Canada's CBC Acquires Trio of Foreign Dramas

The cash-strapped pubcaster turns to UK and Aussie imports amid local programming cuts to close a $130 million budgetary shortfall.

TORONTO -- The cash-strapped CBC has acquired two Australian dramas, Secrets and Lies and Janet King, and the BBC and Sundance Channel spy thriller The Honourable Woman, to help fill out its primetime schedule.

The pubcaster acquired from Hoodlum the six-part Australian drama Secrets and Lies that stars Martin Henderson as a family man who finds the body of a four-year-old boy before becoming the prime murder suspect.

ABC has ordered an American adaptation of the Aussie drama from ABC Studios and Aaron Kaplan's Kapital Entertainment, also to be produced by Hoodlum.

The CBC also picked up the eight-part miniseries The Honourable Woman, which stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as the daughter of a Zionist arms procurer who as a child witnessed her father's assassination and as an adult gets involved in the Israeli and Palestinian peace process.

The miniseries, shot in the U.K. and Morocco, additionally stars Stephen Rea, Lindsay Duncan and Andrew Buchan.

The CBC is also to air the Australian ABC drama Janet King as part of its CBC Selects program of series from rival pubcasters worldwide.

The foreign pick-ups come as the CBC looks to balance its books amid a round of job and programming cuts to close a $130 million budgetary shortfall.