The slate includes new comedy One More Time and dramas Allegiance and Wild Cards, as well as two new free streaming channels.
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A workplace comedy from comedian D.J. Demers, two West Coast dramas, a pottery competition and a Black-led docuseries are among the new Canadian commissions set for CBC’s 2023-24 lineup, which also includes two new free streaming channels.
The pubcaster’s upcoming programming slate unveiled Thursday (June 1) has more than 40 original series from Canadian storytellers, which is on par with last year, as well as plans to launch more free, 24/7 ad-supported TV (FAST) channels this fall. CBC Comedy and CBC News BC build upon last November’s launch of CBC News Explore and will be followed by more local news channels.
The comedy slate includes the 13 x 30-minute One More Time (winter 2024) from Counterfeit Pictures as well as creator Demers (The Tonight Show, Conan) and showrunner Jessie Gabe (Workin’ Moms, Mr. D). The series features “a fictionalized and heightened version” of Demers and sees him playing “the hearing-impaired manager of a second-hand sporting goods store,” according to a news release.
New dramas include Surrey, B.C.-set police procedural Allegiance from Lark Productions, and comedic crime-solving procedural Wild Cards from piller/segan, Blink49 Studios and Front Street Pictures.
The 10 x 60-minute Allegiance (winter 2024) is from creator Anar Ali (Transplant), and showrunners Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern (Flashpoint, X Company). It explores the Canadian justice system as it features a Sikh police rookie who is “caught between loyalty to her job, her country and her family.” Universal International Studios is the international distributor.
The 10 x 60-minute Wild Cards (winter 2024) has a creative team including Michael Konyves as creator/executive producer, Shawn Piller as executive producer, Noelle Carbone as head writer/executive producer, and James Genn as pilot director/executive producer. The Vancouver-set story features an unlikely duo of a grizzled marine unit detective and a spirited con artist who are forced to work together to solve crimes.
The drama slate is rounded out by Marie Clements’ previously announced 5 x 60-minute residential school drama Bones of Crows (pictured above; Marie Clements Media, Screen Siren Pictures, Grana Productions; fall 2023), which also had an accompanying film, and the 3 x 60-minute, Matt Johnson-directed smartphone dramedy BlackBerry (Rhombus Media, Zapruder Films; fall 2023), which also originally debuted as a film that recently crossed the $1 million mark at the Canadian box office.
Previously announced returning dramas include 8 x 60-minute Moonshine (Six Eleven Media, Entertainment One), which is set for a third season debut in July on CBC and CBC Gem. Season 17 of the 10 x 60-minute Heartland (Dynamo Films, SEVEN24 Films) is set for fall, as is season 17 of 24 x 60-minute Murdoch Mysteries (Shaftesbury) and season two of 9 x 60-minute SkyMed (Piazza Entertainment).
New original documentary programming includes Black Life: Untold Stories (fall 2023), which was first announced as a greenlight in September 2021 under the title Black Life: A Canadian History. The 8 x 60-minute series — from Studio 112 in association with Northwood Entertainment, and Ugly Duck Productions — reframes the histories of Black Canadians to dispel myths and celebrate their contributions.
The executive producers on Black Life: Untold Stories are the Leslie Norville, P.K. Subban, Miranda de Pencier, and Nelson George, with Sandy Hudson as co-executive producer. Consulting producers are former Governor General Michaëlle Jean, rapper and broadcaster Shadrach “Shad” Kabango, Dr. Rinaldo Walcott, and activist Ravyn Wngz.
The 6 x 60-minute For the Culture with Amanda Parris (winter 2024) is a CBC Gem docuseries in which the eponymous writer, executive producer and host will travel the country to have “urgent and provocative conversations” with cultural leaders, activists, scholars and everyday people about topics “that centre Blackness and Black folks,” said the release.
The 4 x 60-minute Telling Our Story (Terre Innue; fall 2023) from Abenaki director Kim O’Bomsawin is slated for CBC Gem and tells the stories of 11 First Peoples in Quebec.
Other new docuseries include the 4 x 60-minute Swan Song (fall 2023) from Visitor Media, Mercury Films and Quiet Ghost. It will follow Karen Kain as she marks her final year as artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada and helms a new production of Swan Lake.
The factual slate has The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down (winter 2024), a new 8 x 60-minute series produced by Frantic Films and based on the original British format created and owned by Love Productions, who also devised and produces The Great British Baking Show. The Canadian version will see 10 Canadian potters compete.
Returning factual series include Race Against the Tide (marblemedia) for a 10 x 30-minute third season in July; 8 x 60-minute Best in Miniature (marblemedia) for a third season this fall; 16 x 60-minute Dragons’ Den for season 18 this fall; Family Feud Canada (Zone 3, Fremantle) for a 102 x 30-minute fifth season this fall; The Great Canadian Baking Show (Proper Television, Love Productions) for a 9 x 60-minute seventh season this fall; and the 10 x 30-minute season nine of Still Standing (Frantic Films) for season nine this fall.
Returning for winter 2024 premieres are Bollywed (HeartHat Entertainment) for a 10 x 30-minute second season, and the 8 x 30-minute Push season two (Fenix Film & Television, Small Army Entertainment).
Set for 2024 premieres are seasons two of 7 x 60-minute Canada’s Ultimate Challenge (Insight Productions, The Gurin Company) and 8 x 30-minute Stuff The British Stole (Wooden Horse, WildBear Entertainment, Cream Productions).
Documentary formats and series that have been renewed include The Nature of Things for season 63 with new hosts Sarika Cullis-Suzuki and Anthony Morgan.
The original comedy slate also includes renewed seasons of Sort Of (Sphere Media; fall 2023), which was renewed for a third, 8 x 30-minute season last December, Run the Burbs (Pier 21 Films; winter 2024) and Son of a Critch (Project 10 Productions, Take the Shot Productions; winter 2024). The latter two were greenlit for new seasons in March, when CBC also revealed Strays (Thunderbird Entertainment) will not be returning.
Also returning for new seasons are This Hour Has 22 Minutes (IoM Media; fall 2023) and The New Wave of Standup (season four; fall 2023), which is produced by Just For Laughs TV.
Run the Burbs, Son of a Critch and Sort Of will also be on the CBC Comedy FAST channel, as will previous CBC hits including Kim’s Convenience (Thunderbird Entertainment), Schitt’s Creek (Not A Real Company Productions), Baroness von Sketch Show (Frantic Films) and TallBoyz (Accent Entertainment).
New CBC Gem originals include 6 x 10-minute The Bannocking (Bad Bannock Productions; fall 2023), about the chaos on a First Nations community as a journalist attempts to uncover the truth about an abandoned residential school.
The Gem slate also includes the previously announced, 8 x 15-minute How to Fail as a Popstar (Sphere Media; fall 2023), which is an adaptation of Vivek Shraya’s play and book; 6 x 15-minute I Hate People, People Hate Me (LoCo Motion Pictures; fall 2023); 6 x 11-minute Zarqa season two (FUNdamentalist Films; fall 2023); and 6 x 20-minute Farm Crime season three (Big Cedar Films; 2024).
The kids and tweens slate includes more than 500 hours of ad-free programming on CBC Gem.
New titles include the live-action, 20 x 7-minute preschooler series Bestest Day Ever with My Best Friend! on CBC and CBC Gem (Lopii Productions; July 31); 20 x 7-minute Aunty B’s House (Headspinner Productions; fall 2023); 24 x 3.5-minute CBC/Radio-Canada original Mini-Jon and Mini-Maple on CBC and CBC Gem (Happy Camper Media; July 31); and 52 x 11-minute Dylan’s Playtime Adventures, (9 Story Media Group, Brown Bag Films; spring 2024).
Returning CBC Kids shows include 42 x 7-minute Mittens and Pants for a second season on CBC and CBC Gem (Windy Isle Entertainment; July 3).
Overall, there are more than 4,000 hours of new programming spanning all genres in the lineup, according to CBC.
CBC remains “focused on serving Canadians on the platform of their choice and offering what no other media company in this country can: the essential information audiences rely on each and every day, and authentic entertainment that reflects the changing face of Canada,” said Barbara Williams, EVP, CBC, in a statement.
“We’re different. We stand apart from others, just as strong and just as significant. We want all Canadians to see CBC as their thing – as a Canada thing that makes everyone feel they belong, regardless of their age, background or location.”
Image: Bones of Crows, day two; Ayasew Ooskana Pictures; photo courtesy of CBC