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Ken Finkleman, TV writer

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Toiling for the TV racket in Los Angeles has given Ken Finkleman a new appreciation for how TV is made at home in Canada, especially at the CBC. All you need to get a TV show in Canada is a driver's licence, he jokes. But in the United States, he says, businessmen control TV programming, using it to maintain the status quo in America and disconnect viewers from the reality of their lives. In this interview with Peter Gzowski from CBC-TV's 90 Minutes Live, Finkleman also notes the CBC's problem when it come to making TV: it has no "tradition of entertainment." 
• Born in Winnipeg in 1946, Ken Finkleman wrote for CBC's The Tommy Hunter Show in the mid-1970s before seeking work in the United States on a variety show hosted by Dick van Dyke (referred to in this interview).
  • After this appearance on 90 Minutes Live, Finkleman returned to the show frequently in 1977 and 1978 to perform topical skits with future Second City performer Rick Moranis.

• Finkleman became well known to CBC viewers for his 1996-97 satire The Newsroom, in which he played George Findlay, news director at a CBC-like newsroom. He reprised the character in several other projects, including the 2011 series Good Dog.

• Danny Finkleman, Ken's older brother (seen in this clip), was a regular on 90 Minutes Live. He went on to a longtime post with CBC Radio as host of the Saturday night show Finkleman's 45s, during which he played his favourite music from the 1950s, '60s and '70s and groused about everyday topics.  

Medium: Television
Program: 90 Minutes Live
Broadcast Date: April 7, 1977
Guest(s): Danny Finkleman, Ken Finkleman
Host: Peter Gzowski
Duration: 9:27

Last updated: February 24, 2012

Page consulted on November 7, 2014

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