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November 17, 2010


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Hmmm...for the $35 million per year the SODEC spends on the entertainment industry here, I'd hope to see more than a little dash of "distinctly Québecois flavour" sprinkled on that cheeseburger and croque monsieur...;-)

All we can really take away from the high number of locally-produced shows is that the entertainment industry has a bigger budget now than it used to, so instead of paying translators and voice actors to adapt the audio content of popular shows, they now employ a larger team to adapt and re-produce entire series. Big deal - to me it's still copying ideas from outside Quebec, and about the same amount of originality is required whether you're dubbing or re-recording entirely.

True, we do produce and watch our share of original programming too - way more than English Canada, as the Star article points out. But the numbers reveal that these adaptation shows are still totally dominating the ratings. To me this does not exactly make Quebec a beacon of originality.

p.s. BBM had counted Yamaska as #6 ;-) It was displaced from the top 5 by a second copy of Occupation Double (which effectively doubles the ratings for that show).

It’s true that some of the top 5 shows in Québec are adaptations of concepts created outside Québec. According to BBM, the top 5 shows for the week of November 8 to 14 were:

Le Banquier (Deal Or No Deal)

Occupation double (a take on The Bachelor)

Tout le monde en parle (inspired by a similar show in France)

Enfants de la télé (also inspired by a similar show in France)

Yamaska (an original Québec concept).

Some of the formats might be copies of shows successful elsewhere but the flavour is distinctly Québécois. We’re a long way from Ally McBeal, starring Calista Flockhart, as a French-language dub on the TVA network ten years ago…






This post kind of conflates two separate facts. Yes, Quebec's eyeballs tend to be highly concentrated on a small number of programs, much more so than in English Canada. However, the top 5 TV shows at any given time are almost guaranteed to be re-productions of imported concepts. There is still a higher percentage of original local content on Franco-Quebec airwaves, but in my view there is a huge difference between "produced locally" and "created locally." I don't see that there is such a huge cultural difference between watching Deal or No Deal on CTV versus Le Banquier on TVA, even if the faces are different.

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