Those nutty jihadists. Tune in next week, when Uncle Osama masterminds a plot to fly airplanes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon! “CBC looks for comedy at Prairie mosque,” from the Globe and Mail, with thanks to Cindy:
The CBC has quietly ordered eight episodes of a promising — but potentially politically controversial — new sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie, about a fictional Muslim family living in rural Saskatchewan. But instead of hoisting pitchforks, rolling down hills and selling eggs at Oleson’s General store like Michael Landon’s Ingalls family, this transplanted clan will be trying to interact with the denizens of a little Prairie town in a post Sept. 11 world.
Given global religious tensions — not helped by Pope Benedict’s controversial remarks on Islam and the firestorm provoked by cartoons of Prophet Mohammed published in the Danish press — Little Mosque on the Prairie’s comedy will have to be handled with extreme caution. Or God knows, CBC could have any number of watchdogs running around like Little House on the Prairie’s shrieking shopkeeper Harriet Oleson.
CBC is also still smarting from the beating it took over the short-lived programming fiasco The One and is wary of any more potential missteps. Unlike other series starting this winter, the network has been rather tight-lipped about Little Mosque. However, CBC spokesman Jeff Keay confirmed the broadcaster has ordered eight episodes and will begin airing them in January. “The producers recognize the potential sensitivities and are taking that into account,” Keay said. “We’re comfortable that [the show] is being taken in the generous spirit intended. Little Mosque on the Prairie is a funny, warts-and-all look at life in a small community.”
Little Mosque is the brainchild of Regina-based filmmaker Zarqa Nawaz, who is writing and producing the comedy. Nawaz — whose company is called FUNdamentalist Films because she wants to put the “fun back into fundamentalism” — pitched CBC on the show two years ago. She’s working with WestWind Pictures, also of Regina.