Sophie Choice After All

One of the shows trailing badly in the poll to the left may be the first on the list to win the real prize. Looks like Sophie is going Stateside.
According to this article in The Hollywood Reporter, ABC Family is negotiating with CBC to pick up 13 episodes of Sophie, the new Wednesday night sitcom starring Bailey’s “It” girl Natalie Brown. There’s also word that the producers of The Border–the new Monday night CBC drama leading our poll at the time of this posting–is being shopped to both CBS and ABC as well as U.S. cable nets TNT and USA.
Suddenly, Canada is where it’s at. First, the Buffalo Bills want in. Now the U.S. networks are up for some cross border shopping.
Despite mixed reviews, Sophie has held its own since launching last month, drawing 618,000 viewers last Wednesday.
The report follows news that two other new Canadian-produced series are crossing the border in U.S. network deals. CTV’s upcoming drama The Listener–about a young paramedic with telegenetic powers–is heading to NBC. As mentioned here previously, CTV’s other new drama, Flashpoint, will be simulcast on CBS, likely as early as May or June.
The writers strike would seem to be the catalyst but a lot is at play here. The U.S. nets are done with pricey pilots and this reach across the border saves them millions in development costs. As some posters to this blog have pointed out, why pay out of your own pocket when the Canadian government can subsidize your development?
Still, that may be the price Canadians must pay to reach the vast and lucrative American audience.
Although–before we all get too carried away–let’s see just how long this lasts if and when that damn strike is finally settled. The good news in the short term is that Canada is getting sampled. The longer the strike goes on, the more shows are likely to find their way south.
Among the other logical candidates is The Weight, an edgy new drama from playwright George F. Walker and coming to The Movie Network/Movie Central. I was on the set in Scarborough last November and a solid cast–including former Terminator heroine Linda Hamilton–should put this on the Yankee network pickup radar.

23 Responses to “Sophie Choice After All”

  1. Boy, I haven’t seen this much excitement and hoopla around the ol’mothercorp since…well, since the Australian’s bought Beachcomber episodes…

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    relic 1:11PM
    “haven’t seen this much excitement and hoopla around (the CBC) since (Australia) bought the Beachcombers..”

    Brioux’s new blog seems to be about nothing but the CBC. Maybe Brioux is working for the CBC?
    Maybe Bill Brioux is an agent provocateur?

    Reply
  3. Hey, it’s not all about the CBC here at TV Feeds My Family, but thanks for checking in. Yesterday it was Craig Ferguson, tomorrow the Super Bowl. Even the Sophie post isn’t as much CBC as it is CTV–they have two shows going south. This story is about how television is changing internally and globally, for networks, producers, viewers, everybody.

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  4. And lookie, over there in the rainbow wig, john 3:16 anonymouse is back. Still shaky on the reading comprehension, but willing to bang his same old drum.

    Did you manage to get all those letters off that will destroy me and my career yet? Or did the voices get in the way?

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    dmc 5:23PM
    “did you manage to get all those letters off that will destroy me and my career…”

    You will destroy yourself and your “career” is already in ruins….

    battle not with monsters
    lest ye become a monster
    and if you gaze into the abyss
    the abyss gazes into you
    – Friedrich Nietzsche

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  6. “I will be contacting both the CTF and the Minister of Heritage..”

    “Accordingly, with regret and in good conscience, I am required to bring them to the attention of the registrar…”

    Your words, bub. See that’s the thing. In the end every anonymouse is the same. You make a threat or try to provoke, sure — but you won’t stand behind your words. They’re worthless.

    And now with the Nietzsche? Oy Gevalt. I’m reminded of that memorable exchange between Otto and Wanda in A Fish Called Wanda:

    “you think you’re an intellectual,
    don’t you, ape?”
    “Apes don’t read philosophy.”
    “Yes, they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.”

    Blow, Gabriel, Blow.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    dmc 7:59PM
    “blow Gabriel blow”

    DMC, you’re just so not worth it. You are your own worst enemy. Having a nervous breakdown on the internet is pathological self-destructive behavior DMC. You are so amusing… in a tragic sort of way.

    Do you really consider yourself an intellectual DMC? You have written a couple of episodes for Rent a Goalie? Showcase can’t give away the advertising space for that production. You’re a parasite, an underachiever, a hateful neurotic overweight deluded egocentric failure. Your career is nonexistent – I pay more tax in a month than you make in a year. As for your personal life – ever wonder why you’re single DMC?

    There is no place for you in Canada’s television industry. We’re not interested in your politics or your opinions. You are only regarded with disdain and contempt by those who know of you.
    You are not respected DMC, no one will come to your defense because you are a hateful and bitter man, a failure with delusions of grandeur, an invidious mutant who has revealed his psychosis on Bill Brioux’s blog. How pathetically appropriate.

    “character is the real foundation of all worthwhile success”
    – John Hayes Hammond

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  8. Uh oh — now we’ve slipped back down the anonymouse chain. You were doing so well there — with the threats of career ending actions and all. But now you’re back to toothless personal attack? What happened to all your power?

    My friend, all I’ve done here is point out your trollishness. The paucity of your ideas, the bankruptcy of your discourse. I’ve mocked your process and your empty sloganeering. And you’ve responded each time with ad hominem attack. Anonymous Ad Hominem Attack. All it takes is keyboard, not courage, Anonymouse. Nobody stands with you. They see you for what you are.

    I get paid — under my name, by the way — to write what I think To say what I think. It is, with privilege, the greatest job in the world, and through it I’ve managed to meet some of Canada’s (and America’s too) most talented people. Generous of spirit, quick of wit and fleet footed as they negotiate a challenging industry. They’re the salt of the earth. Good people. It’s wonderful to be able to mix amongst those people. It’s sad that you can’t come out into the light. But no matter. It’s probably just better to let you stew, and burnish your sad hate.

    Meanwhile, my next episode of the Border will be on CBC in two weeks. I’ll probably be on the radio before that. You know, actually constructing an original argument. And getting paid to do it. Poor mouse.

    You’ve shown your colors here, so no sense pokin you more. Have one last footstamp and be done with it.

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  9. anonymous = troll

    the whole point of his/her exercise is to get people worked up, so that’s the extent to which i’ll respond.

    troll troll troll.

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  10. this guy

    Heh, there’s no finer sport than the sport of poking cbcers…dang near worth a billion/year.

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  11. building inspector

    dmc prattles…

    “I’ll probably be on the radio before that. You know, actually constructing an original argument. And getting paid to do it.”

    We pay you to construct arguments?…Thank you??

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    I just googled “Canadian TV sucks” and I got 226,000 hits – that’s ten times the number of Rent a Goalie viewers – imagine that.

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  13. boycott the CBC

    DMC’s going on the radio?
    To talk about what? The time he spent in rehab? His struggle with being overweight? Chavez? Hillary?
    The search for WMD’s in Iraq? What does a left winger talk about on the CBC? Global warming? His latent homosexual tendencies? His anger management therapy? What a goof.

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  14. Anonymous

    If these shows are funded with our federal tax dollars, then, as equity investors, do we get royalties when they’re sold to foreign markets? I sure hope that come tax time, I’m getting a bonus from the feds this year.

    Reply
  15. Anon, (clearly a different anon) — I’m fairly sure that your question was rhetorical, and not serious, and probably coming from the “don’t waste my” side of the aisle.

    There’s an economic argument for your query — about the nature of benefit that film and TV production brings to the communities where they shoot. Few other businesses spread the economic benefit among as many different places as a film shoot coming to town — there’s ample proof of this.

    But I have to say, from a serious perspective, your point is actually pretty spot on. I don’t disagree.

    There’s nothing that can be done for the anti-CBC cant — “I don’t use the CBC” “it’s a waste of my tax dollars” etc. That argument is no different than the childless person saying why do I have to support schools or the person who walks everywhere saying “why do I have to pay for roads”

    –but when it comes to CTF money, paid not by your taxes, but through your cable contributions — I think that’s a valid question. Successes should somehow benefit you as a stakeholder. Maybe through a lower cable bill? I don’t know.

    But it’s a fine point nonetheless.

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  16. alisonec

    Why don’t you boys hoist up your weiners and take this pissing contest elsewhere?

    Reply
  17. dmc warbles on…equating the cbc with schools and roads…the CTF not funded by taxpayers when in fact Canadians contribute 100mil. to the slush fund…blah..listen to my spin…blah blah…yeeeesh.

    Reply
  18. Anonymous

    Nah, all I’m saying is that I don’t mind funding someone else’s programming, but if that programming is going to be used to generate a profit, then I should see a return on it, and NOT them.

    It would be totally unjust if, come bonus time on Sophie, Jocelyn Deschênes & co. gets a paycheque for $7,000,000 for a series she or her company didn’t even fund (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0947080/fullcredits)

    Reply
  19. Anonymous

    I have never seen so much hype over a show that promotes premarital sex and pregnenacy, homosexualiy, and assult with a deadly weapon. How have we sunk so low in so short a time.

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    The Border by the way is bad. Sophie is really, really, really bad and MVP makes me want to rip out my testicles. The CBC has some great shows but they’re 22 minutes, the Mercer report and the 5th Estate. When it comes to series, and comedy ones I have not seen anything good since Kids in the Hall. If you write for the Border and these other sows then damn, your the reason that our TV is hell. I know people at the CBC and you guys can only make crap like this with Taxpayer money. Disgusting that we all have to pay for your unfunny and unoriginal shows. The acting, my god people, directors!! Get good one please!! My friends and I were watching Sophie just now and needed to vent. Terrible, typical and forgettable. I also work in the industry and will remain anonymous, this towns small. I and some others are already on our way though of making it better…Pray that we and others with talent do, because film making in this countries finished if we loose our funding and have to rely on Sophies reputation.

    Reply
  21. Anonymous

    hehe, Jpods done now…lets watch the rest of em die….

    Somebody bring back SCTV pleeeeeese!! Re-run, anything just stop with these terrible shows ahhhh!!!

    Reply

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