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CBC Television Series, 1952-1982

by Blaine Allan

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CBC Series Index


Fables of La Fontaine

Thu 5:15-5:30 p.m., 2 Jan-3 Jul 1958

French producer Marc Gaudart was responsible for this series of fifteen minute fables with animal characters, based on stories by the l7th century poet La Fontaine. The films employed the talents of animals from the farm of Lorna Jackson in Mount Albert, Ontario. Gaudart set the animals--most the small, relatively tame kind, such as parrots, frogs, cats, and pigeons- -in miniature sets to "act out" the stories. Cinematographer Fritz Spiess had to spend "hours studying each of the animals used in the series to get to know the different problems posed by each--such as a mouse who refused to ride in canoes, a bored monkey who was fascinated by studio wires and rafters, and a rabbit who became so fond of sitting in a jeep that he refused to get out and race with a turtle" (CBC Times [l3-l9 April 1958], pp. l, 5).

The Family

Wed 9:00-10:00 a.m., 17 Feb-24 Mar 1971

Created by Ed McGibbon and produced by Jack Nixon-Brown, The Family was a series of four, one hour dramas on different issues in contemporary family life. The Stranger Was Me (l7 February 197l), written by Dennis Donovan, concerned a boy's experiences in a rural foster home. Douglas Bowie's You And Me (24 February 197l) examined the conflicts in a young couple where the man and woman have separate commitments and desires that keep them from funcionting as a traditional family. Forever Amok (l0 March 197l), about a prolific, lower class man who has children with several women, was a comedy written by Len Peterson. Finally, George Robertson's Straight And Narrow (l7 March 197l) concerned the generation gap in a typical, middle class family and a father who discovers that his values no longer hold.

The Family Circle

Sun 3:00-3:30 p.m., 7 Apr-9 Jun 1957

Patrick Watson was the producer of this Sunday afternoon series of half- hour programs for the CBC, although the films that were broadcast came from Crawley Films and the National Film Board. The program examined the development and behaviour of children, through film and discussion. The Crawley films included The Terrible Twos and Trusting Threes, The Frustrating Fours and Fascinating Fives, From Sociable Six to Noisy Nines, and Why Won't Tommy Eat? Crawley also produced From Ten To Twelve, and The Teens which MacKay Smith and Crawley, respectively, wrote and Ed Reid directed. The NFB contributed Shyness, written and directed by Stanley Jackson, to the series. The final segment, called Family Circles, concerned the school and family in child development. The program often included discussions with Joyce Wry and Donald Ritchie, and the series consultant was Dr. Charles Stogdill.

Family Court

A Screen Gems production, Family Court was a hybrid of a soap opera and an effort in public service. The daily half-hour broadcast dramatized court cases, and concerned conflicts and how they could be worked out in the family court system. Unlike the continuing narratives of daytime dramas, the stories tended not to stretch longer than two or three episodes. The regular characters--the judge (from 197l to 1972, Judge Carlton, played by Bill Kemp, replaced in 1972 by Judge Alan Cameron, played by Alan Mills), the probation officer (Mrs. Scott, played by Mignon Elkins), and the court psychiatrist (introduced in 1972 and played by David Phillips)--were all sympathetic and sober figures of authority and understanding. Walter Massey was also a series regular, as the inevitable court clerk.

Fancy Free

Thu 9:00-9:30 p.m., 6 Oct-29 Dec 1960

Fancy Free replaced the summer series, Swing Gently, and producer Syd Wayne incorporated elements of that show into the new, helf-hour, musical variety series. Host Alan Millar introduced popular musical numbers of the past, performed by Allan Blye, Ruth Walker, the Billy Van Four, and the Rudi Toth orchestra. The Canadettes, a precision dance team directed by Midge Arthur, appeared on a semi-regular basis. Guests included singer Doug Romaine, dancer Joey Hollingsworth, comic Pam Hyatt, U.S. actor and comic Orson Bean, and ventriloquist Senor Wences. Each show focused on a specific year, and recreated that time through film clips as well as music and costume. The program was written by Pat Patterson and Allan Manings.

The Farmer

Sun 10:30-11:00 p.m., 1 Jun-22 Jun 1958

The Farmer comprised four, half-hour programs, created and produced by Murray Creed and Frank Nicholson, written by Charles E. Israel, and directed by Eric Till. The first segment, titled The Farmer and His Farm, explored issues of the farmer in relation to economic and technological developments. The Farmer On Trial, the second segment, finds the farmer accused of bearing the responsibility for high food prices. The Farmer and His World, the third program, used a semi-fantasy format to deal with international wheat sales and issues of food surpluses. The concluding show, The Farmer and His Future projected the lot of the farmer forward to 1975.

Feature Of The Week

Sun 10:30-11:30 a.m., Jan 31 1954

Sun 11:00-12:00 noon, 7 Feb-30 May 1954

Sun 11:00-12:00 noon, 20 Jun 1954

Sun 11:00-12:00 noon, 4 Jul-30 Aug 1954

This Sunday morning series presented one hour films, such as Angela, The Moody Arctic Expedition, Driftwood (presented over two weeks), King of Kings, and Thunder Rock.

Feelin' Good

Mon-Fri 1:11-1:30 p.m., 1 Sep-5 Sep 1980

Produced in Regina by Dave White, Feelin' Good was a daily half-hour on physical fitness, with Judi Osborne.


Mon 10:00-10:30 p.m., 31 May-21 Jun 1965

Kenneth Bagnall, assistant editor of the United Church Observer, was the host and interviewer for this four part series on contemporary changes in the Christian church. The first half-hour program, on "Peace and Brotherhood," included features on the civil rights positions of New York's Rev. James Robinson, the director of Operation Crossroads, an interview with Claude Ryan, editor of Le Devoir, about the church in French Canada, and Dr. John Bennett, president of the Union Theological Seminary in New York, on nuclear weapons and war. The second program examined the "new Protestant reformation," with the Bishop of Woolwich and Paul Tillich. The third segment concerned personal Christian beliefs, and featured discussion with Father Paul Doucet. The series ended with a look at the future of the church in British and North American suburban centres, and included the views of Don Benedict, director of the Chicago City Missionary Society.

Ferment was produced by Vincent Tovell.


Mon 9:30-10:30 or 11:00 p.m., 10 Oct 1960-19 Jun 1961

Mon 9:30-10:30 or 11:00 p.m., 2 Oct 1961-25 Jun 1962

Mon 9:30-10:30 or 11:00 p.m., 1 Oct 1962-17 Jun 1963

Wed 9:30-11:00 p.m., 2 Oct 1963-24 Jun 1964

Wed 9:30-10:00 p.m., 7 Oct 1964-30 Jun 1965

Wed 9:30-10:00 p.m., 15 Sep 1965-6 Jul 1966

Wed 9:30-11:00 p.m., 14 Sep 1966-10 May 1967

Wed 9:30-11:00 p.m., 4 Oct 1967-8 May 1968

Wed 9:30-11:00 p.m., 30 Oct 1968-26 Mar 1969

Festival, which followed in the tradition of Scope, Folio, and Startime, was a weekly hour or hour and a half given over to quality drama or musical programming. Its executive producer, Robert Allen, had had the same role on Folio, Festival's predecessor, and became national supervisor for CBC television drama. Allen controlled programming at Featival with the aid of three story editors: Doris Gauntlett, Doris Mosdell, and Alice Sinclair. Festival achieved considerable popularity: in the mid-l960s, Allen estimated that the program reached about 900,000 homes, and 1963 surveys indicated that the show gained audience shares of seventeen and twenty per cent in Toronto and Vancouver, respectively, both cities with several other channels to choose.

Robert Russel noted in an article on television drama that Festival could have been considered "our national stage" (Canadian Art [September-October 1962]), particularly, one assumes, as a broadly disseminated venue for acting and other performing talent. He cautioned, however, that the production schedules prevented the show from achieving consistent excellence, and "often resulted in superficial, over-busy productions, unfair to audience, actor, playwright, the CBC. He added that the program also provided Canadian playwrights with a national audience and high quality productions. However, in his 1966 study of CBC drama, Roger Lee Jackson found that the number of productions written by Canadians for the CBC's prestige drama show had diminished from ten in the l955-56 and 1957- 58 seasons of Folio to an average of three per year in the Festival schedule since 1960 (out of an annual average of twenty dramas) (R. L. Jackson, Ph. D. "An Historical and Analytical Study of the Origin, Development, and, Impact of the Dramatic Programs Produced for the English Language Networks of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation." Wayne State University, 1966, p. l09).

As early as 196l, writing about Festival, Mordecai Richler accused the CBC of blocking adventurous and excellent programming, althoughout he was hardly advocating nationalism: "This, God help us, is supposed to be the cultural showpiece. But at the CBC these days they come to culture with lead boots and determined philistine hearts. . . they trust the name brands only. Shakespeare equals culture. . . TV drama will not come of age until it offers original plays by good writers, regardless of nationality" (Maclean's [8 April 196l]).

In its first season, for examople, Festival offered of Shakeseare's Julius Caesar, produced by Paul Almond; an adaptation of Dickens's Great Expectations, O'Neill's The Great God Brown, Anouilh's Ring Around the Moon and Colombe, both produced by Mario Prizek; Emlyn Williams's Night Must Fall, Henry James's The Pupil, Ansly's The Dybbuk, and two operas, Electra and Falstaff. The season also included the Stratford production of Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore, directed by Tyrone Guthrie and produced for television by Norman Campbell. Canadians writers' contributions included Rita Greer Allen's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's story, Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, and Bernard Slade's adaptation of Hugh Walpole's novel, The Old Ladies, produced by Eric Till.

Subsequent seasons continued this pattern of Canadian productions of internationally renowned plays, operas, and ballet, as well as Canadian drama and music. In addition to such pretigious presentations as Brecht's Galileo, Anouilh's The Lark, Ibsen's The Wild Duck, producted by Harvey Hart, and Paul Almond's production of Venus Observed, by Christopher Fry, the 1962 seasons provided a number of Canadian offerings: W.O. Mitchell's story of music in the restrictive Hutterite community, The Devil's Instrument, David's Chapter II, written by M. Charles Cohen, produced by Harvey Hart, and starring Donnelly Rhodes and Toby Tarnow, and--a rarity--a quebec play, The Endless Echo, written by Robert Remillard, translated by Alvin Goldman, and produced by Mario Prizek. The seasons also included another Stratford production of Gilbert and Sullivan, this time The Gondoliers, the National Ballet's performance of Giselle, and Glenn Gould's Richard Strauss: A Personal View and The Art of the Fugue.

The 1964-65 season featured modern drama, including Beckett's Waiting For Godot, produced by George Bloomfield, and Pinter's The Birthday Party, produced by Paul Almond, in addition to Eric Till's production of Ibsen's The Master Builder, adapted by Peter Donat. Peter Boretski produced several programs: Antigone, by Chrisopher Logue, The Furious Philipp Hotz, Ph.D., and James Hanley's Say Nothing. Canadian works included an adaptation by Fletcher Markle of Brian Moore's The Feast of Lupercal and a repeat showing of Paul St. Pierre's Cariboo Country (q.v.) story, The Eduction of Phyllistine, originally shown on The Serial. The seasons ended over the month of June 1965 with a selection of Four Concerts in Praise of Great Performers: George Balanchine and the New York City Ballet, Seiji Ozawa and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Stern/Istomin/Rose Trio, and Sviatoslav Richter and Maureen Forrester.

The next year included two adaptations of the Romeo and Juliet story: one by the National Ballet and the other by--a Festival perennial--Jean Anouilh. Viewers also saw productions of the Irish works, Juno and the Paycock, by Sean O'Casey, and A Cheap Bunch of Nice Flowers, by Edna O'Brien. Canadian dramas included George Ryga's Man Alive, produced by George Bloomfield, and another Cariboo Country film production, How To Break A Quarter Horse, written by Paul St. Pierre. As part of its music schedule, Festival also aired the National Film Board documentary portrait of Igor Stravinsky, by Roman Kroiter and Wolf Koenig. As the year previous, the season concluded with a series of musical performances, including one that paired Glenn Gould and Yehudi Menuhin and another that showcased the winners of the CBC Talent Festival.

Most of the first-rank producers then working for CBC television made their contributions to Festival, among them Harvey Hart, Mario Prizek, Paul Almond, Franz Kraemer, Eric Till, George McCowan, Philip Keatley, and Norman Campbell.

Festival D'ete

Sun 10:30-11:00 p.m., 4 Jul-29 Aug 1954

This summer festival was a half-hour broadcast of vocal music and dance. Selections included El Amor Brujo, by de Falla (4 July 1954); Le Pauvre matelot, by Darius Milhaud, with Hertha Glaz (25 July 1954); Kurt Weill's Down in the Valley, sung by Jon Vickers, Jacqueline Smith, and Jan Rubes in a program directed by George Crum and staged by Herman Geiger-Torel (l August l954); Le Combat et madrigaux, by Monteverdi, with Maureen Forrester, Jean-Paul Jeannette, Yolande Dulude, Adeeb Assaly, and Francoise Sullivan (8 August l954); and The Marriage, a ballet by Joey Harris, with music by Poulenc, with Harris and Annette Brand, the program produced by Loyd Brydon.

55 North Maple

Mon-Fri 1:30-2:00 p.m., 7 Sep 1970-15 Sep 1971

One of those odd hybrids that television attempts, 55 North Maple combined elements of situation comedy, talk show, and how-to-do-it program. The fictional premise was that Max Ferguson portrayed a magazine writer who lived in a comfortable house with his sister, played by Joan Drewery, and her husband, never seen in the program. As they went about their business at 55 North Maple, they welcomed guests who could help them with whatever little problem or project occupied them. On the first show, for example, Joan set about to redecorate the living room with the advice of an interior decorator, while Max showed his friend, composer Harry Freedman, how to make carrot whiskey (a Ferguson specialty). Later, Joan also helped a friend choose a dress pattern. Obviously, the chat at 55 North Maple was pretty light and less than topical.

The program, which received favourable response for its ingenuity as well as its entertainment and production values, relied most heavily on the informal and attractive qualities of Ferguson and Drewery. The program was tapeed at Robert Lawrence Productions in Toronto, and produced by its creator, Elsa Franklin.

the fifth estate

Then the head of Public Affairs at the CBC, Peter Herrndorf successfully pitched the idea that CBC television needed a hard-hitting information program, comparable to This Hour Has Seven Days or to As It Happens, on CBC Radio. The CBC enlisted newspaper editor and columnist Ron Haggart and broadcast journalist Gerald McAuliffe to design such a show for the television lineup.

Compared to the U.S. networks, the CBC had, of course, a strong tradition of putting public affairs broadcasts in prime time. The CBS newsmagaine, 60 Minutes, had hung on in the schedule since 1968 and, having been moved from one time slot to another, was building a loyal audience for its combination of short documentary essays, personality profiles, and investigative and confrontational newsgathering (and by the 1976-77 season it would break into the top twenty rated series in the U.S.). CBC's the fifth estate (always in lower case) aped its CBS counterpart in both appearance and attitude. The graphic design of the shows connoted that 60 Minutes as a magazine and the fifth estate as a filing cabinet full of folders that held the cases under investigation. Each show had a set of host/correspondents (from two to five for 60 Minutes, two or three for the fifth estate), who would introduce their own "article" in the studio and then appear as the onscreen reporter in the filmed or taped segments.

the fifth estate's first reporters were Warner Troyer, Adrienne Clarkson, who shared duties as the program's hosts, and Peter Reilly, who worked as a reporter-at-large. Troyer was a veteran of Seven Days and The Public Eye, while Reilly was a senior reporter for the CBC. Both had also worked on CTV's public affairs flagship, W5. (Reilly, in fact, had been hired away from the national network to host the private network's show starting autumn 1966 and resigned a month later, alleging the interference of John Bassett, chairman of CFTO-TV, board member of CTV, and owner of the Toronto Telegram in editorial matters.) Clarkson had built a considerable reputation as an interviewer on the daily program Take 30. Glenn Sarty also moved over from Take 30 to take the job of executive producer of the fifth estate. The first edition included an examination of an Arctic air crash, an interview with two of Charles Manson's associates, and an item on a Regina woman who organized a private police force for hire.

The series weathered a rocky first season, which ended with the resignation of Warner Troyer, after a contentious season with co-host Clarkson, and the untimely death of Peter Reilly in 1977. Troyer was replaced by Eric Malling, who remained Clarkson's onscreen partner, and survived her on the show when she left in 1982 to become Ontario's cultural envoy to Paris. Bob Johnstone, one of the CBC's tough talking, police reporter types, took Reilly's place and joined Clarkson and Malling in the studio, from 1977-78. Ian Parker replaced him and stayed with the show from 1978 to 198l. Bob McKeown took Parker's seat in 198l, and Hana Gartner, also a graduate of Take 30, moved into Clarkson's empty spot in 1982, and they and Malling remain the hosts and reporters. Robin Taylor succeeded Ron Haggart as the program's senior producer and succeeded Sarty as executive producer in 198l.

A battery of producers have generated the two or three individual segments broadcast each week. Probably the best known and most widely publicized have been the documentaries produced by John and Rose Kastner. The Kastners usually choose a sensitive subject--such as breast cancer, leukemia among children, physical deformities, incarceration--and approach them in a way that demonstrates the friction between concerned, sympathetic investigation and sensationalism. Their documentary on breast cancer, Four Women, won an Emmy.

The single best-known fifth estate program is probably Just Another Missing Kid, Ian Parker's detective-like investigation a young man's traces, from his home in Ontario to Colorado, where he disappeared, because the ninety- minute feature won the U.S. Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary in 1983.

Fighting Words

"Fighting Words is a program in which four people of assorted activities and temperaments are invited, without any preparation or rehearsal, and often without knowing one another, to identify the authorship of quotations which they must then discuss. As a rule, three unrelated subjects are presented for their consideration during the half hour. Each week the program either deals with a new issue, or a phase of some subject never discussed before." That is how the show's moderator described the program in response to criticism of its similarities to the U.S. game show, What's My Line? Cohen argued that the panelists on the CBS show simply repeated questions to determine the occupation of each challenger, and gave "viewers the same article week after week." His own show, he observed, "has a much higher opinion of audience intelligence, [and] tries to provide diversity, stimulation, and good conversation" (Saturday Night [30 March 1957]).

Fighting Words set a tone for the typical CBC quiz show. Viewers did not participate in the quiz, but watched as intelligent men, usually, tried to divine the author of a passage by discussing its meaning and style. The panelists then further discussed the merits of the passage, its author, and their values. Radio quiz shows, for example, the CBC's own Now I Ask You, have often used similar formats, and television shows, such as Front Page Challenge or Flashback have aimed for similar values of diversion and education. Few successors, if any, have ever matched Fighting Words not only in literacy and serious intent, but also in lack of glamour. It is possible to conceive that had Fighting Words survived, it might still start with the cartoon of stick-figure humans beating each other up and might still take place on the small austere set with Cohen's and the panel's simple desks.

In fact, the show barely survived its first season on the air. By the end of September 1955, the CBC was ready to give the show one more month to prove its worth or to find a suitable time for it. The show did end on 26 October, but reappeared on the lineup on 4 December, when the number of letters that expressed objections to the cancellation showed the network programmers the show had more viewers than they had known.

Many scholars and people of letters served on the Fighting Words panelists. Among them were Morley Callaghan, J.B. McGeachy, Arthur Phelps, Ted Allan, and the always contentious Irving Layton. In June 1958, the production moved to the U.K. to produced two shows with a panel that consisted of Hugh Trevor-Roper, Julian Huxley, Stephen King-Hall, and Lady Violet Bonham- Carter.

Starting November 1959, the show suspended its regular format and aired a conversation between Cohen and a special guest. They included critic and commentator Kenneth Tynan and U.S. educator Robert M. Hutchins.

In 1970, Cohen revived Fighting Words for a brief run. After the CBC ran a couple of the original programs, Fighting Words reappeared in the 1982 television season, with Peter Gzowski as moderator, and panelists including Gordon Sinclair, Barbara Amiel, Claire Hoy, Morton Shulman, Larry Solway, Bella Abzug, Bob Rae, and, once again, Irving Layton.

The original idea for the program was formulated by Harvey Hart, and Mavor Moore chose the title. Robert Weaver, the network's senior producer of literary affairs, organized the program, which was produced by Gordon Babineau (l952-l959), Cliff Solway (l959-60), and Don McPherson (l960-62). The theme music was "Tillie's Tango."

Film Fun

Wed 5:00-5:30 p.m., 4 Dec 1974-15 Jan 1975

Tue 5:00-5:30 p.m., 5 Oct-26 Oct 1976

In the five episodes of this half-hour show from Ottawa, CBC announcer Brian Smyth, fourteen year old filmmaker Bryan Stoller, his ten year old sister Nancy, and their guests talked about and demonstrated processes of film animation to their young viewers. Their guests included Montreal filmmaker Sebastian, Don Arioli from the National Film Board, Winnipeg animator Ken Perkins, and composer Ben McPeek. In one show, they also visited the National Research Council to see what computers could do in animation. Brian Frappier produced Film Fun.

Final Audition

Fri 9:00-10:00 p.m., 31 Mar-19 May 1978

This series of four, one hour programs presented the fifteen finalists (from fifteen hundred entrants) in the Search For Talent competition sponsored by du Maurier cigarettes. Five acts performed on each of the first three programs, and the top five out of that group came back for a live broadcast from the stage of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto. The CBC also claimed that it intended to use this contest to develop talent and, to back up its intention, guaranteed opportunities on the CBC for the five finalists over the two years following the competition. Ray McConnell was the program producer, and Fred Davis the host.

Finlay & Company

Tue 9:00-9:30 p.m., 1 Jun-6 Jul 1976

In this series of eleven half-hour programs for the summer of 1976, Mary Lou Finlay interviewed and introduced profiles of Canadians in business, politics, and the arts. Subjects included journalist Allan Fotheringham, Leader of the Opposition Joe Clark, actor Susan Clark, Dennis McDermott, head of the United Auto Workers, advertising executive Terry O'Malley, writer Adele Wiseman, and J.K. Jamieson, the former head of the Exxon corporation.

Segment producers included George Robertson, Bev Korman, Bob Ennis, Alan Burke, Colin King, Bill Cobham, and John McGreevy. The executive producer of the series was Ain Soodor.

The First Five Years

Wed 2:30-3:00 p.m., 4 Oct 1971-9 May 1973

Thu 2:30-3:0 p.m., 4 Oct 1973-9 May 1974

A weekly, half-hour program on pre-school age children, The First Five Years featured Dr. Bette Stephenson and announcer Lloyd Robertson on a local CBLT-TV broadcast in the 1972-73 season. Harry Brown took Robertson's place when the program went to the network in the autumn of 1973. The producer was Dodi Robb.

First Performance

Wed 10:00-1:30 p.m., 3 Oct-24 Oct 1956

Thu 9:30-11:00 p.m., 3 Oct-24 Oct 1957

Tue 9:30-11:00 p.m., 7 Oct-4 Nov 1958

In First Performance, an annual, short-run series of ninety minute productions, the CBC presented television plays especially commissioned as part of the Canada Savings Bond promotional campaign.

In the first series, viewers saw Time Lock, written by Arthur Hailey and produced by Leo Orenstein (3 October 1956), a comedy by Joseph Schull, O'Brien, produced by Melwyn Breen (l0 October 1956), Black of the Moon, by Leslie MacFarlane, produced by David Greene (l7 October 1956), and The Discoverers, written by Mac Rosenfeld and George Salverson, and produced by Ronald Weyman.

The second series started with John Drainie, Katherine Blake, Lloyd Bochner, and Patrick Macnee in another new play by Arthur Hailey, Seeds of Power. The second production was Ice on Fire, by Len Peterson. The series continued with Cousin Elva, adapted by Leslie MacFarlane from the book by Stuart Trueman, and featuring Helene Winston, Alexander Webster, and Araby Lockhart, and Lister Sinclair's Janey Canuck, from the book by Byrne Hope Saunders, with Katherine Blake and Lloyd Bochner.

The final series, in 1958, included Panic at Parth Bay, a drama by Lester Powell, produced by Harvey Hart and starring Leslie Nielsen, Frances Hyland, Louis Zorich, Leslie Yeo, Hugh Webster, and Alexander Webster (7 October 1958). The second program, Marcel Dube's The Man In The House, was translated from the French by Ivor Barry, produced by Adrian Waller, and starred Gratien Gelinas, Collette Coutois, Ovila Legare, Germaine Giroux, and Clement Latour (2l October l958). The final First Performance was Mario Prizek's production of Mavor Moore's The Man Who Caught Bullets, which starred the U.S. actor Everett Sloane (4 November 1958).

First Person

Wed 10:00-10:30 p.m., 8 Jun-19 Oct 1960

Wed 8A:30-9:00 p.m., 26 Oct 1960-8 Feb 1961

The half-hour drama program, First Person, started as a twenty week, summer series and graduated in the autumn to a regular slot on the broadcast schedule. The title implied the techniques of narration or voiceover commentary by the protagonist or other characters in the story.

The summer 1960 series featured both original dramas and adaptations of stories by well known, international writers. The premiere starred Kenneth Wolff in End of Innocence, written by Vincent McConnor and produced by Paul Almond. The series continued with The Magnet, by Hugh Garner, produced by Harvey Hart, and starring Don Francks and Charmion King; Bill Glover and Deborah Turnbull in Final at Furnell, written by Willis Hall and produced by Melwyn Breen; George Salverson's Night River, which Basil Coleman produced and which starred Powys Thomas and Terry Carter; At the Railing, by Robert Presnell, Jr., produced by David Gardner, with a cast that featured Robert Goulet and Martha Buhs; Michael Forest in The Man Who Knew A Good Thing, written by Herb Hosie and produced by George McCowan; Fletcher Barry's story, Harry, adapted by Rosemary Timperley and produced by Ted Pope; Bulgarian Bread, by Paul Wayne; Kukla, and Aunt Jeannie and the Idol, both by Audrey Piggott; Earn Money At Home, by W.O. Mitchell; David Gardner's production of Some Are So Lucky, by Hugh Garner; The Anniversary, by Michael Jacot, produced by Basil Coleman; The Click of Beads; and The Man With Two Hands.

The series resumed in October with a comedy by H.G. Wells, The Trouble With Pyecraft, adapted by Douglas Cleverdon. Tony Van Bridge starred as Pyecraft and Gillie Fenwick as Formalyn in Eric Till's production. First Person also presented A Woman Called Anne, written about a true event in her life by Pamela Lee. It was produced by Basil Coleman, and starred Norma Renault, Ruth Springford, and Norman Welsh. Overlaid, produced by David Gardner, was adapted by Wallace Christie from a stage play by Robertson Davies, and starred Alex McKee and Aileen Seaton. Other stories included Guardian Angel adapted by Hugh Garner from a story by Frederick Hazlett Brennan; Stephen Vincent Benet's The Gold Dress; M. Charles Cohen's adaptation of Witness to Murder, a story by Wenzell Brown; A Matter of Some Importance, by Roy Shields; a comedy by Herb Hosie, Venice Libretto; and Man in Town, by John Gray. In addition to Till, Coleman, and Gardner, among the producers slated for this series were Leo Orenstein, Ronald Weyman, George McCowan, and Stan Harris. The executive producer was Raymond Whitehouse.

First Person

Thu 10:30-11:00 p.m., 12 May-2 Jun 1966

Vincent Tovell produced this half-hour program, in which Adrienne Clarkson interviewed astronaut Frank Borman, worker in mental retardation and humanitarian Jean Vanier, botanist Pierre Dansereau, philosopher George Grant, and director of the Gemini space program and lay reader in his church, Christopher Kraft, Jr. The subject of the series was "belief in the space age."

First Person Singular: Pearson - The Memoirs of a Prime Minister

Sun 10:00-10:30 p.m., 27 May-19 Aug 1973

Wed 10:30-11:00 p.m., 23 Oct 1974-15 Jan 1975

This documentary series recounts the life of Lester B. Pearson in thirteen, half-hour episodes. Producer Cameron Graham and writer/director Munroe Scott combined archival footage and photographs with Pearson's extensive filmed interview with colleague Bernard Ostry to outline the story of Pearson's life and career. (Pearson had also published the first of three volumes of memoirs in 1972.) Although the programs were commended for their skilful presentation of the former prime minister, and for their insight into his personal reactions to the patterns of world events as he experienced them, they were also criticized for the superficial level of Pearson's analysis.

The series was divided into segments titled as follows: l. Children and Youth; 2. The Undergraduate; 3. Crossroads (l9l9-28); 4. The Apprentice (l928-39); 5. Prelude to War (l930-39); 6. Diplomat At War; 7. To War And Back; 8. Suez to the Flag (l956-65); 9. Confederation and Conflict (l963-67); l0. Friends and Relations (l967-68); ll. Retrospect on Power.

The Fit Stop

Tue 4:30-5:00 p.m., 5 Feb-4 Jun 1974

Tue 4:30-5:00 p.m., 31 Dec 1974-15 Apr 1975

The CBC's Schools and Youth department created The Fit Stop, a half-hour program, because, reports said, Canadian young people were among the least fit in the world. Canadian schools also, evidently, devoted little time to physical education, relative to other countries, and The Fit Stop tried to redress the imbalance. Hosts Jan Tennant and Clarke Wallace talked with experts on the subjects of physical fitness and sports for children. The show, which stressed inexpensive activities, included instruction in tennis, badminton, skiing, and other sports. The Fit Stop also featured Noreen Young's puppets: a hockey helmet, a football helmet, a bottle of linament, an old shoe, and a knapsack, all of which talked. On one program, for example, the knapsack complained that it did not get enough exercise because people did not walk any more.

The second season added, as a regular feature, a progressive exercise program designed by Dr. Bruce Taylor of York University. Viewers started with gentle movements and, over the thirteen weeks of the series, graduated to more strenuous activities.

The Fit Stop was produced in Toronto by John Ryan, and the executive producer was Ray Hazzan.

Fitness Is

Mon-Fri 1:00-1:30 p.m., 18 Aug-28 Aug 1980

Fitness Is was a daily half-hour program, with Vic Hultquist.

5 X 3

5 X 3 was the collective title for several variety shows. See the individual program titles: Applause, Applause; A Time To Sing; Montreal, Montreal; Jury; and Country Sunshine With Myrna Lorrie.

Five Years In The Life

Fri 8:30-9:00 p.m., 28 Jun-30 Aug 1968

Mon 8:30-9:00 p.m., 30 Jun-1 Sep 1969

Mon 8:30-9:00 p.m., 6 Jul-7 Sep 1970

Thu 10:00-10:30 p.m., 1 Jul-9 Sep 1971

Mon 7:30-8:00 p.m., 3 Jul-4 Sep 1972

The original plan for Five Years In the Life was to produce a series of half-hour documentary films on ten families from different areas of Canada, and then return five years later for a second look. The first series was popular enough that the network modified the plan and produced further profiles of Canadian families, while periodically looking back at families that had been profiled earlier in the series's history. (The first show of the second season, for example, was a review of the changes in the families seen in the first ten programs.) As the program evolved, it also concentrated on individuals as well as families, with profiles of Eskimo artist Kabluitok, Jamaican immigrant John Whylie, architect Ralph Blakstad, Winnipeg Rhodes scholar Dan Selchen, and Newfoundland lighthouse keeper Frank Cantwell. The filmmakers minimized commentary (although the films did include some narration by Allan McFee), and tended to use direct cinema techniques. Directors included Elie Savoie, David Pears, Jack Emack, Rene Bonniere, Elsa Franklin, Michael Rothery, Bill Harper, Jack O'Neil, Jack Long, Hugh Edmunds, Bill Bolt, Peter Kelly, and Paul Lynch. The series was produced by Michael Rothery (l968-7l), and by Nick Bakyta, with executive producer Peter Kelly (l97l-72). Music for the series was by Ben McPeek, with a theme song by singer/songwriter Bob Ruzicka.

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