The new fall/winter season of shows for the CBC was unveiled yesterday, and despite some new titles, the bare-bones schedule is a reflection of the major federal budget cuts they've been forced to deal with.
According to CBC News, Kirstine Stewart, CBC executive vice-president of English services, said the cuts mean they have to remove 175 hours of original Canadian programming from primetime annually. "What we’ve done is focus on the shows that people connect with really well either popularity-wise or because they are distinctive and important for the CBC as a public broadcaster and by focusing on those things we will have more repeats …but the strength of the programming is there," Stewart said.
She added to the Canadian Press, "I challenge anybody to find the kind of programming that we do on any other network, particularly all of it on one network. I think that’s our focus and making sure that despite the cuts and the less resources that we’re dealing with that we really show that variety and that menu of programming that Canadians expect from their public broadcaster. That’s really important and we’re not about to be a niche service. We are here to serve Canadians.”
Four new series to the CBC include: "Over the Rainbow," a reality show where contestant will vie for a lead role in the musical "The Wizard of Oz," "Titanic: Blood and Steel," an eight-part drama chronicling the story of the Titanic, ""Cracked," an hour-long drama about psychiatrist working with the police in a Psych Crimes Unit, and finally the popular Citytv revival of "Murdoch Mysteries."