It's pretty clear that we all remember the creation of SCTV a little differently. The consistant thread, however, is that Sheldon [Patinkin] and Del [Close] were at the centre of the concept of the little TV station which would present its broadcasting day on Global Television, CBC Television, NBC Television, Cinemax, and, through syndication in the U.S., various independent stations all over the U.S. for about eight years after the meeting [in 1976]. Though we developed this idea and embellished it, its simplicity and versatility made it a wonderful grab back into which we were able to dump thousands of comic ideas.
SCTV STARS TO MOVIE STARS
Moving from the stage to the television studio was a logical step for The Second City. The Second City first transferred its hallmark sketch format to television in 1963 with a series of specials produced in England for British television. In 1976 Second City's most famous foray into television was launched by Andrew Alexander in Toronto. Alexander, along with Sahlins and partner Len Stuart, brought the Toronto Second City company together to begin writing for television. John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, and Dave Thomas, along with Harold Ramis, Del Close, Sheldon Patinkin, Alexander, and Sahlins, emerged from brainstorming sessions with the ideal parody; a show satirizing television, the very media into which they were about to enter.
SCTV became the call letters for the fictional Second City television station and a highly successful seven year series was launched. SCTV began its broadcast history on Global television in Canada and in syndication in the States but moved on to NBC and finally to the Cinemax Cable Network. The cast, including John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Rick Moranis, Catherine O'Hara, Dave Thomas, and later Martin Short, received unqualified praise from both the Canadian and American press and developed an ever increasing loyal following.
During its long and varied history SCTV garnered 13 Emmy Award nominations, and two Emmy Awards for best writing. At final count there are 185 half hour shows produced[.]