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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Ron James Show cancelled by CBC after five seasons

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THE Ron James Show has been cancelled.

James told the Free Press he received a phone call from CBC brass on Thursday informing him that his series is being dropped from the public broadcaster's schedule after five seasons.

"It's a bittersweet end, given the changes we made and the good look of the show this year, but we took our shots and did the best we could; it's like the old adage -- you want to leave your best game on the ice, and I think that's what we did," James said.

Despite heavy promotion during CBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics, The Ron James Show attracted small audiences in its Monday 9:30 p.m. time-slot, with this week's instalment drawing an estimated 275,000 viewers.

James said changes in the CBC's executive structure and constant repositioning of the show in CBC's schedule likely contributed to its end.

James, who plans to use his unplanned summer off to take a northern canoe trip and begin writing a book before resuming his standup-comedy touring (including a Winnipeg stop this fall), said despite the disappointment of Thursday's call, he's happy he got to spend five years doing a show he believed in.

"At the end of the day, as a touring comedian living in a country with the second-greatest national land mass on Earth, to finally find myself, for five years, in a room filled with people who were all working in the same direction was a dream come true," he said.

"It was great, and it made me better and wiser. We didn't write with the intention of playing to the lowest common denominator; we wrote trying to appeal to a viewing public that wanted a little bit of everything."

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 15, 2014 G2

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