CBC brings back figure skating competition “Battle of the Blades”

After six years, the hit Insight-produced format will return with eight new episodes this fall.
April 16, 2019

Canadian pubcaster CBC is bringing back its hit unscripted format Battle of the Blades this fall.

The network announced Tuesday it has greenlit a fifth season (8 x 60 minutes) of the competition series, which pairs figure skaters and hockey players in a variety of on-ice challenges. Each team will once again raise money for a charity of their choosing. More specific details about the new iteration of the format will be announced in spring.

The season five greenlight comes a decade after the series, produced by Insight Productions, first debuted on CBC. It ran for four seasons (57 episodes) between 2009 and 2013.

The series posted consistently strong ratings (it remains the highest-rated original English-language Canadian format of all time, according to the CBC) but also hit a number of bumps in the road due to budgetary cuts at the pubcaster.

Following its third season, the show went on a two-year hiatus after the federal government announced cuts to CBC’s annual operating budget. The property returned in 2013 for its fourth season but was then cancelled in April 2014 after CBC announced it would eliminate 650 jobs and CA$130 million from its budget over the next two years.

Season five of the series is executive produced by John Brunton, Lindsay Cox, Erin Brock and Mark Lysakowski of Insight. The format is co-created and executive produced by Olympian figure skater Sandra Bezic.

From Playback Daily; Image: Battle of the Blades season four on CBC, courtesy of CBC.

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