Cop action in the works for CTV

Don’t lump Critical Incident, a new pilot by Pink Sky Entertainment for CTV, in with other cop dramas. It’s anything but, according to exec producer Anne Marie La Traverse.

‘Those shows try to solve a mystery. Ours is an action show,’ she says.

The elite cops of the show’s Strategic Response Unit deal with ‘nth degree’ situations, can crack suspects psychologically, and have high-tech toys. But they also have something many other cop characters don’t: fully developed personal lives.

The would-be series looks into ‘the personal cost; how [their] personal lives are affected. We take our characters home. We see the family unit, their wives and children,’ says La Traverse (Spirit of the Whale, Playing House).

The story is the first TV effort by actors Stephanie Morgenstern (This Is Wonderland) and Mark Ellis (The Shields Stories), though the pair co-wrote and starred in Remembrance, a 2001 short that won a Jutra Award and took top prize at the Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival.

This ensemble cast includes Durham County‘s Hugh Dillon, Ona Grauer (Intelligence) and David Paetkau (Whistler). Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars) plays ‘the negotiator, because he has a real presence, such a calm authority,’ says La Traverse.

David Frazee moves from the cinematographer spot on Intelligence to the director’s chair on Critical Incident. Tracey Boulton (Absolution) produces and Derek Rappaport (At the Hotel) is production manager.

Titled Sniper, the hour-long pilot shoots July 14-25 smack in the middle of Commerce Court, a cluster of skyscrapers in downtown Toronto’s business district. It’s about ‘a really public hostage-taking and this sniper character. It’s staged in a busy, bustling, high-stakes spot where hundreds of people mill about,’ explains La Traverse.

The pilot will be delivered to CTV execs in September, with La Traverse and her Pink Sky hoping to take the show to air in 2008.