CBC laces up new prime-time pickups

The pubcaster's 2009-2010 maple-syrupy roster will be graced with comedians, skating elimination challenges and young spelling bee savants.

CBC Television announced some heavyweight prime-time pickups this morning. Two new comedies, a one-hour comedy-drama and two reality-based series make up the pubcaster’s 2009-2010 roster of new A&E and factual prime-time programming.

Fall premieres include Battle of the Blades, an elimination-style challenge that teams up Canada’s top figure skaters with the country’s hockey stars to compete in weekly glitzy pairs figure skating performances; The Ron James Show, featuring the renowned comedian’s entertaining observations on modern life; and Canada’s Super Speller, a spelling game show/elimination series that sees 12 young finalists vie for the crown, hosted by Evan Solomon.

Winter season premieres include 18 To Life, a domestic comedy about a couple that gets married at 18 amid the disapproval of parents and friends, and The Republic of Doyle, a one-hour comedic drama about a father/son team of private investigators and the dynamics of their dysfunctional clan, set against the rugged beauty of St. John’s, Newfoundland.