Switchback (TV series)

Switchback was a Canadian television show for children and teenagers, created by Nijole Kuzmickas which aired on CBC Television in the 1980s.[1] An interactive youth variety show which aired on Sunday mornings, the series mixed music videos, celebrity interviews, cartoons, comedy and puppetry segments, and viewer contests.[2]

The show was produced in several Canadian cities simultaneously, sharing some segments but each featuring their own local hosts and predominantly local content.[3] Editions of the series were produced in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Regina, Halifax, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto, with each also seen on some other CBC stations that did not produce their own Switchback.[3]

Hosts of the show included Rick Scott, Gordon White, Bob Geldof, Richard Newman, Andrew Cochrane and Stu Jeffries in Vancouver; Stan Johnson in Halifax;[1] Shawn Thompson, Howard Busgang, Dale Martindale and Eric Tunney in Toronto; Laurie Mustard and Jim Ingebritsen in Winnipeg; Howard Glassman, Ian MacGillvray and Keith Sandulak in Calgary; Brigitte Robinson, Tom New, Johnson Moretti, Natalie Gray, Terry Dimonte and Don Westwood in Ottawa; and Bill Wright in Regina.

The Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary editions of the series were cancelled in 1988,[4] with viewers in those areas receiving one of the remaining editions thereafter.[5] At the same time, the Halifax edition went through some controversy when it dismissed popular longtime host Stan Johnson.[6]

All of the remaining editions of the program were cancelled in early 1990, amid budget cuts at the CBC.[7]


  1. ^ a b "Switchback a Cinderella tale". The Globe and Mail, March 23, 1984.
  2. ^ "Vancouver kids' show taking a step forward". The Globe and Mail, November 24, 1984.
  3. ^ a b "The joys of live TV; Fumbles don't bother host of Switchback - they're part of the fun". Ottawa Citizen, October 11, 1986.
  4. ^ "CBC-TV pulls plug on Switchback". Toronto Star, March 20, 1988.
  5. ^ "Switchback gets bigger audience". Ottawa Citizen, March 28, 1988.
  6. ^ "Popular Halifax show revamped: Fired TV host assails CBC policy". The Globe and Mail, June 22, 1988.
  7. ^ "Switchback falls victim to CBC budget cuts". Toronto Star, February 4, 1990.

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