Impact: Stewart, Stunts and Specialty

Do casting stunts score in specialty the way they do on broadcast TV?
Thursday night’s dust up between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer on The Daily Show shows a mixed reaction. In Canada, The Daily Show scored 138,000 viewers at 11 p.m. on The Comedy Channel, then another 282,000 on CTV at midnight for a combined total of 420,000 viewers. Sophie should be so lucky.
One week earlier, Stewart’s showcase pulled just 152,000 on a Thursday night on CTV, so big gain there, nearly double the audience.
Yet on Comedy, Thursday night’s audience wasn’t nearly as robust as it was on Monday, when Stewart pulled 189,000.
Either way, not bloody bad for a specialty channel take.
Brought to mind an eye popping pie chart spotted over on Steve Faguy’s punchy Montreal media blog Fagstein a few week back. It shows how the audience is split between all the channel options–network, specialty, digital and Pay-TV. It all looks like spokes on a bicycle wheel, with the conventional broadcast networks enjoying just slightly fatter spaces between the spokes.

And that was two seasons ago, before the networks really hit the wall.

Speaking of specialty, a steady TVFMF reader asked for more non network numbers at this site. Happy to oblige. Look at the audience South Park scores on Comedy: Monday, 224,000, Thursday, 195,000. That is more than CTV has scored some weeks with Degrassi or Global scored last week with Da Kink in My Hair–and it is rich in 18-34-year-olds.
Showcase drew 189,000 last night for “Walking Tall,” then scored 129,000 for an episode of Numb3rs–at midnight! A repeat of Trailer Park Boys pulled 125,000 at 5:30 p.m.
Not everything kills in specialty. The new comedy Testees drew just 18,000 Monday at 10:30 on Showcase. It takes balls to sink that low.
THURSDAY NIGHT NUMBERS: CTV was the big winner, scoring 1,536,000 overnight, estimated “commercial” viewers for CSI, 2,134,000 for Grey’s Anatomy and 1,981,000 for George Clooney’s return to soon to end ER (2.02 million on the CTV “Total” scale). In the U.S., Clooney’s visit scored NBC its best ER number in two years, 10.7 million viewers. The series finale airs April 2.
Global took the 8 p.m. slot with Survivor Tocantins (1,792,000) but took a hit at 9 with The Office (717,000) and a big hit at 9:30 with Da Kink In My Hair (171,000, just 49,000 25-54). Life had barely a pulse at 10 with 221,000.
Jeopardy!, now in its “Tournament of Champions,” pulled 932,000 2+ 7:30 on CBC. Nothing else came close on the night, including Doc Zone (423,000) and the CBC National News (728,000).

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