Canwest's new drama pilot 'The Dealership' signs Tricia Helfer, William Devane & Patrick J. Adams

Mar 18, 2009, 18:38 ET from Verite Films Inc.

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TORONTO and LOS ANGELES, March 18 /PRNewswire/ - Canwest's Original Canadian Series pilot THE DEALERSHIP has signed on Tricia Helfer and William Devane, along with up and comer Patrick J. Adams to star in the new one-hour pilot about love, larceny and luxury used cars. In addition, Fremantle Media Enterprises (FME), a division of FremantleMedia, has signed on as worldwide distributor of THE DEALERSHIP.

The pilot, which was announced by Canwest in November, will star Helfer (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, BURN NOTICE) in the lead role of Rachel Carson. Rachel is the beautiful, tough as nails sales manager who runs Carson Luxury Auto Gallery, a civic institution started by her irascible father Frank, played by Devane (JESSE STONE, WHAT ABOUT BRIAN). Rachel spent the last decade waiting for her father to retire, cementing her defacto control of the dealership and holding off the banks. Now that the car industry in North America is in the grip of recession, Rachel is fighting to keep the place alive with the help (or in spite of) her unreliable younger brother played by Patrick J. Adams (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, OLD SCHOOL). When Frank un-retires and tries to help, things go from bad to worse.

"The wide appeal and power of these actors will take this pilot to another level. In their hands, the unusual characters will spring to life," said Christine Shipton, SVP, Drama and Factual Content, Canwest Broadcasting. "We are extremely excited about this casting announcement".

"Their talent, along with the incredible script and production team, are the right ingredients to create a show with global appeal," said Jeffrey Tahler, VP, Acquisitions & Development, FremantleMedia Enterprises.

THE DEALERSHIP is a darkly funny one-hour drama series about the dysfunctional world of Carson Luxury Auto Gallery, a family-owned, used-car dealership. Market collapse, credit crisis, the shrinking global economy - everything is conspiring against Rachel, Jack and Frank Carson. But this main street family isn't going down without a fight and will do whatever it takes to make the sale and live for another day.

Tricia Helfer is notorious for her portrayal as Cylon 'Number Six' in the critically acclaimed award-winning sci-fi drama BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, which has enjoyed four hit seasons. In addition to BATTLESTAR, the current TV Guide cover girl has been heating things up in an eight-episode story arc on BURN NOTICE, and is slated to appear as Chuck's new handler on the hit spy series CHUCK. Helfer recently wrapped production in Vancouver on the sci-fi drama HUMAN TARGET for director Simon West.

Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominated actor William Devane, has appeared in the television series WHAT ABOUT BRIAN, CRUMBS, and 24. Devane reprised his role alongside Tom Selleck in the fifth installation of the popular JESSE STONE franchise, titled JESSE STONE: THIN ICE. Distinguished for his political and "tough-guy" roles, the veteran actor's additional television credits include STARGATE SG-1, THE WEST WING and KNOTS LANDING, among others. Feature film credits include SPACE COWBOYS, PAYBACK, MARATHON MAN, YANKS, and FAMILY PLOTS.

Patrick J. Adams made a dent on American pop culture with his scene stealing debut turn as "Patch," in the 2003 Will Ferrell classic comedy OLD SCHOOL. In 2008, Adams landed back-to-back starring roles in a string of independent feature films including 2009 Berlin Film Festival competitor RAGE, with Judi Dench, Jude Law and Dianne Weist, and WEATHER GIRL, which was in competition at the 2009 Slamdance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah. His television credits include appearances on LOST, JACK & BOBBY, NCIS and GHOST WHISPERER.

THE DEALERSHIP is a Verite Films production, created and executive produced by Virginia Thompson (RENEGADEPRESS.COM, CORNER GAS, INCREDIBLE STORY STUDIO), Writer/Showrunner Andrew Wreggitt (MAYERTHORPE, SHADES OF BLACK: THE CONRAD BLACK STORY, ONE DEAD INDIAN), Robert de Lint (RENEGADEPRESS.COM, CORNER GAS, INCREDIBLE STORY STUDIO) and Jeff Beesley (DOLAN'S CADILLAC). Bernard Bourret and Ty Hyland are producers for the pilot. THE DEALERSHIP is directed by Ken Girotti (MAYERTHORPE, RESCUE ME, LAW AND ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT).

About Canwest Originals:

Canwest is the proud home of the most diverse slate of Canadian Original programs across the Dramatic, Lifestyle and Entertainment genres. As a steadfast supporter of the Canadian production community, Canwest is dedicated to bringing the best of the country to audiences nationwide - including award winning shows such as; Project Runway Canada, Da Kink In My Hair, The Guard, Sarah's House, Holmes on Homes, Restaurant Makeover, Rent-A-Goalie, Kenny vs. Spenny, and the nation's number one entertainment newsmagazine Entertainment Tonight Canada.

About Canwest Broadcasting:

Canwest Broadcasting operates two conventional television networks, Global Television and E!, and eighteen of the country's most popular specialty channels, including HGTV, Mystery TV, National Geographic Channel, Showcase, History and TVtropolis. Canwest Broadcasting is a division of Canwest Media Inc.

About Canwest Media Inc.:

Canwest Media Inc is a subsidiary of Canwest Global Communications Corp. (; TSX: CGS and CGS.A). An international media company, Canwest is Canada's largest publisher of paid English language daily newspapers and owns, operates and/or holds substantial interests in conventional television, out-of-home advertising, specialty cable channels, web sites and radio stations in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, and the United States.

About Verite Films:

Founded by director/producer Robert de Lint and producer Virginia Thompson, Verite Films is an internationally recognized creator and producer of unique, high impact series television and interactive media that resonates with viewers. Verite is the production company behind Canada's # 1 rated smash hit comedy series Corner Gas which the company co-produced with Brent Butt and David Storey's 335 productions. Verite is also the production company behind the award winning youth drama series and the children's drama series Incredible Story Studio. Always staying true to the creative core of their projects, Verite tells innovative stories in a variety of genres. Over the past decade, Verite has developed, created and produced over 200 episodes of award-winning prime time narrative series television that has reached record-breaking audiences in Canada and around the world.

About FremantleMedia Enterprises & FremantleMedia:

FremantleMedia Enterprises is the brand extension arm of FremantleMedia, offering a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment. It is a division of FremantleMedia, one of the largest international creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world with leading prime time drama, serial drama, entertainment and factual entertainment programming in over 40 countries worldwide. FremantleMedia is a subsidiary of RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company, which is 90% owned by Bertelsmann AG, an integrated media and entertainment company that commands leading positions in the world's media markets. For further information, visit

SOURCE Verite Films Inc.