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CBS to revamp new drama 'Three Rivers'

June 11, 2009 | 11:02 am


Don't you just love the TV development cycle? The networks rush all spring to cast and complete pilots  to present them to advertisers in May and then spend all summer retooling many of them before launching them in the fall.

CBS has decided to shoot its new medical drama, "Three Rivers," at Paramount Studios instead of the Pittsburgh hospital where the first pilot was filmed. Created by Carol Barbee ("Jericho"), the drama is set in a preeminent transplant hospital and centers on the lives of the organ donors, the recipients and the healthcare workers who care for them. Each story is told from those three points of view.

According to a source close to the project, CBS wants the pilot to have a "warmer" look and will essentially build a hospital on the Paramount lot. Production on the original pilot was limited to certain areas of the working hospital in which it was filmed, and executives hope this change will help expand the universe of the show.

To that end, Barbee also is looking to add recurring characters -- specialists and a social worker -- who will pop in and out of episodes. One of them will probably become a love interest for Dr. Andy Yablonski, a highly skilled workaholic organ transplant surgeon, played by Alex O'Loughlin ("Moonlight"). The role of Dr. Sophia Jordan, head of surgery, which was played by Julia Ormond, will be recast.

Rob Bailey ("CSI: NY"), who served as co-executive producer on the first pilot, will be the show's director and executive producer.

The cast also includes: Joaquim de Almeida, Christopher J. Hanke, Daniel Henney, Justina Machado and Katherine Moennig.

"Three Rivers" will air Sundays at 9 p.m.

-- Maria Elena Fernandez

Credit: Alex O'Loughlin and Katherine Moennig/CBS