Upfronts ’21: CBC slates Jason Priestley’s Harold Ballard doc, unscripted series

Newly announced greenlights The Red (Eagle Vision, Halfire) and Son of a Critch (Project 10) are among more than 35 new orders and renewals.
June 3, 2021

Canadian pubcaster CBC has unveiled its 2021-22 programming slate for CBC TV and CBC Gem as part of its 2021 Upfronts presentation, held yesterday (June 2).

In total, 43 properties are on the docket for CBC TV and the younger-skewed Gem, including 16 new shows and 27 renewals.

CBC Gem’s original lineup includes the unscripted series Who Do You Think I Am? (Canadian Content Studios), starring Madison Tevlin, born with Down’s Syndrome. The show sees Tevlin, who has spent her life being judged at first glance, interviewing others with the intent of smashing perceptions and revealing the true person behind her subject.

As previously announced, this upcoming year, CBC will both commission and acquire one-hour documentaries under its ‘The Passionate Eye’ banner, which moves to the CBC TV schedule this fall for its 19th season (premiering Sept. 18). CBC Docs POV documentaries will now be greenlit and broadcast under that strand.

New original docs headed to CBC include Harold Ballard: Power Player, produced by Lone Eagle Entertainment and directed by Jason Priestley, about the exploits of controversial figure and former Toronto Maple Leafs owner Harold Ballard.

Also on the docket is Antica Productions’ Spirit to Soar, directed by Tanya Talaga and Michelle Derosier, exploring the story of seven First Nations high school students in Thunder Bay who died between 2000 and 2011.

CBC has also greenlit the Amar Wala-directed Superfan, produced by Good Karma Studios, which tells the story of how Sikh immigrant Nav Bhatia’s devotion for the Toronto Raptors took him on an incredible personal journey.

The 61st season of The Nature Of Thing, meanwhile, returns Oct. 29. Hot Docs on CBC is scheduled for a winter 2022 return.

Adding to CBC’s factual entertainment slate, the previously-announced Race Against The Tide (pictured), a 10-episode, 30-minute sand sculpture competition series produced by marblemedia and hosted by comedian Shaun Majumder (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), is slated for a late-summer debut.

Set in New Brunswick, Race Against The Tide (premiering Sept. 9) will pit 10 two-person teams of skilled sand sculptors completing works of art before the world’s highest tide at the Bay of Funday washes it all away.

“Our new slate of original programming is an embodiment of our promise to better represent and reflect more people, places and perspectives across the country in new ways, and we look forward to sharing this remarkable range of Canadian storytelling,” said Sally Catto, CBC’s general manager, entertainment, factual and sports, in a statement.

By Nick Krewen via Playback with files from Jillian Morgan

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