Nov 29, 2020
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CTV’s ‘Corner Gas’ Secures Lucrative U.S. Syndication Deal

TORONTO (CP) _ Brent Butt, the star, creator and producer of CTV’s hit comedy "Corner Gas," has two lifelong dreams: to appear on the "Late Show With David Letterman" and to play goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

One of those dreams _ only one of them, however _ might be a trifle closer to coming true with the announcement Friday that "Corner Gas" has secured a U.S. distribution deal with American cable network Superstation WGN. The two-year, 88-episode deal with the Chicago-based network will make the series available in nearly 70 million U.S. homes beginning in 2007.

"Being the greasy nightclub comic that I am, I’ve always wanted to be on Letterman because the man’s a master, so who knows," Butt says with a laugh. He is quick to acknowledge, however, that net-minding for the Leafs will forever remain a fantasy.

Butt, who plays Brent Leroy on the half-hour comedy, says he continues to be stunned at how successful his brainchild has become since it first aired on CTV in January 2004.

"It’s been pretty whirlwindy right from the start; I mean it’s been so much more than I expected or anyone else expected," Butt said in a telephone interview Friday.

"When we got nominated after the first year for an international Emmy, I remember thinking: ‘How the hell did this happen?’ I am sort of feeling that way today as well."

Americans already like "Corner Gas," says Butt, who hears from U.S. fans watching the show via satellite. That’s because "Corner Gas" is not so Canadian that non-Canadians don’t get the dry humour revolving around life in a rural setting.

"I even had someone from Sweden who watches it there tell me it reminds him exactly of the town where he grew up in Sweden," Butt says. "It’s a universal thing. It’s the kind of show that people tell their friends about, around the watercooler at the office the next day _ the humour isn’t exclusively Canadian."

Indeed, "Corner Gas" is now licensed internationally to broadcasters serving 26 countries, including Australia, Iraq, Finland and Morocco, following in the footsteps of the other CTV mega-hit, "Degrassi: The Next Generation." The Degrassi kids were even mobbed in September during an appearance in New York City.

Even bigger things might be ahead for "Corner Gas," if Butt has his way. Just like that other Canadian runaway hit, "The Trailer Park Boys," Butt hopes "Corner Gas" might also be destined for the big screen.

"We’ve talked a lot about that, and we’re very serious about it," he said. "I’d really like to see that happen somehow."

The Saskatchewan-born Butt came up with the idea for the series after wondering what his life would be like if he hadn’t pursued standup comedy. The first episode of the show attracted 1.2 million viewers _ a huge number for a Canadian audience _ and has never gone below the million-viewer mark, regularly holding its own against American fare like "The Simpsons" and "Deal or No Deal."

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Front Page, Industry News

CTV’s ‘Corner Gas’ Secures Lucrative U.S. Syndication Deal

TORONTO (CP) _ Brent Butt, the star, creator and producer of CTV’s hit comedy "Corner Gas," has two lifelong dreams: to appear on the "Late Show With David Letterman" and to play goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

One of those dreams _ only one of them, however _ might be a trifle closer to coming true with the announcement Friday that "Corner Gas" has secured a U.S. distribution deal with American cable network Superstation WGN. The two-year, 88-episode deal with the Chicago-based network will make the series available in nearly 70 million U.S. homes beginning in 2007.

"Being the greasy nightclub comic that I am, I’ve always wanted to be on Letterman because the man’s a master, so who knows," Butt says with a laugh. He is quick to acknowledge, however, that net-minding for the Leafs will forever remain a fantasy.

Butt, who plays Brent Leroy on the half-hour comedy, says he continues to be stunned at how successful his brainchild has become since it first aired on CTV in January 2004.

"It’s been pretty whirlwindy right from the start; I mean it’s been so much more than I expected or anyone else expected," Butt said in a telephone interview Friday.

"When we got nominated after the first year for an international Emmy, I remember thinking: ‘How the hell did this happen?’ I am sort of feeling that way today as well."

Americans already like "Corner Gas," says Butt, who hears from U.S. fans watching the show via satellite. That’s because "Corner Gas" is not so Canadian that non-Canadians don’t get the dry humour revolving around life in a rural setting.

"I even had someone from Sweden who watches it there tell me it reminds him exactly of the town where he grew up in Sweden," Butt says. "It’s a universal thing. It’s the kind of show that people tell their friends about, around the watercooler at the office the next day _ the humour isn’t exclusively Canadian."

Indeed, "Corner Gas" is now licensed internationally to broadcasters serving 26 countries, including Australia, Iraq, Finland and Morocco, following in the footsteps of the other CTV mega-hit, "Degrassi: The Next Generation." The Degrassi kids were even mobbed in September during an appearance in New York City.

Even bigger things might be ahead for "Corner Gas," if Butt has his way. Just like that other Canadian runaway hit, "The Trailer Park Boys," Butt hopes "Corner Gas" might also be destined for the big screen.

"We’ve talked a lot about that, and we’re very serious about it," he said. "I’d really like to see that happen somehow."

The Saskatchewan-born Butt came up with the idea for the series after wondering what his life would be like if he hadn’t pursued standup comedy. The first episode of the show attracted 1.2 million viewers _ a huge number for a Canadian audience _ and has never gone below the million-viewer mark, regularly holding its own against American fare like "The Simpsons" and "Deal or No Deal."

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Front Page, Industry News

CTV’s ‘Corner Gas’ Secures Lucrative U.S. Syndication Deal

TORONTO (CP) _ Brent Butt, the star, creator and producer of CTV’s hit comedy "Corner Gas," has two lifelong dreams: to appear on the "Late Show With David Letterman" and to play goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

One of those dreams _ only one of them, however _ might be a trifle closer to coming true with the announcement Friday that "Corner Gas" has secured a U.S. distribution deal with American cable network Superstation WGN. The two-year, 88-episode deal with the Chicago-based network will make the series available in nearly 70 million U.S. homes beginning in 2007.

"Being the greasy nightclub comic that I am, I’ve always wanted to be on Letterman because the man’s a master, so who knows," Butt says with a laugh. He is quick to acknowledge, however, that net-minding for the Leafs will forever remain a fantasy.

Butt, who plays Brent Leroy on the half-hour comedy, says he continues to be stunned at how successful his brainchild has become since it first aired on CTV in January 2004.

"It’s been pretty whirlwindy right from the start; I mean it’s been so much more than I expected or anyone else expected," Butt said in a telephone interview Friday.

"When we got nominated after the first year for an international Emmy, I remember thinking: ‘How the hell did this happen?’ I am sort of feeling that way today as well."

Americans already like "Corner Gas," says Butt, who hears from U.S. fans watching the show via satellite. That’s because "Corner Gas" is not so Canadian that non-Canadians don’t get the dry humour revolving around life in a rural setting.

"I even had someone from Sweden who watches it there tell me it reminds him exactly of the town where he grew up in Sweden," Butt says. "It’s a universal thing. It’s the kind of show that people tell their friends about, around the watercooler at the office the next day _ the humour isn’t exclusively Canadian."

Indeed, "Corner Gas" is now licensed internationally to broadcasters serving 26 countries, including Australia, Iraq, Finland and Morocco, following in the footsteps of the other CTV mega-hit, "Degrassi: The Next Generation." The Degrassi kids were even mobbed in September during an appearance in New York City.

Even bigger things might be ahead for "Corner Gas," if Butt has his way. Just like that other Canadian runaway hit, "The Trailer Park Boys," Butt hopes "Corner Gas" might also be destined for the big screen.

"We’ve talked a lot about that, and we’re very serious about it," he said. "I’d really like to see that happen somehow."

The Saskatchewan-born Butt came up with the idea for the series after wondering what his life would be like if he hadn’t pursued standup comedy. The first episode of the show attracted 1.2 million viewers _ a huge number for a Canadian audience _ and has never gone below the million-viewer mark, regularly holding its own against American fare like "The Simpsons" and "Deal or No Deal."

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