SCTV is the abbreviation for "Second City Television," a sketch comedy show out of Canada, which ran from 1976 to 1984, built on the talent of Second City, Toronto. The premise was a fictional bare bones TV network running both local and national programming (which allowed the cast to play multiple roles, create bizarre commercials, and do celebrity impersonations). Consistently funnier than Saturday Night Live (especially during the 1980-83 seasons), but in the United States, the show was typically aired much later, so it got fewer viewers. The 90 minute shows were also chopped up to 30 minute episodes for syndication, so often the framing stories of the TV network were missing or made little sense, given that story arcs were truncated. (The show created 72 30-minute episodes, 42 90-minute shows and 18 45-minute shows).
SCTV introduced notable comic characters Ed Grimley, Bob and Doug MacKenzie, and Edith Prickley. The show featured (among others): John Candy, Rick Moranis, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Dave Thomas, Eugene Levy, Joe Flaherty, Martin Short (Additonally, Harold Ramis, Tony Rosato, and Robin Duke were cast members in various seasons).
The offical Second City history notes that the show was the creation of Andrew Alexander, Bernard Sahlins, and Len Stuart. Cast member Dave Thomas credits Sheldon Patinkin and Del Close with the initial concept. Over the course of its run, the show SCTV received 3 ACTRA nominations, 2 ACTRA awards, 13 Emmy Award nominations, and two Emmy Awards for best writing.
Bergson, Stephen M. and Donna McCrohan. SCTV FAQ v. 1.2. 1996. <http://www.mjq.net/sctvfaq> (8 November 2002)
Kramer, Christine. "About SCTV." SCTV.org. <http://sctv.org/history.htm> (8 November 2002)
The SCTV Guide. <http://sctvguide.ca/> (13 November 1999)