'CSI: NY' is history after CRTC ruling

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TORONTO -- "CSI: NY" may be popular viewing with Canadians, but it's not historical fare fit for Canada's History Television cable channel.

That's the verdict of Canada's TV watchdog, which has rejected broadcaster Alliance Atlantis Communications' argument that "CSI: NY" offered History Television viewers "a critically acclaimed look at forensic policing in post-9/11 New York City."

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, responding to a complaint from the Writers Guild of Canada, rejected the contention that show was a Sept. 11-themed series, concluding it has breached History Television's licensing conditions.

In a July 25 letter to Alliance Atlantis released Thursday, the CRTC said that "while an occasional episode may deal with a current or historical event, the series is clearly one that is about forensic investigations, not history or current events."

WGC executive director Maureen Parker applauded the regulatory decision.

"The CRTC has restored integrity to the Canadian broadcasting system by making the right decision and requiring AAC to remove 'CSI: NY' from its History Television schedule," she said.

Alliance Atlantis has until Jan. 1 to yank "CSI: NY" from its channel.

The Canadian broadcaster co-produced the "CSI" franchise with CBS Prods. before recently selling the TV property to Goldman Sachs & Co. as part of a larger takeover deal.

Alliance Atlantis was not available for comment on the ruling.
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