Untold Stories Of The Er Channel

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The Er Channel was a Canadian basic cable specialty channel created in 1995 by Blockbuster Video. Though originally intended as a children’s channel, its eventually slate of original programming left it as an adult-oriented channel, with a mix of horror, sci-fi, alternative lifestyle, and cult films. The channel operated from 1995 to 2006 and was one of the few basic cable channels on the Canadian market that was available in both French and English.

Though short-lived, the Er Channel had a variety of quirky, original programming and dramas. Here are some of the untold stories of the Er Channel:

The Unknown Telefilms

  • The Er Channel aired six original made-for-TV movies, all of which were produced by Canadian production studio CFTO-TV. These include the sci-fi-themed The Exiles, the psychological horror-thriller The Wicked, the psychological romance The Listening, the sci-fi-drama Pulse, the fantasy adventure The Dreaming, and the family comedy The Adventure Club.
  • Each movie was produced as a two-hour special, and was aired as such, with a commercial break in the middle.
  • The movies weren’t given much promotion, and most of them weren’t replayed after their initial airing.

The Unaired Series and Pilots

  • A number of series and pilots were planned for the Er Channel before it shuttered in 2006. These included the horror anthology Randolph County, the sketch comedy Off The Beaten Path, the noir-detective drama Yorktown, the supernatural drama Grey Matters, the alternate-history fantasy The Ancient Lanterns, and the horror-western Creepsville.
  • The Er Channel also planned to air a “theme week” of programming in 2006, featuring several of the previously mentioned series, as well as a few new films. Unfortunately, the channel pulled the plug before this program could air.

The Unseen Footage

  • The Er Channel also produced a number of shows that never aired, as well as several that aired only a handful of times. This includes the experimental talk show The Doc Zone, which featured interviews with famous horror and cult filmmakers, the reality show Man Under the Influence, which followed presenters as they explored the weird and bizarre in Europe, and the surreal comedy The Duffer’s Dilemma, which followed the misadventures of a slacker in Toronto.
  • The Er Channel also produced several one-off television specials, such as the horror-themed sketch comedy Spook Central and the cult classic Frightmare Theater, which featured unaired horror films from the 1930s and ’40s.
  • The footage from these unaired shows still exists, though it remains largely unseen.


The Er Channel was a unique experiment in television programming, one that didn’t last as long as it should have. Though the channel shuttered in 2006, its original programming is still remembered by fans of horror and cult films. Unfortunately, much of the channel’s original material remains unseen—but it’s still there, waiting to be discovered.