Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Canadians are Coming! The Canadians are Coming!

O History. Where for art thou? That was my first thought when I read “The Canadians are Coming to US TV” in The Guardian's TV and Radio Blog on 2 May 2012 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2012/may/02/canadian-us-tv-la-complex).

Canadian shows have been on "mainstream" US TV (NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, CW) for some time. "Due South" ran on the CBS network if fitfully in the 1990s. "18 and Life" was given a brief run on the CW and the viewing numbers were so bad that even that little watched network put it on hiatus. The US network big boys have shown "Rookie Blue" and "Flashpoint". Beyond the big network boys "Being Erica", "Intelligence", "Da Vinci's Inquest", "Forever Knight", "Slings and Arrows", "Lexx", "Stargate", and "Degrassi Junior High" and "Degrassi High", both of which became a cult hits in the States thanks to PBS, and others have been shown on American TV.

Aesthetically speaking I am fond of "Intelligence" (though I wouldn't use one of those unfortunate similarity metaphors, i.e., it is like The Wire, so many "critics" are fond of to describe it), "Da Vinci", "Being Erica", and "Slings and Arrows". The last was touted as "the best programme ever" by some in the American press (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12144988). That said, it is worth remembering that the press, the Guardian included as this story shows, do rather like to engage in ahistorical hyperbole.

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