In the news: Canadian shows succeeding worldwide

From the Canadian Press:

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Diane Wild

Diane is the founder of TV, eh? She loves books, movies, TV, science, space, traveling, theatre, art, cats, and drinking multiple beverages at the same time.
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27 thoughts on “In the news: Canadian shows succeeding worldwide”

  1. I disagree with the premise that Canadian shows have to be successful or “validated “in the United States to be embraced by Canadians.

    Corner Gas and Degrassi ( The Next Generation) are just two examples of shows that were highly successful in Canada and embraced by Canadians before they were noticed in the U.S.A. by distributors, audiences etc.

    Writers who insult the Canadian public, in subtle and not so subtle ways, by inferring Canadian produced shows have to be validated by outsiders before the shows are embraced by Canadians are the ones who,in my opinion, suffer from an inferiority complex. Repeating old and outdated stereotypes regarding the Canadian character is very counter productive.

    However, Canadian networks should promote their Canadian programs far better than they do presently.

    French Canada produces t.v. programs that are embraced by huge audience numbers in Quebec and the Quebec film industry is greatly supported by Quebecers as well.If anything, English Canadians could learn a thing or two from their French Canadian counterparts and NOT from Americans.

  2. I think it’s great if you haven’t encountered the “Canadian TV sucks” mantra. I don’t work in the industry – I’m the audience – and I hear it all the time, as do, apparently, many who do work in the industry. The writer of the article used Corner Gas as an example of an exception to the rule, and Degrassi as an example of a show that gets far more attention in the US. The cast gets mobbed in New York and we take pride in our native sons and daughters, but it’s not a top 30 show in Canada, its home country.

    I don’t think the suggestion was made that we should learn from Americans, more that we should value our own TV industry first and not only when shows are sold into syndication. Why are broadcasters trying to get away with reducing the amount of Canadian drama they have to air? Why are funders even thinking about the amount of Canadianness in shows? Why do audiences keep saying Canadian TV sucks, with all the evidence to the contrary? And where’s the outcry when the CRTC and broadcasters dismiss the need to improve the Canadian industry? Promotion’s a big issue, but so is the stigma, and so far it seems the most effective way of getting past the stigma – not to mention get funding in the first place – is to prove that our shows can make it south of the border. I find that sad.

  3. Hello:

    Further to my initial message; I am not in the entertainment industry either but I do watch television and movies, listen to radio stations and read books from many countries, including Canada. The Canadian mass media product can successfully compete on the world stage because the Canadian product is very good and well received internationally and at home. Canadians support their authors and music artists big time. As well, for the most part Canadians do watch Canadian television shows without apology.However, the film industry in English Canada needs more funding, ( as well as the television industry) promotion and support from the general public. Yet, I have never heard a Canadian outside of the media state that Canadian t.v. “sucks”. Sorry if this disappoints certain individuals.

    Yes, we do need CRTC rules and regulations in Canada ( given our size in terms of population) in order to compete with other nations and have our cultural voice heard. We also need more, much more governmental financial support and assistance, at all levels of government, to maintain and enhance our cultural institutions. We are a nation of thirty- four million people not three-hundred million people so we simply cannot compete in the cultural sphere (free market system) without government regulations ( Canadian content rules) and financial support. This is a reality in Canada that Canadian society should embrace without apology or defference to the wishes of foreign interests. I agree, we need more Canadian programs, programs that show the Canadian colours, so to speak, without apology. And I also agree the world community wants to learn more about Canada and warmly embrace our cultural exports.. What is that saying….”The world could use a little more Canada.”

  4. I am the writer in question, and I write almost primarily about TV and film. And almost every single actor, actress, director, producer, etc., has complained to me unprompted about how they are greeted by everyday Canadians, even some acquaintances and family members, when they tell them that they act/direct/work on a Canadian show. One actor, David Haydn-Jones from “Rumours,” said he was very hurt when he met some people in Saskatchewan, where he grew up, and they asked him what he did. When he said he was an actor, they were delighted. When he said he acted on a Canadian TV show that aired only on the CBC, he said they literally rolled their eyes and said they didn’t watch very much Canadian TV, they preferred American, and they especially didn’t watch much on the CBC.

    If he was the only person I had heard this kind of story from, I wouldn’t have opened my story that way. But he wasn’t and isn’t. Just look at the ratings every week: only one Canadian show, Corner Gas, gets seriously big numbers, and occasionally The Mercer Report. Yet we make great television. It’s a frustration. The Globe’s John Doyle went after me in his column today about how I lead the story, but he obviously didn’t read the entire story and missed my point entirely. We make great TV. Canadians should start watching it, because the rest of the world is into it.

  5. Hi Lee-Anne G.

    French Canadian television viewers watch French Canadian programs in huge numbers. As well, Quebecers support, in huge numbers, a French Canadian feature film industry that is producing excellent movies on a consistent basis.English Canada produces excellent feature films as well, but funding for promoting English Canadian movies appears “wanting.” I have said it before and I will say it again, English Canadians and their cultural institutions could learn a great deal from their French Canadian counterparts.

    CBC has produced some outstanding television programs that have been well received in Canada and internationally. Street Legal, King of Kensington, Anne of Green Gables, ( a classic) The Beach Combers, Front Page Challenge,
    Hockey Night In Canada, De(Da) Vincie’s Inquest, North of 60 are just a few examples. As well, CBC television is world renowned for producing outstanding children’s television shows. I remember Howard the Turtle, Mr. Dressup, The Friendly Giant,Chez Helen etc.CBC still produces great programming for young Canadians. Personally, I think CBC should repeat the old “classics” that are “timeless” and exceptional viewing as well.

    Sketch comedy is very popular in Canada and well received by Canadians as well.CBC produces Royal Canadian Air Farce and other comedy shows ( especially sketch comedy) that do very well in the ratings.

    The CBC news department is also recogized globally for the high standards set by all concerned in spite of budget restraints. Personally, I think The Fifth Estate is as good as 60 Minutes.

    CBC also produces excellent sports programs like Hockey Night in Canada. The CBC coverage of the Turin Olympic Winter Games put the coverage by American networks to shame.Canadians received outstanding coverage regarding the aforementioned that made me as a Canadian viewer very proud.

    CBC radio wins international awards for producing outstanding programs on a regular basis—- day after day,year after year. Personally, I think all Canadians should be very proud that they help finance such an outstanding network that is well received by international listeners as well. Millions of Canadian CBC radio listeners no doubt agree, it is tax dollars well spent or invested.

    All of the above shows or departments received or receive,”seriously big numbers” and deserve acknowledgement. There are many other shows that are produced or that have been produced by the CBC and other Canadian networks ( ie. CTV’s Canadian IDOL) that are very well received by Canadian viewers.

    Simply because a Canadian show is not in the “Top Ten” or “Top Twenty” in terms of a rating does not mean the production value or quality of the television product is lacking. Canadians do watch and will continue to watch Canadian progams and so will international viewers. What upsets me is when a show like “Whistler” appears to hide the fact it is set in Canada, for whatever reason, ( the show could be Whistler Colorado or wherever) void of anything Canadian specific.

    If anything the CBC and other Canadian networks and cultural institutions should
    receive more funding and not less funding from governments in order to compete with large U.S. networks and to show the Canadian colours,so to speak.Quality programs require proper funding on a consistent basis due to high production costs.

    Canadian actors can hold their heads high and be very proud they work at the CBC and other Canadian networks.Canadians may not appreciate this fact but the CBC is well respected by all concerned globally.

  6. You’re reinforcing Lee-Anne’s point while completely missing that point, Hal. The point of that article is not that Canadian TV is lacking in quality, the point is that it’s recognized internationally for that quality … but not in its home country (and we’re talking English TV here – the French market is an entirely different story and not the focus of this article).

    Your last sentence is exactly what her article is saying. There is a stigma against Canadian TV in Canada, while it’s appreciated elsewhere. If you want a taste of what the general audience feels, see the comments on this previous article. You may love Canadian TV, but look around just a little and you’ll see the stigma.

  7. Hello:

    No you are missing the point Diane.

    I am stating that Canadian programs are successful AT HOME and internationally.Did you actually read my article or see only what you wanted to see.

    My previous article listed many examples ( there are many other examples) of Canadian programs that did vey well in English Canada in terms of ratings.

    I should have stated, “SOME Canadians” may not appreciate this fact to be more precise.

    You can keep on,”rolling your eyes” but the average Canadian appreciates Canadian programming.

    The only “stigma” is the one you choose to recognize for whatever reason.

  8. I think we have a different definition of “very well.” You can choose to ignore ratings, but I can’t. And the “average Canadians” you encounter seem to be very different from the ones I encounter when I start to talk about Canadian TV or this site.

    I don’t understand why you think that anyone here is arguing against the quality of Canadian TV shows? That is what leads me to believe you didn’t read or understand the article or these comments. The CP writer’s point, and my point, is that Canadian TV shows are excellent. Where we have a legitimate disagreement is that “average Canadians” can see that Canadian television is just fine. My experience in running this site and talking to industry people who feel stigmatized is that they can’t, Lee-Anne’s experience in interviewing industry people who feel stigmatized is that they can’t. Your experience says that Canadians embrace Canadian TV, and that’s legitimate – obviously there are no universals when it comes to opinion. But you’re missing the point by accusing either of us of dismissing the quality of Canadian shows, when that is the exact opposite of our position.

  9. Hi Diane:

    Please Diane, reread my comments.Where have I accused you,even once, of dismissing the quality of Canadian shows!

    However, your fixation with ratings is puzzling to me,to say the least.

    I have never met a Canadian who “rolled” his/ her eyes when discussing a Canadian program.As well, inferring that Canadian programs have to be successful outside of Canada (mainly in the U.S.A.) before the shows are successful in Canada and embraced by Canadians is simply not the case.All of the shows I mentioned ( and there are many others) were highly successful in Canada long before they met with success internationally.

    As well, the last time I checked Quebec was part of Canada and ratings in that province should be viewed in the Canadian context when discussing programs aired on Canadian television and overall ratings.Quebecers embrace in very large numbers the cultural product produced in French Canada.

    I strongly doubt the vast majority of Canadian actors meet with negative comments from the general population regarding employment at CBC or any Canadian network. Perhaps some reporters suffer from an inferiority complex and subconsciously view and ultimately convey their feelings and opinions in a writing approach that mirrors their personal view(s) and in accordance the views of a select few.

    I could say Canadian television “sucks” as well but if you consider all the figures regarding the acceptance, past and present , of Candian productions the facts and figures ( domestic and foreign acceptance) prove otherwise.

    Dusting off old stereotypes ( Canadian shows have to be accepted in the U.S.A. and embraced by American audiences before they meet with success in Canada) serves no purpose in 2006. Sometimes I think writers don’t know what to say that is current so they dig up old news,news that simply does not apply to present day Canada.

    We need more production money for Canadian programs to enhance the number of Canadian shows produced,not to enhance the quality of production.In most cases the production quality is very good. Many American producers come to Canada to produce television shows and movies not only because of the exchange rate but because they recognize the great “pool” of acting talent and support personnel in all aspects of the movie industry that reside north of the 49th parallel.They have discovered what most Canadians already know.

    You are not on my “Top Ten” list either but your opinion has an audience.

  10. This sentence leads me to believe you misunderstand that we’re talking stigma, not quality: “Simply because a Canadian show is not in the “Top Ten” or “Top Twenty” in terms of a rating does not mean the production value or quality of the television product is lacking. ” Your insistence on international awards and recognition leads me to believe you haven’t understood that international acceptance hasn’t been questioned. We absolutely need more funding for Canadian programs, which is why it worries me when funding agencies and the CRTC don’t agree and don’t see the value in Canadian programming until it’s been sold to the US. I heard Wayne Clarkson of Telefilm Canada say maybe Corner Gas it too Canadian for the international market and second-guessing whether that’s the kind of show we should emulate, despite the fact that it’s hugely successful in Canada. I bet he’s not saying that now. You and I seem to be on the same side with all of this.

    My “fixation” with ratings is that it is the only objective measure of popularity and domestic acceptance. With very few exceptions, like Corner Gas and Canadian Idol, your opinion that these shows did well are not supported by those ratings. When Jeopardy and Access Hollywood do better than any of our sketch comedy shows, better than Intelligence, or Rumours or Whistler or Alice, I Think or every other Canadian show but Corner Gas and Canadian Idol, when it’s on, I can’t give much weight to your opinion that Canadian shows are doing well in Canada. What “figures” are you referring to to support that, if you’re not talking about ratings? The fact that Canadian content rules means these shows exist, despite low ratings?

    I’m not sure how broad your experience is to be speaking for the average Canadian, but your experience is very far removed from my own. Did you read those comments on the previous article? That’s just a tip of the iceberg, but you’ve got average Canadians slagging Canadian TV with a few lone supporters, and industry people talking about the stigma.

    You are entirely free to disagree with anything and believe whatever you choose to believe, but you can’t simply deny these people’s experiences because they’re not the same as yours.

  11. Hello Diane:

    All of the shows I mentioned did (or do) very well in the ratings. For example, The Beachcombers, at its peak, was viewed by millions of Canadian. Anne Of Green Gables set ratings records in its day. There are many other examples but I hope you get the point.All of this was done without the, “seal of approval” from American distributors and international distributors.

    Wayne Clarkson may have a problem regarding Canadian content but most decision makers regarding Canadian culture do not. You seem to be very selective in who you quote.

    In this country television shows are not as ratings dependent as they are in the U.S.A and thankfully so.

    Yes, we will have to agree to disagree with how Canadian programs are perceived and received by the Canadian audience.

    However, we both agree that Canadian funding for Canadian shows require enhanced funding and not diminished funding. As well, I think we both agree that CRTC rules to safeguard Canadian content have to be maintained and or enhanced as well.

    Still, I think I see the cup as half-full and you see the cup as half-empty.

  12. Hal:

    Just read the thread. Glad you’re supportive of Canadian TV — I work in the industry. And I wish it was true that Canadian shows are getting “big numbers”. But, sadly, it’s not the case. CBC TV’s ratings have been in freefall for three years. Intelligence is getting on the order of 200,000-300,000 viewers. Rumours has gotten less than 100,000.

    Contrast that with CSI:Whatever regularly getting 2 million plus.

    The bad news is, it’s unsustainable to do these kinds of shows for this sort of audience. Eventually, if Canadians continue to stop watching Canadian drama, the funding agencies won’t be able to justify the funding and Canadian drama will go away. That’s my fear anyway, and I think it’s a justifiable fear.

    Again, it’s great you’re supportive of Canadian TV, but let’s not fiddle while Rome burns. English Canadian scripted television desperately needs more hits.

    – P

  13. Hal,
    First, It’s wonderful that you’re so supportive of Canadian TV. But continually trying to widen the argument to make your point is not helpful. In your first post you said that English Canada could learn a lot from the Quebec TV market. That is absolutely 100 percent true. But the issue of Quebecers supporting their own shows is not relevant to the article that was published, or the topic at hand. We’re talking about ROC, here, as my Montreal anglo friends say. Quebec has, among other things, the protection of a language barrier and a cultural preference for homegrown material.

    Even that small phrase, “cultural preference for homegrown material” is significant. You can try to argue that there is something similar in English Canada — but you’d be arguing against the evidence and received wisdom. English Canadians overwhelmingly prefer American [*] TV. Which is fine.

    Similarly, pulling in Radio Canada International and CBC Radio and Hockey and Sports and News — none of it is germane to the article, or the discussion here, which was restricted to scripted drama/comedy series. It’s a rhetorical trick when you can’t argue the merits of your point to try and reframe the article to something you cant’ talk about, but if your posiiton is that the premise of the article is wrong, you really have to restrict what you’re talking about to the subject of the article. I am not going to make an argument about amateur hockey participation rates in Canada by talking about how many people go to Leafs games and like Basketball and baseball too.

    I’ve been in the Canadian TV business my entire professional life, which is about 20 years now. I’ve been a producer, I’ve worked at a network, I’ve been a writer, and I’ve been on at least fifty or sixty sets in that time. The article writer, and Diane’s comments are borne out every time. Every Canadian creative has stories about the indifference or hostility of the public to their work.

    I’ve experienced it myself. You see it objectively in ratings data, and anecdotally in chatter or lack thereof. I’ve heard Telefilm people say Canadians won’t go see Canadian movies. I’ve heard TV executives say that they don’t care about Canadian shows because the public doesn’t care about them. They said as much at the CRTC hearings last week — so in other words, they believe it enough to put it on the record without an ounce of shame.

    You may very well have an idyllic set of wonderful Canadian TV boosters who watch and talk about homegrown product at the water cooler, and God Bless you if you do…but that is simply not a representative experience. You’ve now had two journalists and two insiders tell you the same thing. You can accept it or not. But claiming a thing does not make it so. The examples cited here more than bear out the point. And the “well the U.S. likes it, so so do we” exists as well.

    Finally: it’s 2006. The Beachcombers is not an example of anything. It’s like talking about news and bringing up the Camel News Caravan with John Cameron Swayze.

  14. Damnit. In the post above, this para:

    Even that small phrase, “cultural preference for homegrown material” is significant. You can try to argue that there is something similar in English Canada — but you’d be arguing against the evidence and received wisdom. English Canadians overwhelmingly prefer Canadian TV. Which is fine.

    The sentence should, of course, read: “English Canadians overwhelmingly prefer AMERICAN Tv.”

    [* I edited the original comment so people don’t have to wait this long to get your point ;-) – Diane]

  15. Hello:

    I find it interesting that you claim to be supportive of Canadian television but your statements prove otherwise.

    Wow, two so called journalists and two so called “insiders” disagree with my point of view so my opinion must be wrong. There are thirty- three million Canadians that in large measure (by there overall viewing habits) support my position.

    Denis, I strongly doubt if your sad opinions regarding Canadian productions (primarily drama) represents the majority opinion regarding individuals working in the television industry in Canada.

    Of course you have met with negative feedback (probably mirrors your attitude) regarding Canadian drama given your experience in the industry. Every individual, industy, institution etc. meets with negative feedback but that does not translate to a majority opinion or point of view.

    Braoad statements that Canadians believe Canadian t.v. “sucks” and actors who work at the CBC meet with negative reaction from their relatives and friends are isolated incidents and a are just silly to the point of being ridiculous when discussing Canadian television in general.

    The ratings do prove Canadians watch Canadian television in respectable and in many cases large and very numbers.

    There are well over three million Quebecers who are bilingual or multilingual and they could very well choose the American cultural product over the French Canadian and English Canadian product but they do not. Look at the t.v. rating for the French Canadian television.Quebec is a part of Canada everyone.

    I used the Beachcombers, Anne of Green Gables, Canadian Idol, Corner Gas etc. as examples to show most Canadians watched and still watch Canadian television shows in large numbers and without apology. Interestingly, your stance appears to be Canadian drama is not well received. Fortunately, that is one step up from the myth that has been repeated on this site that Canadian television “sucks.”

    I’ll repeat, I have never heard a Canadian state that Canadian television “sucks.” Perhaps your water cooler attrcts a different crowd.What is that saying?…… “Birds of a feather…….”

    Finally, your last statement,” English Canadians overwhelmingly prefer American t.v.” is a statement and perhaps a sentiment that you prefer but it a statement that simply and overwhelmingly is not the case.

  16. Hal,

    Now you are just being silly. And your breathtaking lack of context for your argument is illustrative of the complete denigration of discourse that the internet has wrought. The problem with democratized technologies is that on the surface all opinions appear equal, and the lack of rigor in backing up arguments makes it so. So we have people who can claim that Global Warming is a “unproven theory that is stil controversial” when as close to 100 percent of the scientifc community as you can get says that’s bollocks. You have people who can equate Creationism and Evolution when one has no evidence, and the other has the complete weight of science behind it.

    Similarly, you say that my statement “English Canadians overwhelmingly prefer American TV” “is a statement that simply and overwhelmingly is not the case.”

    Based on what? You refute the statement. How? You don’t want to talk about ratings, but yet there they are, every week. The metric of what people are watching. They’re linked on this site, they’re readily available, and they show that each week, consistently, 28 or 29 of the top 30 shows in this country are American.

    The Canadian Association of Broadcasters have stated publicly that Canadians prefer American dramas and comedies.
    CTV has said that Canadians prefer American dramas and comedies.
    CBC head Richard Stursberg has said that the main problem CBC is facing is that Canadians prefer American dramas and Comedies.
    John Doyle, as big a booster of CanCon as you’re going to find, acknowledges the problem in his column almost every time he writes about it.

    You try to be reductive in equating the opinions expressed here to four isolated incidents, which is not true. To be accurate, you would have to say that all the actors, writers, directors, broadcast executives, crew people, and members of the public I have spoken to over the years share this sentiment. I’ve also taught students at University for about a decade. Call it 40 of those people a year. Let’s pick a number out of the air, a rough estimate. To be accurate, you’d have to argue that apparently this sentiment is comprised of … oh… say 2000 isolated incidents.

    The woman who wrote the article reported a similar experience, a preponderance of reaction in the actors and writers she’s talked to. Let’s add a few hundred there.

    Diane’s only had a dog in this hunt for a few months. So let’s add a few dozen isolated incidents to her total.

    Your Quebec argument is not relevant — it was not the subject of the article. In fact, Quebec Dramas don’t even fit the basic framework, since for the most part they are not exported. Quebec Dramas don’t even sell well in France because the dialect is too similar.

    it is not negative to state a fact. Your examples are not backed up by any reality, or any data. All you have is your insistence, that somehow, everyone here is wrong and you are right. And it doesn’t matter that they know more about the industry than you do, because they’re saying this because they’re part of the problem.

    Well, bud, that’s truthiness, not truth. You’re trolling, being willfully thick, or just woefully uninformed. But considering that there’s a lot of work to be done to actually fix the problems in Canadian TV, there isn’t actually any room to have to consider the hurt feelings of someone who demonstrates that he has no clue what he’s talking about. And that’s you.

    Good luck to you. Now, I think I’m going to go take your lead, go over to NASA and start telling them they’ve got this Mars thing all wrong. Because I’ve never talked to a single person who’s ever heard that there was the possibility of water on Mars.

  17. Hello Denis:

    The anger directed at me in your comments may in fact reflect a reality that my comments hit , too close to the truth, for your comfort level.

    Statements and broad generalizations indicating Canadians believe Canadian television ( at least you narrowed it down to Canadian drama) “sucks” is not helpful and not based in fact. On this site you will find a section “TV on DVD.” All of the shows listed on this site ( including drama) met with ratings success by any measurement in Canada. You may be interested to read the, “Viewer Comments” in this section as well. You see, I am not the only one that has something positive to say about Canadian television. There are many examples of other Canadian produced shows, past and present, that received respectable and in some cases very large Canadian viewing audience numbers. Where are your facts and figures Denis?

    Not all Canadian shows will meet with or be rewarded ,even if they deserve attention, with large audience numbers. the CBC show”Intelligence” is well produced and very good but as a writer to this site pointed out, not doing well in the ratings. Fortunately, a publically funded network like the CBC, a network that is not as ratings dependent as a private broadcaster, may be allowed to have this progam,”find it’s legs” and a larger audience. Ian Tracy is a major “star”, in my opinion, who has appeared in some very good Canadian feature films and was a major part of the hit CBC television series, ” Da Vincie’s Inquest.” The aforementioned show was popular in Canada long before the show was sold to an American distributor and met with success in the U.S.A.

    Australian drama and television in general is having trouble competing, ( although it is very good) against American productions but these situations tend to go in cycles. Next year an Australian show may be a major hit with the general public. Still, they have major success stories like Australian Idol, reflecting the success of American Idol and yes, Canadian Idol. Canadian Idol was a huge hit with Canadian audiences. I know you do not want me to mention the success of Corner Gas with the Canadian general public so I will refrain from the temptation.

    Sadly, some writers dust off the old myth, for whatever reason, that Canadian shows have to be successful in other countries before they meet with audience acceptance at home. The facts and figures simply prove otherwise. Not all American produced shows are successful with an American audience but I doubt if American writers are claiming that American shows “suck.” Perhaps, there might be one or two.

    Sorry to disappoint and feed into your sense of inferiority but again, I have never had a conversation about how Canadian television “sucks.” However, I do believe in the POSSIBILITY that ,” there is water on Mars.” Your failed attempt at sarcasm is, no doubt, an indication of your negative attitude in general.

    “Rome is not burning” and in spite of a few individuals who cannot see the ,”forest for the trees” Canadian television will do just fine more the average Canadian.

  18. I know. Being told that I have an inferiority complex…me…it’s…it’s a Christmas miracle, it is. Let’s you and I join hands and dance around the Kwanzaa bush, Diane.

    And to all a good night :)

  19. Hello:

    Hi Diane And Denis:

    You both claim to support Canadian productions but write in negative terms regarding Canadian television.

    Please, in the future, more facts and figures and less in terms of broad generalizations and stereotypes.

    For the record Denis, Quebec shows may not sell well, if at all, ouside of Qubec (due to a Quebec dialect) but they are watched by French Canadians in huge numbers. Ultimately that is what matters to the powers that be. Once again, they do not believe Canadian shows “suck.” If you actually read my comments you would understand that a large segment of the Quebec population is bilingual or multilingual and could choose to watch American television as a rule if they chose to. However, in most cases they choose to watch French Canadian talk shows etc. because they are very well produced, interesting and entertaining. Quebecers could choose to view American movies only but supprt a thriving French Canadian feature film industry. Please appreciate the operative word is Canadian. Unlike you Denis, I will present you with another fact, 40 per cent of the feature films presented at Quebec theatres presently ( 40 per cent share of tickets purchased) are for French Canadian movies and these movies are apprciated by the general population. Here is another fact, “Bon Cop, Bad Cop”, is the highest grossing Canadian film ever and has been purchased by many foreign distributors. This French Canadian feature film was a huge hit in French Canada and did fairly well in the rest of Canada as well. I am willing to bet the DVD of ” Bon Cop, Bad Cop” sells very well. I know I will purchase the DVD even though I saw the movie at the theatre. As well’ the “Corner Gas” DVD’s sell out very fast. I could go on and on but I think even you are capable of registering my point.(s)

    Apparently, you can read but you appear to have a problem comprehending basic facts.

    Live in your own little fantasy world and ignore the obvious truth ,that is your right as a Canadian. However, the rest of us will continue to appreciate and enjoy Canadian cultural presentations in all sectors of the industry

    I have a feeling you are very comfortably dancing by yourself Denis, so I will leave you to it!

    Merry Christmas!!!

  20. Hal

    What ARE you talking about? Honestly — you have totally lost me. You’re accusing two people — Diane and Denis — of “writing in negative terms” about Canadian television, but it’s clear these two people are big boosters of Canadian TV, and are merely bemoaning the state of affairs that exists in this country regarding Canadian antipathy toward homegrown productions whether you want to recognize it exists or not.

    Just look at the numbers — they don’t lie.

    I wish everyone was like you, and truly believed and operated under the assumption that Canada has a thriving film and television industry that Canadians love and appreciate. Maybe then, under the promise of success, private broadcasters would start making more Canadian shows and employing Canadians. But it’s not the case. Sorry to burst your bubble — but it simply isn’t the case.

  21. Hi Lee Anne:

    Sorry to burst your bubble but I fail to see any validity in your point of view.

    If Diane and Denis are big “boosters” of Canadian television then your definition of “booster” is different from mine.

    I never once said Canada has a, “thriving television and film industry.” I have said, if you care to take the time to read and fully comprehend my comments that the Canadian television and film industry needs enhanced financial support for more productions. As well, CRTC rules and regulations have to be maintained and(or) enhanced to guarantee the Canadian colours, ( so to speak) regarding television programing and in all cultural spheres are shown in Canada and hopefully internationally.

    However, broad generalizations that Canadians believe Canadian shows “suck” are baseless and foolish to repeat. Perhaps some Canadians feel this way but many more do not. As well, Canadian shows do not need the foreign distribution “seal of approaval” to be accepted wholeheartedly by the Canadian audience. Facts and figures prove just the opposite.

    Overall, Canadian shows have done very well domestically and have met with international success as well.

    Sadly, some reporters, for whatever reason, are fixated with ratings. However, all of the Canadian shows I listed have done and are doing very well in the ratings in Canada.

    With your negative attitude, the “powers that be” in the Canadian entertainment industry may use your false perception that Canadians think Canadian shows “suck” and are not doing well to limit financing for Canadian shows in the future ( a why bother attitude) and the industry needs more not less funding for more Canadian shows.

    And simply stated, Canadians do embrace Canadian programs whether you like it or not. once again, sorry to “burst your bubble!”

  22. Lee Anne – are you familiar with the concept of “trolls” as they exist on the net? You’ve now met one. I think your article was good. CP has always consistently done great work on the Canadian TV file. I remember fondly when I was at Space the one guy we could always get to give us the ink love was John McKay.

    Don’t worry about trying to parse the argument here — you entered into the compact thinking you had a guy who could reason with. This dude’s clearly getting his contrarian jollies, or is as thick as the Canadian Shield. In any case, keep up the good work, and thanks for making the point. As we try to agitate the CRTC and shame the b’casters to do better, context articles like yours help. I appreciate the reasoning behind it, even if Doyle didn’t. Then again, CP and Doyle are part of a short list giving the ink love to the home side, and all news is good news, so…

    …we now return you to your regularly scheduled troll.

  23. Hi Denis:

    First and foremost, I respect Diane and Lee-Anne for making their points in writing without being “juvenile” in their written remarks. As well, I think we ( Diane, Lee-Anne and this writer) are on the same page in terms of Canadian content rules, enhanced funding and promotion for Canadian programs, feature films etc. Where we disagree ( or agree to disagree) is how Canadian programs are perceived and received by Canadian audiences.

    Once again Denis, go to the TV on DVD section of this site and look under “comments.” You will see a sampling of what I have tried to convey in my messages. It is not all gloom and doom in the Canadian television and film industry.

    You go ahead and try to, “agitate the CRTC and shame the broadcasters to do better” and then be prepared to be ignored. I have a feeling Diane will use some common sense ( apparently an alien concept for Denis to embrace) and approach any hearing with concrete facts and figures and not isolated sentiments and (or) baseless generalities and old stereotypes to underscore the opinions of a minority.

    I have never said that Canadian television and the Canadian film industry is “thriving”
    and embraced without some misgivings by some Canadians. However, we have had major success stories, past and present, in the entertainment industry, including television contrary to the perception of a few writers on this site.

    When I watch a Canadian “awards show” many artists, when accepting their award, take the time and make the effort to thank the Canadian viewing audience. As well, many producers and t.v. personalities thank those responsible for allocating needed funding for television funding. A few ( over the years) have made the argument, on air, for more funding. I absolutely agree with their sentiments and good manners for thanking their Canadian audience which, after all, is their primary audience.

    Most actors and actresses, from what I have observed, appreciate working in Canada and conveying a Canadian story for a Canadian audience. However, the entire entertainment industry needs more funding to ensure Canadians do not have to leave Canada in order to find employment in their chosen artistic field. We produce a great cultural product but we need more Canadian cultural product and as a result more funding in order to compete with the foreign product. Production costs regarding television and movie productions are very, very high.

    Isolating negative Canadian stereotypes and repeating the negative comments of a few as a guise to represent the average Canadian is counter productive and ultimately self-defeating.

    Denis, this message was not meant for you since your comprehension skills appear “wanting.” Good luck at the CRTC hearings Denis, let us know how your insightful comments were received.

    This “Troll and Doyle” has to go now.

    All the best Denis——- really!!!

  24. while I have enjoyed this short time in the rabbit hole can someone please point me in the direction of a ladder?

  25. We truly are in the rabbit hole when Denis is accused of not doing enough to support Canadian TV and not knowing enough about the industry, and when figures on a film are brought out to support an argument about TV. And Hal, Doyle is John Doyle, and you are no John Doyle.

    Here’s the most recent representative ratings (not last week, when Corner Gas was in reruns and therefore did not appear in the top 30, but the week before). This is not to try to persuade Hal, who wants figures but not ratings to support the contention that Canadians prefer American entertainment on TV – something I need to get some magician mathematicians to work on – but for anyone else who’s curious about the kind of numbers we’re talking about.

    Some Canadian shows currently airing new episodes on the major Canadian networks, shows that didn’t make the top 30 and were beat by Dr. Phil, Jeopardy, Access Hollywood, 1 vs 100, a rerun of Grey’s Anatomy, etc. include: Degrassi, Intelligence, Rick Mercer Report, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Royal Canadian Air Farce, Rumours, Jozi-H.

    I do not point out these shows’ low ratings to suggest that they are inferior shows undeserving of an audience, but rather that we as an audience, the industry, the regulators, and the funders in English Canada need to better support our homegrown scripted programming or we are in danger of losing or ghettoizing our own culture on the small screen.

    1 CRIMINAL MINDS, 2.6 million
    2 HOUSE, 2.5 million
    3 C.S.I. NEW YORK, 2.4 million
    4 C.S.I. MIAMI, 2.2 million
    5 C.S.I, 2.1 million
    6 AMAZING RACE 10, 2 million
    7 LAW AND ORDER:SVU , 1.9 million
    8 SURVIVOR:COOK ISL., 1.9 million
    9 ER, 1.9 million
    10 PRISON BREAK, 1.7 million
    11 GREY’S ANATOMY, 1.7 million
    12 CTV EVENING NEWS, 1.6 million
    13 HEROES, 1.5 million
    14 CORNER GAS, 1.4 million
    15 COLD CASE, 1.4 million
    16 H.N.I.C. GAME #1, 1.3 million
    17 CRIMINAL MINDS, 1.2 million
    18 LAW & ORDER:CI, 1.1 million
    19 JEOPARDY/ACCESS HWD, 1.1 million
    20 BONES, 1.6 million
    21 SUNDAY EVE. MOVIE, 1 million
    22 GLOBAL NATIONAL, 1 million
    23 LAS VEGAS Global National, 1 million
    24 CTV EVENING NEWS WKD, 986,000
    25 NEWS HOUR, 977,000
    26 DR. PHIL, 974,000
    27 CTV NATIONAL NEWS, 972,000
    28 GILMORE GIRLS, 959,000
    29 THE CLASS, 933,000
    30 1 VS.100, 911,000

    And enough. I’m being a dictator and closing the comments before someone tries to point out that Porky’s was the highest grossing Canadian film of all time if you take inflation into account.

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