Date: 23.10.2012Last updated: 23.10.2012 at 16.07

Category: BBC Worldwide

Maria Doyle Kennedy, Dylan Bruce, and Jordan Gavaris join previously announced lead Tatiana Maslany.

Start of production on BBC America’s new original series Orphan Black was announced today. The enthralling new (10x60) drama from Temple Street Productions stars previously announced Tatiana Maslany (Cas & Dylan, Picture Day) in the lead role of Sarah, an outsider and orphan whose life changes dramatically after witnessing the suicide of a woman who looks just like her.  Joining the principal cast is Maria Doyle Kennedy (The Tudors, Downton Abbey), Dylan Bruce (As The World Turns, The Bay), and Jordan Gavaris (Degrassi, Unnatural History). The series is shooting on location and in studio in Toronto, Ontario through February 2013.

After witnessing a woman’s suicide, Sarah assumes her identity, hoping that cleaning out the dead woman’s bank account will solve all of her problems. Instead, the street-smart chameleon is thrust headlong into a kaleidoscopic mystery. She makes the dizzying discovery that she and the dead woman are clones… but are they the only ones? With an assassin hot on her trail, Sarah is racing for answers.

Rounding out the principal cast is: Kevin Hanchard (The Listener, Republic of Doyle), Michael Mando (Territories, Les Bleus De Ramville), Elizabeth Saunders (Saving Hope), and Ron Lea (Saving Hope, Saw IV).

Orphan Black is executive produced by Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier (Being Erica), Graeme Manson (Cube, Flashpoint), and John Fawcett (Spartacus, The Secret Circle). The drama is co-created by Manson and Fawcett, with Manson also serving as writer and Fawcett as director. The series will premiere in early 2013 as part of BBC America’s Supernatural Saturday programming block and in Canada on Bell Media’s SPACE. BBC Worldwide will distribute the series internationally.

"We're very excited to be working with Graeme and John on bringing Orphan Black to the screen.  It's become a passion project that just happens to touch upon the very timely topic of self-identity.  When we began working on this series, we were driven by the quality of the writing and the scope of the themes,” commented David Fortier, Executive Producer and Co-President, Temple Street Productions.

Ivan Schneeberg, Executive Producer and Co-President, Temple Street Productions, continued: “Now we have a formidable cast, led by the unbelievably talented Tatiana Maslany, three terrific partners in BBC America, SPACE, and BBC Worldwide, and a fantastic crew, whose commitment and enthusiasm are confirming our long-held belief that we have something special on our hands.  We couldn't be happier or more proud."

"Orphan Black is a breakthrough show, creatively and technologically. We're thrilled with the talented cast Temple Street Productions has assembled led by extraordinary young actress Tatiana Maslany. We can't wait to launch this edge-of-your-seat thrill ride series,” said Perry Simon, General Manager, Channels, BBC Worldwide America.

“We are delighted to start production on this exciting new series,” said Corrie Coe, Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. “When we confirmed Tatiana as Sarah, we had one major piece of the puzzle, and now everything has fallen into place with the addition of this enthralling and passionate principal cast.”

Orphan Black is produced by Temple Street Productions in association with BBC America and Bell Media.

About BBC America

BBC America delivers US audiences high-quality, innovative and intelligent programming. Established in 1998, it has been the launch pad for talent embraced by American mainstream pop culture, including Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Norton, and successful programming formats, including groundbreaking non-scripted television like Top Gear and top-rated science-fiction like Doctor Who. Owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC America has attracted both critical acclaim and major awards, including an Emmy®, five Golden Globes® and ten Peabody Awards. The channel attracts one of cable’s most affluent and educated audiences and is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 79.5 million homes. It broadcasts in both standard and high-definition, with content available On Demand across all major digital platforms. Online, www.bbcamerica.com is the place to go to dig deeper into pop culture with a British twist. Find out more by visiting www.press.bbcamerica.com or follow us on www.twitter.com/bbcamerica.

About Temple Street Productions

Temple Street Productions is a leading producer of television, film and digital media content based in Toronto, Canada. A selection of Temple Street’s past and present projects includes: Being Erica (CBC, SOAPnet), Wingin' It (Family Channel), Over The Rainbow (CBC), Recipe To Riches (Food Network, Global), Cover Me Canada (CBC), Billable Hours (Global, Showcase), Canada's Next Top Model (CTV), How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? (CBC), Queer Aa Folk (Showtime, Showcase), and Darcy’s Wild Life (NBC, Discovery Kids, Family Channel). For more company information www.templestreetproductions.com, twitter @TempleStreet or connect with us on Facebook.

About SPACE

SPACE is Canada’s national science fiction, horror and fantasy channel. SPACE is truly the station for all those who dare to challenge their imagination. SPACE is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more information about SPACE, visit spacecast.com.

For more information, please contact:

Devin Johnson, BBC AMERICA, 212.339.1709 or devin.johnson@bbc.com

Cynthia Amsden, Unit Publicist, 416.910.7740 or roundstonepr@gmail.com

Natalie Cole, SPACE, 416. 384.2140 or natalie.cole@bellmedia.ca

Christy Sullivan, SPACE, 416.384.3624 or christy.sullivan@bellmedia.ca

Orphan Black is a breakthrough show, creatively and technologically. We're thrilled with the talented cast Temple Street Productions has assembled led by extraordinary young actress Tatiana Maslany. We can't wait to launch this edge-of-your-seat thrill ride series.”

Perry Simon, General Manager, Channels, BBC Worldwide America

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