Marketplace: Canada's Consumer Watchdog -- We've Got Your Back
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Fridays at 8 p.m.
8:30 p.m. in Newfoundland and Labrador
Marketplace 40
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Celebrate 40 seasons of Marketplace!

In 1972, CBC took on slick scams, misleading marketing and more with the debut of The Marketplace, a new show designed to give "good old dependable John Canuck the consumer an even break."


Consumer affairs specialist host Joan Watson -  described as a "comely brunette housewife" in a 1972 CBC press release - joined weekend news anchor George Finstad as the show's first hosts.

The Marketplace was originally set to debut on September 28, 1972, but the very first show was bumped off the schedule by one of the most important events in Canadian sports history: Game 8 of the Canada-USSR Summit Series. Paul Henderson's series-winning set off nationwide jubilation, and The Marketplace would have to wait.

The show aired a week later on October 5 with a hard look at skyrocketing food prices. It also featured a distinctly Canadian touch, with a theme song written especially for the show by music legend Stompin' Tom Connors.

The Marketplace was an immediate hit; by December 1972, the
show was receiving more than 100 letters a week and by 1980, it consistently
averaged over 1 million viewers per episode. Audience research showed viewers
enjoyed the show even more than other hit series like Hockey Night In Canada and The Partridge Family.

The show's investigative punch helped lead to bans on urea formaldehyde foam insulation and lawn darts in Canada, legislation for warnings on exploding pop bottles and the ground-breaking "Chasing the Cancer Answer," former host Wendy Mesley's investigation into cancer rates.

The show has earned more than 30 Gemini Award nominations, including a 2011 win for Best News Information Series.

After 40 seasons, Marketplace is still resonating with Canadians. The audience keeps growing, viewer mail floods in and it continues to rank among CBC's highest-rated programs.

We've got your back - for 40 years and counting!

Photo Gallery

Take a look at logos, hosts and funny moments from 1972 to now.

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