‘Saving Hope’ returns this fall and shakes things up in Season 3

Daniel Gillies, Erica Durance and Michael Shanks at the CTV Upfronts. (Photo credit: CTV)

Are you still haunted by Season 2’s mind-blowing cliffhanger? Did you think you would barely make it through spring, eagerly waiting for ‘Saving Hope’s’ summer premiere? Well don’t hold your breath, Hopefuls. It looks like we are joining Alex in limbo as we wait to see what happens next.

Just as we start jonesing for our Hope Zion favorites, we learn that we will have to until September to get some answers. Yup! This is going to be an agonizingly long hiatus.

Here is CTV’s official statement:

The hit original series returns this fall for Season 3 with an abridged, five-episode arc on Thursdays at 9 p.m. following “Greys Anatomy.” Culminating with a cliffhanger finale this fall, 13 additional episodes will air mid-season, on Wednesdays at 10 p.m.

Production on 18 new episodes from ICF Films and Entertainment One begins June 11 in Toronto. Set to share the Thursday night at 9 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy” timeslot on CTV and CTV GO this season, “Saving Hope” stars Erica Durance (“Smallville”), Michael Shanks(“Stargate SG1”), Daniel Gillies (“The Vampire Diaries”), Wendy Crewson (“Revenge”), Huse Madhavji (“Combat Hospital,” “Star! Daily”), and Julia Taylor-Ross (“Rookie Blue”).

New for Season 3, Stacey Farber (“Degrassi: The Next Generation”) joins the staff at Hope Zion Hospital in the recurring role of Dr. Sydney Katz, OB/GYN.

Directors this season include David Wellington, along with guest director and series lead Michael Shanks, and returning guest directors Jason Priestley (“Call Me Fitz”) and Gregory Smith (“Rookie Blue”).

As we have learned by now, ‘Saving Hope’ knows how to rattle viewers with epic cliffhangers. Jaws hit the floor when the final frame of Season 2 showed Alex’s spirit staring into Charlie’s eyes. Let’s just hope that storyline gets a happy resolution during the five episode arc before the writers throw another curveball our way in the mid-season finale.

The good news is that production is underway and if we are lucky, there may be some teasers leaked online. Writers, cast and crew have been tweeting their excitement for Season 3 from the set of ‘Saving Hope.’ Some of these tweets delivered a bit of surprising news: Hope Zion is losing a fan favorite.

Salvatore Antonio is leaving the show. We will miss the always entertaining nurse Victor Reis. He helped Shahir break out of his shell and his no-nonsense wittiness added extra spice to the O.R.

Antonio shared his well wishes for the cast on twitter and eventually addressed his exit from ‘Saving Hope’:

On June 11 he tweeted:

Happy S3 to all my loves at @SavingHopeTV @ED_DURANCE@MichaelShanks @danieljgillies@juliataylorross @HuseM@GlendaBrag @BenjaminAyres xo! (https://twitter.com/Salvatonio/status/476738425031520256)

More good wishes for S3 of @SavingHopeTV to @noldenmichelle@kristopherturn @kccollinsworld@Bruised_Berry Have a great one, y’all! Xo (https://twitter.com/Salvatonio/status/476739096493436928)

The next day he explained:

I’m grateful for my 2 seasons on #SavingHope, but it was time to move on. I will miss the great cast & crew. Onward & upward SA (https://twitter.com/Salvatonio/status/477089975474073602)

He also said that the writers will determine Victor’s exit from the show, so it will be interesting to see how his storyline plays out.

As one cast member leaves a new one enters. CTV’s statement introduces the arrival of a new OB/GYN, Dr. Sydney Katz played by Stacey Farber. Perhaps Dr. Katz will be taking over for Eric Johnson’s pill-popping Dr. Jason Kalfis who could definitely use a stint in rehab after he recklessly jeopardized his patients’ well-being, including Maggie’s.

It also looks like Michael Shanks will be making his big ‘Saving Hope’ directorial debut this season. Yay! He tested the waters in Season 2 when he directed “Just Nuts,” episode 10 of ‘Last Call’ (watch it here), so it will be exciting to see what he does with a full episode.

UPDATE: “Saving Hope” returns with a 2-part Season 3 premiere airing on Monday Sept. 22 at 9 p.m. and Thursday Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. on CTV.

What do you think of the latest news, Hopefuls? Are you disappointed to see Antonio leave the show? Are you bummed that we have to wait until September to watch new episodes? How will you cope with ‘Saving Hope’ withdrawals over the summer?

Share your thoughts below and stay tuned for more news!

This article was originally published on Examiner.com on June 18, 2014.

UPDATE (Summer 2016): ‘Saving Hope’ now airs on ION Television in the U.S. and still airs on CTV in Canada. Visit ‘Saving Hope’s’ ION TV homepage (HERE) or CTV Homepage (HERE) for details.

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