Sunday, bloody Sunday.
That’s not a movie title, that’s a ratings picture. Sunday used to be broadcast’s biggest night, but in the overnights at least, it is becoming a big indicator of a rapidly shifting media landscape.
Take this past Easter Friday, April 6. Holidays are always a bit skewed but CTV seemed well fortified to take advantage of the date with Roma Downey and Mark Burnett’s new, well publicized sequel to their 2013 hit The Bible. That event miniseries opened to over a million overnight, estimated viewers in Canada on History. Expectations for A.D. The Bible Continues had to be higher given it was opening on Easter Sunday on CTV.
A.D., however, only drew an overnight, estimated 757,000 viewers Sunday at 9 p.m. on CTV, with less than a third of those in the 18-49 demo. It’s getting harder and harder to make year-to-year-to year comparisons in such a rapidly changing media landscape but its still surprising that Bible on History beat A.D. on CTV. The opening episode drew 9.5 million viewers stateside on NBC, the biggest audience of the night but also down from The Bible score of two years ago.
It was a patchwork night for CTV overall, with Masterchef Canada opening strong at 7 p.m. with an overnight 1,318,000 viewers followed by half million totals for The Goldbergs and yet another Big Bang rerun. Motive capped the night for CTV at 10 p.m. with an estimated 923,000 viewers.
CBC–already done for the season in terms of fresh episodes–is just keeping the lights on. No new Heartland, so the best they could muster was 619,000 with “Finding Nemo.” Worse, the loss of NHL Stanley Cup playoff coverage in the weeks and months ahead is going to make this a long, cold, lonely spring at CBC.
There was hockey Sunday night with an Easter audience of 1,251,000 turning to City’s Hometown Hockey for a final–and meaningful for Senator fans–Toronto/Ottawa tilt.
Global stayed competitive with Big Brother Canada at 7 drawing 902,000 followed by imports Madam Secretary (1,211,000), The Good Wife (878,000) and fading rookie Battle Creek (586,000).
Viewers were drawn away to other sports channels Sunday. TSN had the Gold Medal curling final (690,000). Sportsnet had a Canadiens/Florida NHL game (580,000). On specialty, Outlander pulled 412,000 over to Showcase.
Beyond the numbers I have access to, Sunday was also likely a big night for AMC which had the season finale of Better Call Saul and the final season premiere of Mad Men. PBS also likely scored well with the premiere of Wolf Hall, which stars Damien Lewis as Henry VIII.
Most of these scripted shows, on both broadcast and specialty, will get a lift once all those PVR viewers are figured into the final, Live+7 data. Still, it would be a miracle for Jesus to have lifted A.D. over the million mark in Canada Sunday vs. Don Draper, Damien Lewis, The Good Wife, Saul Goodman and the non-Roman Senators. Sunday is just crazy crowded.
Then there was Netflix, which drops their new big budget comic book series Daredevil Friday night. A new report suggests nearly 40% of anglophone Canadians used Netflix this past fall, up from 26% the fall before.