CBC TV schedule takes multi-million dollar hit

"Some shows that we wanted to renew won't be back, because we simply can't afford them," said the pubcaster on Friday, as it put a number on the cuts to its English-language TV lineup, amounting to a CDN$21.2 million hit to its schedule. (Pictured: Battle of the Blades, currently on hiatus)
April 23, 2012

The CBC has finally put a number on the cuts to its English-language TV lineup – a $21.2 million hit to its schedule, translating to 175 fewer original hours of programming.

“Some shows that had come to their natural end will not be replaced with new commissions. Some shows that we wanted to renew won’t be back – because we simply can’t afford them. There will be fewer series, specials, and more repeats,” the pubcaster said in a statement released Friday afternoon and signed by CBC English services execs Christine Wilson, executive director, content planning; Julie Bristow, executive director, studio and unscripted programming; and Trevor Walton, executive director, commissioned and scripted programming.

The statement reiterated the programming pickups for the 2012-2013 schedule, including returning scripted shows Arctic Air, Republic of Doyle and Heartland.

Investigative consumer program Marketplace will return for its 40th season with an expanded episode order, upped from 12 episodes to 24.

Also returning to the daytime lineup are Steven and Chris, Best Recipes Ever and In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita.

The CBC programming toppers also indicated they hoped to bring Battle of the Blades (pictured) from Insight Productions back from its recently announced hiatus when financing allowed.

“We await better times when we hope to bring back a groundbreaking Canadian format favourite – Battle of the Blades,” the trio of CBC execs stated.

Another live competition series, Cover Me Canada, was axed. The public broadcaster has announced a new competition series, Over the Rainbow, produced by Temple Street Productions in association with Mirvish Productions.

The latest communication from the CBC follows the federal government imposing $115 million in cuts to the pubcaster’s annual Parliamentary appropriation over three years.

“These have obviously been incredibly hard choices. The government’s new budget and other associated budgetary challenges forced us to cut deeply into the TV schedule to cover the shortfall, and we did,” Wilson, Bristow and Walton said in their statement.

“There are some real disappointments in terms of programming we can’t do, but given the strength of our programs and the talented people who contribute to their creation, we are proud of what this schedule of programming presents to Canadians,” they concluded.

From Playback Daily

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor-in-chief and content director for Realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to Realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.