Mr. Dressup was one of Canada’s most beloved and longest-running children’s television series. The program starred Ernie Coombs as the jovial Mr. Dressup and ran for 29 years (1967–96) and more than 4,000 episodes. A precursor to the popular American series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Mr. Dressup was influential in tailoring children’s programming towards developing the child’s emotional and logical intelligence. The series won three Gemini Awards and earned Coombs an appointment to the Order of Canada. A 2017 crowd-sourced online vote unofficially declared Mr. Dressup Canada’s most memorable television program.
Slings & Arrows (2003–06) is a television comedy series that satirizes the backstage antics of a Shakespearean theatre festival. Written and created by Susan Coyne, Bob Martin and Mark McKinney, it was produced by Rhombus Media for The Movie Network (TMN) and later aired on Sundance TV in the United States. It starred such Canadian stage and screen stars as Paul Gross, Rachel McAdams, William Hutt, Martha Burns, Stephen Ouimette, Don McKellar, Colm Feore, and Sarah Polley. It was named one of the Top 10 Canadian TV shows of the decade (2000s) by Maclean’s, won 13 Gemini Awards (including two for best television series), and remains one of the most critically acclaimed television programs in Canadian history.
Based on novels published by Working Partners under the name Lauren Brooke, Heartland is a family drama that airs on CBC TV on Sundays at 7:00 p.m. It premiered in 2007 and is the longest-running one-hour drama in Canadian history. Set on a family ranch called Heartland, the Alberta-shot series follows Amy Fleming’s (Amber Marshall) relationships with her family, with ranch hand Ty Borden (Graham Wardle) and her special abilities as a horse whisperer. Winner of five Directors Guild of Canada Awards for best family television series, Heartland averages more than 1 million viewers per episode and is broadcast in more than 100 countries.
Orphan Black is a critically acclaimed science fiction TV series created by John Fawcett and Graeme Manson. It stars Tatiana Maslany as more than a dozen clones who attempt to solve the mystery behind their creation. Over its five-season run (2013–17) on Space in Canada and BBC America in the United States, Orphan Black developed a dedicated cult following and won numerous awards, including a Peabody Award and 36 Canadian Screen Awards, including three for best dramatic series and four for best lead actress. In 2016, Maslany became the first Canadian actor on a Canadian show to win an Emmy Award for acting in a dramatic series.
At 10 pm on Sunday, October 4, 1964, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation introduced its innovative public affairs program, This Hour Has Seven Days. By year's end, the show was attracting 2 million watchers. Fifty shows later, when the CBC killed Seven Days, it had an audience of 3.