Canada's CBC Cancels 'Arctic Air,' 'Cracked' as Budget Chops Bite

The cash-strapped pubcaster has signaled a partial move away from procedurals to distinguish itself from private-sector rivals.

TORONTO – The CBC has chopped more TV series due to government budgetary cuts, and signaled a move to diversify its primetime lineup away from procedurals.

The cash-strapped Canadian pubcaster, now facing the loss of revenue from televising NHL games from next season, on Monday said the adventure series Arctic Air will not return for a fourth season.

And the cop procedural Cracked will not get a third season.

"The financial challenges we are facing this year necessitate difficult decisions and choices," Sally Catto, executive director, commissioned and scripted programming at CBC English Television, told The Hollywood Reporter in an email late Monday.

Arctic Air, an Omnifilm Entertainment drama set around a fictional Yellowknife airline, stars Adam Beach, Pascale Hutton and Kevin McNulty.

And Cracked, from White Pine Pictures and starring Chicago Fire’s Brooke Nevin and David Sutcliffe, was picked up by ReelzChannel and is distributed internationally by Beta Film GmbH.

Catto said the CBC needs to get creative to distinguish itself in primetime.

"In terms of procedurals, we are not making a blanket statement that we are not considering procedurals," she insisted.

"Going forward, we are looking for a balance of programming on the schedule with an eye to a slate that distinguishes us from what is on offer from private broadcasters," Catto added.

That portends more distinctly Canadian programming on the CBC, as rival private broadcasters opt for American-style shows from indie producers that have a better chance selling into U.S. and other global markets.

The CBC also faces the daunting challenge of doing more programming with less money after compounding continuing cuts in its annual parliamentary appropriation with failing to renew its TV deal with the NHL.

Instead, from next season the CBC, as part of a side deal with Rogers Media, will continue to air Saturday night hockey games but hand over all airtime revenue to the rights-holding private broadcaster.