ABC’s ‘The Hot Zone’ Starts Production on New Stages Built in Toronto

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Production on Global Television’s gritty new medical drama, “The Hot Zone” (working title; formerly known as “Combat Hospital”), has begun. Commissioned by Global’s original content team and recently picked up by the ABC Television Network, the 13 one-hour episodes will be shot in Toronto until July 2011. Broadcast details will be revealed at a later date, but it will air this summer on the ABC Television Network.

“The Hot Zone” is a fictional medical procedural set in 2006 at the only military hospital providing advanced surgical care in all of Southern Afghanistan. The series charts the frantic lives of the hospital’s resident doctors and nurses from Canada, America, the U.K. and other allied countries. This highly-charged series follows the characters as they navigate their way through the relentless life-and-death battles on the operating table, and the never-ending conflicts that arise from working in a war zone military hospital.

“The Hot Zone” features a diverse ensemble cast including: Elias Koteas (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”) as Colonel Marks; Michelle Borth (“Hawaii Five-0″) as Canadian surgeon Dr. Rebecca Gordon; Luke Mably (“The Gates”) as neurosurgeon Dr. Simon Hill; Deborah Kara Unger (“The Hurricane”) as Australian army psychiatrist Major Ada Pedersen; Terry Chen (“Sanctuary”) as trauma team leader Captain Bobby Trang; and Arnold Pinnock (“The Listener”) as Commander Will Royal, Chief of Nursing.

The series is being shot on an expansive 185,000 square foot (17,187 square meters) indoor and outdoor set recently constructed in Toronto. It is one of the largest standing sets ever built for a Canadian original production and is modelled after the real Canadian-lead NATO Role 3 Hospital at Kandahar Airfield. The set is a meticulous re-creation of a portion of the hospital compound and the vast Kandahar Airfield, including the helicopter landing zone, boardwalk area and barracks, which housed over 15,000 military and civilian personnel.

“The Hot Zone” is a production from Canada’s Sienna Films and the U.K.’s Artists Studio. Academy Award(r)-nominated Daniel Petrie Jr. (“Beverly Hills Cop”) is executive producer and showrunner. Executive producers are Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny for Sienna Films (“The Cry of the Owl,” “Diamonds,” “How She Move”); Gub Neal, Justin Thomson-Glover and Patrick Irwin for U.K.-based Artists Studio (“The Last Enemy”); as well as Simon Vaughan of Lookout Point. “The Hot Zone” was created by Jinder Oujla-Chalmers (“Ralph Klein – No Ordinary Man”) and Douglas Steinberg (“Boston Public”).

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