Articles - R.C.M.P. (Series) (1959-1960)

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RCMP Gets Sponsor

By VICTOR MACKIE Free Press Ottawa Editor (Sep 26, 1959)

OTTAWA (Special) — The new TV-series called RCMP has broken through what the CBC described Thursday as the "Dollar barrier" with its sale to a Canadian sponsor.

For six months, the CBC has been seeking to sell the Ottawa-made series commercially. Its failure to make the sale has been handicapping sales efforts in the United States.

Now the sale has been made in Canada by the CBC for Canadian sponsorship by Warner Lambert of Canada, a pharmaceutical firm.

Crawley Films Limited of Ottawa has been producing the series in the Gatineau Hills, north of Ottawa for the firm of Crawley-McConnell Limited which has paid 60 per cent of production costs.

The other 40 per cent of the cost is divided evenly between the CBC and the British Broadcasting Corporation.

The BBC has purchased the British rights to the series.

Tbe Australian Broadcasting Corporation has bought the series far showing down under.

But still to be sold is the sponsorship in the important U.S. market.

Two episodes of the series of 39 still have to be filmed.

'RCMP'.. .New TV Serial Starts This Fall

By DON ATTFIELD - Canadian Press Staff Writer (Oct 10, 1959)

OLD CHELSEA, Que. (CP)— Canadian viewers this fall will be
introduced to a new all-Canadian television aerial.

"RCMP" is a Hollywood-scale production. Corporal Jacques Garnier, the hero, should rate with Paladin and Wyatt Earp among followers of the small screen.

It is the story of modern day operations of the famed red coats in the fictional Northern Saskatchewan town of Shamawatta. Most of the filming, however, is being done in this western Quebec area, 14 miles north of Ottawa.

The first of 39 half-hour episodes flashes on to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's English network Wednesday, Oct, 28. The French-network series, with French language dubbed in, begins Jan. 1.

The CBC, making its first venture into the major serial drama field since "Radisson," holds a 20-per-cent interest in the new series. It purchased Canadian rights.

The British Broadcasting Corporation also put up 20 per cent of the cost and bought United Kingdom rights.

The 60-per-cent balance of stock is held by Crawley-McConnell Limited, specially set up for the purpose. Together the three participants called on Crawley Films of Ottawa to produce the series.

The CBC, which lost almost $1,000,000 on the serial "Radisson," stands to make money. It was learned the corporation already has a sponsor. Although the charge to the sponsor will not cover the full cost of purchasing Canadian rights, the loss likely will be more than made up for by profits on sales elsewhere.

Crawley-McConnell says chances of selling the series to an American network are good, in which case the production would be on easy street. Otherwise it will be syndicated in the United States and profits would not he so good.

The Australian Broadcasting Company has purchased rights, and sales are being negotiated with French and Swedish TV organizations. Inquiries also have been received from Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, West Germany and South America.

The CBC emphasizes that this is not another "Radisson," the all-CBC 1957 series generally criticized and often ridiculed by reviewers.

The 52-film account of the adventures of pioneer Canadian explorer Pierre Radisson - shot separately 26 each in English and French— cost $1,040,000, or about $20,000 a film. Only $150,000 has been recovered in U.S. and U.K. sales.

"RCMP" has all the gloss and pace of a top U.S. production. Total cost of the series will be $1,365,000, or $35,000 a film.

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For an in-depth look at CBC programs (1952-82),
Blaine Allan's directory