Tag Archives: CBC

CBC hits TIFF in grand style

Kudos to the folks over at the CBC for taking a crucial first step in the network’s reinvention by using the Toronto International Film Festival as a backdrop to let folks know about the upcoming television season and the brand overall.

Canada’s public broadcaster staked out the corner of King St. West and Blue Jays Way this past weekend, turning what used to be a condominium sales office into a welcome centre called Canada House stocked with snacks, virgin Caesars, phone recharging stations and cardboard fans emblazoned with the iconic network logo and the Twitter message “#FallForCBC.” The stars of CBC’s radio and TV shows rolled through as well, meeting fans, posing for pictures and promoting their projects all weekend long.

The network even had a cool little set-up where those featured folks held press conferences in front of groups of about 50 or so fans at a time. I sat in on the panel for Canada’s Smartest Person, and hosts Jessi Cruickshank and Jeff Douglas described how the interactive program will not only showcase the linguistic, physical, musical, visual, social and logical skills of selected finalists from across the country, but an app will challenge viewers at home.

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I also got the chance to interview Dragons’ Den David Chilton and newest panelist Michael Wekerle for an online bit for TV-Eh (I’ll post that when it’s all been edited) and the pair swear the show’s upcoming Season 9 is deserving of your investment of time. Also appearing over the weekend were the stars of Mr. D, Murdoch Mysteries‘ Jonny Harris, Adam Beach, the folks behind The Book of Negroes–which has been adapted into a miniseriesand that Mamma Yamma thing.

The CBC knows it has some catching up to do with regard to connecting with newer and younger viewers. No longer able to sit back and allow NHL hockey to draw in numbers, they’re experimenting with content very unlike CBC. Dark western drama Strange Empire has got great buzz (the rough poster I was shown has a Deadwood feel), co-production sci-fi offering Ascension is definitely not typical CBC fare and historical drama Camp X promises to be thrilling.

Sure the network acknowledges this is somewhat of a rebuilding year, but there was a palpable optimism on Saturday that they are moving in the right direction with content and, even more importantly, connecting with an audience.

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Comments and queries for the week of Sept. 5

I have DirecTV and I like the show Heartland, which I see on UP on channel 338. The series plays on Wednesday nights and every day at 4 p.m. I see on the computer that Heartland is on CBC in Canada for next season starting on Sept. 22, and I wonder what channel I would get this on in Michigan? Thanks in advance. —Paulla

Great question Paulla, and one that I had to do a little bit of legwork on. The short answer is, yes you may be able to watch your beloved Heartland on CBC when it returns. First thing though: the actual date is Sunday, Sept. 28. The second thing? Only certain areas of Michigan–those generally close to the Canadian border–offer CBC as part of their cable lineup. Contact your cable company directly to see if you are one of those lucky people.

My mom is 87, and I am 50 and on disability. We had someone rip apart our tub and shower and he’s still not done. He started the job in the beginning of July of 2014. We have nothing in writing and haven’t paid him. Please help us so we can bathe.–Natalie

Yikes! Sounds like you need Mike Holmes to come to your rescue. You’re in luck, because his production company is currently looking for homeowners in Southern Ontario to be featured on Holmes Makes It Right. Head over to their website and good luck!

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CBC announces fall television schedule

GemCBC

 

From a media release:

CBC Television confirmed today the season premiere dates for its primetime broadcast line-up. Anchored by returning fan-favourites and bolstered by five exciting new shows, CBC has a new way to look at smart with CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON, hosted by Jessi Cruickshank and Jeff Douglas beginning September 28; CBC Selects presents JANET KING from Australia’s public broadcaster on Oct. 5, gritty western drama STRANGE EMPIRE on October 6; gripping political thriller THE HONOURABLE WOMAN starring Maggie Gyllenhaal on September 29 and continuing September 30, and the new six-episode, Canadian-produced original space drama ASCENSION,  premiering November 25.

CBC Television kicks-off its fall season with brand new episodes of its flagship daytime lifestyle series STEVEN AND CHRIS, every Monday through Friday at  2 p.m. (2:30 NT) beginning Sept. 22. In primetime it all starts with the season eight premiere of long-running family drama HEARTLAND and the return of popular series MURDOCH MYSTERIES, THE RICK MERCER REPORT, THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES, DRAGONS’ DEN, REPUBLIC OF DOYLE, THE NATURE OF THINGS, DOC ZONE, MARKETPLACE andthe fifth estate.

See CBC’s primetime schedule below:

SUNDAY

7 P.M. HEARTLAND (Sept. 28)

8 P.M. CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON (Sept. 28)

9 P.M.   CBC SELECTS: 
JANET KING (Oct. 5)

MONDAY

8 P.M.  MURDOCH MYSTERIES (Oct. 6)

9 P.M. STRANGE EMPIRE (Oct. 6)

TUESDAY

8 P.M.  THE RICK MERCER REPORT (Oct. 7)

8:30 P.M.  THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (Oct. 7)

9 P.M. THE HONOURABLE WOMAN (begins Monday, September 29  at 9 P.M. continues Sept. 30)

*ASCENSION begins airing at 9 P.M. on November 25

WEDNESDAY

8 P.M.  DRAGONS’ DEN (Oct. 15)

9 P.M.  REPUBLIC OF DOYLE (Oct. 15)

THURSDAY

8 P.MTHE NATURE OF THINGS (Oct.9)

9 P.M. DOC ZONE (Oct.9)

FRIDAY

8 P.M. MARKETPLACE (Oct. 17)

9 P.M. the fifth estate (Oct. 24)

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Doyle stars reveal their Canadian TV faves

“Oh yeah!” is the common refrain on Republic of Doyle, but a more apt one for fans may be “Oh no!” since word came down earlier this year that the series’ upcoming sixth season will be its last.

Yup, Jake Doyle (Allan Hawco) is hanging up the keys to his GTO after driving his way into our hearts. Hawco and the rest of the cast told me that it was his plan to have the series he co-created with Perry Chafe and Malcolm MacRury go out on top rather than fizzle out (or, one supposes, be part of CBC’s recent cull that saw the cancellation of Arctic Air, The Ron James Show and Cracked).

Republic of Doyle‘s action-packed hours of crime solving and witticisms will be missed, but so will the weekly sojourns in St. John’s, a city that’s pretty as a postcard and boasts memorable real-life characters. Doyle is a unique and memorable series, and one that  ranks among viewers’ favourite Canadian series of all time next to programs like Corner Gas, Due South, The Beachcombers and even The Littlest Hobo. As we count down to Doyle‘s final season on the air, we got the stars of the East Coast drama to name their favourite home-grown series of all time.

Allan Hawco (Jake Doyle)
Quentin Durgens, M.P.  Gordon Pinsent played an M.P. in Ottawa.”

Krystin Pellerin (Leslie Bennett)
Mr.  Dressup.”

Mark O’Brien (Des Courtney)
Codco.”

Marthe Bernard (Tinny Doyle)
“I was going to say The Kids in the Hall, but I feel like I should say Codco because my dad worked on it, but he also wrote for The Kids in the Hall, so I’ll say that.”

Sean McGinley (Malachy Doyle)
Due South.”

Lynda Boyd (Rose Miller)
“It’s a toss-up between The Beachcombers and Mr. Dressup, because I grew up with both.”

Republic of Doyle returns to Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET this fall on CBC.

Which is your favourite Canadian TV show of all time? Comment below to let me know!

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Heartland’s Leila Basen on her WGC Screenwriting Award Nomination

LeilaBasen2psThis year’s Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award winners will be announced on April 22. We’ve been catching up with many of the writers nominated in the comedy and drama categories. Heartland‘s Leila Basen is nominated for her episode “Life is a Highway.”

Can you describe the episode “Life is a Highway” and how it fit into the Heartland season?

“Life as a Highway” marks the return of Chase Powers, a charismatic but incorrigible cowboy who makes an unexpected visit to Heartland and puts Amy and Ty’s relationship to the test.

What was the biggest triumph in this particular episode?

Showing the human side of a basically unredeemable character.

What does this recognition mean to you?

Heartland has been going strong for six years on the CBC, and it’s great that this year we got two WGC script nominations.

If there was one Canadian show that is no longer on the air that you could see honoured at this year’s awards, what would it be? (If you have a specific episode, even better).

My vote would be Mental Block, a tween comedy that ran two seasons, 2002 to 2004 on YTV. (Full disclosure – Mental Block was a show I co-created and wrote with David Preston.) It was a WGC Awards finalist twice in the Youth Category, but didn’t win either time because (according to one of the jurors) it was too funny for Youth and should have been in the Comedy Category. It would be great if it could win an award, even posthumously.

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