From left: Actor Christian Kane, ABS-CBN Head of Broadcast Cory V. Vidanes, Francis de la Torre, ABS-CBN Chairman Mark L. Lopez, Dean Devlin, ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo L. Katigbak, Steve Lee, and ABS-CBN Head of international scripted formats and co-production division Ruel S. Bayani.
ABS-CBN, the country's leading media and entertainment company, is venturing into Hollywood production for the US film and TV outfit Electric Entertainment which is headed by Filipino-American producer Dean Devlin with a soon-to-air U.S. crime series titled "Off Tropic".
The series is a crime drama set in Cebu and will air in the United States via the cable company, WGN America. It is ABS-CBN’s first foray into Hollywood television production.
“This is a first of many strategic partnerships and collaborations with partners from all over the world and we are very thrilledthat we are partnering with a formidable team, Electric Entertainment, to line produce the US series for them,” ABS-CBN head of international production and co-production division Ruel S. Bayani, said.
ABS-CBN’s international co-production division has other partnerships and collaborations with other companies from all over Southeast Asia, the United States, and Europe.
“We chose to partner with ABS-CBN because they have been so instrumental in the development of talent here both in front and behind the camera. I think they have the most experience and they have just been amazing partners. This is going to change the way people perceive the entertainment business in the Philippines,” Devlin said.
This series is a wonderful opportunity for Filipino talent as majority of the cast will be from within the country. The female lead will be a Filipina actress who will star alongside American actor Christian Kane, who has starred in a string of TV series including “Angel,” “Leverage,” The Librarians,” and “Into the West”.
Electric Entertainment is the company responsible for hit television series, “The Librarians” which premiered its fourth season in December 2017, and “Leverage”, which aired from 2008 to 2012. The company has also produced movies, among which is the thriller, “Bad Samaritan,” which ran in cinemas in 2018.
Dean Devlin, who is the chief executive officer of Electric Entertainment, is the series’ executive producer and is set to write its first two episodes and direct its finale. “Off Tropic” marks Devlin’s debut in television production in the Philippines with Filipinos. He gained worldwide renown for producing the hit movies “Independence Day,” “Godzilla,” and “The Patriot.”
Present at the contract signing were ABS-CBN chairman Mark. L. Lopez, ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo L. Katigbak, ABS-CBN chief operating officer for broadcast Cory V. Vidanes, ABS-CBN head of international production and co-production division Ruel S. Bayani, Electric Entertainment chief executive officer Dean Devlin, actor Christian Kane, “Off Tropic” co-executive producer Francis de la Torre, and line producer Steve Lee.
The series’ production in Cebu is slated to begin in November.