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CBC Television Series, 1952-1982

by Blaine Allan

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This Hour Has Seven Days

Sun 10:00-11:00 p.m., 4 Oct 1964-9 May 1965 Sun 10:00-11:00 p.m., 3 Oct 1965-8 May 1966

Executive producers Douglas Leiterman and Patrick Watson outlined their initial plans for what became the most famous and notorious series in the history of CBC television, This Hour Has Seven Days, in a manifesto that proposed:

On Sundays at l0:00 p.m., a one-hour show of such vitality and urgency that it will recapture public excitement in public affairs television and become mandatory viewing for a large segment of the nation.

Describing the show's scope, they wrote:

Items can qualify in terms of urgency, controversy, national interest, human condition, satire, beauty or art. Seven Days will range Canada and the world. Reporter-cameraman teams will pounce on significant events wherever they occur, looking not only at the news but at the reasons behind it.

Their proposal was marked with overreaching ambition, but it also brimmed with enthusiasm and drive, and described with remarkable foresight the shape of the show.

Leiterman had worked for the CBC since 1957, after training as a newspaper reporter in Vancouver, and had been closely involved with the network's main public affairs broadcasts, including Close Up and Background. Most recently, he had produced Document, the series that had formed the centre of the CBC's involvement in direct cinema filmmaking. Watson had been with the CBC since 1956 (though he had started as a radio actor when he was a teenager) and, like Leiterman, had worked for Close Up, as well as producing and contributing to other programs, including Mr. Fixit, Tabloid, and Junior Magazine. Most recently, he had produced the hard-hitting interview show, Inquiry, where he had collaborated with two men who would also play major roles in the production of Seven Days, Laurier LaPierre and Warner Troyer.

As Troyer has noted, the show was a "natural extension" of Document and Inquiry (The Sound and the Fury [Toronto: John Wiley, 1980], p. l53). The former employed current techniques in documentary filmmaking to cover issues of public interest in depth through hourlong film essays. The combination of the direct cinema ethos and television as the medium of transmission invested the broadcasts with the important quality of immediacy. Inquiry, in addition to the zeal of its reports and interviews, also brought new life and pertinence to television discussions with makers of public policy, and helped establish television as a medium of public accountability. The two types of public affairs television put the viewer into two different roles, as witness and as participant, that Seven Days combined.

Leiterman and Watson divided the show into different components, which varied in length and weight from broadcast to broadcast. As a review of the week's events, Seven Days would rely on film reports, linked with contexts and updates from the studio hosts. Although advocacy did not form an explicit part of the show's plan, intervention did; the manifesto describes the show's investigative reports with a keen eye for television's power to uncover and compel reaction:

Using special camera techniques we will probe dishonesty and hypocrisy. By encouraging leads form our viewers and inviting their alertness, we will provide a kind of TV ombudsman to draw attention to public wrongs and encourage remedial action.

The producers also planned to include background commentary by a range of Canadian and foreign broadcasters and writers; among them they proposed Alistair Cooke, James Reston, Blair Fraser, Rebecca West, Grard Pelletier, James Wechsler, Simone de Beauvoir, and Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Interviews, drawn from the style of Inquiry broadcasts, were labelled the "Hot Seat," and proposed as a "tough encounter with a prominent guest who is hot in the news and prepared to be grilled." The "Small World" segment added the element of a studio audience for interview sessions.

Seven Days was also to reach out and involve audiences as active participants, not least by including a studio audience for the Sunday night broadcast and by responding to viewer mail. The show was also to include access segments, which directed, "Crackpots to be sorted, not too carefully, in advance," and to be taped at local CBC. In addition, the show permitted viewers to phone in their comments to the show's hosts.

Finally, Seven Days was also to provide a network venue for more creative "film essays" and for items from foreign news and public affairs television sources. While the CBC had long provided public affairs coverage for Canadian television viewers, it is clear that the ambition and international scope that underscored the Seven Days project indicated that the network intended to produce world-class television.

A number of other factors led to the turning point in public affairs television that Seven Days represented. Canadians had already made programs such as Close-Up and Tabloid television staples, and made stars of announcers and interviewers, including J. Frank Willis, Percy Saltzman, and Joyce Davidson. Television news was also building importance for its coverage of such developments as the elections that made John Diefenbaker and Lester Pearson our first TV-era heads of government. With the l960 Presidential election in the United States and the coverage of the Kennedy assassination and its aftermath in 1963, U.S. network news--to which Canadian viewers along the border could tune--was propelled into a new stage in its evolution, which was marked not only by the breadth of its coverage but by the depth of its penetration, where its success was measured not only by the quality of reporting in the Edward R. Murrow tradition, but also by the numbers of audiences in the ratings war between Walter Cronkite and Huntley-Brinkley. Television news offered a vantage and shaped public views of such developments as the Quiet Revolution in Quebec, as well as such international developments as the Cuban missile crisis and other elements of the Cold War, the civil rights movement in the U.S.A., and the Vietnam War. Developments in popular and mass culture, such as the folk music revival and the currency of satirical comedy (such as Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, and Vaughn Meader's "First Family" records in the U.S., and Beyond The Fringe and David Frost's BBC-TV series, That Was The Week That Was in the U.K.) indicated the level of conscience and awareness in audiences, and the different means by which news could be transmitted.

The CBC gained impetus to revamp its schedule and hype its programming to compete with the still new broadcasting organization, CTV. The private network had challenged CBC's Sunday night public affairs programming with its own show, Telepoll, and had lured veteran Southam reporter Charles Lynch away. (A year later, CTV would also attract Peter Reilly away from the CBC to create and produce W5, a show that competed more directly for viewers of Seven Days.) For two turbulent seasons, however, Seven Days assembled the news and current events into a variegated magazine that for many Canadians--over three million near the end of the show's run, as a matter of fact--did become "mandatory viewing."

The Seven Days studio was arranged like a control module, with scaffolding, film projection screens, television monitors, and crew all visible to the studio audience and to home viewers, all directed toward the central set of desks for hosts John Drainie and Laurier LaPierre. Probably Canada's finest radio and television actor of the period, Drainie anchored the broadcast and gave it an immediately recognizable charismatic authority. A professor of Canadian history at McGill, LaPierre augmented his academic persona by sometimes wearing spectacles and smoking a pipe on camera. He was an understated and puckish, yet forceful, commentator, and a knowledgable, incisive, and passionately interested interviewer.

In the tradition of the so-called "talking doll," the women interviewers who seemed both staples and adjuncts on CBC talk shows, Seven Days had its own female presence. Though typically "spunky" enough, she generally served as little more than stylish decoration and perhaps represented a kind of optimism and humour in contrast to the more sober and serious looking Drainie and LaPierre. If so, she also represented a distance and irony in comparison to the committed engagement of the male hosts. The first season ran through a roster of young women to fill this spot. By the second season, Dinah Christie held down the job on a weekly basis. She started the show by singing the opening theme, a parodic reading of the week's headlines to the tune of the folk song, "Worried Man Blues," and read some of the links between segments on the show.

The show had a production staff of as many as forty people, with a roster of producers responsible for separate segments. During the first season, Leiterman and Watson alternated from week to week as the show's producer. However, the hierarchy of the show was left more amorphous than most productions. Production personnel were hired and dismissed fluidly, depending on whether they worked out on the show or fit in with the production method. Virtually all levels of staff had access to the executive producers, generating a high sense of responsibility and creativity. Known at various times as story editors, writers, directors, and producers, contributing staff included Charles Backhouse, Donald Brittain, Cecily Burwash, Jim Carney, Roy Faibish, Beryl Fox, Tom Koch, Heinz Kornagel, Sam Levene, Brian Nolan, Charles Oberdorf, Peter Pearson, Alexander Ross, Warner Troyer, and Larry Zolf. Robin Grove-White, formerly a writer for That Was The Week That Was, was hired to write satirical sketches. The studio director responsible for coordinating the complicated patchwork of film and live action was David Ruskin.

The so-called Seven Days Crisis involved the friction between CBC management and the show's own producers and methods of production. (See Helen Carscallen, "Control in a Broadcasting System," M.A. Thesis, University of Toronto, 1966--an invaluable source.) Seven Days was itself devoted to the idea that news and public affairs were vital, controversial, and often confrontational. During the testing period of the first season, the Seven Days production style strained the established bureaucracy and standards of the CBC, and at various times H.G. Walker, General Manager of the English Networks, and Reeves Haggan, General Supervisor of Public Affairs, prohibited sensitive items from broadcast. Before the opening show, for example, they vetoed a segment on the upcoming Royal visit to Quebec. A satirical sketch, which depicted the Queen as a housewife with hair in curlers, was deemed inappropriate, and a sequence of interviews with Quebec citizens on the subject of the monarchy was quashed without being screened.

Seven Days played a major part in bringing to public attention issues that had been suppressed or taboo both in television and society as a whole. As such, it exemplified the informational and cultural revolution that erupted in the 1960s, and paid a price for its adventurous stance. The issues that caused the greatest dispute were, all too predictably, the subjects that polite people avoided discussing simply in order to keep peace at the dinner table, because they were the subjects that commanded the strongest and most deeply rooted opinions: politics, sex, and religion. For Canada, this meant the specific cases of Quebec nationalism, developing sexual freedoms represented most explicitly by the birth control pill, and specific cases such as the Munsinger scandal and the Horsburgh affair.

In November 1964, the show planned a report on the case of United Church minister Russell Horsburgh, who was charged and ultimately convicted of contributing to juvenile delinquency for encouraging sexual relations among young churchgoers in Chatham, Ontario. The story was scheduled to air between the verdict and the sentence. Though there was discussion about whether the item fell into a sub judice category, subject matter and taste were even more important issues for debate among the producers and management. When the item aired, the producers knowingly contravened the decision of the Program Council not to present programming on the Horsburgh affair, but with the support of local managers. As Walker explained to Helen Carscallen, this specific case taught management to keep their from the producers, particularly such persuasive and enthusiastic advocates as Leiterman and Watson, to maintain control.

The next spring, a feature on a patient at the Ontario Hospital for the Criminally Insane caused controversy not for the subject matter, but for the production methods, which Walker judged to have contravened CBC policy. To interview inmate Fred Fawcett, after a first request was turned down, a Seven Days crew accompanied his sister on one of her regular visits to the hospital at Penetanguishene, carrying their equipment in picnic baskets. The guards assumed that they were relatives, and made no attempt to keep them from entering or to stop their interview. Although the Director of News and Public Affairs objected strongly to the means by which the interview was procured, he did not prevent the item from airing, and Fawcett was seen to be sane or to have been rehabilitated sufficiently not to be hospitalized, emphasized when he admitted to the camera, about the trial and commitment, "The doctors said I was insane... I was satisfied for the court to make that decision." (Quoted, Douglas Leiterman, "You Can't Tell TV: 'Don't Peek,'" Maclean's [23 July 1966], p. 30)

Also during the first season, Patrick Watson, President of the Toronto Producers' Association, had submitted a brief that was critical of CBC management policy and procedures to the Fowler Committee on Broadcasting Policy. Although CBC President Alphonse Ouimet seemed interested and somewhat sympathetic to Watson's grievances and to his discussion of Seven Days, Walker condemned the report as "improper," claiming that it represented grievances that had not been reported up to management (Quoted, Carscallen, p. l05).

While Watson was branded a troublemaker for his complaints and Leiterman for skirting established CBC policy to produce a type of journalism that the policy did not envision, Laurier LaPierre also encountered criticism for his supposed emotional involvement in the interviews he conducted, and for dominating the subjects.

The second season marked changes in on-camera personnel, as well as administrative adjustments behind the scenes. Patrick Watson replaced John Drainie as co-host, leaving Douglas Leiterman as the sole executive producer. Previously the corporation had resisted Watson's proposals to host both Inquiry and Seven Days and thus wield editorial influence over the production of the show and on the air. Watson also became executive producer of Document, the documentary film series, which continued throughout the run of Seven Days, replacing it once a month. The nebulous chain of command and alternation between two producers was replaced by a structure of two production units, one under the direction of Robert Emmett Hoyt and the other under Ken Lefolii. Hoyt, whom Leiterman had met when they both attended Harvard in the 1950s, had contributed interviews to Close-Up and the first season of Seven Days, and had left a job in civic administration in Ohio to join the staff. Lefolii had formerly worked as editor of Maclean's.

September 1965 saw the release of the Fowler Report. Critical of CBC management, it had benefited not only from the testimony of Patrick Watson, but also from the work of Roy Faibish, the Seven Days producer who had taken a leave of absence from the CBC to join the staff of the Fowler Committee. The start of the second season also coincided with an anticipated federal election in the autumn and with the end of Ouimet's term of office. The Prime Minister's office evidently had not wanted Lester Pearson to be interviewed by LaPierre, and, for his part, Ouimet presumably had reason to accede to the Prime Minister's wishes. The demand became an issue as the program staff made plans to invite the leaders of all the political parties to be interviewed by Watson and LaPierre. LaPierre had also declared his own political sympathies for the New Democratic Party, and had added his voice to the criticism of CBC management.

Management wished to forbid LaPierre from participating in political interviews, and threatened to cancel the opening show of the new season, on October 3, if Leiterman did not give his assurance. The producers argued the importance of uniformity among the interviews as well as the importance of having a Francophone interviewer to talk to Francophone politicians, and the implicit political importance of LaPierre's presence in relation to the corporation's image and the issue of cultural prejudice. Furthermore, the issue itself cast shadows on LaPierre's own reputation and threatened to erode his responsibilities to Seven Days. Insulted and impugned, he threatened to resign. Seven Days finally won the skirmish, and management let the show return to the air as scheduled. However, Leiterman, Watson, and LaPierre worked under straitened circumstances and an increasingly watchful eye thereafter. Seven Days did issue their on-air challenge to the party leaders to be interviewed (having previously apprised them that the invitation would be extended on the program and that they would be welcome to accept on the air), but only NDP leader T.C. Douglas responded. Only he and Creditiste leader Ral Caouette were finally interviewed on the program, and LaPierre's interview with the Caouette came in for severe criticism from management, again for LaPierre's supposed emotional involvement.

This internal dispute was perhaps the most central in Seven Days history. Unfolding at the start of the second season, it marked the chronological midpoint of the series' life, and it put one of the crucial political issues in the country at the heart of the show.

As if that were not enough, however, the first Seven Days of the season encountered added controversy over a different type of issue. With Pope Paul VI scheduled to visit New York the next day, and deliver a mass at Yankee Stadium during his stay, Seven Days included a sketch in which network television executives proposed an exhibition baseball game--between the Yankees and the Cardinals, of course--that the pontiff would umpire infallibly. Although the sketch was approved by General Supervisor Reeves Haggan, no one predicted the phone response of the audience. Watson judged that the pattern of response suggested an organized phone campaign. Later CBC research indicated that the negative response had a narrower base. However, a month later the CBC Vice President for Corporate Affairs apologized by mail to viewers who had objected to the sketch. He admitted an error of judgment that the producers of the program had never acknowledged, and allowed that there were no "positive and serious reasons" for risking offending a significant number of viewers.

In a November meeting with Leiterman, Watson, and other management personnel, H.G. Walker demanded that the Seven Days producers cease their challenges to management authority or be taken off the air. Two days later, Leiterman put the dispute into a public forum, in a press conference on the apology for the Pope sketch. He told reporters that he would not comment on the CBC apology, but implicitly refuted the Vice President's objections, endorsing the sketch, affirming that the majority of viewers had enjoyed it and found it not offensive, and refusing to let the possibility of offending some viewers obstruct the production of "intelligent, pointed and controversial satire."

The ultimatum had also been precipitated by another controversy over perceived standards of broadcast journalism. Robert Emmett Hoyt had conducted an interview with two officers of the Ku Klux Klan in which, in Watson's perception, the two Klansmen had come across as "reasonable guys," and consequently more dangerous than if they had seemed dismissible as "'a bunch of nuts'" (Carscallen, p. ll7). After they had declared their admiration for Negroes, Hoyt put them on the spot and asked them if they would shake hands with a black minister, also in the studio, and they refused. Management objected to the interview tactics, but also resented the fact that the interview had been taped so late that it could not be vetted before air time. Seven Days producers offered further challenges, when Leiterman consulted lawyers independent of the CBC's own counsel for an opinion over whether an interview with a former Miss France was subject to an injunction acquired by private station CFTO, trying to protect its rights over coverage of the Miss Canada Pageant, and CBC management's decision to veto other items pertaining to beauty contests. Moreover, Leiterman had also disputed a decision not to permit Seven Days to cover a Peace March in Washington, D.C. on the grounds that it was the responsibility of the network news department (a division of news and public affairs that would arise again, later in the season).

The position of management in the continuing dispute was reinforced when Ouimet was renewed as President of the CBC for another term, an appointment that appeared to defuse the criticisms of the Fowler Report. Finally, H.G. Walker issued an ultimatum on l8 November, and declared that Seven Days would not see the new year if the producers did not henceforth unquestioningly abide by management's decisions and did not talk to the press (about disputes that presumably, by the first term of the agreement, would never arise)--a deal that had to be accepted that very day. Having won the first conflict over LaPierre, Leiterman and his colleagues now found themselves forced to accept the terms for the sake of the life of the show.

The mavericks did seem to settle down, although later in the season LaPierre admitted, "I don't think I could last in Seven Days much longer... This year the show doesn't seem to care as much. It's falling into the same trap as all CBC public-affairs shows: it's losing concern with matters of real social consequence" (Alan Edmonds, Maclean's [5 March 1966], p. 26). If LaPierre grew doubtful about his future with the show, management had already made up its mind. In December 1965, Haggan had been told that the show would live through the end of the broadcast season, but advised that he should concentrate on developing another public affairs show for the new season. In January, the Program Council modified its decision: Seven Days could return in the autumn, but only without Patrick Watson, Laurier LaPierre, Larry Zolf, and Roy Faibish. LaPierre's problematic position for management had been clear from the first season, and Watson and Faibish had courted the disfavour of the upper echelons for their connections with the Fowler Committee. Zolf's transgressions remained less clearly defined. Curiously, too, Douglas Leiterman's name was not on the hit list. The fact that three of the gang of four were on-camera personalities suggests the power that the corporation executives recognized in the hosts and reporters on Seven Days, as distinct from the less publicly visible members of the production staff.

The decision to fire LaPierre and Watson as hosts of Seven Days made its way down the line of corporate command in January, but several incidents in March created controversy that is often directly connected with the decisions that ended the show's run. LaPierre's statement to Maclean's on the show's dissolution into typical CBC fare, which was run in a sidebar to a large article on the series, exacerbated the friction between management and the Seven Days unit. The article itself rang alarm bells about the impending cancellation, and highlighted the taboos and exoticism that the corporation was trying to tone down. Alan Edmonds wrote:

The methods Seven Days has used to attract its mass audience have left The Corporation (which is what its employees call the CBC) in the position of genteel, bourgeois parent who produced a rambunctious, intellectual vulgarian--and are ashamed of the fact.

...It doesn't pontificate; it agitates and irritates. It is impossible to simply watch it; you become involved in it, and even when it's lousy (and it can be as bad as it can be magnificent) it remains, for millions who would otherwise switch channels at the start of a public affairs show, something to talk about come Monday. You watch it to see what it will come up with next--just to see whether there's another Pope sketch..., or to see whether Laurier LaPierre will lose his temper (as he did once when interviewing opposing groups of French- and English-Canadian students), or Pat Watson his unflappable urbanity. (p. 9)

Maybe LaPierre did not lose his temper, but he did cry. He watched an item on the trial of Steven Truscott, a fourteen year old Ontario boy when he was convicted of killing a girl. The report included a discussion with Isabel LeBourdais, the writer of a recent book that disputed the verdict, and an interview with Steven Truscott's mother. When the film segment ended and the cameras turned to LaPierre at his desk, he had to wipe away a tear before he could continue. The moment underscored both LaPierre's own committed personality and the view from above that he became too "emotionally involved" in his interviews (although the interview was conducted by Roy Faibish, not LaPierre. LaPierre and Watson hadn't seen the interview before air time.)

Seven Days again found itself in a contentious position regarding journalistic methods over the Munsinger affair. Reports had revealed that prominent Canadian M.P.s, including a member of Cabinet, had been involved with a German call girl, Gerda Munsinger, and a phone call to Seven Days on the afternoon of Saturday March fifth tipped producer Robert Hoyt that the Cabinet member in question was Associate Minister of National Defense Pierre Svigny. Hoyt immediately dispatched Larry Zolf to Montreal for an interview. In a manner that has since become customary, though still arouses controversy, Zolf approached the Svigny front door with the camera rolling. Mrs. Svigny answered and replied that her husband was not home. As the crew walked away, the door opened again, and a hand motioned for them to return. With the camera still running, the politician emerged from the house and began to hit the reporter around the head with a cane, chased Zolf and the camera crew, and continued to swing at their car as it drove away. Later, he tried to locate the camera and the film with the help of the Westmount police, but Zolf was bringing the evidence back to Toronto. Although the story itself was clearly of interest--whether it actually had anything to do with the Munsinger affair, it did concern a violent outburst by a Government official--the producers decided not to air the footage the next night. After the incident, Svigny read a prepared statement to CBC cameras, and later discussed Munsinger with a reporter. (See Leiterman, pp. l0-ll) Seven Days had four items on the Munsinger affair, but the only one to air on the show of 20 March, while the story was still current, was an interview with some Upper Canada College students on the subject. The Svigny footage, one of the three segments to be scotched was seen by management to constitute an invasion of privacy and contravene CBC policy.

Finally, the issue of Laurier LaPierre's and Warner Troyer's interview with Qubec Attorney-General Claude Wagner precipitated a series of ultimatums that would result in the final chapter in the life of Seven Days. LaPierre's position against capital punishment was evident, producer Leiterman agreed (Carscallen, p. l3l), and he and Troyer both took adversary positions in order to draw a strong argument for the Qubec government view out of Wagner. Nevertheless, LaPierre was seen to have dominated the interview, a situation that he attributed to the interview of the Francophone Wagner in his second language. The eight minute segment had also been selectively edited--a process over which LaPierre had little or no control--from a much longer interview. Nevertheless, LaPierre's methods and integrity were again questioned. LaPierre had for several months defended his positions on public issues--he was still a member of faculty at McGill, not solely a CBC announcer--and criticized CBC policy and management. Yet he was cited for "Disloyalty to Management."

Two days later, on the fifth of April, Walker met with the Director of News and Public Affairs William Hogg and General Supervisor of Public Affairs Reeves Haggan and discussed the proposal for a new public affairs show, a French and English language collaboration, and the possibility of Patrick Watson as producer. Helen Carscallen concluded that at this point Haggan had accepted as a fait accompli Watson's dismissal as a host and sought a positive alternative (p. l34). The next day Walker talked with Watson to sound out his suitability to continue producing for the CBC, and to work on this proposed series, Quarterly Report. A day later, Watson apparently informed Leiterman, who was on holiday in Florida, that his and LaPierre's contracts for Seven Days would not be renewed. On April fourteenth, the day after Leiterman returned to Toronto, Walker issued the directive that by five that afternoon Haggan assure him Seven Days would return, but without Watson or LaPierre; Haggan consulted with Leiterman and Leiterman finally--at four o'clock--met with Walker.

Late that night, with several weeks left in the television season and Seven Days reportedly enjoying over three million viewers, about one-third of the viewing audience in its time slot, Leiterman decided to go public and leak to The Globe and Mail the news that the CBC wished to dump the show's co-hosts. While the Seven Days had challenged the limits of CBC journalistic policies and tested management's tolerance of its methods and decisions, Walker had erred by approaching Watson directly, when contracts determined that producers retained responsibility for hiring and firing production personnel, a principle that had been endorsed in a dispute over the cancellation of Eye Opener a year earlier (Carscallen, pp. l37-38).

After the Globe report, a "Save Seven Days" campaign arose that kept the show in the public eye for weeks thereafter. The Save Seven Days Committee was organized by writer and producer Stephen Patrick, paid by the Seven Days producers (Carscallen, p. l48). It elicited response from across the country to bring the issue to broader public attention--it received an estimated seven thousand telephone calls of support in its first two days--and to the eyes of the Parliamentary Broadcasting Committee. Within a month and an half, 780 supporting communications including four petitions signed with 9,563 names, had also made their way to the office of the Prime Minister, and 875 communications including 2,973 signatures on twenty-three petitions arrived at the office of Secretary of State Judy LaMarsh, to whom the CBC reported.

When the Toronto Producers' Association threatened to strike on the first of May if Watson and LaPierre were not renewed, Prime Minister Pearson appointed Stuart Keate, publisher of the Vancouver Sun as a mediator. Keate upheld the producers' grievance over Walker's abrogation of the managerial chain, but Ouimet and the CBC stood by their decision to remove Watson and LaPierre. As Warner Troyer has indicated, the efforts to revive Seven Days could hardly succeed, because the show was already dead, with its staff disbanded and its activistic energy dissipated (The Power and the Glory [Toronto: John Wiley, 1980], p. l64). The Parliamentary Broadcasting Committee held six weeks of hearings on the matter, but with no immediate remedies or effects. The Save Seven Days campaign failed to bring the show back to the air; though it also brought CBC management tactics to public and professional light--disclosing concealed agendas as the show itself had--it did not result in the kind of substantial changes the producers and viewers of Seven Days had seen was possible through television.

Other sources on Seven Days include Percy Saltzman's discussion with Douglas Leiterman and Patrick Watson, "How to Survive in the CBC Jungle...and Other TV Tribal Secrets," Maclean's (6 February l965), pp. l2-l3, 39-44; Robert Fulford, "The Lesson of Seven Days," Canadian Forum (May 1966), pp. 25-26; Eric Koch, Inside Seven Days (Toronto: Prentice-Hall, 1986).

Photo (courtesy of CBC) shows Bob Hoyt, Ken Lefolii, Doug Leiterman, Patrick Watson.


This Is Ottawa

Tue 10:00-10;30 p.m., 3 Jul-7 Aug 1956

Broadcast live from Ottawa and produced by Michael Hind-Smith, this series of six, half-hour programs featured on-the-spot reports by Robert McKeown from the nation's capital. The show visited the Supreme Court Building for a look at the National Capital Plan, a model of the city for the future, Laurier House, the National Gallery, the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, the Embassy of France, and the Parliament Buildings.


This Is The Law

Mon 8:30-9:00 p.m., 21 Jun-13 Sep 1971 Mon 9:30-10:00 p.m., 3 Jul 1972- Mon 9:30-10:00 p.m., 17 Sep 1973-24 Jun 1974 Mon 8:30-9:00 p.m., 9 Sep 1974-1 Sep 1975 Tue 8:30-9:00 p.m., 9 Sep 1975-6 Apr 1976 Mon-Fri 4:00-4:30 p.m., 11 Jun-7 Sep 1979 (R) Mon-Fri 1:30-2:00 p.m., 26 May-21 Aug 1981 (R)

This Is The Law started as a summer replacement, in 197l and l972, for Front Page Challenge, and proved popular enough to earn a prime time slot of its own in the 1972 season. Another half- hour quiz show with an underlying educational premise, it asked panel members to spot the obscure statute that was violated in a filmed, wordless sketch. Paul Soles played the hapless lawbreaker and Robert Warner the constable (from 1974, when he was promoted, the sergeant) who put the arm on him after the deed was done. Other members of the repertory company who played supporting parts in the sketches included Paul Bradley, Robert McHeady, Dougal Fraser, Eric Clavering, Monica Parker, Valri Bromfield, Trudy Desmond, and Jo Penny.

The panelists were Hart Pomerantz, himself a barrister and solicitor, though better known to CBC audiences as one half of the comic team from The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour, broadcasters and actors Larry Solway and Madeleine Kronby, and acerbic businessman William Charlton. Kronby left the show effective August 197l, and was later replaced by Susan Keller. fIn addition to appearing in the filmed segments, Soles acted as the show's host for the first summer season. He was replaced for the remainder of the show's run by Austin Willis. Well known lawyers, such as Roy McMurtry, and other figures related to the law, including Dr. Morton Shulman, appeared frequently to explain the transgressions. During the final season, Julie Amato became the sole female panelist, and Larry Solway was replaced with celebrity guest panelists. The series was produced by Nigel Napier-Andrews, who also directed the filmed comedy sketches.

Photo (courtesy of CBC) shows Hart Pomerantz, Larry Solway, Susan Keller, Bill Charlton, Austin Willis.


This Land

Mon-Fri 5:00-5:30 p.m., 27 Sep-15 Oct 1965

The 1965 program called This Land was a half-hour travel documentary presented on weekday afternoons. The fifteen programs included productions by the National Film Board, and started with Trans Canada Journey, narrated by Christopher Plummer, which surveyed the country by air from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. Among the other films were My Island Home, on Prince Edward Island; The Water Dwellers, on the lumber workers of Simoon Sound, British Columbia; Northwest Neighbours, on the people of Yellowknife; and My Financial Career, the animated adaptation of Stephen Leacock's story.

This series should not be confused with This Land Of Ours, which started the next season, or its successor, also called This Land (q.v.).


This Land

Wed 10:00-11:00 p.m., 23 Sep 1970-10 Mar 1971 Wed 10:00-11:00 p.m., 14 Jul-15 Sep 1971 Wed 8:00-8:30 p.m., 20 Oct 1971-27 Mar 1972 Wed 8:00-8:30 p.m., 1 Nov 1972-28 Mar 1973 Wed 8:00-8:30 p.m., 26 sep 1973-27 Mar 1974 Wed 4:30-5:00 p.m., 3 Apr-12 Jun 1974 (R) Thu 8:00-8:30 p.m., 1 Aug-29 Aug 1974 (R) Wed 8:00-8:30 p.m., 1 Jan-26 Mar 1975 Wed 8:00-8:30 p.m., 7 Jan-25 Feb 1976 Sun 1:00-1:30 p.m., 4 Apr-13 Jun 1976 Sun 10:30-11:00 p.m., 27 Mar-19 Jun 1977 Mon 5:00-5:30 p.m., 19 Sep-19 Dec 1977 (R) Sun 10:00-10:30 p.m., 28 May-18 Jul 1978 Sun 9:00-9:30 p.m., 16 Jul-13 Aug 1978 Mon 10:30-11:00 p.m., 28 May- Mon 10:30-11:00 p.m., 30 Jul-10 Sep 1979 (R) Mon 10:30-11:00 p.m., 2 Jun-25 Aug 1980 Mon-Fri 1:30-2:00 p.m., 26 May-18 Jul 1980 (R) Mon 10:30-11:00 p.m., 8 Sep-22 Sep 1980 Mon 10:00-11:00 p.m., 15 Jun- Mon 10:30-11:00 p.m., 29 Jun-31 Aug 1981 Thu 2:00-2:30 p.m., 28 May-10 Sep 1981 (R) Sat 10:30-11:00 p.m., 5 Jun- Tue 10:30-11:00 p.m., 6 Jul-31 Aug 1982

After the acclaimed series of documentaries on nature and resources, This Land Of Ours, moved into a prime time slot for a summer season with a new host, it stayed there and expanded to a one hour format. (It later retracted to a half-hour, though it stayed as a regular and welcome addition to the prime time schedule.) The adjustment in the show's title reflected the broadened scope of the program, as well as the departure of host John Foster, who had been identified with the earlier show.

One of the principal television outlets to explore environmental issues and policies of conservation, This Land evolved as the central production of the CBC Agriculture and Resources department. The series opened with programs on pollution, and introduced the importance that music would play in the show, with songs by Dee Higgins, Brent Titcombe, and Bruce Cockburn to illustrate the discussion. Although the program was in one sense devoted to celebrating the land in visual terms, it also carried a strong sense of commitment to the social issues of the environmental movement, and consequently documented conflict as well as the harmony of nature.

Frequent contributors to the show have included naturalist Tommy Tompkins, reporter Stanley Burke, arctic authority Doug Wilkinson, Bruno Engler, and Dr. Donald Chant. The executive producers of This Land were Murray Creed (l970-7l) and John Lackie (l97l-86), and the contributing producers included Lackie and Foster, Neil Andrews, Terry Richardson, Jack Kellum, Bob Hutt, David Fulton, Eric McLeery, Robert Fripp, Ray Burley, Garnett Anthony, Dick Donovan, John LaPointe, Ed Sanders, and Dave Quinton. The hosts were John Hopkins (l970-72) and Phyllis Gorman (l970-7l), Laurie Jennings (l973-78), Mary Chapman (l976- 78), John Foster (l977), Mike Halleran (l977), and Don Francks (l978-82).

Through the late 1970s and 1980s, the costs of producing the kind of location documentaries that This Land demanded grew and the show's budget eroded. Each year saw fewer and fewer new shows in the series, and the program ended in 1986.


This Land Of Ours

Sat 6:00-6:30 p.m., 8 Jan-26 Mar 1966 Sat 6:00-6:30 p.m., 7 Jan-25 Mar 1967 Sat 6:00-6:30 p.m., 7 Oct 1967-30 Mar 1968 Sat 6:00-6:30 p.m., 7 Dec 1968-31 May 1969 Sun 5:00-5:30 p.m., 4 Jan-29 Mar 1970 Tue 10:30-11:00 p.m., 7 Jul-1 Sep 1970

This Land Of Ours replaced Countrytime and, as the change in title suggested, represented an expansion of the vision of what the Farms Department might contribute. Issues of the human uses of nature grew beyond farms and fishing to include other forms of resources. Fuelled by the germinating environmental movement and by the self-examination that the Centennial celebrations focused, This Land Of Ours started as a thirteen week series of half-hour programs that aimed to explore issues of agriculture and renewable resources. (The show's title came from the theme song, "Something to Sing About," performed by the Travellers.) Over the show's four and a half year history, before it was transformed into This Land, it presented many distinguished documentaries that showed us our rural and natural heritage, as well as feeding our appetites for nature and science information television.

Each program in the first series concentrated on a specific resource, such as agriculture, fishing, forestry, water and soil, and wildlife, and included both film segments and studio sequences with discussions and demonstrations. Programs concentrated on such subjects as a visit by suburban Toronto students to the Albion Hills Conservation School; the Northern native people and their dependence on the goose as a food source; and pollution in the river and lake systems of southern Ontario.

The host of This Land Of Ours was John Foster, who had started as a commentator on farms with CFTO-TV in Toronto and moved to the CBC in 1962. Subsequently, for his work on This Land Of Ours and its successor, as well as his highly successful series, To The Wild Country, produced with his wife Janet Foster, he has become one of the country's best known producers and voices for issues of nature, the environment, and nature on television.

Producers for the show included Murray Creed (l966-67), Jim St. Maire (l967-68), John Lackie (l968-70), Gerry Richardson, and Jack Kellum.


This Living World

Thu 5:00-5:30 p.m., 10 Oct 1959-16 Jun 1960 Sat 5:00-5:30 p.m., 21 Oct 1961-18 Aug 1962 Mon 5:30-6:00 p.m., 1 Oct 1962-27 May 1963 Mon 4:00-4:30 p.m., 14 Oct 1963-25 May 1964

This half-hour, afternoon program for young people adapted for the English CBC audience the formula of the Radio-Canada series, La Vie qui bat. Both were produced by Adelin Bouchard on the same set at CBC Montreal. Steve Bloomer presented films on wildlife in their natural habitat and showed animals in captivity in the studio. The show also included a weekly quiz, and had contests to name frequent visitors, a gorilla in 1962 and a cheetah in 1963.


This Week

Sun 7:30-8:00 p.m., 14 Sep-21 Sep 1952

This Week, a Sunday night broadcast originally produced by Harvey Hart, was a panel discussion of the week's events. The moderator was R.A. Farquharson, the editor of Saturday Night magazine, and the three member panel included John Dauphinee, J.B. McGeachy and a guest. In 1953, Wilfrid Sanders, the head of the Canadian Institute of Public Opinion, took over the job of moderator. For the 1954 season, the show altered its format somewhat, and moved its emphasis from discussion on several subjects each week to commentary and interviews on a specific issue. The program's length varied according to the length of the show that followed it on the schedule. This Week was replaced in 1959 by Background.


This Week

Tue 10:00-11:00 p.m., 1 Nov 1966-7 Jan 1967 Tue 10:30-11:00 p.m., 6 Aug-10 Sep 1968

Warner Troyer and Knowlton Nash were co-hosts on This Week, a collaboration between the units that presented Newsmagazine, produced by Donald Cameron, and The Public Eye, produced by Richard Nielsen. Airing on the average once a month, the program comprised the reportage of the former program with the commentary and background of the latter. Subjects included the U.S. elections and labour dissent and its bearing on inflation in Canada.

The next summer, This Week returned. Although the program had a different format and host, it still had ties with The Public Eye. Don Cumming was the show's executive producer for the first half of the eight week series, and Richard Nielsen for the second half. Don McNeill produced the show, which actor Don Harron hosted. Essentially an interview program, This Week concentrated on such subjects as the Miami convention of the U.S. Republican Party and the violent Chicago convention of the Democrats; the growing liberalism and its ultimate suppression in Czechoslovakia; and the national leader of the New Democratic Party, David Lewis.


This Week

See This Week In Parliament.


This Week In Parliament

Sun 10:00-11:00 a.m., 23 Oct-18 Dec 1977 Sun 5:00-6:00 p.m., 29 Jan- Sun 5:20-6:00 p.m., 15 Oct 1978-25 Mar 1979 Sun 5:20-6:00 p.m., 14 Oct-13 Dec 1979 Sun 5:20-6:00 p.m., 20 Apr-8 Aug 1980 Sun 5:20-6:00 p.m., 12 Oct 1980-17 May 1981 Sun 5:20-6:00 p.m., 17 Oct-19 Dec 1981 Sat 6:30-7:00 p.m., 30 Jan-11 Sep 1982 Sat 6:30-7:00 p.m., 24 Jul-

This Week In Parliament reviewed the proceedings of the House, with hosts John Drewery (l977) and Bill Casey (l978-82). Starting as an independent program, produced in Ottawa, from 1978 the series was incorporated into the Sunday national news broadcasts.

In 1982, the CBC revived the generic title This Week--which replaced This Week In Parliament during the House's summer recess--for a discussion of public affairs, hosted by reporter Don Newman. Produced in Ottawa by Don Hearn, the show was directed by Ray Lachance and Joan Woodward.


Through The Eyes Of Tomorrow

Sun 2:00-3:00 p.m., 9 Jan-10 Jul 1966 Sun 4:30-5:00 p.m., 8 Jan-18 Jun 1967 Sun 4:30-5:00 p.m., 21 Jan-30 Jun 1968 Sun 3:30-4:00 p.m., 23 Feb- Sun 4:30-5:00 p.m., 20 Apr-29 Jun 1969

The CBC tried to respond to the growing youth movement and market with Through The Eyes Of Tomorrow, a magazine show that included music, variety, and drama, as well as coverage of current affairs and social issues. The hosts of the program, which ran a full hour in its first season, were Paul Saltzman, then a student at the University of Toronto and formerly a researcher for This Hour Has Seven Days, and Janet McQuillin, a recent graduate of York University and a CBC radio researcher and writer. Each program concentrated on a particular subject or area. The first program concerned music, with appearances by jazz drummer Ed Thigpen, composer Aaron Charloff, and a folk music group, the Mark IIIs. Subsequent programs included Saltzman's interview with actor Peter Kastner and a panel discussion with Globe and Mail columnist Richard J. Needham; a talk with a young person who had worked with CUSO in Ghana; and a series of panel discussions on sex and teenagers. The series was produced by Perry Rosemond, with music and variety segments directed by Neil Andrews and drama directed by Herb Roland. Joan Soloviov supervised the show's writing.

When the show returned the next year, as a half-hour broadcast, Andrews was executive producer, and shared the job of producing individual shows with Rosemond. Saltzman returned as a writer and reporter. The hosts included a number of students and young performers and models: Wilf Fournier, Wayne Thompson, Rex Hagon (formerly of The Forest Rangers), Jennifer Leak, Sheri-Lee Hall, and Ann Wright. They reported on young people in London, the National Youth Orchestra's 1966 European tour, and Expo '67, as well as more controversial subjects, such as the Vietnam War and the activities of the Company of Young Canadians. For its third season, the hosts were Wayne Thompson, Brant Frayne, and Carol Hunter, and in 1969 the host was Stephen Foster.


Thursday Night

Thu 10:00-11:00 p.m., 2 Oct 1969-10 Sep 1970

A series of one hour documentaries, most of the film reports on Thursday Night were original CBC productions, though the program did feature some British productions. The executive producers of the series were William Harcourt and Robert Patchell, with a unit that consisted of producers Donald G. Cameron, Gordon Donaldson, Jeannine Locke, Martyn Burke, Jesse Nishihata, William Stevenson, Bob Evans, Don McQueen, John David Hamilton, and Cameron Graham, and directors Murray Hunter, Nick Bakyta, and Garth Price. The series opened with The Last Best West, Locke's and Price's examination of the contemporary west. Other productions included Nishihata's Behaviourism, Hamilton's American Gothic '69, a report from the Nixon U.S. heartland, and Graham's The Left In Canada. In addition, the program presented Michael Maclear's production, Ho Chi Minh's People, his report on North Vietnam at the time of Ho's death, when Maclear was the only western news representative in the country. After one season, the documentary program moved to Tuesdays, and changed its title. See Tuesday Night.


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