The allure of escapism: Canadian sci-fi TV series know success

October 05, 2015

Canadian science-fiction productions and talent to be in the spotlight at MIPCOM entertainment content market

Montreal, October 5, 2015—The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Telefilm Canada released the reach figures for Canadian science-fiction productions on the occasion of the spotlight on homegrown talent at MIPCOM, the world’s largest entertainment content market in Cannes (October 5-8, 2015). The data is based on research provided by the Canadian source for audience measurement, Numeris.

During the 2014-2015 broadcast year Canadian TV sci-fi series Orphan Black on CTV (4.3 million viewers*), Dark Matter on Space (3.7 million), Between on City Total and Killjoys on Space (both 3.2 million) each reached roughly 10% of the Canadian population. In addition, these shows performed above their respective channel averages in the very desirable 18-34 demographic.

“Sci-fi productions are a clear example of how audiences are now engaging with content,” said Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, CMF. “Millennials are building communities on social media and on other platforms and rallying around these characters and plots. Productions that capture young people’s attention find success on many fronts. The wealth of sci-fi projects that have come out of Canada is a testament to the talent, both onscreen and off—such as our visual effects specialists—that makes our industry so very competitive on the international scene.”

Carolle Brabant, Telefilm’s Executive Director, added: “With the worldwide frenzy surrounding the next chapter of the Star Wars franchise and the spectacular attendance at fan conventions, the traction of the sci-fi genre is clearly increasing—and Canadian TV is a big part of this excitement. The success of these series extends outside our country too. Most notably, BetweenKilljoys and Dark Matter were recently renewed for second seasons at Syfy, and Regina’s Tatiana Maslany was nominated for an outstanding lead actress Emmy for her work on Orphan Black.”

During the 2014-2015 broadcast year Canadian sci-fi series also performed above their respective channel averages in the key 18-34 demographic.

  Performance for 18-34 demographic
(City Total)
31%—significantly above channel average of 19% for this demographic
Dark Matter
28%—above the channel average of 23% for this demographic
25%—above the channel average of 23% for this demographic
Orphan Black
32%—significantly above channel average of 19% for this demographic

Canadian sci-fi at MIPCOM
On October 5, stars of Canadian science-fiction programs will walk the red carpet for the MIPCOM Opening Gala, namely Jesse Carere and Justin Kelly (Between) as well as Hannah John-Kamen and Aaron Ashmore (Killjoys). On October 6, Telefilm and the CMF will hold the industry conference The Allure of Escapism: Engaging Millennials. Producers of Between (David Cormican, Executive Vice-President, Business Development & Production and Partner, Don Carmody Television) and Killjoys (John Young, Managing Director, Temple Street Productions), as well as cast members of those two productions, will discuss the challenges related to writing and producing sci-fi TV series and what makes this genre so appealing for millennials.

MIPCOM: X-Files revival to get world premiere
Elsewhere, attendees at this year’s MIPCOM will also get the first glimpse of The X-Files revival which is filmed in Vancouver like the first five seasons of the original series. Organizers recently announced that the first episode reboot will be given a world premiere in Cannes on October 6, with creator and executive producer Chris Carter in attendance.

For more information on the entire Canadian presence at MIPCOM 2015, please visit

*Audience reach numbers +2 Cumulative from September 1, 2014 to July 28, 2015.



About the Canada Media Fund
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors. Please visit

About Telefilm Canada—Inspired by talent. Viewed everywhere.
Created in 1967, Telefilm is dedicated to the cultural, commercial and industrial success of Canada’s audiovisual industry. Through its various funding and promotion programs, Telefilm supports dynamic companies and creative talent here at home and around the world. Telefilm also makes recommendations regarding the certification of audiovisual treaty coproductions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and administers the programs of the Canada Media Fund and the Talent Fund, a private donation initiative. Visit and follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at

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