Katie recently introduced me to Lost Girl, a show that is very obviously NOT an American show. It’s exotic and amusing and sexy—especially sexy. But then what do you expect of a show about a succubus? I knew it wasn’t American as soon as I heard some of the banter, which wouldn’t fly on broadcast TV in the U.S. (it’s on Sci-Fi, though! Watch it! But do try to do it from episode one.)
While cable television in America has produced plenty of shows that couldn’t be shown on broadcast TV, they’re largely the same kinds of things that are already being shown there. If they were edited differently, most of them could probably be shown in prime time. I’m not so sure that Dexter and Breaking Bad would be that shocking any more.
But Canadian television has been willing to do shows about telepaths, vampires, and now the fae. I’m sure there are far more shows that I’ve never heard of, but the ones I can remember right away are an argument for greater latitude.