CBC Chops Series After Government Cuts, Reveals Primetime Lineup
TORONTO - The cuts are starting to slice deeply into a cash-strapped Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
The Canadian pubcaster, facing a deep chop to its government subsidy, unveiled a slimmed-down primetime schedule for 2012-13 with a new crime drama, Cracked, and the historical drama Titanic: Blood and Steel, from European producer De Angelis Group.
Shows not returning to the CBC included the underperforming comedies Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays and Insecurity, and the reality shows The Debaters and Cover Me Canada.
Also getting the chop is Redemption Inc., a reality series hosted by Kevin O’Leary that has ex-convicts competing to launch a legitimate business.
The CBC has a stake in Redemption Inc., whose British format could spawn a U.S. version via Mark Burnett Productions, which already produces Shark Tank, in which O’Leary is a judge.
And Battle of the Blades, another reality series, was iced for a possible return in the future.
The program cancellations come as the CBC looks to close a projected $200 million budgetary gap after the federal government two weeks ago slashed $115 million from its annual parliamentary appropriation over three years.
The pubcaster earlier said it had acquired Murdoch Mysteries, a period drama from Shaftesbury Films.
And the CBC ordered to series Cracked, a police procedural that stars Stefanie von Pfetten (Battlestar Galactica), after an earlier pilot was developed.
The historical drama Titanic: Blood and Steel comes from the same creative team behind two earlier CBC-acquired mini-series, Camelot and The Tudors.
And while indie producer Temple Street Productions saw its Cover Me Canada competition series canceled, it did get a CBC pickup for Over the Rainbow, a Canadian version of the BBC One format where the search is on for a young woman to play Dorothy in a local production of The Wizard of Oz.
Other series returning to a stand-pat CBC primetime schedule include Arctic Air, Mr. D., Dragon’s Den and Heartland.