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CBC Television Series, 1952-1982

by Blaine Allan

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A half-hour program, produced by the National Film Board, Perspective included both documentaries and dramatic productions. Most concerned contemporary issues in Canada, although several films, such as Haiti, were produced outside the country, and a few were historical reconstructions, for example, Wolfe And Montcalm.

The opening program in the series, Raw Material, concerned the activities of the John Howard Society, and outlined them in dramatic form, as many subsequent productions dramatized stories drawn from contemporary social issues. The producers took advantage of recent developments in lightweight camera and sound recording equipment and took crews into the streets and on location to make films with a naturalistic style. Monkey On The Back, for instance, was a gritty story of drug addiction, and Night Children followed the rounds of a Children's Aid Society case worker.

Other productions employed less naturalistic techniques to make their points. A Case Of Conscience and Is It A Woman's World? both included extended dream sequences to explore a man's guilt over leaving the scene of an auto accident in the former, and to put a male lawyer into a role reversal situation in the latter. Escape was essentially a studio-produced effort, in which a lecturer discusses the different ways we slip out of the real world, and brief skits illustrate his remarks.

Writers for the series included George Salverson, Charles Israel, Charles Cohen, Gordon Burwash, and William Weintraub. Stanley Jackson, Don Haldane, Fergus McDonnell, Donald Ginsberg, Jean Lenaver, John Howe, and Bernard Devlin. Julian Biggs, also a director, produced the series for the NFB, and Eric Koch was responsible for the CBC. The executive producer for the NFB was Grant McLean.

Passe-partout was a parallel series, aired on Radio-Canada; most of the programs were produced by the French language unit of the National Film Board, though some were dubbed from English language productions. As far as the NFB's presence on the CBC was concerned, Perspective represented a distinct difference from the general affairs documentaries, with onscreen commentators, of On The Spot. It also anticipated the direct cinema of The Candid Eye, which replaced Perspective in its Sunday afternoon time slot.

Pet Corner

Thu 5:15-5:30 p.m., 22 Oct 1953-1 Jul 1954

On this fifteen minute, weekly program from Toronto, first called Pet Shop, host Rick Campbell talked to young guests about the care and training of their household pets. Peggy Nairn and Joanne Hughes produced the show, in cooperation with the Toronto Humane Society.

Pet Shop

See Pet Corner.

Pet Show

Sun 3:00-3:30 p.m., 28 Jun-12 Jul 1959

Jeff Hogwood and Audrey Laurie were the hosts of this half-hour program, from Montreal, on the care and training of pets.

The Phoenix Team

Tue 10:00-11:00 p.m., 16 Sep-28 Oct 1980

Don Francks and Elizabeth Shepherd starred in this series of eight, one hour adventure dramas as former spies, brought back into action and into collaboration by circumstance. Both the stars were veterans at the CBC, Francks as both an actor and musical variety performer, and Shepherd for many appearances in television dramas. For The Phoenix Team, Shepherd was Valerie Koester, a British secret service agent who enlists the unofficial help of her colleague and former lover, David Brook. Brook, played by Francks, had been a top agent in the Canadian service during the years of the Cold War; since espionage started to get more high-tech, however, he found himself alienated from the craft and demoted to a desk job. Nonconformists and authority-flouters, Brook and Koester were set against Brook's overly bureaucratic and technocratic superior, Graydon, and the General, the head of Canadian secret service, who actually sympathized with their desire for independence and their initiative, and relied on them. Graydon was played by Brian Linehan, the unctuous Toronto television host, best known for his interviews with entertainment personalities, and the General was portrayed by the most hyphenated person in Canadian show business, Mavor Moore.

The series opened with a two part story called Old Times' Sake, directed by John Trent, in which the two agents investigated an apparent shooting accident, and uncovered a unit called Section D, a remnant of the Cold War that seemed to be still active. Their inquiries led back to the death of Val Koester's father eighteen years before. Subsequent programs were titled Like Father, Like Son; Sanctuary; Saving Grace; The Judas Game; Close Shave; and The Fourth Man.

Other members of the cast included Steve Pernie as Carvallo, Gerry Crack as Moffat, Amelia Hall as Miss Woods, Lee Broker as Janev, and Arnie Achtman as Theo. In addition to Trent, Graham Parker, Douglas Williams, Al Waxman, and Don McBrearty directed episodes of the series. The scripts were written by John C.W. Saxton, and the program was produced by Lawrence S. Mirkin, with executive producer Stanley Colbert.

Piano Alley

Thu 7:30-8:00 p.m., 30 Apr-11 Jun 1981

In this series of eight musical variety shows, eight different pianos in a music store evoked different memories and stories. Jack O'Neil produced this half-hour show, which starred Bob Quinn, in Halifax.

Pick And Choose

Sun 2:00-2:30 p.m., 4 Jul-12 sep 1971

Producer Nancy Riley picked and chose the best of CBC films produced in different regional centres for this summer series. Each program had a different theme, such as women, artists, history--the opening program was a visual trip across the country, with items from St. John's to Vancouver. The short films were introduced by host Alex Trebek.

Pick Of The Week

Mon-Fri 11:25-11:55 a.m., 16 Oct 1967-29 Sep 1969

For this weekday morning broadcast, the CBC tried to accommodate an audience of homemakers--who presumably had more time to watch television after they got the kids off to school than they did in the evening--and repeated programs or portions of programs that were first aired in prime time. Regular features included Newsmagazine, Man Alive, This Land, and The Public Eye. Though for some programs, the repeat broadcast might be delayed, more topical programs, such as Man Alive and The Public Eye usually received morning airtime the same week they were broadcast in the evening. Producer Lyal Brown selected mainly public affairs or news and information programs for the daily half-hour, but also included films from the National Film Board, such as the Canada At War series, programs available from Commonwealth countries, and, for at least one period, Singalong Jubilee. In addition, he used regional productions, such as Death Of A Nobody, the Winnipeg production about native people's problems.

Pick The Stars

A rare example of a Canadian contest program with genuine cash prizes, Pick The Stars was a talent program sponsored by the meat processers Canada Packers Ltd. The program aimed to provide a showcase for new talent, but also to be an entertaining half-hour of acts that ranged from singers and dancers to instrumentalists and circus-style acts.

The season was organized in six cycles of six programs, in which the final show of every cycle was a semi-final, the winner receiving five hundred dollars. Competition in the final three shows of the season determined the two winners of one thousand dollar grand prizes. For the first season, viewer mail determined the winners of the semi-finals, but to judge the best of the four acts presented each weekthe show also convened a panel. They included Clyde Gilmour, the Toronto movie reviewer, Ernest Rawley, manager of the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Herman Geiger-Torel of the Royal Conservatory of Music, and Midge Arthur, wife and partner of Canada's "Mr. Showbusiness," Jack Arthur. As Hugh Garner wrote in 1955, "It is quite an imposing panel to judge the merits of tumbling acts and cowboy singers, and I have had the impression sometimes that they deliberately lower their sights to pick acrobats and jugglers in an attempt to show that they are just as down to earth as any of us short-hairs in the audience." ["Television: Ham 'n Eggs," Saturday Night (9 April 1955), pp. 22-23]

The format changed in the final season, as judges were chosen from across the country, and their votes were tabulated by telephone.

Comperes for the show were Tabloid host Dick MacDougal in the first season, Lee Stevens in the second, and Pat Morgan, who was a Pick The Stars winner in 1954, in the third. The conductors of the onstage orchestra were Samuel Hersenhoren (l954-56) and Lucio Agostini (l956-57). The program was produced by Drew Crossan (l955-57) and Jim Guthro (l957).

Pictures Please

Mon 5:45-6:00 p.m., 9 Jul-24 Sep 1956

This fifteen minute program for small children originated in Ottawa, and was produced by Fred Rainsberry.

Pictures With Woofer

See Patty's Picture House.

Pieces Of Eight

Thu 4:45-5:00 p.m., 16 Oct 1958-29 Jan 1959

Thu 4:45-5:00 p.m., 2 Apr-25 Jun 1959

This fifteen minute show for children featured songs and tales of pirates and seafaring. Ranzo the Pirate from the crew of the Black Avenger, told stories of the high seas, and the Chantymen, a vocal quartet, yo-ho-hoed. Ranzo was played by H. Leslie Pigot, and the Chantymen--Eric Stott, Malcolm Mitton, Harold Kempster, and Carl Smith--were accompanied by Jimmy Nas on the accordion and under the musical direction of Leonard Mayoh. The program was written by Shirley Fowke, and the show's visual design was by Jack Brannen. Pieces of Eight was produced in Halifax by Robert Alban.

Pifffle & Co.

Sun 5:30-6:00 p.m., 11 Jul-26 Sep 1971

Pifffle & Co. succeeded A Second Look as the CBC's comedy revue produced in Vancouver. The two programs had the same producer and director, writers, cast, and basic format. Each program mildly satirized a different subject each week through dialogues with hosts Terry David Mulligan and Bill Reiter and sketches and blackouts with a cast of revue actors: Allan Anderson, Graeme Campbell, Roxanne Erwin, Micki Maunsell, Joseph Golland, Shirley Milliner, and Carol Oczkowska. Sample episodes included "Pifffle & Co. Vs. Health," "Pifffle & Co. Vs. Canadians," "Pifffle & Co. Vs. Love," "Pifffle & Co. Vs. Women's Lib," and so on. The writing staff included Eric Nicol, Clive Cocking, Harry Fontaine, Jim Scott, Ian Belcher, and head writers Tony Hudz and Pat Donahue. Pifffle & Co. (incidentally, pronounced "Pifffle and Coe") was produced and directed by Al Vitols.

A Place For Everything

Fri 8:00-8:30 p.m., 3 Jul-18 Sep 1964

Sun 5:00-5:30 p.m., 30 Jan-20 Mar 1966 (R)

A Place For Everything was a half-hour natural history program, devoted to issues of preservation and the ecology. In particular, it concentrated on natural balances in the animal world, and the programs covered areas across the country. Subjects included endangered species, but also little noticed creatures who affect the environment. Among the subjects were the Pacific salmon and the B.C. rainbow trout; the life cycle of waterfowl; tropical fish; the honey bee; the Rocky Mountains; the Prairie regions; the beaver, the wolf, and life in the forested areas of the east; and butterflies. The series also included a program on the country's uninhabited sea islands and a two part investigation on the marine and sea arctic.

Biologist William W.H. Gunn, professional consultant to the production, provided recordings of nature sounds. In addition, Ricky Hyslop's musical score featured a different soloist for each film in the series. The musicians included cellist Malcolm Tait, French horn player Eugene Rittich, flutist Nicolas Fiore, violinist John Dembeck, trumpet player Eric Traugott, guitar player Alf Harris, and flutist Moe Koffman. Among the writers were Gunn and William Whitehead. The production was organized by John Livingston, and the producer was Dennis Spence of Toronto, on three occasions with the collaboration of Tom Connachie from Vancouver.

A Place Of Your Own

Wed 4:30-5:00 p.m., 2 Oct 1968-25 Jun 1969

Mon 4:30-5:00 p.m., 29 Sep 1969-21 Sep 1970

Wed 5:00-5:30 p.m., 30 Sep-30 Dec 1970

Sat 1:00-1:30 p.m., 3 Jul-25 Sep 1971

For several years, the CBC used after school and Saturday time slots to rerun series that had originally aired on Canadian School Telecasts. Producer of the series was Dennis Hargraves.

A Place To Go

A Place To Go was a four week series of half-hour travel films, produced and written by Ty Lemberg and shot by Gerhard Alsen. It concentrated on southern areas that were readily accessible to Canadians, such as Mexico.

Planet Tolex

Tue 5:00-5:30 p.m., 20 Oct 1953-27 Apr 1954

Fri 5:00-5:30 p.m., 23 Oct 1953-12 Mar 1954

Fri 5:30-6:00 p.m., 19 Mar 1954-9 Apr 1954

Fri 5:00-5:30 p.m., 16 Apr-30 Apr 1954

Planet Tolex was an alternate planet; it revolved at exactly the same speed as Earth, but was always hidden from our view because it was located on the other side of the sun. The program, produced by Joanne Hughes and Peggy Nairn, originated in Montreal, and presented the adventures of Bricol and Lexo and their friends from Tolex. The puppets that populated the cast were operated by Leo and Dora Velleman, who created the program.


Playbill, the first half-hour drama series on the CBC, started in the summer season, though the title was later used for a drama program scheduled in the regular season. Productions in the first season included Oscar Wilde's story, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, adapted by Rita Greer Allen, produced by Norman Campbell, and starring John Colicos; Goodbye Hollywood, Hello New York, written by Ted Allan and produced by Leo Orenstein, and Andrew Allan's production of There Are Very Few Of US Left, with John Drainie, Katherine Blake, Charles Palmer, and Josephine Barrington.

The second season featured a healthy selection of plays by Canadian writers. Joseph Schull wrote Turn Of The Road, which was produced by Henry Kaplan. The next week presented The Lady From Normandy, by Herbert Cobey. David Greene produced The Third Ear, written by Midge Miller and Larry Villani. Stanley Mann wrote the script for The Hideaway, which was produced by Silvio Narizzano. Joseph Cochrane wrote Let's Be Civilized, which Greene produced. Narizzano returned the next week to produce Ted Allan's For Whom The Horses Run. Peter MacFarlane wrote Countess Keller for the next broadcast. Melwyn Breen wrote The Witness, which David Greene produced. Arthur Hiller produced John Lucarotti's contribution, The Rock, and Murray Chercover produced Len Peterson's Divorce Granted?. Peter Francis's Ill-Met By Moonlight was produced by Hiller, and Sheppard Kerman's script, Lucio, by Orenstein. The next program was Alfred Harris's Tobacco Farm. Sweet Larceny, by George Salverson, was produced by Orenstein, too. Poppy McKenzie wrote the script for The Error Of Our Ways, and the series concluded with a repeat of Ted Allan's Goodbye Hollywood, Hello New York.


Wed 8:00-9:00 p.m., 4 Oct 1961-27 Jun 1962

Thu 9:00-10:00 p.m., 4 Oct 1962-4 Jul 1963

Mon 9:00-10:00 p.m., 30 Sep 1963-20 Jul 1964

Ed Moser had been hired from the United States, and worked as a story editor on GM Presents for a year before succeeding Michael Sadlier as executive producer of the one hour anthology drama series, retitled Playdate. Unlike his predecessors, Moser was less interested in cultivating new Canadian writing talent, and relied more on established writers or properties from U.S. agencies. The show was also pre-empted on a regular basis for broadcasts of The Jo Stafford Show, a variety program produced in the U.K., in the 1962-63 season, and The Red Skelton Show, from CBS in the U.S. the next year (though both shows were billed as Playdate Presents. . . to keep title to the time slot).

The show's hosts for the first season were Robert Goulet and Christopher Plummer. The 196l-62 season started with Stop The World I Want To Get Off, by Jacqueline Rosenfeld, produced by George McCowan, and included In The Good Time, written by A.M. Kittermaster, produced by David Gardner; The Cell 5 Experience, by Bruce Stewart; Valerie, a comedy by Patricia Joudry, produced by Basil Coleman; The Prizewinner and Buy Happiness, both by Bernard Slade; Harvey Hart's television adaptation of Masterpiece, the stage play by Larry Ward and Gordon Russell; Phyllis Lee Peterson's adaptation of Louis Hemon's novel Maria Chapdelaine; Mr. Nobody, by Leslie Sand; The Exchange Teacher, by M. Charles Cohen; Rebecca West's The Salt Of The Earth, adapted by Elizabeth Hart; War Games, by Hugh Kemp; That Gold Belongs To Uncle Angus, by Leslie McFarlane; One Man To Beat, by Fred Edge; Nightmare, by Alf Harris; and Paul Wayne's Air On A Shoestring.

The next season, the program moved to Thursday night, and opened with another Bernard Slade play, The Gimmick, produced by Melwyn Breen and starring Eric House and Corinne Conley. Subsequent broadcasts featured The Looking Glass World, a science fiction story by Donald Jack, starring Ted Follows and Austin Willis; Arthur Hailey's The Troubled Heart; The Broken Sky, by Paul Almond and Rudi Dorn; and The Old Ones, written by and starring Tony Van Bridge.

The 1963 season included only nine Canadian-written productions. Among the plays that year were You Can't Win 'Em All, by British writer Alun Owen, produced by Paul Almond; A Wicked, Wicked Woman, by Roger O. Hirson, produced by Leo Orenstein; Jacqueline Rosenfeld's The Messenger; Basil Coleman's production of Blue And White, by British writer Kenneth Jupp; The Ninety-Ninth Day, by CBC staffers Eric Koch and Melwyn Breen; The Cowboy And Mr. Anthony, by Hugh Kemp, produced by Norman Campbell, and starring Ian Tyson and Sylvia Fricker (later Sylvia Tyson); and Leslie McFarlane's comedy, Don't Shake Your Family Tree, produced by Breen.

In the summer of 1964, the CBC announced that it had sold twenty-six productions from the Playdate series to private stations in Australia.


Wed 4:00-4:30 p.m., 4 Jul-26 Sep 1962

Playground was a half-hour show in the after school slot for the 1962 holidays. It was composed of National Film Board productions--usually two per broadcast--about lesser known parts of Canada. They included looks at the Yukon, at Cape Island boats, at fishing in northern Ontario, in Alberta, and in Newfoundland, and on wildlife at the Shubenacadie sanctuary in Nova Scotia.

The Play's The Thing

Thu 9;00-10:00 p.m., 17 Jan-28 Mar 1974

Gordon Pinsent was the host of this series of one hour productions on videotape of plays by notable Canadian writers, many of whom had never written television drama before. The plays included Brothers In The Black Art, by Robertson Davies, directed by Mario Prizek; Friends And Relations, by Hugh Hood, directed by Rudi Dorn; And Then Mr. Jonas, written by Morley Callaghan and directed by Paddy Sampson; The Man From Inner Space, by Eric Nicol, directed by Sampson; Roundelay, by Pierre Berton and directed by Dorn; Back To Beulah, by W.O. Mitchell, based on his stage play, directed by Eric Till; The Roncarelli Affair, directed by George McCowan and written by Mavor Moore, based on the records of F.R. Scott and based on the landmark case that pitted Scott against Quebec Premier Maurice Duplessis; Margaret Atwood's The Servant Girl, and Mordecai Richler's The Bells Of Hell, both directed by George Jonas; How I Met My Husband, by Alice Munro, directed by Herb Roland; and The Executioners, by Farley Mowat, directed by Rudi Dorn.

The scripts by Munro, Hood, Nicol, and Moore and Scott were later published as The Play's The Thing: Four Original Television Dramas, ed., Tony Gifford (Toronto: Macmillan, 1976).

Playtime With Jerry

Sun 1:15-1:30 p.m., 25 Sep 1955-15 Jan 1956

Jerry Bartell was the host of this fifteen minute program of dramatized stories for children.

The Plouffe Family

As the first series produced in Quebec, La Famille Plouffe was the first continuing, fictional representation of Quebec to itself on television. The French language show, which first aired on 4 November 1953, was adapted from Roger Lemelin's 1948 novel, Les Plouffe, and had already achieved notable success as a radio serial in 1952. Television gained tremendous cultural power in Quebec; more than popular television broadcasts, La Famille Plouffe and the weekly hockey broadcast, La Soiree du hockey, turned the familiar settings of lower town Quebec and a hockey arena into, in the phrase of Susan Mann Trofimenkoff, "a provincial possession." [The Dream of Nation (Toronto: Gage, l983), pp. 284-85)

Lemelin's Plouffe family first appeared on English language television almost a year after their premiere on French stations, and the broadcasts marked a rare example of accord between French and English language services and recognition of Quebec culture in English Canada. Lemelin wrote a French and, with the aid of Bill Stewart from the Montreal office of the Canadian Press, an English version of the script each week, and the cast and crew prepared for two live broadcasts, a French reading on Wednesday nights and an English performance on Fridays (Thursdays for the first eight weeks).

The characters in the Plouffe family are to some extent typed in the fashion of all situation comedies. The families in U.S. comedies of the 1950s, from the Nelsons to the Cleavers, reflected the baby boom with their emphasis on young-middle aged parents and their children. In contrast, the Plouffes represented the traditional Quebec working class family. Theophile and Josephine Plouffe, played by Paul Guevremont and Amanda Alarie, were older than Ozzie and Harriet, and their children were all adults. They faced work problems and dilemmas of a personal nature, and their characters evolved according to the development of the story from show to show and from year to year. Daughter Cecile (Denise Pelletier), for example, was introduced as thirty-eight and single; although she was interested in love and marriage, and under the implicit pressure to marry, she continued to value her independence. She was courted by Onesime Menard (Rolland Bedard), a bus driver. In spring l955 they married and the whole family moved to another house, with Cecile and Onesime in the downstairs flat and Papa and Maman Plouffe and their three sons upstairs. The youngest Plouffe son, the athlete Guillaume (Pierre Valcour), was under the control of his trainer and older brother, Napoleon (Emile Genest), and his dictum that love and sex prevent championships. One season concentrated on Guillaume's refusal to play hockey and be transferred to the Buffalo team, because of his love for Danielle Smith. The third son, Ovide, played by Jean-Louis Roux, was the dreamy idealist of the family; an opera fancier, he was also smitten with Rita Toulouse, whose tastes ran more to Crosby than Caruso.

Other members of the supporting cast included Paul Berval, Therese Cadorette, Margot Campbell, Jean Duceppe, Claude Fournier, Edgar Fruitier, Marcel Gagnon, Marcel Houben, Juliette Huot, Julien Lipp, Doris Lussier, Yvon Massicotte, Janine Mignolet, Huguette Oligny, Jean--Rene' Ouellet, Gilles Pelletier, Guy Provost, and Edgar Tremblay. In 1956-57, Gratien Glinas played Juvenal Bolduc. The series was produced by Jean-Paul Fugre, Guy Beaulne, and Jean Dumas.

The television program, with its skilful combination of sentiment and satire, dominated Quebec on Wednesday evenings, and forced the rescheduling of church services, public meetings, and even hockey playoffs. However, as Quebec reformed its role and image in the modern world, and as the Quiet Revolution loomed, the Plouffe family lost currency and seemed to perpetuate a stereotype. The Plouffe Family and La Famille Plouffe completed their successful runs on both CBC services in 1959, at the end of the Duplessis era. After more than twenty-five years, the Parti Quebecois revived the status of Maurice Duplessis as a formative figure in Quebec nationalism, and in 1980 the Plouffe family reappeared in a spirit of celebration and investigation into Quebec culture.

International Cinema Corporation produced The Plouffe Family as both a feature film (in at least two versions) and a series of six, one hour television films. Written by Roger Lemelin and Gilles Carle, and directed by Carle, the production benefited from a large budget and high production values. Like many such ventures, the feature version(s) suffer from an episodic quality, as they work through the narrative problems that the television version poses and resolves in weekly segments. The film retrieved the historical background of the novel, and set its action in the years 1938 to 1940, against the backdrop of World War II and its conflicts for Quebec. Although different episodes stressed individual members of the family, the centre of the story was Ovide and his pursuit of Rita Toulouse.

The cast included many of Quebec's most distinguished actors. Emile Genest, who played Napoleon in the original series, returned twenty years later to portray Theophile, Papa Plouffe, and Juliette Huot played Josephine, the matriarch of the family. Denise Filiatrault was Cecile, and Gabriel Arcand, Pierre Curzi, and Serge Dupire played the three sons, Ovide, Napoleon, and Guillaume. Paul Berval played Onesime Menard, Cecile's former love, who had married another woman. Anne Letourneau played Rita Toulouse, and Donald Pilon was Stan Labrie, Ovide's rival.

The producer of the film and television series was Justine Heroux, and the executive producers Denis Heroux and John Kemeny.

Roger Lemelin followed the 1950s version of La Famille Plouffe/The Plouffe Family with a series titled En haut de la pente douce/The Town Above (q.v.), which ran for two years on the French language service and one year in English. After the success of the 1980s version of Les Plouffe, he wrote a sequel to the novel, titled Le Crime d'Ovide Plouffe, which formed the basis of another feature film and series, produced by Kemeny and Heroux. The novel's title was translated literally, as The Crime of Ovide Plouffe, but the feature film was never released in an English version and the six hour television series, which ran over three evenings in 1986, was called Death In The Family.

Photo courtesy of CBC.

P.M. Party

Mon/Wed/Fri 4:00-4:30 p.m., 29 Sep 1958-26 Jun 1959

Mon/Wed/Fri 3:00-3:30 p.m., 11 Oct 1959-24 Jun 1960

Mon-Fri 3:00-3:30 p.m., 4 Jan-

Mon/Wed/Fri 3:00-3:30 p.m., 4 Apr-24 Jun 1960

This half-hour variety and interview show, which Syd Wayne produced in Toronto, featured the participation of the studio audience in singalongs, games, and sketches. Music was provided by the Rudy Toth orchestra, with vocals by Donna Miller and Allan Blye (l959-60). The affable hosts were Gordie Tapp (l958-59) and Alan Millar (l959-60), the announcer was Rex Loring, and the show's mascot was a spaniel named Daniel.

Points East, Points West

Thu 9:30-10:00 p.m., 27 May-14 Oct 1976

The centrist implications of its title notwithstanding, this series featured musical variety productions from CBC centres outside Toronto, two each from Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, Edmonton, and St. John's. The programs were pilots for future CBC productions. The Vancouver programs, produced by Mike Watt, featured the brother and sister musical act, Judy Ginn and Jim Walchuk. They had had a series a few years before, and this show was picked up in 1977 (see Judy And Jim). The Montreal shows, produced by Pat Cook and titled Mission Moreau Possible, starred impressionist and comic actor Jean-Guy Moreau and a program of music and sketches. That Maritime Feelin' (q.v.) featured local performers; it originated in Halifax and was produced by Ralph Waugh. One of the Edmonton shows, produced by Don McRae, starred Nancy Nash, and the other, which Bernard Picard produced, featured Gabrielle Bujeaud. The St. John's shows, produced by Kevin O'Connell, starred Beth Harrington and David Michael.

Port Watch

Mon 9:30-10:00 p.m., 18 Jul-1 Aug 1955

Captain Thomas Gilchrist took viewers on visits to the Vancouver waterfront in this half-hour program, which had a brief run in the east. On one program, he talked with diver George Unwin about deep sea salvage operations. Next, he examined fire protection in the harbour, and showed a Vancouver fireboat. The series ended with a program about hiring procedures for longshoremen and the problems of loading and unloading freighters.


Thu 8:30-9:00 p.m., 8 Jul-9 Sep 1965

This series originated from a feature of the CBLT program, A La Carte, for which producer Dave Thomas prepared segments to profile a number of musical performers. Portrait highlighted such musicians as Joey Hollingsworth and Joel Denis; Al Harris, Ed Bickert, Marice Bolyer, and Jim Pirie, in a program on guitarists; Shawne and Jay Jackson in a performance of spirituals and inspirational music; composer, arranger, and conductor Lucio Agostini; and nightclub singer Betty Robertson. The series also included a satirical revue called The Conformist, with Paul Soles, Corinne Conley, Michael Magee, Paul Wayne, Jodie Pape, and Michael Bowtree. The programs were produced by Dave Thomas, Terry Kyne, Bill Davis, Paddy Sampson, and Don Brown.

Prairie Profile

Sun 1:00-1:30 p.m., 3 Jan-11 Apr 1965

This fifteen week series presented films on the history and people of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, with voiceover commentary by Marilyn Phillips, Bill Guest, or Mike Winlaw.

Prairie Spotlight

Wed 6:30-7:00 p.m., 1 Jul-14 Oct 1964

Joe Mauro was the host of this Winnipeg public affairs production, which started in the summer and continued through the regular season as part of Across Canada (q.v.). Each show featured several items of interest from the Prairie regions, from tourism to housing and industry. Norman Bortnick was the writer, and the producer was Hugh Edmonds.

Presenting Barry Morse

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

Actor Barry Morse filled ten minutes after the Sunday summer drama with a brief reading or disquisition on a subject of theatre history or technique. He discussed such topics as theatre's arrival in Canada, Gilbert's and Sullivan's partnership, acting in the Elizabethan era, Victorian melodrama, Charles Dickens as a "would-be actor" and the story of the man who shot Abraham Lincoln, presumably the story of another would-be actor, John Wilkes Booth.

Most often, Morse read alone, but sometimes he was joined by other Toronto actors. John Drainie played Tom in an interpretation of Uncle Tom's Cabin for Morse's presentation on theatre in the l850s, Corinne Conley played opposite him in the reading from East Lynne that illustrated the show on melodrama, and Toby Robins and Morse read a scene from Much Ado About Nothing in the program in which Morse discussed how women first acted onstage.

The producer of the program was Peter Francis.

Press Conference

On this half-hour public affairs broadcast, three or four journalists questioned a politician, newsmaker, or other authority on current issues at a municipal, provincial, federal, or international level. The series started on the CBC's Dominion network in 195l. It was carried simultaneously on television and radio starting in 1954, and in 1956 the radio broadcast was dropped from the schedule. The discussion took place in an office setting, meant to reflect the position and personality of the interview subject. During the 1955-56 season, the show originated in various cities, including Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, New York, and London.

Dozens of Canadian reporters--most from the Parliamentary Press Gallery-- sat on the panel over the show's history; regulars included Arthur Blakely, the Ottawa correspondent for The Gazette of Montreal, and Blair Fraser, Ottawa editor for Maclean's magazine, with Robert McKeown, Ottawa correspondent for Weekend magazine as moderator. The program was organized by Lewis Miller and produced by Peter MacFarlane and Norman Campbell.

Prime Time

Tue 10:00-11:00 p.m., (once a month), 12 Nov 1974-4 Mar 1975

A monthly public affairs program in a magazine format, Prime Time featured several interviews or film features on each broadcast. They were introduced by CBC correspondent Don McNeill, and the producers of the show were Ralph Thomas, Martyn Burke, and Larry Zolf. The programs included interviews with international figures, such as Moshe Dayan, a feature on Uganda under General Idi Amin, as well as lighter items on Canadian illusionist Doug Henning, or Burke's satirical profile of the U.K., and items that mixed the amusing with the serious, such as Peter Rowe's expose of Canada's image in Hollywood cinema, Backlot Canada. The studio director of Prime Time was J. Edward Shaw, and the executive producer was Sam Levene.

Pro And Con

Fri 9:00-9:30 p.m., 12 Sep-26 Sep 1952

Michael Hind-Smith was the moderator for this half-hour discussion program, which featured questions from the studio audience on the subject of world affairs. Peter MacFarlane produced the broadcast in Toronto.

Producers' Workshop

Fri 10:30-11:00 p.m., 8 Jul-2 Sep 1955

A half-hour summer series, the plays in this series included Flesh Of My Flesh, written by Mac Shoub and produced by Guy Parent; The Strike, by George Salverson; Big Boys Shouldn't Cry, by Ted Allan; and Pirandello's The Vise. In addition, the series featured a documentary on bees, produced by Gene Lawrence at CBC Vancouver; a program on the l837 rebellion, written by Ronald Hambleton and produced by Leo Orenstein; and a television version of the radio program, Of All Things, with Austin Willis.

Professor Moffett's Science Workshop

Mon 5:00-5:30 p.m., 11 Sep 1972-19 Mar 1973

Mon 5:00-5:30 p.m., 10 Sep 1973-4 Mar 1974

Professor Maxwell G. Moffett, a British designer and engineer, demonstrated principles of science in a half-hour program aimed at children aged nine to fourteen. Representing the target audience onscreen were a sister and brother, Claire Anne and Stuart Bundy, ages twelve and nine. The series opened with an exploration of the nature and properties of sound, which Moffett demonstrated with ordinary objects, such as empty bottles, tin cans, bells, and such. Subsequent programs covered such subjects as space and the solar system, flight, the alphabet, minerals, heat and cold, plastics, time, the human body, architectural shapes, optics, robots, computers, and light and colour. The series was produced for the CBC by Mediavision, Inc. and Durelle Productions.


Thu 10;30-11:00 p.m., 16 Jun-22 Sep 1955

Sun 10:00-10:30 p.m., 27 May-23 Sep 1956

Tue 10:00-10:30 p.m., 9 Jul-29 Oct 1957

Although it sometimes featured film biographies of notable figures in culture, Profile relied on interviews for its material. It featured a wide variety of important persons, including evangelist Billy Graham, photographer Edward Steichen, poet Robert Frost, Paul-Emile Cardinal Leger, historian Arnold Toynbee, arctic explorer Vilhjamur Stefansson, theologian Paul Tillich, playwright Sean O'Casey, painters Arthur Lismer and A.Y. Jackson, and educator Moses Coady. The initial host of the program was Percy Saltzman, but over the course of the series many different people conducted the interviews. Cliff Solway and Vincent Tovell produced the show.


Various Times and Dates, 27 Dec 1979-16 Apr 1980

This irregularly scheduled series of five programs concentrated on people from Ontario who have contributed in different ways to life in the province. June Callwood introduced architect and writer Eric Arthur, who led the viewer to some of his favourite places in Toronto. Joe Cote was the host for profiles of medical pioneer Douglas Crozier and archaeologist Walter Kenyon, and Sharon Dunn presented labour organizer Madelaine Parent. The producer of the series was Geoff Hussey, and the executive producer Cam Cathcart.

Program X

Thu 9:00-9:30 p.m., 17 Dec 1970-27 May 1971

Thu 10:00-10:30 p.m., 3 Jun-24 Jun 1971

Thu 9:30-10:00 p.m., 23 Dec 1971-29 Jun 1972

Fri 10:00-10:30 p.m., 22 Dec 1972-15 Jun 1973

Writer and broadcaster Charles Oberdorf was the host of Program X, an anthology of drama and performance that ranged from the conventional to the experimental. The series, overseen by executive producer Paddy Sampson and associate producer George Jonas, had an extremely low budget of about seven thousand dollars per episode, but often achieved valuable results for the cost. It showcased new, domestic writing talent; the first program in the series was Blackship, written by Jack Winter, about a clipper that sank off Japan in l863, taking with it 460 Chinese people who had been on their way to work as laborers in the U.S.A. Subsequent programs included The Picnic and The Musical Chairs, both by Warren Collins; Joy Fielding's Open House; The Couch, written by Grace Richardson; The System, by Eric Koch and Frank McEnaney; Sniper, by Rudi Dorn; and Boss, by Michael Spivak. The first season also featured a reading by Vancouver poet David Watmough, and Wind, an audio-visual presentation with film and music by Norman Symonds.

Other writers who contributed scripts to Program X included Paul Withrow, Angus Braid, James W. Nichol, Ron Taylor, Sheldon Rosen, Tony Flanders, and Mavor Moore. Herb Roland, George Jonas, Rudi Dorn, and Mario Prizek were among the regular directors for the series, with other shows directed by Gil Taylor, Brian Demude, Lorne Michaels, and David Cronenberg (the 1972 film, Secret Weapons).

The series was also a showcase for performances that featured one person, such as Bits And Pieces: Gordon Pinsent, and That Hamilton Woman, with Barbara Hamilton, and a television adaptation of Mia Anderson's solo tour de force, Ten Women, Two Men, And A Moose.


Tue 6:00-6:30 p.m., 8 Oct-31 Dec 1963

This public affairs series aimed to look at the state of things in the present from the perspective of the future. Discussion embraced issues of social concern, politics, economics, and technology. Specific subjects included portable pensions, the growth of crime, innovation in food industries, the future of international unions, apartheid in South Africa, and the future of Place des Arts. The series was produced by Gary Plaxton in Montreal.


Tue 2:00-3:00 p.m., 26 May-8 Sep 1981

Tue 1:30-2:30 p.m., 13 Jul-31 Aug 1982

Tue 4:30-5:00 p.m., 7 Sep-5 Oct 1982

The CBC filled some summer afternoon time slots with recent productions by the National Film Board. The films concentrated on people and subjects within Canada, and included Welcome To Smiths Falls; Celtic Spirits; James Bay Fiddlers; Bookmakers Progress; My Floating World; Patricia's Moving Picture; Hot Wheels; Doctor Woman; No Day Of Rest; The Agony Of Jimmy Quinlan; and Priory, The Only Home I've Got. Film selection was coordinated for the CBC by Athan Katsos.

Promenade Concert

Thu 9:00-10:00 p.m., 28 May-4 Jun 1953

Thu 9:30-10:30 p.m., 11 Jun-24 Sep 1953

Sun 11:00-12:00 a.m., 6/13 Jun 1954

Thu 8:30-9:30 p.m., 1 Jul-23 sep 1954

Sun 3:30-4:30 p.m., 12 Jun-26 Jun 1955

Thu 8:30-9:30 p.m., 7 Jul-15 Sep 1955

Thu 8:30-9:30 p.m., 7 Jun-13 Sep 1956

For several years, the CBC broadcast on both radio and television the annual, popular Promenade Concerts held at Toronto's Varsity Arena. The television producer was David Marcus-Roland, and the radio producer and coordinator of broadcast activities was Kenneth Dalziel.

The Promised Land

Sun 10:30-11:00 p.m., 16 sep-7 Oct 1962

Produced by Victor Jobin, Lonard Forest, and Guy Glover, and directed by Bernard Devlin for the National Film Board, The Promised Land dramatized the settlement of the Abitibi region in northern Quebec during the 1930s. The series, presented in four, half-hour segments, was based on Herve' Biron's novel, Nuages sur les brls, and featured singer Flix Leclerc.

Provincial Affairs

Mon 7:30-7:45 p.m., 4 Nov 1957-31 Mar 1958

Mon 7:30-7:45 p.m., 6 Oct 1958-8 Jun 1959

Thu 7:30-7:45 p.m., 8 Oct 1959-2 Jun 1960

Wed 7:30-7:45 p.m., 12 Oct 1960-5 Jul 1961

Wed 7:30-7:45 p.m., 27 Sep 1961-27 Jun 1962

Wed 7:30-7:45 p.m., 24 Oct 1962-26 Jun 1963

Wed 7:30-7:45 p.m., 23 Oct 1963-3 Jun 1964

Wed 7:30-7:45 p.m., 21 Oct 1964-2 Jun 1965

Wed 7:30-7:45 p.m., 17 Nov 1965-29 Jun 1966

Wed 7:45-8:00 p.m., 5 Oct 1966-17 May 1967

Wed 9:15-9:30 p.m., 25 Oct 1967-24 Apr 1968

Sat 6:30-6:45 p.m., 12 Oct 1968-24 May 1969

Sat 11:10-11:15 p.m., 12 Oct 1969-16 May 1970

Sat 11:15-11:20 p.m., 10 Oct 1970-22 May 1971

Sat 11:15-11:20 p.m., 20 Nov 1971-13 May 1972

Sat 11:15-11:20 p.m., 18 Nov 1972-2 Jun 1973

Sat 11:15-11:20 p.m., 17 Nov 1973-1 Jun 1974

Sat 11:15-11:20 p.m., 16 Nov 1974-

Sat 11:15-11:22 p.m., 5 Nov 1977-10 Jun 1978

Sat 11:15-11:22 p.m, 28 Oct 1978-16 Jun 1979

Sat 11:15-11:22 p.m., 27 Oct 1979-14 Jun 1980

Sat 11:15-11:20 p.m., 25 Oct 1980-16 May 1981

Sat 11:15-11:20 p.m., 10 Oct 1981-27 Feb 1982

Sat 11:15-11:20 p.m., 1 May-26 Jun 1982

Sat 11:15-11:22 p.m., 18 Sep 1982-25 Jun 1983

A free time, political broadcast, Provincial Affairs ran for many years on every second Wednesday, alternating with its federal counterpart, The Nation's Business. In 1969, however, the CBC gave the provinces a weekly Saturday night time slot and the feds an equivalent place on Sundays. The producers of Provincial Affairs have been Cliff Solway (l959-6l), Madrienne McKeowen (l96l-62), Jack Rutherford (l963-64), David Slocum (l964-65), John Irwin (l965-66), John Kennedy (l966-67), Rosemary MacMillan (l967-68), Garth Price (l969-70), Jim Foster (l970-7l), Ain Soodor (l97l-78), Peter Fahlgren (l978-79, l980-8l), Terry Davies (l979-80, 198l-83).

The Public Eye

Tue 10:30-11:00 p.m., 5 Oct 1965-21 Jun 1966

Tue 10:30-11:00 p.m., 1 Nov 1966-2 May 1967

Sun 10:00-10:30 p.m., 14 May-25 Jun 1967

Tue 10:30-11:00 p.m., 12 Sep 1967-18 Apr 1968

Tue 10:30-11:00 p.m., 23 Apr-18 Jun 1968

Wed 9:00-9:30 p.m., 2 Oct 1968-18 Jun 1969

A number of the producers who worked on This Hour Has Seven Days also contributed to The Public Eye, a half-hour public affairs broadcast, developed by Richard Nielsen. The series opened with a discussion between host Philip Deane and NBC broadcaster David Brinkley on the responsibility of television public affairs broadcasts, to set the agenda for the show. The program tried to treat its subjects with greater detail and analysis than weekly news digest programs, such as the Seven Days successor, The Way It Is.

Deane was succeeded as host by Warner Troyer who, with Robert Patchell, Sam Levene, and Larry Zolf, also acted as one of the show's producers. Other producers who contributed to the show included Jesse Nishihata, Alex Brown, James Edward Shaw, and Don Cumming. When Troyer left the show at the end of the 1967-68 season, he was replaced by a battery of five hosts: CBC national affairs correspondent Norman DePoe; producer Larry Zolf; writer and broadcaster Barry Callaghan; Peter Jennings, who returned to Canada after four years as a correspondent for ABC; and broadcaster Jeanne Sauv.

Understandably, The Public Eye covered a vast array of subjects, national and international, over its run. Features included a retrospective examination of the Cuban missile crisis and of the bombing of Dresden in World War II, problems of mental retardation in Canada, battered children, deserted wives, and methods and products developed for riot control. During the final season, The Public Eye altered its format and included a studio audience, to capitalize on the success the previous season with televised "town meetings," a change that Nielsen said would give people greater access to television.

For several 1966 programs, titled This Week, The Public Eye combined production forces with Newsmagazine.

Puppets Are Fun

Tue 5:15-5:30 p.m., 5 Jul-20 Sep 1955

This weekly, fifteen minute summer show demonstrated to youngsters how to make, paint, dress, and operate puppets.

Purple Playhouse

Sun 9:00-10:00 p.m., 25 Feb-22 Apr 1973

Sun 8:00-9:00 p.m., 6 May 1973

Fletcher Markle conceived the title, which suggested the overblown prose connnoted by Victorian melodrama. Perhaps it also seemed a suitable title for a successor to The Whiteoaks Of Jalna, whose time slot it took over. Paddy Sampson was the executive producer and George Jonas the producer of this series of eight melodramas from Europe and the U.S.A. They were adapted for television by such writers as Mavor Moore, John Bethune, Rod Coneybeare, Herb Roland, Alan King, and William Lytle. The stories included Dracula, Sweeney Todd the murderous barber, the Corsican Brothers, Box and Cox, The Bells, The Lyon's Mail, and Used Up, based on the comedy by Dion Boucicault. Among the cast members were Barry Morse, Tony Van Bridge, Gillie Fenwick, Chris Wiggins, Eric House, Norman Welsh, Blair Brown, Paul Harding, Betty Leighton, Joseph Shaw, and Kay Hawtrey. Louis Applebaum composed the musical score for the series.

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