Saturday, November 19, 2005


Well, Saturday nights are a weird TV night in Canada. It's the one night of the week when you can expect to see actual Canadian productions on prime time TV on Canadian television.

The rest of the week the private TV nets in this country airs American rebroadcast after American rebroadcast, in the exact same timeslots on the same nights. Every night, Canadian television looks just like American TV. But for some reason Saturday has turned into a sanctuary where Canadian networks run lots of CRTC-mandated Canadian content. CTV and Global know that shows like The Eleventh Hour and Zoe Busiek: Wild Card are going to get no ratings the rest of the week, but the government tells them they have to run Canadian shows somewhere. So these networks have taken advantage in recent years of the fact that Saturday night is an open night with very few good American programs available to air to begin with, so they're free to fill the time with plenty of Canadian stuff in addition to their usual American offerings.

They also know that no show will beat Hockey Night in Canada. Not even an American one. Besides, TVO runs Saturday Night at the Movies and that is a must-see for movie buffs, so basically the entire audience is GONE for these networks. These TV executives figure if they're going to lose, they might as well lose big. Why even try. So they regularly stick Canadian TV shows there to die against hockey, then they can brag to the CRTC about what good citizens they were and about how much time they devoted to Canadian programs in prime time. Then maybe the CRTC will get off their backs about how much more money they should spend on the TV production industry in this country. That's the reasoning.

It is therefore fitting that tonight, on this most Canadian of nights for TV in this country, we get the Gemini Awards on Global TV, celebrating excellence in Canadian TV. And we can say with certainty who the biggest winners were. No, not Corner Gas, not The Eleventh Hour, not even Kevin Newman.

No, the biggest winners were the Toronto Maple Leafs, over on CBC, who beat the Geminis to a pulp... not to mention the Atlanta Thrashers, who they beat, 5-1. They should've just given all their awards to the Leaf players and gone home, no one cares about these TV awards.

I guarantee you, no one tuned in to this Geminis show. Why? Because this is Canada.

1 comment:

Classic said...

_With all those tiered speciality channels, why wouldn't this CDN award show have been given an overnight or later-in-the-week re-airing?
_At times, I sorely miss not being able to readily videotape one "cable" channel while watching another.