Tomorrow night, Friday 18 January, is a tough one for sci-fi fans in Canada. What to watch and what to get later some other way.
The much delayed third season finale of Haven is on Showcase from 8-10pm ET. The series finale of Fringe is on City and FOX from 8-10pm ET/PT.
In the season finale of Haven the mystery of Audrey’s presence in Haven is finally explained. In “Reunion”, the episode delayed due to the mass murder at a grade school in Connecticut, Nathan and Audrey attend Nathan and Duke’s high school reunion. When someone is murdered they begin looking for a killer. When a second person is murdered they are convinced it is someone’s trouble but with so many people having come back to town for the reunion there are so many suspects. In “Thanks For The Memories” we finally learn just why the tag line for Haven is “it takes a village to hide a secret” as the secrets of Audrey’s presence and some of the townsfolk are revealed. Showcase is not repeating these episodes of Haven any time soon so if you are not in favour of iTunes or torrents this is the one chance you get until they get repeated in who-knows-how-many-months-time.
In the last month Eric Balfour, whom Haven fans know as the sexy smuggler Duke, has been quite outspoken about guns and violence in the USA. Yesterday he shared this on Twitter, ”Thank you NRA for your recent ad, shedding light on the fact that you are totally unethical bat shit crazy organization… I commend you.”
The other option for your Friday sci-fi fix in Canada is Fringe. After 5 years, 3 filming locations, and 2 broadcasters in Canada the show is coming to an end. The acclaimed series that has explored the human condition through the prism of parallel universes, unexplainable phenomena, and unimaginable threats, reaches a milestone 100th episode and comes to an epic and climatic conclusion. In “Liberty”, the Fringe team engages a desperate plan as Olivia embarks on a dangerous and otherworldly journey into the unknown. In “An Enemy of Fate”, Peter, Olivia, Walter, Astrid and Broyles face off against the Observers in one final and extraordinary battle for the fate of mankind. Fringe can be found on FOX and City, mostly from 8-10pm but check your local station if you live anywhere other than Ontario or BC.
If you are a fan of both shows and live in the US you get Haven on Thursday night (that’s today) on Syfy from 8-10pm ET and it will repeat later in the night. Lucky you for having no conflicting schedule.
CTV’s breakout hit from the summer of 2012 is getting more episodes for its second season. Initially renewed for 13 episodes Bell Media announced yesterday that they have increased it to 18 episodes. For a show which failed to secure a satisfactory audience in the USA on NBC this is somewhat surprising news.
The first season of Saving Hope averaged 1.7 million viewers in Canada and only 3 million viewers in the USA. If you factor in Canada’s population being about 1/10th that of the USA it is like 17 million versus 3 million. On a per capita basis Saving Hope was nearly six times more popular in Canada than in the USA. Part of this can be attributed to NBC’s apparent total indifference to the show, manifest through a near absolute lack of promotion for the show and its refusal to broadcast the final two episodes of season one.
In 2011 the top show of the year was Global’s Combat Hospital, which was on ABC in the USA. It had numbers similar to Saving Hope in Canada but it too under-performed in the USA. It was cancelled due to the high cost of production and a lack of significant international sales.
Saving Hope is currently being repeated Saturdays at 9pm on CTV two and Thursdays at 10pm ET/7pm PT on Bravo!.
Already 1 week behind the US broadcast, the made-in-Toronto but set-in-New-York series Copper was a repeat last night on Showcase. Domestic is now 2 episodes behind foreign. Prior to the internet that might have worked but today any fan of a show can find out it was ‘on last month over there’.
Copper has something in common with Murdoch Mysteries other than historical setting and filmed in Toronto. Copper is going to join the ranks of the out on DVD internationally before domestic broadcast is completed. The season finale will be on Showcase on 4 November 2012. The DVD and BD release is 30 October 2012. A whole 5 days in stores before it is on TV. That is plenty of time for pre-ordering on Amazon and shipping to most places in Canada. And for the really big kick in the ass, despite being a Canadian show and the value of Canadian currency hovering at or just above the value of US currency the SRP in Canada is actually the same instead of $10 or $20 more than the US.
That leaves two questions.
i) Is Shaw trying to destroy the ratings for the season finale?
ii) Why will Shaw/E1 delay a DVD release of Lost Girl until after Syfy has shown the whole season but be ok with a DVD / BD release before they have shown all of Copper?
Other shows to be out on DVD before domestic broadcast completed include Murdoch Mysteries season 4 (UK – two weeks before premiere), Murdoch Mysteries season 5 (Australia – half way through the season), Camelot (US – days before premiere).
Copper is a production of Shaw Media, Entertainment One, TVA, and The Levinson/Fontana Company. BBC America has US broadcast, Shaw has English Canadian broadcast, and TVA has French Canadian broadcast rights.
Ring a ding ding ! Call Me Fitz is back for a third season and this time there are some more-than-obvious hints the show is set in Canada.
Call Me Fitz is filmed primarily in New Minas, Nova Scotia but for the first two seasons the setting of the show was ambiguous with a sometimes not so subtle skew to being somewhere in the US. From vehicles having license plates that weren’t really for anywhere but which were styled after Nova Scotia’s to the various Americanism in the dialogue of the various characters to Fitz always having US currency. And of course the reference to “this side of Detroit” which would come up now and then.
It isn’t anything new to have a Canadian made show set in the US. It usually allows for better opportunities for international sales of the show. For a long time Canadian television has had a regretably well deserved stigma for being of a lower class. Setting a show in Boston or Baltimore would be a way to mask the true Canadian origin of the show.
Having mentioned the skew toward a US setting for Call Me Fitz last year Sheri Elwood, the creator of the show, responded with, “The show is absolutely not set in the US. It is 100% Canadian.” In response i picked what was a then recent episode of the show and pointed out all of the things which had me thinking it is set in the US. Then i realised she had written that episode. That was about 11 months ago, right about the time filming of season 3 had completed.
With season 3 now on television it is more clear why Sheri Elwood would be so bold. For those from New Minas there would be clues in plenty regarding where scene s were filmed. But there was never anything recognisable to those from elsewhere which would say “this is somewhere in Canada”. That changed with the season 3 premiere, “Fuck City Hall”. Fitz has turned the Beaver Moon into his deam Summer Winds. The night of the grand opening there is a Zellers store visible in the dark distant background. What could be more Canadian than the budget department store of the Hudson Bay Company? Yes, most of the locations are becoming Target stores but that is another story. Later in the episode when Fitz is to announce his candidacy for city council and his nemesis and opponent Chester Vince and his lawyer / lover / step-daughter Ali, who is now the wife of Chester, arrive outside the Summer Winds there is a Tim Horton’s sign clearly visible in the background. The only way to scream ‘Canadian’ louder would be to have the old Hockey Night In Canada theme playing as the score.
If Fitz is really Canadian then perhaps next time he takes out a role of money it won’t be US ‘greenbacks’. Except that the second episode of the season opens with Fitz selling a car for cash. And what is he holding? Green $100 bills that are styled a bit like US currency but if you look closely they are total fakes that have a border and are green but otherwise look nothing like US currency. And certainly nothing like the brown polymer of the Canadian $100 notes. But at a quick glance they could pass as American to one not paying really close attention to what Fitz is holding. So much for no more subtle skews to a US setting.
The episode Sheri Elwood wrote shows a Canadian setting. The episode Dennis Heaton wrote involves the FBI, Ken looking for the Miami of Magic City‘s era, and Fitz holding US-styled currency. In one episode it is Canadian and the next it looks very American. The map showing the strange road trip home from Miami indicates they are stopped by the FBI near Decature, Alabama. And from there Fitz is able to get home to file the papers for his city council campaign within mere hours. That would strongly suggest the show is set somewhere in the US. The setting of the show keeps coming up Fitzy.
If you are in Canada you can find Call Me Fitz on HBO on Sunday nights. If you are in the US and are a DirecTV customer then you can find Fitz on Audience on Tuesday nights.
Originally Haven was on a 3-day delay in Canada but it had a prime time slot of Monday at 10pm ET. This year Shaw moved it to Fridays at 9pm ET. That is the time slot it has in the US on Syfy. It was just assumed that Haven would be simulcast. W R O N G ! ! !
Haven is now on a SEVEN DAY DELAY in Canada. Season 3 premieres tonight, as this is being written, on Syfy in the US. The season 3 premiere will be on Showcase NEXT FRIDAY.
This is just total shit. It is a Canadian/American production and the show’s Canadian fans are getting completely screwed here. The delay until Monday was understandable since it brought in a better audience in Canada. There is no sane reason for a week long delay. If the downloading were a concern then apparently noone noticed this show is made available on torrents from the US broadcast not the Canadian showing.
What next? Will Lost Girl be on in the US before it is on in Canada? Honestly, i am expecting that to happen. Shaw used to be “proud to be Canadian” but in the last year, well really since the whole mess of The Kennedys, Shaw has been conceding to any and every US broadcaster that it can over any and every thing. Shaw has gladly bent over and enjoyed being the bitch of any American company interested in it’s shows. Lost Girl season 3 would be on in 2 days if not for catering to Syfy’s demand for a January start. Copper is shown on a 167 hour delay (a week less an hour) from its BBC America showing and it is a “Showcase Original”. You have to love the irony of the “Showcase Original” Continuum. The show is very ‘corporate America is evil and destroying the world’ and yet Shaw gladly embraces them. Any wonder why Continuum is having trouble finding a US broadcaster? US diplomats probably wrote home about Continuum much like they did four years ago regarding The Border and it’s anti-American (ie pro-Canadian) nature.
As a disclaimer i should mention that i used to work for Shaw. But at that time they weren’t doing this shit. The Shaw i worked for was a proud Canadian company. It was from my time working at Shaw that i rediscovered and learnt the value of Canadian programming. I had always been a big fan of Showcase, through all of its ownership changes in its nearly 20 years.
Every day they push the boundary just a little. But this tonight is across the line. So much for Television Without Borders.