CBC hopes to build on the modest but steady programming gains this year with two new shows set to bow in January of 2009.
The Session stars Alberta-native Erin Karpluk (Godiva's, Bionic Woman) as a woman who, with the help of her magical therapist (Michael Riley from This Is Wonderland), goes back in time to relive some of the worst moments in her past. Like the time she couldn't pay her therapy bill so he sent her back in time for another six months. Sounds a bit Quantum Leapy or Journeymanish to me, but Karpluk is easy on the eyes. CBC already has a deal in place with BBC Worldwide for international distribution rights.
The Wild Roses is being billed as "Oil, money and greed in Canada ’s Wild West— Calgary style." The Roses in the title refers to a family of women who duke it out in the man's world of the Alberta oil business. Yee-ha! Think Dallas with dames. Sarah Power (Repo! The Generic Opera), Steve Byers (Falcon Beach), Michelle Harrison (The L Word) and Adam MacDonald (1-800-Missing) star. Shelley Eriksen (Shania: A Life In Eight Albums) is among the showrunners.
One of these shows will likely get the Friday night slot vacated by Air Farce Live next New Year's Eve, where it will die a horrible death. The Heritage Minister should use that handy Bill C-10 loophole and step in now, this could get ugly and profane.
Meanwhile, over at Global, they've officially given a second season order to The Guard, the B.C.-based drama that launched to over 800,000 viewers this winter. Production resumes in June. Global will also provide a second window to the Movie Network/Movie Central drama Durham County, which drew critical raves when it premiered on Pay-TV last May. The dark detective series, which stars Hugh Dillon and Justin Louis, will air this summer on Global.
The private network has also picked up the four-hour, two-part Global warming thriller Burn Up, starring Neve Campbell and Bradley Whitford, as well as The Last Templar, a Robert Halmi miniseries about an archaeologist digging into lost secrets of medieval knights. It stars Victor Garber (Justice), Mira Sorvino and Dave Foley. Both minis will air early next year.