It's been a stellar season for Rick Mercer and the gang over at the Rick Mercer Report. Episodes featuring Don Cherry, Hazel McCallion and Nancy Green vaulted the comedy showcase over and around the 1.2 million viewer mark, ranking it as the network's top-rated entertainment series again this season.
Tonight, Rick gets his rocks off with BC premier Gordon Campbell and members of Canada's Paralympic Curling Team. He also braves the slopes of Whistler out west with Canada's Para-Alpine ski team.
The sixth season finale of the Rick Mercer Report airs tonight at 8 p.m. on CBC. It's followed by the season finale of This Hour Has 22 Minutes at 8:30, including this timely slap upside the head of that Fox News pinhead, Greg Gutfeld:
Other CBC shows are closing down for the season this week. Little Mosque on the Prairie and Sophie aired their last episodes last night, with low-rated Sophie likely being the series finale. Heartland bowed out Sunday to 594,000 viewers and has already been renewed for next season, one of the few CBC shows to get a firm go so far in a very nervous and political spring. (Staffers at The Border have also been told that they will be back for a third season next fall.)
Rookie shows Wild Roses and Being Erica air their season finales next week, with Erica exiting--wait for it--April Fool's Day. Neither has broken out as a hit, but Sophie was renewed with worse numbers last season.
All bets are off this spring, however, with ad revenues in steep decline, a reported $200 million operating shortfall and rumours of mass CBC layoffs--as many as 600 staffers--to be announced as early as tomorrow. (An internal, town hall meeting has been called for 11:45 a.m.)
As well as shutting down local stations and selling assets, CBC may have to axe a show or two it might no longer be able to afford, or "rest" something for a year, or might even choose to sacrifice something just to get their point across to parliament that funding cuts will have consequences for viewers (instead of doing the right thing and packaging dozens of the 80 or so middle managers out the door).
There are rumours that one or more of the heritage news magazine shows--The Nature of Things, which is closing in on 40 seasons, or the Fifth Estate--could get sacrificed.
Meanwhile, on a galaxy far, far away, another finale--the last ever episode of Battlestar Galactica--drew 430,000 viewers on Space Friday, making it the most-watched program on specialty that night.