The Border returns tonight at 9 p.m. on CBC, the last of the CBC series launches for now. The action hour is entering a third season, a critical time for most shows. It`s been around long enough for editors to say, “What else ya got?” when guys like me are pitching features, not long enough to have reached that magic 100 episode mark and the promise of syndication riches.
The drama had its order cut by one this season due to CBC’s budget shortfall. Will it get the kind of PPM bump imported dramas seem to be getting this fall in Canada? With numbers up as much as 20% across the board, The Border will be expected to grow beyond its 700,000 viewer base.
The addition of Grace Park as agent Liz Carver boosted the series numbers last season. This year’s Border babe is Athena Karkanis who joins as the squads new language specialist. Since the McGill grad is fluent in seven languages, she is well cast.
Ran into former McGill AV dude James McGowan (above right, with Graham Abbey, Park and Karkanis) at the CBC fall launch a few weeks ago in Toronto. He spilled the beans on a special future episode so if you don’t want to stumble into a spoiler, BAIL HERE.
McGowan said his character, agent Mike Kessler, is kidnapped around the half way point this season, with terrorists spiriting him away to the hidden caves of Afghanistan. McGowan says he had a blast shooting the episode, but did not get to go to the war-torn land to shoot those scenes. The whole thing was shot up in Caledon at the old Maple Leaf sand pits, an equally desolate locale off Hwy 10 (just south of the Eddie Shack doughnut joint). Maybe that is where bin Laden is hiding.
LAST NIGHT’S RATINGS: Dragon’s Den continues to impress at CBC. BBM Canada counted 1,479,000 viewers last night according to overnight estimates, proving people love seeing folks sass back to Kevin O’Leary.
The Tudors opened with a respectable 812,000. CBC’s The National seems mired in that half million funk. George`s The Hour fetched 123,000 at 11.
CTV had a big night with SYTYCD Canada results cracking the million mark at 7:30. The big winners were Criminal Minds (2,804,000), CSI: NY (2,323,000) and the CTV News at 11 (1,280,000 commercial).
Global`s Glee, the top rookie among 18-49-years-olds across Canada and one of three new imports already picked up for a full season Stateside (the other`s being The Good Wife and NCIS: Los Angeles) fetched 1.5 million last night behind surprising Bones (2,043,000).
City`s terrific rookie ABC comedies Modern Family and Cougar Town did 417,000 and 564,000 Wednesday night. TSN scored with two NHL games (553,000 and 781,000 for the Vancouver tilt). And look at how the new PPMs are goosing those kiddie numbers: Last night on YTV iCarly drew 736,000. The Border should be so lucky.
RETURNING TONIGHT: X-Weighted (8/7c, Slice).

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