Network: CBC Television Network
Broadcast Run: 2005 to 2014
Broadcast Medium: Television
Debuted January 17, 2005 on CBC Newsworld, as The Hour.
Aired weeknights at 11PM. on the CBC Network, beginning in September 2006.
First broadcast on Newsworld in primetime, The Hour was moved to the network after a successful run on CBC’s news channel. The program was built around the unique talents of the host, George Stroumboulopoulos, the former VJ and host on MuchMusic. Clearly defined by his no-nonsense style and unpretentious curiosity, The Hour was his show from the beginning as way of getting younger Canadian viewers interested in the issues of the day. His spontaneous personality and fast-paced delivery were soon tempered, once Stroumboulopoulos understood what was expected of him as a host, and more importantly as an interviewer.
The show didn’t take itself too seriously but it did consider itself a public affairs program that was “unconventional, controversial but never predictable.” George mixed light comedy with short, to the point interviews with many distinguished guests including Al Gore, Paul Anka, Barbara Walters, Christopher Hitchens, Norah Jones, David Suzuki, Billy Connolly and Jean Chretien.
In 2007, one of the most memorable interviews Stroumboulopoulos conducted was with Canadian journalist and activist, June Callwood. It was conducted about a month before she died; Callwood talked about love, marriage and her final years living with cancer.
The series was renewed in subsequent years, and in May 2010 the CBC confirmed that The Hour would return to the prime time schedule for the 2010-2011 season.
When it returned on September 20th 2010, the series had been retitled George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, and cut to a thirty minute program. The series was among a group of CBC programs which, on February 13th 2011, were announced as returning for the 2011-2012 season.
On June 8th the CBC’s published schedule for the 2011-2012 season showed the series back in its 11:05 pm time slot.
On April 19th 2012 the CBC confirmed that the series would return in the Fall schedule. On May 10th, it was announced that, in the Fall, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight would be trimmed to thirty minutes in length, and would play early evening at 7:00 pm, preceding Coronation Street, in addition to its usual 11:05pm slot.
The series returned on Monday September 17th 2012 at 7:00pm. On April 3rd 2013, the CBC announced that, in the 2013-24 season, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight would again be included in the CBC Network schedule, in its 10th season. It returned in September, running at 7 pm local time.
In March 2014, with Stroumboulopoulos having been announced as the new host of Hockey Night in Canada for the 2014-15 season, the CBC announced that his eponymous daily series would not be returning in the Fall.
Written by Pip Wedge – April, 2013