Arts, humour and sports feature in CBC's 2015-16 schedule
New season includes 11 all-new programs and the return of 14 series
Historical dramas and home-grown humour feature prominently in CBC's just announced 2015-16 programing lineup, as well as a special cross-platform arts hub and coverage of the highly-anticipated Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.
The schedule, announced by the broadcaster on Thursday, includes the introduction of 11 new programs and the return of 14 series, including the reality show Dragons' Den, beloved British soap Coronation Street, popular period whodunnit Murdoch Mysteries and the second season of the hit comedy Schitt's Creek.
Also returning to in 2015-16:
- The spy thriller X-Company
- School teacher sitcom Mr. D
- The interactive competition Canada's Smartest Person
- The family drama Heartland
- Long-running comedy Rick Mercer Report
- News satire This Hour has 22 Minutes
- Hidden camera prank show Just for Laughs
- And the comedy specials Winnipeg Comedy Festival and the Ha!ifax Comedy Festival.
CBC's factual stalwarts Marketplace, the fifth estate, The Nature of Things, Doc Zone and The National will also continue.
New additions to the lineup
Thursday's programming announcement also detailed the introduction of 11 new programs, which is a continuation of the CBC's strategy to take creative risks, the broadcaster said.
"Next year's lineup will see even more of what Canadians want from their public broadcaster," said Heather Conway, Executive Vice-President, English Services. "We're ambitious, driving for relevance and working with the very best writers, producers and actors in the country. No one else in Canadian media is doing what CBC is doing."
A number of Canadian-made comedies will hit the schedule starting this summer, including the new hidden camera show Fool Canada. The program pits funnyman Will Sasso and a team of disguised comedians against unsuspecting Canadians in a series of social experiments.
The light-hearted roast of Canadian culture continues on Tuesdays with Still Standing.
- VIDEO l Fool Canada's Will Sasso on poking fun at Canadians
- VIDEO l Jonny Harris describes Still Standing
The irreverent new comedy follows the adventures of funnyman Jonny Harris as he tours small-town Canada and immerses himself in the lives of locals. The show premieres June 23 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT).
Canadians can get a taste of Australian humour when the Melbourne-shot dramedy Please Like Me premieres on July 31 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT).
The critically acclaimed series stars comedian Josh Thomas as a gay 20-something dealing with the growing pains of becoming an adult.
Young Drunk Punk, the Calgary-shot sitcom based on Kids in the Hall star Bruce McCulloch and his semi-autobiographical stage show, will join the roster in October.
A more dramatic turn
British period drama Banished joins CBC this summer.
Set in an Australia penal colony in 1788, Banished centres on the outlawed love between British convicts, Elizabeth and Tommy.
The first episode premieres on Monday, July 27 at 9 p.m. (9:30 NT).
Also premiering this summer, Love Child, a set-in-1969 drama about the residents of a hospital for unwed mothers during Australia's cultural and sexual revolution.
Da Vinci's Inquest creator Chris Haddock is returning to the CBC with the espionage thriller The Romeo Section. The set-in-Vancouver spy serial, will join an English adaptation of the hit Quebec series Nouvelle Adresse, titled This Life, on CBC's primetime lineup this fall.
A new place for arts
Starting this summer, CBC is launching a new cross-platform approach to covering the arts in Canada. This new creative hub will bring together content from across the broadcaster's network and develop new programming around the arts, the CBC says.
- Crash Gallery, a high-energy art competition series.
- A weekly 30-minute profile on Canadian artists, called Exhibitionists.
- A weekly tour of the cultural underbellies of global cities by one Canadian ex-pat, called Interrupt This Program
The arts go digital
CBC also announced the development of a number of digital-only programs, such as a pop-up art gallery experience, titled Canada in the Frame; an exploration of art though the artist's eyes in The Collective; and a tour of the emerging art world through the eyes of expert dealer Eddy Rogo in The Re-education of Eddy Rogo.
The addition of Body Buds, a comedy series that satirizes the work-out video craze of the 1990s, and the sci-fi serial Riftworld Chronicals, also demonstrate the broadcaster's commitment to the digital realm.
Both shows will premiere on CBC's Punchline website staring this summer.
Summer means special sports coverage of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, the largest multi-sport event ever hosted in Canada.
Catch coverage of the Pan Am games from July 10 to 26, and the Parapan Am Games from Aug. 7 to 15.
For more information on shows or a full schedule of CBC's programming, can be found at the CBC Media centre website.