Air Farce Soars in Final Friday Flight

Air Farce: Final Flight signed off as a series Friday night with a season high 913,000 viewers, which will rank it as CBC’s third-highest rated series this fall.
Air Farce (featuring Roger Abbott, right, as CBC news anchor Peter Mansbridge) finishes with a strong 770,000 per week viewer average (all figures total 2+ audience, Nielsen/BBM overnights). Unlike almost everything else on TV these days, that is up from last season. Only Hockey Night in Canada (1,331,000 season-to-date average) and the Rick Mercer Report (959,000) averaged more viewers in the 10 weeks leading up to the Christmas break, with Dragon’s Den (which airs its second last episode of the season tonight) expected to come in as the public network’s fourth highest-rated show (it is currently averaging 765,000).
Dead last among CBC show averages for the fall? Sophie, of course. It’s paltry 325,000 season average is behind even Doc Zone (373,000).
The Farce‘s third place finish among all CBC offerings is not too shabby for a 16-year-old series being grounded after one last New Year’s Eve special. The plan after that? You’d think CBC would want to keep the “Open For Laughs” sign up on Fridays, and there was some discussion at one point of slotting a new series featuring comedian Ron James into the Farce slot, but word on the street now has the consumer reports series Marketplace in Fridays at 8 starting in January. And we all know how funny the marketplace has been this year!
Other numbers of note from Friday: the repeat of the Rick Mercer Report following Farce drew a typically strong 769,000, Dr. Who claimed 469,000 and The Hour managed 122,000 at 11 p.m. Highest rated of all shows in prime time on Friday was CTV’s Ghost Whisperer, which scared up 1,250,000 at 8 opposite Air Farce.
In early prime, Jeopardy! was down slightly to 713,000. That’s less than CTV’s Dr. Phil at 5 (752,000) but more than Oprah drew at 4 (599,000). Global’s aging soap The Young and the Restless, which is anything but (the same actors who were on there in the ’70s are still lurching around) drew 704,000 viewers at 4:30, not far off what Numb3rs pulled at 10 p.m. (774,000).
On the low end of the spectrum, CBC’s daytime duo Steven and Chris managed just 60,000 viewers at 2 p.m.–less than half the audience opposite a rerun of forgettable CTV CanCon Sue Thomas, FBI (131,000).
In other numbers news, CTV drew 1,616,000 for Sunday’s finale of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, which saw Quebecer Nico Archambault dance off with the $100,000 top prize. CTV says the performance episodes of SYTYCDC averaged 1.4 million viewers this fall, ranking it as the No. 1 new series in Canada (domestic or imported) as well as the No. 1 Canadian series–ahead of even the season average for Hockey Night in Canada.

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