The Future of Canadian TV Begins at Ryerson

The popularity and critical acclaim of shows like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones have led many to proclaim we are in a golden age of television. Globe and Mail TV columnist John Doyle wants to know how Canada fits into this era.

“What has Canada contributed to this? Pretty much nothing,” he wrote in his Oct. 10 column. “Look at the last 14 years of Canadian TV and what you see is almost complete creative failure.”

CTV’s prime-time schedule is filled with U.S. comedies like The Big Bang Theory and action shows like Marvel’s Agents of Shield. It’s a similar story on Global and City.  On the CBC, fewer Canadians watch its most popular drama, Murdoch Mysteries,  than reruns of The Big Bang Theory.

But the rise of disruptive technologies like Internet TV and lack of regulation around that format, could pose a threat to Canadian television production and the livelihood of people like graduates from Ryerson’s RTA School of Media and film programs. With few options within Canada, many will travel south of the border to find work.

In response Jean-Pierre Blais, chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), launched a national discussion on the future of Canadian television on Oct. 24 at Ryerson University.

“Technology is driving people to want more choice,” Blais said. “More choice comes with a trade-off.”

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