Airwaves (TV series)

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StarringRoberta Maxwell
Ingrid Veninger
Roland Hewgill
Country of originCanada
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26
Producer(s)John Frizzell
Michael MacMillan
Seaton McLean
Janice Platt
Running time26 min
Production company(s)Atlantis Films
Original networkCBC
Original release27 January 1986 (1986-01-27) –
8 June 1987 (1987-06-08)

Airwaves is a Canadian television dramedy series, which aired on CBC Television in 1986 and 1987.[1]


The Toronto-filmed show starred Roberta Maxwell as Jean Lipton, a radio talk show host and widowed mother, who lived with her daughter Zoe, played by Ingrid Veninger, and her father Bob, played by Roland Hewgill.[2] Maxwell has indicated that Canadian journalist-activist June Callwood was a basis for her portrayal of Jean.[3]

The show's cast also included Taborah Johnson, Alec Willows, and Kimble Hall.[4] Writers for the series included Judith Thompson, John Frizzell, Susan Martin, Rob Forsythe, Linda Svendsen and Paul Gross.[4]


Some of the early episodes were criticized as clunky, with Ross McLean of The Globe and Mail writing that the show seemed unsure of its identity,[5] and even the producers later acknowledging that they had tried to fit too much into a half-hour show.[2] The show was retooled slightly in its second season, with the writers getting a firmer grasp on the stories they wanted to tell and adding two new characters: Christopher Bolton in the role of Matt, Jean's nephew, and Patrick Rose as Dale, Jean's new coworker at the radio station.[2] Critics responded favourably to the changes, with even McLean himself noting by 1987 that the show had significantly improved.[6]

The show was modestly successful, with an average audience of 850,000 viewers per week in its first season.[2] and 761,000 viewers in its second.[7] Although the CBC was willing to order a third season, the producers decided to end the series as they felt it was better to move on to other projects than to continue tinkering with a show that wasn't getting the ratings they wanted.[7] However, CBC subsequently reran the first two seasons, outside of prime time, in 1990.

The series was repeated on Vision TV from 1989 to 1991.[8]


Season one[edit]

#TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Pot Roast"TBATBA27 January 1986 (1986-01-27)
2"Blast from the Past"TBATBA3 February 1986 (1986-02-03)
3"Turkey"TBATBA10 February 1986 (1986-02-10)
4"Breakfast Man"TBATBA17 February 1986 (1986-02-17)
5"Angelfish"TBATBA24 February 1986 (1986-02-24)
6"Too Hot"TBATBA3 March 1986 (1986-03-03)
7"Chameleon"TBATBA10 March 1986 (1986-03-10)
8"The Runway"TBATBA17 March 1986 (1986-03-17)
9"Laundry"TBATBA24 March 1986 (1986-03-24)
10"Paul"TBATBA31 March 1986 (1986-03-31)
11"Fair Game"TBATBA7 April 1986 (1986-04-07)
12"Rockets"TBATBA14 April 1986 (1986-04-14)
13"On Air"TBATBA21 April 1986 (1986-04-21)

Season two[edit]

#TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Welcome Matt"Scott LabargeTBA2 March 1987 (1987-03-02)
2"Splashdown"TBATBA9 March 1987 (1987-03-09)
3"Cordon Blues"TBATBA16 March 1987 (1987-03-16)
4"Too Good to Be True"TBATBA23 March 1987 (1987-03-23)
5"Design for Living"TBATBA30 March 1987 (1987-03-30)
6"Scene from a Balcony"TBATBA6 April 1987 (1987-04-06)
7"Reunion"TBATBA13 April 1987 (1987-04-13)
8"Love Interests"TBALinda Svendsen20 April 1987 (1987-04-20)
9"Happy Sixteenth"TBADan Sexton4 May 1987 (1987-05-04)
10"A Second Look"TBATBA18 May 1987 (1987-05-18)
11"Charge!"TBATBA25 May 1987 (1987-05-25)
12"The Write Stuff"TBALinda Svendsen1 June 1987 (1987-06-01)
13"Dinner at Eight"TBATBA8 June 1987 (1987-06-08)


  1. ^ "Airwaves a show with a difference - and mother doesn't know best". Montreal Gazette, May 2, 1987.
  2. ^ a b c d "Airwaves gets back to basics after reaching too far". Ottawa Citizen, February 27, 1987.
  3. ^ Posesorski, Sheri (25 January 1986). "Chance meeting brings actress back to Toronto". The Globe and Mail. p. P9.
  4. ^ a b Corcelli, John (April 2006). "Airwaves". Canadian Communications Foundation. Retrieved 2007-03-04.
  5. ^ "Airwaves fails to live up to its potential". The Globe and Mail, March 15, 1986.
  6. ^ "Shaking down hosts and bolstering Airwaves". The Globe and Mail, March 21, 1987.
  7. ^ a b "Snapped off". Toronto Star, June 10, 1987.
  8. ^ "Year later, YTV and Vision TV mature". Ottawa Citizen, September 6, 1989.

External links[edit]