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You Can't Do That May Be Over

Published in The Ottawa Citizen
February 14, 1990

This may be the last year of production for the Ottawa-based North American TV phenomenon You Can't Do That on Television, says producer Roger Price.

The show, which has made international cult stars out of two generations of Ottawa schoolkids since it first went on the air as a CJOH production in 1979, is losing the interest of its U.S. audience, says Price.

Nickelodeon, the U.S. cable network that has been airing the irreverent juvenile skit show twice a day since the early '80s, is talking with Price about a new dramatic series that could be produced at the cable network's
new Orlando, Fla., studios.

"It's not 100 per cent sure that (YCDTOTV) won't continue, but it looks that way," says Price.

Price has mixed feeling about the series' end. After more than a decade on the show, he feels it's time to move on. But he says the relationship he has built up with his cast and crew makes it tough to say goodbye.

There is the possibility that the show could be saved with more vigorous backing from CJOH and YTV, the Canadian kids network that began airing the series daily in 1988. But Price says it's probably not worth the effort.

"We've been doing this for 11 years. At some time every show has to end, and you have to wonder whether it's worthwhile making Herculean efforts to save it."

If the show does stop production, it will likely continue in repeats for years on YTV. Before YTV, the series was seen only sporadically by in Canada.

Price says he's negotiating with Nickelodeon about producing a comedy-drama series that weds the kid-oriented sentiments of YCDTOTV with the more serious themes in such shows as The Wonder Years and Degrassi High School.

Perfect We Were is a look back at kids growing up in the turbulent '60s. Price says that unlike YCDTOTV, which parents hated, he hopes the new show would watched by kids and parents together.

Meanwhile, Price is talking to YTV about another series that could be produced in Ottawa. Family Tree, like YCDTOTV, is a kiddy-humor show. The twist is the skits would be be based on the various generations in a family, and could take place at any time in history.