What a Farce–CBC Shutting Down its No. 1 Show

Saturday Night Live isn’t the only sketch series getting a boost from all these elections. Air Farce (featuring Alan Park as Barack Obama, above) continues to surprise heading into its final flight on Friday nights. Last week 859,000 tuned in, well above last season’s average.
In fact, aside from always dominant Hockey Night in Canada (which drew 1,306,000 for Saturday’s Leafs/Senators tilt), Air Farce was the highest rated series on CBC last week, drawing more viewers than even Mercer and almost as many as Mosque and Sophie combined. Too bad the 15-year-old comedy is being grounded after New Year’s eve.
Other CBC numbers last week: Dragon’s Den (622,000), The Border (616,000), Rick Mercer Report (842,000, plus another 856,000 when it repeated after Air Farce on Friday!), This Hour Has 22 Minutes (673,000), The Tudors (531,000), Little Mosque (591,000), Sophie (319,000), Fifth Estate (544,000), The Nature of Things (346,000), Doc Zone (325,000), Doctor Who (479,000), Heartland (686,000) and Sunday’s Doc Zone (741,000).
Most troubling for CBC: Mosque and especially Sophie have slipped on Wednesday nights, where they are hammered by CTV’s So You Think You Can Dance Canada (1,296,000) and Global’s Bones (911,000).
The pressure will be on two new CBC “chick flick” series Media Profile was promoting with interview sessions in downtown Toronto today: Wild Roses, an hour-long drama best described as Dallas moved to Calgary. Featuring Michelle Harrison (left) as well as Sarah Power and Gary Hudson and originally titled Cow Girls (that didn’t test well), it will take over The Border‘s timeslot on Mondays in January. The other new hour-long drama starting in January is Being Erica, about a 32-year-old single woman who gets a chance to go back in time and fix her biggest regrets in life. Shot in Toronto, it stars Erin Karpluk (Godivas) and Michael Riley (This Is Wonderland). Both shows have 13 episode orders.
Of course, this January won’t be like last January when, due to the writers strike, CBC pretty much had the field to themselves. Besides the usual assault from Fox’s American Idol and the (delayed) seventh season of 24, the U.S. nets are rolling out several mid-season shows in the new year, including Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated sci-fi drama Dollhouse.

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