CBC

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.

CBC New Season Shows

CBC Television today announced its 2009/2010 Arts & Entertainment and Factual prime-time programming, featuring two new comedies, a one-hour comedy-drama and two reality-based series, in addition to popular returning series.

“We look forward to another great season of entertaining, new homegrown series, as well as the return of many audience favourites,” said Kirstine Layfield, CBC’s executive director of network programming. “Plenty of surprises are in store with this all-Canadian lineup.”

Fall Premieres

BATTLE OF THE BLADES is an elimination-style challenge that teams up Canada’s top figure skaters with this country’s most daring and versatile hockey stars to compete against one another each week in a glitzy pairs figure skating performance.

THE RON JAMES SHOW showcases the talents of renowned comedian Ron James and his always entertaining, poetically charged observations on life in the modern world.

CANADA’S SUPER SPELLER, hosted by Evan Solomon, is a spelling game show/ elimination series that sees 12 young finalists vie for the crown of Canada’s Super Speller.

Winter Premieres

18 TO LIFE is the highly anticipated domestic comedy about a couple that does the unthinkable: they get married at the tender age of 18. Obviously their parents and even their friends disapprove, but they are determined that love will conquer all.

THE REPUBLIC OF DOYLE is a one-hour comedic drama about a father-son team of private investigators. Set against the rugged beauty of St. John’s Newfoundland, it’s an original, entertaining glimpse into the dynamics of the dysfunctional Doyle clan.

Returning series include RICK MERCER REPORT, BEING ERICA, THE BORDER, LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE, THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES, HEARTLAND, THE TUDORS, DRAGONS’ DEN and THE HOUR with George Stroumboulopoulos.

Yesterday one of the top public broadcasters in the world, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, announced that 800 workers from technicians to writers will lose their jobs. Not only is the Federal government cutting its grants to the vaunted broadcaster but CBC already has the other end of the string lit with dropping advertising revenues. But why do we need public broadcasting or, like the CBC, similar hybrid programmers?

For centuries the arts were supported by the good graces of royalty, the church or other wealthy benefactors. Shakespeare and Mozart were lavish spenders and so lived from project to project and produced some of the greatest works of their genre. This whole system changed in the 20th Century when governments became involved in media systems because they realized it was a matter of national unity.

When radio technology first came to the airwaves Canada was one of the world’s first countries to achieve reception in almost every corner of the country. As far back as the 1930’s people in the Arctic could listen to the Montreal Canadiens play the Toronto Maple Leafs and, as well, the famed Bluenose schooner defeat yet another sailing competitor to become the mainstay figure on the Canadian dime. Farming communities were kept up-to-date with both weather and prices for their produce and livestock. As well, when World War II erupted the call for volunteers was announced over the radio. But that was an era as far away from today’s technology and culture as King Arthur’s jousting competitions.

To meet its 2009 budget the CBC is not only laying off staff but selling off assets, in fact almost $125 million worth, and this is at fire-sale prices. The Canadian Heritage Minister, James Moore, added another bombshell stating that if ad revenues did not rebound to previous levels the CBC would have to ask for heavy loans and this debt would further cripple its programming.

What is at stake here are the brilliant new productions like Being Erica, The Rick Mercer Report and Little Mosque on the Prairie, shows that have garnered international audiences. Sports programs will also be cut but most of these seem to be doing well. In fact Hockey Night in Canada is one of the biggest earners for “Mother Corp,” as the CBC is called.

As much as the bottom line has to be met the Federal government has to take a hard look at the Canadian content produced during the past seventy-five years and weigh its value against a “dump and run” approach. If not this pipeline of talent will surely go dry. Because, I’m sure Gordon Lightfoot, Bare Naked Ladies and Anne Murray might not have had the jump start into the world market without being featured on Canadian programming on the CBC.

CBC has kicked off its Fall season with a bang, showing off for the paparazzi a who’s who of Canadian television stardom. The Fall season will feature the return of “Little Mosque on the Prairie” as well as specially designed made for tv movie “Henry VIII.” The network also has some much-vaunted premieres that promise to steal even more ratings for the public broadcaster from the American-dominated Canadian television airwaves.

Will a glitzy start be enough for the CBC? Everyone in Canada gets to see it even if their rabbit-ears are out of date, so here’s looking to the future of Canadian television!

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CBC
Monday 9:00 PM and Wednesday 8:00 PM, from January 15

LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE is a new comedy from CBC Television about a small Muslim community in the prairie town of Mercy, many of whose residents are wary of their new, more “exotic” neighbours. The series takes an unabashedly funny look at the congregation of a rural mosque and their attempt to live in harmony with the often skeptical, even down right suspicious, residents of their little prairie town. The sitcom reveals that, although different, we are all surprisingly similar when it comes to family, love, the generation gap and our attempts to balance our secular and religious lives.

LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE premieres on Tuesday, January 9 at 8:30 p.m. on CBC Television following The Rick Mercer Report. An encore presentation will air on Wednesday, January 10 at 8 p.m. Beginning Monday, January 15, the much anticipated series moves to its regular Monday night timeslot at 9 p.m. and Wednesdays at 8 p.m.