One more link I think is worth looking at is Kate Taylor’s article in the Globe and Mail on the popularity of French-Canadian shows, and the lack of overlap (as yet) between the French-Canadian and English-Canadian TV business — there haven’t been many English-language remakes of Quebec shows, let alone successful ones.
The article discusses the question of whether the greater success of Quebec TV is mostly about the language barrier, or if there are things English-Canadian TV could learn from its French-language cousins. After all, people in Quebec have access to U.S. shows too, just as people around the world watch and love U.S. shows, both in English and dubbed. (The Mentalist and other U.S. shows are incredibly popular in France, for example.) But language does create a sort of buffer: if a viewer isn’t fluent in English, he or she has to wait for the dubbed version to come out, and that won’t usually be available at the exact same time as the U.S. broadcast — it’s not quite the same as a big movie, which will usually have the dubbed versions ready to go right away. The Mentalist premiered in fall of 2008, but the dubbed version didn’t come to Quebec until summer of 2009, and That creates a window of opportunity for shows in the viewer’s own language: he or she can get them absolutely new and fresh. It’s different for Anglophones; we can get the show in our usual language right away. We don’t have to look for Canadian product to get brand-new episodes in our own language.