ION Television has joined Shaftesbury, Canadian network CTV and Fox International as a producer on the Canadian procedural drama series The Listener for its 13-episode fifth season, which started production earlier this year. Under the agreement, ION becomes the exclusive U.S. television network for originals of fifth and future seasons of the series. ION has been carrying The Listener — in 2011, the network acquired the first two seasons of the drama, which was originally picked up by NBC for a summer 2009 run of Season 1, which was cut short after several episodes. After the show did well alongside CBS’ off-network procedurals, including Criminal Minds and Law & Order; Criminal Intent, I hear ION exercised its option to become a co-producer of original episodes. The network used a similar strategy for another popular Canadian procedural drama, Flashpoint, first inking a syndication deal with CBS for the show’s Season 1-4 episodes that had aired on CBS (plus 11 that hadn’t aired) before becoming Flashpoint‘s exclusive US network for Season 5.
The Listener will debut on ION in midseaosn 2014, joining the network’s off-network procedurals that also include Cold Case, Burn Notice, Psych and Leverage. Also coming to ION for a syndication run this coming fall is CBS’ Blue Bloods. Starring Craig Olejnik, The Listener centers on mind-reading police consultant Toby Logan, who uses his telepathic ability to help a special law enforcement unit solve the most complicated cases. It is produced by Shaftesbury in association with CTV and FIC, and is distributed by Shine International. The series was created by writer Michael Amo and is executive produced by Christina Jennings and Scott Garvie for Shaftesbury, Sharon Tal Yguado for Fox International Channels, and Peter Mohan, who serves as showrunner.