‘Family Feud Canada,’ doc produced by Samuel L. Jackson among new CBC series


TORONTO — A Canadian version of “Family Feud,” a revival of “Battle of the Blades” with Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, and a documentary series led by Samuel L. Jackson are bound for the CBC.

The public broadcaster announced its 2019/2020 season this morning and it includes “Family Feud Canada” with actor and comedian Gerry Dee of “Mr. D” fame as host.

The Canadian version of the long-running American game show, in which teams of relatives answer survey questions, is due to start airing weekdays in late fall.

As previously announced, the CBC will also bring back the popular celebrity skating competition “Battle of the Blades,” which originally ran from 2009 to 2013.

Olympic ice dance champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir will be guest judges.

World champion figure skater Kurt Browning will be head judge and Ron MacLean returns as host for the series, which is set to premiere in the fall.

The show pairs hockey players and figure skaters together to perform on-ice dance routines for an audience and judges, with the winner’s prize money going to a charity of their choice.

Other new programming on the CBC’s fall/winter slate announced Wednesday includes “Enslaved,” which traces the history of slavery through underwater archaeology.

The Associated Producers/CBC Gem and Documentary Channel co-production is executive produced by Jackson and directed by Canadian filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici.

An adaptation of a trilogy of novels by author Eden Robinson is also on the docket.

“The Trickster” series is described as “a darkly humorous coming-of-age story — a mash-up of dysfunctional family drama and supernatural thriller.”

Michelle Latimer and Tony Elliott co-created the show based on a series of Robinson’s books, which include the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist “Son of a Trickster.”

At the heart of the story is an Indigenous teen who encounters elements of the supernatural world while trying to support his family.

Robinson grew up in Haisla territory near Kitamaat Village, B.C., and won the $50,000 Writers’ Trust Fellowship in 2017. Her other books include “Trickster Drift” and “Monkey Beach.”

The new CBC slate also includes “Fortunate Son,” a spy drama that’s set in 1968 and inspired by a true story. It sees a CIA agent spying on the matriarch of an American activist family who smuggles Vietnam war deserters and draft dodgers across the border.

New Zealand is the setting for “The Sounds,” a new relationship-driven thriller about “grieving wives, cheating husbands, epic embezzlement and historic crime.”

Returning series include the legal drama “Diggstown,” the long-running satirical news show “This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” and the parental comedy “Workin’ Moms.”

And new hosts have joined “The Great Canadian Baking Show”: Aurora Brown and Carolyn Taylor of “Baroness von Sketch Show.”

Unscripted series debuting next winter include “Fridge Wars,” in which families reveal what’s in their icebox while two celebrity chefs compete to make a meal using only those ingredients, and “High Arctic Haulers,” which follows shipping crews responsible for delivering supplies to towns located in the far North.

“As Canada’s public broadcaster, we are committed to building stronger relationships with Canadians of all ages by providing them with relevant and engaging content across all genres and platforms,” Barbara Williams, executive vice-president of English Services, said in a statement.

“It is more important than ever that we better reflect more of the country we serve and connect a broader range of Canadians to their communities, their country and the rest of the world.”

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press


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