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It’s still the ‘One’ in Canada

CBC bumps flagship newscast 'National' for simulcast

TORONTO — “The One” may be down but it’s not out, according to Canuck pubcaster CBC.

Net ruffled plenty of nationalist feathers north of the border when it announced plans to pick up ABC’s version of the Endemol talent format for its expensive fall schedule, especially when CBC bumped evening flagship newscast, “The National,” for the simulcast.

CBC was left with egg on its face in July after ABC cancelled “The One” Stateside just two weeks into its run.

That left locals wondering what had happened to plans for a Canuck version of “The One,” which was tentatively to go to air early in 2007.

Last week CBC confirmed that, although there is no broadcast date for the localized show, the format remains in development in spite of its spectacular U.S. failure.

“What attracted the CBC to this format was the Quebec version, ‘Star Academie,’ ” says Kirstine Layfield, CBC’s executive director of network programming, “and that was ages before ABC announced a U.S. version.”

She says the “Star Academy” format (originally from Spain) has done well elsewhere, including the U.K., France and Russia.

Layfield is part of a new guard in the pubcaster’s senior ranks that also includes Fred Fuchs in arts and entertainment and Julie Bristow in factual entertainment.

The team recently completed a cross-country tour in which it outlined its new and more- populist vision to Canadian producers.

The ABC “The One” hiccough notwithstanding, Layfield says they’re staying the course.

“We still have a lot of very interesting things going on in the schedule,” she says, which this fall includes the reality skein “Dragon’s Den” and the comedy “Rumors.”

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