'Defying Gravity' lifts off August 2 on CTV, A and ABC
As Canadian astronaut Julie Payette preps for the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour tomorrow morning to join fellow Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk on the International Space Station, CTV is also preparing to defy gravity. The new CTV/SPACE drama series DEFYING GRAVITY debuts Sunday, August 2 at 9 p.m. ET in a special two-hour super-simulcast premiere on CTV, /A\ and ABC.
CTV's fourth cross-border scripted series continues August 9 in its regular timeslot, Sundays at 10 p.m. on CTV.
Created by GREY'S ANATOMY's James Parriott and executive produced by DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES' Michael Edelstein DEFYING GRAVITY is a sexy, provocative space thriller set in the very near future, following eight astronauts - from five countries including Canada - on a mysterious mission through the solar system.
As the Canadian representative on DEFYING GRAVITY's International Space Station Antares, smart and to-the-point biologist Jen Crane (Canadian actress Christina Cox) suffers no fools. Wise and supportive, with an opinion on everything, her "honeymoon in space" is derailed when her husband Rollie is removed from Antares in the eleventh hour, only to be replaced by Ted Shaw, with whom she has an illicit history.
On November 4, 2008, CTV, along with Fox Television Studios and Vancouver's Omni Film Productions Limited, jointly announced the series co-venture, with CTV as lead broadcaster. Production began January 17, 2009 in Vancouver and wrapped June 19. Three weeks later ABC announced it had ordered DEFYING GRAVITY for broadcast in the U.S., the fourth drama series CTV has been involved in to also air on a major U.S. network in primetime.
"DEFYING GRAVITY is a sexy, beautifully shot drama full of mystery, suspense and intrigue," said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. "With a stellar international ensemble cast set against the backdrop of space millions of kilometres from Earth, Jim and Michael have delivered a drama that is truly out of this world".
"DEFYING GRAVITY has been a labour of love from the very beginning," said Creator and Executive Producer, James Parriott. "Part of what made it so was the wonderful collaboration with our partners in Vancouver. I couldn't be more thrilled to see the show getting its ideal on-air home in Canada, the United States, and around the world."
In the two-hour DEFYING GRAVITY series premiere (Sunday, August 2 at 9 p.m. ET), two of the eight novice astronauts onboard mysteriously develop heart ailments only hours after leaving Earth's orbit for Venus and a six-year inter-planetary sojourn aboard the spaceship Antares. Replacing the ill engineer, Ajay Sharma (Zahf Paroo) and Mission Commander Rollie Crane (Ty Olsson), are experienced astronauts Maddux Donner (Ron Livingston) and Ted Shaw (Malik Yoba). Donner's arrival disturbs the ship's geologist Zoe Barnes (Canadian Laura Harris), who is linked to him by a strange dream and a romantic encounter from their early training days.
Although nearly every facet of life on the Antares is broadcast to avid viewers on Earth by documentary producer Paula Morales (Paula Garces), there is also a hidden force that appears to be controlling events from within the spacecraft. With the real purpose of the mission known only to flight director Mike Goss (Andrew Airlie) and a select few, the Antares finally leaves Earth's orbit for the immensity of interstellar space.
In the second hour, some rocky and intriguing developments confront the crew as they learn to adjust to life on board the Antares, now well on its way to Venus. In spite of the libido-suppressing HALOS supposedly worn by everyone on board, pilot Nadia Schilling (Florentine Lahme) continues her seductive designs on Donner. Zoe still hears strange cries, seemingly coming from Storage Pod 4 - which is off limits to most of the crew. After Ted, now spaceship commander, is briefed by his wife, scientist Eve Shaw (Karen LeBlanc), about the true nature of the mission, he enters Pod 4 and is confronted by a frightening maelstrom.
Meanwhile, back at Mission Control, Commander Goss holds a press conference, ostensibly to explain the abrupt removal of Ajay and Rollie from the Antares. Skeptical British reporter Trevor Williams (Peter Howitt) is determined to discover the truth.
With state-of-the-art CGI effects by award-winning visual effects company Stargate Studios (HEROES, GREY'S ANATOMY, UGLY BETTY), in collaboration wit veteran set designer Stephen Geaghan (THE OUTER LIMITS) and his team, DEFYING GRAVITY is a stunning visual production. The series comes to life by anticipating scientific technologies of the future; from the massive, spectacularly detailed spacecraft to innovative visual effects, which depict the astronauts' weightless realities, and their descent onto planets so far untouched by man. The series was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia.
DEFYING GRAVITY is a co-venture produced by Fox Television Studios and Vancouver's Omni Film Productions Limited in association with CTV, the lead broadcaster. Starring a diverse, international ensemble cast led by Ron Livingston (Office Space) and Vancouver-native Laura Harris (24), the hour-long, 13-episode series will also air on the BBC in the U.K. and on ProSieben in Germany.
The series' international ensemble cast is led by Ron Livingston (Office Space, Band of Brothers) as Antares' flight engineer Maddux Donner; Canadian Laura Harris (24) as ship's geologist Zoe Barnes; Malik Yoba (New York Undercover) as Antares commander Ted Shaw; Canadian Christina Cox (Blood Ties) as Canadian biologist Jen Crane; Florentine Lahme (IMPACT) as pilot Nadia Schilling; Paula Garces (THE SHIELD) as pilot, scientist and on-board documentary producer Paula Morales; Eyal Podell (24) as psychiatrist and medical officer Evram Mintz; and Canadian Dylan Taylor (House Party) as theoretical physicist Steve Wassenfelder. The cast on planet Earth is led by Canadian Andrew Airlie (REAPER) as Mission Control Commander Mike Goss; Canadian Karen LeBlanc (ReGenesis) as scientist Eve Shaw; Canadian Zahf Paroo (Battlestar Galactica) as grounded flight engineer Ajay Sharma; Canadian Ty Olsson (MEN IN TREES) as grounded mission commander - and Jen's husband - Rollie Crane; and Canadian Maxim Roy (MVP) as flight surgeon Claire Dereux. Episodic Director and Canadian Peter Howitt also plays the role of British journalist Trevor Williams.
DEFYING GRAVITY was created by award-winning, Emmy® Award-nominated writer/producer James Parriott (executive producer on GREY'S ANATOMY and UGLY BETTY). Parriott and Emmy® Award-nominated producer Michael Edelstein (executive producer on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES) are executive producers, along with Omni's Brian Hamilton and Michael Chechik. Ron French (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) is the producer. DEFYING GRAVITY is produced by Fox Television Studios and Omni Film Productions (producers of CTV's critically-acclaimed series ROBSON ARMS) in association with CTV and Germany's ProSieben. Fraser Robinson is Director of Content for SPACE. Robert Hardy is Development Manager, Western Production for CTV. Brett Burlock is Director, Program Development for CTV. Susanne Boyce is President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc.Watch Episodes Now ►