The CRTC has just relaxed the rules on advertising during prime time on Canadian TV. They have thrown out the 12 minute rule. You can expect more minutes of advertising now. Great.
This idea, they say, of removing the restrictions on advertising is designed to boost the networks' revenue and allow them to compete more effectively. Who paid off who here? If the same rule applies to all, then how does that work? Compete against who? And what exactly does this mean to you the viewer?
Let's say your favorite prime time TV show is now 47 minutes long, but they'll be adding two minutes of a Fabreeze commercial or a Cialis message, trying to reach those old stinky buggers in the CRTC. How will they do this? The networks will be shaving dialogue or lopping off a shot here and there.
CSI Miami will have David Caruso doing one less angled pose and going straight to the criminal through brilliant thinking. No time for analysis of evidence. ER will go right to the post operative recovery ... take 47 pills and call us in a year for your residuals. Canadian Idol will always end in a three-way tie. Bridge on the River Kwai will have Alec Guinness unrepentant and the Japanese will go on to win the war! and On the Waterfront you'll hear . . . "I coulda been a somebody, Charlie, instead of [insert] - your Car City Salesman with a hot deal on a brand - new - FORD!] - ... a contendah." We might never know if Ilsa gets on that plane or if Bogey and Rains form any friendship at all. We'll miss the Final Jeopardy question. Who shot JR? What? I didn't know he'd been shot? It'll be the demise of the cliff-hanger ending.
Of course the CRTC didn't do a thing to stimulate Canadian programming in Canada. So all those stories of growing up in Newfoundland will just cut to the grown-up in Toronto. Little Mosque on the Prairie will have all those fun loving moslems doing 4 minute stand-up on Just For Laughs, and Corner Gas will be just a quick fart.
And all those great idea scripts by starving Canadian writers will go back into the bottom drawer.
Now if we could only get them to shorten the 6 O'Clock news so we'd have less than 40 minutes of weather with Tamara and Wayne, pretty though they are.
That would be a good thing.