Showcase (Canadian TV channel)

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This article is about a Canadian specialty channel. For other uses, see Showcase (disambiguation).
Showcase
Showcase2009.svg
Showcase logo
Launched January 1, 1995
Owned by Shaw Media
(Showcase Television Inc.)
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
(2006-present)
480i (SDTV)
(1995-present)
Slogan Where Character is Everything
Country Canada
Broadcast area National
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario
Sister channel(s) Action
Website Showcase
Availability
Satellite
Bell TV Channel 616 (SD)
Shaw Direct Channel 521 (SD)
Channel 277 (HD)
Cable
Available on most Canadian cable systems Check local listings, channels may vary
IPTV
FibreOP Channel 201 (SD)
Channel 416 (HD)
Bell Fibe TV Channel 616 (SD)
Channel 1616 (HD)
MTS Channel 111 (SD)
Channel 1111 (HD)
Optik TV Channel 172 (SD)
Channel 672 (HD)
SaskTel Channel 75 (SD)
Channel 375 (HD)

Showcase is a Canadian English language Category A specialty channel that is owned by the Shaw Media division of Shaw Communications. Showcase predominantly airs works of fiction, centred on scripted television series and films.

History[edit]

Licensed in 1994, Showcase was a venture between Alliance Communications (prior to its merger with Atlantis), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and a number of smaller independent Canadian producers, and was intended to be a showcase for "the best of independently-produced movies, drama, comedy and mini-series from Canada and around the world", with limited content from the United States.[1] It launched at midnight on January 1, 1995[citation needed].

Showcase logo, 2000-2009

When the network premiered, it garnered some negative publicity due to a disclaimer that it would broadcast prior to reruns of older series. The disclaimer, which advised viewers to remember that "attitudes were not always the same as they are now" was applied to relatively recent programs such as Seeing Things. Following media scorn and accusations of political correctness and being condescending to viewers, Showcase abandoned this form of disclaimer.

Showcase later spawned two digital television services, the male-oriented Action (formerly Showcase Action) and the more female-oriented Showcase Diva (which was relaunched as a Canadian version of Lifetime in 2012).

After several acquisitions over the years, Alliance Atlantis gained full control of Showcase. On January 18, 2008, a joint venture between Canwest and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners known as CW Media bought Alliance Atlantis and gained AAC's interest in Showcase. Following its acquisition by Canwest, the channel's new management felt that Showcase's adult programming was alienating viewers and advertisers. In August 2009, Showcase underwent a major rebranding, introducing a new programming lineup with a greater focus on hit dramas and films. Canwest executives hoped that the new lineup would make the channel more attractive to viewers and advertisers.[2]

While Showcase continues to air a thematically-broad range of drama programming, its most recent successes, especially in original programming, have been with science fiction and fantasy programming. In 2010, a new original series, the supernatural crime drama Lost Girl, brought the channel its highest-rated series premiere ever with around 400,000 viewers.[3] This was bested less than two years later by the debut of another original sci-fi series, Continuum, which had an average audience of 900,000 viewers.[4] On October 27, 2010, ownership changed again as Shaw Communications gained control of Showcase as a result of its acquisition of Canwest and Goldman Sachs' interest in CW Media.[5][6]

Programming[edit]

From the beginning, Showcase has aired frequent series repeats of Canadian series such as Due South, Cold Squad, and Da Vinci's Inquest; the lineup changing from year to year, along with other foreign series and independent films. It also carries numerous TV series from American cable networks, such as Burn Notice, Fairly Legal, Game of Thrones, Royal Pains, Rizzoli & Isles, and Warehouse 13. In recent years the channel has increasingly aired second window repeats of Canadian and American network series (primarily sourced from its sister television network Global), such as Rookie Blue, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Hawaii Five-0.

Showcase has also aired first-run Canadian series, dubbed "Showcase Originals". In the past, these have included Paradise Falls, KinK, and Naked Josh. Another of these shows, the low-budget Trailer Park Boys became a bona fide national phenomenon, spawning DVDs, merchandising tie-ins, and two feature films (Trailer Park Boys: The Movie and Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day). The success of Trailer Park Boys led to the increasing prominence of edgy and risqué programming on Showcase (which at the time used the tagline "Television Without Borders"), including a block consisting entirely of its eroticism-themed shows known as Fridays Without Borders.[2]

The channel is subject to a condition of licence obligating it to air 100% Canadian content between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. in the time zone of the originating feed (currently Eastern Time only),[7] meaning that during primetime, foreign programming must air at 10:00 p.m. EST or later. For a few years beginning in fall 2005, when the channel was drawing most of its highest ratings for programming acquired from U.S. cable networks, Showcase promoted 10:00 p.m. as its flagship timeslot, even hiring branded taxis in major markets to drive people home for free by 10:00 p.m.[8]

The channel previously operated two timeshifted feeds operating on Eastern and Pacific Time Zone schedules. The West feed was discontinued on August 24, 2012; since then, much of the channel's primetime programming has been rebroadcast on a three hour delay to facilitate consistent promotion to both time zones (for example, if a program broadcasts at 9:00 p.m. EST and rebroadcasts at midnight EST, it would be promoted as airing at "9:00 p.m. EST/PST").

Original programming[edit]

Current[edit]

Includes programs co-commissioned with international broadcasters.

Past[edit]

Showcase HD[edit]

ShowcaseHD.PNG

On December 19, 2006 Alliance Atlantis launched a high definition simulcast of Showcase.[10] Only one HD feed, simulcasting the East feed, launched prior to the shutdown of the West feed. It is carried on all major Canadian television service providers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ CRTC Decision 94-280
  2. ^ a b "Showcase puts new look on display". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Lost Girl premiere achieves supernatural ratings" (Press release). Toronto: Canwest Broadcasting. September 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-20. "Source: Canada: BBM-PPM Data – as of Sept 13, 2010." 
  4. ^ Seidman, Robert (2012-05-28). "Sci-Fi Drama 'Continuum' Crushes the Competition (in Canada) in Its Premiere". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2013-08-02. 
  5. ^ Shaw Communications closes purchase of Canwest TV assets, rebrands as Shaw Media
  6. ^ CRTC approves Shaw’s purchase of the Canwest Global television properties
  7. ^ CRTC Decision 2001-153
  8. ^ Vlessing, Etan (2005-09-20). "Taken for a ride: Showcase helps fans keep 10 p.m. date". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2013-08-02. 
  9. ^ "Canwest producing a record number of scripted original projects slated for Global and Showcase" (Press release). CNW Group. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Alliance Atlantis Launches High Definition Channels Broadcaster Magazine 2006-10-11

External links[edit]