Last autumn Canadian-American relations were put to the test courtesy of Wikileaks. It seems an unnamed U.S. diplomat posted in Ottawa found the show "noteworthy as an indication of the kind of insidious negative popular stereotyping we are increasingly up against in Canada." The incident in question? Baber, the town grump, runs into a "rude and eccentric" U.S. consular officer while trying to get his name off the no-fly list. Although treated as a matter of amusement in the Canadian press, it was enough to prompt Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to write "Mosque" producers a letter praising the show for fostering cross-cultural unity.
Filming of the sixth season is beginning this spring, and although ratings are lower than they were in the first season, they are holding steady at 500,000, considered good here. Against all odds, this gentle, occasionally earnest show is well loved by Canadians and Americans living close enough to the border. "A comedy about a mosque in the middle of the prairie being a success?" said Nawaz. "No one saw that coming."