home  •    about us  •    courses  •    student work  •    alumni news  •    what's new

CBC Television Series, 1952-1982

by Blaine Allan

Return to
CBC Series Index



Sun 11:15-11:40 p.m., 5 Jul 1959-26 Jun 1960

Sun 11:20-11:40 p.m., 9 Oct 1960-1 Jan 1961

Sun 10:00-10:30 p.m., 19 Feb-25 Jun 1961

Various times, 1962

Background, produced by Cliff Solway, replaced This Week as a late Sunday night analysis of issues in the news. The change in format and title reflected a change in the audience that the CBC projected for the series. This Week had attracted growing numbers of viewers, and the Talks and Public Affairs Department explained, "Of these new viewers, we thought there must be a number who are not as well versed on the background of the topics selected." Background tried to outline a topic in the news and discuss the events leading to the current situation. Most programs concerned immediate issues. Some involved more advance planning, such as segments on international business mergers, atomic fallout, and political situations in Poland, Bulgaria, and Portugal. The host and narrator for the series was Rick Hart, a thirty-eight year old political science graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, who had spent seventeen years in the army and had little broadcasting experience.

In the 1960 season Hart was replaced with a number of commentators, who included Alistair Cooke, Malcolm Muggeridge, Philip Deane, Arnold Beichman, Robert, McKenzie, Robert Fulford, and Michael Maclear, and in January 196l, Background moved into prime time. Cooke, the U.S. correspondent for the Manchester Guardian, had appeared frequently on the previous season of Background, and offered reports on the U.S. scene for Canadian viewers. Maclear, previously editor of CBC Newsmagazine and a correspondent for CBC News was the show's writer and chief correspondent.

In 196l, Maclear prepared a two-part report on Israel for the show. Muggeridge examined monarchy in modern day Europe in one program, and the decline of political satire in another. Beichman, a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, prepared an examination of the press in Canada. Background also presented a documentary on the Third Reich, produced with the aid of journalist and historian William L. Shirer.

For the 196l-l962 season, Background included a subseries of documentaries, produced by Douglas Leiterman, called The Critical Years. The first, called Forty Million Shoes, directed by Leiterman with cinematography by Grahame Woods, concerned social problems in Brazil. Subsequent segments included The U.S. Presidency; In Peril, an examination of the United Nations activities in Africa; Report from the Wasteland, about television in North America; and The Pursuit of Happiness, on Sweden's welfare state. The Critical Years continued the following season with a documentary on the campaigns of the political leaders in the Canadian federal election the previous June.


Fri 4:30-5:00 p.m., 5 Apr-6 Sep 1974

A half-hour children's show, divided into two fifteen minute segments. The first segment, Au jardin de Pierrot, came from the French network. Pierrette Boucher, for six years a children's singing teacher, led a group of young children who sang popular French-Canadian folk songs in a playground set, complete with swings, sandboxes, and a carousel. The series was produced for Radio-Canada by Maurice Falardeau.

The last fifteen minutes of the program were devoted to production by young filmmakers. Contributing production companies included the Toronto companies, Nelvana Ltd., the Visual Education Centre, Moreland Latchford Ltd., and, from Vancouver, Communicalp Film Productions.

The Ballad Singer

Wed 5:15-5:30 p.m., 16 Jun-23 Jun 1954

A program of folk songs for young people, performed by Greg Curtis. The short-lived, fifteen-minute broadcast was produced by Peggy Nairn.

Ballades et chansons

Sun 5:30-6:00 p.m., 6 Jul-28 Sep 1969

Also known by its English title, Ballads and Songs, Ballades et chansons originated in different centres across the country, and featured local artists from the ten provinces. The musical selections, sung in both French and English, varied widely in type, and performers included choirs, vocal groups, and soloists. The series, which aired on the national network for two summers, was produced for Radio-Canada by Lisette LeRoyer, and the host was Jacques Fauteux.

Ballads and Bards

Sat 6:30-6:45 p.m., 4 May-29 Jun 1963

Singer Reg Gibson, who had been a member of the chorus on Swingalong, and Jim Pirie, guitarist with the Selkirk Settlers on Red River Jamboree, had had a program of country music called Shenandoah on radio since 1962. In July 1962, they moved the program to television and changed its name to Ballads and Bards. It was seen in Winnipeg and Edmonton, and went national for nine weeks starting in May 1963.

The Bananas

Thu 4:30-5:00 p.m., 2 Jan-6 Feb 1969

Rod Coneybeare had successfully blended teaching and humour for young people in collaboration with Charles Winter on their radio program, The Rod and Charles Show, and with Bob Homme on The Friendly Giant, where Coneybeare played the voices of Rusty the Rooster and Jerome the Giraffe. With producer Robert Gibbons (who also produced Mr. Dressup), Coneybeare created The Bananas as an attempt to teach young people "attitudes through humour."

They auditioned about l50 performers in their search for versatile and zany principals to play their series of didactic, Laugh-In style sketches and blackouts. The four Bananas were Melody Greer, Francois-Regis Klanfer, Bonnie-Carol Case, and John Davies. Bananaland was populated with other "characters": The Blob, an electronically created pet "thing"; the Big Mouth, which spouted facts and information when fed wheelbarrows full of food; and an Official, Certified, Genuine, Grade-A Gorilla. The other human presence in the show could be found in the Great Announcer, the offscreen voice of Alan Maitland.

The show had a theme song, "The Bananas," written by Jim Pirie and Rod Coneybeare. The series was aimed at viewers nine years of age and above. Producer Gibbons explained that the CBC planned to produce six or seven episodes, with the possibility of more in the coming seasons if it proved popular. Evidently, the series did not catch on.

Bandwagon With Bob Francis

Thu 9:30-10:00 p.m., 21 Sep 1972-21 Jun 1973

Thu/Fri 2:00-2:30 p.m., 13 Feb-28 Mar 1975

Bandwagon succeeded In The Mood as the CBC's musical variety half-hour devoted to big band music. The earlier show had limited itself to earlier tunes of the swing era, while Bandwagon offered more up-to-date arrangements and a quickly paced show.

The series was produced by Aubrey Tadman and Garry Ferrier, and directed by Barry Cranston. Regulars included host and vocalist Bob Francis, and trumpet player Guido Basso leading a band of top-flight Toronto studio musicians.

Barbara Frum

Tue 12:00-1:00 a.m., 1 Oct 1974-27 May 1975

Sat 9:00-10:00 p.m., 7 Jun-26 Jul 1975

Before developing The Journal, CBC television had tried to use the credibility Barbara Frum had gained for her incisive telephone interviews on the CBC radio program, As It Happens. One such attempt was a talk show, which aired on locally in Toronto on Tuesday midnights from October 1974 to May 1975 and moved to the national network for seven shows in June and July. The shows featured both interviews with personalities and special segments devoted to isolated topics. On the first network broadcast, her guests included Roman Gralewicz, the President of the Seafarers' International Union, and, for a surprise appearance, Gerda Munsinger, the woman at the centre of a 1966 sex and security scandal that involved Cabinet Minister Pierre Sevigny. Other guests included such journalists as Michael Magee, Charlotte Gobeil, Paul Rimstead, Allan Fotheringham, and Jack Webster.

The local show was produced by Michael Burns, with Associate Producer Eva Czigler, and directed by Dino Marcuz. The network show's Executive Producer was William Harcourt, its producer Larry Zolf, and its director Bryn Matthews.

Barney Boomer

Tue-Fri 4:31-4:59 p.m., 12 Sep 1967-9 Jan 1968

A light comedy series produced for young people by the CBC's Schools and Youth Department. A young man, Barney Boomer, had built a houseboat on which he planned to sail the Great Lakes. He anchors in Sixteen Harbour, at a town called Cedarville, where he intends to visit his uncle, Captain Boomer, who lives in a lighthouse. His plans for a short stay disappear when a new- found friend, Florence Kozy, the owner of the town variety store, convinces him to remain in Cedarville and tries to set him up in business. Barney's nemesis is Councillor Edgar Q. Russell, a bluff municipal politician who would really rather that Barney remove his houseboat from the harbour at the Cedarville Yacht Club. The series was shot both in studio and on location in Oakville, Ontario. Barney was played by John Clayton, Florence Kozy by Lynn Gorman, and Councillor Russell by Franz Russell. Other regulars included Trudy Young as Trudy, Rex Sevenoaks as Captain Boomer, Claire Drainie as Ma Parkin, Claude Rae as Mr. Andrews, Gerard Parkes as Sam Oliver, and Belinda Montgomery as Susan. The series was written by Ron Krantz, directed by Flemming Nielson, and produced by Stu Gilchrist and, later, Herb Roland.

Starting January 1968, the series title changed to Upside Town. Several regular characters remained, including Barney, the Councillor, and Trudy. Pam Hyatt replaced Lynn Gorman as Miss Kozy. The show concentrated less on Barney and broadened its attention to a greater number of characters in the community, and added new, wacky residents of Cedarville. Ernie Power, played by Jack Duffy, is a newspaperman newly arrived in town. His assistant, Harvey Fleetwood, played by Trevor Evans, is Canada's oldest high school student, a copy boy, and future brain surgeon.

Episodes of Barney Boomer were twenty minutes in length, followed by Swingaround, a quiz show for schoolchildren.

Barney's Gang

Fri 5:00-5:30 p.m., 2 may-24 Sep 1958

Comic and singer Barney Potts was the host of this half-hour children's show from Vancouver, produced by D. Gillingham. It featured filmed visits by a group of children to places of interest in the Vancouver area. The show also included west coast Indian legends, illustrated with drawings, and visit by children with unusual hobbies.

Barris & Company

Sat 10:30-11:00 p.m., 21 Sep 1968-25 Jan 1969

For the 1968-l969 season, the CBC tried to fill the slot usually left between the unpredictable end of Hockey Night in Canada and the national news with a talk and variety show starring Alex Barris. Unlike predecessors such as Juliette or In Person, which were produced on videotape, Barris & Company was designed to go to air live. Nevertheless, the CBC ordered a pilot, produced and directed by Stan Jacobson and written by veterans Garry Ferrier, Aubrey Tadman, younger talents Lorne Michaels and Hart Pomerantz, Bill Lynn, Ken Gunton, and Barris himself. For the pilot, Barris's guests were writer and broadcaster Gordon Sinclair and singer and dancer Sandra O'Neill, with an orchestra led by Guido Basso and with Alex Trebek as the show's announcer and Barris's sidekick.

By the time the show premiered it was already the subject of critical scrutiny. Patrick Scott used Barris & Company--the CBC's only new variety show on the schedule--as an example of the network's failure to provide adequate variety programming (Toronto Star TV Week, xx September 1968). Jacobson had left Canada for Hollywood, and was replaced by producer Bob Jarvis and director Pat King (who had worked as a studio director and had little experience as the director of any production, let alone a live broadcast). Michaels and Pomerantz had also migrated to Calfornia, and Lynn had left the show. Guido Basso and the orchestra of Toronto studio musicians remained, and Janet Baird replaced Alex Trebek as Barris's sidekick.

Apart from the expected tensions of having to produce a live (and presumably entertaining) variety broadcast each week, Barris & Company suffered further setbacks. The CBC had committed itself to only thirteen weeks. Broadcasts from the Olympic Games pre- empted the show for two weeks early in its broadcast schedule. Sponsors' commitments required that the show be at least thirty minutes duration. Hockey games that ran long set the commercial requirements of CBC variety in conflict with the demands of CBC news. Such problems, and a less specific discontent with the show caused its cancellation after thirteen weeks. It was to have been replaced by Comedy Cafe, but when that show was deemed not yet ready for national broadcast, the CBC revived Barris & Company until the end of January.

Barris tells his version of the problems in the show's production and broadcast history in a chapter of his memoir, The Pierce- Arrow Showroom is Leaking (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1969), called "The Saturday Night Problem."

The Barris Beat

Wed 9:00-9:30 p.m., 4 Jul-12 Sep 1956

Sat 10:30-11:00 p.m., 20 Oct-30 Jun 1957

A columnist in the entertainment pages of the Toronto Globe and Mail, Alex Barris intermittently worked as a writer and host on local television programs, such as Eleven Thirty Friday. The Barris Beat, a variety show with interviews, music, and comic sketches, was designed as a summer replacement for Cross Canada Hit Parade. It was produced by Len Casey, and featured as regulars singers Betty Jean Ferguson and Roy Roberts, the vocal group the Gino Silvi Octet, and an orchestra led by Bill Isbister. Guests included Sammy Sales, Doug Romaine, Dave Broadfoot, Joey Hollingsworth, and the Willy Blok Hansen dance trio. In the middle of the summer season, Norman Jewison replaced Casey as producer and director, and Jack Duffy was added to the cast as a singer and actor, and in a repeating role as a copy boy to Barris's newspaper writer.

The CBC moved the show, at the end of the summer schedule, to a slot on every other Saturday night (alternating with Wayne and Shuster) following the hockey broadcast. For the cast, Jack Duffy and Roy Roberts remained, but. Gloria Lambert replaced Betty Jean Ferguson. Jewison added comic actors Sammy Sales and Larry Mann. A musical trio of Sally Dory, Lorraine Thomson, and Andy Body, choreographed by Cynthia Barrett performed regularly. Sheila Billing and later Babs Christie appeared as the "billboard girl," and Bruce Marsh worked as the show's announcer. Gordon Kushner was hired as musical director, and Phil Nimmons wrote musical arrangements. Barris, Sales, and Bernie Orenstein comprised the writing staff. Other writers in the show's history included Saul Ilson, Allan Manings, Frank Peppiatt, and, for a few weeks, Richard Lester.

Barry Morse Presents

Sun 9:50-10:00 p.m., 3 Jul-25 Sep 1960

Possible title: Presenting Barry Morse. No information available.


The Beachcombers

Sun 7:00-7:30 p.m., 1 Oct 1972-To Date

Mon-Fri 5:00-5:30 p.m., 10 Sep 1979-5 Sep 1980 (R)

One of the few successful, continuing dramatic efforts the CBC has produced in its history, The Beachcombers revolves around the character of Nick Adonidas, and the star who plays him in this family-oriented series, Bruno Gerussi. As the series started, Nick was a middle-aged beachcomber who lived in rented quarters above Molly Carmody's diner. Molly lives with her two grandchildren, fourteen year old Hughie and eleven year old Margaret, and Nick has a young native partner, Jesse Jim. Rae Brown plays Molly, Bob Park plays Hughie, Juliet Randall plays Margaret, a role originated by Nancy Chapple, and Pat John portrays Jesse Jim. Robert Clothier plays Relic, another scavenger. Other regular actors have included Stefan Winfield, Diane Stapley (l978), and since l980, Jackson Davies, Charlene Aleck, Dionne Luther, and Joe Austin. Viewers have watched the characters grow older through their exploits along the British Columbia coastline since they first appeared in October 1972. The filmed series has proven continually popular in its Sunday evening time slot (it originally followed the Walt Disney show), and it has sold widely around the world, from the U.K. to the middle east to Australia.

The Beachcombers was created by Marc and Susan Strange. The show's Executive Producers have been Philip Keatley (l972-l976), Elie Savoie (l976-l977), and Hugh Beard (l977- ).

Photo (courtesy of CBC) shows Bruno Gerussi, Pat John (rear).


Sat 7:00-7:30 p.m., 14 Aug-11 Sep 1976

A series from St. John's, with Beth Harrington, whose guests included Glen Simmons, Jace Cormier, Jim Oulton, and David Michael.

Beyond Reason

Mon 9:00-9:30 p.m., 27 Jun-24 Sep 1977

Tue 7:30-8:00 p.m., 7 Feb-6 Jun 1978

Tue 10:30-11:00 p.m., 19 Sep 1978-16 Jan 1979

Mon-Fri 2:30-3:00 p.m., 2 Jan-30 Mar 1979 (R)

Mon-Fri 4:00-4:30 p.m., 10 Sep 1979-10 Oct 1980

Beyond Reason orginated as a summer replacement for Front Page Challenge. Former evangelist writer for the Toronto Star, and radio commentator, Allen Spraggett developed a panel show based on the contemporary interest in psychic phenomena. Spraggett appeared as the show's expert and adjudicator. The panelists included astrologer Geoff Gray-Cobb of Vancouver, clairvoyant Irene Hughes of Chicago, palmist Marcel Broekman of New York, and graphologist Marilyn Rossner of Montreal. They were brought to the National Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, where the show was taped, with CBC Winnipeg announcer Bill Guest as moderator. As in Front Page Challenge, the panelists had to guess the identity of mystery guests. However, the panelists were given information appropriate to their practice (Gray-Cobb was given the date, time, and place of birth of the guest; Hughes was provided with personal possessions from which to gain impressions; Broekman had a handprint; and Rossner had a sample of the guest's handwriting). The psychics were also kept in isolation to keep them from communicating with each other.

A separate section of the program, called the "Psychic Cyclopedia," showed short coumentaries on subjects of the paranormal: the Oracles of Nostradamus; the Vampire Research Centre; Hitler's dream; parallels in the lives of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, etc.

After a successful summer, the CBC revived the show as a weekly production in winter 1978 for its prime time schedule, and later in a weekday slot. Bill Guest and Allen Spraggett left the show in its last incarnation, and were replaced by Paul Soles. Beyond Reason was produced by Nigel Napier-Andrews.

The Big Revue

Tue 8:00-9:00 p.m., 9 Sep 1952

Mon 8:30-9:30 p.m., 15 Sep-13 Oct 1952

Mon 8:00-9:00 p.m., 20 Oct 1952-18 May 1953

On 9 September 1952, The Big Revue, sponsored by Westinghouse, was the first series to appear on the CBC. Under the supervision of Mavor Moore, the CBC's chief of television in Toronto, produced by Don Hudson (later by Norman Campbell), directed by Norman Jewison, at a cost of six thousand dollars for an hour each week, it was the new network's flagship variety program. Samuel Hershenhoren conducted the twenty-five piece orchestra, which played arrangements by Calvin Jackson. Rudi Dorn designed the sets and Edna Cherry designed costumes. The show's hostess was twenty-one year old Toby Robins who earned a salary of one hundred dollars each week to introduce jugglers, musical performers, ballet numbers, comic sketches, and dance numbers choreographed or performed by Alan and Blanche Lund, the first performers signed to contracts for Canadian television. The initial broadcast also showcased singer Phillis Marshall, comics Doug Romaine and Mildred Morey, and, selling Westinghouse products to the viewers, Laddie Dennis.

The Big Revue survived on the air for nearly two years. Budd Knapp took over the duties of introducing the different acts from Toby Robins, In addition to guests, the show had its regular troupe of singers, including solo performers George Murray and Phillis Marshall, the Revue Dancers (Lorraine Thomson, Babs Christie, Anna Wilmot, Bill Yule, Bob Van Norman, and Lloyd Malenfant), and Terry and the Macs (Terry Griffin and John, Jim, and Bill MacGillivray. It improved in quality as the production personnel gained experience in assembling and presenting live variety extravaganzas in Toronto's Studio A. However, the program always suffered by comparison with its more polished counterparts from the U.S.A.

The Bill Kenny Show

Sun 3:00-3:30 p.m., 22 May-10 Jul 1966

After a musical career as a single in the 1930s, with the Ink Spots in the l940s and as a solo artist in the U.S.A. in the 1950s, Bill Kenny moved to Vancouver in 196l. Elie Savoie produced The Bill Kenny Show, a half-hour of easy listening in which Kenny was supported by a vocal group called the Accents, and an orchestra led by Fraser MacPherson. Kenny's guests included Susan Pesklevits, Judy Ginn, Marty Gillan, accordion player Ricky Mann, Fran Gregory, Patty Surbey, Attilo Ronuzzi, and the Rutherford Kids, of Burnaby, B.C.

The Billy O'Connor Show

Sat 11:10-11:30 p.m., 16 Oct 1954-19 May 1956

A post-hockey variety show with Billy O'Connor and his trio (Jackie Richardson on bass, Vic Centro on accordion, and Kenny Gill on guitar), produced by Bob Jarvis and Drew Crossan. On 20 August 1955, Juliette made her first regular appearance on the show, in a time slot that she would later claim for her own. By the end of two seasons together, however, she and O'Connor had conflicted and the CBC decided to develop a program around her. Other regulars on the program were singer and comic actor Jack Duffy and pianist Bill Isbister.

Photo (courtesy of CBC) shows Billy O'Connor, his trio, and Juliette.

Bim Bam Boom

Fri 4:30-4:45 p.m., 18 Nov 1955-13 Jan 1956

Bim, Bam, and Boom were three clowns in a show that featured a different fairy tale each week in this children's show from Vancouver. Bim and Bam were puppets, manipulated by Kitty Dutcher and with the voices of Rosemary Malkin and Sam Payne. Boom was a real clown, played by John Allen.


Wed 7:30-8:00 p.m., 6 Oct 1976-27 Apr 1977

Bluff was a game show in which a panel of comedians told tall tales and contestants had to guess which was true. Both Canadian and imported comics participated; they included Dave Broadfoot, Hart Pomerantz, Barrie Baldaro, Foster Brooks, Professor Irwin Corey, Norm Crosby, and Abby Dalton. The host was Mike Darrow. Riff Markowitz produced the show, with coordinating producer Jack Budgell.

The Bob McLean Show

Mon-Fri 12:00-12:55 p.m., 1 Sep 1975-2 Jul 1976

Mon-Fri 12:00-1:00 p.m., 6 Sep 1976-1 Jul 1977

Mon-Fri 12:00-12:55 p.m., 5 Sep 1977-3 Apr 1978

Mon Fri 1:00-2:00 p.m., 3 Apr 1978-4 Aug 1978

Mon-Fri 1:00-2:00 p.m., 4 Sep 1978-1 Apr 1979

Mon-Fri 3:00-4:00 p.m., 2 Apr 1979-29 Jun 1979

Mon-Fri 3:00-4:00 p.m., 10 Sep 1979-27 Jun 1980

Mon-Fri 12:30-1:30 p.m., 8 Sep 1980-22 May 1981

Mon-Fri 12:30-1:30 p.m., 25 May 1981-28 Sep 1981 (R)

Bob McLean succeeded Elwood Glover as the host/interviewer for the CBC's lunchtime talk show broadcast from a Cumberland Street shopping mall in downtown Toronto. Under producer Jack Budgell, McLean continued the easygoing format that Glover had established. Lightweight chats gave way to topical interviews that concentrated on more serious issues. Under the hand of Executive Producer Bill Casselman, from 1976 to 1977, the show minimized U.S. guests and subjects and concentrated more on Canadian topics. It featured regular guests, such as opera singer Don McManus, writer Gary Michael Dault commenting on popular culture, Herman Smith on personal money management, and Walter Fox on criminal law, as well as a filmed segment on sports with the bogus commentator, "Hot" Conway. It was also shot on a newly designed set that reproduced the Toronto skyline. The show's producer during this period was J. Edward Shaw.

Jack Budgell succeeded Casselman as the show's Executive Producer, and the tone lightened. Producers included Robert Smith (l979-l980), Nigel Napier-Andrews, formerly producer of Elwood Glover's Luncheon Date (l980), and John Johnson (l980- 198l). The show's musical director was Jimmy Dale. In Summer 1978, McLean presented a "Cavalcade of Nations," which highlighted guests, music, and food from different nations or regions each day for a month. For comedy, McLean had as regular guests Roger Abbott and Don Ferguson of CBC radio's Royal Canadian Air Farce, Howie Mandel, Monica Parker, and Sears and Switzer. In the l979 season, the producers took the show outside Toronto and originated in different cities, including Ottawa, Halifax, and Vancouver.

In the summer of 1976 and 1977, the CBC used material from The Bob McLean Show for a Saturday evening series called The Best of Bob McLean.

The Bob Switzer Show

As a summer replacement for its noon hour talk show, Luncheon Date, the CBC ran a Vancouver show, produced by Doug Gillingham and featuring host Bob Switzer. The show was later retitled Switzer Unlimited.

The Body In Question

Mon 11:45-12:45 p.m., 26 Feb-28 May 1979

Wed 2:00-3:00 p.m., 3 Jun-2 Sep 1981 (R)

A series of thirteen hour-long programs on aspects of medicine and science, with Jonathan Miller. Produced by BBC-TV in association with the CBC, the Ontario Educational Communications Authority, the Australian Broadcasting Company, and KCET-TV Los Angeles.

Bonjour, Bon Jour

Mon-Fri 9:00-9:15 a.m., 19 Sep 1977-29 May 1978

Mon-Fri 10:15-10:30 a.m., 29 May-29 Sep 1978

A daily, fifteen minute broadcast in both French and English for children, produced by Ken Buckley. Although bilingual, the program was not intended specifically for language instruction. Manon Bernard, who played Colette Jarry on the Radio-Canada series Rue des Pignons, talked or play-acted with Montreal schoolchildren and, occasionally, interviewed studio guests. Other features of the show included a musical segment, a clown, and the show's "mascot," Mr. Funny Bone. The show was produced live on tape, and principally ad libbed.

The Bonnie Prudden Show

Mon-Fri 4:00-4:30 p.m., 15 Nov 1965-15 Feb 1966

Mon/Wed/Fri 3:25-3:55 p.m., 13 Jun-9 Sep 1966 (R)

Mon-Fri 11:25-11:55 a.m., 27 Feb-26 May 1967 (R)

Mon-Fri 4:00-4:30 p.m., 30 Oct 1967-11 Jun 1968

Mon-Fri 2:00-2:30 p.m., 17 Jun-20 Dec 1968 (R)

Mon-Fri 2:00-2:30 p.m., 23 Jul-28 Sep 1970 (R)

A half-hour, physical fitness and interview show with Bonnie Prudden who, the CBC claimed, founded the first school for physical fitness in the U.S.A. in l944. In the 1967 season, the producers, Crescendo Productions of Toronto, took the show to Australia and the Far East for shooting. Individual shows concentrated on specific topics of discussion, including the Scandinavian woman, socialism and suicide in Sweden, astrology in India, women in India, arthritis and rheumatism, housing in Singapore, creative play for young children, ghosts, God, and going on vacation.

Books Alive

Sun 7:30-8:00 p.m., 18 Jul-19 Sep 1954

A discussion program with moderator Arthur Phelps, produced by Cliff Solway.



British Empire and Commonwealth Games

Daily 11:00-12:00 noon,(Eastern Daylight Time) 30 Jul-7 Aug 1954

The CBC mustered all its forces to cover the Fifth Commonwealth Games, held in Vancouver in summer 1954. Both radio and television provided information, and the CBC International Service broadcast shortwave reports to the Commonwealth. The Games were opened by Viscount Alexander of Tunis, the former Governor-General of Canada, and the Duke of Edinburgh, representing the Queen, presided over the closing ceremonies. The most anxiously anticipated event was the one mile run, in which Roger Bannister of the U.K. and the Australian John Landy were scheduled to compete. Both had broken the four minute mile earlier in the year.

For television, the CBC leased a coaxial cable and microwave network in order to carry the signal from Vancouver to Seattle, Buffalo, and Toronto for the first simultaneous link of west and east in Canada. (Stations in eastern Canada, not as yet linked to the network by microwave, were to receive films of material carried on the network for broadcast the following day.) The CBC stationed its two mobile units at Empire Stadium and at the Empire Pool to cover both track and field and swimming events on a regular basis throughout the Games, and at the cycling and boxing finals. Film crews covered the balance of the events. Film footage was used in the regular coverage for the network as well as for CBC News Magazine and other CBC programs.

George Retzlaff, supervising sports producer at CBLT in Toronto was brought to Vancouver to coordinate the CBC's television coverage of the Commonwealth Games. Four sportscasters, Steve Douglas, Don Sims, and Gil Christy from CBLT Toronto and Frank Williams from CBMT Montreal, provided commentary.

Building Careers

See (A) Place of Your Own.

Burns Chuckwagon From the Stampede Corral

Wed 10:30-11:00 p.m., 3 Nov 1954-29 Jun 1955

This musical variety show from Vancouver had a western theme, and provided an outlet for talent from Canada's west coast. Regulars included singers Lorraine McAllister, Pat Kirkpatrick, and Don Francks, comic Barney Potts, guitarist Arnie Nelson, and Mike Ferbey, Mark Wald, and Jack Jensen, who comprised the instrumental group, The Rhythm Pals. The show also featured occasional guests, such as Wallie Peters on banjo or George Colangis on mandolin. The show's producer was Mario Prizek.

The Business of Books

Tue 10:00-10:30 p.m., 14 Aug-18 Sep 1956

A series of six half-hour programs, produced by Cliff Solway, that used drama, music, and satire to outline the business of literature and publishing, particularly in Canada. The first program was a dramatic, composite profile of an anonymous writer, by Jacqueline Rosenfeld. The second program demonstrated all the stages in the production of a book, from writer to reader. The third show outlined the book business with regard to marketing and sales. In the fourth segment, the letters were used to trace the history of book publishing. The fifth program was a musical devoted to libraries, library users, and the role of the library in the community. Censorship, dramatized and discussed, was the subject of the concluding program.

Butternut Square

Mon-Fri 11:30-11:50 a.m., 19 Oct 1964-28 May 1965

Mon-Fri 11:00-11:20 a.m., 18 Oct 1965-27 May 1966

Mon-Fri 11:00-11:30 a.m., 17 Oct 1966-10 Feb 1967

This children's show aimed to help its young viewers to become more aware of themselves in relation to the world through a series of real and fantasy adventures. Our guides, Sandy, played by Sandra Cohen, and Mr. Dressup. played by Ernie Coombs, met in Butternut Square, a town square. They and their friends led viewers through games, musical numbers, and dances and movements that aimed to teach children through participation. Their friends included the Music Man, played by Donald Himes, the dancer and movement artist, in the l964-l965 season, and Bob, played by Bob Jeffrey from 1965 to 1967. They also included Judith Lawrence and her puppets Casey, Finnegan, Alexander, Miranda, and Mrs. Trapeze. Butternut Square was produced from 1964 to 1965 by Don Carroll, Pat O'Leary, and Olive Richards, and from 1965 to 1967 by Stuart Gilchrist.

Butternut Square was cancelled in February 1967, according to Maclean's, "in one of those budget squeezes in which the CBC systematically kills off its best shows in order to save money." However, Ernie Coombs revived immediately as Mr. Dressup and was given his own show, where he, Casey, and Finnegan have survived and flourished ever since.

By Invitation

Thu 2:00-2:30 p.m., 6 Jul-13 Oct 1967

A half-hour program of music and conversation that originated in Winnipeg and featured Ed Evanko, Mary Nowell, and Neill Harris.

Return to CBC Series Index

Queen's University