22 Minutes you’ll never get back

Yikes. Tuesday night, This Hour Has 22 Minutes returned for its 26th season to 367,ooo estimated, overnight viewers. While numbers were counted in some screwy ways back when 22 Minutes began, I’m going to go out on a fairly sturdy limb and suggest that is the series’ lowest-rated season premiere ever. That number is about… Read on



TONIGHT: Rick Mercer files one last Report

CBC is renewing a great deal of its schedule for next season but one of its top draws is departing — the Rick Mercer Report. Mercer and his partner in business and life Gerald Lunz made the decision before this 15th and final season started as I reported here last September. The St. John’s native is only… Read on


BOOK REVIEW: 25 Years of 22 Minutes

This season marks 25 years since the launch of This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Conceived by Mary Walsh as the follow up to her earlier CBC comedy series CODCO, the weekly news satire has lampooned politicians and Canada in general since Jean Chretien was strangling citizens on Parliament Hill. Halifax-based author Angela Mombourquette – who worked… Read on


Tonight begins the 15th and final season of the Mercer Report

I first met Rick Mercer 24 years ago. I had a very cool assignment from TV Guide; go to Halifax, spend a week with the cast and crew of This Hour Has 22 Minutes and find out how they go from newspaper headlines to a sketch comedy series in five days. Mercer was a young lad at the… Read on



Canada 150: stars share their passion for the True North

Feeling like waving the flag this Canada Day? Over the past weeks and even months,m I’ve been banking quotes from several TV personalities, getting their response to one question: What does Canada’s 150th birthday mean to you? Among those I quizzed: Don Cherry, Ron MacLean, Rick Mercer (above), Brent Butt, Marilyn Denis, Cobie Smulders, Jared… Read on


Tuesday: another Mercer Report signs off for the season

  What, already? Yes, The Rick Mercer Report signs off for another season Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBC. The 12th season brought the usual million-viewers a week and Mercer has already inked a deal for at least two more seasons. Rick ends 2014-15 in the usual manner by visiting the top schools participating in the Spread… Read on


Canadian comedy elite salute 22 years of 22 Minutes

Thursday in Toronto, a comedy Who’s Who packed into the Bell Lightbox to celebrate 22 years of This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Half of Newfoundland seemed to make it down to the Bell Lightbox for the salute. The Pope (Gordon Pinsent) and the ex-premier (Danny Williams) were both in the house, as was every 22… Read on


CBC still “Lives” at 2014-15 preview

They’re still using the slogan “Canada Lives Here” at CBC. It was on-screen during the presentation reel at CBC’s 2014-15 preview Thursday in Toronto. It seems to need an addendum now:  “Canada Lives Here–They Just No Longer Work Here.” Or, “Canada Lives Here–But the Kids Never Visit.”  Or, “Canada Lives Here–Five Percent of the Time” or…this… Read on