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Frugal CBC Replaces U.S. Game Shows With Repeat Talk Shows

Alex Trebek
Ben Hider/Getty Images

The Canadian pubcaster unveiled a Fall TV season schedule that is light on rookie shows and heavy on repeats to deal with a recent slash to its public subsidy from Ottawa.

TORONTO – The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has made good on a pledge to wean itself off the American syndicated game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! as lead-ins to its primetime schedule.

But in the wake of a $115 million chop to its taxpayer subsidy over three years imposed by Ottawa, the CBC has decided to replace expensive foreign shows with cheaply-produced talk shows.

Wheel of Fortune was already sent last year from 7 p.m. nightly to 4:30 p.m. day-time.

But Jeopardy!, which along with Wheel of Fortune came to the CBC via a deal with CBS Paramount International Television, will now be replaced at 7:30 p.m. nightly by an episode of ITV’s Coronation Street, which until September airs as a double-shot from 6:30 p.m.

The CBC, which unveiled its Fall TV season schedule in Toronto on Thursday, indicated it will air at 6:30 p.m. a repeat of the conservative talk show The Lang & O’Leary Exchange, which originates on its CBC News Network cable channel.

And that will be followed by a repeat of the late night talker George Stroumboulopoulos at 7 p.m.

The Fall 2012 season shakeup follows the CBC warning it will cut 175 hours of original programming from its primetime schedule to deal with the recent government cut to its annual Parliamentary subsidy.

The cash-strapped broadcaster will only air four new shows this Fall, including a new crime drama, Cracked, the reality competition series Over the Rainbow, a Canadian version of the BBC One format, and the historical drama Titanic: Blood and Steel, from European producer De Angelis Group.