated Survivor and Conviction will start production in Toronto this month. This is the first time Toronto has been selected as the location for the production of two of ABC’s highly anticipated primetime television series.

Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland

The announcements of the production was announced by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Mayor John Tory, The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios (a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company) in Toronto on Monday, July 18.

The upcoming seasons will create hundreds of local jobs and generate millions of dollars in spending with local vendors and suppliers.

“With world-class talent, locations and infrastructure, Ontario is an ideal choice for TV and film production. This announcement is a vote of confidence in the dynamic, competitive business environment we have created. These projects are strengthening Ontario’s economy, creating local jobs and reinforcing our reputation as a thriving production centre,” said Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario.

“We are excited and ready to host these high-profile productions in Toronto,” said Mayor John Tory. “We will do everything we can to make sure productions choose our city, and that our industry partners have the opportunity to create jobs, attract talent and contribute to the economy. We’re proud of Toronto’s film and television industry and we want it to continue to grow.”

“We are thrilled to kick off production on Designated Survivor and Conviction this month. Toronto is home to a wonderful community of talent, and offers the strong infrastructure and diverse environments necessary to bring our new dramas to life,” said Mark Gordon, CEO, The Mark Gordon Company.

About: Designated Survivor
Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning actor Kiefer Sutherland (“24”) returns to prime time in a conspiracy thriller as Tom Kirkman, a lower-level cabinet member who unexpectedly becomes president after a devastating attack on Washington. He will struggle to prevent the country and his own family from falling into chaos, as he is thrust into one of the most difficult presidencies in history.

“Designated Survivor” stars Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman, Natascha McElhone as Alex Kirkman, Maggie Q as Hannah Watts, Kal Penn as Seth Wheeler, Adan Canto as Aaron Shore, Italia Ricci as Emily Rhodes, LaMonica Garrett as James Ritter, and Tanner Buchanan as Leo Kirkman.

“Designated Survivor” is from The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios. David Guggenheim is creator and executive producer. In addition to Guggenheim, the series is executive produced by Simon Kinberg, Kiefer Sutherland, Mark Gordon, Nick Pepper, Suzan Bymel, and Aditya Sood. Paul McGuigan directed the pilot episode.

A scene from 'Conviction'

A scene from ‘Conviction’

Conviction
Lawyer and former First Daughter Hayes Morrison (Hayley Atwell, “Marvel’s Agent Carter”) is about to accept a job offered from her sexy nemesis, NY District Attorney Wayne Wallis, to avoid jail time for cocaine possession and avoid hurting her mother’s Senate campaign. Working with his team at the new Conviction Integrity Unit will let her use her brilliant mind to turn over cases, where there is credible suspicion of wrongful conviction, and give her a chance to turn things around with her high-powered political family.

In addition to Atwell, “Conviction” stars Eddie Cahill as Wayne Wallis, Shawn Ashmore as Sam Sullivan, Merrin Dungey as Maxine Barton, Emily Kinney as Tess Thompson, Manny Montana as Franklin “Frankie” Rios and Daniel di Tomasso as Jackson Morrison.

“Conviction” is from The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios. “Conviction” is co-created by writer Liz Friedman (“Elementary,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”) and director Liz Friedlander (“The Following”). Friedman and Friedlander will executive produce with Mark Gordon (“Criminal Minds,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Saving Private Ryan”) and Nick Pepper.

The Film and Television Industry in Ontario & Toronto
Ontario’s film and TV industry celebrated its best year ever in 2015, contributing $1.5 billion to the province’s economy and supporting almost 32,500 full-time direct and associated jobs. Ontario saw an increase of almost 4,500 full-time direct and associated jobs over the previous year and 2015 was the fifth consecutive year that film and TV productions contributed more than $1 billion to Ontario’s economy. Additionally, 2015 saw an increase in spending by foreign producers, led by a strong TV sector, of 52% over the previous year, contributing $763 million to the province’s economy.

2015 was Toronto’s biggest year for the film and television industry, with a new record of 6,680 location-filming days and a total of $1.5 billion spent on productions, an increase of 26% from 2014 which saw $1.23 billion. The film and television industry currently employs about 30,000 people in Toronto.

The Mark Gordon Company
The Mark Gordon Company, which partnered with Entertainment One (eOne) in 2015 to create an independent film and television studio, is helmed by Mark Gordon who has produced more than 100 motion picture and television projects.

Projects from The Mark Gordon Company’s film division include STEVE JOBS written by Academy Award winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and directed by Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle, and the forthcoming films WAR DOGS, starring Jonah Hill and Miles

Teller, with Todd Phillips directing; MOLLY’S GAME starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba, with Aaron Sorkin writing and directing; ALL THE OLD KNIVES directed by Neil Burger;  MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS starring and directed by Kenneth Branagh; war drama SAND CASTLE directed by Fernando Coimbra, starring Nicholas Hoult and Henry Cavill; and THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS with Lasse Hallstrom set to direct.  Past film credits include SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (which earned Gordon Academy Award and BAFTA nominations, as well as a Golden Globe for Best Picture), 2012, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, SPEED, SOURCE CODE, THE MESSENGER, THE PATRIOT, among others. As an executive producer and financier, Gordon’s credits include TOMB RAIDER, WONDER BOYS, THE PAINTED VEIL, A SIMPLE PLAN and PRIMARY COLORS.

The company is currently in production on several established television series including “Ray Donovan” (Showtime), “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC), “Criminal Minds” and franchise spin-off “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” (CBS), and “Quantico”(ABC); as well as upcoming series “Designated Survivor” starring Kiefer Sutherland and “Conviction” starring Hayley Atwell, both on ABC. The company’s credits also include television project “Conviction,” the drama starring Hayley Atwell set up at ABC. Past television credits include “Private Practice” (ABC), “Army Wives” (Lifetime) and “Reaper” (CW).

ABC Studios
ABC Studios is a leader in the development, production and strategic distribution of entertainment content across broadcast, cable and on demand platforms.  The studio is the key content provider for the ABC Entertainment Group, having produced multiple seasons of hit series, including current shows “American Crime,” “black-ish,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Mistresses,” “Once Upon a Time,” “Scandal” and “Secrets and Lies” for ABC; “Criminal Minds” for CBS and “Devious Maids” for Lifetime.  For the current season, ABC Studios is producing “Quantico” and “The Real O’Neals” on ABC, and “Code Black” and “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” on CBS. – CINEWS/City of Toronto.

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