CBC Uses 'Coronation Street' and 'Jeopardy!' As Fall Primetime Lead-Ins To Homegrown Shows


The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. is still working on reducing its dependence on foreign programming to draw viewers to its mostly homegrown primetime schedule.

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

The Canadian pubcaster, releasing its Fall 2011 schedule on Wednesday in Toronto, has sent Wheel of Fortune from 7 p.m. nightly to 4:30 p.m. day-time.

Jeopardy!, which along with Wheel of Fortune comes to the CBC via a deal with CBS Paramount International Television, will still air at 7:30 p.m., but will now be preceded by a double-shot of ITV’s Coronation Street from 6:30 p.m.

The strategy is to sandwich CBC’s supper-hour newscasts from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with foreign programming and lead into the Canadian primetime fare.

During the 1990s, the CBC virtually abandoned all American series on its schedule to set it apart from the U.S. network series that private broadcasters feature in primetime here.

But in recent years, U.S. shows have returned to the CBC schedule to win back audiences and advertisers.

The CBC this Fall will also air back-to-back episodes of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune on Sunday afternoons from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., to be followed by a perennial favorite on the network, Wonderful World of Disney, airing at 5 p.m.

But now the pendulum is set to swing yet again, after the CBC earlier this year said foreign programs like Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune were crutches to help the public broadcaster develop and showcase Canadian-made shows.

So the CBC is curently developing homegrown game or talk shows to reduce its reliance on American shows to draw in the viewers ahead of the contract for the U.S. game shows with CBS Paramount expiring in Fall 2012.

The public broadcaster also plans to launch this Fall a new homegrown comedy, Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays, on Wednesday nights series at 9 p.m., followed by the local TV comedy competition series The Debaters.

The CBC is also to air the Starz costume drama Camelot on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m.. Returning series for the CBC this Fall include Rick Mercer Report, Dragon’s Den, This Hour Has 22 Minutes and Being Erica.

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