I’ll be on CHCH’s Live @ 5:30 today (at, yes, 5:30) with Mark Hebscher and Donna Skelly to address the whole HBO into Canada debate currently wasting air up in Ottawa. The CRTC has been asked by the Canadian cable and satellite providers to allow them to offer HBO, Showtime, ESPN, Nickelodeon and other “forbidden fruit” from across the border into Canada. This just as even Americans don’t want HBO anymore. The premium cable service has been in a creative slump lately. Long gone are “must see” gems like The Sopranos, Sex and the City and even flawed but fascinating expensive flops like Rome. Those follow up Deadwood movies–never gonna F***in’ happen. Even Entourage has become boring and there will be no new episodes of it or Flight of the Conchords and Big Love until the fall.
The writers strike has also delayed the premiere of HBO’s next big hope, True Blood, a vampire drama (like we need another one of those) from Six Feet Under‘s Alan Ball. For more on HBO’s programming woes, check out this current article in Mediaweek here.
Just the other week, HBO pulled the plug on 12 Miles Of Bad Road, a new drama starring Lily Tomlin. This after six episodes were already produced. In even more chilling news, the network has just re-signed a creative deal with Robert Wuhl, the supremely unfunny dude behind Arli$$. What the heck is going on over at HBO?
Things have been no better in the boardrooms of the cable giant. The thug in charge of the network beat up his girlfriend in a parking lot last year and got the heave. The long time No. 2 has packed it in and moved on.
Canadians can get anything they still might want on HBO just as fast by subscribing to The Movie Network and Movie Central, where they also get to see goodies from surging Showtime, including Weeds (back with new episodes in June) as well as Dexter and The Tudors. The latter two are also available free on CTV and CBC.
Still, last week’s poll at TV Feeds Ny Family showed that HBO was still the No. 1 draw among channels we still can’t get. The grass is always greener on the other side of the border, I guess. Friends of Canadian Broadcasting’s Ian Morrison will take the hysterical “Canadian culture will be forever doomed if this happens” stance today on ‘CH.


  1. I’d rather get F/X Network than anything else. They have best programming, which always seems to be shown 6 months late in Canada.

    Forget the rest….TMN gets me everything I need from HBO and Showcase.

  2. This is a retarded debate. Only in socialist Canada would the “guardians” of Canadian culture (liberal propaganda) be worried about anyone watching a film or television program which didn’t promote liberal (socialist) ideology.

    This is why everyone is canceling their cable and buying illegal grey market satellite dishes – it’s not to save money, it’s to get something half decent to watch on television. The programming is infinitely better on the specialty channels they don’t want you to see – and if they’re ever allowed into Canada the Nazi’s at the CRTC will throw 20 minutes of promos for Canadian services at you every single hour.

  3. Hey anonymous,

    You’re giving us all a bad name with all these insane comments.

    Can’t you be anonymouscrazy or something so we can tell whether it’s YOU or not?

  4. Would the CRTC even be entertaining this application if there wasn’t a genuine need for programming which was entertaining and informative amid the ruinous wasteland of what was once known to be Canadian culture? The list of failed and substandard Canadian television productions is now so vast that it has impacted on Canada’s tourist industry whereby once visitors are exposed to Canadian TV they vow to never return. Those who will argue that Canada has no culture should think again – bad weather and bad television – this is the legacy of socialist intervention in Canadian arts where even the lousy weather is blamed on Americans.

  5. That’s it … get a real job … that’s all you got …. moron

  6. If you don;t want it don’t buy it, But we should have the option for hbo, fx, showtime, all of those channels. This is garbage.

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