When CTV’s ‘Corner Gas‘ was picked up by WGN in the United States at some point last year, it was a bit of a surprise: not only is Corner Gas outrageously Canadian, it’s also not that funny…although I guess that that makes it fit right in at an American superstation, no? It didn’t seem like it had anything to make it stand out for an American audience outside of being a quirky attempt to play off of Canada’s reputation south of the border. However, things are different for CBC’s ‘Little Mosque on the Prairie’: it has a buzzworthy cultural commentary at its centre, and is apparently actually quite humorous. And, it appears that Ben Silverman (New Head of Programming for NBC Universal) is interested in the series for the American market.
For clips from the first season (Almost the entire shows, actually) and for some fascinating discussion on the various intricacies and cultural issues raised within the series, head to Little Experiences…, here on WordPress.
First off, I would expect to see the series picked up by USA Network (Irony is fun) as opposed to NBC proper, considering that NBC lacks a comedy slot and the production values aren’t quite ready for primetime network television (Just sayin’). Also, The CW is launching ‘Aliens in America’ on its Monday comedy block that covers a young pakistani who ends up smack dab in the middle of a suburban nightmare; two shows with such similar themes would be a bit overkill. However, even if only on USA Network, this would still be a huge coup for the show, and for CBC. The idea of having one of their own series picked up by an American network shows that their development cycle is putting out shows good enough to expand their market range, right? Right?
Actually, CBC might well be very, very nervous right now. Because Little Mosque on the Prairie is thus far the only successful, new, original, CANADIAN series they’ve launched in quite some time. And if that show is co-opted and taken into an American audience, what it proves is that CBC isn’t making content uniquely for Canadians when it can so easily be taken south of the border. This, anyways, will be the argument from the CBC critics out there. And I don’t know how I feel about it.