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February 12, 2024 5:07 pm  #1

Global Toots Its Own Horn Over 50th Anniversary

You've probably seen the "bug" that's begun appearing on the screen, especially on Global newscasts, indicating the network turned 50 years old this year.

Now Global has put out a press release reminding viewers of its history of bringing entertainment to the country, with stations in every province. (At the beginning, it was Ontario only.)

What strikes me as I read their multiple page self-salute is the number of American shows they mention as being amongst the memories most have of the network. Shows like Frasier, Cheers, Friends, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Will and Grace, Survivor and Big Brother all get prominent recalls, until they finally get to a Canuck clone, Big Brother Canada. 

True, they did help put SCTV on the air, and for that reason alone, they deserve plaudits. But it isn't really until the end they even mention their own CanCon, which tells you how Global actually made it to 50 years on air! (And it barely did that, after almost going broke at one point, before being taken over by IWC Communications.)

Ironic, in a way, since Global's original programming line-up aimed for a more extensive Great White North line-up. Wikipedia has a look at those heady days that brought lots of local flavour - but few eyeballs. See how many you remember from its first three months on-air (none, by the way, of which are mentioned in the press release.) 

"Global's original prime time schedule included Patrick Watson's documentary series Witness to YesterdayPierre Berton's political debate show The Great Debate, a Canadian edition of Bernard Braden's British consumer affairs newsmagazine The Braden BeatWilliam Shatner's film talk show Flick Flack, Sunday night Toronto Toros hockey games and a nightly variety series called Everything Goes, as well as a few imported American series including Chopper OneDirty Sally and Doc Elliot

Still, it's an interesting release to read and it starts with a pic of the iconic announcement of the network's debut on January 6, 1974, reminding long time viewers of their "theme song" that used to air at sign-on and sign-off, back in the days when TV stations weren't on 24 hours a day. 

You can hear some of it below, saved thanks to the great work of Ed Conroy at Retrontario. It's by Tommy Ambrose, the same guy who sang the "People City" song that launched City TV. 

Global Press Release: Celebrating 50 Years On Air


February 12, 2024 5:29 pm  #2

Re: Global Toots Its Own Horn Over 50th Anniversary

From 1978, after five years on air, followed by its line-up from "Must See TV Thursday" in 1993:

     Thread Starter

February 12, 2024 6:00 pm  #3

Re: Global Toots Its Own Horn Over 50th Anniversary

They were running the Love Boat several times a day (or so it seemed) in the late 70s/early 80s.


February 12, 2024 7:08 pm  #4

Re: Global Toots Its Own Horn Over 50th Anniversary

Global's cancon is vastly improved now to what they offered decades ago.  Global, Bell Media and CBC are producing much more scripted series and expensive programming than they ever have. Global's parent company has original programming sold to 150 countries and territories around the world and supplies programming to CW and Hulu networks in the US.