Tag Archives: Flashpoint

TWIM: Can Flashpoint become Due South 2?

This week, the Bluffer’s Guide is on the new CTV series Flashpoint, the cop drama “proudly set in Toronto” (but not mentioning its name) which was picked up by CBS and is being aired on both networks at the bound-for-cancellation hour of 10pm Fridays. The decision to pick up the show was made in desperation because the U.S. was facing a writer’s strike, and considering how U.S. critics panned the show, CBS isn’t exactly promoting the heck out of it.

But then a funny thing happened: The show’s ratings weren’t horrible. It got more than 8 million viewers in its premiere, and 7 million last night, winning the night against such fierce competition as repeats of America’s Funniest Home Videos and more repeats of Most Outrageous Moments. Now CBS is talking about potentially renewing the show beyond its 13-episode order.

Then again, that Just for Laughs ABC show also had adequate ratings in the face of critical failure, and it didn’t last long. The plug on that show was finally pulled in May.

UPDATE (July 22): The plot thickens. CBS has rewarded Flashpoint with a switch to Thursdays at 10 (Swingtown does the reverse). The Gazette has a piece on the show, with a dig about how the franco press aren’t covering it.

U.S. network picks up a Canadian series

After three months and dozens of articles theorizing how the U.S. networks would start importing Canadian programming to make up for the writers strike, the first case of that actually happening has finally showed up.

CBS has agreed to pick up a new CTV series called Flashpoint, about an elite group of supercops who will do all the cool dangerous stuff that regular beer-bellied cops can’t do.

Like Due South, the last Canadian program to be picked up by a U.S. network (also CBS in that case), Flashpoint will actually be a co-production between the two networks, produced and filmed in Canada. This means CBS won’t be paying as much for it, and they’ll have more say in its content. That also means it will have American-style production values, according to Variety.

(I’ve never considered Canadian production values particularly deficient. Lighting and sound is usually good enough for my tastes. The problem is that Canadian actors overact and Canadian writers think in clichés.)

UPDATE (Jan. 31): The Writers’ Guild of Canada has to justify the deal and defend itself from charges of being scabs.

UPDATE (Feb. 2): And just like that, CTV sells a second series to NBC.