Take Me Out To The 8-Ball Game

Denis McGrath asks the old reliable Magic 8-Ball for its thoughts on the future of the Canadian TV industry.

I would ask the 8-Ball what it thinks of the struggling Global Television Network doing a “Bob and Doug Mckenzie” cartoon with Rick Moranis being replaced by Dave Coulier, but I think the very concept would cause the 8-Ball to explode and splash magical dye in my face. And I don’t need that right now.

I don’t actually have anything against Dave Coulier, since he’s done a lot of voice work, and can presumably do a McKenzie accent all right (it’s a pretty easy voice to do). But how can it be the same without Moranis? It’s like that TV spinoff of The Lion King where they had Ernie Sabella as the warthog but someone else in place of Nathan Lane as the… whatever Timon was.

And speaking of Global, you may have read the news item from last week about how its ratings are literally half of CTV’s. Of course, that’s a CTV press release, and like all press releases, inherently deceptive: Global’s numbers usually improve in the second half of the season. Global is heavily intertwined with Fox programming, meaning that they suffer in the fall when Fox is pre-empting a lot of shows for sports coverage. But it does seem like two pillars of Global’s strategy have started to crumble at the same time: their dependence on young-skewing programming has saddled them with low-rated youth programs like 90210, while their unwillingness to develop home-grown programs has left them more vulnerable when they don’t have access to U.S. hits. (During the writer’s strike of ’07, CTV could at least roll out new and popular episodes of Corner Gas. Global was pretty much left with nothing.)

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