Been a monster week for Canadian TV, topped with news that The Rick Mercer Report hit its highest rating ever this Tuesday with an estimated 1,275,000 viewers. That puts it ahead of CTV’s perennial made in Canada ratings winner, Corner Gas, which drew 1,230,000 Monday. (All figures BBM Nielsen Media Research.)
Even red white and blue Global had reason to wave the Maple Leaf flag for a change, with their B.C.-based drama The Guard opening to 813,000 viewers Tuesday. With CBC’s The Border up in Week Three to 659,000 viewers, Canadian scripted series are having the kind of week not seen in years.
Things got off to a fast start Sunday, with CBC’s live Test The Nation broadcast pulling 858,000 viewers. Even CBC’s new reality show, The Week The Women Went did well, with 770,000 tuning in for the estrogen exodus. Just goes to show you just have to give the viewers what they want: men looking like hopeless boneheads!
Why the sudden interest in Canuck content? Three factors: the U.S. writers strike has bumped new episodes of shows like 24 and Desperate Housewives out of the race, opening the field for Canadian shows to get sampled. It has also allowed TV beat writers to swing their full attention toward the Canadian fare, meaning more magazine covers, newspaper features and just generally more buzz. Finally, and most important, these are all terrific shows, worthy of a mass audience. Go Canada, finally.