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TV Pilots

ABC TV Pilot RED WIDOW About Russian Mob – Updated

ABC pilot Red Widow, inspired by a popular Dutch TV series, is about a San Francisco mobster’s widow forced to replace her husband as head of what appears to be a Russian crime syndicate, judging from the filming at Lana Lou’s restaurant dressed as Cafe Rossiya in Vancouver’s downtown east side last month.

Australian Radha Mitchell stars as the widow Marta who takes her mobster husband’s place to protect her family, with Sterling Beaumon and Jacob Salvati as her sons and Erin Moriarty as her daughter. Luke Goss (Hellboy II) plays bodyguard to her mob father Andrei Lazarev, a bodyguard who is then assigned to look after her and the kids. Lee Tergesen (Oz) plays a foot soldier in the crime syndicate and Suleka Mathew (Hawthorne) is Marta’s best friend Dina, while Jaime Ray Newman is Marta’s younger sister Kat.

Read More »ABC TV Pilot RED WIDOW About Russian Mob – Updated

Matt Davis Has Wrapped Filming TV Pilot CULT in Vancouver

Matt Davis took time out of playing history teacher/guardian Alaric on The CW’s hit show The Vampire Diaries to film the pilot Cult in Vancouver in March. Even for a pilot, it was a relatively-short nine day shoot, which wrapped last Thursday night so that Davis could be back in Mystic Falls on the Atlanta set of The Vampire Diaries by Friday.

In this meta pilot, Matt Davis is a blogger named Jeff investigating the rabid fans of a cult horror TV show who have taken the series too literally. But relax, TVD fans. Even if picked up, Cult will be a short, 13-episode series, leaving room for Davis to return to Vampire Diaries. In other words, this pilot doesn’t mean the death of Alaric. Although it might.

I found Matt Davis — looking far too fine for a typical blogger — filming a scene on the pilot’s first day of shooting, March 20th, in Victory Square in downtown Vancouver.

From Victory Square in the morning, Cult moved production that afternoon into an empty heritage bank building with a glorious stained-glass ceiling on Pender Street, the same building that Supernatural turned into a vampire nest.

After this downtown sighting, Matt Davis fans looked for him on location but couldn’t find him. Some had better luck tracking him out and about enjoying Vancouver, which he tweeted about falling in love with –“Dear Vancouver, In spite of your rain, I think I may love you…. The only thing missing here is my Vampire Diaries family.” He then demanded that The Vampire Diaries return to the city where it shot its pilot — “#ByThePowerOfGreySkull!!!!!! I command the CW to move TVD back to Vancouver!!!!” And later Davis reunited with David Anders and Sara Canning here (Anders was in town guest-starring on Once Upon a Time and Canning is the lead of a new series Primeval: New World).

I didn’t find Cult again on location until its last day of filming, March 29th, when crew shot some scenes of Matt Davis sitting at the bar and at the window of the Alibi Room in Gastown. A film notice suggested that the last scene Read More »Matt Davis Has Wrapped Filming TV Pilot CULT in Vancouver

Mamie Gummer of TV Pilot Emily Owens, M.D. (formerly First Cut) at University of British Columbia

Students at the University of British Columbia did a double take last Friday entering their Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, which had suddenly been renamed Denver Memorial Hospital in preparation for Saturday’s shoot. It featured Mamie Gummer (Meryl Streep’s daughter) filming some scenes for The CW’s hospital drama pilot Emily Owens, M.D. (formerly First Cut).

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BIG READ: Battlestar Galactica Reunion at TV Pilot 17th Precinct

Published March 17, 2011 on Vancouver is Awesome

“Frak yes! It’s a BSG reunion” read the New York Post headline of a PopWrap post illustrated with my photos of three of Battlestar Galactica’s cast filming a new NBC TV pilot 17th Precinct on location in Yaletown earlier this week. Why all the excitement? It’s the first major project from BSG showrunner Ronald D. Moore which reunites him with main cast – Apollo (Jamie Bamber ), Baltar (James Callis) and Cylon Six (Tricia Helfer) – from the cult sci-fi series plus one of its best directors, Michael Rymer.

As a long time fan of the Vancouver-shot BSG, I joked with friends that 17th Precinct needs Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff ) in the cast to be a true reunion for me, but she will not be in the mix. She has a new project in the offing. BSG’s Chief/Cylon (Aaron Douglas) tweeted her: “Take me with you? Jamie, James and Tricia are ganging up with Ron. I think it is high time you and I gang up somewhere else.”

17th Precinct is not the average cops and robbers procedural. Think cops and warlocks instead. It’s a Harry-Potter-for-grownups show about detectives Caolan (Jamie Bamber) and John (James Callis) investigating magical occurrences in the fictional town of Excelsior, with the help of the sorceress Morgana (Tricia Helfer). I spotted the strange steering-wheel-less unmarked car driven by the magical detectives and the Public Necromancer Van at a location shoot in the West End late last week. Police extras loaded a body into the rear of the van.

Most of that shoot happened inside The Kensington, the mustard-yellow Italianate heritage building on Nicola Street, with some exterior scenes scheduled at night until the high winds of last Thursday caused havoc. The craft tent blew off the street, damaging a fridge, and all exterior scenes got pushed to Friday evening. That night shoot introduced other cast members: the venerable Stockard Channing as robbery detective Mira and her partner, the relative newbie Matt Long (Peggy fired his ass on Mad Men), doing a scene at the staged crime scene. Later I spotted Eamonn Walker, who plays Dectective Chief Inspector Wilder Blanks, pile into the cast van after filming wrapped for the week.

On Monday 17th Precinct crew re-established themselves for a two-day shoot in Yaletown off Hamilton Street. I arrived to see Read More »BIG READ: Battlestar Galactica Reunion at TV Pilot 17th Precinct