Cancon Mystery: XIII actually premiered yesterday on Mystery

By Diane Wild of TV, eh?


When is a Canadian Broadcast Premiere not a Canadian Broadcast Premiere? Apparently, when a Canadian broadcaster needs to quietly fill their Cancon requirements across multiple networks.

XIII, a Canadian co-production premiering tonight on Showcase in its “Canadian Broadcast Premiere,” according to Shaw media releases, actually aired yesterday at 10 am on Shaw-owned Mystery TV, where it is scheduled to regularly precede the Showcase airing. (Thanks to commenter Roger for pointing this out.)

“XIII premieres Wednesday, April 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT exclusively on Showcase” says a March 15 media release, so either the Mystery scheduling came in the last month – so why slap in on Tuesday and not, say, Thursday? – or the publicity for XIII has been less than truthful.

It’s not unusual for a Canadian broadcaster to air content across multiple networks to fulfill Cancon requirements – Haven is currently airing on Global after a run on Showcase, for example. US networks do it with their reruns, too. It’s not unusual that Showcase would be the network of choice to launch a show, since Mystery is the more obscure channel. What is unusual is for publicity to falsely promote an “exclusive” airing and a “broadcast premiere” for the second window of a show. Not to mention the more obscure channel airs it at such an obscure time. It smacks of a disregard for the show and, as part of a pattern of broadcaster behaviour, for Canadian content in general.

I’ve asked for clarification from Shaw’s public relations team and will update with any further clarification.


18 thoughts on “Cancon Mystery: XIII actually premiered yesterday on Mystery”

  1. I’m not forgetting – explain to me how that justifies calling the Showcase airing the exclusive Canadian broadcast premiere? The issue isn’t that two networks are airing it, it’s the dishonesty about which is the first window.

  2. So I wasn’t the only one scratching my head when I popped over to that channel at half passed the hour expecting to see Mr Kilmer knee-deep in shananigans. Good to know.

    I will still watch the ‘exclusive’ premiere tonight, but had I checked the schedule more carefully I might have just recorded it to watch yesterday instead, like I hope not too many others did. Be a pity if the show tanked before it even aired.

    Glad you’re taking them to task for this one, Diane.

  3. Come on people get to grips and watch this show Vai and Stephen were good in the mini setries but this one looks even more amazing and with Stuart as its lead well say no more and the rest of the cast are so talented too

  4. For the next weeks, post your “New tonight:…” for the the Mystery’s tuesday 10AM episodes and not for Showcase, maybe they will react :)

  5. Ha, I should. They responded, just nothing informative. Seems clear the first airing must need to be on Mystery to fulfill some Cancon obligation for that station, and/or they just don’t care about how scheduling might affect ratings.

  6. Ok, thanks for the info Diane.
    Anyway Showcase don’t care about anybody. We still dont know if Rent-a-Goalie and Cra$h & Burn are cancelled or not lol :))

  7. I’m not sure why this is “news”. They’ve done this before. The first season episodes of The Guard premiered on Mystery the day before they allegedly premiered on Global. And last fall, episodes of Shattered aired at noon on Showcase the same day that they “premiered” on Global at 10:00pm.
    According to Zap2it listings, the third episode of XIII premieres at 11:00pm the day before its Showcase “premiere” rather than 10:00am.

  8. It’s “news” (actually a blog post) because the media releases were not truthful and I think lying to the media is bad.

  9. Apologies for putting it the way I did. I only meant to point out that creative definition of
    “premiere” is something that appears to be a habit of theirs.

  10. I don’t understand the “it happens all the time so who cares” argument … to me that’s an argument to call them out on it. But to each his own.

  11. To be fair, I’m not making the “happens all the time” argument. I hate when Canwest/Shaw Media does this. It cheapens the value of a debut.

    Second windows, I get. I’m not fond of them, but it’s to be expected with Canadian content. At the same time, you need to leave that second window until you’ve filled the first window. That’s just basic scheduling.

  12. No, I know, it’s Jerry’s argument. I get second windows too but it’s not a second window when it comes first – that makes it a first window. The second window for XIII is on Showcase, presumably because Mystery needed more CanCon credit while Showcase has a lot of CanCon right now. It’s a flaw in how the regulations are put into practice. I’m not going to beat the drum every time it happens but the media wasn’t aware of it and I wanted to point it out.

  13. For the record, I wasn’t making a “who cares?” argument. I was just pointing out that (at least for me) this wasn’t surprising, as they seem to do it fairly often. To the point that what did surprise me was that they did not do it with Endgame or King.

    It seems odd that they’ve been doing this for at least a couple of years without being called out on it. The only reasons I can think of is that no one has noticed, or anyone that has noticed doesn’t care.

  14. I was going to say it is the “prime-time premiere” but technically prime-time in Canada is 6pm-midnight per the CanCon reg so that would make the Tuesday 11pm showing of XIII on Mystery its prime-time premiere. Which then would mean XIII on Showcase at 10pm Wednesday is its 3rd window. Slow clap for Shaw on this one.

    Most US cable channels repeat their original series at times during the week at different times of the day, AFTER the prime time premiere of the episode. That this misleading, odd scheduling is the normal does not make it any better.

    How many people notice that only 10/13 of Shattered were shown in the initial run on Showcase & Global but that when it repeated in Dec/Jan and then again in Feb/Mar that all 13 episodes were shown as well as the 2008 pilot being snuck in there one week on Showcase? Worse still the episodes were out of order in Canada and all 13 were shown in international markets and in the correct order.

    The only excuse i can think of regarding promoting the Showcase third window for XIII is that Showcase is available in HD. If that is the reason, how about a west coast feed of Showcase in HD please :) Mystery HD would be nice too.

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