Would that this were an April Fool’s joke: CBC has decided to wind down their long-running Friday night comedy showcase Air Farce Live.
The series, which concludes its 15th season this coming Friday at 8, was previously listed among shows returning for next season. While that is still true, the buzz around the halls of CBC’s downtown Toronto bunker last night–and confirmed by an insider–was that the Farce will only be with the network for ten more episodes, starting in October, with an hour-long New Year’s Eve special standing as the series finale.
Original farcers Roger Abbott, Don Ferguson and Luba Goy have performed since the TV debut and before that for over 20 years on CBC radio, where they premiered in 1973. Fellow trouper John Morgan retired in 2001 and passed away in 2004.
The series added four younger cast members in recent seasons, Jessica Holmes, Craig Lauzon, Alan Park and Penelope Corrin.
Farce averaged 657,000 viewers over the first 10 weeks of 2008, ranking it as the fourth highest rated CBC series, ahead of all the January start ups. It still ranks ahead of The Border and the other rookies in the 25-54-year-old demo.
This after a season which saw very little promotional support, despite the ambitious switch to an all live sketch series format. That challenge was made even more daunting by the dismantling of CBC’s in house design department.
Air Farce rose to the challenge and continues to draw, pulling close to a million this past New Year’s Eve.
CBC must have shows in the hopper it feels can perform better in January, 2009, but launching a new show on Fridays is suicide–just ask the people behind MVP and jPod. Why not allow Air Farce to continue to be a player in that timeslot as it morphs into a younger troupe?
Personally, I’ll miss the unique mix of older and younger performers and will cheer them all on from the bleachers, along with my teenage son, when Air Farce performs for the last time this season this Friday at 8.
UPDATE: The decision to retire the show after one more half season was a mutual decision between producers Abbott and Ferguson and the CBC.; read Lee-Anne Goodman’s compehensive take on the whole story here at The Canadian Press.


  1. I for one will be glad to see it go. Air Farce is the dumb 10 year old cousin of Canadian political comedy, with RMR and 22 minutes being the older teens, slightly wittier but barely. Nothing can approach Infoman on RadCan, as an example of truly funny stuff.

  2. Big deal, they’ll replace this lousy state funded bucket of slop with another state funded bucket of slop which no one will watch…cripes, may as well pull Rusty and Jerome out of mothballs and let the cbcers stare at that.

  3. Brrrr…arrrgh…phlegggm! And Cancell Chrrisstmas Too! Humbug, humbug!!!

  4. anonymous 7:39 PM

    “might as well pull Rusty and Jerome out of mothballs…”

    I believe that the CBC did just that to shoot a promo for the Gemini Awards last year. Unfortunately the “producer” for the segment improvised a soft porn moment with Rusty and Jerome. The family of the Friendly Giant, who own the copyright to Rusty and Jerome, threatened legal action and Rusty and Jerome were removed from the CBC forever. Quite sad really, but a perfect illustration of how the CBC has become a cult of amateurs and unprofessional hacks.

  5. Hey cool … we all have the same name. Let’s start a idiot club or something… Who’s in ?

  6. anonymous 7:39 PM

    “Brrrr…arrrgh…phlegggm! And Cancell Chrrisstmas Too!”

    Obviously the work of a failed TV writer. One of the dead things on sticks would be his brain.

  7. who are you anonymous morons trying to bait? you’ve driven everyone else away.It’s just you guys here!

  8. hey bill:
    i think you had this story first.

    I hear that kind of thing is called a “scoop”.

    good stuff.


  9. Yup, a definite scoop focused on the facts, without fanfare. This blog has been filling a great niche in the Canadian TV world, so consider this my selfish thanks: it’s also helped reduce the number of “where can I find ratings numbers” requests I get for the TV, eh site.

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