The spectacular three-year success of his own weekly half hour show, Maclear, prompted CTV in 1977 to make Michael Maclear executive producer of a package of two weekly programs, a one-hour and a half-hour, each to be titled CTV Reports. The one-hour version was scheduled on Sundays, 10:00 – 11:0pm in the old W5 time period, while the half-hour replaced Maclear on Thursdays at 9:30pm.
The framework of the show offered a magazine format in which a high-powered group of journalists would report live to air on the news events of the day and the week. If names alone could ensure success, CTV certainly did its best, hiring Peter Trueman away from Global, and adding Bruce Phillips, Barbara Amiel, William Stevenson and Andre Payette, as well as having Maclear continue to appear on-air himself.
On paper it was a sure-fire hit. Sixty Minutes had made such a format work. But many factors contributed to an early demise for the series – insufficient technology, a sense that the show was ahead of its time…….whatever the reason, it was evident by the end of 1977 that CTV Reports just wasn’t making it. By January 1998 the Sunday version had gone, with W5 returning in its place, and the Thursday version, while retaining the same title and time period, reverted to being essentially Maclear’s own program. By the end of the 1977-78 it too was gone; Michael Maclear left the Network shortly thereafter, but neverthless his body of work over his four years at the Network left behind a legacy of which he and CTV could both be proud.
Written by Pip Wedge - November, 2002