Integrating Distinctively Canadian Elements into Television Drama: A Formula for Success or Failure?: The Due South Experience

Authors

  • Marsha A. Tate The Pennsylvania State University
  • Valerie Allen

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.22230/cjc.2003v28n1a1341

Keywords:

Television/cable television, Film/Video policy, Content, Production/co-production

Abstract

Abstract: The production of indigenous Canadian television drama, despite cultural importance ascribed to the genre, has been continually beset by funding and other problems. This situation prompted Canadian producers to concentrate upon the production of so-called industrial dramas that attempt to minimize or completely mask their Canadian origins and are designed primarily for the export market. There have been exceptions - North of 60, Black Harbour, Due South. These identifiably Canadian dramas garnered significant numbers of viewers at home as well as foreign audiences. Based upon a case study of Due South, the authors suggest that distinctive Canadian elements need not be viewed as detriments to a show's success but rather be regarded as potential assets that can help a program distinguish itself from its competitors. Résumé : La production de drames clairement canadiens, malgré l'importance culturelle qu'on lui accorde, a sans cesse encouru des problèmes de financement entre autres. Cette situation a motivé les producteurs canadiens à se concentrer sur des drames dits industriels qui minimisent ou dissimulent complètement leurs origines canadiennes afin d'être plus exportables. Il existe cependant des exceptions telles que North of 60, Black Harbour et Due South. Ces drames immanquablement canadiens ont attiré un public considérable au Canada ainsi que des publics à l'étranger. Les auteurs se fondent sur une étude de cas de Due South (Direction : Sud) pour suggérer que la présence d'éléments canadiens n'entrave pas forcément le succès d'une émission. Au fait, on devrait plutôt envisager ces éléments comme aidant une émission à se différencier de la concurrence.

Issue

Section

Papers