I wonder why Fox Broadcasting won't allow Americans to watch
the five year Canadian hit sit-com Little
Mosque on the Prairie? After hearing a story about the program on BBC World
I decided to watch a few episodes at http://watchlittlemosque.com/
Set in the fictional town of Mercy, Saskatchewan, the story line revolves around the efforts of Muslims and Christians trying to adjust to one another.
The program features the same distinctive Middle East humor I associate with Arab stand-up comedy and is astoundingly funny. It's often compared to the racially adventurous Cosby Show, which was always too middle class and politically correct for my taste. The humor in Little Mosque is both edgier and more sophisticated.
Fox Owns US Rights
The question the BBC poses is why Fox Broadcasting, which owns the American
rights, refuses to air the series (entering its sixth and final year of
filming). The BBC mentions a highly publicized call by ABC correspondent Katie
Couric for TV programming to help change American attitudes towards the Muslim
community. Citing the immensely popular Cosby Show as an example, Couric
maintains that a Muslim version would help counter Americans' negative
perceptions. And now we learn that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has been showing a Muslim Cosby Show for five years - and that Fox is sitting on the American rights.
As with censored news stories, I suspect Little Mosque came to BBC attention as a result of a diplomatic cable Wikileaks published last year. It was from the US embassy in Ottawa to Washington and warned that warning that the program was guilty of what it called "insidious negative popular stereotyping" of Americans in Canada. The cable refers to satirical depictions of an over-zealous US border official on the show.
Fox Needs to Hear From Us
I rarely campaign for letters and emails to politicians (they don't seem to accomplish much). However, in this case I think Fox needs to hear from several hundred thousand Americans demanding the right to watch Little Mosque on the Prairie on network TV.
I plan to contact the following people (others may have better suggestions):
Gaude Lydia Paez
Vice President of Corporate Communications
(Google or message me for her email)
Rupert Murdoch (owns the Fox network)