Crossing Lines Lands on CBC’s Fall Lineup after Summetime Debut

Canadians will have two chances to catch new series Crossing Lines, as it airs this summer on NBC and once again on CBC in the fall

Credit: NBC

Donald Sutherland heads the cast of Crossing Lines, a new international crime drama debuting on NBC

NBC’s Crossing Lines debuts this summer, but Canadians will get a second viewing when the show airs this fall on CBC

With a cast headed by Donald Sutherland and William Fichtner (Prison Break), NBC’s 10-episode summertime drama Crossing Lines looks pretty impressive on paper, the story of an elite unit of police officers who work for the International Criminal Court, empowered to conduct cross-border investigations to track down international criminals and bring them to justice.

Created by producer Ed Bernero (exec producer of Criminal Minds), the show has a pedigree as international as its premise, being a German-French co-production that includes French actor Marc Lavoine and Germany’s Tom Wlaschiha in the cast. 

Of course, if Crossing Lines were as good as it appears, it would have landed on the network’s fall schedule, instead of being buried in the summertime. You can be the judge of that when the series launches Sunday night, kicking off with a two-hour premiere. 

CBC Will Air Non-Canadian Crossing Lines

Strangely enough, however, this won’t be the last that Canadian viewers will see of the show, since Crossing Lines will also be making a second debut in Canada, as part of CBC’s upcoming fall lineup — even though the show has zero Canadian content, characters or locations.

As it turned out, the two main selling points that wound up bringing Crossing Lines to Canada’s public broadcaster were the presence of Sutherland (arguably a Canadian screen icon) and the fact that it didn’t cost that much, a crucial factor in the face of the federal government’s cuts to the CBC budget. 

“It’s not our preference,” admitted Sally Catto, CBC’s executive director of commissioned and scripted programming, in an interview with the Canadian Press. “We’re only in our second year of three years of cuts and so we just don’t have the funding to fill our complete schedule with original programming. But we really feel this is a wonderful complement.” 

This leaves CBC in an unusual predicament. Given NBC’s woeful ratings this season, there’s a pretty good chance Crossing Lines will be chalked up as yet another NBC failure, and may even be cancelled before all 10 episodes air. If that’s the case, CBC will be stuck with a proven flop on its schedule, with no option other than to air all 10 episodes.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.