CBC Television Network

Observer, The

Network: CBC Television Network

Broadcast Run: 1964 to 1966

Broadcast Medium: Television

Aired Thursday evenings from October 1963 to June 1964. Later, twice weekly from June 1964 to June 1966.

This weekly news magazine program was only seen in three markets: Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. It had more of an editorial slant than most shows of the period, but like Inquiry and, later, This Hour Has Seven Days, it set the tone for some of the most adventurous news shows in television history. Harry J. Boyle was the executive producer, having established himself on CBC radio as a producer on such high profile network shows as Assignment.

The Observer debuted with Alan Hamel and John David Hamilton. It featured editorial cartoonists Duncan Macpherson and Peter Whalley, and Quebec reporter Peter Desbarats. The subject matter was quite varied, depending on what was happening in the news at the time: Quebec separatism, federal politics, the arts etc. were all covered on a regular basis. Each show also featured a “cover girl” who introduced the show and previewed its line-up of stories. By October of 1966, it was cancelled and incorporated as a segment in Across Canada.

Producers: Don MacPherson, Toronto; Betty Zimmerman, Ottawa; Don Rice, Montreal

Hosts: Alan Hamel, John David Hamilton [1963-64], Lloyd Robertson and Sandi Fruman [1964-65], Michael Magee and Daisy de Bellefeuille [1965-66]

Written by John Corcelli – May, 2005