Everything about Heartland, eh?

CBC kicks off fall schedule on September 16


From a media release:


  • Kicking-off on September 16, CBC-TV’s 2013 Fall Schedule Delivers Award-Winning Hits, Bright Stars, and Investigative Journalism That Matters

With gripping dramas, hilarious comedies, live events, award-winning news and investigative programs, CBC continues to be a leader in providing top-notch Canadian content this fall. The new schedule features the highly anticipated return of BATTLE OF THE BLADES, and the made-for-television movie, STILL LIFE: A THREE PINES MYSTERY. The season premiere of GEORGE STROUMBOULOPOULOS TONIGHT kicks off the fall schedule, which also features the return of hits MURDOCH MYSTERIES, DRAGONS’ DEN, REPUBLIC OF DOYLE, HEARTLAND, RICK MERCER REPORT, MARKETPLACE and HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA.

  • BATTLE OF THE BLADES – The show Canadians fell in love with and embraced for three seasons is back! It returns with big Sunday night entertainment where anything is possible. This season of BATTLE OF THE BLADES promises to be the most interactive and innovative yet. CBC will kick off the digital campaign by announcing this year’s cast over one week in September, exclusively on the website and via social media. Visit cbc.ca/battle/ for more details. The season launches Sunday, September 22, at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT). @CBCbattle
  • Starring Canadian acting luminary Donald Sutherland, CROSSING LINES is an action-packed international crime drama about a new global FBI unit that specializes in cross-border crimes and brings intercontinental criminals to justice. It joins the prime-time lineup at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT) on Tuesday evenings, and premiering October 8.
  • New set, new sizzle. Catch DRAGONS’ DEN in their new ominous den as the extraordinary deals continue to unfold. The season launches Wednesday, October 2 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT). @CBCDragon
  • Celebrating the 10th season of GEORGE STROUMBOULOPOULOS TONIGHT, George brings us the world’s most influential and fascinating actors, musicians, and newsmakers through his signature interview style. The season launches September 16 at 7 p.m. (7:30 NT). @strombo/@strombodotcom
  • HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA returns for the 2013–14 NHL season with a full slate of games featuring the sport’s biggest stars and best NHL match-ups and marquee events. The season begins with Molson Canadian NHL Face Off from Montreal on Tuesday, October 1 at 6:30 p.m. ET/ 3:30 p.m. PT, as the Canadiens host their longtime rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs, followed by Winnipeg at Edmonton at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT. The Ontario township of Sterling-Rawdon plays host to Kraft Hockeyville on Saturday, September 14 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT as the Winnipeg Jets and Washington Capitals face-off in a pre-season match-up in Belleville, ON.@hockeynight
  • This season on MARKETPLACE, Canada’s consumer watchdog goes all out to put the bite on wrongdoers and set things right. Undercover, online and on TV, Marketplace gets more bark for your buck with a revealing checkup on vet bills and goes on a nationwide hunt for Canada’s most frustrating packaging for the first-ever Wrap Rage Awards. The season launches Friday, October 4 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT). @CBCMarketplace
  • MURDOCH MYSTERIES – Canada’s number-one dramatic mystery provides a season full of surprises as Detective Murdoch continues to unravel the city’s most devious murder mysteries all the while elevating his romance with Dr. Julia Ogden to new heights. Fans can also get ready for a Web series that peeks behind the scenes of CBC’s hit mystery show, with an exclusive inside look at the making of season seven. Dive into the history, characters, inventions, costumes, props and storylines featured in the new season, including interviews with the cast, crew, writers and producers who bring the show to life. The season launches Monday, September 30 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT). @CBCMurdoch
  • REPUBLIC OF DOYLE – Like any family, the Doyles aren’t impervious to fracture, and they will find themselves pulled in dramatic new directions and facing big decisions that could forever affect their relationships — or change the trajectory of their lives — for good. REPUBLIC OF DOYLE brings you an all-new Web series featuring quirky ne’er-do-well Ned Bishop (Mark Critch), who is becoming more of a regular fixture in the life of the Doyles, whether Jake likes it or not. The season launches Wednesday, October 2 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT). @RepublicofDoyle
  • STILL LIFE: A THREE PINES MYSTERY, airing Sunday, September 15 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT). Based on Canadian author Louise Penny’s international best-selling novel, STILL LIFE focuses on a picturesque small town that becomes unraveled after a beloved community member is found dead and the investigation into her death reveals layers of deceit, rage and long-simmering resentments.
  • With compelling in-depth stories and fast-reaction investigations of ongoing events, the fifth estate digs into things Canadians care about and gets results. This season Gillian Findlay discovers a hidden ingredient in most prepared food that is making us mighty sick — and asks ”Are we in North America eating ourselves to death?” Linden MacIntyre visits a village in Canada with a deadly secret. Bob McKeown delves into a mystery that certain institutions would prefer was kept silent. Mark Kelley encounters extortion in a menacing new form. And the fifth estate reveals a tragic human exodus in The Last Great Escape. The season launches Friday, October 4 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT). @CBCfifth
  • Canada’s number one political satirist, Rick Mercer, is back for an 11th season of THE RICK MERCER REPORT with his weekly dose of political satire, ranting, funny takes on the week’s top stories, and lively cross-country adventures. Providing a unique viewpoint on Canada from coast to coast to coast, THE RICK MERCER REPORT returns with two of the most talked-about features of every show: Rick’s rant and his cross-country adventures. The season launches Tuesday, October 8 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT). Fans can also get a daily dose of the show weekdays at 6:30 p.m. (7 NT). @rickmercer


  • BEST RECIPES EVER, Canada’s most-watched daily food program returns to CBC this fall for its fifth big season with host and chef Christine Tizzard. The show has recently released its second cookbook, featuring the very best Canadian Living recipes from seasons three and four. The season starts Monday, September 23 at 3 p.m. (3:30 NT). @BestRecipesEver
  •  The Psych Crimes Unit is back with CRACKED, more unified and stronger than before, with a new female lead along with David Sutcliffe, and Brooke Nevin (from Chicago Fire, Breakout Kings). This season, CRACKED brings you The Tenants, an eight part Web series building up to the season two finale. A corrupt property manager is found murdered and there’s no shortage of suspects. . . over the course of eight weeks, we’ll flash-forward to an assortment of characters who are somehow connected to a brutal case that will be solved in the thrilling finale. The season launches Monday, September 30, at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT). @CrackedonCBC
  • DOC ZONE returns to enlighten and entertain with another season of thought-provoking documentaries. This fall, look for stories about Canada’s Not Criminally Responsible laws and the Condo Game in Toronto and Vancouver. The season launches Thursday, October 3 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT). @CBCDocs
  • Season seven of HEARTLAND brings a new way to watch Canada’s favourite family drama: The Heartland Companion app. The app works on your tablet or smartphone and syncs to the live (or PVRed) broadcast, serving up a wide range of HEARTLAND companion content — from extra scenes and elements that extend the story even further, to behind-the-scenes extras, and even a nationwide HEARTLAND Trivia Challenge where viewers can win great prizes from the show. The season starts Sunday, October 6 at 7 p.m. (7:30 NT). @HeartlandonCBC
  • IN THE KITCHEN WITH STEFANO FAITA is back for a third season of all-new recipes, guests and fun this fall. The first official IN THE KITCHEN… cookbook, featuring the most popular recipes from seasons one and two, will be released in October 2013. The season starts Monday, September 23 at 3:30 p.m. (4 NT). @CBCinthekitchen
  • STEVEN AND CHRIS remains the hottest daytime destination for all things lifestyle — continually bringing more fun and fabulous content to weekday viewers. The fun starts Monday, September 23 at 2 p.m. (2:30 NT). @stevenandchris
  • THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES, Canada’s longest-running political satire, returns to take on big issues and small-minded politicians. 22 Minutes a week is not enough! The intrepid news team behind THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES brings you a new Web series: The 22 Minutes Update. It’s a bite-sized version of the show you know and love, a 2.2 Minute mid-week update that delivers (and sends up) the very, very, very latest news with exclusive newsdesk stories, field pieces, and more. The season launches Tuesday, October 8 at 8:30 p.m. (9:00 NT). @22_Minutes
  • THE NATURE OF THINGS, Canada’s longest-running science series, presents an ambitious new season: from invasive carp and zombie ants, to decoding the “gay gene” and David Suzuki’s very personal quest to understand Alzheimer’s. And starting on March 13, 2014, Wild Canada, a stunning four-part series in the style of Planet Earth: it’s Canada as you’ve never seen it before, an epic story through time and across the vast scale of the Canadian landscape. The season launches Thursday, October 3 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT). @CBCDocs



7 p.m. (7:30 NT) – George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

7:30 p.m. (8 NT) – Coronation Street

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) – Murdoch Mysteries

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – Cracked

10 p.m. (10:30 NT) – The National


7 p.m. (7:30 NT) – George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

7:30 p.m. (8 NT) – Coronation Street

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) – Rick Mercer Report

8:30 p.m. (9 NT) – This Hour Has 22 Minutes

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – Crossing Lines

10 p.m. (10:30 NT) – The National


7 p.m. (7:30 NT) – George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

7:30 p.m. (8 NT) – Coronation Street

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) – Dragons’ Den

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – Republic of Doyle

10 p.m. (10:30 NT) – The National


7 p.m. (7:30 NT) – George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

7:30 p.m. (8 NT) – Coronation Street

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) – The Nature of Things

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – Doc Zone

10 p.m. (10:30 NT) – The National


7 p.m. (7:30 NT) – George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

7:30 p.m. (8 NT) – Coronation Street

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) – Marketplace

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – the fifth estate

10 p.m. (10:30 NT) – The National


7 p.m. (7:30 NT) – Heartland

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) – Battle of the Blades

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) – Dragons’ Den

10 p.m. (10:30 NT) – The National



2 p.m. (2:30 NT) – Steven and Chris

3 p.m. (3:30 NT) – Best Recipes Ever

3:30 p.m. (4 NT) – In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita


Examining the fall season of CanCon


Broadcasters have had their upfront presentations and announced their fall primetime seasons, so now we can get the microscope out to look at their Canadian offerings. (In the case of Global, an electron microscope may be needed.) I am, as usual, only including scripted and reality shows, so excluding news, sports, newsmagazines, specials, movies, documentary series or infotainment series.


I wanted to write a post about CBC’s 2013/14 season when they launched it, but it would have been nearly identical to what I wrote for 2012/13: this isn’t the public broadcaster I want. The upcoming year shows minimal risk, aiming for middle-of-the-road appeal, a renewal of everything that moves despite ratings, no new scripted series, and a foreign import for prime time — more egregiously, they felt the need to import a cop show when those comprise a large percentage of Canada’s gross domestic product.

However, what I said last year is more true this year: CBC is in a difficult place financially and politically (Executive Director for commissioned and scripted programming Sally Catto gave us a candid interview about how the budget cuts have affected programming). And some of their mid-season TV movies and mini-series seem promising. And at least their slate of CanCon is visible to the naked eye.

CanCon scripted and reality series for fall primetime:

  • Battle of the Blades (1 hour)
  • Cracked (1 hour)
  • Dragons’ Den (1 hour)
  • Heartland (1 hour)
  • Murdoch Mysteries (1 hour)
  • Republic of Doyle (1 hour)
  • Rick Mercer Report (1/2 hour)
  • 22 Minutes (1/2 hour)

Total: 7 hours


With less market penetration than the others, City is often the poor cousin in terms of Canadian series as well. This year, their fall season has more than the other private networks if you count those that will air first on specialty network OLN. Which I don’t quite, except maybe half marks for effort. They gave Seed a surprise renewal for 2014 — the ratings didn’t entirely justify it, but perhaps they’ll experiment with a different timeslot or find other ways to grow the audience that shrank last year — and have Mother Up and Meet The Family on the horizon for mid-season.

I have mixed feelings about the scheduling of their one true original fall show, Package Deal. The premiere date has been pushed back more than once; they seem to have landed on airing it on June 24 as last announced but then delaying the rest of the season for a fall run. They used the “because, hockey” excuse for two delays, which make them seem like the only Canadians unaware of the playoffs. But I do admire them for breaking away from the model of summer season being the safe season for CanCon, and for putting their new multi-camera comedy between two US multi-camera comedies (single-cam Seed’s old spot between How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls, but without the draw of a Big Bang Theory rerun at the same time to pilfer viewers).

CanCon scripted and reality series for fall primetime:

  • Package Deal (1/2 hour)
  • The Liquidator (OLN first run – 1 hour)
  • The Project: Guatemala (OLN first run – 1 hour)
  • Storage Wars Canada (OLN first run – 1/2 hour)

Total: 1/2 hour or if I’m generous, 3 hours


As CTV bragged in their 2013/14 launch media release, “In total, CTV’s fall schedule features 17.5 hours of simulcast programming weekly, more than any other Canadian network.” So you know the CanCon news isn’t great. Apparently Bell Media president Kevin Crull has said he can see a time soon when in-season primetime will be 25% Canadian, but that time is not now. The network has announced one CanCon series launching in fall this year — Played (I will imagine your surprise that it’s another cop show) — while MasterChef Canada was announced for mid-season (I’ll imagine your surprise that it’s another Reality Show X Canada format) and Motive is renewed for a second season.

CanCon scripted and reality series for fall primetime:

  • Played (1 hour)

Total: 1 hour


Coming off their cancellation of Bomb Girls, Global announced two new scripted series slated for mid-season: hospital drama Remedy and comedy Working the Engels. But alone among the major networks, they have no Canadian scripted or reality shows added to their fall schedule.

CanCon scripted and reality series for fall primetime:

  • Nothing (0 hours)
  • Yup, apparently really nothing (0 hours)
  • They do have Walk the Walk on Saturday nights — a documentary series about Canada’s Walk of Fame — but I’m not including anyone else’s documentary series (or Saturday nights as primetime) so this shouldn’t count. But I’m throwing them a bone.

Total: 0 hours. No I’m not generous enough to include Walk the Walk‘s 1 hour here.

For an at-a-glance chart of Canadian networks’ fall season, check out The TV Addict’s Definitive Fall 2013 Primetime TV Schedule (Canadian edition).

Photo by Cameron Archer


CBC launches 2013/14 schedule


From a media release:


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.