'Falcon' beached by CanWest

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TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster CanWest MediaWorks said Tuesday that it will not renew the homegrown soap "Falcon Beach" for a third season.

The move follows U.S. cable channel ABC Family canceling the Canadian drama from Original Pictures and Insight Prods. after two seasons, apparently for a lack of viewers outside its core teen audience.

International distributor FremantleMedia has sold "Falcon Beach" into 115 territories, but the series about young teens in a summer lakeside resort averaged a modest 250,000 viewers at the end of its second season on Global Television.

Also Tuesday, rival broadcaster CTV confirmed it was renewing the primetime dramedy "Robson Arms" for a third season.

"Robson," produced by Omni Film Prods., follows the eclectic lives of residents in a once-grand low-rise in downtown Vancouver.

That renewal follows CTV re-upping two teen dramas of its own from Epitome Pictures: "Instant Star" and "Degrassi: The Next Generation." Both series air stateside on the N.

CTV also has renewed its hit comedy "Corner Gas" for a fifth season. The broadcaster has not yet decided whether to renew the homegrown comedy "Jeff Ltd.," from Seymour & From Prods. and S&S Prods., for a third season.

Unlike foreign broadcasters that schedule their homegrown series before acquiring U.S. network shows, Canadian conventional networks fill their primetime slots with U.S. shows bought annually at the Los Angeles Screenings before deciding where homegrown dramas and comedies can be slotted.

The exception is the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Canada's public broadcaster, which in recent years has programd few U.S. series in primetime to make way for homegrown fare.

Similar to its private-sector rivals, the CBC is currently cleaning house as it assembles its 2007-08 primetime schedule.

Last month, the public broadcaster yanked two dramas -- true-crime re-enactment series "72 Hours" and South Africa-based hospital series "Jozi-H" -- while also making the homegrown comedy "Hatching, Matching and Dispatching" walk the plank.

At the same time, the CBC renewed "Little Mosque on the Prairie," the public network's breakout hit during the winter 2007 TV season, and also is developing a homegrown comedy series with Toronto-raised Eric McCormack ("Will & Grace").
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