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Strombo joins prime time

CBC unveils 2012-13 season lineup

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STROMBO in prime time, reality/competition that goes way up high, mini-series drama that plumbs the depths of the deep blue sea, and cops who get inside your head -- those are the highlights of CBC's 2012-13 season lineup, which was unveiled Thursday in Toronto.

The public broadcaster, which in recent weeks has been reeling in the face of significant cuts to its federal-government funding, will also use the upcoming TV season to celebrate a handful of significant milestones for its signature prime-time properties -- the 60th anniversary of Hockey Night in Canada, the 40th anniversary of Marketplace, the 30th anniversary of Montreal's Just For Laughs comedy festival, the 20th anniversary of This Hour Has 22 Minutes and the 10th anniversary of The Rick Mercer Report.

New to CBC-TV's lineup this fall will be a prime-time airing of George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight weeknights at 7 p.m. (in addition to the show's familiar 11:05 p.m. slot), the music-competition series Over the Rainbow, which will follow the search for a new star for the Toronto production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's stage adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, the eight-part mini-series Titanic: Blood and Steel, which is produced by the creators of Camelot and The Tudors and stars Canadian actress Neve Campbell (Party of Five) and U.S.-TV fixture Chris Noth (The Good Wife, Sex and the City), and the saved-from-cancellation period drama Murdoch Mysteries, which moves to CBC after a five-year run on Citytv.

The roster of returning information programs includes Marketplace, The Nature of Things, The Fifth Estate and Doc Zone.

Another new drama series -- Cracked, which stars David Sutcliffe (Gilmore Girls) as a police officer struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder -- will join CBC's schedule in January.

Returning titles in the fall lineup include The Rick Mercer Report, Heartland, Dragons' Den, The Big Decision, This Hour Has 22 Minutes and the Brit-import favourite Coronation Street. Rejoining the schedule in January will be The Ron James Show, Republic of Doyle, Mr. D and Arctic Air.

As previously announced, cash-strapped CBC opted not to bring back Battle of the Blades, Being Erica, Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays and Redemption Inc. The expiration of CBC's contracts with its two game-show imports, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, this summer means those two titles will also disappear from CBC's program guide.

brad.oswald@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 11, 2012 D6

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