As the year winds down, it’s time to reflect back on 2015. What a year it was for Canadian TV. Yes, there was some sad news—the cancellation of Strange Empire, Remedy and Rookie Blue come immediately to mind—but there was plenty to celebrate as well.
Sci-fi in Canada is stronger than ever thanks to Orphan Black and newbies Killjoys and Dark Matter, we’re getting laughs from series like Still Standing, Sunnyside and Young Drunk Punk and dramas like This Life, The Romeo Section and Motive continue to entertain.
As we get ready to say hello to 2016, help us celebrate 2015 by voting for your favourite five (5) Canadian television shows of the year. (Vote by clicking the boxes to the left of your favourite shows, then click the shaded “Vote” button located just below and right of Young Drunk Punk.)
CBC-TV’s Fall schedule will launch over the coming weeks, highlighted by new series, returning hits, thought-provoking news and investigative content, documentaries, and engaging arts programming. In all, the CBC-TV schedule features 11 new titles, and 12 established returning programs this Fall.
New CBC-TV titles include the family drama THIS LIFE, espionage thriller THE ROMEO SECTION, factual series KEEPING CANADA ALIVE, comedies RAISED BY WOLVES and YOUNG DRUNK PUNK, arts series CRASH GALLERY, EXHIBITIONISTS and INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM, and documentary strand FIRSTHAND. In addition, CBC-TV’s daytime programming will also welcome two new titles this fall, with GRAND DESIGNS and BONDI VET. These new series will join the programming lineup alongside returning favourites including: DRAGONS’ DEN, CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON, HEARTLAND, MURDOCH MYSTERIES, CORONATION STREET, RICK MERCER REPORT, THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES, THE NATURE OF THINGS, MARKETPLACE, and the fifth estate. CBC News’ flagship program, THE NATIONAL, continues nightly with special coverage leading up to the federal election, as well as reporting on the news of the day from around the world.
New for Fall 2015:
CRASH GALLERY – Fri, Oct. 2 at 8:30 p.m./9 p.m. NT Hosted by Sean O’Neill, associate director of adult programming and partnerships at the Art Gallery of Ontario, CRASH GALLERY is a high-energy and immersive series that brings art to life through the thrill of competition. Three talented artists compete against each other in a real-time creative arena, giving the audience a front-row seat to the creative process. The challenges cover everything from traditional paint and canvas to graffiti art, sculpture and any and all creative endeavors in between.
EXHIBITIONISTS – Sun, Oct. 4 at 4:30 p.m./5 p.m. NT This vibrant series pulls back the curtain on people who create art and why they do it. Every week, EXHIBITIONISTS features Canadian artists, both emerging and established, as they reshape our country’s artistic landscape. Topical, innovative and entertaining, the show explores the most exciting cultural happenings across Canada through a passionate lens. The show’s approach centres on a digital-first strategy to commission original video content from filmmakers across the country, and packaged in a visually exciting and fast-paced format for TV viewers. Encompassing media old and new, from opera to Instagram, EXHIBITIONISTS is for everyone who is curious about the arts.
KEEPING CANADA ALIVE – Sun, Oct. 4 at 9 p.m./9:30 p.m. NT Narrated by Emmy® Award-winning Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland, KEEPING CANADA ALIVE is an epic groundbreaking six-part factual series that gives viewers a powerful snapshot of Canada’s health care system as filmed over a 24-hour period in May 2015. More than 60 cameras descended on health and home care locations in 24 Canadian cities to capture incredibly moving and highly intimate stories as shared by the patient as well as the health care provider. The cameras rolled as people sought treatment – and medical professionals did everything they could to provide it. In addition, the companion online experience, which can be found at cbc.ca/keepingcanadaalive, is one of the most ambitious to date and features more than 40 hours of extended breakout footage, original content, and more, as well as an online 24-hour stream of raw footage which will go live September 21.
THIS LIFE – Mon, Oct. 5 at 9 p.m./9:30 p.m. NT Set in contemporary Montreal, THIS LIFE is a funny, honest, heartfelt series about a regular family whose world turns upside down overnight. Like its French-language counterpart, Nouvelle adresse, this 10-part series is a family saga focusing on Natalie Lawson, a lifestyle columnist and single mother in her early forties whose terminal cancer diagnosis sends her on a quest to help her three teenage children get ready for the future, while trying her best to live in the now. To get through all this Natalie leans on her two brothers, her sister and her parents, a close-knit, charmingly imperfect clan who each have their own unpredictable personal and professional hills to climb.
YOUNG DRUNK PUNK – Tues, Oct. 6 at 9 p.m./9:30 p.m. NT From the clever and caustic mind of Bruce McCulloch, YOUNG DRUNK PUNK is an original single-camera comedy about the trials and tragedy of growing up on the fringes of society. It’s a rough and hilarious look back at simpler times and a complicated age – and at two young rebels determined to stay true to themselves, and fight against the scratchy caftan of conformity.
RAISED BY WOLVES – Tues, Oct. 6 at 9:30 p.m./10 p.m. NT Loosely based on the Wolverhampton childhoods of outspoken U.K. writer and social media darling Caitlin Moran and her sister Caroline Moran, RAISED BY WOLVES follows six socially-isolated, home-schooled siblings and their acerbic, highly-capable mother. Caitlin Moran is a British broadcaster, TV critic, and columnist who has been recognized with numerous awards for her work, including British Press Awards for Columnist of the Year, Critic of the Year, and Interviewer of the Year, among many others.
THE ROMEO SECTION – Wed, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m./9:30 p.m. NT From acclaimed showrunner Chris Haddock (Da Vinci’s Inquest, Intelligence), comes the hour-long serialized espionage drama THE ROMEO SECTION. Set in Vancouver, the series centres on spymaster Professor Wolfgang McGee, an academic who secretly manages a roster of espionage assets. These assets, referred to as Romeo or Juliet spies, are informants engaged in intimate relations with intelligence targets, as they use their powers of seduction to extract secrets and classified intel.
FIRSTHAND – Thurs, Oct. 15 at 9 p.m./9:30 p.m. NT CBC-TV’s new documentary strand, FIRSTHAND will introduce Canadians to content from some of the country’s most talented documentary filmmakers. The films showcase unforgettable characters and their untold stories — making viewers think, feel, and see the world in a new way.
INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM – Fri, Nov. 6 at 8:30 p.m./9 p.m. NT Documenting art with a very sharp purpose: as political protest, as a means of survival, as an agent of change, as a display of courage and delight. Featuring cities like Beirut, Medellin, Athens, Port-au-Prince, and Kiev, each episode will showcase four young locals including one Canadian ex-pat — DJs, street artists, writers, musicians, city bloggers, filmmakers — as they take viewers on an immersive journey into their world, giving Canadians a portrait of their lives, their art and how it contributes to these distinct cultures we know little about.
New to CBC’s daytime lineup:
GRAND DESIGNS – Mon, Sept. 21 at 3 p.m./3:30 p.m. NT Designer and writer Kevin McCloud guides viewers through the trials and tribulations – physical, financial and emotional – of those aspiring to create a unique place to live, often over many months, even years. The series features a dramatic modernist villa perched atop a crumbling cliff in Snowdonia; a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired bachelor pad made out of four shipping containers in the Northern Irish countryside; and the UK’s first amphibious house on a floodplain of the Thames in Buckinghamshire.
BONDI VET – Mon, Sept. 21 at 4 and 4:30 p.m./4:30 and 5 p.m. NT A touching look at the bond between man and animal; heartwarming and heartbreaking stories that families will love. From the drama of a critically injured family dog rushed to the clinic after a hit-and-run, to the tear-jerking tale of a kangaroo joey abandoned at birth, BONDI VET follows the lives of veterinary surgeon Chris Brown and emergency veterinarian Lisa Chimes.
Returning for Fall 2015:
HEARTLAND – Sun, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m./7:30 p.m. NT This fall, 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. Season nine is a brave new world for everyone in the Bartlett and Fleming families. It’s another chapter in their lives as they each undergo a sea of change.
CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON – Sun, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m./8:30 p.m. NT Hosted by Jessi Cruickshank, CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON is an original competition series that inspires and entertains Canadians. Each week, four participants go head-to-head in a series of mind-bending challenges based on the Theory of Multiple Intelligence, which explores six areas of “smarts” including linguistic, physical, musical, visual, social and logical. Canadians can put themselves to the test by downloading the complementary Canada’s Smartest Person App and challenge their friends and family during the week as well as play along with the show each Sunday night.
MURDOCH MYSTERIES – Mon, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m./8:30 p.m. NT From within the walls of a maximum-security prison to the outer atmosphere of the earth, Season nine of MURDOCH MYSTERIES explores new worlds and mystifying cases. 1903 begins with Detective Murdoch, Dr. Julia Ogden, Inspector Brackenreid, and Dr. Emily Grace, still reeling over the arrest of Constable George Crabtree. This season, the series will include a two-hour holiday special which will air in December.
RICK MERCER REPORT – Tues, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m./8:30 p.m. NT Rick Mercer, Canada’s number-one political satirist, returns with the RICK MERCER REPORT for a 13th season kicking off CBC’s Tuesday night comedy block. Rick’s weekly helping of topical satire, funny takes on the week’s top stories, and Canada-wide adventures have made him a long-running audience favourite.
THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES – Tues, Oct. 6 at 8:30 p.m./9 p.m. NT 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. Politicians and celebrities frequently make guest appearances — some willingly, others not! No story is off-limits and no personality too big.
DRAGONS’ DEN – Wed, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m./8:30 p.m. NT A Canadian success story in its own right, DRAGONS’ DEN, returns for a momentous 10th season on CBC. It’s a show where good ideas get rewarded and bad ideas get burned, and Canadian entrepreneurs and audiences have a front-row seat to the country’s top business leaders and risk-takers who provide viewers with insights, knowledge and guidance each week. This season, three new dragons join the Den: Joe Mimran, founder of Joe Fresh; Michele Romanow, co-founder of buytopia.ca, one of Canada’s top daily-deal sites; and Manjit Minhas, co-founder and co-owner of Minhas Breweries and Distillery.
THE NATURE OF THINGS – Thurs, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m./8:30 p.m. NT One of the most successful series in the history of Canadian television, THE NATURE OF THINGS is hosted by world-renowned scientist, author and environmentalist David Suzuki. Each week, this influential program presents documentaries driven by a scientific understanding of the world, with stories ranging from wildlife to health and medicine, and from the environment to the latest technology.
MARKETPLACE – Fri, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m./8:30 p.m. NT MARKETPLACE, Canada`s consumer watchdog, reveals what Canadians need to know to protect themselves, their families and money from slick scams and misleading marketing claims. Host Erica Johnson and a team of experienced investigative journalists put the products and services Canadians use every day to the test and hold companies and government to account. Innovative, insightful and irreverent – MARKETPLACE gets the goods and fights for change – viewers can’t afford to miss it. This season, MARKETPLACE reveals how the double double is causing trouble, what’s really inside the bottle when it comes to top-selling supplements and why Canadians may not want to trust those “best before” dates.
THE FIFTH ESTATE – Fri, Oct. 23 at 9 p.m./9:30 p.m. NT For four decades THE FIFTH ESTATE has been Canada’s premier investigative documentary program. Hosts Bob McKeown, Gillian Findlay and Mark Kelley continue the tradition of provocative and fearless journalism which began with Adrienne Clarkson, Warner Troyer and Peter Reilly in 1975. Each week brings in-depth investigations about issues that matter to Canadians, delivering a dazzling parade of controversial characters and ordinary people whose lives were touched by triumph or tragedy. In the season premiere, THE FIFTH ESTATE is in Iraq on the frontlines of the war against ISIS. Bob McKeown explores the real consequences of Canada’s ‘top secret’ military campaign. Viewers will meet soldiers, Good Samaritans, and a young man who is ready to risk everything to tell his story about life in a town occupied by ISIS. Closer to home is the poignant story of a mother who lost one son and is now feverishly trying to save another. Mark Kelley has the story of a young couple who must make a fateful decision about the baby that was taken away from them.
THE NATIONAL – Nightly on CBC-TV and CBC News Network CBC News’ flagship program with Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge and his team reporting on the stories that matter to Canadians with added context from across the country and around the world. THE NATIONAL delivers exclusive interviews and stories that define the news program and separate it from the rest, bringing Canadians the real story.
CORONATION STREET – Continues nightly from Mon-Fri at 7:30 p.m./8 p.m. NT Set in the fictional town of Weatherfield, CORONATION STREET – the longest-running British soap opera in television history – portrays the everyday life of a working-class British community. This season features a special two-part taped live episode airing over two nights. Viewers can catch “Nowhere to Run” on Oct. 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m./8 p.m. NT.
CBC SPORTS – Weekly on CBC-TV and cbcsports.ca, beginning Sat, Oct. 24 A new season of high-performance amateur athletics coverage will kick off on Saturday, Oct. 24 on CBC-TV, cbcsports.ca and through the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices. With host Scott Russell, Canadians will see top athletes compete on the national and international levels and hear their stories, ensuring viewers never meet an athlete for the first time on the podium. The first event on the 2015-16 schedule will be Skate America ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating on Oct. 24 and 25.