Fox Broadcasting Company has picked up MENTAL, a new one-hour medical-mystery drama from Fox Television Studios (FtvS) and executive producers Deborah Joy LeVine (“Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”) and Dan Levine (“The Division”). The first of three Fox TV Studios international co-productions, MENTAL stars Chris Vance (PRISON BREAK) and Annabella Sciorra (“The Sopranos”) and is produced in association with Fox International Channels (FIC). The series first 13 episodes were shot at Fox TeleColombia, in Bogot, Colombia, in 2008. The series will premiere in summer 2009.
“We are thrilled that MENTAL has found a home on FOX,” said Emiliano Calemzuk, president, Fox Television Studios. “As a co-production, MENTAL tapped into the development talent within the international broadcaster community, as well as its financial resources, to create an international production team that included U.S. showrunners, writers and talent, all of whose work ultimately was responsible for the high quality of the show. Additionally, because of the co-financing with FIC, and the cost savings associated with shooting at Fox TeleColombia, we were able to put together an unusually attractive financial deal for everyone involved, something that all studios, networks and companies are considering in this unprecedented economic climate. We are hopeful that MENTAL is the first of many such co-production deals for FtvS and FOX.”
After making its U.S. debut on FOX, MENTAL also will air across 35 countries within Fox International Channels territories.
“We are proud to have partnered with FtvS on MENTAL, and to have collaborated on a new venture that allowed us to share resources, talent and the desire to break new ground in the production of television for a worldwide audience,” added Hernn Lpez, COO, Fox International Channels.
“Fox Television Studios presented us with an interesting opportunity,” said Peter Liguori, Chairman, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “One of our goals has been to get original scripted programming on our air during the summer and they created a model that will allow us to do it.”
MENTAL follows the story of Dr. Jack Gallagher (Chris Vance), a dynamic, young psychiatrist who becomes Director of Mental Health Services at a Los Angeles hospital. There he must reconcile his effective, yet highly unorthodox treatment methods with his conservative boss, hospital administrator Nora Skoff (Annabella Sciorra), a woman with whom he shares a romantic past. As Gallagher takes on new cases, he is confronted with patients battling unknown, misunderstood and often misdiagnosed conditions. Gallagher delves inside their minds to gain a true understanding of who his patients are, allowing him to uncover what just might be the key to their long-term recovery.