CBC renews Schitt's Creek and Murdoch Mysteries, cancels Strange Empire

1 / 2
Fool Canada and Still Standing take aim at the nation's funny bone

The critically acclaimed comedy Schitt's Creek and the popular whodunnit Murdoch Mysteries are among 15 series returning to the CBC in the 2015-2016 season, the public broadcaster announced Wednesday.

Also slated to return are long running fan favourites such as Dragons' Den and Coronation Street, as well the award-winning comedy news satires Rick Mercer Report and This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

The just-announced line-up also includes the addition of 10 new shows, like the TV adaptation of Ins Choi's award-winning Canadian play​ Kim's Convenience and the espionage thriller The Romeo Section.

The CBC revealed it had cancelled its gritty western Strange Empire earlier this week.

- VIDEO | Schitt's Creek's Daniel and Eugene Levy on raising the bar on Canadian TV

"I’m thrilled to welcome back to the CBC some of the finest creators in the country and the extraordinarily talented new voices whose stories will resonate with Canadian audiences," said Sally Catto, General Manager, Programming, CBC Television.

"I’m equally proud of our factual slate that connects and engages audiences across the country by showcasing personal, poignant and humorous moments in Canadians’ lives."

More information about the new season, including arts, documentary and returning news programming will be revealed at a later date, the broadcaster said.

The list of returning CBC programming for 2015-2016 so far, includes:

- Heartland.

- Murdoch Mysteries.

- X Company. 

- Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays.

- Schitt's Creek.

- Mr. D.

- Rick Mercer Report.

- This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

- Just For Laughs. 

- Halifax Comedy Festival.

- Winnipeg Comedy Festival.

- Canada's Smartest Person.

- Dragons’ Den.

- Steven and Chris. 

- Coronation Street.  

New and original programming 

Da Vinci's Inquest creator Chris Haddock is returning to the CBC with the espionage thriller The Romeo Section. The set-in-Vancouver spy serial, is one of 10 new original productions and acquisitions being picked up by the broadcaster in 2015-2016.

Romeo leads a number of dramatic programs, including the previously announced New Address, an English adaptation of the hit Quebec series Nouvelle Adresse and the serialized drama Shoot the Messenger that centres on the difficult relationship between journalists and the police.

A number of new factual Canadian shows are joining the CBC roster, including a Canadian health care system​ documentary series called Keeping Canada Alive. 

An emotionally-driven documentary series, titled Hello, Goodbye, will join the line-up in early 2016 drawing from the personal stories of regular people in Canadian airports.

Previously announced hidden-camera comedy show Fool Canada and the light-hearted roast of small town Canada, Still Standing (working title), starring comedian Jonny Harris are slated to premiere in summer 2015.

- PHOTOS | Canadian Screen Awards 2015: Best in homegrown film and TV honoured

CBC will be home to a number of cutting edge comedies including Young Drunk Punk, the Calgary-shot sitcom based on Kids in the Hall star Bruce McCulloch and his semi-autobiographical stage show, and an all-female comedy program, Baroness Von Sketch Show.

Ins Choi's award-winning Canadian play​ Kim's Convenience will get new life on the small screen in 2016. The TV adaptation centres on Mr. Kim, a Korean immigrant and fiery patriarch, as he struggles with changes within his business, family and their Toronto community of Regent Park. 

Strange Empire cancelled

Absent from Wednesday's announcement was Strange Empire, CBC's gritty western that premiered just last October.

The story centred on three woman forced to survive in a rough border town after all the men are mysteriously murdered.

The broadcaster revealed earlier this week that the set-in-Alberta drama, starring Cara Gee, Melissa Farman and Tattiawna Jones, had been cancelled.

- VIDEO | Cancelling Strange Empire a 'difficult decision'

"This was an incredibly difficult decision," Catto said. "We're so proud that we were able to do it. I can tell you, it was not about ratings."

For a full schedule of CBC’s winter programming, visit CBC.ca/Television.