CBC expands Heartland

Filling the pubcaster's Sunday family hour, the Alberta-set drama has received an order for 18 episodes.

CBC has ordered 18 more episodes of Heartland. The Alberta-set drama, about a teen who helps her grandfather run the family’s debt-ridden horse ranch, premiered to 513,000 viewers (2+) last October, and finished its season averaging in the 700,000s.

Network programming boss Kirstine Layfield says the series fared so well in the Sunday family slot ‘that we desperately wanted to bring it back. [It] has done exactly as we hoped it would. Because it’s based on [a series of novels by Lauren Brooke], we have all kinds of tie-ins and were able to create a real community around it,’ she explains, adding that the show has an active fan base on Facebook.

CBC has also ordered new episodes of The Border, which placed around the 700s, and Sophie, which attracted viewers in the 600s.

‘These shows performed very well and we see opportunities for them to grow even further in the future,’ says Layfield. She adds that international attention is an important consideration in the decision to renew shows. Sophie was sold to ABC Family, and she says there’s lots of interest in The Border, though she declined to elaborate.

Production on Heartland‘s second season gets underway in May, with plans to wrap before Christmas. CBC recently axed jPod, MVP and Intelligence.

From Playback Daily