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Television

Most Canadians live very close to the border with the United States and watch quite a few American television programs. Canadians can watch American television networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, UPN and the WB by using an antenna, through cable television or by satellite dish. The same American programs that are popular in the US, like American Idol, The West Wing, The Simpsons and Survivor are just as popular and accessible as they are in the United States.

There are Canadian television networks, such as CTV, CanWest Global and the CBC which produce Canadian television programs. Some of the most popular Canadian television programs in 2004 are Corner Gas, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Rick Mercer's Monday Report and, of course, Hockey Night in Canada.

Some British television programs are shown in Canada. For instance, many Canadians regularly watch the long-running British soap operas Coronation Street and Eastenders.

Canadian television excels at producing comedy programs and many world-famous comedians and comic actors, such as Mike Myers and John Candy, got their start on Canadian television programs.

Incidentally, you may be interested to know that the CBC, or Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, is a public corporation, run through government funding.

The schedule of Canadian television networks is often filled with American-produced television shows, though there is a law that says Canadian networks must produce and broadcast a certain percentage of Canadian content.

But Canadians can have the reverse affect on American programming. For instance, because people living in Toronto can receive the Public Broadcasting System's (the American's version of the CBC, but shown commercial free) Channel 17 from Buffalo New York, they participate in that station's fund-raising drive. Canadians contribute enough money to the American channel that they identify themselves as serving Buffalo, an American city, and Toronto! The station will even show programming that focuses on the history and events that take place in Toronto.

Québec, along with much of New Brunswick, is like an island of French in a sea of English when it comes to television. While people in Québec enjoy the same English-language programs (sometimes translated to French or given French subtitles) as Americans and other Canadians do, Québec produces its own television programs that are extremely popular but which English Canada knows very little about, such as Les Bougon.

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