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‘Murdoch Mysteries,’ ‘Degrassi’ make list of most influential TV shows

Anne T. Donahue
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"Murdoch Mysteries"

Canadian TV gets overlooked a lot, especially by Canadians themselves, who frequently eschew our original Northern programming in favour of tuning into American shows. However, this week, it's time to recognize.

"Murdoch Mysteries" and "The Kids of Degrassi Street" have landed on The Wit's Top 50 list of the most influential programs, alongside veteran series like "Coronation Street," "The Price Is Right," and "Jeopardy!" (The last of which is actually fronted by Canadian Alex Trebeck, thankyouverymuch.)

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The list was compiled by The Wit for MIPTV, a semi-annual event that sees TV shows shopped around for international distribution.

"First, we included shows that had a huge impact around the world by being distributed to different countries," explained Virginia Mouseler, The Wit's co-founder. "Secondly, we picked shows that may be less well-known internationally but had a big impact on their own country."

Is that where "Murdoch Mysteries" come in? Because let's not forget the impact it had on Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who actually guest-starred in a 2011 episode:

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But more importantly, to have original Canadian shows like "Murdoch Mysteries" and "The Kids of Degrassi Street" included amongst television's best and brightest is quite an honour. Shows like "The Simpsons," "Friends," and "Star Trek" landed on the list, too, and their impact on the pop culture universe is still being felt. (See: how excited everybody got over this week's alleged "Friends" reunion.)

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But what about other brilliant Canadian shows? What about "Slings & Arrows"? Or "This Hour Has 22 Minutes," a series that's been on the air (and a huge part of the Canadian comedy landscape) for 21 years? "Corner Gas" also held its own during the show's six-season run, and through it, creator Brent Butt helped Canadians recognize the comedic talent of their own countrymen and women, thanks to its diverse and talented cast. And since the list wasn't afraid to include series that aren't airing new episodes, would it really have been too much to include "Kids in the Hall?"

Which Canadian series do you think should have also been included in The Wit's Top 50?

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