CBC summer strategy, first schedule from new programming director
CBC Television's summer programming schedule will be the first one orchestrated for new executive director of network programming, Kirstine Layfield, and it is shaping up to be quite a departure from its typical fare.
Layfield, who has been in the post since February, says the goal is to be innovative and for the public broadcaster to stand for something different - as well as recognizing that programming today must be year round and not strictly centred on a big fall season.
CBC Television’s summer programming schedule will be the first one orchestrated for new executive director of network programming, Kirstine Layfield, and it is shaping up to be quite a departure from its typical fare.
Layfield, who has been in the post since February, says the goal is to be innovative and for the public broadcaster to stand for something different – as well as recognizing that programming today must be year round and not strictly centred on a big fall season.
‘The hope is if you keep audiences interested in the summer, you’ve got great lead-in for the fall so when the big networks come up with their new blockbuster series hopefully (audiences) are a little more loyal to your own brands.
‘We’re trying not to differentiate between summer and regular season. I think all year round you need to schedule different things because people have different habits in the summer as opposed to winter.’
Layfield is also looking to bring some interest to times on the schedule that aren’t necessarily prime time with new programming in early prime as well as late night in the 11:30 pm to midnight slot.
Launching at the end of June in early prime is the Canuck offering What It’s Like Being Alone, a Tim Burtonesque stop-action animation show geared to a wide-ranging audience of pre-teens through adult. The dark and fiendishly humorous series is set around an orphanage, its orphans and a retro world of their over-the-top adventures and bizarre antics.
Also debuting at the end of June is prime-time Canadian series 11 Cameras which takes the web to TV with 22 episodes from the viewpoint of people who communicate with each other through webcasting. The serial drama features different simultaneous storylines with characters such as a guy stationed overseas trying to keep his relationship going via webcam.
UK import, Hustle, features former Man From U.N.C.L.E. Robert Vaughan as one of five expert con artists loose on the streets of contemporary London. Entering its fourth season in Britain, the one-hour drama starts on CBC at the end of June.
In early July, comedian Scott Thompson reprises his Kids in the Hall role of Queen Elizabeth II in a three-part series, Pop-Up Royals. It’s a sometimes raunchy tale of a dysfunctional royal family told through a blend of Thompson, archive material, and animated vignettes.
Northern Town is a Northern Exposure-style comedy set in a remote small town in the Yukon. The storyline has the twentysomething male protagonist setting out to make his fortune by locating a valuable meteor that has fallen to earth. His search crosses paths with the personal stories of other town locals including the karaoke-loving bar owner, two American military agents, a paranoid aviator, Japanese honeymooners and a native mystic. Six episodes are planned to start in July.
On the other end of prime for late night viewing some of the shows slated are Dr. Who, a limited series called Into the West, and Kenny vs. Spenny.
CBC will also be showcasing some blockbuster movies throughout the summer on Saturday and Sunday nights including Lord of the Rings, Cold Mountain, Master and Commander, Mission Impossible and Finding Nemo.