U.S. networks find Canadian shows ready for primetime

Fri Feb 1, 2008 4:06am EST
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By Nellie Andreeva and Etan Vlessing

LOS ANGELES/TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - The Canadian invasion of U.S. primetime intensifies.

NBC is finalizing a deal to pick up 13 episodes of CTV's upcoming drama series "The Listener."

The distributors of another Canadian drama, CBC's "The Border," are in discussions with several U.S. networks, including CBS and ABC.

And ABC Family is in talks to pick up 13 episodes of CBC's comedy series "Sophie." That follows CBS' deal this week to acquire 13 episodes of CTV's new drama series "Flashpoint."

The prolonged writers' strike had triggered a serious look by the U.S. broadcasters into local series in the top English-language markets -- Canada, the U.K. and Australia -- reversing a decades-long programming flow in the other direction.

But Canada is getting all the attention these days. "Canada is the next big thing," a U.S. agent said.

Canadian series are considered more accessible to U.S. audiences. They also provide the networks -- whose pipeline had dried up because of the strike -- with some much-needed original scripted series.

'GOOD NEWS'   Continued...

<p>Show attendee Michael Melnik looks over a display of HD television monitors during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 8, 2008. REUTERS/Steve Marcus</p>