18 to Life faces sudden death opposite World Junior Hockey tourney in January

Ratings roadkill Farber and Seater: ref should step in

Does the CBC never learn? Are they trying to kill 18 to Life? Why else would you schedule the second season premiere of the family comedy smack up against the Death Star of all Death Stars in Canada, the World Junior Hockey Championships?
It’s not like you can’t see this one coming. The WJHC schedule is available for all to see right now at TSN.ca. The semi-final games are scheduled for Monday Jan. 3, 2011, same day 18 to Life returns (at 8 p.m.) along with Little Mosque. CBC’s new reality series Village on a Diet is set to premiere that night at 9.
Talk about so off side it’s icing. If Canada is in the semi-finals (which start at 7:30 p.m. ET), the game could draw four, five, six million fans. Viewers went bananas for this tourney last year when Canada lost in a close final to the USA. Canada’s Olympic hockey gold a few months later was seen by eleventy billion people according to those PPM ratings ‘roids, then in all their full strength glory. Even with the PPM’s seemingly dialed back down to earth, the junior hockey tourney will slam everything else on Canadian schedules hard into the boards.
CBC programmers have short memories. This is exactly what doomed Being Erica, a series launched in January of 2009 with plenty of hype and expectations–straight into the WJHC buzz saw. It has never recovered.
Somebody at CBC obviously woke up long enough to bump the second season premiere of Republic of Doyle back a week; it was originally scheduled to bow Jan. 5, smack up against the WJHC final. Now Doyle returns Jan. 12. Oh yeah!
Even that bit of scheduling may need to be tweaked. With Fox and soon-to-follow CTV locking in a new, 90-minute night for American Idol, Doyle on Wednesdays following Dragon’s Den no longer looks quite so cushy. Flip Doyle back to Tuesdays and relocate Pillars of the Earth to Wednesdays, I’m thinkin’.
But please, toss a couple of Just Four Laughs repeats into that black hole of hockey Jan. 3 and give 18 to Life a chance at more than just 18 viewers.

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