A winning combination!

Whenever CBC shops south of the border, Ian Morrison waits for his phone to ring. “ ‘Is this the best CBC can do? I hope not…. The public broadcaster should be running Canadian programming all the time – particularly in peak viewing periods like 7 to 11.’ […] Morrison compared the decision to run Jeopardy in the Marketplace slot to the move two years ago to delay The National in some time zones for a simulcast of the U.S. reality show The One.” Oh, for the love of G-d, will you get over that?

Jittery, fragmented TV image has clear captioning reading AND JEOPARDY. A WINNING COMBINATION

The Two Faces of Vanna

I don’t hear anyone complaining about The Simpsons (CBC Television, 5:00 weekdays). In fact, 5:00 to 6:00 is U.S. Mainstream Quirky-Alternative Comedy hour on CBC, with Arrested Development wearing out its welcome at 5:30. The Simpsons is an important addition to the CBC schedule, since otherwise I’d be able to watch the show only 17 times a week rather than 23.

But they’re not in prime time, you retort? They’re still American shows. But they’re shows that hip urban intellectuals like. They’re the right kind of American programming – the shows beloved by people in your spiritual home (Manhattan), not the garbage that your working-class mother made you watch, like game shows.

It’s acceptable at brunch to say you love The Simpsons. You may also admit, as if sheepishly, that Arrested Development grew on you. All Wheel of Fortune does is make you think of growing up in a household that only had garlic salt, not garlic.

Has anybody noticed just how much American programming is shown on Radio-Canada? But that doesn’t matter, because it’s dubbed into French, and surely they can’t tell the difference at that point. They aren’t incensed by American cultural hegemony the way we are. American programming isn’t poisoning les Québécois the way it’s poisoning us. And anyway they’re a distinct and robust culture and we aren’t.

Why isn’t foreign programming from the British Isles held against CBC? It’s still foreign.

At some point, Friends of Canadian Broadcasting and their acolytes will need to accept that the U.S. produces more English-language programming than anyone else. Some of it has to be good enough for another country’s public broadcaster. It’s certainly good enough for public broadcasters in Britain and Australia. But I guess we’re just too delicate and special to survive five hours a week of American game shows on one of three CBC English-language networks. That just ruins it for the other 499 hours a week.

These game shows are, nonetheless, shite.


  1. Anonymous
    Posted July 25, 2008 at 1:24 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Third point from different Anon [this is terrible software ]:


    Almost two thirds of EU television time is “Made in Europe”
    July 25th, 2008 – 13:31 UTC by Andy Sennitt

    More than 63% of Europe’s television broadcasters’ programming time is devoted to European works and over 36% to works by independent European producers. These new figures come from the European Commission’s eighth report on effectiveness of EU rules on the promotion of European works, which covers the period 2005-2006.

    This report which is published every two years is based on information provided by the EU Member States and monitors the promotion of European works on European TV screens under the ‘Television without Frontiers’ Directive. For the first time, broadcasters in the new EU-10 Member States are fully analysed in this report, and the report shows that they show today as much European content as those in the EU-15.

    The new report on the implementation of these provisions in the 25 EU Member States, adopted by the Commission today, shows that …. [ more ]

  2. Anonymous
    Posted July 25, 2008 at 11:11 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    two points:

    for those (and there are a lot of you) who think we should emulate the BBC more, please note that the BBC plays The Simpsons all the time. (with no commercials!)

    And if you check, you’ll find that Radio-Canada TV doesn’t have that much dubbed American programming. But the privates in Quebec more than make up for it.

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