You will be redirected back to your article in seconds


U.S. imports hold sway, but a two-way street emerges

TORONTO — American imports have long dominated Canadian TV broadcasts, but the success of recent homegrown product shows that efforts to produce more local content are growing — albeit slowly.

CTV, along with its GlobeMedia specialty nets, continues to dominate the ratings — with the web claiming 18 of the 20 top-rated programs. This year the nation’s largest private broadcaster also expanded the reach of its secondary network, A Channel, into the Atlantic and Alberta markets.

Global TV is a distant second overall, but manages to crash the top five with pickups of “House” and “Survivor.”

While import “American Idol” was the year’s top-rated show, Canadian versions of popular reality skeins, such as “Canadian Idol,” “Canada’s Next Top Model” and “So You Think You Can Dance Canada” also have done well.

CTV is preparing to say goodbye to its top-rated original comedy “Corner Gas,” which enters its sixth and final season this fall. Suzanne Boyce, prexy of creative, content and channels, says the net is developing a new series from “Gas” creator and star Brent Butt.

“We’re doing fewer shows but putting more money into them and looking to hook up with more international partners,” Boyce says. “The success of the CBS experiment has been great.”

That experiment, partly born of the writers strike, which created a Stateside demand for content with North American accents, led to the exporting of “Flashpoint,” Canada’s top-rated original drama series. It has done well enough for CBS to be picked up for a second season. CTV also is collaborating with NBC on “The Listener,” now in production.

Up and coming webs up north include the Fight Network, a channel devoted to mixed martial arts, boxing and wrestling that plans to expand into the United States.

HD has been slower to make inroads in Canada. The government has set August 2011 as the date for the kind of complete switchover to digital that the U.S. will see in February 2009. So far, HD broadcasts remain limited to major cities and specialty cable channels, with cable and satellite carriers offering far fewer HD nets than are available in the U.S.

On the Web, CTV again dominates, offering seven online channels featuring streams of more than 200 series, including American series. (Access to U.S sites that stream current TV shows is blocked from Canadian Internet connections.) Deployment of American and Canadian programs on services like iTunes remains limited.

Top 3

“American Idol” (CTV)

“Grey’s Anatomy” (CTV)

“House” (Global)

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    Why the Television Academy Plans to Donate Furnishings From the 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    The Emmys’ official after party is set to impress — and to leave a permanent impression. At the annual press preview of the 71st Emmys Governors Ball, the Television Academy announced a partnership with Living Spaces, Habitat for Humanity and the Hollywood Community Housing Project that will provide more than 80 custom sofas, chairs and [...]

  • Gaby Hoffmann, Albert Cheng, Alexandra Billings,

    'Transparent' Team Reflects on Series Finale Without Jeffrey Tambor

    Friday night’s premiere of the series finale of “Transparent” at L.A. Live’s Regal theater felt like a family reunion for the Pfefferman clan. Matriarch Judith Light embraced each one of her TV children (Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass) and guest stars from previous seasons (Cherry Jones, Melora Hardin, Bradley Whitford) who also turned [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers' Win Big at 45th Annual Saturn Awards

    As Jamie Lee Curtis picked up her first trophy ever at the 45th Annual Saturn Awards Friday night, she had a good luck charm on her arm: former manager Chuck Binder, whom she said was the reason she became an actor. “I was in college and had no thought of being an actor,” Curtis told [...]

  • Pom Klementieff poses at the launch

    Marvel Cinematic Universe Star Pom Klementieff Talks Disney-Fox Merger, X-Men Dreams

    Pom Klementieff may have entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe playing Mantis in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” followed by appearances in the last two “Avengers” movies, but that wasn’t her original superhero plan. “My dream was to be in X-Men,” she told Variety on Thursday at the Chanel dinner for its new fragrance Gabrielle [...]

  • Gwyneth Paltrow

    Gwyneth Paltrow to Be Honored at amfAR Gala Los Angeles

    Gwyneth Paltrow and art dealer Larry Gagosian are set to be honored at the 2019 amfAR Gala Los Angeles. The American Foundation for AIDS Research announced that the two honorees will receive the Award of Courage for their commitment in the fight against HIV and AIDS as well as for their other humanitarian efforts. Christina [...]

  • David Mandel Sam Richardson

    'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Veep,' 'When They See Us' Writers Honored at Emmy Nominees Reception

    Ava DuVernay (“When They See Us”), David Mandel (“Veep”) and Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) were among those honored at the Television Academy’s Emmy nominees writers reception on Tuesday night in North Hollywood. There, ceremony hosts, “Escape at Dannemora” star Eric Lange and “Veep’s” Sam Richardson, kept the show moving by tossing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content