US Streamers & Networks Dominate Canadian TV Production, Study Finds – Hollywood Reporter | Episode Movies

The growing number of American series going to Canada for production was underscored by a report from the Directors Guild of Canada, which found that 75 percent of all episodic television work in English-speaking Canada in 2021 was funded by American studios and networks.

As Canadians’ linear television viewers increasingly give way to streaming platforms, local channels accounted for just 25 percent of nationwide television capture outside of French-speaking Quebec, the guild said in a report by the DGC National Directors Division.

As a measure of growing US dominance, Warner Bros. Discovery and Netflix shot more TV on location than all Canadian broadcasters combined. “This underscores the importance of strong relationships with US-based investors and the encouragement of US-based studios and networks to hire Canadian directors,” DGC said in its report as it seeks to hire more of its member directors for local American film work.

Last year, British Columbia’s west coast hosted about 43 percent of the 1,256 TV episodes filmed in English Canada as American gamers sought to take advantage of currency savings and tax credits. In 2021, a Netflix series was filmed in Vancouver Firefly LaneSyfys Reginald the Vampire and CW’s Riverdale, The Flash, Charmed and Nancy Drew.

Ontario accounted for another 40 percent of American TV episodes produced north of the border last year, as major US media giants stay mostly in production centers in Vancouver and Toronto, according to the DGC report. In 2021, the Toronto-filmed American series included Paramount+ Star Trek DiscoveryPrime video reachersHBO Max TitansNetflix lock & key and Syfys chucky.

After closing in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, American film activity resumed, hitting record levels north of the border in 2021 as streaming giants scrambled for originals to attract and attract new subscribers.

At the same time, the DGC report found that only 4 percent of all productions in and around Vancouver were funded by a Canadian studio or network. In comparison, 38 percent of Ontario’s television work last year was funded by local stations and mostly by public broadcaster CBC, which has a mandate to focus on domestic series.

This imbalance will be of concern to Canada’s production sector, which has long sought to ensure local film and television series are shot on local stages to provide a buffer in the event freelance American producers head to countries other than Canada for overseas filming locations Find.

Then last year, WarnerMedia, which later merged with Warner Bros. Discovery, shot the most TV episodes in Canada, totaling 190, with a majority going to the CW network before its recent sale to Nexstar. Pubcaster CBC came in second with 169 episodes.

American streamers and networks dominate the rest of the ranking of funding studios for TV work, with Netflix producing 148 episodes locally, Disney producing another 142 episodes and ViacomCBS producing 140 episodes, according to DGC.

In response to this expanding American production activity north of the border, studio operators have expanded existing facilities or planned to build new sound stages across the country to capitalize on Hollywood gamers looking for cheaper, tax-credit-fuelled locations to shoot originals.

According to the DGC report, American dominance in Canada is leading to a declining presence of private local broadcasters on nationwide sound stages. Bell Media, which makes series for its main network CTV, cable channels and the Crave streaming service, directed all 52 TV episodes, while Corus Entertainment, which operates the domestic global network, produced 26 episodes and Rogers directed 16 episodes with its CityTV network last year.

The DGC has sounded the alarm with its report on US dominance in Canada’s production sector when it comes to hiring local directors. The guild said that low-budget TV work — or under $2 million per episode — from studios like Cloud Co. and Crown Media tend to hire most Canadian directors.

In contrast, ViacomCBS, Legendary, Sony and Disney, on average, hired local directors for about 25 percent of their locally shot TV episodes, while HBO, HBO Max and the US did not hire Canadian directors, according to the DGC report.

“We continue to see mid- and high-budget series taking more and more of the market as streamers compete for eyeballs. This is important to track as higher budget shows are less likely to hire Canadian directors,” the report said.

On the film side, the guild found that only 39 percent of feature films shot in English Canada were directed by Canadians, with Netflix and Lionsgate dominating big screen production last year.

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