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TORONTO – Canuck broadcaster CTV has axed So You Think You Can Dance Canada.
The cancellation is the latest for local versions of U.S. network reality competition series that continue to dominate Canadian primetime.
CTV will not be ordering a fifth season of SYTYCD Canada, which was created by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe and was produced for CTV by Sandra Faire’s Danse TV Productions.
CTV did 92 episodes of SYTYCD Canada, but has seen ratings for the expensively-produced dance competition series dramatically trend down.
Just Sunday, Jordan Clark was crowned as Canada’s top dancer and won a $100,000 grand prize as season four of SYTYCD Canada reached a finale that drew an under-whelming 900,000 viewers.
Meanwhile, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance ended its eighth season on CTV this summer, and the Canadian broadcaster is looking forward to a ninth cycle.
The cancellation of SYTYCD Canada also follows executive producer Sandra Faire’s husband, Ivan Fecan, stepping down as head of CTV after the media group he led was acquired by phone giant Bell Canada and rebranded as Bell Media.
But the move underlines a deeper dilemma for domestic broadcasters: Canadians like to see themselves in local formats of popular U.S. reality competition series that air north of the border, but eventually tire of the domestic version, even as they stay loyal to the American competition series.
Canadian broadcasters routinely license Canadianized versions of proven global formats such as Deal or No Deal Canada, Project Runway Canada and Are You Smarter than a Canadian Fifth Grader?
The problem is licensed Canuck formats typically don’t run as long as the American versions.
And some Canadianized series have longer lives than others.
CTV aired Canadian Idol for six seasons before cancelling the local format, even as it continues to air the Fox juggernaut American Idol.
Rival Global Television aired only five episodes of Deal or No Deal Canada.
And Howie Mandel, the Toronto-born host of NBC’s Deal or No Deal series, which also aired on Global Television, hosted the Canadian limited-run series.
Canuck broadcasters insist the licensed Canadian formats cost dearly as they need to match the high production values of American versions.
And securing local sponsors for reality competition series has become an increasing challenge, they report.
Worse, the local versions of reality competition series hold their core fans, but broadcasters are hard-pressed to broaden out audiences when eyeballs are tempted by glitzy U.S. versions on the Canadian TV dial.
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