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TV drama 

To the editor,

The holiday edition of The Coast declares itself to be a mix of fact and fiction. If it's not always clear which is which, at minimum the paper should have informed and entertained, at least as much as usual.

I'll leave it to other readers to decide whether Tara Thorne's fictional run at CBC Television ("The Dope Show," December 21) entertained. It certainly didn't inform. And, as a mix of the absurd and the barely plausible, it may even have created some confusion.

In the column, Tara cheats her readers of information that may have informed their holiday TV viewing and could enhance their tube time in the future. Some examples:

While we are NOT producing a "purportedly gritty drama" about after-hours activities on Citadel Hill, as Tara tells us in her yuletide burlesque, we ARE producing a new Maritimes daily lifestyle show called Living East, which starts on January 15, hosted by Heidi Petracek.

There will be no "art-school sitcom" called Duke Street, as advertised by Tara. But we will, beginning February 19, 2007, resume one-hour local suppertime newscasts.

And here is a small sample of some special regionally produced or relevant programming CBC Television will air early in the new year:

Halifax Comedy Fest. Six episodes starting Wednesday, January 10, 2007, at 9:30pm.

Tides of Fundy. A documentary by John and Janet Foster about the Fundy tides and the amazing diversity of life on the shores of the bay. January 24, 11pm, CBC Newsworld.

Race is a Four-Letter Word. An exploration of racial identity, produced by local filmmaker Sobaz Benjamin, about a white man raised by a black family who is considered "white" by Nova Scotia blacks. February 6, 11pm, on CBC Newsworld.

Unfortunately, readers who may have relied on Tara or The Coast to tell them what's going on over the holidays will have missed several other great regionally based documentaries on CBC-TV, including the story of Ted Nolan's extraordinary year as coach of the Moncton Wildcats and a profile of Candy Palmater, a New Brunswick-born Mi'kmaq lawyer turned comic entertainer.

All of those shows, of course, are in addition to other established and hugely successful ongoing CBC-TV shows based in this region, including This Hour has 22 Minutes, Land & Sea, The East Coast Music Awards and the great kids' shows Mighty Jungle and Poko.

Tara Thorne, like any columnist or citizen, has every right to criticize and lampoon the CBC. But in this case it is hard not to conclude that Tara spent so much time being clever that she neglected to be informed. Fiction about CBC Television abounds. What Coast readers need most are some facts.

By Ron Crocker


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