MTV Canada under fire for "Jersey Shore"
By Etan Vlessing
TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - MTV Canada has received a slap upside the head from the country's broadcast regulator over its cable ratings sensation "Jersey Shore."
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) wants to know what The Situation, Snooki, JWoww, Pauly D, Sammi and Hungadunga, not to mention other U.S.-originated MTV shows, have to do with MTV Canada's original programing mandate to operate an all-talk format.
"After a review of your broadcast schedule, it would appear that several of your programs are not consistent with your nature of service, such as 'Jersey Shore,' 'Cribs,' 'Downtown Girls' and 'Teen Mom,'" the regulator told MTV Canada-parent CTVglobemedia in an July 27, 2010 letter that requested clarification of the channel's programing strategies.
"Jersey Shore" this summer closed in on "The Hills" as the best-ever performing reality show on cable TV north of the border.
Representatives at CTVglobemedia offered no comment Friday on the CRTC intervention, and added their response to the regulatory query will be made public before the end of the year.
CTVglobemedia wasn't the only domestic broadcaster to be shown a wagging regulatory finger for straying from their original terms of license.
Rogers Broadcasting was also called to task in a July 27 letter for its G4 cable channel apparently departing from its original mandate to air computer and Internet-related programing by featuring episodes of "Mantracker," "Which Way To" and "The Office."
And Canwest Global Communications Corp. received its own July 27 missive from the CRTC why TVTropolis, a cable channel in 2004 designated as a cable channel for "adults over 50 years of age, was airing series like "Project Runway Canada" and "Last 10 Pounds Boot Camp."
Executives at Rogers and Canwest Global were not available for comment.
The CRTC is not averse to blocking Canadian broadcasters from airing popular U.S. shows or homegrown shows outside their original licensing format. It told Alliance Alliance Communications in 2007 to remove "CSI: NY" from its History Television schedule after rejecting the broadcaster's argument that the popular cop drama was a "September 11-themed series."
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