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Link: Nobody will watch TV out of patriotism

From John Doyle of The Globe and Mail:

Link: Nobody will watch TV out of patriotism
Now, it’s fair to say that the funding of Canadian TV is an enormously complex business. An army of lawyers and accountants earn a good living interpreting all the rules. I’ve heard from several experts and the upshot of the feedback is that there has been a false alarm. One expert told me, “The CRTC simply decided to align the funding rules for the CIPFs (Certified Independent Productions Funds) with its “normal” rules for a Canadian program and with CAVCO’s (Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office) “normal” rules (which are in the Income Tax Act of Canada) for the Canadian film or video production film tax credit – that is, a minimum of six out of 10 Canadian points.” Continue reading.

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from hundreds of television series from Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He is a podcaster, public speaker, weekly radio guest and educator, and past member of the Television Critics Association.
Greg David
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9 thoughts on “Link: Nobody will watch TV out of patriotism”

  1. There’s been many shows I’ve watched just because they are Canadian. That being said, I won’t watch a show just because it’s Canadian. I at least have to like it somewhat. I don’t typically watch Canadian shows that pretend to be American because, let’s face it, Americans have a better budget to tell their stories better than us. If a show is telling a Canadian story though, I will likely give it a much better chance and more time to find itself. I have a couple shows right now ( I won’t say which) that I watch right now because they’re Canadian even if I don’t like them a whole lot, just enough not to drop them out of a sense of loyalty to Canadian tv.

    There’s a lot of good Canadian tv right now. Shows like Orphan Black, Vikings, This is Life, Wynonna Earp and X Company are better than most American shows. However, only two of the above really tell Canadian stories. Vikings is actually only considered part Canadian so gets to “compete” for that Canadian Screen Award for part Canadian shows, something that Ive long thought ridiculous. A show should be considered either Canadian or not.

  2. I watch shows that are Canadian (e.g., 19-2, Orphan Black, X Company, Houdini & Doyle, Murdoch Mysteries, Private Eyes)– however, I don’t watch every Canadian production; (Vikings, Reign, The Amazing Race Canada–bleagh!) I don’t have the time to watch every little show! I prefer TV shows that are set in Canada, telling Canadian stories, using Canadian actors and writers (oh, being a Canadian writer/actor myself probably helps) “Remedy” was funny, but then it got too serious/dramatic. I don’t hate American programming– I just don’t watch it– I find it irrelevant and boring (not all of it, mind you, since I really like crime/mystery/thrillers–that “Bosch” is entertaining, but I’d rather have another 20 episodes of 19-2 to watch instead. “Longmire” was also quite entertaining– good stories, lots of action, intrigue, social commentary (perhaps a bit too obvious a car/truck commercial at times, but…) I don’t generally like ‘reality TV’– “Ice Pilots” was ‘cool’ (ha ha) but I didn’t connect with “Ice Road Truckers”; and “Highway Thru Hell” — interesting premise but after a few episodes it’s repetitive… John Doyle enrages me with this particularly inflammatory headline, “Nobody watches TV out of Patriotism” — I DO!

    1. I love Longmire. I usually flee from mystery series but that show is so well done. I know its not Canadian but there’s something about it that makes me feel like it is.
      —-
      Of my current 20 fave shows, 8 are Canadian, 2 are British, 4 are non-network U.S. shows and 6 are U.S. network shows. I’m actually finding that every year I’m watching less and less U.S. network shows.

  3. As far back as I care to remember, and that’s quite a long time, I’ve watched, and still watch, lots of Canadian shows out of patriotism.

    Thank goodness they also happen to be very good shows to watch.

    1. Not all though. Ive watched some real duds. Almost all Canadian scripted series get at least one view from me because Im so annoyingly patriotic.

  4. John Doyle, as usual, is making an entirely straw man argument. I can’t think of a single Canadian TV creator who believes you should watch their show out of patriotism. We want you to watch because it’s good. And millions do. And do things like pack theaters at FanExpo for the showrunner of Wynonna Earp.

    “Good” is subjective, and not everyone is going to think every Canadian show is good, just like not everyone thinks every American show is good. Nobody watches everything. But there’s something offensive about a TV critic cutting the audience entirely out of the narrative. It’s inconvenient for Doyle that my T/L floods with people making XCompany fan art, and that people (even some…shudder….AMERICAN people) show mad love for Killjoys or Wynonna Earp or Dark Matter, or that even an upcoming show like Aftermath or Travelers attracts strong crowds at FanExpo…inconvenient because it plays against a sloppy and lazy thesis based on prejudice and not fact. And especially crusty since the guy writing this straw man, gaslighting of the Canadian TV system writes for a paper with a far lower weekly circulation than the number of people watching Canadian TV shows right now.

    But i guess if their numbers were better they could afford a better critic. Huh.

    1. Wow. That’s pretty scathing. John Doyle’s of a generation that thinks Canada is inferior to America. Even if they like something Canadian, they still think it’s not as good as if it were American. My generation isn’t like that as we are very proud to be Canadian, raised in the shadow of all those Molson Canadian beer commercials.

      Canadian TV does have quite a following now, particularily the sci-fi stuff. Many Americans actually seek out new Canadian sci-fi shows because they like them better than the American sci-fi. I’ve actually seen comments on several sites saying just that.

  5. But that doesn’t matter because, you guessed it, He also hates all sci-fi. He’s a real piece of work, is the Ridiculous Leprechaun.

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