Award-Winning Writer/Producer Dennis Heaton to Lead Story Room for the 2017 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program

Toronto, August 22, 2017 – The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Bell Media are pleased to welcome renowned writer/producer Dennis Heaton as the Executive Producer in Residence of the 2017 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, presented in association with ABC Signature Studios. From September to December 2017, Heaton will lead the story room as well as the soon-to-be-announced television writers selected to participate in this year’s program as they work together to develop Heaton’s original series.

“We are thrilled to welcome such a pedigreed writer and producer to the helm of the 2017 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program,” said Corrie Coe, Senior Vice-President, Original Programming, Bell Media. “This program has proven to be an invaluable asset to developing our country’s screenwriting talent. There is no doubt that Dennis’ leadership, talent, and wealth of experience will provide vital tools to this year’s participants.”

“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to work with the CFC as the Executive Producer in Residence for the Bell Media Prime Time TV Program,” added Heaton. “The CFC has long been an integral component in my development as a writer. Almost 20 years ago, the Prime Time’s predecessor, the Writer’s Bootcamp, first exposed me to the myriad of opportunities a working screenwriter has at their disposal. Then the Pilot Program gave me hands-on experience writing and executive producing a multi-episode series (My Pal, Satan). And the CFC’s Bell Media Showrunner Bootcamp was an Oz-like peek behind the curtain into the secret machinations of the television industry. Simply put, my career would not be what it is without the assistance and support of the CFC, and I’m proud to be able to pay it forward with the next generation of Canadian storytellers.”

Dennis Heaton is an award-winning writer and producer whose work spans multiple genres and formats, from animation to live-action, web series to feature film, half hour comedy to hour-long drama. Heaton is currently executive producing and writing for Ghost Wars, a new horror series for SyFy and Netflix. Heaton recently completed showrunning the internationally renowned police procedural Motive. His additional live-action credits include Call Me Fitz, The Listener, JPod, Blood Ties and the feature film Fido. When not working on live-action projects, Heaton sneaks off to write episodes of animated shows, create web series and write and direct short film projects. Motive and Call Me Fitz have both received multiple Canadian Screen Awards nominations, including Best Drama Series and Best Comedy Series, respectively, which Call Me Fitz won in 2014. Heaton has also been nominated for four Gemini Awards, four WGC Screenwriting Awards (winning for his Yvon of the Yukon animation script, “The Trouble With Mammoths”) and nine Leo Awards (of which he won five). His 2009 web series, My Pal, Satan, won Best Web Series and Best Theme Song at the New York Television Festival. His 2006 short film, Head Shot, premiered in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, won Best Canadian Short Film at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, and went on to play in film festivals around the world. Heaton has multiple projects in development, including Damage Control, a new police procedural with Lark, NBCU and Corus Entertainment, and the feature comedy Larry’s Awesome Kegger, which he hopes will be his directorial debut.

The Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, presented in association with ABC Signature Studios, delivers a real-world story room experience and an intense professional and project development process for six TV writers a year. The program has attracted some of Canada’s most prolific and successful showrunners to lead the story room as Executive Producer in Residence, including Michael MacLennan, Graeme Manson, Avrum Jacobson, Peter Mohan, Shelley Eriksen, Karen Walton and Brad Wright. Alumni of the program have gone on to create their own series and write for hit TV series, including Tara Armstrong, whose is currently in production on Season 2 of her series Mary Kills People (Global TV); Andrew De Angelis, whose first comedy series, What Would Sal Do?, aired on CraveTV in March 2017; Blain Watters, who wrote for Season 1 of Between (Netflix); and Karen Nielsen, who is set to write an episode of the next X-Files revival season. The program also helped develop smash-hit Emmy Award-winning series Orphan Black, which recently saw its series finale, in the 2008 story room, and Travelers, whose second season is set to premiere this Fall on Netflix, began its development during the 2014 Prime Time TV Program.

The 2017 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program participants will be announced in the coming weeks, with the program getting officially underway on September 18, 2017. To learn more about the program, please visit: http://cfccreates.com/programs/15-bell-media-prime-time-tv-program

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ABC Signature Studios
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About CFC
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is a charitable organization whose mission is to invest in and inspire the next generation of world-class Canadian content creators and entrepreneurs in the screen-based entertainment industry. A significant economic and cultural driver in Canada and beyond, CFC delivers a range of multi-disciplinary programs and initiatives in film, television, music, screen acting, and digital media, which provides industry collaborations, strategic partnerships, and business and marketplace opportunities for talent and participants. For more information, visit cfccreates.com.

About Bell Media
Bell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada's highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada's largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home with a network of more than 30,000 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.

About ABC Signature Studios
ABC Signature Studios is ABC Studios’ boutique division spearheading development and production in premium and basic cable as well as digital platforms. Signature is currently in production on two half-hour comedy series: "SMILF" for Showtime from Frankie Shaw who wrote, directed and will star, and the “black-ish” spin-off, “grown-ish” from creator/EP Kenya Barris for Freeform starring Yara Shahidi. Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios are in production on three new series including “Marvel’s Runaways” for Hulu, "Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger,” and “Marvel’s New Warriors” for Freeform. Signature's previous series include “Guerrilla,” “Dead of Summer,” “Blood & Oil,” “Benched,” and the Emmy-nominated HBO film “Confirmation,” starring Kerry Washington and Wendell Pierce.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Cory Angeletti-Szasz
Manager, Communications, CFC
416.445.1446 x 463
cangeletti@cfccreates.com

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