A couple of weeks ago, CTV released a year-end ratings tally that showed the private network once again stands as the dominant player on the Canadian TV landscape. The release declared that, from the September launch of the new season through mid-December, CTV had 12 of the Top-20 shows in Canada in total viewers and 12 of the Top-20 in A25-54.
What's startling about the list--other than the huge lead enjoyed by the No. 1 show, The Big Bang Theory--is how long many of the most-watched shows in Canada have been on the air. Here are the Top-10 in totals, below, along with their average audiences this fall:
1. The Big Bang Theory (CTV) 3,777,000 5 seasons
2. Grey's Anatomy (CTV) 2,621,000 7 seasons
3. The Amazing Race (CTV) 2,570,000 11 seasons
4. Survivor 2,506,000 (Global) 12 seasons
5. CSI 2,394,000 (CTV) 12 seasons
6. NCIS: Los Angeles (Global) 2,183,000 3 seasons
7. Hawaii FIVE-0 (Global) 2,181,000 2 seasons
8. The Mentalist (CTV) 2,166,000 4 seasons
9. Castle 2,074,000 (CTV) 4 seasons
10. Hockey Night in Canada (CBC) 2,055,000 59 seasons
Canada's Top-5 for Fall 2011 could easily have been the top shows of 2007.
CTV's boast that it picked seven of the Top-10 new shows (six plus one CTV Two pickup) ignores that fact that the fall was a bust. It would be like the Leafs saying they got the best of a bad draft. The X Factor is the No. 1 new show in Canada but not the show-killer everyone anticipated with zero buzz about the recently-declared winner. Whitney is fourth on the list but only because it airs after Big Bang. Below, the Top-10 rookie shows in Canada (all data BBM Canada):
1. The X Factor Performance (CTV) 1,876,000
2. Unforgettable (CTV) 1,819,000
3. Once Upon a Time (CTV) 1,736,000
4. Whitney (CTV) 1,698,000
5. Pan Am (CTV) 1,604,000 cancelled
6. Grimm (CTV) 1,545,000
7. Terra Nova (City) 1,347,000
8. The X Factor Results (CTV Two) 1,190,000
9. Prime Suspect (Global) 1,033,000 cancelled
10. A Gifted Man (Global) 943,000
They may be hits in Canada, but several of these shows are in trouble in the U.S. Late comers Once Upon a Time and Grimm are hanging in but off their fast starts. Whitney is landing on several critics worst new show lists. Terra Nova is doing okay but borderline for renewal due to high production costs. The on-line site TV By The Numbers recently downgraded Unforgettable--the No. 2 new show in Canada--to "likely cancelled." A Gifted Man they list as "sure to be cancelled."
None, not even The X Factor, are doing as well as S#*! My Dad Says did in Canada in 2011 (averaging 2,316,000 viewers behind Big Bang)--and it was cancelled.
What`s weird in Canada is that Rogers has buried the No. 1 new comedy in the U.S.--2 Broke Girls--on one of its OMNI stations, instead of airing it on City. This would be like the Leafs sending Phil Kessel down to the minors.
The good news for CTV and the others is that many of the January/February starts look very promising. NBC desperately needs a scripted hit and The Firm (starting Jan. 6 on Global) might do it. Smash (NBC/CTV, Feb. 6) is still the best pilot I've seen all year. Alcatraz (Fox/City, Jan. 16), Arctic Air (Jan. 10, CBC), and Luck (Jan. 29, HBO/HBO Canada) are all very entertaining. So goodbye, 2011, hurry up, 2012.