10 June 2000 | RJV
The last hurrah for SCTV
When NBC cancelled SCTV NETWORK 90 at the end of the 1982-83 season, the show was picked up by Cinemax for the 1983-84 season. Now called SCTV CHANNEL, the program's time was reduced from an hour and a half to forty-five minutes. The cast was also reduced. There were only four members left- Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, and Martin Short. The absence of John Candy, Rick Moranis, Catherine O'Hara and Dave Thomas created a void in the show that the remaining performers, for all their talent, could not fill. (The void was temporarily filled whenever one of the former cast members guest appeared.) The current cast was supported by John Hemphill, Mary Charlotte Wilcox, and Valri Bromfield but these actors lacked the charisma to erase memories of Candy, et al.
Nevertheless, thanks to the gifted, if truncated, cast and talented writers, the Cinemax show still had moments of satirical brilliance. Among the highlights was a devastating spoof of tabloid television called "Hollywood Dirt Tonite" and a gritty, blood-soaked version of "Harvey" as directed by Martin Scorcese. There were also inspired segments involving long-established characters such a sketch in which a drunken Floyd Robertson (Joe Flaherty) mocks a chagrined Earl Camembert (Eugene Levy) on Earl's last day as SCTV newscaster. Thus, when SCTV was cancelled after one season, it went out on a (relatively) high note. SCTV may never be revived again not only because of John Candy's untimely death but, as Joe Flaherty said, "We will never have that chance again. We will never get that kind of a shot at it."