The shocking news today from TV land is that Canada AM has not only been cancelled after 43 years on CTV, but it is literally being yanked off the air.
They announced today that the final show is tomorrow. This is a real stunner, with almost no warning for the fans, nothing. Usually what happens with a long-running iconic TV show, certainly ones of Canada AM’s stature, is that the end is announced well ahead of time — in rare cases, even a year in advance like what happened with Johnny Carson and David Letterman. Then, they heavily promote the final shows in order to get one final ratings bump and some ad money, and give the show a classy big send off. I guess folks at Bell aren’t interested in doing that.
This news is really a surprise because this is one of those shows that you would never, ever expect to be cancelled — one of these rare shows you expect to see stay on the air forever.
Then again, Canada AM has been dying a slow death anyway — and no, it has nothing to do with the Internet.
It has more to do with the local competition in morning TV in this country, which lately has been really cutthroat with lots of morning shows going on the air and then getting cancelled all over the country.
But it’s been worse than that for Canada AM. Not only has Canada AM had to contend with Citytv’s Breakfast Television and their ilk, but they were also losing out to other local shows airing on their own network stations!
For the last few years CTV has been bumping Canada AM off of local stations all over Canada, and replacing it with all-local CTV Morning Live shows in different markets. That is what they’ve been showing in the Saskatchewan market for years. In markets out East where there is a “CTV” and “CTV2”, it’s an even more insane situation where you have Canada AM airing on one station and a CTV Morning Live show on another! When Canada AM must compete against its own network’s morning shows, in addition to the competition’s morning shows, that make it very tough.
I imagine CTV will ultimately make an announcement that they will replace Canada AM with some sort of CTV Morning Live-ish local show in Toronto and other places where Canada AM is going away. But I could be wrong. The way Canadian TV is going, they could yet announce they are running reruns of Gilligan’s Island instead.
You know, 43 years on the air is a long, long time in TV. Still, this is a really abrupt demise to an iconic show that was basically Canada’s version of Today and Good Morning America. Canada AM and its viewers all deserved a better ending than this.