Street Cents Cancelled?
August 18, 2006 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Street Cents, a staple on The CBC for 17 years, has been canceled. The Emmy award-winning show focused on consumer and media awareness for teens and pre-teens.

Street Cents is filmed in Halifax, NS and airs without commercial interruption in order to avoid potential conflict with advertisers who were regularly taken to task on the show. The last episode will air on October 1st, 2006.
posted by purephase (33 comments total)
The wikipedia link is slightly off in it's description of the first eight seasons.

Originally, there were 3 "good" hosts, a lacky named Ken Pompadour (played by Brian Heighton) and various small hedgehogs named after coins, and a pot-bellied pig. Ken was a weak willed lacky for the "evil" corporation BuyCo, which always sold inferior, overpriced and shoddy products, and marketed how great their products were in a stereotypical parody fashion. Eventually, Ken's boss (who's face was never seen) died over Aruba, and Ken got promoted to the head of BuyCo. As boss, Ken's image changed completely, as he was cool, wore all black leather (including plants), had a goatee, and always was able to snap his hand to reveal an item for dramatic effect. Since Brian Heighton left the show, the BuyCo storyline has completely disappeared, and the show has become less acting oriented.

Funny, but probably not the best summary of it's first 8 years.

A fun fact, Jonathan Torrens (aka J-Roc) hosted the show from 1989 to 1999.
posted by purephase at 6:28 PM on August 18, 2006

I loved CBC and it will be sadly missed.
posted by riotgrrl69 at 6:29 PM on August 18, 2006

Only in Canada, you say? Pity.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:33 PM on August 18, 2006

That first link should point here. Jess or Matt, please fix it if you catch this.
posted by purephase at 6:33 PM on August 18, 2006

riotgrrl, The CBC hasn't been cancelled, just street cents. ;)
posted by grex at 6:34 PM on August 18, 2006

Today, during the dusk of exquisite mourning, we are all Canadian.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 6:35 PM on August 18, 2006

Maple leaves forever.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 6:36 PM on August 18, 2006

it's okay riotgrrl69, CBC will continue to exist.
I didn't love that show though, it rarely informed me of anything I didn't already know or cared much about. It seemed targetted at teens that otherwise wouldn't keep up with the news, think critically about media and advertising, or, generally, question the world they live in.
I'm more interested in what they plan on replacing it with; i really hope it isn't something imported, but chances are, it will be.
I'm just looking at the page now -- those hosts are cute. damn. maybe i should be more outraged by this.
posted by wumpus at 6:50 PM on August 18, 2006

NOOO not street cents! It was wonderfully brilliant. I'm glad we still have the shopping bags. Wait, no.

I will miss the pit most of all, even though it was gone a few seasons ago.
posted by genevieve at 6:51 PM on August 18, 2006

Street Cents hasn't been as fun since J-Roc left for his new gig over at the trailer park. Nowhatimsayiiiiiin?
posted by drmarcj at 7:56 PM on August 18, 2006

I blame Stephen Harper (probably indirectly accurate too).
posted by SSinVan at 8:01 PM on August 18, 2006

It seemed targetted at teens that otherwise wouldn't keep up with the news, think critically about media and advertising, or, generally, question the world they live in.

THAT is why it was so great.

Until J-Roc left, that is.
posted by utsutsu at 8:27 PM on August 18, 2006

Street Cents went downhill when they started a revolving door policy of less talented but more photogenic hosts, and replaced the BuyCo. plot device(Brian Heighton was a comdic genius) with a preachy and smug No Logo attitude.

The CBC's wonderful, time-tested policy of being incapable of adhering to a regular schedule for any show that wasn't the goddamn Air Farce didn't help either.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:02 PM on August 18, 2006

I'm still mad that they cancelled Media Television.
posted by euphorb at 10:06 PM on August 18, 2006

Yeah! Bring back the Beachcombers!

(lights torch; wields pitchfork)
posted by evilcolonel at 10:12 PM on August 18, 2006

That's awful.
I was also distressed to discover that zillions, the magazine that made me the anti-commercialism/consumerist punkass I am today has been condensed into a shitty website.

I work at a Border's books store where 16-19 year old kids hang out in a force. These kids NEED some media awareness. Everything I've heard from marketing folks lately says that today's teenagers are much more "open" to being marketed to. It shows.
posted by es_de_bah at 10:33 PM on August 18, 2006

MediaTelevision and Street Cents were both great in their early years, and I was glad to have watched both. I didn't realize MediaTelevision had been cancelled, though in retrospect it makes sense8212;CityTV barely shows any original programming these days.

And yeah, Street Cents went downhill once they pulled a Hometime and started rotating hosts out every other year or so. And it wasn't just the BuyCo plotline that got dropped; a lot of the show's regular features, including the Pit, disappeared over the years, to the point where tuning in to the new Street Cents was like watching an entirely different show.
posted by chrominance at 11:09 PM on August 18, 2006

I could pick up CBC on channel 9 in detroit and this was one of the few shows i watched on it besides Hockey Night In Canada. Shame that it was canceled.

Is it just me or does it seem the shows these days marketed to kids and young teenagers are either really horrible and dumbed down or our exploitive and mean? Or am i just becoming Abe Simpson?

My mom got me a subscription to zillions too.
posted by Dreamghost at 3:12 AM on August 19, 2006

That's a real bummer. I really liked Street Cents when I was their target market (the Torrens years). I didn't like more recent episodes as much as they felt a little too slick - there was still product testing, but it felt like there was less criticism/questioning. The Pit was always my favourite part cuz it showed that not everything worked the way it was supposed to, and not just because I did something wrong or didn't read the directions right.

As long as they don't replace the show with The One (which is looking really unlikely). That will send everyone (especially Peter Mansbridge!) over the edge.
posted by melissa at 3:36 AM on August 19, 2006

I agree with riotgrrl69 that this is just another sign that the CBC is on its way out, or at least the television portion is. Several of its mainstay drama series like DaVinci City Hall have been cancelled, and most of the in-house production crew have been laid off. Also there have been disastrous gambits like the simulcast American reality show "The One", and there are rumours that longtime CBC staffers are convinced that the current administration have a mandate to dismantle the CBC -- how else to account for such gross incompetence? (go to this link for more info). There was also a recent story that other networks are now bidding for Hockey Night In Canada, and if CBC loses this bid (they already lost rights to broadcasting the Olympics), well, they might as well close up shop for good.

I'm angry about this because I do believe there needs to be a national network representing Canada and Canadian interests. Other networks have been doing good business with shows like Corner Gas and Trailer Park Boys, but commercial interests are fickle, and if a commercial network can broadcast non-Canadian television for a cheaper margin they'll do it. There is no reason to think that the current Conservative government has any reason to prop up the CBC, which is legendary for its left-wing bias (which I'm not completely fond of, but I'll take that over a right-wing bias anyday), and after decades of cuts and closures it now seems all but inevitable that the whole thing is going to crash down soon. For all its faults, CBC Television has so much wasted potential... it's infuriating, y'know?

And losing one more long-time favourite like Street Cents just seems like part of the process.
posted by spoobnooble at 6:54 AM on August 19, 2006

CBC has been on a downward spiral ever since Switchback got cancelled!

Make it quick, I'm watching Switchback!
posted by jeffmik at 7:41 AM on August 19, 2006

I grew up on Zillions mag and Street Cents. In fact, I still catch it whenever I can. Too bad!
posted by Quartermass at 8:03 AM on August 19, 2006

CBC has been on a downward spiral ever since Switchback got cancelled!

I wonder whatever happened to that chicken...
posted by evilcolonel at 10:59 AM on August 19, 2006

posted by Hanover Phist at 12:15 PM on August 19, 2006

posted by furtive at 3:47 PM on August 19, 2006

Why don't the corpo-governments just get it over with and declare any criticism of their sacred busy-ness a type of sedition?
posted by telstar at 5:52 PM on August 19, 2006

StreetCents was after my generation, but the few times I saw it, I thought it was typical cheezy Canadian Broadcasting Corporation fare: excellent message, cheezy or cheap production quality. And the kind of thing I'd have watched as a rural kid, where there was CBC, CTV, or nothing.

Not really sure if there's a market for that stuff any more.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:55 PM on August 19, 2006

As someone from Halifax, I just have to weigh in.


That's all.
posted by jon_kill at 9:31 PM on August 19, 2006

Disappointing - I loved the show as a kid, and would have thought, or at least hoped, that its anti-consumer message would ring even truer with the kids in these Obey Your Thirst days.
posted by Simon! at 10:57 PM on August 19, 2006

I noticed the first link had an extra quote at the end, just in case it should be CBC. I never saw the show, but it's a shame that good ones like these get canceled. Although I admit it did have a good run.
posted by samsara at 11:57 AM on August 20, 2006

Does anyone but me remember when Thrush Hermit (aka Joel Plaskett's old band) provided the theme song back in the Torrens years? I'd love to get my hands on a copy of it after all this time...
"Where does my money go? I just don't know..."

If memory serves, Sloan also made an appearance back in those days, giving advice to young musicians on how to form a band on the cheap.
posted by chumptastic at 1:34 PM on August 20, 2006

I was going to chime in and say how much I remembered and liked Penny Power, a magazine for kids put out about 20 years ago by the makers of Consumer Reports. Then I did some looking around and found it'd been turned into Zillions, which others have said was turned into a lame website.

It was an incredibly influential read for a 9-year-old, that's for sure. I recall one regular department where they compared the bombastic claims made by television ads to the reality of the product. I think kids even got to send in what they'd found, too.

Should've been required reading for every kid with an allowance.
posted by Spatch at 6:55 AM on August 21, 2006

A fun fact, Jonathan Torrens (aka J-Roc) hosted the show from 1989 to 1999.

Actually, he only hosted it until 1996. IMDB says he was on it until 1999 (although his mini-biography on same page says that he was only on for 7 years, odd), but it's wrong :)

Street Cents hasn't been as fun since J-Roc left for his new gig over at the trailer park. Nowhatimsayiiiiiin?

Umm... he left Street Cents in 1996, his first appearance as J-Roc wasn't till 2001. He actually left SC to do Jonovision, which was... not good. Well, perhaps it was just that it was aimed below my age group, as I would have been about 18 when it came around, but I found it to be tremendously bad.
posted by antifuse at 9:03 AM on August 28, 2006

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