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Upfronts ’19: CBC lifts the curtain on 2019/20 roster

New scripted dramas from Sienna Films, Shaftesbury and Seven24 join a local remake of Family Feud and 32 returning series.
May 29, 2019

CBC has pulled back the curtain on its 2019/20 project slate, including a trio of new scripted dramas, a raft of new unscripted series and 32 returning series.

There were big moves on the unscripted front , as CBC greenlit a local adaptation of Family Feud, hosted by Gerry Dee and produced by Zone 3 and Fremantle. CBC ordered 60 half-hour episodes of the format adaptation, with the show set to air four times a week (Tuesday to Friday) at 7:30 p.m. when it premieres this fall.

Changes are afoot at The Great Canadian Baking Show (pictured) as well, with Baroness Von Sketch Show stars Aurora Brown and Carolyn Taylor replacing Daniel Levy and Julia Chan as hosts for the series’ third season.

Also joining CBC’s factual roster is Fridge Wars (6 x 60 minutes), an original CBC format produced in association with The Gurin Company. The show sees Canadian families reveal what’s in their fridge, before celebrity chefs are pitted against one another to make the best meal possible from the ingredients they find.

Back in Time for Winter (7 x 60 minutes, 3Bird Media, eOne), High Arctic Haulers (8 x 60 minutes, Great Pacific Media) and You Can’t Ask That (8 x 30 minutes, Pixcom) were also added to the schedule. The latter, based on the Australian format from ABC Australia, is the first CBC series to use Integrated Described Video.

Those factual titles join Battle of the Blades (6 x 60 minutes, Insight Productions), which returns this fall five years after its cancellation. The show will be hosted by Ron MacLean, with Kurt Browning serving as head judge. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will also appear as guest judges, while hockey players Sheldon Kennedy and Natalie Spooner and figure skaters Vanessa James and Violetta Afanasieva will also appear in the series.

Also on the unscripted docket is the six-part docuseries Enslaved, directed by Canadian filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici (The Naked Archaeologist) and featuring Samuel L. Jackson. The project is a CBC Gem and CBC documentary Channel production with Epix in the U.S. It celebrates the 400-year anniversary first African brought to the New World as a slave, and retraces the sea voyage that brought millions to a life of slavery. International distribution is being handled by Fremantle. Producers are Felix Golubev and Ric Bienstock and exec producers are Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Jackson, Eli Selden, Rob Lee, Simcha Jacobovici and Yaron Niski.

CBC also greenlit a new educational digital series, Jensplaining (10 x 12 minutes, Peacock Alley Entertainment), that demystifies misconceptions around certain health trends. The series debuts on Gem on Aug. 23, at the same time as season two of How To Buy A Baby (LoCo Motion Pictures).

This story originally appeared in Playback Daily.

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