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CBC Television Series, 1952-1982

by Blaine Allan

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CBC Series Index


Pacific l3

Mon 9:00-9:30 p.m., 2 Jul-3 Sep 1956

In the summers of 1956 and 1957, the CBC scheduled this series of programs, which originated in Vancouver, but did not limit themselves to west coast subject matter. The series featured a wide variety of program types, such as opera, documentaries, dramatic pieces, and musical comedies. The series opened with Gene Lawrence's production of Down In The Valley, by Kurt Weill. Subsequent 1956 shows spotlighted English chamber music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; a drama, A Centaur In The Park, by Avis M. Rausch; a film about the sculpture of Henry Moore; and a selection of documentaries about life in British Columbia. Programs in 1957 concerned the Cloverdale Rodeo and Fair, a B.C. horse show; a profile of life in Avignon, France; a history of the calypso; the astrophysical laboratory in Victoria. In addition, the program presented a play by Reginald M. Dagg, The Night Prince Edward Island Disappeared; and a performance by folk singer Emma Caslor. Various producers prepared the shows, which were hosted by Bob Fortune.


Wed 10:30-11:00 p.m., 22 Jan-12 Mar 1975

Sun 1:00-1:30 p.m., 6 Jul-17 Aug 1975 (R)

Pacificanada, a series of eight, half-hour films on British Columbia, formed part of a flank of National Film Board productions, broadcast on the CBC, about the different regions of the country. (The others were Adieu Alouette and West, two series about Quebec and the Prairie provinces, respectively, and Atlanticanada, presented as a two and one-half hour special broadcast.) Executive producers of the series were Peter Jones of the National Film Board's Vancouver production centre, and Ian McLaren of the Montreal headquarters. In addition to presenting western Canadian life to the rest of the country, the series was intended to support the efforts of regional filmmakers.

The series opened with A Slow Hello, produced by McLaren and John Taylor and directed by Tom Radford, on the development of cattle ranching and the modern cowboy. Whistling Smith, produced by McLaren, Michael Scott, and Barrie Howells and directed by Marrin Cannell and Scott, concerned a sympathetic police sergeant on the beat in Gastown, among Vancouver's lowlife, and was widely acclaimed. Peter Jones produced and Shelah Reljic directed Soccer, a visually striking treatment of a sport that is particularly popular in B.C. Where Are You Goin' Company Town? was producer McLaren and director Stephen Dewar's documentary about labour relations in the Cominco town of Trail. Director Sandy Wilson provided a profile of Penticton high school graduation rituals in Pen-Hi Grad, produced by McLaren. David and Bert profiled native Chief David Frank and prospector Bert Clayton, both over eighty years old and friends from different cultural backgrounds. It was directed by Daryl Duke and produced by Jones. Baby This Is For You, directed by John Taylor and produced by Howells, depicted the western frontier town of Stewart, near the Alaska panhandle. In Bella Bella, producer John N. Smith and director Barbara Greene documented the attempts of the native people of Campbell Island to develop economically and to retrieve the ancient Heiltsuk culture.

Pan-American Games

Sun 3:30-5:00 p.m., 23 Jul 1967

Mon-Fri 5:30-6:00 p.m., 24 Jul-4 Aug 1967

Mon-Fri 10:30-11:00 p.m., 24 Jul-4 Aug 1967

Sat 3:00-5:00 p.m., 29 Jul 1967

Sat 10:30-11:00 p.m., 29 Jul 1967

Sun 3:00-5:00 p.m., 30 Jul 1967

Sun 10:30-11:00 p.m., 30 Jul 1967

Sat 3:30-5:30 p.m., 5 Aug 1967

Sat 10:30-11:00 p.m., 5 Aug 1967

Sun 3:30-5:30 p.m., 6 Aug 1967

Sun 8:00-9:00 p.m., 6 Aug 1967

The 1967 Pan-American Games, held in Winnipeg, commanded considerable airtime in the afternoons and evenings in the last week of July and the first week of August. Radio and television coverage was coordinated by John McCabe, Supervisor of Special Sports Projects for the CBC, and the executive producer for television was Len Casey. The complex organization was centred in the Minto Armoury to capture events at eight sites, including the Winnipeg Stadium, the Winnipeg Arena, the Civic Auditorium, Pan-American Pool, the Velodrome, and the University of Manitoba track. Nine producers coordinated colour and black-and-white television camera coverage, as well as film cameras. As well, the CBC inaugurated the use of a colour videotape recorder that permitted slow-motion and stop action for analysis.

Pan Americana

Mon 5:30-6:00 p.m., 3/10/17 Jul 1967

Tue 2:00-2:30 p.m., 4/11/18/25 Jul 1967

Produced in Winnipeg, Pan Americana was a half-hour, variety show devoted to music from Latin America, which ran for three weeks on the network. It included both indigenous music and North American music arranged in Latin styles. The host and star was pianist and bandleader Jose Poneira (whose band made the cover of Life magazine by playing at the engagement party of Grace Kelly and Prince Ranier of Monaco). Other regulars were Yvette and Ed Evanko, the Paso Doble Dancers, a ballroom ensemble composed of Bill Evans, Janice Holtman, Jackie Graham, and Bob Land, and a vocal group made up of Micki Allan, Sam McConnell, and Barry Stilwell, who called themselves Los Gringos.


Wed 8:00-8:30 p.m., 5 Aug-12 Aug 1953

A half-hour program that originated in Montreal and ran on the network on two occasions.

Par 27

Sat 12:30-1:00 p.m., 1 Apr-23 Sep 1978

Sat 2:00-2:30 p.m., 16 Jun-22 Sep 1979

Sat 2:00-2:30 p.m., 19 Jul-22 Nov 1980

Dave Smiley produced this series of half-hour golf programs in Jasper, Alberta, with professional Al Balding and CBC announcer Ernie Afaganis. It circulated on regional exchange.


Thu 8:00-8:30 p.m., 9 Jul-17 Sep 1959

Tue 9:30-10:00 p.m., 19 Jul-20 Sep 1960

Thu 9:30-10:00 p.m., 13 Jul-7 Sep 1961

Sun 7:30-8:00 p.m., 17 Sep 1961-24 Jun 1962

Wed 8:30-9:00 p.m., 4 Jul-17 Sep 1962

Wed 8:30-9:00 p.m., 26 Sep 1962-3 Jul 1963

Thu 9:30-10:00 p.m., 26 Sep 1963-25 Jun 1964

Parade was a half-hour of musical variety with a widely variable format. It could included different forms of popular music, opera, folk, or jazz. Introduced as a summer replacement in 1959, it reappeared on the summer schedules for two more years, and then moved into the regular season lineup. Producer Norman Sedawie (who, along with Bill Davis, directed the show) and writers Saul Ilson and Frank James could assemble shows that were middle-of-the-road, innovative, or adventurous. They provided a performance site for jazz musicians, such as Oscar Peterson, Maynard Ferguson, and Ernestine Anderson, and for well-known Canadian faces and voices, such as Joan Fairfax, Shirley Harmer, Denny Vaughan, and frequent guests the Billy Van Four. A show might present highlights from concerts by members of the Canadian Opera Company or the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Walter Susskind. In addition, they might take chances on innovative and unpredictable performers, such as U.S. comic Jonathan Winters, or on politically unfashionable personalities, as they did with an August 1960 concert by Pete Seeger. Programs might be organized according to a subject, such as small towns or traffic or a salute to London, England. In 1963, the program also produced an adaptation of James Thurber's fable, Many Moons, written by and starring Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster. A popular, semi-regular type of program was called Sing, Sing, Sing, in which the audience was invited to singalong with Pat Hervey and the Gino Silvi Singers and to watch the Alan Lund Dancers, backed by Bert Niosi's orchestra. The show's host was Bill Walker.

In 1962, instead of continuing to produce new editions of Parade over the summer, the CBC reran programs from the past two seasons, probably the first time the network used such a practice for a variety show.

Photo (courtesy of CBC) shows Max Ferguson.


Sat 9:30-10:00 a.m.

As it instituted Saturday morning programming for children, the CBC repackaged episodes of The Friendly Giant, Mr. Dressup, and Mon Ami into a one hour program called Parade.

The Passionate Canadians

Wed 9:30-10:30 p.m., 26 Oct 1977

Wed 9:30-10:30 p.m., 2 Nov 1977

Sun 2:00-4:00 p.m., 22 Mar 1981

Musician Harry Adaskin introduced and narrated this two-part documentary and dramatic reconstruction about painter Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. Producer Nancy Ryley devoted two years of research and production into the two, one hour programs, which were shot by one of the CBC's ace cinematographers, Ken Gregg.

The first part outlined the activities of Thomson, Frederick Varley, Arthur Lismer, J.E.H. MacDonald, Frank Carmichael, and Frank Johnston, and introduced the sketching and painting trips to Algonquin Park and Georgian Bay. It covered the years from 19l0 to nearly 1920, and depicted the important setbacks that the artists suffered, particularly the 19l7 death of Tom Thomson and the effects of the First World War.

The second hour spanned the next decade, with formation of the Group, the first exhibition in 1920, the changes in the membership over time, and the death of MacDonald and dissolution of the Group in 1930.


See Passport To Adventure.

Passport To Adventure

Mon-Thu 5:00-5:30 p.m., 18 Oct 1965-30 Jun 1966

Mon-Thu 5:00-5:30 p.m., 17 Oct 1966-30 Jun 1967

Flashback panelist and movie fan par excellence Elwy Yost introduced classic Hollywood films, which were presented in serial format in a half- hour time slot, four days a week. Each week, Yost welcomed a guest to talk about the movie. Guests included actors, such as Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Arthur Treacher, writers and authorities, such as Willard Van Dyke of the Museum of Modern Art, and fellow enthusiasts, such as the CBC's Elwood Glover.

The program's executive producer was John Twomey, and the producers were Doug Davidson (l965-66) and Ed Mercel (l966-67). In the second season, the show's title was changed to Passport.

Pat And Ernie

Fri 3:00-3:30 p.m., 6 Oct-29 Dec 1961

Pat was pianist and singer Patrick Trudell and Ernie was vocalist Ernie Prentice, who, with bass player Gavin Hussey, drummer Mickey McMartin, and their weekly guests performed semi-classical music in this half-hour broadcast from Vancouver.

Patty's Picture House

Fri 4:30-5:00 p.m., 8 Jan-24 Jun 1960

Donna Miller played Patty, who presented short movies for children on Friday afternoons. The films included both films from Walt Disney's studios and stories and songs illustrated by the CBC's own graphics department. Patty was accompanied by her puppet dog, Woofer, and by other animals on the program. Cliff Braggins wrote the show's scripts, and Paddy Sampson produced. Evidently Patty was demoted to second banana, because the program's title changed starting 19 February 1960 to Pictures With Woofer.

Paul Bernard, Psychiatrist

Mon-Fri 4:00-4:30 p.m., 13 Sep 1971-14 Jan 1972

Mon-Fri 2:00-2:30 p.m., 17 Jan-29 Nov 1972

Producer Michael Spivak raised private money for two pilot episodes of a continuing afternoon drama series about a psychiatrist and the confidences of his female patients. The CBC confirmed its connection with the program once Fremantle International (a company that had gained international success with The Galloping Gourmet) came aboard the production.

The format of the show was quite restricted and, on the surface, potentially stifling. Taciturn, bearded Chris Wiggins, looking like a young, well-groomed Freud, played Paul Bernard. Each day, he met one of his patients, and in time would lead her to "the couch," where she would recline and proceed to confess her innermost hostilities, fears, and fantasies (or at least as much of them as afternoon television would allow in the early 1970s), and come to some turning point in her life and her analysis. The stories were based on case histories from the Canadian Mental Health Association.

The production employed a battery of Canadian female character actors and writers. Bernard's patients returned throughout the series, on the average once a month, and viewers could try to follow the progress of her analysis. They were played by Carol Lazare, Dawn Greenhalgh, Vivian Reis, Marcia Diamond, Phyllis Marshall, Nuala Fitzgerald, Tudi Wiggins, Kay Hawtrey, Paisley Maxwell, Peggy Mahon, Josphine Barrington, Michele Oricoine, Shelley Sommers, Anna Cameron, Micki Moore, Diane Polley, Barbara Kyle, Gale Garnett, Til Hanson, Arlene Meadows, and Valerie Jean Hume. Scripts came from Spivak, Tony Flanders, Grace Richardson, Vicki Branden, Les Rose, Barry Pearson, Cornne Langston, Lucille Chaplan, Dennis Donovan, William Bankier, Warren Waxler, Jack Cunningham, and Valerie Wise.

Spivak's company, Jaylar Productions, produced l30 episodes of Paul Bernard, which were soon sold to some CBS-TV stations in the U.S.A. and to Australia and Hong Kong television.


Fri 5:30-6:00 p.m., 7 Jul-29 Sep 1967

Rosalind Farber produced and Lloyd Robertson hosted this black-and-white, half-hour show of travelogue films over the summer of Expo '67. The documentaries covered Australia, Denmark and Iceland, Tanzania, the Netherlands, Finland, Great Britain, France, Mauritius, Austria, Sweden, West Germany, Japan, Norway, Israel, and the U.S.A.


Sun 2:00-2:30 p.m., 22 Jul-9 Sep 1973

Sun 1:00-1:30 p.m., 29 Sep-29 Dec 1974

Sun 12:30-1:00 p.m.,

Payday dealt with issues of industry and organized labour, although, of course, without evidently siding with either unions or management. It was essentially a discussion show, with host Bob Oxley and with commentary by Richard J. Needham, editorial page columnist for the Globe and Mail. The first series of eight programs confronted such subjects as white collar organized labour, strikebreaking, the reeducation of workers, pensions, working women, and national and international unions.

A year later, it returned to the Sunday afternoon lineup for a run of thirteen weeks, with programs about labour and the Alberta oil industry, flight attendants, the North Atlantic fishing industry, arbitration, using the example of Australian companies and workers, mining in the Yukon Territory, forestry in B.C., the Canadian Labour Congress, the Labour Peace Commission, immigrant labour, and health issues and unions.

Executive producer was John Lackie, and Eric McLeery produced Payday, which was superseded in October 1975 by Moneymakers.

Peanuts And Popcorn

Sat 10:30-12:00 noon, 4 Oct 1975-27 Mar 1976

Sat 10:30-12:00 noon, 2 Oct 1976-26 Mar 1977

Sat 10:30-12:00 noon, 1 Oct 1977-25 Mar 1978

Sun 11:00-12:00 noon, 7 Oct 1978-31 Mar 1979

The CBC moved into children's programming on Saturday mornings with a ninety minute package of films. The program included a cartoon, a serial, and a one hour film. The Canadian component was an animated series called The Undersea Adventures of Captain Nemo. It told the story of Captain Mark Nemo and his young assistants, Christine and Robbie, in their nuclear powered submarine, the Nautilus. The cartoon was produced by Rainbow Animation Ltd. of Toronto. The whole series was coordinated by Nada Harcourt (l975-77) and Suzanne Garland (l977-78).

Peep Show

Thu 10:30-11:00 p.m., 20 Nov 1975-4 Mar 1976

John Hirsch, head of CBC drama, wanted to attract and develop new writing and directing talent for the network, and Peep Show, a weekly half-hour was the showcase for the work of this new crop. George Bloomfield served as producer for eleven videotape projects, and Gerald Mayer produced five shows on film. Mayer chose to point the series toward conventional filmmaking and storytelling, and oversaw the editing of each program himself, while Bloomfield took advantage of the growth in experimental theatre to commission more risky pieces, and gave the companies freer reign over the finished product. The films produced under Mayer's control included Melony, directed by Martin Lavut; Susan, by Peter Rowe; Fight Night, directed by Clarke Mackey; The Kill, directed by Tad Jaworski; and a film by Frank Vitale. Several of the videotaped productions themselves concerned television and the modern media: A Country Fable, by Toronto's Theatre Passe Muraille, was about a country man's infatuation with Mary Tyler Moore, while Festering Forefathers And Running Sons, with Codco, from St. John's, was a satire of Maritimers and their encounter with a crew from the National Film Board.

The Peggy Neville Show

Wed 7:45-8:00 p.m., 5 Jan-29 Jun 1966

Wed 7;30-7:45 p.m., 5 Oct 1966-28 Jun 1967

One of the stars of Red River Jamboree, singer Peggy Neville starred in this fifteen minute musical variety show from Winnipeg. It featured a range of middle-of-the-road styles: standards, showtunes, songs from the hit parade, and folk music. Guests included Laurel Ward, Judy Singh, Simone Dina, Ed Evanko, Terry Ruvinski, Jo-Dee Lynn, Lenny Breau, Bobbi Sherron, Joyce Hahn, Carol Wharton, Jimmy Damon, Reg Gibson, and Ray St. Germain. Bob McMullin wrote the musical arrangements and directed the orchestra, and Ray McConnell produced the show.

Pencil Box

Fri 4:30-5:00 p.m., 17 Sep-10 Dec 1976

Tue 4:00-4:30 p.m., 4 Oct 1977-28 Mar 1978

Tue 4:30-5:00 p.m., 12 Sep 1978-28 Mar 1979

The stories for Pencil Box, a half-hour program for children produced in Ottawa, were written by children. The producers solicited stories from Ottawa students, and chose about l00 each season to adapt for production (about a half-dozen stories on each broadcast). Productions involved a wide range of techniques, including puppets, mime, masks, and animation. Actors performed in black limbo sets and were electronically keyed into cutout sets representing the creation of schoolchildren. Most of the stories, which came mostly from kids age eight to twelve, ran only a couple of pages. They involved ghosts and monsters and disasters, but others combined elements of the everyday with the fantastical.

The series was created by Noreen Young, who had previously created Hi Diddle Day, another program for children with both people and puppets. She designed puppets (including Bolo Bat, Stubby Pencil, Miffy Skunk, and Clara Cactus) and appeared in the show, with Bob Dermer, Jim Radford, Holly Larocque, Moira Pyper, and young actors from the Ottawa area. Rudy Cooper coordinated the show's design, Jewel Graham designed costumes, and Philip Craig conceived the sets. The show's writer was Juli Voyer and its producer was Rod Holmes. It won an ACTRA Award for Best ChildrenŐs Television Show.

For the 1978 season, Pencil Box was aired as part of the weekday program package, For Kids Only.


Sat 7:00-7:30 p.m., 9 Jul-3 Sep 1955

An actuality program for Saturday evenings in the summer of 1955, People was produced by David Marcus-Roland. Subjects included the planning of the St. Lawrence Seaway, veterinarians and a Toronto animal hospital, visitors to St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal, residents of Toronto's Rosedale district, and life in Toronto's Chinatown.

People And Places

Thu 3:30-3:45 p.m., 5 Oct-28 Dec 1961

Mon/Wed/Fri 2:45-3:00 p.m., 8/10/12 Oct 1962

This fifteen minute, afternoon magazine program for young viewers used both film and video to cover such subjects as puppetry, camping, writing, and different cities and countries. The host was Rex Loring.

People In Parties

Mon 10:30-11:00 p.m., 26 Nov 1960

Mon 10:30-11:00 p.m., 2 Dec 1960

In these two half-hour programs, A. Davidson Dunton, president of Carleton University, discussed issues of power and Canadian politics with Ottawa reporters Clark Davey of the Globe and Mail and Tom Gould of the Victoria Daily Times, and with political studies professor John Meisel of Queen's University. The show, titled The Golden Road To Power and Who's Running The Country?, also included pre-recorded interviews with members of Parliament. Patrick Watson was the producer.

People Of Our Times

Mon 10:30-11:00 p.m., 9 Sep-18 Nov 1974

Sun 2:00-2:30 p.m., 13 Jul-3 Aug 1975 (R)

Mon 10:30-11:00 p.m., 1 Sep-27 Oct 1975

Sun 2:00-2:30 p.m., 2 Jan-17 Apr 1977

Noted cultural personalities formed the centrepieces of these half-hour film essays. The first program featured Robertson Davies with an opinioned view of the city where he lives, called 3 l/2 Cheers For Toronto. Other shows in 1974 included The Politics Of Experience, with R.D. Laing; The Vassar Girl, 1933-74, in which Mary McCarthy discussed U.S. society in terms of the Watergate crisis; Let Us Be True To One Another, with psychiatrist Vivian Rakoff on the subject of loneliness; Conor Cruise O'Brien in Enough Of A Terrible Beauty, on the troubles in Ireland; Am I My Brother's Keeper?, on prisons, with Jessica Mitford; Stewart Alsop - A Memoir, in which the journalist talked about living with the immidence of his death (he died before the program aired); Guardian Of Dreams, on the pursuit of happiness, with singer Mabel Mercer; Reflections From The Waterfront, with Eric Hoffer; and Arnold Toynbee on The Prospects For Humanity.

The 1975 season included more Canadians, but the programs still relied most heavily on commentary from beyond our boundaries. In the season premiere, Coming Home Again, Mordecai Richler discussed his life as an expatriate and his need to return to Canada. Michel Tremblay, in A Celebration, talked about the initial resistance to his plays in English Canada, and the subsequent impact that they had on theatre audiences across the country and in Europe. Historian A.J.P. Taylor discussed the present state of Britain in Will There Always Be An England? Canadian-born writer Mavis Gallant returned to the subject of being an expatriate writer in her contribution, Perceptions Of France. In The Devil's Decade, journalist Claud Cockburn discussed the 1930s. Donald Stewart, leader of the Scottish National Party discussed self-government in Defending The Peaceable Isles. J. Krishnamurti presented the penultimate essay in the series, and Arnold Toynbee returned to conclude the second series.

John McGreevy and Jeannine Locke each produced five of the films in the first series. In the second series, Locke produced the programs on Mavis Gallant, Michel Tremblay, and Donald Stewart, and McGreevy produced the remaining five segments.

People Talking Back

Sun 1:00-1:30 p.m., 25 Feb 1979

Sun 1:00-1:30 p.m., 11 Mar 1979

Sun 4:30-5:00 p.m., 25 Mar 1979

Sun 1:00-1:30 p.m., 8 Apr 1979

Sun 4:30-5:00 p.m., 22 Apr 1979

Actor and writer Gordon Pinsent hosted the first program in this series of six programs of participation television. It reunited the CBC and the Canadian Association of Adult Education, which had previously collaborated on Citizens' Forum. The premiere broadcast ran three hours, and used satellite feed, telephones, and computer polls to link viewers across the country from a base at Edmonton's Victoria Composite High School. In addition to interviews, the program included brief documentaries, street interviews, sketches with Edmonton's Catalyst Theatre Group, and music by Fat Chants to prompt discussion. The program addressed itself to a range of issues about the way Canadians live and how they feel about their jobs, the economy, and politics. Guests on the show included journalist Ken Lefolii, sociologist Tim Tyler, and futurist Glen Milne.

According to the ratings, over a million and a half people watched all or part of the broadcast, and the show attracted several hundred letters and nearly two thousand telephone calls, much of the response enthusiastic about such interactive television. The CAAE had also orchestrated a network of discussion groups to coincide with the broadcast, and collected data from its contacts across the country.

The five, half-hour follow-up programs were presented on Sunday afternoons, and concentrated on more specific issues, such as politicians and the media, jobs and work and unemployment, the role of the economy in meeting the desires of Canadians, and prospects for the future. The host was John Hanlon. The executive producer was Dolores MacFarlane.

Pepinot And Capucine

Sun 5:30-6:00 p.m., 3 Jan-27 Jun 1954

Sun 5:30-6:00 p.m., 19 Sep-19 Jun 1955

A half-hour puppet show for children, Pepinot And Capucine originated at CBC Montreal, and was first broadcast in French on 7 September 1952. A version appeared on the English language service from 1954 to 1955. The program told the adventures of a brother and sister, Pepinot and Capucine, their pet bear, Mr. Black, and their friend, the genius inventor Mr. White. The puppeteers included Fernand Dore, Charlotte Boisjoli, Jean Boisjoli, and Marie-Eve Lieonard. The series was written by Reginald Boisvert, with music by Neil Chotem, and was produced by Jean-Paul Ladouceur.

The Peppermint Prince

Fri 4:30-4:45 p.m., 10 May-29 Jun 1956

Mon 5:30-5:45 p.m., 2 Jul-24 Sep 1956

Mon 5:15-5:30 p.m., 1 Oct 1956-24 Jun 1957

Fri 5:00-5:15 p.m., 5 Jul-27 Sep 1957

In this fifteen minute children's show from Vancouver, John Chappell played the Peppermint Prince who, with the help of his puppet friends, played out adventures and introduced cartoons. The puppets were designed and manipulated by Dave Orcutt, and the show's scripts were written by Kitty Marcuse. Andy Snider produced the program.


Sun 9:00-10:00 p.m., 8 Dec 1974-18 May 1975

Sun 8:00-9:30 p.m., 7 Sep 1975

Sun 9:00-10;00 p.m., 16 Nov 1975-28 Mar 1976

Then head of CBC television drama, John Hirsch revived the format of the flagship anthology series to showcase sixty or ninety minute dramatic productions. Performance held a time slot on Sunday evenings for two years and, taking a path toward socially pertinent documentary drama in the latter part of its run, evolved into For The Record (q.v.). The types of programs ranged from original stories to adaptations from Canadian and international sources. As much as expressing Hirsch's desire to renew television drama, it expressed the growth of interest in English Canadian theatre, with contributions from the Theatre Passe Muraille and Toronto Free Theatre companies, and in English Canadian prose fiction, with adaptations from stories by such writers as Alice Munro, Beth Harvor, and Matt Cohen.

The series opened with An Angel Against The Night, produced and directed by Ronald Weyman, the story of the relationship between an old man, played by eighty-two year old actor George Waight, and his grandson. Find Volopchi!, directed by Rudi Dorn, starred John Colicos as an imposter and illegal alien and Ted Follows as the immigration officer who pursues him. Don S. Williams directed Raisins and Almonds, based on Fredelle Bruser Maynard's memoirs of growing up Jewish on the Prairies in the 1920s. Mario Prizek directed Paxton Whitehead and Patricia Gage in a production of George Bernard Shaw's play, Village Wooing, and George Bloomfield directed Cyril Cusack and Helen Burns in an adaptation of more recent British comedy, Joe Orton's The Good And Faithful Servant. Theatre Passe Muraille's production about life in and around rural Clinton, Ontario, The Farm Show, was adapted for television by Ron Meraska. Baptizing was adapted from a segment of Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women, and starred Jenny Munro, the writer's daughter, in a film directed by Allan King. Jayne Eastwood starred as a young woman stricken with cancer in The Last Of The Four Letter Words. John McGreevy directed both the television version of Toronto Workshop Productions' Ten Lost Years, based on Barry Broadfoot's oral history of Canadians in the Great Depression, and The Man In The Tin Canoe, which starred Douglas Campbell as a Hudson's Bay Company governor- general in conflict with a Wesleyan minister, played by Leo Burns. The Trial Of Sinyavsky and Daniel, directed by Ted Kotcheff, featured Alan Dobie, John Colicos, Mavor Moore, and Robert Silverman in the story of two Russian writers on trial for anti-Soviet activities. Matt Cohen wrote and Martin Lavut directed The Middle Game, with Maurice Good as a university professor in a mid-life crisis. Arthur Miller introduced Mandelstam's Witness, the story of Nadezdha Mandelstam and her struggle to maintain the reputation of her poet husband, Osip. The production was written by Vivian Rakoff, starred Ida Kaminska, and was directed by Jan Kadar. Going Down Slow starred Don Scardino as a young high school teacher in an adaptation of John Metcalf's comic novel, written by Barry Pearson and directed by Peter Carter. The Betrayal, a drama set in an Ontario town in 1907, was written by veteran CBC radio playwright James W. Nichol and directed by Kurt Reis.

Performance returned in September 1975 with a ninety minute adaptation of Ann Henry's play, Lulu Street, set around the 19l9 Winnipeg General Strike. James Blendick, Nancy Beatty, and Helen Burns starred in David Peddie's production, directed by Alvin Rakoff. After this avant-premiere, the police drama, Sidestreet, took over the time slot for two months, and Performance resumed in November, and the season included Richard Huggett's The First Night Of Pygmalion. William Hutt, Elizabeth Shepherd, Paxton Whitehead, Helen Burns, and Colin Fox appeared in Hugh Webster's adaptation, which Beverly Roberts produced and Eric Till directed. Director Paul Thompson and the Theatre Passe Muraille company presented l837, Rick Salutin's drama of William Lyon Mackenzie and the Upper Canada rebellion. Writer Norman Klenman and director Allan King followed up the previous season's Ten Lost Years with an adaptation of Broadfoot's oral history of World War II, Six War Years, which starred Doug McGrath, Thomas Hauff, Miles Potter, Ken Pogue, Blair Brown, Janet Amos, and Clare Coulter. For another adaptation, Klenman reset Ibsen's An Enemy Of The People in 1920s Canada for a production that starred Robin Gammel and W.B. Brydon, directed by Barry David. James Kirkup adapted Friedrich Durrenmatt's Play Strindberg for a program titled Marriage Circus. It was produced by Eoin Sprott and directed by George Bloomfield. The original cast of Toronto Free Theatre players repeated their roles in Red Emma, Carol Bolt's play about the anarchist Emma Goldman, directed by Martin Kinch and Allan King. Two half-hour productions produced by Maxine Samuels, Summer Mournings '59 and The Ottawa Valley, were combined in one broadcast. The former was based on a story by Beth Harvor and directed by Janine Manatis; Daniele J. Suissa directed the latter, which was adapted from a story by Alice Munro. Donald Pleasance starred in The Captain Of Kopenick, adapted from Carl Zuckmayer's satire, directed by David Giles. Paul Almond directed Fellowship, a television version of the Michael Tait play that had had its premiere at the Stratford Festival the previous summer. The series also included repeat airings of Mandelstam's Witness and The Freedom Of The City.

Current affairs producers Stephen Patrick and Ralph Thomas oversaw the productions that comprised the final five weeks of the series, which went under the sub-title Camera 76. They employed Ben Barzman, a veteran journalist and screenwriter who had suffered censure and blacklisting in the United States during the 1950s, as a consultant for the series. The first program, The Insurance Man From Ingersoll, set a tone for distinguished drama based on present day social issues or suggested by news events. Written by Norman Hartley and Peter Pearson, and directed by Pearson, the fiction charted the investigation of an opposition member of the Ontario legislature into connections between a corrupt labour union and the party in government. Michael Magee played the opposition member and Charlotte Blunt was his lover, a CBC television reporter, and CBC announcer Warren Davis was Carleton, the "Insurance Man," the quiet and ruthless party bagman. Michael Mercer wrote and Peter Carter directed Nest Of Shadows, which traced the story of a teenage mother on the point of emotional collapse. It starred Louise Rinfret as Donna and Ralph Endersby as her lover. Gilles Carle and Francis Mankiewicz both directed their first English language films for the series: Carle's A Thousand Moons, written by Mort Forer, told the story of a Metis woman's desire to return to her birthplace before her death, and starred Carole Laure, Nick Mancuso, Ronald J. Morey, and James Buller; Mankiewicz's What We Have Here Is A People Problem concerned a farmer who defied an expropriation order, and featured Heath Lamberts, George Waight, and Sandy Webster. Peter Pearson directed Ralph Thomas's script for Kathy Karuks Is A Grizzly Bear, the story of a fourteen year old who swims Lake Ontario, which starred Lesley Angus and Donnelly Rhodes.

The Performers

Sat 10:00-10:30 p.m., 22 May-2 Oct 1971

Sat 10:00-10:30 p.m., 22 Apr-7 Jul 1972

Fri 8:00-8:30 p.m., 7 Jul-25 Aug 1972

Gordie Tapp hosted this half-hour spotlight for young, professional entertainers from across Canada. The shows were taped in Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Vancouver auditoriums, in front of appreciative local audiences, who cheered on performers from their regions. The CBC repeated the original eighteen broadcasts, first aired in the summer l97l season, the next spring when a NABET strike crippled the production of variety programs. The producer of The Performers was Ray McConnell, and the executive producer was Len Starmer.

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