Norm Macdonald to host 2016 Screenies

Macdonald will host the first Canadian Screen Awards to be broadcast live on CBC in the Eastern Time Zone and live-to-tape across the rest of the country.

Norm MacdonaldCanadian comedian Norm Macdonald will host the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards gala, the first to be broadcast live on CBC in the Eastern Time Zone and live-to-tape across the rest of the country.

Previously, there was a time delay on the broadcast of the gala across Canada’s various time zones, including a one-hour delay in the Eastern Time Zone.

“We are trying to bring a live show to the maximum number of Canadians possible so they can join in the suspense,” Helga Stephenson, CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television told Playback Daily.

The awards gala will return to Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, where the first two editions of the awards were held. Last year’s Canadian Screen Awards broadcast gala took place at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Stephenson said the change in venue was due to scheduling conflicts at the Four Seasons Centre.

Macdonald is the third Canadian comedian to host the Canadian Screen Awards, with Martin Short hosting the first two shows and Andrea Martin leading last year’s ceremonies. Macdonald was part of the Saturday Night Live cast for five seasons, and spent three years anchoring the show’s Weekend Update sketch. He also wrote for ABC’s Roseanne and starred in The Norm Show, which aired on ABC from 1999 to 2001. Most recently, he has appeared in City’s Sunnyside sketch comedy series.

Barry Avrich will produce the 2016 edition of the Canadian Screen Awards broadcast gala. The previous year’s gala was produced by major sports events veterans Dan Cimoroni and Rick Chisholm.

The 2015 broadcast of the CSAs attracted an average audience of 543,000 viewers (overnight, 2+) on CBC.  The ratings were higher than 2014′s overnights of 534,000 viewers, but still was a drop from the Screenies inaugural year which pulled in an audience of 789,000. The 2016 CSA broadcast gala will air on CBC on Sunday, March 13 at 8 p.m. EST.

Updated at 2:17 p.m. to add Macdonald’s involvement with Sunnyside