People seemed pretty darn pleased with the new CBC National News at Tuesday's Winter Launch but have they looked at the numbers? Monday's news score: CTV National News at 11 1,253,000, Global National at 5:30 1,114,000, CBC National at 10 479,000, 10:25 449,000.
Still, don't look for CBC to move the newscast out of that hopeless 10 p.m. timeslot any time soon. As one programming exec said to me yesterday, CBC has the same problem NBC has right now. Where (especially in this economy) are they going to come up with five hours of new programming at 10? Moving The Hour up to 10 doesn't seem to make much sense; George's gabfest is not exactly over performing at 11 and would not provide much of a lead-in for an 11 p.m. newscast. The Jay Leno Show experiment has become a cautionary example.
I still say buy a few American shows and use them strategically to boost Canadian originals on CBC's schedule. Imagine 24--which any given season boasts more Canadian actors per episode than shot-in-Toronto Flashpoint--leading into The Border? Or Glee--with four Canucks among the regulars--setting up Erica?
This won't happen, either. Those squirrelly "friends" of Canadian broadcasting would burst into flames. There would be a Royal commission. Canadian geese would change direction.
Yet that's exactly what happened when CBC had Dallas, Golden Girls, Newhart, Murder, She Wrote and other big American hits on their schedule, providing solid lead ins to The Beachcombers, Street Legal and even The Nature of Things. As the CBC slogan from 25 years ago suggested, "Look Again":
Maybe that's what might solve Canada's broadcasting crisis--more American content on the public network and less on the private broadcasters. You probably won't see anyone else advocating this, but look it up--it worked for decades.
OTHER MONDAY NUMBERS: Global's House did 2,911,000 according to BBM Canada's overnight estimates. CTV's CSI: Miami 2,308,000. CTV's Dancing with the Stars performance finale 2,270,000. Global's Lie to Me 1,838,000. A channel's top draw, Two and a Half Men 1,134,000 followed by an exploding Big Bang Theory at 1,078,000.
Without a Battle of the Blades results show, CBC's biggest Monday show was Jeopardy! at what is 1,002,000. City's How I Met Your Mother led all their shows at 848,000. Discovery steered another 739,000 toward Canada's Worst Driver. Sportsnet scored 685,000 frustrated Leaf fans.
Way down the list, Little Mosque did 511,000, an encore of Ron James (in place of Blades) did 467,000. Just Four Laughs tickled 443,000.