Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Saving Hope' among Epidemic of Medical Shows - but with Ghosts!: 'Saving Hope' Stands out among Medical Shows

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'Saving Hope' among Epidemic of Medical Shows - but with Ghosts!: 'Saving Hope' Stands out among Medical Shows

Article excerpt

Cops, doctors and lawyers -- television has always been crammed full of them.

This year, there seems to be an epidemic of medical shows. For every departing MD series such as "House," there are three or four set to replace them, including fall entries "The Mob Doctor" and "Emily Owens, M.D."

Getting the jump on them this week is "Saving Hope," a new made-in-Canada medical drama premiering Thursday at 9 p.m. on CTV and NBC.

An early start isn't the only thing separating "Saving Hope" from the rest of the upcoming hospital hours. Thursday's pilot begins by seemingly killing off one of the major characters just as the series gets started.

Kamloops, B.C.-native Michael Shanks ("Stargate SG-1") plays Dr. Charlie Harris, chief of surgery at Toronto's fictional Hope-Zion Hospital. Harris and his fiancee, Dr. Alex Reid (Calgary native Erica Durance, who played Lois Lane in "Smallville") are in the back of a limo on their way to their wedding when WHAMMO --their car is T-boned by another motorist. Harris acts quickly to save the other driver, but then collapses.

Reid and the others back at the hospital try to save him, but as things take a turn for the worse, Harris hovers over his own body, a helpless bystander at his own surgery. Is he a ghost, just in a coma, or just one star trip away from being written out of the series?

Complicating matters, which is what these series do, is that Reid's old flame, Dr. Joel Goran (Daniel Gillies, best known for his recurring role on "The Vampire Diaries"), is the new hunk at Hope Zion. First he steals Harris's patients, then he steals his girl --what's a comatose chief of surgery to do?

These were questions put to the cast, as well as executive producers Morwyn Brebner and Ilana Frank, last week when CTV revealed its fall lineup.

Their answers were vague and cautious.

"Part of the secret of the show is that we have somebody who is able to communicate with the other world," said Brebner, "and that element is going to continue."

Might Harris at some point recover? Maybe yes, maybe no. "There's always a chance," teased Frank.

The cast, interviewed after a formal news conference, were equally coy. …

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