Everything about Rick Mercer Report, eh?

Rick Mercer ponders what’s next

We have a prime minister who can seemingly do no wrong. We have our southern neighbours engaged in an election campaign that feels like bad satire. We have a country of people with a story to tell. And we have CBC’s Rick Mercer Report, returning Tuesday, October 4, for its 14th season.

I spoke with the host himself when he was in Vancouver in June for CBC’s cross-country fall season tour, which happened to be the week after the Orlando nightclub shooting, among other violent events, and amid the U.S. primary campaigns.

Do you ever itch to be on TV when the world is going crazy?
Rick Mercer: Sometimes I itch to be on TV when I think there’d be something to talk about or explore. But then also I also itch to be on TV when we could be shooting outdoors in this beautiful weather. Not that I complain about winter, but our show is a fall and winter show. I have more long johns and winter coats than any man my age should really have who’s not, like, an Inuit hunter.

I love the adventures, I really do, and some of them are spectacular. More often than not I consider myself incredibly lucky to get to do it. But, occasionally, I think it would be nice to fall in the water and it’s nice, and they don’t measure how long you can be in the water in terms of survival rate.

When the news is this depressing, is there room to satirize it?
Satirists choose what they talk about. That’s the difference between a satirist and someone like Peter Mansbridge or David Common. David Common found himself in Orlando doing a piece for Marketplace. He drove by the nightclub an hour before the shooting took place. The minute the shooting started he was there reporting live for CBC. He doesn’t get to choose what he’s going to cover because he’s covering the news.

I don’t think satirists were clamouring over themselves the next day to say something pithy about that. I’m not saying it’s a subject that can’t be talked about or won’t be talked about, but everything has its time and place.

You’re an equal opportunity satirist—what does Justin Trudeau offer to you that Stephen Harper didn’t?
It’s early days with Justin Trudeau’s government. I haven’t really been on the air while he’s been on and I think he’s got it very easy, quite frankly. He’s got his sunny ways going on and that’s all fine and dandy. He’s a popular prime minister, and there’s a honeymoon period that all newly elected prime ministers and presidents get. But then what he has is something particularly unique in that he has no opposition. I mean he has literally zero opposition. I don’t know that that’s ever happened in Canadian politics before.

Jean Chretien used to march along like a peacock, like he was brilliant. The opposition, the Conservatives and the Alliance, were split, they were in disarray, but they existed. Whereas Justin Trudeau has no opposition. I mean you’ve got Tom Mulcair, who is perhaps the most effective opposition leader in Canadian history, and he is being neutered. I mean he’s essentially being brought to the vet and neutered by his own party. They fired him. So he is now the definition of a lame duck leader. And you have Rona Ambrose, and whether or not she is effective or not effective in the House of Commons is entirely irrelevant because she is not a real leader, she’s an interim leader. So Justin Trudeau can stand on his head and do fine. As we saw with Elbowgate. He can basically run around and move people about. He has no opposition. So everything will change once those parties get their act together.


Justin Trudeau can stand on his head and do fine. As we saw with Elbowgate. He can basically run around and move people about. He has no opposition.


You focus primarily on Canadian politics but what do you think of what’s happening in the U.S. right now?
I only focus on Canadian politics, but what is happening in the United States strikes me as something a bad satirist would have written five or six years ago. “And then Donald Trump becomes president …”. People sometimes trade in that kind of satire but I would always think, ‘Oh that’s too easy, and that’s never going to happen because at the end of the day American people are rational and they would never allow that to happen.’ So clearly I’m wrong. There’s a very good chance Donald Trump will become president of the United States and anyone who says otherwise I think doesn’t really understand what’s happening in America.

Who would you want to see prevail in the U.S.? Are you watching with interest?
Oh, of course I’m watching with interest. You know if you said that about Canada I’d never say who I was voting for but in the United States, given the choice of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton…

It’s not much of a question.
Well, this is the problem. Everyone in the media would say that uniformly: ‘It’s not much of a question.’ The reality is probably 50 per cent of Americans think it is a big question and a lot of them are voting for Donald Trump. Now I personally would plug my nose and vote for Hillary Clinton, and proudly. But I’d rather see Porky Pig be president of the United States than Trump. But it’s very dangerous, there’s lot of us, especially in the media, walking around thinking it’s just a joke and could never happen but it could happen in a heartbeat.

I’ve gone through my life, other than the war in Afghanistan, generally I’ve lived in peace time. I’ve only ever seen elections in the United States that have come and gone and cars have not been turned over, cities have not erupted in flames. I barely remember a few riots. So we get lulled into believing none of those things could happen. ‘Oh they happenI learned about it in historybut it could never happen again.’ Well, it could happen again.

I think 9/11 was that moment for a lot of us who thought that kind of thing could never happen in North America, and then it did.
Although one of the proudest things, one of the things I thought was so amazing, after 9/11, there were not … I mean, there were isolated incidents of minority groups being targeted here and there but there was no widespread incidence of minorities being targeted. There were no public figures with any real reputation preaching hate on the Sunday morning talk shows. America, in fact, reacted with dignity. Never mind the war in Iraq, that came later. Never mind they invaded the wrong country, but that wasn’t the people on the street. Since 9/11 things have changed. People are much, much, much angrier. I don’t want to equate that 9/11 was the reason for that anger but people are very, very angry.

We saw this with Rob Ford in Toronto. I’m not equating Rob Ford with Donald Trump, but a lot of people voted for Rob Ford because they were really angry and they saw in him whatever they wanted to see, whatever the solution was. That’s when it gets dangerous, when there’s a lot of anger out there.

There are a lot of people saying that they speak for them, that they speak the truth, and it’s frightening to think that’s what people perceive as being the truth.
You know, Donald Trump has said a bunch of inflammatory things but he hasn’t actually said that much. So when people has a problem and say ‘he speaks for me,’ he hasn’t said much on a whole host of issues. He speaks for me on health carewell, what’s he saying?

I’m not surprised, I mean I lived in a riding in Toronto that was Jack Layton’s riding. People in that riding had a bit of money and they’re champagne socialists. They vote NDP. And Rob Ford did very well in our riding. He didn’t win it but he did very well. A lot of angry people.

The show makes us feel good to be Canadian and shows us things about our country we wouldn’t normally see. What’ve been the most interesting segments for you?
It’s hard to put a finger on it. We do so many different types of things. Spending time in a beautiful part of British Columbia with Rick Hansen, who happens to be a personal hero of mine, meeting the guy on camera for the first time and then getting to go bungee jumping with him, a fantastic adventure. That was right up there as a great day in my life. But that was very much me spending time with a quote-unquote ‘great Canadian,’ one that’s known all around the world.

RMR-Feb
Still winter

My favourite segments are, like, bumping into a lobster fisherman or an oyster fisherman, or spending time with a guy who’s 84 years old and races ice sailboats. That’s why I no longer worry about running out of material. I used to worry about that a lot in the first years of the show. I saw it as a fundamental problemthe business model is flawed. We will run out of things to do. There’s only one Snowbirds. Once I do the Snowbirds what do you do next? Then I realized I was completely wrong because the business model is such that I find interesting Canadians who have something to say and it turns out there’s what, 40 million people, and I think I could get a story out of 20 million of them. So I’m good to go. I no longer worry about running out of stories.

So you’re not going to pull the plug on the show anytime soon?
Oh, that’s quite possible. TV ends when you get fired, cancelled, or very rare circumstances individuals decide to pull the plug themselves. I voluntarily decided I was no longer going to do This Hour Has 22 Minutes, I voluntarily decided it was time to stop doing Talking to Americans and I could easily do that again. But I don’t know when that will happen.

Do you think about what’s next for you?
Yeah, I do and I think the thing I feel most lucky about is that I am probably in a position to try whatever I want to do and the only thing I need is time, which I don’t have now because I have this TV thing and the stage business [Mercer travels the country with a one-man show in the off-season]. Eventually, sometime, it’s inevitable, I’ll have lots of free time and then I’ll be able to do whatever I want to do. So it’s not that money is going to allow me the luxury of doing whatever I want to do, it’s the time to decide ‘Oh, I’m going to try to write a bad novel, or I’m going to write a play.’ That’s what I spent my time doing in my teens and early twenties, and maybe I’ll do that again.


I’ve always been obsessed with politics. I’ve had two passions in my life, television and politics, and I’ve been really lucky that I could merge the two.


Would you ever run for office?
I’ve always been obsessed with politics. I’ve had two passions in my life, television and politics, and I’ve been really lucky that I could merge the two. Anyone who’s an armchair critic or passionate about any subject matter you always wonder what it would be like to be in there. Just like a baseball fan thinks well, if they ask me to be the general manager of the Blue Jays I guess I’d do it. One of these days they’re going to read my sports blog and they’re going to come to me. So it’s always been in the back of my mind, but I will say the last number of years. I was less intrigued by the notion of being in politics than I ever was in my life. That may be a combination of me finding the climate less hospitable or maybe it’s just a level of maturity on my part.

But maybe when you have all the time in the world.
Well I will say this, there have been lots of examples of career politicians who have been very successful, Jean Chretien being number one, and there are lots of examples of politicians who have gone into politics at a very young age and had something to offer but I will say that I’ve always admired the most, and found the most intriguing, those who chose to go into politics much later in life. Now I’m not saying we should only have people over 55 in politics. I think that would be a huge mistake. But those people, one of the things I admire about them the most … I won’t say they all have their fuck you money but all are usually in a position to do what’s best and they’re not worried about keeping the job.

The danger in politics is you get people in there and it’s the best job they’ve ever had in their life and they’re terrified of losing their job because they don’t think they’ll ever get one as good, so therefore their number one priority is keeping their job. While that’s most people’s number one priority, and I understand thatwhether you’re a waiter or the president of General Motors that’s one of your big prioritiesit’s nice when politicians aren’t obsessed with keeping their jobs.

I would like to be able to say to the leader, ‘Yeah, I’m not doing that. That’s never going to happen. Next!’

Rick Mercer Report airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CBC.

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CBC announces fall broadcast dates for new and returning series

From a media release:

CBC today announced premiere dates for its fall 2016 television season, featuring a diverse and uniquely Canadian slate of six new and 18 returning series including premium drama and comedy, cutting-edge news and investigative content, original documentaries and engaging factual, arts, kids, daytime and sports programming.

New primetime series include THIS IS HIGH SCHOOL (6×60), premiering Sun. Oct 2, which will offer unprecedented and unfiltered access to real life at a Canadian high school; comedy KIM’S CONVENIENCE (13×30), the funny, heartfelt story of a Korean-Canadian family running a convenience store in Toronto, premiering Tues. Oct. 4; and political thriller SHOOT THE MESSENGER (8×60), premiering Mon. Oct. 10, which centres on the complex relationships between crime reporters and the police.

CBC’s daytime programming welcomes the highly anticipated one-hour weekday program THE GOODS on Mon. Oct 3, hosted by Steven Sabados, Jessi Cruickshank, Shahir Massoud and Andrea Bain, who will offer playful inspiration and information on home, style, food and wellness; while new Kids’ CBC original series include the Tues. Sept 6 world premiere of animated adventure DOT. (52×11), based on the children’s book by entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg, and photography competition series SNAPSHOTS (6×30), premiering Sat. Sept. 10.

Returning for new seasons are CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON (season 3); DRAGONS’ DEN (season 11); EXHIBITIONISTS (season 2); HEARTLAND (season 10); HELLO GOODBYE (season 2); MR. D (season 6); MURDOCH MYSTERIES (season 10); RICK MERCER REPORT (season 14); THE ROMEO SECTION (season 2); THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (season 24); and THIS LIFE (season 2). Also returning are acclaimed news and investigative programs MARKETPLACE (season 44) and the fifth estate (season 42); thought-provoking documentary series FIRSTHAND (season 2); David Suzuki’s THE NATURE OF THINGS (season 56); and weekly CBC Sports series ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES.  THE MOBLEES (season 2) and BIG BLOCK SINGSONG (season 3) return for new seasons on Kids’ CBC.

The complete CBC fall premiere schedule is as follows:

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
7:45 a.m. (8:15 NT) — The Moblees

8 a.m. (8:30 NT) — Dot. *NEW SERIES*

8:23 a.m. (8:53 NT) — Big Block Singsong

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10
9 a.m. (9:30 NT) — Snapshots *NEW SERIES*

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2
4:30 p.m. (5:00 NT) – Exhibitionists

7 p.m. (7:30 NT) — Heartland

8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — This is High School *NEW SERIES*

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — This Life

MONDAY, OCTOBER 3
2 p.m. (2:30 NT) — The Goods *NEW SERIES*

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4
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) — Kim’s Convenience *NEW SERIES*

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Dragons’ Den

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — The Romeo Section

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — The Nature of Things: “Pompeii’s People”

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Firsthand: “Road to Mercy”

MONDAY, OCTOBER 10
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Murdoch Mysteries

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — Shoot the Messenger *NEW SERIES*

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11
9:30 p.m. (10 NT) — Mr. D

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Marketplace

8:30 p.m. (9 NT) — Hello Goodbye

9 p.m. (9:30 NT) — the fifth estate

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22
4 p.m. ET (1 pm PT) — Road to the Olympic Games

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) — Canada’s Smartest Person

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CBC announces new and returning series for 2016-17 season

From a media release:

CBC today announced five new original programs to its 2016-17 lineup of Canadian hits, along with the renewal of another 10 returning titles. Among the new titles are The Council (working title), a crime drama set in an isolated arctic outpost; observational series The School (working title); Northern-Canadian docu-series True North Calling; comedy series Four In The Morning; and Caught, a dramatic miniseries based on Lisa Moore’s novel of the same name. Series renewed for new seasons as part of the CBC-TV lineup include Murdoch Mysteries, Heartland, The Romeo Section, Hello Goodbye, Canada’s Smartest Person, This Life, X Company, Exhibitionists, Interrupt This Program and Crash Gallery.

NEW SERIES:

CAUGHT – New
6×60 (Winter 2017) – Take the Shot Productions and Entertainment One Television (eOne Television)
Adapted from the book by acclaimed author Lisa Moore, Caught is a riveting tale of bravado and betrayal, of complex characters and treacherous seas, of love, loss and last chances. Allan Hawco stars as David Slaney, who after six years incarcerated in a Nova Scotia prison for smuggling marijuana, has escaped. Slaney sets off on an odyssey that takes him deep into Latin America to reconnect with his once best friend and partner-in-crime who left him holding the bag years earlier. Slaney tastes freedom, but trusts no one and sees cops everywhere he goes.

 THE COUNCIL (working title) – New
10×60 (Fall 2016) – Lark Productions and Keston International Productions
The Council begins on the edge of the Arctic frontier during the endless days of the polar summer when a young woman, a renowned environmentalist, is found ritualistically murdered near the Canadian hamlet of Resolute. An investigation is mounted by the local RCMP inspector Mickey Behrens, an outsider and new-comer to the north who is running from a derailed personal and professional life, and her partner, officer Jo Ullulaq. A soulful counterpoint to Mickey, Jo is torn between the duty to his job and loyalty to his Inuit culture. The pair quickly discovers that the mystery extends far beyond the borders of the town and to the backrooms of Canadian parliament in Ottawa, the dark corridors of U.S. intelligence in Washington, D.C., the committee rooms of the Arctic Council in Copenhagen, the airbases of world powers, and the migrant conflicts at the border of Norway and Russia.

FOUR IN THE MORNING – New
8×30 (Summer 2016) – Serendipity Point Films
Four In The Morning is an edgy comedy that follows four friends in their twenties as they navigate life at the unpredictable, emotional and bewitching hour of 4 a.m. Dealing with themes of life and death, love and heartbreak, friendship and betrayal, it’s a series about self-discovery, disappointment and clawing after dreams that always feel out of reach.

THE SCHOOL (working title) – New
6×60 (Fall 2016) – Paperny Entertainment
The School is an intense, surprising and intimate series that, for the first time, looks deep into the incredible dynamic existing today between students and their teachers at a typical Canadian high school. Based on the award-winning UK format, The School offers unprecedented access into the day-to-day goings on at South Kamloops Secondary School in Kamloops, BC. Facing daily pressures at school, at home and in the world, today’s teens deal with seemingly insurmountable challenges. The School explores themes of teenage life and those all-important student-teacher relationships, which lie at the heart of everyone’s formative years. Fitting in, falling out, exam pressure, peer pressure, first love and last chances—The School uses warmth and humour to describe steps on the journey towards self-knowledge, at a time when both the present and the future remain uncertain.  The School is distributed by Endemol Shine and will premiere on CBC in fall 2016.

TRUE NORTH CALLING – New
7×30 (Winter 2017) – Proper Television
True North Calling will reveal the north to audiences in an entirely new, modern and surprising way. The series follows one season in the lives of several young, dynamic Arctic dwellers carving out a life for themselves and their families on the frozen tundra. We follow the daily dramas as each deals with unforgiving terrain, and unpredictable weather, hunting, guiding, fishing and farming, travelling by snowmobile and dog sled, mixing traditional ways with modern technology, all while making a living in Canada’s most spectacular and treacherous environment.

These newly announced series will debut during the 2016-2017 season, along with previously announced new shows, including: Shoot The Messenger; Workin’ Moms; Kim’s Convenience; and Baroness von Sketch Show.

RETURNING TITLES:

CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON – Season 3
6×60 (Fall 2016) – Media Headquarters
Canada’s Smartest Person is an original competition series that inspires and entertains Canadians. Each week, competitors go head-to-head in a series of mind-bending challenges that redefine what it means to be smart. Based on the Theory of Multiple Intelligence, the series explores six categories of smarts including linguistic, physical, musical, visual, social and logical.

CRASH GALLERY – Season 2
5×30 (Winter 2017) – Lark Productions
Hosted by Sean O`Neill of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Crash Gallery is a high energy, immersive television series that brings art to life.  In each episode, three talented artists face-off in a real-time creative arena, giving the audience a front row seat and the opportunity to share in the creative process.

EXHIBITIONISTS – Season 2
26×30 (Fall 2016)
Exhibitionists is a vibrant series that pulls back the curtain on people who create, and why they do it. Hosted by actor, writer and educator Amanda Parris, this weekly show features Canadian artists as they reshape our country’s artistic landscape. Topical, innovative and entertaining, Exhibitionists explores the most exciting cultural happenings across Canada through a passionate lens.

HEARTLAND – Season 10
18×60 (Fall 2016) – Seven24 Films and Dynamo Films
Heartland continues the saga of a Western family as they chase big dreams and manage life’s setbacks, while holding on to what matters most: courage, love, family, and a home you can always come back to. Starring Amber Marshall, Graham Wardle, Alisha Newton, Michelle Morgan, Shaun Johnston and Chris Potter.

HELLO GOODBYE – Season 2
13×30 (Fall 2016) – Pivotal Media and Forte Entertainment
Bustling airport arrival and departure terminals see thousands of people every day, and each and every traveller has a unique story to tell. Host Dale Curd meets people from all walks of life who are in the midst of welcoming home or saying goodbye to their loved ones. He witnesses heartwarming, emotional moments that demonstrate the universal themes of love, loss, family, friendship, grief, and joy through each intimate story of arrival and departure.

INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM – Season 2
5×30
 (Winter 2017) – Noble Television and Storypark Inc.
Interrupt This Program
 returns with new episodes revealing the surprisingly vital cultural underbellies of unsettled, global cities. In each compelling episode, passionate young artists display art as a form of protest, as a means of survival and as an agent of change. Viewers are guided through parts of the world they have most likely never seen and experience the creativity and vitality of some of the planet’s most intriguing, resilient cities.

THIS LIFE – Season 2
10×60 (Fall 2016) – Sphere Media
Based on the original Radio-Canada hit, Nouvelle adresseThis Life is a family saga set in Montreal that focuses on Natalie Lawson (Torri Higginson), an accomplished columnist and single mother in her early forties whose terminal cancer diagnosis sends her on a quest to prepare her teenage children for life without her. Her tight-knit family – sister (Lauren Lee Smith), two brothers (Rick Roberts, Kristopher Turner) and parents (Peter MacNeill, Janet Laine Green), do the best they can to help her, while coping with their own responses to this revelation.

MURDOCH MYSTERIES – Season 10
18×60 (Fall 2016) – Shaftesbury Films
Season 10 of Murdoch Mysteries, marking 150 episodes of the series, will continue to follow the heroes at the Toronto Constabulary as they solve crimes inspired by Canadian history and international celebrities of the early 20th century. Detective Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) will continue to use his cutting-edge forensic methods and scientific inventions to catch criminals and find unexpected adventures in his home life with wife Doctor Ogden (Hélène Joy) and his colleagues at Station House Four, while last season’s newcomer Miss James (Mouna Traoré) takes on more responsibilities at the morgue.

THE ROMEO SECTION – Season 2
10×60 (Fall 2016) – Haddock Entertainment
Season 2 of The Romeo Section finds freelance intelligence agent Wolfgang McGee (Andrew Airlie) tasked with a covert investigation of a terrorist incident. The trail leads him forward into the dark side of intelligence services and backwards into his own past history of serving in that realm, and its tragic personal and social consequences.  Meanwhile, Lily Song (Jemmy Chen) is now a recruit for the Intelligence Service and working her way up the ladder, while taking drastic action to prevent her discovery as a double agent. Up and coming drug gangster Rufus (Juan Riedinger) gets caught in an escalating city-wide turf war which upsets the gangster hierarchy and triggers an attempted coup d’etat at the top of the heroin food chain.

X COMPANY – Season 3
10×60 (Winter 2017) – Temple Street Productions
Inspired by remarkable true events, X Company is an emotionally driven character drama set in the thrilling and dangerous world of WWII espionage and covert operations. During World War II, a real life spy training school existed on the shores of Lake Ontario. The series follows the stories of five highly skilled young recruits torn from their ordinary lives to train as agents at an ultra-secret training facility, Camp X.

These renewed titles join an impressive list of returning series that have already been announced, including: This Hour Has 22 Minutes (Season 24); Rick Mercer Report (Season 14); Schitt’s Creek (Season 3); Mr. D (Season 6); Dragons’ Den (Season 11); Still Standing (Season 2); Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays (Season 2), and When Calls The Heart (Season 2).

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Mr. D, Schitt’s Creek, Rick Mercer Report and 22 Minutes renewed by CBC

From a media release:

CBC‘s hit comedies have been renewed for 2016-17, with brand new seasons of SCHITT’S CREEK, MR. D and THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES. Also returning for its 14th season is Canada’s RICK MERCER REPORT. The four original productions currently air back-to-back on Tuesday nights.

CBC recently led the way with 164 nominations for the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards, receiving 15 nods for SCHITT’S CREEK, the most nominated TV series of 2016, 12 for MR. D, six for THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES and four for RICK MERCER REPORT.

SCHITT’S CREEK – Season 3 premieres winter 2017 on CBC Television
SCHITT’S CREEK centres around a wealthy family that suddenly finds itself broke and forced to live in Schitt’s Creek, a small, depressing town they once bought as a joke. The half-hour single-camera comedy is co-created by Eugene and Daniel Levy, who also star in the show alongside celebrated actress Catherine O’Hara, rising star Annie Murphy and funnyman Chris Elliott.

MR. D – Season 6 premieres fall 2016 on CBC Television
MR. D follows an under-qualified teacher trying to fake his way through a teaching job, just as he fakes his way through life. The show stars stand-up comedian Gerry Dee as the inexperienced and overconfident Mr. Duncan (Mr. D) and an all-star ensemble cast including Jonathan Torrens, Bette MacDonald, Wes Williams, Lauren Hammersley, Naomi Snieckus, Mark Little, Suresh John, Darrin Rose, Bill Wood and Kathleen Phillips.

THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES – Season 24 premieres fall 2016 on CBC Television
An award-winning and record-breaking Canadian comedy institution, THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES features cast members Mark Critch, Cathy Jones, Shaun Majumder and Susan Kent as they savagely satirize Canadian politics and world events. It was recently announced that the sketch/variety show will be honoured with the Academy Icon Award, to be presented during the Canadian Screen Awards in March.

RICK MERCER REPORT – Season 14 premieres fall 2016 on CBC Television
This fall, RICK MERCER REPORT returns to CBC-TV for a 14th season. Rick Mercer’s highly anticipated topical rants, funny takes on the week’s top stories and Canada-wide adventures have made him a longtime audience favourite.

 

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TV Top 10: What Canadians Watched in 2015

Bell Media has released a series of top 10 lists of most-watched shows in Canada and according to their numbers, Canadian contenders include:

  • Amazing Race Canada –  number one regularly scripted series and competition reality series
  • Rick Mercer Report – 10th most-watched comedy
  • Book of Negroes – 9th most-watched new series
  • Big Brother Canada – 8th most-watched competition reality series
  • Juno Awards – 9th most-watched entertainment TV event
  • Vikings – 3rd most-watched specialty series
  • Canada’s Worst Driver – 8th most-watched specialty series
  • Highway Thru Hell  – 9th most-watched specialty series

From the Bell media release:

As 2015 comes to a close, 12-month data from Numeris highlights what Canadians have been watching on television over the past calendar year. Once again, live television events are the most-watched, led by sports championships and awards broadcasts. Among sports tournament broadcasts, we love American and Canadian football, junior and pro hockey, baseball and soccer – but curling and golf too. For regularly scheduled programming, while we wholeheartedly embrace competition series, we prefer dramas over comedies. On specialty, Justin Bieber roasts, red carpet pre-shows, and all things zombie rank high, along with fantasy and historical dramas (and yet more competition series). Meanwhile, the television program Canadians watch the most is an original production showcasing our country.

Below is a closer look at the most-watched TV broadcasts and programs Canadians watched in 2015:

Canada’s Most-Watched Canadian Series*

Rank Series Network Audience
1 THE AMAZING RACE CANADA CTV 2.54 million
2 MASTERCHEF CANADA CTV 1.66 million
3 THE BOOK OF NEGROES (NEW) CBC 1.63 million
4 ROOKIE BLUE Global 1.59 million
5 SAVING HOPE CTV 1.35 million
6 MOTIVE CTV 1.24 million
7 BIG BROTHER CANADA Global 1.12 million
8 MURDOCH MYSTERIES CBC 897,000
9 VIKINGS History 850,000
10 ASCENSION (NEW) CBC 736,000

 

Canada’s Most-Watched Entertainment Television Events

Rank Broadcast Network Date Audience
1 THE 87th ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS® CTV 2/22/2015 5.53 million
2 THE 72ND ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS® CTV 1/11/2015 3.30 million
3 THE 57TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS® City 2/08/2015 2.87 million
4 THE SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 40TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL Global 2/15/2015 2.68 million
5 AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS® CTV 11/22/2015 2.17 million
6 ADELE LIVE IN LONDON CTV 11/25/2015 2.14 million
7 67th EMMY® AWARDS CTV 9/20/2015 1.85 million
8 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS Global 1/07/2015 1.45 million
9 THE 2015 JUNO AWARDS (CAN) CTV 3/15/2015 1.43 million
10 THE 2015 BILLBOARD AWARDS CTV 5/17/2015 1.27 million

 

Canada’s Most-Watched Sports Tournament Broadcasts

League/Tournament Broadcast Network Date Audience
NFL SUPER BOWL XLIX CTV 2/1/2015 8.26 million
IIHF World Junior Championship Gold Medal, Canada vs. Russia TSN 1/5/2015 5.95 million
MLB ALCS Game 6, Toronto vs. Kansas City Sportsnet 10/23/2015 5.08 million
CFL 103rd GREY CUP TSN 11/29/2015 4.06 million
NHL Playoffs Round 1, Montreal vs. Ottawa CBC 4/26/2015 3.77 million
FIFA Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal, England vs. Canada CTV 6/27/2015 2.97 million
Pan Am Games Opening Ceremonies CBC 7/10/2015 1.66 million
IIHF World Championship Gold Medal, Canada vs. Russia TSN 5/17/2015 1.35 million
Curling – Brier Final TSN 3/8/2015 1.25 million
Golf – Masters Final Global 4/12/2015 1.19 million

Canada’s Most-Watched Regularly Scheduled Television Programs

Rank Program Network Audience
1 THE AMAZING RACE CANADA (CAN) CTV 2.54 million
2 THE BIG BANG THEORY CTV 2.48 million
3 SURVIVOR Global 2.22 million
4 QUANTICO (NEW) CTV 2.17 million
5 NCIS Global 2.01 million
6 MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. CTV 1.93 million
7 CSI: CYBER (NEW) CTV 1.924 million
8 NCIS: NEW ORLEANS (NEW) Global 1.923 million
9 MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER (NEW) CTV 1.921 million
10 TWO AND A HALF MEN CTV 1.88 million

 

Canada’s Most-Watched Dramas

Rank Program Network Audience
1 QUANTICO (NEW) CTV 2.17 million
2 NCIS Global 2.01 million
3 MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. CTV 1.93 million
4 CSI: CYBER (NEW) CTV 1.924 million
5 NCIS: NEW ORLEANS (NEW) Global 1.923 million
6 MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER (NEW) CTV 1.921 million
7 BLINDSPOT  (NEW) CTV 1.817 million
8 THE FLASH CTV 1.816 million
9 HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER CTV 1.77 million
10 CODE BLACK (NEW) CTV 1.74 million

 

Canada’s Most-Watched Comedies

Rank Program Network Audience
1 THE BIG BANG THEORY CTV 2.48 million
2 TWO AND A HALF MEN CTV 1.88 million
3 THE ODD COUPLE (NEW) CTV 1.65 million
4 THE GOLDBERGS CTV 832,000
4 MIKE & MOLLY City 832,000
6 2 BROKE GIRLS City 826,000
7 MODERN FAMILY City 710,000
8 THE MCCARTHYS CTV 700,000
8 LIFE IN PIECES (NEW) City 700,000
10 THE RICK MERCER REPORT (CAN) CBC 654,000

 

Canada’s Most-Watched Competition Series

Rank Series Network Audience
1 THE AMAZING RACE CANADA (CAN) CTV 2.54 million
2 SURVIVOR Global 2.22 million
3 MASTERCHEF CTV 1.82 million
4 THE AMAZING RACE CTV 1.69 million
5 MASTERCHEF CANADA (CAN) CTV 1.66 million
6 BIG BROTHER Global 1.36 million
7 AMERICA’S GOT TALENT Global 1.32 million
8 BIG BROTHER CANADA (CAN) Global 1.12 million
9 HELL’S KITCHEN City 977,000
10 SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CTV 961,000

 

Canada’s Most-Watched New Series of 2015

Rank Series Network Audience
1 QUANTICO CTV 2.17 million
2 CSI: CYBER CTV 1.924 million
3 MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER CTV 1.921 million
4 BLINDSPOT CTV 1.82 million
5 CODE BLACK CTV 1.74 million
6 SUPERGIRL Global 1.67 million
7 THE ODD COUPLE CTV 1.65 million
8 THE BOOK OF NEGROES (CAN) CBC 1.63 million
9 LIMITLESS Global 1.61 million
10 HEROES REBORN Global 1.23 million

 

Canada’s Most-Watched Entertainment Specialty Events & Pre-Shows

Rank Broadcast Network Date Audience
1 THE ROAST OF JUSTIN BIEBER (NEW) Comedy 3/30/2015 1.19 million
2 2015 MTV VMAs*** Much & MTV 8/30/2015 856,000
3 2015 MUCH MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS (CAN) Much, MTV, M3 & MTV2 6/21/2015 405,000
4 MTV VMA PRE-SHOW Much 8/30/2015 391,000
5 THE JUSTIN BIEBER ROAST PRE-SHOW (NEW) Comedy 3/30/2015 389,000
6 LIVE FROM THE RED CARPET: THE 2015 GRAMMY AWARDS® E! 02/08/2015 306,000
7 MMVA RED CARPET (CAN) Much 6/21/2015 298,000
8 NICKELODEON KIDS’ CHOICE AWARDS YTV 3/28/2015 292,000
9 LIVE FROM THE RED CARPET: THE 2015 ACADEMY AWARDS® E! 2/22/2015 275,000
10 LIVE FROM THE RED CARPET: THE 2015 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS® E! 1/11/2015 219,000

 

Canada’s Most-Watched Regularly Scheduled Specialty Series

Rank Series Network Audience
1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC 1.64 million
2 FEAR THE WALKING DEAD (NEW) AMC 1.14 million
3 VIKINGS (CAN) History 850,000
4 DOCTOR WHO Space 702,000
5 GOLD RUSH Discovery 695,000
6 THE CURSE OF OAK ISLAND History 692,000
7 BETTER CALL SAUL (NEW) AMC 684,000
8 CANADA’S WORST DRIVER (CAN) Discovery 602,000
9 HIGHWAY THRU HELL (CAN) Discovery 587,000
10 TALKING DEAD AMC 583,000

 

Canada’s Most-Watched Regularly Scheduled Pay TV Series 

Rank Series Network Audience
1 GAME OF THRONES HBO Canada 1.40 million
2 TRUE DETECTIVE HBO Canada 486,000
3 GIRL MEETS WORLD Family 319,000
4 THE NEXT STEP Family 308,000
5 LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER HBO Canada 273,000
6 BALLERS (NEW) HBO Canada 258,000
7 THE BRINK (NEW) HBO Canada 241,000
8 DISNEY K.C. UNDERCOVER Family 234,000
9 DISNEY AUSTIN & ALLY Family 225,000
10 SILICON VALLEY HBO Canada 215,000

 

Canada’s Most-Watched Late-Night Talk Shows

Rank Series Network Audience
1 THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART CTV 426,000
2 THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH (NEW) CTV 407,000
3 THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT (NEW) Global 258,000
4 THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JIMMY FALLON CTV Two 215,000
5 THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART Comedy 203,000
6 THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH (NEW) Comedy 195,000
7 LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS CTV 191,000
8 THE NIGHTLY SHOW WITH LARRY WILMORE (NEW) Comedy 100,000
9 @MIDNIGHT MUCH 93,000
10 THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN OMNI 2 71,000

 

Source: Numeris (BBM Canada), Jan 1 – Nov 29, 2015, Top 10 Programs based on most-regular timeslot for series defined by greatest number of telecasts

* Excluding News Programming

** Special event broadcasts includes Championship finals and special events

*** Based on 9-11:30PM daypart audiences

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