CBC puts Travis in prime time

The reality series, which will feature 'unsung heroes,' starts work this spring. It's 'about what this country's made of,' says hostess.

Home improvement diva Debbie Travis has a new home on CBC for an as-yet-unnamed prime-time series about Canada’s unsung heroes.

The show ‘is about what this country’s made of, and that’s community,’ says Travis. ‘It’s not about victims; it’s about heroes. We need to really care at the ground roots.’

The 8 x 60-minute reality series will spotlight eight unsung heroes – from coast to coast – and air this fall, although no programming slot has been confirmed. Filming begins in a month, so the pressure is on now to find the right heroes, which can be submitted online starting this week.

Group M Entertainment is on board as a co-producer – a role it also played with CBC’s Battle of the Blades and Steven and Chris – so although integration opportunities have not yet been revealed, it’s a fairly safe bet there will be opps in the offing.

The new show will be a hands-on affair for Travis, who says she will be personally involved in reviewing the nominations. Possible nominees can be anyone who selflessly ‘gives back’ and has ‘positively affected others’ lives.’

Moving to CBC – from Global where her From the Ground Up series was a hit – reopens an old door for Travis.

‘I basically came to Canada because of the CBC,’ she says with a laugh. ‘I gate-crashed the CBC party at MIP in Cannes 25 years ago,’ married a Canadian and moved to Montreal. She also has a history with CBC’s Kirstine Stewart, who was a sales rep on Debbie Travis’ Painted House show in 1995 for WTN.

‘Our paths cross continually, and I’m here because of the bloody CBC and that damn party,’ she laughs.

Entries for the contest will be accepted until June 15.

From Playback Daily, with files from Media in Canada