CBC Television announced its Fall 2008 schedule today, offering Canadians more of the homegrown programming they love the most: hot dramas and comedy, powerful documentaries, new movies and mini-series and the best in news and sports coverage.
“We have a lot to be proud of,” said Kirstine Layfield, executive director of Network Programming, CBC Television. “We’re bringing our viewers a Fall schedule packed with their favourites—outstanding Canadian television.”
· After a wildly successful first season of critical and audience acclaim, epic prime-time soap The Tudors returns for its second star-studded season of sex, romance, intrigue and revenge in the life of Henry VIII. Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Natalie Dormer star as Henry and Anne and joining the cast this year are screen legend Peter O’Toole as Pope Paul III and Canadian David Alpay who plays Mark Smeaton, an artist in Henry’s court.
· The Border – the fast-paced, hard-driving action/drama series about the elite Immigration and Customs Security Unit (ICS) – is back with riveting storylines reflective of current world issues starring James McGowan, Sofia Milos, Graham Abbey and Nazneen Contractor.
* Canada’s beloved family series Heartland returns for a second season. The Alberta-based drama follows the Fleming family as they find love, develop friendships and experience heartache against the backdrop of the Heartland ranch. Amber Marshall, Michelle Morgan, Chris Potter, Nathaniel Arcand, Shaun Johnston and Graham Wardle star.
· The hugely popular CBC comedy hit series Little Mosque on the Prairie is back with the original cast and 20 brand new episodes. The season continues its light-hearted look into the lives of the beloved characters of the town of Mercy starring Carlo Rota, Zaib Shaikh, Sitara Hewitt, Manoj Sood and Sheila McCarthy.
* Sassy Sophie comical sophomore season has 18 new episodes. Canadians will again fall in love with feisty single mom Sophie (Natalie Brown) as she tries to hold it all together while facing some of the toughest decisions of her life…with hilarious results. Cast members Sebastian Spence, Amy Lalonde, Mimi Kuzyk, Sara Botsford and Jeff Geddis and Catherine Bérubé return.
* Returning to CBC Television, Steven Sabados and Chris Hyndman find fun and easy ways to add a little bit of fabulous to your life. With years of design experience Steven and Chris dish on tips and tricks for home, fashion and recipes.
* The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos is back with guest interviews, musical performances and news served straight up. Canada’s only late night talk show, The Hour is unlike any other programme on television. It delivers an unconventional, never predictable connection to the world and those making the headlines – all served up in George’s unique style.
* Popular series Dragons’ Den heats up with 10 new one-hour episodes and a daring new dragon. W. Brett Wilson, co-founder of Calgary-based FirstEnergy Capital Corp., joins the panel of ruthless tycoons – the Dragons. Is this philanthropic playboy willing to donate his cash for the next “big idea”?
* “I’ll take Canadian Television for $1000, Alex.” Jeopardy! comes to CBC for the first time ever this Fall, testing contestants’ knowledge of topics such as literature, pop culture, science and history. Ontario native Alex Trebek hosts the Emmy-award winning quiz show on CBC.
* Whether vowel or consonant, viewers can’t get enough of making words to win big on the wildly popular Wheel Of Fortune, which enters its 26th prime-time season in Canada this fall on CBC Television. Veteran host Pat Sajak and his long-time letter-spinning sidekick Vanna White will return to keep the wheel in motion.
* How much do we really know about our home and native land? Test the Nation: Canada, Eh? brings six teams together including Weathercasters, Reach-For-The-Toppers, New Canadians, Canadian Forces, Tour guides, and American-Canadians. Hosts Wendy Mesley and Brent Bambury test the nation…about itself.
Also airing this Fall on CBC:
* Brand new mini-series Céline chronicles the rise to fame of the world’s greatest pop star, from her humble beginnings in Charlemagne, Québec to her love affair with René Angélil and superstar status. The cast includes Christine Ghawi as Céline, Enrico Colantoni as René, and Louise Pitre as Thérèse Dion.
* In October 1982 Laurie Skreslet and Pat Morrow became the first Canadians to set foot on the highest point on earth — the summit of Everest. Filmed in the Rocky Mountains, in and around Calgary and Nepal, the mini-series stars Jason Priestley and William Shatner.
* Incredible new documentary programming: India Reborn, which charts the kaleidoscopic rise of the world’s newest and most improbable superpower; The Bush Years on Doc Zone, looking at the rise and fall of George W. Bush; and several new specials from The Nature of Things with David Suzuki– including The Robot Revolution, a high-concept documentary that examines the origins and development of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
* The most trusted and comprehensive news and current affairs on Canadian television: CBC News: The National, with Peter Mansbridge, Canada’s favourite investigative programme CBC News: the fifth estate and CBC News: Sunday Night.
* Side-splitting comedy: The Rick Mercer Report returns; as well as Just For Laughs; This Hour Has 22 Minutes and the final season of Royal Canadian Air Farce culminating with the final farewell show on New Year’s Eve.
* The finest in children’s programmes, including Animal Mechanicals, the new Mighty Jungle and The Doodlebops for pre-schoolers, as well as Animalia and Magi-Nation for school-aged children.
* The best in sport begins this summer with exclusive coverage of Beijing 2008: The Olympic Games on CBC, Queen’s Plate on CBC, Calgary Stampede on CBC, Rogers Blue Jays Baseball on CBC, Championship Tennis – Rogers Cup on CBC, Championship Show Jumping on CBC and BMO Toronto FC on CBC. Returning to the lineup this fall season is President’s Choice Raptors Basketball on CBC, Grand Slam Curling on CBC and, of course, CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
The network will announce the Winter 2009 schedule in November.