On March 7, the CBC cancelled two big-name–backed, made-in-B.C. shows: jPod, based on the Douglas Coupland book, and Intelligence, by Chris Haddock. The decision was based entirely on viewership, according to Katherine Heath-Eves, CBC’s media relations and issues management advisor.
“There’s a lot of Coupland fans around here,” Heath-Eves told the Straight in an interview from Ottawa. “But this is a reality of creating network TV programs.”
In an on-line petition ( www.ipetitions.com/petition/CBC_jpod/ ), a John Carter threatened, “If you cancel jPod I’ll never watch CBC again.” On Facebook, “Juan Sucio Sanchez Kim” chimed in on the group jPod, which has about 3,700 members. “Would go on a rant about the Canadians, but it does not seem to do any good”¦ Just was beginning to believe that they had some taste, but alas it was just a vaneer [sic].”
While CBC’s Rick Mercer Report attracts 987,000 viewers on average, jPod floundered at a third of that—318,000—according to Heath-Eves. The also-cancelled MVP ’s average was 279,000, compared to Little Mosque on the Prairie’s 822,000. And The Border attracts 624,000, compared to Intelligence’s audience of 267,000.
Heath-Eves said there are no plans for replacement programs, or whether they’ll be filmed in Vancouver.