There were concerns in 2012 that "Battle of the Blades" would never return to the CBC. Due to high production costs, it was pulled from the schedule, but not cancelled completely. It was put on hiatus, but that could have meant anything.
The broadcaster must have realized what a loss the reality competition was to its lineup because it's baaaaaaaack! And, presumably, better than ever.
If you missed the first three seasons, "Blades" teams up figure skaters with hockey players and each week the pairs must perform routines on the ice.
For Season 4, the show is getting a bit of an overhaul. CBC's hardest-working man, Ron MacLean, remains the "Blades" host, while Kurt Browning moves from hosting duties to the judges' panel. Browning will be joined by figure skater Jamie Salé and retired NHLer P.J. Stock. The show's co-creator and former head judge Sandra Bezic has moved into an executive-producer role and will act as mentor to the eight pairs.
Also, like other reality competitions before it ("So You Think You Can Dance"), "Blades" will no longer be on twice a week. Its new format will feature the performance and the elimination all on one night -- with the exception of its return premiere, which will be the first live two-hour performance show.
"Blades" will also kick off the CBC's digital campaign, the broadcaster's most interactive year yet. The skaters haven't been announced, but from Sept. 15 to Sept. 20, fans can find out who will be striving for axels, lutzes and death spirals as CBC announces a few cast members each day -- only online. You can also follow along on Twitter.
"Battle of the Blades" returns with a two-hour special, "Battle of the Blades: Made in Canada," which takes a look back at fun, never-before-seen moments from the past three seasons.
The regular season of "Battle of the Blades" premieres Sunday, Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT).
"Murdoch Mysteries" (Mondays, 9 p.m.)
In <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/04/09/murdoch-mysteries-season-7_n_3045426.html" target="_blank">Season 7, Murdoch</a> will cross paths with famous figures including Thomas Edison against a backdrop of historical events including the assassination of American President William McKinley and the death of Queen Victoria.
"Four Rooms" (Winter 2014)
Four of Canada's leading art, antiques and memorabilia buyers wait in four rooms, ready to spend big money on the right item. Canadians looking to sell their prized possessions come face-to-face with the four buyers, who will stop at nothing in their quest to purchase unique, stunning, iconic, unusual or macabre items.
"Battle Of The Blades" (Fall 2013)
Eight accomplished figure skaters pair up with eight rugged hockey players in the ultimate skating competition for charity. You know the drill.
"Hockey Night In Canada" (Saturday Nights)
Featuring the game's biggest stars and best NHL match-ups including exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final, a host of innovative program features, in-depth reporting, and highly knowledgeable, opinionated and well-known on-air personalities. "Hockey Night in Canada" continues to be the most popular weekly sports program in the country.
"Cracked" (Tuesdays, 9 p.m.)
Season 2 places a strong emphasis on the personal and emotional impact the cases have on the characters. When a new psychiatrist -- Dr. Clara Malone -- joins Psych Crimes, the bonds among what has become a cohesive unit will be tested and eventually strengthened.
The 2014 Winter Olympics (Sochi, Russia)
As Canada's official broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada brings Canadians cross-platform coverage of the top news and stories leading up to Sochi 2014, running from February 7 - 23, 2014. With exclusive license arrangements, TSN, RDS, and Sportsnet will also present coverage of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Russia.
"Crossing Lines" (Fall 2013)
An action-packed crime drama about a police unit that specializes in cross-border crimes and bringing global criminals to justice. An elite team of five international cops must face bureaucratic, jurisdictional and cultural obstacles while working to solve the most notorious international crimes.
"Recipe To Riches" (Winter 2014)
A competition-style reality series in which amateur Canadian cooks create and share their innovative favourite personal recipes with the country. Each of the six one-hour episodes features a different food category with a weekly winner receiving $25,000. Those weekly winners then move on to compete in the series finale for the grand prize of $250,000. The finalists' recipes will be available across the country as a President`s Choice product.
"Republic Of Doyle" (Sundays, 9 p.m.)
Season 5 kicks into high gear. Jake's family doesn't know where he is or whether he's alive or dead. How long will the Republic hold without him? And will Jake be able to get out of the mess he's in without the help of his family and, more importantly, without getting killed? Some new friends -- and some new enemies -- will come to the Republic this year as the beloved clan solve the compelling (and sometimes downright crazy) cases that land on their doorstep.
"Dragons' Den" (Wednesdays, 8 p.m.)
The Dragons are back! But this time, it's a different den. Canada's highest-rated unscripted TV show returns this fall with 20 exciting episodes in a brand new, ominous den. Each week, see entrepreneurs brave a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to face five multi-millionaires who have the cash and the know-how to catapult companies to commercial success.