Yup, She’s Gained: Idol Gets Ellen-vated

CTV could score 10 million viewers Friday night with its coverage of the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games. Thanks to the new ratings ‘roids, these sports-mad Portable People Meters, and Sundays’ four hour Olympic Informercial-slash-Super Bowl broadcast–not to mention CTV’s nightly evening Olympic infomercials-slash-suppertime news hours, the Games are set to blow everything else off Canadian screens Friday.
CTV does have one or two Olympic-sized ratings headaches over the next two weeks, however. For one thing, they have to shift four episodes of TV’s No. 1 show, American Idol, over to A channel, where the rest of their prime time hits will air throughout the rest of February.
American Idol soared to its biggest audience of the season Tuesday night as 3.56 million Canadians tuned in to see new judge Ellen DeGeneres’ debut.
I thought DeGeneres looked a little cranky during the hour, but she probably felt she needed to put her serious game face on to establish some cred with viewers who question her karaoke qualifications. Or maybe anybody replacing Paula Abdul would be a sobering addition to this series.
Showing the power of network television, Global’s resilient NCIS still managed to draw 2.17 opposite Idol Tuesday night, according to BBM Canada overnight, estimated numbers quoted in Wednesday’s CTV release.
Last month on press tour, NBC entertainment president Jeff Gaspin and even bullish Olympic programming boss Dick Ebersol played down expectations that the Peacock Winter Games coverage might overtake Idol on any of the four scheduled head-to-head encounters. The Idol Death Star is still the game to beat south of the border.

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