Press Release: May 29, 2014 – CBC today announced its 2014–15 television broadcast schedule, featuring a season full of quality Canadian programming, including new series, returning hits, premiere cultural live events, sports, and award-winning news and investigative programs.
Some of Canada’s brightest talent is behind the slate of new dramas, comedies and factual entertainment, including: STRANGE EMPIRE, an incredible frontier story from Laurie Finstad, the creator of Durham County; a World War II spy series, CAMP X, from the creators of Flashpoint; PIRATE’S PASSAGE, an animated tale starring Donald Sutherland, who is also on board as writer and producer; and THE BOOK OF NEGROES, an international co-production based on the Giller Award-winning novel by Lawrence Hill. CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON returns as a nine-part Sunday-night series with host Jessi Cruickshank and co-host Jeff Douglas; and Murdoch Mysteries’ Jonny Harris takes audiences across Canada in OF ALL PLACES. Also new to the schedule is the character-driven, half-hour, single-camera comedy SCHITT’S CREEK, co-created by and starring Eugene Levy and Dan Levy, and also starring comedy legend Catherine O’Hara.
CBC will bring Canadian audiences an impressive slate of international titles beginning this summer with SECRETS AND LIES, a riveting Australian series; and, from the BBC, THE HONOURABLE WOMAN, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal. Also this fall, CBC launches a Sunday night programming series called CBC SELECTS, which will offer some of the best programs from public broadcasters around the world.
CBC’s tradition of first-rate storytelling and sports broadcasting continues in 2014–15 with comprehensive coverage of amateur sports and big events, including 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. CBC is committed to showcasing fresh, innovative programming and engaging Canadians across all platforms.
“I’m really impressed with the level of creativity brought to the new shows we’re rolling out next season – we’re trying different ideas in all of our content areas,” said Heather Conway, executive vice-president, CBC English Services. “I’m also optimistic about where CBC is headed, and excited about our prospects of what I believe can make for a compelling future.”
NEW THIS SEASON — DRAMA
This fall, CBC welcomes STRANGE EMPIRE to its primetime lineup. Set in 1869 Alberta-Montana border country, STRANGE EMPIRE is a Western whose heroes are women. With most of the men gone, and those who remain battling for control, the women struggle to survive, to find their independence, and to build a life in which to thrive and raise families.
CBC is happy to welcome CAMP X to the 2015 winter schedule. CAMP X is an emotionally driven character drama, set in the thrilling and dangerous world of WWII espionage and covert operations. It follows the stories of five highly skilled young recruits – Canadian, American and British – torn from their ordinary lives to train as agents in an ultra-secret training facility on the shores of Lake Ontario. Inspired by remarkable true stories, CAMP X is about a team catapulted into the field and forced to face the grim realities of war and its impact on their lives.
Airing this winter, PIRATE’S PASSAGE is an animated, made-for-television film based on William Gilkerson’s critically acclaimed novel. Set in 1952 Grey Rocks, Nova Scotia — a centuries old town that was famous 250 years ago as a favoured port of pirates — PIRATE’S PASSAGE follows the friendship of 12-year-old Jim and Captain Johnson. While helping the lad with his school essay on pirates, the Captain shares lessons in self-reliance and determination, changing the course of Jim and his mother’s lives. Produced and co-written by Canadian screen icon Donald Sutherland along with co-writer Brad Peyton, Sutherland also stars as the voice of the lead character, Captain Johnson.
Based on author Lawrence Hill’s award-winning novel of the same name, THE BOOK OF NEGROES is a six-part miniseries that follows the harrowing journey of Aminata Diallo and her return home after being forced into slavery as a child. Premiering in winter 2015, THE BOOK OF NEGROES follows Aminata’s journey from her childhood home in West Africa to a South Carolina indigo plantation to Canvas Town, an early Black settlement in lower Manhattan. Aminata draws upon her intelligence and strength of character to help find a way home and reunite with her long-lost daughter. THE BOOK OF NEGROES stars Aunjanue Ellis, Shailyn Pierre-Dixon, Lyriq Bent and Allan Hawco, and features performances by Cuba Gooding Jr., Jane Alexander, Cara Ricketts, Sandra Caldwell, Ben Chaplin and Lou Gossett Jr.
THE HONOURABLE WOMAN tells the story of one woman’s personal journey to right the wrongs conducted in the past, in the midst of government paranoia and espionage.
As a young girl, Nessa Stein (Maggie Gyllenhaal) witnessed the assassination of her father by the armed wing of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Now in her late thirties, Nessa is at the forefront of the Middle East peace process. When a business associate is killed suddenly, Nessa and her brother Ephra (Andrew Buchan) come under scrutiny of the Secret Intelligence Service. Part of CBC-TV’s fall 2014 lineup, THE HONOURABLE WOMAN is set against a stunning visual backdrop as refined as the story that drives it.
A taut psychological thriller, SECRETS AND LIES is a nerve-wracking view behind the curtains of suburbia. When everyday family man Ben (Martin Henderson) finds the body of a four-year-old boy, he quickly becomes the prime murder suspect. As his world splits apart, Ben finds himself with no choice but to clear his name. At stake are his marriage, his kids, his reputation and his sanity. But is he innocent or guilty? SECRETS AND LIES is a six-part mini-series from BAFTA- and Emmy Award-winning production company Hoodlum.
CBC SELECTS is a collection of some of the best programs from public broadcasters around the world, from drama to comedy to documentaries. CBC SELECTS will introduce Canadians to captivating series and movies that ?deliver insight, entertainment and diverse talent from all corners of the globe with titles such as JANET KING. Launching in fall 2014, the political thriller follows Senior Crown Prosecutor Janet King as she returns from maternity leave to the Director of Public Prosecution office and a high-profile murder trial that’s shrouded in conspiracy. Janet soon finds herself navigating an intricate case with shocking ramifications throughout the judicial system that threatens all she holds dear.
NEW THIS SEASON – COMEDY
When filthy-rich video store magnate Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy), his soap star wife Moira (Catherine O’Hara), and their two kids – über-hipster son David (Dan Levy) and socialite daughter Alexis (Annie Murphy) – suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to live in Schitt’s Creek, a small, depressing town they once bought as a joke. With their pampered lives now abandoned, they must confront their new-found poverty and discover what it means to be a family, all within the rural city limits of their new home. Part of the 2015 winter schedule, SCHITT’S CREEK is a character-driven, half-hour, single-camera comedy co-created by Eugene Levy and Dan Levy.
FOOL CANADA is a new hidden-camera comedy show featuring Canada’s best improv artists travelling across the nation in disguise and ready to prank an unsuspecting public. The series, launching in winter 2015, irreverently pokes fun at what it means to be Canadian and stretches our famous sense of humour to new limits, from our propensity for politeness to our acceptance of a multitude of taxes. FOOL CANADA’s colourful band of characters and comedians will set out to shock, surprise and shine a light on the comedic state of the nation.
NEW THIS SEASON — FACTUAL
Hosted by beloved TV personality and former host of The Hills After Show, Jessi Cruickshank, and co-hosted by CBC Radio One’s As it Happens’ Jeff Douglas, CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON is a one-hour unscripted television series that takes audiences on an inspiring journey to uncover a new definition of smart. Canadians from all walks of life compete in revealing intelligence challenges that go beyond your average IQ test or trivia quiz to earn the title of “Canada’s Smartest Person.” During the broadcast, viewers can participate in all of the challenges from home in real-time using the ground-breaking Canada’s Smartest Person app. Audiences will discover more about their personal smarts and see how they compare to family members, friends and the rest of the country. Applications to compete are available online until June 15. CANADA’S SMARTEST PERSON launches in fall 2014.
Comedian Jonny Harris is on a mission to find humour in the funniest places. New to CBC this winter, OF ALL PLACES is a quirky, irreverent and affectionate adventure into small-town Canada, and a celebration of the people who proudly choose to call those towns home. The show follows Jonny as he visits small towns on the ropes, immersing himself in the lives of local townsfolk and mining enough material to put on an original stand-up comedy routine for the locals – proving sometimes that the best comedy comes out of adversity.
BALLETLUJAH is a film that celebrates the music of one of Canada`s most iconic artists, k.d. lang, and follows the creation of a ballet based on her work. Framed by intimate and revealing interviews woven through spectacular dance performance, BALLETLUJAH explores the emerging friendship and spiritual connection shared by k.d. and Alberta Ballet Artistic Director Jean Grand-Maître, as they collaborate on the creation of a great new Canadian artistic endeavour. Sure to be the definitive k.d. lang documentary, BALLETLUJAH reveals k.d. as you’ve never seen or heard her: raw, unguarded, funny, emotional, and above all else, a true Canadian artist worthy of celebration.
NEW THIS SEASON – SPORTS
CBC invites Canadians to be a part of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. The beautiful game returns to CBC/Radio-Canada with multi-platform coverage running from June 12 to July 13. CBC’s best-in-class production, working alongside FIFA, will provide viewers with a multi-feed viewing experience to give them a unique view of the games, the 12 cities in which the matches are played and the compelling storylines produced by the global event.
In the fall, CBC Sports continues to connect Canadians to the athletes who represent Canada on the national stage with coverage of ISU Figure Skating, FIS Alpine Skiing, ISU Long & Short Track Speed Skating among other sports as your Olympic network.
CBC-TV’s primetime lineup is also stacked with new seasons of Canadians’ favourite homegrown series. DRAGONS’ DEN shakes it up with two new Dragons joining its panel of multi-millionaire investors: restaurant magnate Vikram Vij, and the reigning rock star of Canadian finance, Michael Wekerle. School’s back in session for the fourth season of MR. D. Beloved period drama MURDOCH MYSTERIES returns for an all-new eighth season, while REPUBLIC OF DOYLE kicks off its sixth and final season filled with explosive drama as Jake prepares for his upcoming murder trial. Now entering its eighth season, HEARTLAND marks its 125th episode making it the longest-running Canadian one-hour dramatic series in history.
Canada’s pre-eminent political satirist is back, with an all-new season of the award-winning RICK MERCER REPORT. THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES celebrates its landmark 22nd season on the air this fall, savagely satirizing Canadian politics and daily events in every episode.
CBC News has a strong tradition of provocative and courageous journalism, holding people to account and exposing misdeeds. MARKETPLACE, hosted by Erica Johnson and Tom Harrington, continues as Canada’s number-one investigative consumer show. the fifth estate marches into its 40th season, hosted by Gillian Findlay, Mark Kelley, Bob McKeown, as Canada’s premier investigative documentary program.
Hosted by David Suzuki, THE NATURE OF THINGS launches its 54th season in the fall of 2014.
DOC ZONE, hosted by Ann-Marie MacDonald, returns with new documentaries coming from the front lines of the world’s news and ranging across the ideas, forces and events that shape our world.
Led by CBC Chief News Correspondent Peter Mansbridge, THE NATIONAL continues to deliver exclusive interviews and stories that define the nightly news program, bringing intelligent conversation, commentary and analysis to Canadians.
A curator of Canadian culture, CBC brings some of the nation’s premier cultural live events to its audiences, including the SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE, the CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS and the CANADIAN COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS.