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May 28, 2024 11:19 am  #31


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

Walter wrote:

jughead jones wrote:

Hands down - The Trouble With Tracy!

Steve Weston was a national treasure.  Too bad he fell from that roof.  Maybe he jumped after reading 'The Trouble With Tracy' reviews.
 

The man who wrote each episode of The Trouble with Tracy was an American named Goodman Ace, who was one of the top radio stars of the 1940s. His radio show The Easy Aces featured him (the long-suffering husband) and his wife Jane (playing a ditzy blonde) and their neighbourhood adventures, including the "Isn't that awful" tagline to end each episode. Ace recycled his old radio scripts with a few minor changes into each episode of The Trouble with Tracy, which explains why a Canadian-produced sitcom was set in New York City and had no Canadian references at all. He even wrote himself and his wife into a couple of episodes in which Steve's ad agency tried to "lure" the Aces back on the air to appear in commercials. A bit of a sad ending for a man who was once seen as one of the top performers in the U.S. radio industry.
 

Last edited by BowmanvilleBob (May 28, 2024 11:20 am)

 

May 28, 2024 11:38 am  #32


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

As we have seen in the previous posts, there have been quite a number of Canadian productions over the years.  These days I've become rather partial to Murdock Mysteries.

Interesting speculative fact.  Now that the next season has been officially green lighted, (green lit?) it should be noted that this upcoming season put them in 1912, the year the Titanic sank.  Interesting that Mr. Murdoch's Wife is going to England and I wouldn't be surprised if he paid a visit, possibly putting an episode or two in the U.K.

It was also pointed out in a reddit post that one of casualties on the real ill-fated Titanic was a gentleman named William Murdoch. 

Wonder if this means anything?
 

 

May 28, 2024 2:30 pm  #33


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

Interestingly, both The Trouble with Tracy in 1970 and Hilarious House of Frightenstein in 1971 were mass produced with 130 episodes being churned out in 9 months in the case of Frightenstein and probably about the same time for Tracy. This meant there wasn't any opportunity for retakes or rehearsals. The difference was 1) Frightenstein had original scripts and 2) Frightenstein had Billy Van who was a genius at improv.

Outside of daily soaps are there any other examples of scripted shows being produced in this pressure cooker method? It sounds like a recipe for disaster and it's actually a miracle that it worked in the case of Frightenstein. 

 

May 28, 2024 5:27 pm  #34


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

mace wrote:

I would vote for Street Legal. It educated viewers of the difference between the Canadian and American legal systems.

To be followed decades later by Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent. (Cue the doink doink.)

 

May 28, 2024 6:55 pm  #35


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

I really liked Seeing Things with Louis Del Grande.

 

May 28, 2024 7:01 pm  #36


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

The bizarre thing about Bizarre is it originated as a pilot for a proposed late-night show on ABC hosted by Richard Dawson, of all people.

https://youtu.be/1iMhlLRSqJQ?si=x2uLmXWwCbLlllgl

 

May 29, 2024 12:06 am  #37


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

Hansa wrote:

Interestingly, both The Trouble with Tracy in 1970 and Hilarious House of Frightenstein in 1971 were mass produced with 130 episodes being churned out in 9 months in the case of Frightenstein and probably about the same time for Tracy. This meant there wasn't any opportunity for retakes or rehearsals. The difference was 1) Frightenstein had original scripts and 2) Frightenstein had Billy Van who was a genius at improv.

Outside of daily soaps are there any other examples of scripted shows being produced in this pressure cooker method? It sounds like a recipe for disaster and it's actually a miracle that it worked in the case of Frightenstein. 

The two shows differed in their production shooting order.  Frightenstein was shot entirely out of sequence and in blocks.  This was to accommodate both the various sets and makeup and costume order for Billy Van. All of the Grizelda Gourmet segments were shot with the kitchen set and had Billy in the specific make-up and wardrobe.
The Count and Igor segments were another set in "Brucie's" lab with Billy and Fishka in make-up and costume.

Frightenstein also had a lot of prosthetic makeup effects which were mostly for Billy's characters...  Grizelda's warts, chin, nose, hair wig.  Dr. Pet Vet's cheeks and chin.  The Librarian etc. 

Vincent Price's segments were shot over 3 or 4 days... Price was in the open and close of each show. In addition he also appeared on numerous bridges or intros to some segments.

The show was edited with the various segments being assembled in order of the specific episode's script. 

Tracey was mostly "live to tape".   There would be a camera blocking run thru with the actors and the audio booms, and then it would be "Roll and Record" The cast size would vary depending on the story line, but it was largely like a stage play Act 1 to Act 3...

Tracey did have a bit of a budget behind it... the cast size would vary as required...  recurring characters and occasional one off characters for specific episodes. Also, the Producer/Director role was generally one person. However, on occasion the role would be split with a separate Director being hired for a block of episodes.

 

 

May 29, 2024 11:06 am  #38


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

I'll add Made In Canada with Rick Mercer, Leah Pinsent and Peter Keleghan.

 

May 29, 2024 11:42 am  #39


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

Butch Patterson: Private Dick

 

May 29, 2024 6:43 pm  #40


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

Tq345 wrote:

I'll add Made In Canada with Rick Mercer, Leah Pinsent and Peter Keleghan.

Totally forgot about this, it was a gem.
Here's a clip from Made In Canada season 1 episode 1
https://youtu.be/ycGzFlkbOiY?si=9It20sT6yLWHQB5b
Beauty of an opening song. This show deserves a reboot.

I'd also forgotten about a 90's show called Traders, it was super popular for a while, and I believe even had some success in the U.S. It was a good show and there's a number of episodes up on YouTube.

Last edited by betaylored (May 30, 2024 2:10 am)

 

May 30, 2024 11:26 am  #41


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

Here's a vote for "North of 60".  Started out as kind of a semi-comedy but became quite serious as it moved along. Many terrific actors appeared on that show, and most (but not all) episodes were well written.

 

May 30, 2024 12:30 pm  #42


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

YMCA wrote:

Here's a vote for "North of 60".  Started out as kind of a semi-comedy but became quite serious as it moved along. Many terrific actors appeared on that show, and most (but not all) episodes were well written.

That's a great show too. It also has my vote.

I remember reading an article many years back where cast member Tracey Cook had heard that the show was also quite popular with Indigenous people in the U.S. who were able to pick it up via satellite. Up until then, the only show in the U.S. that celebrated Native culture was Northern Exposure, which was nowhere near as intense as North of 60 and it wasn't exclusively Indigenous either, as the townsfolk came from many different walks of life and the main character was a Jewish medical graduate transplanted from New York.

North of 60 is a show that is long overdue for a DVD/Blu-ray release. Last time I checked it was streaming in Canada on Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime, but the aspect ratio is off on the latter and there appears to be no way to fix it. (I'm not sure about Apple TV+ as I'm not a subscriber).



PJ
 


ClassicHitsOnline.com...The place where all the cool tunes hang out!
 

May 30, 2024 3:33 pm  #43


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

This Hour Has 22 Minutes initially was really funny and well done.  The show has long long since jumped the shark.  Rick Mercer's Talking To Americans segment was always funny.  

Talking To Americans came out as a special in April 2001 and was watched by 2.7 million people.  The special was nominated for two Gemini Awards but Mercer had requested that the nominations be pulled since the awards show was too soon after 9/11.  He felt that was it inappropriate that the special should be nominated or possibly win an award since it was poking fun at our neighbours to the south at a time when they needed support.

When he was interviewed on ABC's Nightline about the segment, Mercer said that the program could have been done the other way around showing how little Canadians know about the US.  He mentioned that many interviewed were actually onto the joke and they only used people that gave shorter answers  rather than those that would ramble. 

 

May 30, 2024 3:52 pm  #44


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

My late dad, who hated every politician regardless of party, really loved the TV version of "The Royal Canadian Air Farce." As soon as they made fun of a politico, he was in hysterics.

He's been gone a while, but that was probably his favourite of all the Canadian shows, including their annual New Year's specials. (Whatever happened to the Chicken Cannon, anyway?)

     Thread Starter
 

May 30, 2024 7:41 pm  #45


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

RadioActive wrote:

My late dad, who hated every politician regardless of party, really loved the TV version of "The Royal Canadian Air Farce." As soon as they made fun of a politico, he was in hysterics.

I enjoyed the Air Farce too when the original four were on it: the late Roger Abbott, Luba Goy, Don Ferguson and the late John Morgan. Those four had a unique chemistry that was comic gold.



PJ
 


ClassicHitsOnline.com...The place where all the cool tunes hang out!
 

May 31, 2024 2:52 am  #46


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

Paul Jeffries wrote:

North of 60 is a show that is long overdue for a DVD/Blu-ray release.

Agreed, but I don't think it will ever happen. There was a group dedicated to the show (I think it was in Yahoo Groups or Google Groups), dunno, can't remember now. But they contacted the rights holders and asked for a DVD release, but nothing ever happened. There were lots of fervent fans in that group.

EDIT: And they were American fans, the group starter was an American who'd grown to love the show. They used to keep tabs on where it could be seen, as it moved around on the US satellite channels.

It's been a long time since I've seen an episode, but I definitely recall the actors.

August Schellenberg was hilarious as a visting rogue. Gordon Tootoosis was wonderful as Albert. Robert Bockstael as the cop who slowly went insane. Many more, too many to mention here. And Tina Keeper, who became the lead, did a terrific job. It was a damn good show.

 

Last edited by YMCA (May 31, 2024 3:17 am)

 

May 31, 2024 6:32 am  #47


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

Entire seasons of North of 60 appear to be on YouTube for free if you really want to see it again. Do a search on the site and you'll find all the seasons. 

Season 1

     Thread Starter
 

May 31, 2024 7:52 am  #48


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

Wow! Thanks for that, RA.

I remember when I was watching North of 60 on APTN and they suddenly interrupted the show for a news bulletin.

It was the crash into the WTC.

 

 

May 31, 2024 7:19 pm  #49


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

I used to like Wayne and Shuster. I may not like them if they were on today but, when I was twelve years old, they were pretty funny. I seem to recall that , later on, they did get some better writers.


I started out with nothing and I still have most of it.
 

June 3, 2024 1:29 pm  #50


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

I was always a big fan of CTV/Glen-Warren productions (growning up in TO in the late70's/early 80's).
Shows like Circus!, Littlest Hobo and the like.
But other CTV  shows like Bizarre and Live It Up are faves too.
I really wish I could find episodes of Live It Up... that would be a time capsule of Canada in that era.

Davester.

 

June 3, 2024 2:03 pm  #51


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

Bizarre was, interestingly enough, hosted by the American impressionist John Byner.
He's still alive and 85 years old.
Bizarre was definitely ahead of its time with humour that was more akin to Monty Python than Second City.
Also interesting that Canada has one of the greatest impressionists of all time -- Rich Little, yet they got an American to be host.
Byner was probably much more affordable at the time.

 

 

June 3, 2024 3:03 pm  #52


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

You can see episodes of NBC's painfully unfunny "Rich Little Show" on YouTube. Bob Einstein chose well by going with John Byner rather than Little who - while a superior impressionist - is boring and would have been too bland for the risqué for its time Bizarre.

Last edited by Hansa (June 3, 2024 3:04 pm)

 

June 3, 2024 10:42 pm  #53


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

I don't think anyone has mentioned SCTV yet.


I started out with nothing and I still have most of it.
 

June 3, 2024 11:21 pm  #54


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

turkeytop wrote:

I don't think anyone has mentioned SCTV yet.

Actually, that was in the first post for this thread, but it was so long ago, I'm not surprised you missed it!

     Thread Starter
 

June 4, 2024 12:28 am  #55


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

RadioActive wrote:

turkeytop wrote:

I don't think anyone has mentioned SCTV yet.

Actually, that was in the first post for this thread, but it was so long ago, I'm not surprised you missed it!

And I just reviwed the entire thread before posting and I still missed it.
 


I started out with nothing and I still have most of it.
 

June 4, 2024 11:23 am  #56


Re: What Is The Greatest Canadian TV Show Ever Made?

Doesn't rank as great TV, but a show I liked as a kid was on CBC in the after school hours was Ed and Ross. Ed was Ed McCurdy. I don't recall Ross's last name.

They would sing a few kid's songs like, The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and they would show how to make things from items around the house like film spools, empty milk cartons etc. Once they made the telephone from tin cans and a string. I tried it and it actually worked.

Last edited by turkeytop (June 4, 2024 11:24 am)


I started out with nothing and I still have most of it.