CBC Television Network

Whiteoaks of Jalna, The

Network: CBC Television Network

Broadcast Run: 1969 to 1970

Broadcast Medium: Television

Aired Sunday nights from January 23 to April 30, 1972. Aired Saturday nights from April 27 to August 17, 1974.

This series was inspired by the success of The Forsyte Saga, a BBC drama that told the story of the Forsyte family from 1879 to 1926. Only 26 episodes were produced in 1967, but Forsyte was a huge television hit in Canada and the United States a few years later.

The Whiteoaks of Jalna was the CBC’s “Forsyte Saga”; a massive production chronicling the story of the Whiteoaks family from about 1850 to 1950. It was based on the novels by Mazo de la Roche and supported by a two million dollar budget. The series failed to connect with audiences and it was cancelled after 12 weeks in 1972, partially due to a technicians’ strike in the middle of production.

Two years later, the series was completed and syndicated to Britain, the United States, France and Norway. The CBC had great hopes for the series, but it failed to gain an audience, with frequent complaints that viewers couldn’t follow the story lines. An illustrated family tree was issued so that viewers could trace the lineage, but it wasn’t enough and the show failed.

The producer of the series was John Trent, with co-producer Richard Gilbert, and the directors of photography were Ernie Kirkpatrick and Edmond Long. Timothy Findley was the head writer with additional scripts from Grahame Woods and Claude Harz.

Principle Cast:

Paul Harding as Renny Whiteoak

Kate Reid as Adeline Whiteoak [elder and junior]

Amelia Hall as Meg

Don Scardino as Ernest

Maureen O’Brien as Alayne

Antoinette Bower as Roma Fitzsturgis

Blair Brown as Pheasant Vaughan

Gillie Fenwick as Uncle Ernest

Written by John Corcelli – September, 2005