Can you believe it's almost winter? One of the telltale signs -- aside from the Christmas lights, holiday music and bitter, brutal cold -- is when networks begin to promote their midseason shows. That's what CBC did Tuesday at a special event on the set of "George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight." And so it begins...
Unlike the spectacle we saw at the public broadcaster's fall upfronts, the presentation for the midseason schedule was much more subdued, but that doesn't mean it was any less extravagant. The media milled around with the talent, and it was a little unnerving sitting behind Rick Mercer, new "Best Recipes Ever" host Christine Tizzard, beside the cast of "Mr. D," and across from David Sutcliffe (Rory's dad! Oh, and the star of the upcoming "Cracked") and Murdoch himself, Yannick Bisson. But that's CBC's charm, showcasing the best and brightest stars while making content key.
"I think it's a real testament to the fact that Canadians want to watch Canadian television," Kirstine Stewart, executive vice president of English Services, CBC, said at Tuesday's presentation. "We had so many popular shows on the CBC. It's great because it really proves -- not just to us and to Canadians, but the whole system -- that this is actually something that can work. That we can actually put together great Canadian programming and Canadians come to watch it."
Stewart added: "We find that what we're doing at CBC is actually resonating with people and what's important to us. As we go forward, as we face challenges year after year, in terms of reduced funding, reduced resources, we have been able to try and find ways to reach more Canadians than ever before and I think it's incredibly important, given that Canadians want Canadian programming, that they actually have the opportunity to connect with it whichever way they want."
For its midseason schedule, CBC moves "Republic of Doyle" to a new night, adds the much-anticipated crime-drama "Cracked" to its lineup, and brings a touch of the past to the network with "Murdoch Mysteries" (its freshman year on the CBC; it's sixth season overall).
Another "Degrassi" alum, Bulgarian-born actress Nina Dobrev originally played baby mama Mia Jones on the Canadian teen soap. Dobrev also had small roles in some big features like "Away From Her" and "Chloe" before getting her big break on TV with "The Vampire Diaries." As both Elena Gilbert and Katherine Pierce, Dobrev has broken hearts -- and veins -- on the drama, which has sent her straight to superstardom.
Once known for playing the adorable Pacey Witter on "Dawson's Creek," Joshua Jackson is now on to bigger and better things ... or at least more supernatural ones. The actor now plays Peter Bishop on "Fringe."
It's Chandler Bing! After 10 years playing a funnyman on "Friends," Matthew Perry has appeared on "The Good Wife" and is starring in NBC's "Go On," set to air this fall.
The Shat! The international icon came to prominence as Captain Kirk on "Star Trek," but really, what aspect of pop culture has he not invaded and made his own? As Shatner on the big or small screen, as T.J. Hooker, as Denny Crane, as any number of the characters he's played over the course of a 50-year career, Shatner is really just Shatner. That's not to take away from his distinctive skills, it's just our way of saluting a presence so outsized and ham-tastic that no mere screen, book, convention stage or universe can contain it.
The "Mad Men" newcomer stole the show by singing "Zou Bisou Bisou" in the Season 5 premiere, and throughout the season, her character Megan wielded some significant sexual power over Don Draper. Pare's striking looks and and style turned her into one of the breakout stars of the TV season.
Best known for playing Robin Scherbatsky on "How I Met Your Mother," Cobie Smulders is talented, witty and charming. And the fact that her character was once a Canadian teenage popstar is kind of awesome.
Who would have thought this Oscar-winning actress could transition so smoothly into television? She did, and she's not going anywhere. People love Sookie Stackhouse from "True Blood," even though she's a fairy vampire-lover.
We'll admit it, we enjoyed making fun of Cuthbert's infamous cougar run-in on "24." But the days of her time in the Bauer clan are long past, and Cuthbert has ably reinvented herself as a ditzy comedienne in the addictive ABC comedy "Happy Endings."
Cassie Steele is known to most TV fans as Manny Santos, the adorable junior high-schooler-turned-teen-tramp from "Degrassi: The Next Generation." Steele, whose younger sister Alex also appeared on the series and is back on it a decade later, has broken away from the Canada program and is currently starring on "The L.A. Complex."
She's been a guest star on dozens of Canadian series, including "Being Erica," but Silk made her biggest splash with the addictive supernatural drama "Lost Girl," which now airs on both sides of the border. Her spunky portrayal of the succubus Bo is extremely enjoyable, as is Bo's banter with Kenzi (Ksenia Solo) and her sexy affairs with Dyson (Kris Holden-Ried) and Lauren (Zoie Palmer).
Even non-"Glee" fans love this Canadian cutie. He's sweet, charming and he literally exudes the boy-next-door vibe.
Following in Kristin Kreuk's alliterative footsteps on "Smallville," Durance scored the iconic role of Lois Lane opposite Tom Welling's Clark Kent. She currently appears on "Saving Hope" with Michael Shanks and Daniel Gillies.
From the moment we met Park's character Sharon on "Battlestar Galactica," we knew she was going to be around for a while. Post-"BSG" she was on "The Border" until its cancellation, and currently she's still starring in "Hawaii Five-O."
Best known for playing Lana Lang, Clark Kent's high school sweetheart on "Smallville," and Laurel Yeung on "Edgemont," both filmed in her native Vancouver. Kreuk returns to our screens this fall, starring as Catherine Chandler in the reboot of "Beauty and the Beast," which films in Toronto.
Toronto-born-and-raised McCormack was the calm voice of reason on "Will & Grace," and starting in the fall he'll be helming new show "Perception," where he plays Daniel Pierce, an eccentric neuroscientist who helps solve crimes.
Mandel is currently working alongside Howard Stern and Sharon Osbourne on "America's Got Talent," though don't look for him to be giving his fellow judges high-fives anytime soon. The germaphobe has also been rumored as a possible candidate to replace Regis Philbin as Kelly Ripa's "Live!" co-host.
Frequently referred to as "that hot Canadian actor," Adam Beach has been raking in the female accolades on CBC series "Arctic Air."
Most people know Priestley as the iconic Brandon Walsh from the original "Beverly Hills, 90210." Since then, he's certainly grown up and on -- starring in multiple series including "Haven" and "Medium" -- and is currently the lead on critically-acclaimed Canadian series "Call Me Fitz."
Sandra Oh started her Hollywood career on feature films ranging from "Bean" to "Under the Tuscan Sun" to "Sideways." But she really broke out on the small screen. First, she played Rita Wu on HBO's "Arli$$" and then, she went on to star as Christina Yang on the hit medical drama "Grey's Anatomy." The latter performance has earned her a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and five Emmy nominations.
"Canada's Got Talent" may be finito, but Martin Short is still one of the funniest comedians around. The former "Primetime Glick" star can currently be heard in theaters voicing Stefano in "Madagascar 3" after a multi-episode arc as Marshall's boss on "How I Met Your Mother."
After appearing in a number of family shows such as "Space Cases," "Higher Ground" and "Flash Forward" (not <em>that </em>one), Staite became a genre staple with roles on "Firefly" and "Stargate: Atlantis." She currently stars in "The L.A. Complex," which films in Toronto.
"Stargate" fans will tell you how amazing Tapping is, both onscreen and off. She also grabbed more rabid followers with her 4-year stint on the recently cancelled "Sanctuary." Not to worry, folks, we're sure she has countless roles to come.
Sutherland has been in Hollywood since he was a young buck, and he shows no signs of tiring. As the star of "24," he garnered a major cult following, and his latest venture "Touch" is quite popular. Just wait until that incessantly rumoured "24" movie.
This understated beauty has been carrying "Rookie Blue" for three seasons now (and soon to be four)! It's about time she gets her due.
From "Roseanne" to "Scrubs" to "Cougar Town," and soon to be seen on "How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life," Chalke has been on the TV scene for quite some time.
After stomping the halls of "Degrassi" as a Christian good girl, Grimes moved on to a new area code. The "90210" star has played Annie Wilson for five seasons, and between filming she's contributed to Nylon and Teen Vogue.
She was that amazingly hot Cylon in the red dress on "Battlestar Galactica" -- at first. Helfer soon proved her versatility by playing a variety of Number 6 characters, and after that show ended, she got steady work as a cast member or guest star on everything from "Chuck" to "The Firm." We enjoy seeing her on our screen regularly, and here's hoping she lands in something as good as "BSG" soon.
You probably know his twin brother Shawn from the movie franchise "X-Men," but Aaron has popped up here and there on TV. He played Jimmy Olsen on "Smallville" for several seasons, and has appeared on "Warehouse 13" and "In Plain Sight." Our fave recent role of his, though, was as Nate on "Lost Girl."
Known mostly for her role as Adrianna on "90210" (there are a lot of Canadians in this series, no?), Lowndes' life story is pretty interesting. Discovered originally as a singer in Vancouver when she was 16, she's moved up to star in one of the most popular shows in recent history.
Here's CBC's midseason lineup, beginning Jan. 6 (all times in ET):
7 p.m. "Heartland"
8 p.m. "Dragons' Den"
9 p.m. "Republic of Doyle"
8 p.m. "Mr. D"
8:30 p.m. "The Ron James Show"
9 p.m. "Murdoch Mysteries"
8 p.m. "The Rick Mercer Report"
9 p.m. "Cracked"
8 p.m. "March to the Top" (debuts Jan. 30)
9 p.m. "Arctic Air"
8 p.m. "The Nature of Things"
8 p.m. "Marketplace"
9 p.m. "the fifth estate"
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