CBC's farm broadcast began on its English language service on
Feb. 29, 1939. At the end of May, the program's producer, Orville
Shugg, introduced The Craigs, a farm drama written by Dean Hughes,
which was part of CBC's farm broadcast. There were 6,138 episodes
over 25 years, ending on July 31, 1964. The drama took place at
Briarwood Farm, and featured Thomas, his wife Martha, and their
grown children, Bill and Janis. Cast members included George
Murray, Alice Hill, Doug Masters, Peter Whittal, Gordon Howard,
Grace Webster, and Frank Peddie.
The following is a program reminder which was reprinted in Signing On by Bill McNeil and Maurice Wolfe.
"The Craigs, like most other Canadian folk, have had the ordinary, everyday life of the family ruffled a bit by the demands of war. For the next two weeks, the whole household will be so busy with other things that it is simply out of the question to be ready for the daily broadcasts, so radio fans will please understand, and give Roland Todd a welcome. He is the Canadian organist who will play familiar and favourite tunes while The Craigs are catching up with the tasks that have been accumulating these past few weeks. Janis is going to Niagara to help with fruit picking, Thomas hasn't a thought for a thing but the safe harvesting of his crops, Martha says she won't have her face out of a canning kettle for ages, and Nora isn't going to let Martha do it all by herself. Bill has plenty to do, managing the farm across the road for its city owner, and giving Dad a hand.
"Well, there it is. The Craigs will be back August 17th, and in the meantime, they hope that none of their regular fans will miss this blessing in disguise, for Roland Todd's music should prove a happy substitute these busy weeks when every man wants a song in his heart."
Each region had its own farm drama. In the maritimes, The Gillans went on the air at the end of June of the same year. In the prairies, it was The Jacksons, which debuted in September. British Columbia's farm family, introduced a year later in September of 1940, was The Carsons, which also ran for 25 years. Most of the 6,022 scripts were written by David Savage.