Fox importing Mosque

By Tim Surette

Jun 10, 2008

When the CW announced that it was picking up Aliens in America, a comedy about an Islamic Pakistani exchange student and his effect on a Wisconsin family, many in the industry initially dismissed the decision as dangerous at best.

However, with its intelligent take on race relations, social norms, and teenage awkwardness, Aliens quickly proved to be a hit among critics and a small group of fans. Of course, this is the television business, and critical praise amounts to very little. After one season, the CW canceled the show due to poor ratings.

Fox hopes that the same doesn't happen to its first foray into the Muslim fish-out-of-water genre, an Americanized version of the Canadian show Little Mosque on the Prairie. The network is developing an adaptation of the CBC comedy for the States, it was announced at the Banff World Television Festival, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Comedy is a great way to bridge cultures and bring peoples' guards down," said Little Mosque executive producer Mary Darling. "Fox got the creative vision of the show--that it has to be funny while it treads sensitively on certain Muslim issues."

The original Canadian show centers on a small Muslim community in Saskatchewan, and like Aliens in America, its humor and charm go beyond simple "your religion is funny" jokes. It has been critically lauded for its writing, and was nominated for an award at the 2007 Canadian Comedy Awards.

Little Mosque on the Prairie recently concluded its second season on CBC.

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  • tripencrypt Dec 05, 2008

    After seeing what ABC did to Life on Mars, I'm not so sure this is a good idea. If Fox could bring everyone from the CBC show over that would be great. That will never happen.

  • VBugz38 Jun 26, 2008

    I love little mosque as someone from the US who has always lived close enough to Canada to get Canadian TV. I have to admit this year when I moved to an area that didn't Little Mosque and the Hour were definatlly two shows I greatly missed. I just hope they don't mess it up!!! I would love to be able to watch little mosque not on the computer. Also the actors are sooo good, I wonder if they would be able to get it done well in the US.

  • PutU2REM Jun 12, 2008

    RIPKurt has it right. If it's not reality TV, it deserves support, and may even be good. American Idol must die!

  • RIPKurt Jun 11, 2008

    I'm tempted to put down the networks for consistently adopting foreign shows, but for every 20 international crapfests, you get The Office, and that makes it all worthwhile for me. Hey, at least it's not reality TV.

  • Minor_Annoyance Jun 11, 2008

    Something new, like a fourth CSI? Another singing and/or dancing talent show? At least they're copying more original shows.

  • malawi69 Jun 11, 2008

    Copying form aborad, I thought a WGA strike was over, so why not come up with some new???

  • tvdvdaddict Jun 11, 2008

    Why do networks always have to americanize their own version of these crappy foreign shows. Can't they come up with their own ideas? Americans usually don't like the same stuff so why bother.

  • AprilFox Jun 11, 2008

    I've watched every episode of the Canadian version and IMO if it ain't broke don't fix it! :P Corner Gas is another little great Canadian show. But I'm glad that it's getting it's props :).

  • AnimeleePM Jun 11, 2008

    Why would you adapt it? I'm Canadian, and I've watched every episode, and although sometimes the humor can be "Canadian" (weird puns that we Canucks like), it's still Americanized enough to be shown in its original form in America!

    I mean, Arrested Development was too smart for Fox, I understand, and the British version of The Office or The IT Crowd may be too smart for FOX, but Little Mosque is not really that smart of a show. I mean, it's smart, but not too smart for FOX's tastes.

  • NevilleRoss Mar 08, 2012

    Perhaps Americans wouldn't get a show set in Canada? Ever think about that? Also, American's NEED to see how Muslims live IN AMERICA, so a show like this wouldn't be too bad.

  • wayne827 Jun 11, 2008

    If it's anywhere near as smart or intelligent as this article makes it out to'll be off the air in no time. This is FOX after all.

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