New productions and more than a dozen returning shows are slated for the CBC-TV lineup for the 2014-2015 season, the public broadcaster has announced.
"What you'll see is a balance of programming that we know our audiences love and we're certainly not going to take away from them," Sally Catto, CBC English Television's executive director of commissioned and scripted programming, said Friday morning.
"[We're] really focusing on distinct Canadian programming."
The schedule will see 14 existing shows joined by new additions, led by the anticipated sitcom Schitt's Creek, starring SCTV alums Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara. Other CBC newcomers include:
- Canada's Smartest Person
- Of All Places
- Strange Empire
Written by Durham County creator Laurie Finstad, Strange Empire is a dark, 1860s-era drama series about a caravan of women left to fend for themselves in a frontier town when the men in their group mysteriously vanish.
"That show's a real shift for us: it's a serialized show, it's definitely a darker, edgier show," Catto said.
"The way viewers are consuming content has changed so much: with Netflix, with PVRing, with binge viewing. [It] has really created an environment where serialized programming is so, so appealing and I think it's been a while since we've had that on our schedule."
Along with the previously announced new season of Dragons' Den, CBC comedies such as Mr. D are back as well.
"In terms of our returning comedies, Mr. D we're very excited about. [It has] an amazingly strong fan base and Gerry [Dee]'s unique brand of comedy and real life experience of being a former substitute teacher, who knows very little about teaching, I think gives the series a real sense of authenticity."
Other shows returning to the schedule include:
- This Hour Has 22 Minutes
- Doc Zone
- the fifth estate
- Just for Laughs
- Murdoch Mysteries
- The Nature of Things
- Republic of Doyle
- The Rick Mercer Report
- Steven & Chris
- Winnipeg Comedy Festival/Halifax Comedy Festival
Information on additional shows will also be announced at a later date, the broadcaster said.
CBC recently announced the cancellation of several shows, including the dramas Cracked and Arctic Air, cooking shows Best Recipes Ever and In the Kitchen with Stefano Faita and comedy series The Ron James Show.
- CBC-TV cancels Cracked, Arctic Air, cooking shows
- George Stroumboulopoulos to host Hockey Night in Canada next season
Interview program George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight is also ending after its current 10th season, following the announcement that Stroumboulopoulos would be one of the latest additions to Hockey Night in Canada next season, when Rogers Communications takes over Canadian NHL broadcasting rights.