From a media release:
CBC TELEVISION LAUNCHES 2013-2014 SCHEDULE FEATURING NEW PRIMETIME SERIES, SOCHI 2014, AND A SLATE OF RETURNING HITS
CBC today unveiled its 2013-2014 broadcast schedule, featuring a strong line-up of anticipated new series, returning and homegrown hits, the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA, leading cultural live events, and more.
This fall, CBC Television welcomes back Sunday night-favourite BATTLE OF THE BLADES for its 4th season – a dynamic show that combines athletes from two of Canada’s favourite sports: figure skating and hockey! Eight accomplished figure skaters pair up with eight rugged hockey players in the ultimate skating competition for charity. Ron MacLean and Kurt Browning will both return to host an exciting new season. The live performance episodes will be supported through integrated multi-platform technology, reintroducing the hit show to Canadian audiences. BATTLE OF THE BLADES is big Sunday night entertainment where anything is possible.
Based on author Terry Fallis’ award-winning novel of the same name and 2011 Canada Reads winner, THE BEST LAID PLANS, is a humorous and satirical journey into the world of national politics and backroom maneuvering of Canadian government. Parliament is a secret and esoteric world with its own culture, customs and language. THE BEST LAID PLANS is a rollicking journey into this cosseted world. Our guide is the earnest, hopeful, English PhD, Daniel Addison, head speech writer for the Leader of the Opposition. When Daniel catches his girlfriend and her boss in flagrante delicto he decides to return to academe as assistant professor of English at the University of Ottawa. But you don’t just walk away from the Opposition Party — freedom has a price and in this case it’s finding a candidate in a riding 50 kilometres away and managing the campaign in the next election, scheduled in approximately eight weeks. THE BEST LAID PLANS, launches in winter 2014 on CBC-TV.
FOUR ROOMS jumps into the reality space this winter as four of Canada’s leading art buyers vie for the prized possessions of Canadians. Four of Canada’s leading art, antiques and memorabilia dealers wait in four rooms, ready to spend big money on the right item. Canadians looking to sell their prized possessions come face-to-face with the four buyers, who will stop at nothing in their quest to purchase unique, stunning, iconic, unusual or macabre items. Each buyer makes the seller an offer. But there’s a catch. Would-be sellers must decide whether they want to accept the buyer’s offer or move on to the next buyer’s room. And once they reject a bid from a buyer, the offer is off the table forever. No teapots, musty old furniture or bits of pottery. It’s about morals and greed. It’s Antiques Roadshow meets Dragon’s Den. The FOUR ROOMS cross-Canada search for sellers is now underway. Apply online today at cbc.ca/fourrooms and audition in a city near you.
CBC is thrilled to welcome the successful series RECIPE TO RICHES to the 2014 winter schedule. It’s a competition-style reality series in which amateur Canadian cooks create and share their innovative favourite personal recipes with the country. In the week leading up to the finale, Canadians will be able to join the fun and vote for their favourite recipe! Auditions will take place this summer in select cities across Canada – additional information and updates to come in the coming weeks.
Launching this fall, STILL LIFE is a made for TV movie about a supposedly tranquil village in Quebec’s Eastern Townships that is about to be disturbed by the discovery that a much-loved member of the community lies dead in the woods. As investigators dig deeper, they uncover layers of deceit, rage and long-simmering resentments buried deep in a quaint village. Based on award-winning Canadian novelist Louise Penny’s first book, STILL LIFE is the first book in the Three Pines Mystery series. The film is set and was shot in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.
CBC-TV’s primetime lineup is full of proven, homegrown returning series: ARCTIC AIR returns for its third season of avalanche rescue missions, aerial bombing runs, and police chases; DRAGONS’ DEN, Canada’s highest-rated unscripted TV show, returns with 20 exciting new episodes in a brand new, ominous den; CRACKED’s Psych Crimes Unit is back; school’s in for MR. D; REPUBLIC OF DOYLE kicks into high gear on the rock; and HEARTLAND returns as the Sunday favourite; Canada’s No. 1 investigative consumer show, MARKETPLACE is back for its 41st season after consistently drawing more than 1 million viewers last year. Beloved fan-favourite drama MURDOCH MYSTERIES returns for an all-new seventh season. the fifth estate returns with its award-winning investigative journalism in its 39th season.
THE NATURE OF THINGS WITH DAVID SUZUKI returns as CBC Television’s longest- running multi-award-winning series, while DOC ZONE, CBC Television’s flagship documentary series, returns with documentaries from the front lines from around the world. CBC’s current affairs programming for 2013-2014 will deliver unparalleled depth and originality, and will continue to broadcast the best informative programming in Canada.
GEORGE STROUMBOULOPOULOS TONIGHT is back as George celebrates his 10th season connecting his audience to the world’s most influential and fascinating characters. And Canada’s best comedic and satirical shows are back with new seasons of the RICK MERCER REPORT, THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES, and THE RON JAMES SHOW. In addition, the CBC is home to Canada’s top cultural live events, including the SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE, CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS, and the CCMAs.
Leo Awards 2013: Coming-of-age story Becoming Redwood leads with 16 nods
The Vancouver-set Showcase sci-fi series Continuum leads the TV nominations with 16 nods, followed by the action adventure series Arctic Air with 14. For best actor in a TV series, the nominees are Kevin McNulty (Arctic Air), Niall Matter (Primeval: New World), and Michael Shanks (Saving Hope). For best actress in a TV series, it’s Pascale Hutton (Arctic Air), Jodi Balfour (Bomb Girls) and Meg Tilly (Bomb Girls). Read more.
From Bruce Demara of the Toronto Star:
Arctic Air season finale on CBC goes interactive
“We wanted to do something really different. We wanted to test the limits of viewer engagement . . . and test our storytelling capabilities,” said CBC executive Nataline Rodrigues. Read more.
Mr. D, CBC – “Slam Dunk”
Gerry tries to convince Bobbi to give him a senior boys basketball team next season. Robert learns that his year end evaluation came with one complaint.
The Ron James Show, CBC – “Language & Communication”
Ron looks at the increasingly complex world of LANGUAGE & COMMUNICATION and tries to figure out what’s getting lost in translation. Special Guests: Deb McGrath, Christian Potenza.
Arctic Air, CBC – “Ts’inada”
Caitlin is taken, but her kidnappers don’t want money – they want Nelson.
When I read the media release about Arctic Air’s transmedia extravaganza finale, I had two thoughts:
- This media release needs to calm itself down a whole lot. (“Leading the charge in social television history and second screen experiences in North America, ARCTIC AIR has developed a transmedia storytelling event…”)
- Why is this THAT much more special than “there’s additional web content”?
After sitting on it for a day I decided to post anyway and let the reader decide how exciting they found this, whatever this was. And of course I made a snarky twitter comment expressing the above sentiments in 140 characters. One of CBC’s highly responsive (no sarcasm there) interactive team responded and offered to get my questions answered. So here is CBC’s Nick Mcanulty explaining the concept in slightly less hyperbolic and jargony language than that media release:
So first of all, in one sentence and without using the word transmedia, can you explain what’s unique about the Arctic Air finale?
What’s unique about the finale is that it’s 100% focused on the main story, continuing scenes and revealing more about the plot and characters at each commercial break.
What kind of content are we talking about? Video? Written? Images?
The Arctic Air finale will unfold over multiple screens with a parallel part of the story from another characters perspective taking place online. The majority of the elements are video with interactive components such as audio and branching storytelling. These segments were written as part of the finale script and were produced by the Arctic Air production as part of the episode. There will also be a web version that airs after the broadcast framed as a police interrogation that jumps into these segments as well as an epilogue to the episode that reveals and teases more for season 3.
Can you explain the ideal user experience as they watch the show and interact with this content? As in, if I choose to follow along on my iPad, what will I be doing and what will it add to my viewing of the show?
Audience members will watch the broadcast of the episode with their device (iPad, phone, laptop). Right before each commercial break, they will be prompted to go to the Arctic Air site where the scene that just ended in the broadcast will unlock and continue online. After the broadcast, viewers can go and experience a complete version that takes place after the episode that has entry points into these scenes and contains new story elements and a conclusion to the episode that wasn’t seen in the broadcast.
How do you balance having enough in the broadcast for the majority of the audience but having the second screen content compelling enough for that group of viewers?
The balance comes from working with the story department from the beginning. Instead of shoehorning something into the finale, the story team developed storyline that allowed for an exciting story to take place from multiple perspectives. Those just watching the episode will still get a satisfying experience as we’re not aiming to take anything away from the broadcast, but those that go through the online component will get a lot more insight, story and reveals.
What is the expectation — higher ratings for the broadcast, or simply more engaged with it?
Higher ratings are always good for everyone but for this we really want to offer a richer viewing experience that’s rewarding the viewer for exploring past just the broadcast.
Given the “Leading the charge in social television history and second screen experiences in North America,” how does this compare to shows doing live Q&As on social media while an episode airs, or audience-responsive episodes like Hawaii 5-0′s choose your own ending, or the X-Factor and Glee second screen experiences? What makes it so leading-edge?
The difference between this and other second screen experiences is that this is 100% story related, giving an overall 60 minute episode instead of the standard broadcast 45. Things like the Hawaii 5-0 experiment deal with one off characters with no consequence to the series (situations dealing with characters whom we’ve never seen before or again) where this focuses on characters we’ve been following for 2 seasons with real consequences. There are no Q&A’s, no stats, no info on the cast – the experience is all story from the episode.
Are you daunted by research that’s showing audiences aren’t engaging with show-specific content like this? Is it still too early to tell how audiences will adapt or is this simply niche marketing for those who do enjoy it?
It’s too early to tell – there are always going to be super fans who want to get every piece of content for a show and there will always be audience members who want nothing more than to watch the show in a completely passive manner. But there is a lot of room to explore between the two so we’re really aiming to give something truly rewarding to the audience to make it worth their time. Our aim is to expand how we tell a story this is a test for us that we’d like to explore further in the future.