Global announced today that it is renewing three of its rookie shows: The Guard, 'Da Kink In My Hair and the summer series The Best Years. Hey, the more Canadian shows the better, jobs are jobs and this news keeps people working in Vancouver and Toronto. But Global's release suggests that these renewals are "based on solid statistics of the first seasons." Perhaps, but in the case of 'Da Kink at least, earning brownie points before the CRTC had to be a factor.
If you base the success threshold on the recently announced CBC renewals, The Guard certainly earned its berth. The coast guard drama did bow to over 800,000 viewers, although it dipped under the half million mark nationally toward the end of its run, averaging 587,000 throughout the season in total households.
Global claims it emerged as the No. 1 new Canadian "original" among 18-49-year-olds across Canada. Not exactly. CBC's The Week The Women Went averaged 358,000 per week 18-49. The Guard pulled 313,000 a week among the same age group (all figures BBM NMR).
In a drama to drama comparison, The Guard easily beat CBC's The Border, 313,000 to 239,000.
The numbers were not as solid, however, for 'Da Kink In My Hair, which never caught on nationally. Last January 27 it pulled 251,000 across Canada. jPod and MVP got canceled for averaging better than that.
To read Global's press release, however, you'd think 'Da Kink was 'da Bomb. Global says it "resonated strongly with urban audiences, showing particularly strong numbers in the Toronto market." They claim it was the No. 1 new Canadian comedy in Toronto among 18-49-year olds, topping Sophie and jPod and even beating Corner Gas in T.O. in January.
While beating Sophie and jPod in Toronto is like saying "Leafs Beat Girls Basketball Team," the Gas claim demands a closer look. The surprise is that it could be true.
Fact is, Corner Gas rarely gets the love in Toronto. Take last January, for example. The Saskatchewan-based sitcom drew 1,265,000 across Canada to rank No. 14 nationally the week of Jan. 21-27, but failed the same week to crack the Toronto Top-30. It also missed the cut in T.O. the week before and the week after. Week in and week out, Gas runs out of gas at the Toronto border.
Still, across Canada, Gas consistently earns five times the audience of "Da Kink. I think if Global offered to trade shows, CTV would says thanks but no thanks.
Give Global their due. 'Da Kink reached a niche audience in a niche market. May it play for years. But a Corner Gas-level Canadian success story it ain't.