Despite being on Lifetime for less than a year, supernatural drama Blood Ties has developed an intensely devout following. Still, the last two episodes of the season were aired online only. Has the series been cancelled or will the vampire return for more adventures?
Blood Ties is a Canadian series that’s based on the books of fantasy author Tanya Huff. Set in Toronto, the series follows private investigator Vicki Nelson (Christina Cox) who left the police force when she began to lose her eyesight. She ends up partnering with mysterious Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid) who turns out to be a 480-year-old vampire and the illegitimate son of Henry the VIII. The two slowly become attracted to one another, a situation complicated by Vicki’s relationship with her former partner, Mike Celluci (Dylan Neal).
The show premiered on March 11, 2007 on Lifetime Television in the U.S. and began airing several months later in Canada. While the first season of 13 episodes was still airing, Lifetime ordered a second season of nine more (the 22 episodes were actually originally produced as a single season). Lifetime had other programming scheduled for the summer months so the “second season” didn’t begin airing until October 12, 2007.
The show aired as part of Lifetime’s “Psy-Fridays” line-up, alongside Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead and America’s Psychic Challenge. According to TV Guide, because the other two shows ran out of episodes, Lifetime opted to rework the night’s schedule and relegated the two remaining Blood Ties episodes to an online release.
Lifetime hasn’t officially cancelled the show but the “online exclusive” treatment is usually reserved for a series that’s finished. So, if Lifetime cancels the series, is that the end? Maybe, or maybe not.
There is already interest in continuing the series among Canadian broadcasters but a U.S. partner is likely needed to help with the financing. Without that backing, we could have a rerun of what happened to the Falcon Beach teen drama last year. When ABC Family decided against a third season, it wasn’t financially possible for Canada’s Global TV to pay for Beach on its own and the show was cancelled.
If a new U.S. channel is found, Blood Ties executive producer Randy Zalken says the series will certainly be back. He told Eonline, “The sets are still available — they’ve not been destroyed — our talent is very eager to come back, and our show runner, Peter Mohan, is standing by.”
Zalken doesn’t believe the ongoing writers strike would be standing in the way if Blood Ties were to get a season three greenlight. He said, “I don’t think the strike is going to hurt us, because Canadian writers are not hindered by the U.S. guild rules. So, we can be delivering new shows for the fall — I guess that’s more than a lot of [U.S.] producers are saying now.”
Nice as that sounds, Zalken may be underestimating the WGA support of Canadian writers. Blood Ties author Tanya Huff had been writing episode commentary for the Lifetime website but stopped in support of the writers strike. Blood Ties screenwriter Denis McGrath is a solid supporter of the WGA strike as well.
For now, we may have to wait until Lifetime makes a final choice to either cancel or to renew the series. Part of their decision may hinge on how well the Blood Ties reruns perform next month. The entire series will be rerun on weekend nights beginning Saturday, February 9th. Will the vampire series rise again? Stay tuned!