CBC Passes on 'Wish List' Pilot as Budget Cuts Bite

The pubcaster promises fewer original series and more reruns after a frugal Ottawa imposed a $115 million chop to its annual public subsidy.

TORONTO -- The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has passed on Entertainment One pilot Wish List from local screenwriter Sean Reycraft (90210) as it deals with a $21.2 million hit to its programming budget following recent government cuts.

That will mean 175 fewer hours of programming in the pubcaster’s 2012-13 season and more repeats.

“Some shows that had come to their natural end will not be replaced with new commissions. Some shows that we wanted to renew won't be back - because we simply can't afford them,” the CBC said in a statement April 20 signed by top programming execs Christine Wilson, Julie Bristow and Trevor Walton.

The program cancellations come as the CBC looks to close a projected $200 million budgetary gap after the federal government two weeks ago slashed $115 million from its annual parliamentary appropriation over three years.

“While there's much for us to be excited about, regrettably, as a result of budget cuts there will be fewer shows next season on CBC TV as some of our favorites can't return to the TV schedule,” the network statement said.

Citing the taxpayer subsidy chop, the pubcaster passed on Wish List, the road trip pilot from indie producer Entertainment One that starred Chelah Horsdal, Tiera Skovbye and Marco Grazzini, and was directed by Stuart Gillard.