CBC to Jettison U.S. Game Shows for Homegrown Fare

Pubcaster to replace 'Wheel of Fortune' and 'Jeopardy!' from CBS Paramount International Television with local game or talk shows now in development.

TORONTO -- The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) is looking to get out of U.S. syndicated game show business by replacing Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! with homegrown fare.

Both American game shows from CBS Paramount International Telelvision are simulcast to match their slots on cross-border U.S. TV stations whose signals are carried on local cable and satellite TV schedules.

Kirstine Stewart, executive vp of English TV, said the public broadcaster has Canadian game shows, talk shows and a local drama in development for the primetime slots occupied by Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! since 2008.

The CBC aired the U.S. game shows as a lead-in to the network's mostly-Canadian prime-time offerings.

Critics of the network argue airing Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! takes the CBC away from its mandate to air mostly homegrown shows that distinguish themselves from mostly American shows in primetime on rival private TV networks here.

The CBC gave no indication when the current distribution agreement for the game shows with CBS Paramount will run out, opening the way for the Canadian replacement shows. “We're in development right now on Canadian shows which could fit the slot, so really the transition would be dependant upon getting the right shows into production,” Stewart said.