Grades

The Canadian networks’ 2015-16 season announcement scorecard

The Canadian network upfront dust has settled and 2015-16 schedules have been revealed. How does their Cancon stack up in terms of quantity, before we’re able to judge much on quality? Let’s take a closer look based on their recently announced lineups for fall and winter:

CBC

  • Canadian scripted shows:  9 1/2
  • New: The Romeo Section, This Life, Young Drunk Punk
  • Returning: Heartland, Murdoch Mysteries, Rick Mercer Report, 22 Minutes, Schitt’s Creek, Mr. D, X Company
  • Grade: B+

The public broadcaster’s lifeblood is original programming, making it unique among the major networks. Budget woes mean more creativity, if you can call reduced seasons an example of creativity, but also new arts and factual programming as well as international acquisitions. CBC gets a half point for airing City’s original production Young Drunk Punk; I admire the cooperative spirit that allows both networks to spread out their Cancon spending without the benefit of appropriate specialty channels of their own, like the biggest private networks who can air one show across multiple channels. With additional factual and news programming, including new shows this summer, CBC is the home of hope for a homegrown television lover.

City

  • Canadian scripted shows:  1 1/2
  • New: Mr. D
  • Returning: Sunnyside
  • Grade: D+

I’m grading on a curve for this smallest of the networks, and hoping they have more originals up their sleeve despite their minimalist fall announcement. Seed, Package Deal and Meet the Family are dead, but they recently ordered more episodes of sketch comedy show Sunnyside for fall. While Young Drunk Punk will benefit from CBC’s bigger reach, Mr. D may get some new eyeballs but a larger audience than its CBC run is highly unlikely.  A second season of Young Drunk Punk hasn’t been announced yet, and City didn’t take the upfronts as an opportunity to do so.

Global

  • Canadian scripted shows:  Zero
  • New: Nothing
  • Returning: Zilch
  • Grade: Is there such thing as an F-?

They recently cancelled homegrown medical drama Remedy while picking up the requisite American medical drama, and Rookie Blue may or may not be ending this summer.  Unless Global rushes their greenlit The Code and Houdini and Doyle into production and finds a cancellation in its simsub schedule during the regular television season, they’re unlikely to have any scripted original shows until at least spring 2016 — on par with their 2014/15 schedule.

CTV

  • Canadian scripted shows:  2
  • New: Nothing
  • Returning: Saving Hope, Motive
  • Grade: C+

Original productions on CTV are positively abundant compared to their rival Global — though some credit goes to their increased Cancon spending requirements after Bell’s purchase of Astral. Even then, they have one scripted show each starting in fall and winter, with Saving Hope out of the gate first in a plum timeslot. They still have a produced season of the sadly tainted Spun Out waiting in the wings. Will they schedule it when gaps appear in their simulcast schedule due to U.S. cancellations, or burn it off quietly some Saturday evening, or kill it entirely? Would they be able to kill it entirely without  issues with the funding agencies? Will we hear soon about more new original series for CTV? So many questions, and we can only wait for answers.

 

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Diane Wild

Diane is the founder of TV, eh? She loves books, movies, TV, science, space, traveling, theatre, art, cats, and drinking multiple beverages at the same time.
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6 thoughts on “The Canadian networks’ 2015-16 season announcement scorecard”

    1. Global has a long history of its anti-Cancon style. At least Shaw Media has Vikings and Beauty & the Beast although both are copros, as is Rookie Blue. They never do things for Canadian audiences.

      I’m still waiting for APTN’sa lineup. It’s a small network but they definitely beat out CTV, Global and City for original content even though they have a fraction of the budget.

      1. The interesting thing with City is last year they went with 12 shows this year there going with 24 shows maybe they did learn you can’t go with a bare bones schedule.

      2. On the budget side, APTN is a 91h and unlike Global or CTV has consistent and stable funding that does not rise and fall with Ad market.

      3. On the budget side, APTN is a 91h service and unlike Global or CTV has consistent and stable funding that does not rise and fall with the Ad market.

  1. I have no respect for Canadian broadcasters, This is the most pathetic and ultimately culturally degrading business practice I have ever seen. We need a major cultural attitude adjustment. Invest in Canadians! Stop pandering to the Americans before we slowly morph into them and surrender our identity completely. Why do these broadcasters even exist if they are just giving us access to shows we already have access to. Increase the CBC’s budget too, they are the only ones who seem to actually care about telling Canadian stories and they require a special mandate forced on them by the government. I think this is a much bigger problem then people are aware of or will even acknowledge. F- to everyone but the CBC.

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