@The Feldman Agency
Amazon Prime Nabs Streaming Rights to Popular Canadian Sitcom 'Corner Gas' (Exclusive)
The Hollywood Reporter
Corner Gas, Canada`s most popular sitcom, is headed to Amazon Prime.
The streaming VOD service beat out Netflix and other online rivals to nab all six seasons of the comedy, or 107 episodes and a 90-minute TV movie, about a host of oddball rubes at a gas station in fictional Dog River, Saskatchewan. Amazon Prime will stream Corner Gas in the U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand and in around 60 international markets overall.
In Canada, the Corner Gas comedy, TV movie and an upcoming Corner Gas Animated series will stream exclusively on the Crave service, a division of Bell Media, which originally developed and financed the CTV sitcom. Corner Gas executive producer Virginia Thompson of Verite Films told The Hollywood Reporter that the Amazon Prime streaming deal answers demand from loyal fans of the sitcom outside of Canada after the series previously aired in over 24 countries, including on Superstation WGN in the U.S.
"This gives our established fans and new ones a chance to get to know the characters and the comedy, and build a fantastic fan base that hopefully will see Corner Gas Animated at some point in the future," Thompson said. A record-breaking 3.02 million Canadian viewers watched the Corner Gas series finale on April 13, 2009.
The Amazon Prime deal also marks the first streaming deal for the Canadian comedy created by Brent Butt, David Storey and Thompson.
The ensemble cast includes Butt, veteran Canadian actors Eric Peterson, Cavan Cunningham, Gabrielle Miller, Fred Ewanuick and the late Janet Wright, who played the long-suffering matriarch Emma Leroy. Corner Gas became a Canadian cultural phenomenon as it spawned a book series, theatrical comedy tours, a merchandise line, DVDs and a Christmas TV special.
Canadian Prime Ministers Paul Martin and Stephen Harper had star turns on the comedy, as did 24 star Kiefer Sutherland and singer Michael Buble.
Unlike Canada-originated dramas, local sitcoms breaking into the U.S. market have been a rarity, despite the prominence of Canadian stand-up and sketch comedy talent working in New York City and Los Angeles. Trailer Park Boys, a comedy about low life in a Halifax trailer park, eventually made its way to Netflix.
The Corner Gas franchise is produced by Thompson, Butt and David Storey of 335 Productions, in association with CTV and The Comedy Network.