Upfronts ’20: CBC renews Trickster ahead of premiere

The pubcaster also renewed Family Feud Canada, Battle of the Blades, TallBoyz and Frankie Drake, while decisions on others are pending due to COVID-19 uncertainty.

CBC’s 2020 Virtual Upfront saw the public broadcaster program 3,600 new hours of TV for its 2020/21 slate – giving Sienna Films and Streel Films’ Indigenous-led drama Trickster a second season ahead of its debut as well as greenlighting new seasons of Family Feud Canada, Battle of the Blades, TallBoyz and more.

Among the new factual series joining the CBC’s roster is Orangeville Prep (6 x 30 minutes, fall 2020) and Arctic Vets (10 x 30 minutes, winter 2021).

Produced by Orangeville Hoops, Orangeville Prep is described as a character-driven factual series offering an inside look at the high-pressure world of The Athlete Institute (AI) in Orangeville, ON, basketball’s most successful preparatory program.

Meanwhile, Arctic Vets from eOne tracks the veterinarian team at Manitoba’s Assiniboine Park Arctic Animal Hospital as they work tirelessly to care for sick and injured Arctic species.

The pubcaster also set previously announced series such as Trickster (6 x 60 minutes), Canada/New Zealand copro The Sounds (8 x 60 minutes, Shaftesbury/South Pacific Pictures) and blue-chip docuseries Enslaved (6 x 60 minutes, Associated Producers, a CBC Gem and documentary Channel copro with Epix in the U.S.) led by Samuel L. Jackson for its fall 2020 schedule. All three titles were revealed during the CBC’s 2019/20 Upfront.

As well, Cameron Pictures’ drama Lady Dicks (10 x 60 minutes) – which was unveiled this February – is slated to debut as part of the broadcaster’s winter schedule. Co-created by Tassie Cameron (Mary Kills People) and Sherry White (Little Dog), the buddy cop drama sees Baroness von Sketch Show‘s Meredith MacNeill and Orange is the New Black‘s Adrienne C. Moore star as two radically different female detectives in their 40s who grapple with loneliness, dysfunctional families, messed up love lives and the sense that their professional goals may not be in line with their personal needs.

Battle of the Blades (Insight Productions) and format adaptation Family Feud Canada (Zone 3/Fremantle) hosted by Gerry Dee are also set to return. According to a press release, the re-emergence of Battle of the Blades saw the competition show reach over 1.5 million Canadians each episode last year, while the inaugural season of Family Feud Canada reached 2.6 million viewers each week. Family Feud Canada will return for four nights per week this fall with 104 new episodes. A nationwide virtual search for new families is now underway.

Other Canadian series confirmed to return include:

  • TallBoyz (Accent Entertainment, season two, winter);

  • You Can’t Ask That (Pixcom, season two, fall);

  • Coroner (Muse Entertainment/Back Alley Films/Cineflix Studios, season three, winter);

  • Frankie Drake Mysteries (Shaftesbury, season four, winter);

  • The Great Canadian Baking Show (Proper Television, season four, winter);

  • Workin’ Moms (Wolf + Rabbit Entertainment, season five, winter);

  • Kim’s Convenience (Thunderbird Entertainment, season five, winter);

  • the fifth and final season of Baroness von Sketch Show (Frantic Films, fall);

  • Still Standing (Frantic Films, season six, fall);

  • Road to the Olympic Games (CBC Sports, season six, fall);

  • Murdoch Mysteries (Shaftesbury, season 14, winter);

  • Heartland (Seven24 Films/Dynamo Films, season 14, winter);

  • Dragons’ Den (CBC, season 15, fall);

  • Halifax Comedy Fest (Pilot Light Productions, season 24, fall to winter);

  • This Hour Has 22 Minutes (WildBrain, season 28, fall);

  • Marketplace (CBC News, season 48, fall);

  • The Fifth Estate (season 46, winter);

  • The Nature of Things (season 60, fall to winter).

A CBC spokesperson confirmed to Playback Daily that Fridge Wars and dramas Diggstown and Burden of Truth are on hold due to COVID-19 production delays and the fact that many of the CBC’s shows that would normally air in fall have had to shift to its winter schedule. Fortunate Son, conceived as a limited series with the potential to continue, will not be returning. The Detectives and High Arctic Haulers have also not been renewed.

New original series headed to CBC Kids and CBC Gem for this upcoming year include two animated preschool series from Industrial Brothers and Boat Rocker: Remy & Boo (52 x 11 minutes, fall 2020, in association with Radio-Canada) and Dino Ranch (52 x 11 minutes, 2021). Capping off the list is Gary’s Magic Fort (CBC Kids, 13 x 11 minutes, spring 2021), which sees CBC Kids’ host Gary the Unicorn play with his friends in an enchanted, welcoming pillow fort.

Notably, Pure (Two East Productions/Cineflix) – which CBC opted not to renew and was subsequently greenlit for a second season by Super Channel – will return to CBC’s fall schedule. Also joining the lineup is U.K./France drama War of the Worlds (Urban Myth Films in association with StudioCanal and Fox Networks Group, fall 2020), written and created by BAFTA winner Howard Overman (Misfits).