Crime-Solving Procedural “Wild Cards” Welcomes “Riverdale” Star Vanessa Morgan and Giacomo Gianniotti (“Reign”) Back to The CW
Newcomer Dolly Lewis, Agam Darshi (“DMZ”) and Jarod Joseph (“The 100”) Star Alongside Daniel Gillies (“The Vampire Diaries” Franchise) in “Sight Unseen”
October 12, 2023 (Burbank, CA) – The CW Network has ordered two new original scripted series WILD CARDS and SIGHT UNSEEN, it was announced today by Liz Wise Lyall, Head of Scripted Programming, The CW. The crime-solving procedural WILD CARDS welcomes former CW stars Vanessa Morgan (“Riverdale”) and Giacomo Gianniotti (“Reign,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “From Scratch”) back to the network, while SIGHT UNSEEN features newcomer Dolly Lewis, Agam Darshi (“DMZ”) and Jarod Joseph (“The 100”) starring alongside “Virgin River” and “The Vampire Diaries” franchise star Daniel Gillies. WILD CARDS from Blink49 Studios, Front Street Pictures, Piller/Segan and commissioning broadcaster CBC and SIGHT UNSEEN from Blink49 Studios and Front Street Pictures in association with Sisters Troubetzkoy Productions and commissioning broadcaster Bell Media’s CTV are slated to premiere on The CW in 2024.
“WILD CARDS and SIGHT UNSEEN are two unique, binge-worthy shows that reflect The CW’s commitment to compelling, top-tier storytelling that will appeal to our loyal fans and attract a wide range of new viewers,” commented Wise Lyall. “We are thrilled to collaborate with our partners at Blink49 Studios, Front Street Pictures, Piller/Segan [“Wild Cards”] and Sisters Troubetzkoy Productions [“Sight Unseen”] to bring these dynamic series to life and highlight just how expansive The CW brand can be.”
WILD CARDS, in partnership with CBC, is a crime-solving procedural with a comedic twist that follows the unlikely duo of a gruff, sardonic cop and a spirited, clever con woman. Ellis (Giacomo Gianniotti, “Reign,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “From Scratch”), a demoted detective, has unfortunately spent the last year on the maritime unit, while Max (Vanessa Morgan, “Riverdale”) has been living a transient life elaborately scamming everyone she meets. But when Max gets arrested and ends up helping Ellis solve a local crime, the two are offered the opportunity to redeem themselves, with Ellis going back to detective and Max staying out of jail. The catch? They have to work together, with each using their unique skills to solve crimes. For Ellis, that means hard-boiled shoe leather police work; for Max, it means accents, schemes and generally befriending everyone in sight, while driving Ellis absolutely nuts. The two will have to learn what it means to trust another person and maybe actually become partners.
Produced by Blink49 Studios and Front Street Pictures for commissioning broadcaster CBC in Canada, WILD CARDS is created by Michael Konyves. Executive producers include Konyves, pilot director James Genn, Shawn Piller, Lloyd Segan, and writers Alexandra Zarowny, James Thorpe, Noelle Carbone and Morwyn Brebner. WILD CARDS is produced by Charles Cooper and Virginia Rankin, and on behalf of Blink49 Studios, overseen by Executive Vice President of Global Scripted Carolyn Newman and Manager of Scripted Television Alix Steerman.
SIGHT UNSEEN, in partnership with Bell Media’s CTV, follows Tess Avery (Dolly Lewis, “The Dutchman’s Pipe”), a top homicide detective who is forced to quit the job she loves after nearly killing her partner and being diagnosed as clinically blind. Reluctant to accept help, Tess uses an assistance app and connects with Sunny Patel (Agam Darshi, “DMZ”), a professional seeing-eye guide and an agoraphobe living 3,000 miles away. After losing her vision, Tess is haunted by the unsolved cases she left behind. Using a hidden camera and earpiece, Sunny remotely steers Tess through life’s obstacles – and crimes – as the two challenge preconceptions about ability, trust and where to draw the line. Inspired by one of the co-creators’ experiences with sight loss, viewers join Tess and Sunny as they bring a fresh perspective to solving crime. The series also stars Jarod Joseph (“The 100”), Daniel Gillies (“The Vampire Diaries” franchise, “Virgin River”), Alice Christina-Corrigan (“Doctors”) and Tony Giroux (“Motherland: Fort Salem”).
The creative and production teams for WILD CARDS and SIGHT UNSEEN are committed to incorporating the equity, diversity and inclusion principles as a top priority both in front of and behind the camera. SIGHT UNSEEN was inspired by one of the co-creator’s ongoing experiences with vision loss, and it is essential for these stories as well as for the character portrayals to have authentic representation from the sight-impaired community.
SIGHT UNSEEN is produced by Blink49 Studios and Front Street Pictures in association with Sisters Troubetzkoy Productions for commissioning broadcaster Bell Media’s CTV in Canada. In addition to directing several episodes including the pilot, John Fawcett serves as executive producer alongside co-showrunners Karen Troubetzkoy and Nikolijne Troubetzkoy, Blink49’s John Morayniss, Carolyn Newman and Virginia Rankin, Front Street Pictures’ Charles Cooper and writer Derek Schreyer as well as Ryan Knighton serving as co-executive producer.
The licensing deal for both series was brokered by Blink49 Studios, who controls the distribution rights in the U.S. and Canada. International distribution (outside of North America) is handled by FIFTH SEASON.
ABOUT THE CW
The CW Network, LLC is one of America’s major broadcast networks and reaches 100% of US television households. The CW delivers 15 hours of primetime entertainment programming per week in addition to over 300 hours of sports per year as the broadcast home to LIV Golf, ACC football and basketball games, “Inside the NFL” and the NASCAR Xfinity Series beginning in 2025. The fully ad-supported CW App, with more than 96 million downloads to date, is available for free to consumers on all major platforms and is home to the latest episodes and seasons of The CW’s primetime programming and a library of entertaining film and television content for on-demand viewing. The CW is 75%-owned by Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST), a leading diversified media company and largest CW affiliate group with 40 CW and CW Plus affiliates, covering 38% of television households. For more information about The CW, please visit www.ctv.com
ABOUT BLINK49 STUDIOS
Co-founded in 2021 by industry veterans CEO John Morayniss, Non-Executive Vice Chair Patrice Theroux, COO Jeff Lynas and CFO Nelson Kuo-Lee, Blink49 Studios is a full-service indie studio focused on the development, production, and monetization of premium scripted and unscripted content for a global market. Headquartered in Toronto with offices in Los Angeles, Blink49 Studios was formed in partnership with its anchor investor and lead strategic partner FIFTH SEASON (formerly Endeavor Content). With a combined experience of innovative deal-making and strong relationships in the creative community, Blink49 Studios takes a content-first approach by partnering with best-in-class writers, creators, producers, and talent as well as supporting new and diverse voices.
Piller/Segan is a globally-recognized production company based in Toronto and Los Angeles, founded by critically acclaimed producers Shawn Piller and Lloyd Segan. Coming off the hit series Private Eyes (Global, ION), together they have produced hundreds of hours of award-winning programming, which have been translated into 30 languages for 186 countries worldwide. Their projects span multiple seasons, attract a devoted fanbase, and garner prestigious industry-wide recognitions including Emmy, Saturn, GLAAD, Humanitas, and Peabody awards. In addition to PRIVATE EYES, Piller/Segan’s notable television credits include adaptations of Stephen King’s novels THE DEAD ZONE (USA Network) and HAVEN (Syfy), and ABC Family’s WILDFIRE and GREEK. Further credits include feature film SEXY EVIL GENIUS, distributed by Lionsgate, and Lifetime’s SEA CHANGE.
ABOUT FRONT STREET PICTURES
Founded over twenty years ago in Vancouver, Front Street Pictures is a vertically-integrated production company offering development and production capabilities, post production infrastructure and a stage facility. Over its extensive history, Front Street Pictures has produced more than 300 movies and 150+ episodes of television comprising over 700 hours of scripted live action content from its Western Canadian production hub. Front Street Pictures and its work have been recognized with many awards in the past decade, including multiple Emmys.
Judy Yam, 818/977-1021