Idol Ain’t What It Used To Be –

Was Wednesday Canadian Idol’s swan song? If so, it went out on a sour note.
Take a look at how far this show has slipped in the last five years. A comparison of the five last finale numbers, from 2004 to 2008, shows a 50% drop from in households and a two-thirds drop in 18-49s.
A great deal of that drop came this summer. There was erosion in both households and demos year-to-year before, but the 2008 finale–which featured Mariah Carey–was down nearly a million viewers from 2007. It was–by far–the lowest rated Canadian Idol finale ever.
A lot of that fallout probably can be attributed to a sub-par season, talent-wise. Canadian Idol started the season much stronger, then tailed off dramatically as the it wound down to the final eight, six, and then four all-male contestants, slipping below the million viewers mark on some occasions. The finale–usually a big winner for CTV–actually slipped below the series average for the season. By the time this thing was done, it seems, few cared who had won. Canada seems karaoked out.
It didn’t help that the kids from Toronto and Quebec did not hang in until the very end, but the Ontario contestants actually stuck around longer than usual. At the finish, only 488,700 viewers across Canada, aged 18-49, watched the finale.
Here are those last five Canadian Idol finale numbers (in households and in 18-49-year-olds):

  1. Sept. 16, 2004…… 2785.2……. 1376.3
  2. Sept. 14, 2005…… 2683.2……. 1060.7
  3. Sept. 17, 2006…… 2517.7…….. 1044.1
  4. Sept. 11, 2007……. 2317.3…….. 918.7
  5. Sept. 10, 2008…… 1376.8…….. 488.7

Again, Wednesday’s two-hour finale didn’t even win its timeslot.
The news didn’t really get any better for CTV when the weekly BBM Nielsen numbers came out today. They show Global in the Top 2 spots nationally for the week of Sept. 1-7, with Bones (1,663,000) and the debut of 90210 (1,358,000 and No. 1 in Vancouver) as Canada’s most-watched shows. (Global’s joy at those 90210 numbers was short-lived, however: the rookie series took a big dip in Week Two.)
There was better news for CTV last night: So You Think You Can Dance Canada launched to 1.25 million viewers, winning its timeslot and edging out Global’s Big Brother (1.1 million). Beating both to win the night was CTV’s strong and steady Flashpoint, at 1.29 million viewers.
Overall, CTV had 16 shows in the Canadian Top 30 last week with Global landing 11 and CBC three. Usually dominant CTV–which did little tinkering to its schedule this fall–is banking on its aging lineup of forensic cop shows and housewive dramas to come back strong, although Global gets a big boost when House returns next week, too.
Over at CBC, Test The Nation did very well last week, scoring in the Top 10 in Toronto with 258,000 viewers, 912,000 across the nation. The return of Global’s Prison Break broke big in Toronto, too, landing as that city’s No. 1 show last week.

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