Thursday, May 10, 2012

CBC Fall TV: No Retreating!

That was quite a fancy dancy shindig CBC vice president Kirstine Stewart threw for thousands of potential advertisers at CBC 's Toronto Broadcast Center.
In recent years the shenanigans became downright shabby with platefuls of day old sandwiches and CBC executives hastening to explain away the Corp's downward spiral.
Stewart in her first full year as head of English language programming is riding a new wave of boastfulness and told the overflow crowd "We're not retreating."
To bolster her boast of CBC's unique status she had such important producers as Christina Jennings and Robert Lantos talk about CBC's mission of providing top notch local talent.
And despite federal funding cuts the occasion was quite lavish with seats in bleacher style arraigned around a mock ice rink through which CBC stars walked and greeted the crowd.
CBC does have much to crow about.
First up there's the acquisition of The Murdoch Mysteries from CITY-TV for its fifth season.
Star Yannick Bisson (who I first interview in 1984 for the TV flick Hockey Night) told me "Maybe we should have been at CBC all along, it's that kind of show. We're re-energized and hopefully we can last even beyond this season."
The season will end with the turn of the 20th century. And there'll be a new cast addition in Dr. Emily
And how about the second season of Arctic Air. Star Adam Beach told me "Yes, we do shoot mostly in summer and fall. Why shoot in Yellowknife in the dark of winter --nobody could see what was happening.
"This series hit it with Canadians everywhere. It deals with issues of environmental concerns, pollution, the rights of our aboriginal peoples. Nothing could be more Canadian."
For the new series Cracked executive producer Peter Raymont (The Border) says he tracked down two fine Canadian actors living in L.A. and convinced them to come home: David Sutcliffe (Private Practice) and Stefanie von Pfetten (Battlestar Gallactica).
Sutcliffe plays a veteran Toronto cop suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and Pfetten is a psychiatrist working with the T.O. force on mental issues.
"We already have sets up," jokes Raymont --he inherited the police offices used in the TV series King which won't be coming back for a third season --the offices and cells will be redressed for Cracked.
Then it was on to Over The Rainbow CBC's entrance in the live performance shows (think The Voice). This one is all about the search for the perfect Dorothy to star in Andrew Lloyd Webber's revamping of the classic movie Over The Rainbow.
 It kicks off with a documentary on the choice of 10 potential Dorothys by the judges and Lloyd-Webber --the stage production opens at the Mirvish theatre in Toronto beginning in December 2012.
CBC has snatched talented MTV personality Daryn Jones away from MTV.
Says Jones "I told them (MTV) last Wednesday and we made the farewell a week long event." CBC sources are saying Jones' defection could lead to other CBC gigs including his own comedy series.
CBC's other buys include the British made Titanic: Blood And Steel, technically a Canadian co-production starring such Canadians as Neve Campbell and Kevin Zegers along with Chris Noth and Derek Jacobi. The question is: will TV audiences take to another Titanic tale?
Other news: George Stroumboulopoulos moves to 7 p.m. replacing Jeopardy --can he provide a strong enough lead-in for CBC's prime time., industry insiders are asking.
But Stewart is co confident CBC is on a roll she's also having fall previews in Vancouver and Calgary early next week.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That should be, "the classic movie The Wizard of Oz. Over the Rainbow is the classic song from the classic movie.