Field experiments for cultural protectionism

The [writers’] strike, Layfield noted, "is perfect timing for our January
launch.  It’ll give Canadians an opportunity to go and watch something
different rather than watching reruns of American shows. "Once (Canadians) see … the quality and the stories that they like, you win them over pretty quickly," she added.  CBC [a Canadian network] announced three new dramas, a sitcom, a daytime talk show and a reality series yesterday.

Here is more.  And on the other side of the border:

With the Writers Guild of America still on strike and no guarantee
that a resumption of talks next week will bring any resolution, this
should all be a boon for Canadian shows vying to air in the United
States, right?…but there is no
indication that U.S. programmers are looking to Canada in droves.

As for one new show, The Border, the Canadian producer remarked:

"Many test viewers who have seen this have said that it doesn’t look
like traditional Canadian television.  It’s got a whole other level of
energy, of entertainment value. There’s never a dull moment," Raymont

Have you heard about cultural path dependence?  The simplest hypothesis, of course, is that once Canadian producers gain a foothold in their home market they will be able to keep it.  I’ll predict no, but stay tuned for further reports next year…


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