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This article is about a Canadian specialty channel. For other uses, see 'Showcase.


Showcase is a Canadianmarker English language cable television specialty channel owned by CW Media (a division of Canwest and GS Capital Partners). Showcase is a predominantly fiction-based service centred around scripted television series and films.

The channel operates two time shifted feeds, East (Eastern Time) and West (Pacific Time).

History

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 Statesmarker. It launched at midnight on January 1, 1995.

When the network premiered, it garnered some negative publicity due to a disclaimer 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. In fact, lately, it has frequently been criticized by the industry's self-regulatory standards council for not airing enough disclaimers.

After several acquisitions over the years, Alliance Atlantismarker eventually gained full control of Showcase.

On January 18, 2008, a joint venture between Canwest and GS Capital Partners bought Alliance Atlantismarker and gained AAC's interest in Showcase.

Programming

From the beginning it 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. Showcase has also been the primary Canadian broadcaster for American cable series such as Rescue Me, Weeds, Family Business, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Saving Grace and The L Word, as well as the US/UK series Da Ali G Show, and a secondary broadcaster (following the original Canadian airing on The Movie Network/Movie Central) of Six Feet Under, Dead Like Me and Curb Your Enthusiasm. It similarly airs repeats of the CSI series after their original broadcast windows.

Showcase logo, 2000-2009
However, such foreign programs can only air in primetime beginning at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern / Pacific), as a result of a condition of license obligating Showcase to air 100% Canadian content between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. In fall 2005, Showcase began promoting 10:00 as its flagship timeslot, even hiring branded taxis in major markets, driving people home for free by 10:00 p.m. on selected evenings.

Showcase has also added first-run Canadian series, dubbed "Showcase Originals", which include 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, in 2005, a theatrical feature film co-produced by Ivan Reitman. The success of these rather risqué series have driven the service towards an even more edgy bent, with nearly all of its programmes now considered "adult" in one way or another, whereas family and children's programmes were more frequent in Showcase's early days.

Showcase also carries regular movies, mostly independent and foreign films. Britishmarker series like Prime Suspect, the original Queer as Folk, The Second Coming, Little Britain, Wife Swap and Cracker have also been present since Showcase's launch. Overnight, Showcase shows a number of films and shows that could be considered soft porn, such as Red Shoe Diaries and Sin Cities.

Showcase also airs some specialty or science fiction TV series, such as Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Seven Days, Andromeda, Highlander: The Series and Beastmaster.

Two spinoff digital television services have launched, the male-oriented Action (formerly Showcase Action) and the more feminine Showcase Diva.

On August 6, 2009, the web show Pure Pwnage was announced to be a part of Showcase's programming, scheduled to begin in January 2010. There will be a total of around eight episodes in 2010, any further production is unknown.

Original programming



Showcase HD

On December 19, 2006, Alliance Atlantis launched a high definition simulcast of Showcase. Unlike the standard definition feed that has both an East and West coast feed, Showcase HD has only one national feed operating from the Eastern Time Zone.

References

  1. CRTC Decision 94-280
  2. [1]
  3. CRTC Decision 2001-153
  4. [2]


External links




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