The Hour: Now with 300% more funny

So they can finally get rid of that copy of Ye Olde Compendium O’ Shaggy-Dog Stories, Gags, and Amusing Anecdotes Wayne and Shuster left behind. 3 comedy writers have been hired to goose The Hour for its main net debut, at the enviable, primo date and time of 11pm Thanksgiving night.

Our formerly nameless, shameless, homeless lifestyle show now has a name and a home. It’s called The Gill Deacon Show and on Oct. 26 will be safely ensconced from the public, terrorists, and Zanta in a regular old TBC studio, not the Mövenpick or Olympic Spirit Hall.

A note was sent out last Tuesday reminding us that the new TV season doesn’t start ’til our Dear Leader Stursberg says it does. Included therein were details on our new “24/7 schedule:”

On October 9 we’re moving to a 24/7 schedule that will make our programming available throughout the day for audiences, when they’re actually available to watch it.

Does this mean the main net will be broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Or is “24/7” a buzzword for something else I’m not hep to?

Finally, we’ve developed a new program break structure that introduces new elements – including, for the first time, regional content – allowing us to provide promotion for every show on the schedule. In addition, the break strategy will help us to retain viewers and increase the time they spend watching CBC Television, capture channel surfers, create awareness of the entire 24/7 schedule and, ultimately, enhance our brand. You will see the new approach to program breaks beginning on October 9 when the season launches.

Can someone remind him that CBC-TV is dead fucking last in this country? How can you promote shows that that no one knows about on a network that no one is watching? You have to fish where the fish are, and that’s why you need a promotions department.

Did anyone watch Intelligence last week? Doyle loved it. I missed it. Looks like a lot of others did too.

There was a submission to the CRTC and a Q&A with the Standing Committee on Canadian blah blah yesterday. Gorbould, doing an uncanny impression of Tod, and a great job at Inside the CBC, has more.

I don’t have much to say about that except that it’s pretty clear that the quality of local television supper-hour newscasts are patchy at best, but here’s hoping they really listen to the suggestions of regional producers and reporters on how to make them better, rather than decreeing from Toronto and Ottawa.

Also, they said that hockey brings in $100 million a year in ad revenue. This is the first time I’ve heard that number. During the hockey strike Rabinovitch said we lost $20 million in ad revenue. And the Globe reported that “on a good year, it’s believed the CBC has been making $30-million and more in profit from the hockey telecasts.” Which never made much sense to me, considering the $65 million rights fee.

Did they mean we made 30 and spent 65? Or we made 95 and spent 65? I’m not being facetious here. I’d really like to know.

So I had something to say about it after all.

And here’s what Stursberg said about The One:

”We actually did a pretty commendable job, because, interestingly, the numbers for The National on the night that The One was on were higher than their summer averages,” said Richard Stursberg, executive vice-president for CBC television. ”So we think we learned (from) something that had gone reasonably well.”

Oh, come on. Can’t you just admit it didn’t work out?


  1. Anonymous
    Posted October 3, 2006 at 8:00 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The Gill Deacon Show??!!

    That’s original.

    Way to go Factual Entertainment honchos! NOT.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted October 1, 2006 at 10:58 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Well, when you position a show to be the direct competition to the Daily Show and the Colbert Report… I think you need to have a few comedy writers on staff.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted September 30, 2006 at 12:34 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Can anyone imagine another organization that would retain such manifestly incompetent senior managers? Can we all just admit that if they are not promptly replaced the CBC is finished?

  4. Allan
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 6:30 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    The CBC will not be toast, no matter what. I will personally see to it.
    Management will be changed in due course.
    Until then, what’s it all about, Anonymous?
    The CBC needs to make itself relevant. The old tricks won’t work any more. Nobody is impressed. At least not in the area of Current Affairs.
    Come to think of it, I’d like to see Colin Mocrie and his wife doing the news – in fact, doing anything. They’re incredibly talented and smart and fun to be with.
    So now The Hour becomes a variety show, eh?, and George a stand-up comic? I can’t wait.
    Colin Mochrie and his wife (whose name escapes me) are funnier and smarter and more interesting than Regis Philbin and Kathywhatever.
    Bif Naked, Antonia Z. and Jann Arden are more interesting by a mile than anything or anyone on The View.
    And what other reason would you have to watch Canadian TV – it’s what we watch Canadian television for.
    Have you got a better idea?
    Hockey revenue losses, regional news yes or no – are these the issues and focus of what the CBC is to you?
    Don’t sweat it. It means nothing. Putting good content on the air is all that it’s about.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 12:08 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Let’s everybody just face it, if bungling of the magnitude we are witnessing isn’t swiftly remediated by the replacement of senior management,the joint is toast.

  6. a mistake!?
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 9:57 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    You really expect management to admit something didn’t work?

    Surely you’ve been around the CBC long enough not to hope for pie-in-the-sky like that.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted September 29, 2006 at 7:12 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I think we probably made $95m and spent $65m. A $30 million shortfall would be a significant loss to ETV, and something worth fighting for. Any other ratio doesn’t make much sense.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted September 28, 2006 at 11:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Stursburg tries to spin “The One” as a good experiment because audiences to “The National” were higher?

    More likely, the start of the Israel/Lebanon war had more to do with the supposed gains to The National’s audience rather than the miserable lead-in that came from “The One”.

    So what lessons have been learned from this experience? Start another war in case your American simulcast flops?

    Sad to see that the leadership of English Television continues to hide behind spin as a cover for their bad decisions.

  9. Matt Watts
    Posted September 28, 2006 at 10:18 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    if the cbc spends 65 million and makes 30 million, wouldn’t it be saving money if it lost hockey? that can’t be right…

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