The Canadian Junior Men’s team hockey victory at the World Junior Championships drew a whopping 3,692,000 viewers Monday night, blasting TSN to the top of the Canadian ratings.
Rubbed out along the boards was the much-heralded debut of CBC’s Being Erica. Only 575,000 tuned in and only 201,000 25-54-year-olds, both less than The Border–already done for the season–regularly draws in that timeslot. (All figures BBM NMR overnight estimates.)
This likely won’t stop CBC from promoting the time travel sitcom as Canada’s new buzz show. But the real buzz was over at TSN, and the gold medal victory drowned out everything else on TV last night.
Things get no easier for Erica next week, with Fox/Global’s 24 making its seventh season debut next Sunday/Monday after an entire year on the shelf.
CBC’s relocated comedies, Little Mosque on the Prairie (612,000) and Sophie (323,000–of which only 80,000 was in the 25-54-year-old demo), did no better than what they manged to pull recently on Wednesday night. In fact, if you add up what the three CBC comedies did Monday night–Little Mosque, Sophie and Erica–it is less than the 1.5 million-plus Air Farce finale drew last Wednesday night.
Besides hockey, Erica got beat up by CTV’s Two and a Half Men (991,000), a CBS simulcast that had been one of A channel’s top draws. The bad news for CTV in this Monday makeover was the damage done to Corner Gas, pushed back to 9:30 and down to just 683,000 viewers last night, less than half the season average. This is no way for this steady Canadian success story to go out, although the Gas gang clearly got whacked by the same world junior hockey puck.
UPDATE: Yes, as many have pointed out, it was a repeat of Corner Gas. Never said it wasn’t; that’s still a low number for a Gas repeat. But my mistake suggesting the show was just moved to 9:30, it has been there a while. And look for Gas to blast back up over a million with a new episode (about New Year’s resolutions) and no hockey competition next week.


  1. that was a good Gas.

    Bill, you know I love you man, but I call ultimate bullshit on you for this one.

    The Canadian ratings game is enough of a spin-racket, and the virtue generally of you serving up the numbers has been the anti spin you’ve cut through by doing it.

    But you’ve got a couple of big plates on the air on this one. Show me any other Monday night in the last couple years where TSN has drawn anywhere close to 3.7 million viewers and then you can talk about the results last night as anything other than an extreme outlier.

    Then to take that math — numbers on a freaky night and compare them to the FINALE of a series is as bad, as hamfisted, and as clumsy a spin as Global and CTV ever try with their duelling number pressers.

    Shame on you. You bobbled the truthiness ball on this one, amigo.

  2. I think what we can agree on, Denis, is that the true test will come next week, and really over the next three weeks.
    I just think you only get one chance to make a first impression and CBC programmers were either arrogant or idiots for leaving Erica to be skated over in Monday’s one sided slaughter. If the programers, like Erica, could go back in time and fix a big regret, you’d have to think this would be it. Everybody knew the finale of the WJC would come down to Monday, Jan. 5. Unless CBC was betting against Team Canada making the finals–and then shame on them–they had to know Erica was going to get creamed.
    Even if they thought Erica might be good counter programming to hockey, they took too big a risk. TSN attracted 688,000 women
    aged 25-54 or 647,000 women aged 18-49 for the game out of their total 3,260,000. Whadaya know–Chicks dig hockey, too.
    The other thing I guess I’m reacting to is the way Erica was promoted. That pricey (in the tens of thousands), full page colour ad on Page 5 of The Toronto Star Monday proclaimed Being Erica as “the show everyone is talking about.” And you go after me for spin!
    HOW CAN EVERYONE BE TALKING ABOUT A SHOW THAT HASN’T EVEN AIRED ONCE YET? Maybe a few industry insiders were talking about it, but my mom wasn’t. Neither were my kids or their friends. Not yet, at least.
    If CBC was that confident about its success, they should not have sacrificed it on Monday. NBC would have rescheduled it faster than you can say “Celebrity Millionaire.” So would Fox or CBS. Now Erica has to build up from half a million instead of a million. THAT is dropping the plate, ball, whatever.

  3. Okay Bill, so you say that your target was the CBC overlords who set the timeslot in motion.

    But you can’t be so naive as to think that they’re the ones who are going to wear it.

    I’ll let you in on a little secret. Last year they were set to schedule THE BORDER’s premiere against the premiere of 24 for the season. I agitated A LOT to get that moved to the week before. Now, I’m not the only voice in that chorus. (Actually my voice was more like mouse peep.) But all that stuff was in play.

    And it turned out there was no premiere cause of the WGA strike. But it’s not like all of these things are not considered.

    Are you sure that the Juniors final was in play as early as you think? Really? Do you know the lead time that’s needed for advertisers, Tv listings, etc, to set the schedule? And once the CBC, which has a limited budget for promo, locks in when the premiere is going to happen, are you absolutely certain that moving the premiere at the last minute would have been the right move?

    Maybe you are. If so, you’re golden.

    But there’s an undercurrent of “anything the CBC does is shit” to your argument that really, honestly, is better suited to the bitch site antics of the Teamakers, where they always get to
    complain when they’re right and never have to admit when they’re wrong.

    Was there hyperbole about that show? Maybe, sure. But was there more hyperbole than attends any U.S. premiere? No. That stuff gets said all the time. And none of us call them on it because it’s an American show.

    But in Canada, no, no, no, we have to examine things three times and make sure nobody’s getting all uppity and we have to totally eat our own before we get anywhere.

    Yeah. You’re right. Erica needs to prove itself over the next few weeks.

    But if your point was that the network fucked up the premiere, that wasn’t clear.

    And the Air Farce comparison was still a cheap shot.

    I was always against the secretive nature of why the Canadian ratings are so — withheld — but that entry is exactly why they guard it like state secrets. It was not your finest hour.

    And BTW, I have ZERO stake in the success/failure of “Being Erica.”

  4. I watched Erica (cause I don’t got cable) and (who the hell am…) I could’ve told ’em how to fix this mess in 5 minutes.

    1) Spend the money up front! Give the dang DP another 2 hours to properly light the office.

    2) Tell Dr. Tom to play the role a little closer to his chest. Did I hear him slip into a British accent?

    3) Pick a song (or three!!!). Everytime a new clip came on, I tuned out to play ‘Name That Tune.’

    4) I dunno. I stopped watching after these 3 Blunders.

    But… Bon success!

    I sure do hope someone hires me this season.

  5. Denis forgive Bill for his little foibles, he’s still besotted with Air Farce and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

  6. What a shocker, the state-funded cbc lays another egg…when will Canadian taxpayers realize that if no one in the private sector is interested in investing in these horrid grade school productions why should they be on the hook for a billion eggs?…hey!, maybe these cbcers should go on Dragons Den and pitch these terrible productions to the Dragons …bwhahahaha…now that would be a show I’d watch.

    Love the way the state-funded cbc circulates our cash to the ” Red Star” because we all know that the “Red Star” sells a gazillion copies in Winnipeg, Calgary, Prince George, Timbuktu…man, what a crew.

  7. Well, for the record, I watched both the World Hockey Championships and the premiere of Being Erica. I watched the hockey live of course, but Being Erica I watched later.

    I was actually pleasantly surprised about Being Erica. I was expecting it to be as bad as Sophie but it was actually pretty good. WIld Roses, though, was AWESOME and I’m curious to see how the ratings for that went down seeing as there was no hockey to take away viewers.

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