Hurricane Hazel McCallion helped storm the Rick Mercer Report to a seasonal high, scoring 1,289,000 viewers last night. The 88-year-old Mississauga mayor was the latest Canadian icon to goose Mercer's numbers, with both Nancy Green (1,262,000 in January) and Don Cherry (1,169,000 in November) also driving the weekly CBC comedy series to new heights.
Getting a big lift in Mercer's wake was This Hour Has 22 Minutes, which drew 904,000 viewers across Canada last night (BBM Canada overnight "commercial" estimates). Fans caught another ambush by "single female voter" Geri Hall (gooning Peter Mansbridge post-Obama) as well another bizarre visit from young Nathan Fielder.
Fielder, who I ran in to last week in Toronto at the taping of the upcoming YTV sketch comedy series That's So Weird, has carved out a niche as 22 Minutes most comically comatose correspondent. The kid cracks me up, with last night's bit finding him deadpanning his way through some kooky ad for "people." Fielder is either taking deconstructed comedy to a whole new level or just always arrives too late to each taping to fully think things through. Either way, he's hilarious.
The 8 p.m. comedy block also lifted CBC's new horsey drama Wild Roses to 516,000 viewers, out performing fellow CBC rookie Being Erica's take from last week. Look for CBC to switch Erica behind Mercer any day now.
Other Tuesday night numbers: Jeopardy! 1,001,000 (although just 303,000 25-54-year-olds), CBC National News 733,000, The Hour 108,000.
With Obama hogging the airwaves south of the border, American Idol-less CTV had to make do with repeats of Crinimal Minds (881,000), another Criminal Minds (1,414,000) and Law & Order SVU (1,157,000). CTV's "Total" numbers will be slightly higher.
Global had the highest 2+ number for the night, courtesy stealth hit NCIS (1,517,000) but also two of the lowest, 90210 (283,000) and Project Runway Canada (363,000, although a hearty 234,000 of those viewers were in the 25-54-year-old demo). Streamers and iPod viewers rejoice and the rest of us go "huh?": 90210 was just renewed Stateside for another CW season.
Tonight, unlucky Erica gets to go up against that delayed American Idol episode. Yikes!
As for this week's CHML Talk Radio podcast with Scott Thompson, the Academy Awards are dissected one last time, rumours about Canwest selling off chunks of specialty channels to Astral and others are discussed as if we knew something and there's more late night blah blah blah with Letterman hosting U2 all next week and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon premiering Monday. You can listen in here, then go check out Thompson's spiffy new website Scott Thompson Talk here.