Upfronts 2015: CBC unveils 2015-16 slate

New to the pubcaster for the fall and winter season is an arts-focused cross-platform initiative as well as 11 new originals and 14 returning series.
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CBC has unveiled the full schedule of its 2015-16 programming following up on its initial announcement regarding new shows. In continuation of its promise to host rich and original Canadian content, the channel’s lineup includes 11 new productions. It has also unveiled CBC Arts, a cross-platform art space with television and digital programming.

New dramas include This Life, a family drama based in Montreal about the journey Natalie Lawson (Tori Higginson), a columnist in her early 40s, whose terminal cancer diagnosis brings a tight-knit family together as they prepare for a life without her. There is also When Calls the Heart, a drama set in a 19th century western frontier coal-mining town about Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a new school teacher who leaves behind a privileged upper-class lifestyle to arrive here, in the midst of a coal-mining accident and gets to know town constable, Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing).

Other dramas include Banished by Bafta-winning writer Jimmy McGovern of Cracker; Love Child, which is based in a Sydney boarding house circa 1960s; Jekyll and Hyde and the already-announced The Romeo Section. 

New comedy offerings on CBC’s slate include Fool Canada, in which MADtv’s Will Sasso travels across Canada armed with a team of comedians and hidden cameras, poking fun at all things Canadian. Young Drunk Punk moves to CBC from Rogers and there is also Please Like Me, a dramatic comedy starring Josh Thomas about a day in his life when everything goes wrong. Finally, there is Raised by Wolves, about a mother and her six home-schooled children.

The CBC Arts showcase offers a diverse portfolio of Canadian content. Crash Gallery is a four-person talent competition, Exhibitionists is a 30-minute series on average citizens creating art, and Interrupt this Program, is about political art in underbelly of traumatized cities like Beirut, Sarajevo and Port-au-Prince.

The Collective is a collaboration with Toronto’s Secret Location and allows artists from collectives across the country to produce content for the show. Two webseries - Canada in the Frame and The Re-Education of Eddy Rogo revolve around a pop-up-art gallery and an art collector who challenges himself to change things up a bit.

The CBC slate also includes a new series for comedy portal Punchline called Body Buds, about two former fitness personalities and the previously announced Riftworld: Chronicles, a sci-fi/fantasy series starring Erin Karpluk and Tahmoh Penikett and Munro Chambers.

The schedule also includes three new factual programming shows: Still Standing, about comedian Jonny Harris’ travels across Canada as he mines his experience to produce content for stand-up shows in small towns. Keeping Alive Canada, a six-part series on the Canadian healthcare system and Hello Goodbye, on emotional reunions and farewells at Toronto’s Pearson airport hosted by Dale Curd.

The slate also includes a new docs strand called First Hand that will showcase the best of Canadian documentary work.

CBC will be also be broadcasting the Pan Am Games between July 10 and 26. 

Returning hits include Dragons’ Den, now entering its 10th season, Coronation StreetSchitt’s Creek, Mr. D, Rick Mercer Report and the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. 

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