Sunday, February 13, 2011
Yawn! CBC Announces Fall Line Up!
I have absolutely no idea why CBC sneaked out details of its fall TV schedule on a drowsy Friday afternoon.
Could the reason be there's not much to celebrate so far this season?
Its few big hits --Rick Mercer, Heartland, Dragon's Den --have been predictably renewed.
And other shows that are almost hits --Republic Of Dole, Ron James--are coming back.
The big surprise to me is the pickup of Little Mosque which has wilted right away. On the other hand it's one of those shows hand picked by new general manager, programming Kirstine Stewart. But ratings wise it's in the "brain dead" category.
The renewal list does not include 18 To Life, Men With Brooms, Village On A Diet, Debbie Travis and the venerable Just For Laughs.
Could any of these be possible pick ups later on? CBC sources aren't saying.
Men With Brooms had such promise and a great cast of funsters. But two episodes had to be made at the same time and this lack of quality showed.
The currently running InSecurity? The jury is still out. It has potential but not a whole lot of guarateed laughs every episode. But it will be back not because it deserves another chance but because CBC isn't going to cancel all its new shows. CBS did that once and emerged with a stronger schedule.
But at CBC this year it's been a time of waiting for the dust to clear after the quick departure of controversial head programming honcho Peter Stursberg.
His successor, Kirstine Stewart, hasn't been in the job long enough to effect any turn around.
Contractually she's obliged to another season of those cheesey U.S. imports Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy!--I have no trouble with that because they draw in big advertising bucks as well as huge ratings that can help the CBC prime time schedule.
The U.S. webs wait until the May sweeps to announce new product. But CBC has its five new series already chosen.
Mr. Dee will star Toronto comic Gerry Dee.
Michael Tuesday and Thursdays written by Bob Martin and directed by Don McKellar has Martin, Martha Burns and Jennifer Irwin. Let's hope it fares better than McKellar's last CBC seffort, Twitch City which wassadly neglected by the Corp.
The co-production of the season will be Camelot, another mediaeval thingy, starring Joseph Fiennes, Eva Green and debuts first on the U.S. cable web Starz.
Of two other new shows I only know the titles: Dealer To Leader from Kevin O'Leary and Cover Me Canada.
I still see no culture show --a major omission on a publicly funded network.
May I suggest CBC's Stewart instantly revive an old stand by: Rear View Mirror, stock it with fancy reruns from the CBC vaults from opera to ballet and even plop in a few choice episodes of Front Page Challenge, and run it for six weeks on lazy Sunday afternoons?
Why? To prove CBC is more than just imitating the trends on American TV.