Bell Media‘s SPACE announced today from the Banff World Media Festival that it has ordered a new original scripted series from acclaimed independent producer Temple Street Productions. Orphan Black follows outsider, orphan and street-wise chameleon Sarah, who has a murky past and tenuous future after she witnesses a woman’s suicide and assumes the identity of the dead stranger – who happens to look just like her. Expecting to solve all her problems by cleaning out the dead woman’s savings, Sarah is instead thrust headlong into a kaleidoscopic mystery. The order follows the recent announcement that Bell Media has commissioned another original drama Motive (working title) for CTV from Foundation Features and Lark Productions.
Orphan Black is executive produced by Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier (Being Erica), Graeme Manson (Cube, FlashPoint) and John Fawcett (Spartacus, The Secret Circle). The series is co-created by Manson and Fawcett, with Manson also serving as writer and Fawcett as director. BBC Worldwide will distribute the series internationally. Set to begin production in Toronto this fall, 10 episodes of the one-hour drama have been ordered.
“Orphan Black has the perfect blend of excitement, mystery and action,” said Corrie Coe, Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. “We’re delighted that what was initially developed at The Canadian Film Centre by Graeme Manson has found a home on SPACE, and we look forward to working with Graeme and Temple Street Productions to bring this exciting new project to life.”
“We are delighted to be making this original and thrilling series in partnership with SPACE,” said Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier, Executive Producers and Co-Presidents of Temple Street Productions. “Orphan Black will be a thought provoking, high adrenaline rollercoaster ride of surprises. It will be must-watch television.”
After assuming the dead woman’s identity, Sarah quickly realizes that she must completely integrate herself into the dead woman’s life, which includes taking on her job as a cop who’s currently facing a serious internal force investigation. While trapped in her new life, Sarah eventually learns the dizzying truth – that she and the dead woman are clones. As Sarah searches for answers, she discovers another chilling fact: there are more people like them out there. They are all genetically identical individuals who were planted in unsuspecting birth parents and nurtured in completely different circumstances. They have no idea who created them – or why – but they need to discover the reason in a hurry. An assassin is killing them, one by one.
Orphan Black is produced by Temple Street Productions in association with Bell Media.