One of the new shows on CBC’s 2024-25 schedule is called Small Achievable Goals. It is a scripted comedy about female podcasters going through menopause. Those three words, however, coulld also describe, in a fiercely competitive and crowded media landscape, the only way forward for CBC. 

On this episode of the podcast, I speak with Executive Vice President Barbara Williams and General Manager Entertainment, Factual & Sports Sally Catto. We talk about new shows hitting the schedule, including series returns for Allan Hawco, Jennifer Whelan and Meredith MacNeill.

CBC’s Executive Vice President Barbara Williams. Photo by Sam Santos of George Pimentel Photography for CBC

There is also a mention of a few shows not returning to CBC, including Run the Burbs, Andrew Phung’s suburban sitcom that ends after three seasons. In my opinion, CBC gave this series a fair shot. I admire Phung’s attempt to put a mirror to mixed families and communities. I lived in one of the most diverse ‘burbs in Canada, Brampton, Ontario, and this series certainly hit that target. It never seemed to land on a consistent tone, however. Some weeks it seemed as if the A and B stories were written by completely separate teams. Things would start with a yard sale but end on a generational conflict. There might be hugs at the end but the series sometimes struggled to deliver.

Run The Burbs might have worked as a series of shorter episodes on a streaming platform, or in an unrelated slice-of-life episodic series such as Louis CK’s vanquished FX comedy Louie. Phung, who stood out on Kim’s Convenience, will be back, however. One thing CBC does, as discussed with Barb and Sally in this podcast episode, is stick with the players who have helped define the brand. Hence new opportunities in 2025 for Hawco (Republic of Doyle), Whelan (Baroness von Sketch Show) and MacNeill (Pretty Hard Cases).

Another series that was cut was One More Time, which I feel deserved one more season to find an audience. Comedian DJ Demers comedy about a Play it Again sporting goods store featured a winning cast and had a Superstore-at-its-best vibe to it. It was on its feet very fast for a sitcom, but should have been called “Good Sports” or “Jocks for Laughs” (well, okay, maybe not Jocks for Laughs) or something that helped viewers get it. The crowded TV landscape just does not allow for vague or confusing titles anymore (see Pretty Hard Cases).

There is also talk with Barb and Sally about the upcoming Paris Summer Olympic Games. CBC is Canada’s official network for Olympic Games coverage for the next ten years, so yeah, go ahead and shut that down, Poilievre.


To listen to the episode, simply click on the white arrow in the blue dot, above.

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