EXCLUSIVE: ABC is finalizing a deal for a 13-episode order to a medical drama about a military hospital in Afghanistan to run in the summer. It is being done with the same Canadian network partner, Canwest, and under the same low-cost financial model as ABC’s cop drama Rookie Blue, which surprisingly became last summer’s top-rated new broadcast scripted series and has been renewed for a second cycle. The new medical drama had already been greenlighted by Canwest with a 13-episode order under the title Combat Hospital, but that name is expected to change now that ABC is picking up the show much like Copper became Rookie Blue after ABC got involved. Also upon closing the deal for the medical drama, Daniel Petrie Jr. will come on board as executive producer/showrunner. The series is a Canadian/UK co-production, with Sienna Films and Artists Studios producing alongside Look Out Point. It was created by Douglas Steinberg (Psych) and Jinder Chalmers and is set to air in Canada on Global Television, the network that also carries Rookie Blue. APA-repped Petrie Jr., best known for writing blockbuster Beverly Hills Cop, executive produced the USA series The Big Easy. In addition to imports, ABC has also been betting on U.S.-made scripted series for summer. It largely struck out with Scoundrels and The Gates last summer but in October, the network put another summer hopeful on a fast track, a spy drama from feature writer Greg Poirier and The Gates executive producers Grant Scharbo and Gina Matthews.
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