CBC's blog

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24, AT 9 P.M., ON CBC-TV

It’s been one year since viewers fell in love with the 10 Maria hopefuls who vied for the iconic role of Maria Von Trapp in the CBC Television series HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA?

Through the power of reality television, Elicia MacKenzie became an overnight sensation in Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Ian and David Mirvish’s stage production of The Sound of Music. With MacKenzie’s portrayal of Maria Von Trapp, and runner-up Janna Polzin as her alternate, the musical attracted widespread critical acclaim and continues to wow audiences at The Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto.

One year after the competition, MacKenzie and Polzin reunite with the other hopefuls, Jayme Armstrong, Tamara Fifield, Allie Hughes, Alison Jutzi, Katie Kerr, Donna Lajeunesse, Marisa McIntyre and Kyla Tingley to explore how the reality series changed their lives. Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gavin Crawford and judge and vocal coach Elaine Overholt make special appearances.

Find out what’s become of the Maria hopefuls, Wednesday, June 24, at 9 p.m., on CBC-TV, during 10 MARIAS: 1 YEAR LATER. Is there life after Maria and which finalist is appearing in a new Andrew Lloyd Webber production? The one-hour documentary explores the power of reality television, its ability to cast and create stars, and the kind of lasting effect it has on the lives of participants.

HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA? is produced by Temple Street Productions in association with CBC Television. The executive producers are David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg.

Lanny Mcdonald, Glenn Anderson, Tie Domi, Bob Probert, Craig Simpson and Stéphane Richer on Battle Of The Blades

CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron MacLean and four-time World Figure Skating Champion Kurt Browning to host national pairs competition

CBC Television announced today the first competitors to sign on to participate in CBC Television’s BATTLE OF THE BLADES. NHL Hall of Famer and fan favourite Lanny McDonald, NHL Hall of Famer and six-time Stanley Cup-winner Glenn Anderson, legendary enforcers Tie Domi and Bob Probert, two-time Stanley Cup-winner and HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA analyst Craig Simpson, and two-time Stanley Cup-winner Stéphane Richer will go head-to-head in this fierce competition. These hockey heavyweights will be paired with some of Canada’s top female figure skaters in a competitive and thrilling pairs showdown beginning this October.

“Whatever else you can say about Canadians, they know hockey and they know figure skating—and are passionate about both,” said Kirstine Layfield, CBC Television’s executive director of network programming. “We’re going to bring the two together in a way that’s never been seen before. It’s going to be great.”

CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA’s Ron MacLean and Canadian figure skating icon Kurt Browning host the seven-week BATTLE OF THE BLADES series. Browning’s storied international career and his infectious personality combined with MacLean’s deep-rooted knowledge and passion for hockey will provide viewers with the insight and intricacies of both sports and their unlikely combination.

All-Star forward Probert holds the Detroit Red Wings’ franchise record for career penalty minutes. Domi is one of the most popular players to ever don a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey and ranks third overall in penalty minutes in NHL history.

A gentleman both on and off the ice, McDonald’s contribution to his teams and community earned him both the Bill Masterson and King Clancy Memorial trophies. Simpson’s influence extends from playing to coaching and currently as an analyst on CBC’s HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA. Simpson is the last Edmonton Oiler to score over 50 goals in one season. Richer is one of the all-time leaders in playoff overtime goals and is the last Montreal Canadien to score over 50 goals in a season. Anderson is considered one of the all-time great playoff performers with 214 playoff points, ranking him fourth overall in playoff history.

BATTLE OF THE BLADES is the brainchild of Kevin Albrecht, and development of Sandra Bezic. BATTLE OF THE BLADES executive producers are John Brunton, Barbara Bowlby and Kevin Albrecht. It is produced by Insight Productions in association with CBC Television.

TRIPLE SENSATION returns to CBC Television with Season 2, airing Monday nights at 8 p.m., starting June 22. The Gemini Award-winning six-part performing arts series seeks out Canada’s most talented young actor-singer-dancers who compete for the dream-come-true $150,000 Middlefield Scholarship prize.

Broadcasting in tandem on CBC’s digital channel bold is TRIPLE SENSATION: INSPIRATION & PERFORMANCE, a 12-part complementary series that will be broadcast Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. ET, starting June 23.  For information on how to order bold, viewers can call their local television service provider or visit boldtv.ca.

Narrated by David Suzuki, the three-part series Arctic Meltdown—beginning Saturday, June 20, at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT), on CBC Television—documents the drastic changes the Arctic has seen over the last few years. From new companies rushing to claim the Arctic’s plentiful resources to the effect climate change has had on animals as well as plant life, the documentary, directed by Kristina Von Hlatky, asks the big question: as the Arctic meltdown continues at an ever accelerating pace, who will protect it?

In Arctic Meltdown: A Changing World, airing Saturday, June 20, at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT), we see the changes that are upsetting the scientific predictions of the impact of climate change on the Arctic. Now, one sobering forecast is that the Arctic Ocean will be seasonally ice free by the summer of 2013. This possibility is what drives environmentalists to identify ways to minimize the changes affecting this snowy land. But for prospectors like Gordon McCreary, climate change brings new opportunities. He is part of the rush to claim the riches beneath the Arctic’s ice: deposits of metals, gold, diamonds, and oil and gas.

Episode one will showcase how Arctic nations are racing to claim control over the Arctic’s resources and shipping routes. Dr. Ruth Jackson, from the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Nova Scotia, leads the Canadian team racing to map the seabed to support Canada’s claim. Scientists too are now becoming victims of the Arctic’s icy politics. A Canadian-led, international team of researchers is thwarted on camera when their deal to hire a Russian nuclear icebreaker falls through.

Episode two, Arctic Meltdown: The Arctic Passages, airing Saturday, June 27 at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT), explores the Northwest Passage and how these dangerous waters are suddenly becoming accessible to businesses and shipping. Ports like Churchill, Manitoba and Murmansk, Russia expect to see business grow in years to come. Until recently, only a few ships braved travel through these ice-strewn waters. More and more ships cross these seas each year and with more traffic come higher risks—in particular, for the Inuit who worry about the lack of ports and emergency support. 

Arctic Meltdown: Adapting to Change airing Saturday, July 4, at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT), tracks two different Arctics—one that is the storybook land of ice, snow and polar bears and the other that is covered with petroleum plants and pipelines carrying fossil fuels. Bylot Island is a national park, and for 20 years a team of Canadian scientists have come every summer to measure the impact of climate change on snowy owls, lemmings, snow geese and Arctic foxes. Here they have discovered that even tiny, hardy plants are being affected, causing a cascade of changes through the ecosystem.

With the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs almost over, weeknight episodes of CORONATION STREET return to CBC Television on Monday, June 15, at 7 p.m. Sunday morning repeats of the series remain at 7:30 to 10 a.m.

Episodic synopsis for the week:

Monday, June 15 – Teresa’s poisoning puts Jerry in jeopardy. Amber makes a move on David. Dev and Nina go for a dirty weekend.

Tuesday, June 16 – Jerry’s at death’s door after weeks of poisoning. Tina gives David another chance. Dev is just another notch on Nina’s bedpost.

Wednesday, June 17 – Teresa runs at the threat of discovery. Dev is feeling increasingly used by Nina. Gail fears Tina’s going to discover her secret.

Thursday, June 18 – Jerry’s horrified as Teresa comes clean. Nina reminds Dev who is the boss in the relationship. Becky forces Roy to face up to reality.

Friday, June 19 – Mel’s arrogance lands her best mate in hospital. Sean’s humiliated when Tom rebuffs him. Dev gets stood up by Nina.

On Saturday, June 13, at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT), American Savannah takes viewers to the world of a long-standing obsession: the perfect lawn. The pursuit of the perfect lawn is a booming industry, where agribusiness meets home improvement. The highly manicured lawn, so central to popular culture, has become entrenched within the American dream and has become an easily recognized North American status symbol. Out of this fascination with lawn care, has sprouted lawnmower racing and American Savannah takes viewers on a hilarious journey that includes this new sport which allows men to marry two of their favourite activities, lawn maintenance and competitive racing.

Lawns that are up to golf course or ballpark standards are still very much a North American status symbol. David Mellor, groundskeeper at Boston’s Fenway Park, showcases his creative mowing patterns for the documentary, demonstrating the possibility of bringing Fenway Park perfection to your own backyard.

Directed by Jean-Francois Méan and Ian Lagarde, American Savannah proves that no matter what the water shortages may be, green sod carpets are still sprouting up all around us. Both a psychoanalytic and environmental documentary, American Savannah will have viewers questioning the look of their lawn and that of their neighbours.

Senior Producers for The Nature of Things are F.M. Morrison and Caroline Underwood, Executive Producer, Michael Allder

On Saturday, June 6, at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT), THE NATURE OF THINGS with David Suzuki returns to CBC Television with entertaining and thought-provoking documentaries including two new titles—one about a hot, green world, the other a series about a cold, white world. As homeowners are dusting off their lawn mowers and golf fans look to the fairways, the promise and pressures of summer are all about one thing: grass. American Savannah captures man’s obsession with having a golf course-like lawn and the consequences of this obsession.

Also airing this summer on THE NATURE OF THINGS with David Suzuki is Arctic Meltdown. This three-part series explores who will protect the rapidly thawing North as Arctic countries compete for its resources, the consequences of the Northwest Passage beginning to open and Arctic animals, who once called this snowy land home, threatened because of the changing climate.

Below is the summer broadcast schedule for THE NATURE OF THINGS with David Suzuki on CBC Television.

Gone Sideways
Saturday, June 6 at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television

American Savannah
Saturday, June 13 at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television
Repeat on Thursday, June 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBC Newsworld

Arctic Meltdown: A Changing World
Saturday, June 20 at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television
Repeat on Thursday, June 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBC Newsworld

Arctic Meltdown: The Arctic Passages
Saturday, June 27 at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television
Repeat on Thursday, July 2 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBC Newsworld

Arctic Meltdown: Adapting to Change

Saturday, July 4 at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television
Repeat on Thursday, July 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBC Newsworld

The Suzuki Diaries

Saturday, July 11 at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television
Repeat on Thursday, July16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBC Newsworld

Supercar: Building the Car of the Future

Saturday, July 18 at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television

Living City: A Critical Guide
Saturday, August 8 at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television

Antarctic Mission: Islands at the Edge
Saturday, August 29 at 7 p.m. (7:30 p.m. NT) on CBC Television

On the heels of three successful seasons of CBC Television’s DRAGONS’ DEN, and season four currently in production, Canadian venture capital celebrities Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec join ABC’s Shark Tank. Based on the format created by Nippon Television Network and licensed by Sony Pictures Television in which budding entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to established business moguls, DRAGONS’ DEN has been hugely popular on CBC, BBC and with audiences around the world.

“We’re proud of the franchise that we have established in Canada over the last three years,” said Kirstine Layfield, executive director of network programming, CBC Television. “It’s a testament to the success of DRAGONS’ DEN and the format that our Canadian Dragons would be asked to participate in the U.S. version.”

The Gemini-nominated series DRAGONS’ DEN returns on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 8 p.m., on CBC Television for an extended season of exciting reality television, as well as some special surprises. With audition attendance at an all-time high, thousands of Canadian entrepreneurs of all ages are fighting for the chance to face the Dragons and pitch their business ideas in the Den. Rivals Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec are joined by marketing guru Arlene Dickinson, former RCMP officer and retail giant Jim Treliving, and maverick capitalist and philanthropist extraordinaire W. Brett Wilson.

Thursday May 21at 8 p.m. ET and 10 p.m. PT on Documentary

In Me and the Mosque, journalist and filmmaker Zarqa Nawaz visits mosques across Canada to question the gender inequalities that still exist within the Islam faith. Religious leaders, neighbours and colleagues weigh in on the historical role of women in Islam and shed light on the current state of Canadian mosques. Viewers will hear personal accounts of anger, fear and acceptance about spiritual belief in a religion that still fails to accept women.

Tuesday, May 19 at 7 p.m. ET on Documentary

From Portage and Main in downtown Winnipeg to the family cottage near Parry Sound in Ontario, filmmaker Frank Wolf and his inexperienced friend, Taku Hokoyama, tackle raging rapids and gruelling portages on a 3,100 km canoe trip through Canada’s Boreal forest in an effort to shed light on the issues now facing this wilderness area.

In Borealis, Frank and Taku, with their quirky sense of humour, provide an intimate look into the current environmental and social issues facing the region. Viewers will be informed and entertained by Frank and Taku who cope with bears, black flies and flat tires in order to guide viewers through their 75-day adventure.