Like Michael Buble, The 2008 Junos had jump. CTV scored with their Sunday night Canadian music awards broadcast, drawing an average minute audience of 1,381,000 million viewers according to BBM NMR overnight estimates. In the seven years CTV has carried the event, that ranks second to the 2.18 million who tuned in in 2003 when Shania Twain hosted. it is also up sharply from last year, when only 925,000 tuned in.
Good planning and luck helped goose those numbers. CTV found a window between the writers strike and the return of blockbuster U.S. shows on its own and other channels. There was no fresh episode of Desperate Housewives on ABC to contend with (that series returns next Sunday) and no NHL playoff games (they begin Wednesday.)
Instead, The Junos easily beat Part Two of the CBC miniseries The Trojan Horse, which drew 579,000 viewers. Global's Big Brother (836,000) and Family Guy (778,000) were both a distant second in the time period.
If you missed them, The Junos will be rebroadcast on CTV's new sister music station MuchMusic Thursday night at 8 p.m. In its quest for Global domination, CTV is now able to platform event programs like The Junos on several of its specialty channels. The pre-Juno eTalk red carpet show, for example, aired on CTV, Star and FashionTelevision. Not that seemed to help much; only 434,000 tuned in for the pre-show.
Meanwhile, Friday Night's Air Farce Live season finale did 688,000, disappointing considering the press generated by last week's announcement of the series eventual sign off next New Year's Eve.
HESTON SALUTE: GSN is always quick to reach into the vault whenever anybody big dies. This Sunday at 3 a.m., they salute Charlton Heston, who passed away Saturday at 84. The Oscar-winner's 1956 What's My Line appearance as a "mystery challenger" will be featured. Heston starred in The Ten Commandments that very same year.