Canadian-made series made waves globally in 2021

Woman watching TV at home and holding the remote control
Recent data from Parrot Analytics offers insight about what Canadians are watching and what homegrown content is most in demand.

The year 2021 has proven that local is the new global, but what has that meant for Canadian content? New data from Parrot Analytics suggests Canadian-made series are making a splash both at home and abroad.

According to the analytics company, Canada ranks seventh in global demand for content, with Canadian content accounting for 2.1% of global shares. Ranking above Canada is the U.S., the U.K., Japan, South Korea, India and China.

The most globally in-demand Canadian shows in 2021 (between Jan. 1 to Nov. 21) include the now-concluded Take 5 Productions copro Vikings, followed by children’s series PAW Patrol (Spin Master Entertainment), CTV medical drama Transplant (Sphere Media), the Emmy-winning Schitt’s Creek (Not a Real Company Productions) and sci-fi series Wynonna Earp (SEVEN24 Films).

The two top-ranking digital Canadian series are Crave’s Letterkenny (New Metric Media) and the late CBC and Netflix series Anne with an E (Northwood Entertainment). The latter series was canceled in 2019, but fans still clamour for more Anne, despite creator Moira Walley-Beckett confirming the series will not be revived.

Overall, the data says that demand for Canadian content still ranks highest at home, but certain series have marked an exception. Demand for both Anne with an E and The Hardy Boys (Lambur Productions) is higher in Russia, Wynonna Earp saw larger demand in the U.K., and PAW Patrol had much higher demand in France.

What Canadians are watching

Looking at demand habits outside of domestic content, the data shows that Canadian viewers are interested in comedy and sci-fi. The No. 1 series in demand in Canada for 2021 is NBC’s Saturday Night Live, followed by Japanese anime My Hero Academia, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants, Disney+ series The Mandalorian and AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Among the streamer series ranking high in Canada are Disney+’s WandaVision, Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso, Netflix’s Stranger Things and the Toronto-shot Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale, which airs on CTV Drama Channel in Canada.

Homegrown hero

Data from Parrot Analytics also revealed that Kim’s Convenience star Simu Liu has surged in global market demand since his superhero debut in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

In the month of September, Liu ranked third in global demand for Canadian talent, behind Justin Bieber and Drake, and in the month of November is ranked fifth. In Canada, Liu’s demand peaked at No. 73 for overall artists tracked by the company, while he peaked at No. 93 globally.

This article originally appeared in Playback’Winter 2021 issue.