ABC has renewed the Canadian-produced cop drama "Rookie Blue" for a second season, holding onto one of the summer's only original programming semi-successes.
 
Production on the second season of "Rookie Blue" will begin later this summer in Toronto. We assume ABC will hold the premiere of the next season for the summer of 2011, though that wasn't mentioned in the Monday (July 12) renewal announcement.
 
"We’re very pleased that the show has connected with viewers, especially considering the challenge of finding an audience in the summer, and are excited to pick it up for a second season," said Quinn Taylor, senior vice president, Movies, Miniseries and Acquisitions, ABC Entertainment Group.
 
Aided in no small part by a "Wipeout" lead-in, "Rookie Blue" has settled in as the summer's most-watched new series in the Thursday 9 p.m. hour, running neck-and-neck with repeats of "CSI" on CBS and finishing just behind FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" in the 18-49 demo.
 
And in Canada, "Rookie Blue" had the highest-rated premiere for a Canadian drama series on any network in that country in over a decade. 
 
"We are so proud of 'Rookie Blue's' amazing success and are thrilled to announce its renewal alongside ABC," states Barbara Williams, executive vice-president of Content, Canwest Broadcasting. "This homegrown series has delivered record-setting audiences, and we're looking forward to giving fans even more of these fresh characters and gripping storylines in Season Two."
 
The story of a group of rookie cops learning the ropes in a Canadian city, "Rookie Blue" stars Missy Peregrym, Gregory Smith, Charlotte Sullivan, Enuka Okuma and Travis Milne. The series is executive produced by Tassie Cameron, Ilana Frank and David Wellington, plus Noreen Halpern and John Morayniss.
 
The creative troika of Tassie, David and Ilana is the secret behind the out-of-the-gate success of 'Rookie Blue,'" states Noreen Halpern, president of Dramatic Programming, E1 Television. "They tell heartfelt, immersive human stories burnished with a sexy, glossy pop sheen. We're thrilled that the stars seem to have aligned on this project, and that Canwest and ABC have been such incredible partners."
 
"Rookie Blue" is the first new network scripted show of the summer to get a second season pickup, depending on how you count FOX's possibly premature fall order for "Good Guys." We somehow don't think you should be holding your breath for "Persons Unknown," "Scoundrels" or "The Gates."