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"Son of a Critch" leans on a familiar format in which a wistful narrator reflects on his childhood. But the CW sitcom, airing at 7 p.m. Mondays, uses references you never heard on "The Wonder Years" or "The Goldbergs."

The 11-year-old protagonist joins a Monarchist club. Dad hits a moose with the car. Mom shops at Ayre and Sons. There's a joke about songstress Anne Murray.

These mentions — and the fact that the action is set in St. John's, Newfoundland — let you know that the sitcom was shot and produced in Canada. But that doesn't seem to be turning off viewers south of its border.

The show, which premiered stateside in July and will remain in prime time through the fall, is averaging about 400,000 viewers. That's not a blockbuster number, but it's enough to make it one of the CW's top five most watched shows.

Executive producer Andrew Barnsley said he was initially worried that the Canadian references might be a problem. That hasn't been the case.

"They're part of its charm," said Barnsley, who was also instrumental in making "Schitt's Creek" a smash hit in both countries. "In fact, it seems to be a strength."

In the next few months, the CW will be adding more shows that have already found success up north. That includes "The Spencer Sisters," a mystery series starring Minnesota native Lea Thompson, and "Sullivan's Crossing," a family drama set in Nova Scotia.

Outlets are also adding series that first established themselves in other countries. CBS will offer the original British version of "Ghosts," a sitcom that inspired a popular American adaptation.

Freevee now has all 37 seasons of Australia's "Neighbours," which fans can gobble up before the free streaming service reboots the soap opera this week. The CW just started airing Germany's "The Swarm." And don't be surprised if a U.S. network or streaming service picks up the Aussie sitcom "Colin From Accounts," which is getting rave reviews overseas.

Part of the reason stateside outlets are importing international shows is because the current actors and writers strike has halted most Hollywood productions.

Networks are reacting by adding new game shows, like "Buddy Games," which joined the CBS lineup Sept. 14, and leaning harder on popular reality series. Episodes of "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race" will expand to 90 minutes when they return later this month.

But the trend of picking up Canadian TV started well before the ongoing shutdown.

"SCTV," which helped launch the careers of John Candy and Martin Short, got airplay on NBC and Cinemax. The teen drama "Degrassi," which has been around in various forms since 1979, is a global sensation.

"Transplant," a medical drama set in Toronto, is now entering its third season on NBC. "Orphan Black," which U.S. viewers could savor on BBC America, turned Tatiana Maslany into a star. A spin-off, "Orphan Black: Echoes," debuts later this year on AMC Plus.

"In the last 10 years, any Canadian show can stand alongside any American show," said CW's entertainment president, Brad Schwartz, a Toronto native. "The Canadian in me is very proud of that."

Schwartz was president of Pop TV when that cable channel made "Schitt's Creek" available in the States. It would sweep all the major comedy categories at the 2020 Emmy Awards.

"It was important to me that people not call it 'that Canadian show,'" Schwartz said. "We marketed it like it was made in America."

We might not have been so receptive to this new wave if streaming services like BritBox and Acorn TV hadn't laid the groundwork.

"When we were growing up, we thought everything that was good came out of Hollywood. The reality is that there are incredible content centers all over the world," said Robert Schildhouse, executive vice president for BritBox International, which will stream "This England," a 2022 Sky Atlantic docuseries with Kenneth Branagh as Boris Johnson, starting Nov. 1.

"People may not necessarily call themselves fans of British television, but they are familiar with the format that stresses escapism with beautiful countrysides and mysteries that aren't overly gory," said Schildhouse, previously an executive at CBS. "It's the same audience that might watch 'NCIS.'"

The same theory applies to Canadian dramas. "Moonshine," which CW aired this summer, is a fairly humdrum series about a family feud at a summer resort, but you get stunning views of the Nova Scotia landscape.

Gorgeous scenery may not be enough for some stateside viewers accustomed to a quicker pace and more action. Canadian TV tends to be more contained (which helps explain why budgets are about half of what they are for shows made in Los Angeles) with more of a focus on character than punchlines.

"There was a time when you measured a comedy in the U.S. by the number of jokes you had per page," Barnsley said. "That's never been the math in Canada."

But the Hollywood shutdown gives viewers in the States an opportunity to give the "outsiders" a shot. The border policy will get tighter once the strike ends.

Anthony Cicione, president of entertainment for the Toronto-based media company Anthem Sports & Entertainment, remembers what happened during the 2004 NHL strike. At the time, he was vice president of programming for a Canadian sports channel.

"All of a sudden, I was buying rugby matches from Scotland, just to fill the schedule," he said. "Once the hockey players came back, the rugby was done."