Canuck shows get dismal ratings in U.S. by Tony Wong

Jul 19, 2014

Canadian comedies Seed and Backpackers debut on The CW network.

Source: Toronto Star

BEVERLY HILLS—Canadian Comedy exports Seed and Backpackers didn’t exactly make a splash on The CW with dismal ratings for their respective premiers this week. But CW President Mark Pedowitz says he is waiting for the shows to find an audience.

“We were not as successful as I had hoped to be launching Backpackers and Seed,” said Pedowitz. “If Canadian content is working, I’ll stick with it for a long time. We have a pretty good patience for all of our shows. We don’t want the audience to feel cheated if we take them off too quickly.”

The CW, best known for vampires and superheroes has been trying to develop a comedy block. On Monday, after leading out from Whose Line Is It Anyway?, the online comedy Backpackers starring Remedy’s Dillon Casey scored a mere 660,000 viewers at 8:30 p.m. Seed had 550,000 viewers at 9:30 p.m. with a weaker lead in from an encore of Whose Line is it Anyway?

Pedowitz is tinkering with the schedule in the upcoming weeks, including placing Seed before Backpackers on the lineup. He is hoping for better numbers this Monday.

Critically, Citytv’s shot-in-Halifax Seed, which features a bartender who discovers his children donated through sperm donation, had mostly positive reaction from U.S. critics, who praised the performance and likability of star Adam Korson. But the show overall received middling reviews.

“As derivative as it is, Seed is perfectly harmless, and might even deliver an occasional smile,” said Variety’s Brian Lowry.

“The actors are generally charming. The characters, though the grown-ups spend a lot of time insulting one another for laugh lines, also seem genuinely, if cautiously, bonded in their not-quite-blended sort of family,” said L.A. Times Critic Robert Lloyd. “It is modern in tone — i.e., sex jokes — but old-fashioned in attitude. As I say, you’ve seen it all before. But there’s a reason it keeps coming around again.”

Backpackers, which follows two friends on a binge through Europe, had a less successful reception.

“Europe starts to seem like just a changing landscape of electronic dance music and beer, peopled by good-looking women ready to go off with a couple of wild and crazy Canadians. The Canadians, for their part, evince only a passing, practical interest in their surroundings,” said the Times.

© Toronto Star