CBC Television Network

Made in Canada

Network: CBC Television Network

Broadcast Run: 1998 to 2003

Broadcast Medium: Television

Although it dealt with a lot of the inside workings of Canadian television, Made in Canada’s very funny scripts and first-class acting made it a highly-popular half-hour series for CBC. Five seasons, totalling 65 episodes, were produced and broadcast between October 5th 1998 and June 20th 2003.

Made In Canada was a keenly observant satire of the Canadian film and television production industry. It followed the fortunes of an independent production company, Pyramid Productions, as it produced programs and tried to sell them to Canadian broadcasters. While the company and its programs were fictional, followers of the industry could see many parallels between the scripted happenings and how relationships between the independent production industry and the broadcasters really worked, as well as recognizing the resemblance to real life of the competitive scene within Pyramid, as its staff tried to claw their way to the top.

The stars of Made In Canada were Peter Keleghan as Alan Roy, the womanizing studio head with more charisma than talent, Rick Mercer as Richard Strong, an ambitious and scheming producer, Leah Pinsent as the company’s production accountant, Dan Lett as a producer who fawned his way into his boss’s good books, and Jackie Torrens as the office secretary. Other performers who appeared from time to time included Janet Kidder, Alex Carter, Emily Hampshire, Ron James, Charles Lawther and Anne-Marie MacDonald, while the occasional guest stars included Margot Kidder, Shirley Douglas, Colin Mochrie and Megan Follows.

The series was produced by Salter Street Films and Island Edge Inc. The Executive Producer was Gerald Linz who with Rick Mercer was a writer for all 65 episodes. Other writers included Mark Farrell, Edward Riche, Alex Ganetakos and Paul Bellini, and the key directors were Henry Sarwer-Foner, Michael Kennedy and Stephen Reynolds.

Made in Canada was recognized as Best Comedy Series with Gemini Awards for seasons three (2000-2001) and four (2001-2002), and in 2004 the final episode was voted Best Ensemble Performance in a Comedy Program or Series.

 The series played in syndication in the US, where for obvious reasons it was retitled The Industry.

Written by Pip Wedge – April, 2011