CBC announces next-season pickups and renewals

New comedy Schitt's Creek and drama Strange Empire are on tap, along with a full season for Canada's Smartest Person and the addition of Frantic Films' Of All Places.
Canada's Smartest Person group-small

Amidst much industry speculation of what budgetary cuts and key programming loses will mean for its schedule, the CBC has released its programming pickups and renewals for the 2014-2015 season.

Although slim on details, the pubcaster announced two new scripted series, including the previously announced half-hour original comedy series Schitt’s Creek, starring Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara and produced by Not a Company Productions and Strange Empire, a drama created by Laurie Finstad (Durham County) and produced by B.C.-based prodcos Johnson Production Group and Annuit Coeptis Entertainment.

Returning to the schedule on the scripted side are Shaftesbury’s Murdoch Mysteries – which maintained a steady presence on the BBM Canada Top 30 this season – Mr. D, Republic of Doyle and Heartland.

On the non-scripted side, Canada’s Smartest Person returns as a new series (it was a special previously), along with a revamped Dragons’ Den and a new series from Toronto-based Frantic Films’ called Of All Places, which focuses on small towns across Canada.

Other cornerstone programming to return to CBC’s sked includes The Rick Mercer Report, Doc Zone, The Nature of Things, Steven and Chris, Marketplace, Just for Laughs and This Hour has 22 Minutes.

According to a statement from the CBC, further programming announcements are forthcoming.

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Correction: This article previously referenced Schitt’s Creek as a drama when it is in fact a half-hour comedy. Playback regrets the error.