CBC Television announced its 2002/2003 fall season.
CBC Television today announced its 2002/2003 fall season, starting with a month-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of CBC-TV and its unique role as Canada’s national public television broadcaster. The season is highlighted by captivating new movies and miniseries including the debut of Ken Finkleman’s two-hour movie The Newsroom; clever new comedy from Seán Cullen, Jonathan Torrens and Bette MacDonald; the best in Canadian news and current affairs programs and powerful documentary specials like The Sacred Balance with David Suzuki, as well as the 50th anniversary season of Hockey Night in Canada.
CBC Television’s audience shares have increased for the second season in a row – their highest level in four years – and recent surveys have shown that Canadians appreciate CBC Television’s presence in the media marketplace: results indicate that nine out of 10 Canadians believe that CBC Television is essential.
This past season was a tremendous one for CBC Television, with Canadians showing enormous support for our service not only through opinion polls but also through their viewership, said Harold Redekopp, executive vice-president, CBC Television. They clearly feel that we are moving in the right direction with our English Television Transformation initiative. They feel we’re relevant, that we’re distinctive, and that we speak to their needs and concerns in a direct and immediate way. Our 50th season as the national public television broadcaster furthers that direction, and advances our efforts to increase the value of CBC Television to Canadians.
Slawko Klymkiw, executive director, Network Programming, added: By building on our outstanding critical and audience successes of last year and remaining focused on our core public broadcasting strengths, the 2002/2003 CBC Television season brings Canadians more of the engaging and challenging television that sets us apart from everybody else.
The hosted evenings that were introduced last season continue this year. Among the highlights:
Monday night delivers high-impact movies and miniseries: the true-life drama The Many Trials of One Jane Doe, in which a rape victim confronts the justice system when she feels that she and other women were used as bait in order to catch the culprit; Hemingway and Callaghan: Fighting Words, the story of a legendary friendship between two literary powerhouses, forged in the editorial department of The Toronto Star; and The Last Chapter: The War Continues, the sequel to last season’s blockbuster miniseries that garnered critical acclaim and massive ratings in both English and French Canada.
Every night, The National and CBC News: Canada Now continue to bring Canadians the finest in news reporting from across the country, around the world and in our own backyards;
Tuesday and Wednesday are for inquiring minds, with media satire, consumer reports and hard-hitting investigative journalism. This Hour Has 22 Minutes brings its acerbic look at the week’s news to the Tuesday night line-up; CBC News: Disclosure re-launches this season, with a renewed focus on breaking stories. And Mark Starowicz returns with two new documentaries: Asteroid!, about the imminent danger of asteroids to our planet and the steps that researchers are taking to protect us; and Go Ask Alice: Women, Men and Menopause, which deals with the aging process and how it affects both sexes.
Thursday night marks the return of the acclaimed performing arts showcase Opening Night, joined by two of the network’s most provocative documentary series, The Nature of Things and Witness.
Friday night remains the night of laughter with a hilarious line-up of new and classic comedy programs: Seán Cullen brings his own special brand of insanity to CBC Television in The Seán Cullen Show, an all-new six-part weekly comedy series to be taped this summer before a live audience at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto; Jonathan Torrens is an investigative journalist conquering small-town Canada in Jonathan Cross’s Canada; The Royal Canadian Air Farce returns for its 10th season and Made in Canada is back as a CBC favourite.
Saturday sports are as action-packed as ever. CBC Television is currently broadcasting The 2002 FIFA World Cup, and exclusive live coverage of the semi-finals and finals. CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada returns for another exciting season. And The 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England, will showcase amateur athletics at its best.
Sunday night brings the best in Canadian dramatic series – first with the return of award-winning actor Nicholas Campbell in Da Vinci’s Inquest, followed by the second season of Calgary’s corporate crime-buster Tom Stone.
CBC Television continues to deliver the finest in children’s and youth programming, with the program day divided into three age groups: CBC’s Get Set for Life for the discerning pre-schooler; CBC InfomatriX for elementary school kids and Youth programming for teenagers. Making its debut this season is Ace Lightning, a new show featured in CBC InfomatriX, about a kid who becomes a hero in a video game that comes to life.
And this fall marks the debut of ZeD, the cutting-edge late-night on-air/on-line showcase for fresh talent and innovative programming that piloted successfully for six weeks last season.
And from September 6 to October 6, CBC Television will celebrate 50 years of Canadian public television broadcasting by airing 26 hours of series and specials, produced from across the country – including This Special Has 50 Years, a one-hour comedy special with the stars from Royal Canadian Air Farce and This Hour Has 22 Minutes sharing the stage for the first time; Dominion of the Air, a documentary produced by Mark Starowicz’s award-winning team, on the true story of the creators of Canada’s national broadcasting system; Tuning In, a five-part series with Rick Mercer, blending history, reality and humour to show how CBC Television has shaped and reflected Canadian life since 1952; and much more.
Now more than ever, added Redekopp, Canadians are turning to CBC Television for news, comedy, history, drama, sports and programs for young people that we can truly call our own.