With a fresh crop of ex-NHL players including Theo Fleury
and Patrice Brisebois
, as well as four returning and four new champion figure skaters including the legendary Ekaterina Gordeeva, "Battle Of The Blades" is set to return for another season on CBC.
This year's cast includes Valeri Bure
, Kelly Chase
, Russ Courtnall
, Georges Laraque
, P.J. Stock
and Todd Warriner
, along with Brisebois and Fleury. Also competing are figure skaters Violetta Afanasieva, Shae-Lynn Bourne, Isabelle Brasseur, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Christine Hough-Sweeney, Kyoko Ina, Anabelle Langlois and Jamie Salé.
The season begins Sunday, Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. with a one-hour, behind-the-scenes training camp episode that follows the contestants as they prepare for the competition ahead and reveals the eight pairs. The live competition begins the following Sunday, Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. local. The top prize is $100,000, donated to the winners’ charity of choice.
More than 1.7 million viewers on average watched the program last season, making the series one of CBC's most successful shows.
"We could not be happier with Canada's response to this truly homegrown series," said CBCInterim Executive Vice-President, English Services and General Manager Kirstine Stewart. "This year's amazing lineup of world class athletes will ensure 'Battle Of The Blades' is bigger and better than ever as CBC continues to deliver successful and relevant top-tier programming and feeds the nation's love for all things hockey."
This season, fans can expect to see additional behind-the-scenes footage, candid interviews and an in-depth look at the skaters' journeys – from learning to collaborate with their partners to overcoming obstacles as they face possible elimination. Each week, the pairs perform a new routine on a live Sunday night telecast. Viewers vote for their favorite pairs and the bottom two return the following night for a skate-off. The judging panel decides which of the pairs gets to continue. The eliminated team gets $25,000 to give to their charity of choice.