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CBC orders menopause comedy, Allan Hawco procedural as part of upfront slate

Canada’s CBC has revealed its new slate of shows for 2024/25, including a trio of comedies, a new police procedural from Allan Hawco and the renewal of several dramas including the light-hearted crime procedural Wild Cards.

Barbara Williams

The pubcaster commissioned Small Achievable Goals (10×30’, Sphere Media), a menopause comedy created by and starring Jennifer Whalen and Meredith MacNeill, who previously worked together on sketch comedy series Baroness Von Sketch Show.

The new project follows an odd couple who embark on a journey of transformation after they are forced to work together to produce a podcast. Jennifer Kawaja, Bruno Dube and Elise Cousineau are executive producers, in addition to Whalen and MacNeill.

Indigenous comedy Snotty Nose Rez Kids (8×30’, Snotty Nose Productions, Grand Scheme and Reality Distortion Field in association with Redcloud Studios) is inspired by the lives of best friends Quinton Nyce and Darren Metz, who move from their remote Haisla Nation to Vancouver to chase their hip-hop dreams.

The show is created by Nyce, Metz, Vance Banzo and Matt Kippen, who serve as exec producers alongside Michael Tanko Grand, Stephen Hegyes, Simon Barry and Bhavika Mantri. Jennifer Podemski is showrunner and exec producer, with Amber-Sekowan Daniels as co-exec producer.

CBC also confirmed that its previously announced Arctic comedy North of North (8×30, Red Marrow Media and Northwood Entertainment), co-commissioned with Netflix and APTN, will debut early next year. Created by Stacey Aglok MacDonald (Qanurli, The Grizzlies) and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril (Angry Inuk), the project follows a young Inuk mother trying to build a new future for herself but challenged by the fact everyone knows her business in her small Arctic town.

The broadcaster also renewed This Hour Has 22 Minutes (24×30’, IoM Media) for its 32nd season and Son of a Critch (13×30’, Project 10 Productions/Hawco Productions) for its fourth and ordered a sophomore instalment of You’re My Hero (6×15’, Longhope Media), about a blunt and unfiltered 20-something with cerebral palsy.

On the drama front, CBC commissioned the police procedural Saint-Pierre (10×60’), produced by Allan Hawco’s Hawco Productions in association with US-based studio Fifth Season.

Created by Hawco, Robina Lord-Stafford and Perry Chafe, the project stars Hawco and Josephine Jobert as an unlikely pair who, after being thrown together by circumstance, become a formidable crime-fighting force. Hawco and Lord-Stafford are showrunning, with Fifth Season handling international distribution.

CBC also renewed police procedural Allegiance (10×60’, Lark Productions) for season two, family drama Heartland (10×60’, Dynamo Films and Seven24 Films) for season 18 and lighthearted mystery series Murdoch Mysteries (22×60’, Shaftesbury) for season 18.

The CBC had previously renewed Skymed (9×60’, Piazza Entertainment) for a third season and time-travel anthology series Plan B (KOTV) for a second season.

The broadcaster also confirmed that its crime procedural Wild Cards (Blink49 Studios, Front Street Pictures, Piller/Segan) will return for a 13×60’ second season. The show airs on The CW in the US, where it has been a solid ratings performer for the broadcast network. It stars Giacomo Gianniotti and Vanessa Morgan and was created by Michael Konyves.

On the factual side, CBC greenlit Locals Welcome (10×30’, Artifactual Media), which sees host and exec producer Suresh Doss explore lesser-known food spots, and renewed Bollywed (HeartHat Entertainment), Canada’s Ultimate Challenge (Insight Productions, The Gurin Company), Dragons’ Den, Family Feud Canada (Zone 3, Fremantle), The Great British Baking Show (Proper Television), Still Standing (Frantic Films) and Stuff the British Stole (Wooden Horse, WildBear Entertainment, Cream Productions).

Elsewhere, CBC confirmed the documentary series Paid in Full, a BBC/CBC co-commission exploring the journey of Black artists in the music industry from its inception to the digital streaming age. The project is executive produced by Greg Sanderson for Supercollider, Idris Elba for Green Door Pictures, Sabrina Elba for Pink Towel, Julie Bristow for Catalyst and showrunner David Upshal.

The pubcaster also commissioned The Knowing (Makwa Creative), a 4×60’ narrative docuseries following journalist Tanya Talaga and her family’s eight-decade long search for family matriarch Annie Carpenter. The project is based on Talaga’s book of the same name and is written and directed by Talaga and Courtney Montour.

On the children’s programming front, CBC greenlit preschool series Go Togo (Gazelle Automations), a project that introduces three-to-five-year-olds to early math concepts through the fun and excitement of big public transit vehicles (in miniature scale). The project, which was co-created by Gazelle Automations’ Justin T Lee and Lindsay Lee, wrapped production last month and will premiere in the fall. Its voice cast includes Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Kim’s Convenience, The Mandalorian.

Returning kids’ series include animated shows Mini-Jon and Mini-Maple (Happy Camper Media) and Jeremy & Jazzy (Verite Films) and live-action series Bestest Day Ever with my Best Friend (Lopii Productions), Macy Murdoch (Shaftasbury) and The Bravest Knight (Big Bad Boo Studios).

“Our wide-ranging slate of original Canadian programming for the coming year embodies our promise to reflect more people, places and perspectives from across the country in new ways,” said CBC’s executive VP Barbara Williams.

“As Canada’s storyteller, we are continuing to step up and stand apart from other media choices by serving audiences with more local coverage and stories from their own communities, across both news and entertainment.”

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