CBC

Context: Losing an entire hockey year because of the notorious lockout 'was a monstrous challenge' that forced CBC to scramble for alternate programming this past season, says Slawko Klymkiw, executive director of English network programming. But, he adds, that lemon was turned into lemonade for the upcoming season.

Context: Losing an entire hockey year because of the notorious lockout ‘was a monstrous challenge’ that forced CBC to scramble for alternate programming this past season, says Slawko Klymkiw, executive director of English network programming. But, he adds, that lemon was turned into lemonade for the upcoming season.

2005/6 strategy: ‘We decided to hold back a lot of the high-impact stuff we had planned for last season and will be presenting it beginning in the fall for what we think will be a breakthrough year for us,’ says Klymkiw, who adds that CBC has begun its process of increasing drama over the next three to four years.

‘[We] will have 10 or so high-impact specials running through the year, which almost doubles what we’ve done before. We think that’s…going to shape the character of the network [and] more importantly, build more and more audiences for Canadian drama.’

Show offerings: Upcoming Canadian-centric dramas include Trudeau, Pierre Elliott, the prequel to the hit Trudeau miniseries; Rene Levesque; Waking Up Wally: The Walter Gretzky Story; The Tommy Douglas Story and Shania: A Life in Eight Albums.

Also featured will be Canada-Russia ’72, a dramatization of the explosive match that gave Canadians a powerful shot of self-esteem; as well as miniseries including the WWII-era Above and Beyond and Dragon Boys, about Asian organized crime. The darkly comic

Hotel Metropolitan and Il Duce Canadese, a compelling account of the internment of Italian-Canadians during WWII, join the roster.

Also new are Da Vinci’s City Hall, a gritty dramatic series in which Nicholas Campbell’s coroner character becomes mayor of Vancouver, and the animated comedy What It’s Like Being Alone? [For details on CBC's shows, see page 64.]

M2′s Dinga is unimpressed by the new lineup, saying ‘they’d better hope that hockey comes back.’

But The Media Company’s Checkeris says he believes that CBC’s strategy of ‘compiling what sounds like a strong season’ should be

a success.