Monday, June 24, 2013

Belleville looking for sitcom Satisfaction

Last week when I visited the set of Satisfaction, I thought Ryan Belleville had some interesting things to say about the state of TV comedy in Canada. Satisfaction premieres Monday night at 8 p.m. on CTV.
The Calgary native plays a dude who shares a big city apartment with a frisky couple (played by fellow Canadians Luke Macfarlane and Leah Renee) on the sitcom, which is somewhat based on creator Tim McAuliffe's own experiences as a struggling comedy writer. McAuliffe has worked writing rooms on both sides of the border, including This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Office and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
"I feel like we're catching up," said Belleville, a Just For Laughs veteran who starred in the short-lived Almost Heroes two seasons ago on Showcase and, several years before that, on the Fox comedy Life on a Stick
Belleville felt there was a comedy vacuum in Canada for several years. Networks just weren't green lighting any. The investment had all tilted over to TV dramas, especially U.S./Canada co-pros.
Things are changing, however, says Belleville. "I feel like there's a renaissance, like when Flashpoint came out and Rookie Blue, all the networks realized, oh, we should just make dramas - we shouldn't try to get too clever and just make good genre and dramas and I feel like right now, that thing is happening for comedy."
Certainly there is something going on. Down the street from the set of Satisfaction in Toronto is where another CTV comedy, Spun Out with Dave Foley, is in production. Rogers' Package Deal had a sneak preview last week and that Vancouver-based sitcom premieres in the fall. Halifax-based Seed is coming back, as is CBC's Mr. D.
Comedies are generally slower to build, so fingers crossed audiences will  catch up with the comedy surge, too.
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