What?!?!!? ABC, CBS and NBC aren’t Canadian!??!?!

Canadian discontent in TV land
Canadians want more Canada on Canadian television.
That’s the message 200 angry members of ACTRA, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema Television and Radio Artists, from Ottawa and Toronto delivered loud and clear during a demonstration outside a Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) convention at the Westin Hotel.
Canadian broadcasters, including CBC, CTV and Global, spent $479 million on U.S. shows in 2006, and just $40 million on Canadian-made English-language dramas. CTV and Global didn’t add a single Canadian-made series to their schedules last year.
ACTRA, which primarily represents actors and directors, wants the CRTC to do for television producers what it did for the radio and recording industry when it set Canadian content requirements at 25% in the 1970s, rising to 30% in the 1980s and 35% in the 1990s and helped cultivate an international market for Canadian singer-songwriters.
In 1999, the CRTC relaxed those requirements, hoping to give Canadian producers more opportunities to create Canadian television. Instead, they flooded the market with cheap-to-produce news and reality-based serials.
“We’re here to tell some of Canada’s richest television corporations in the CAB that they have a shameful record of not giving back to the community,” said ACTRA president Karl Pruner. “We’re here to tell the CAB that the Canadian airwaves belong to the Canadian people and they’re not a licence to print money.”
Pruner noted that it’s “cheaper for a Canadian network to buy Desperate Housewives from ABC than it is to buy the licence for the Canadian-made Regenesis.
“Americans can dump their shows here more cheaply than it costs us to make and license our own. And now that the Canadian dollar is hitting $1.07 US, we’re seeing more work head south. Canadian television is in crisis and we have to do something about it now.”
Robb Wells, who plays the dope-smoking schemer Ricky on Trailer Park Boys, flew in from Halifax to lend his voice to the day of action.
“In 1999, there were 12 one-hour Canadian dramas airing every week,” said Wells. “Today, that’s down to eight half-hour shows. Of the 87 hours they have to fill on their schedule, CTV and Global added zero Canadian shows. None. Big surprise it’s getting harder to make a living as an actor in Canadian television. I’m worried. Canadians aren’t aware of how much of our culture is going south of the border.”
“Canadian broadcasters is an oxymoron,” laughed Corner Gas star Eric Peterson.
“How can you be a Canadian broadcaster when you don’t broadcast Canadian-made prime-time television, and you spend pennies on the dollar for Canadian programs, while lavishing millions on American shows?
“The CRTC should live up to its obligations and do something to encourage Canadian television production.”