Evan Soloman, Michael Ignatieff and Mark Critch in festive 22 Minutes finale

Two CBC shows enjoyed strong finales this week: 22 Minutes and Being Erica. 22 Minutes has earned a shot at a 18th season with a higher season average than it achieved last year. More in doubt is Erica‘s fate. Will a late rally be enough to rescue a low-rated season? There’s talk of a U.S. network versioning the three-year-old CBC series and, if they do, look for them to make one crucial fix–cutting it to half an hour.
I don’t know how many viewers are indulging in the constant parade of Christmas movies from U.S. movie stations TCM and AMC, but it may be having an impact on the Canadian network holiday movie numbers. They are steady but perhaps not as robust as in past years.
Here are the overnight, estimated viewing numbers across Canada 2+ for the week of Dec. 13 to 19:

CBC scored over a million viewers with the 1966 animated evergreen Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas. That led into a Men with Brooms episode at (355,000) followed by a Season of Song with the Canadian Tenors and Friends (957,000, thanks to one friend in particular, Justin Bieber). The National at 10 (875,000) enjoyed an uptick in viewing.
Shrewed CTV jumped the gun a year stripping four-year-old sitcom Big Bang Theory five nights a week at . The show has been rocket fuelled all season, starting this week at nearly 1.6 million. That led to Two and a Half Men, which draws a crowd no matter where it lands, getting 2,237,000 this week at 8 on CTV. (In Canada they should call this show Two and a Half Million.) Mike & Molly followed at 1,870,000, with a Castle repeat doing 1,088,000.
Global led with the movie Hancock (883,000) followed by Hawaii FIVE-0 (1,237,000).
City comedies How I Met Your Mother (782,000) and Rules of Engagement (747,000) kept pace.
TSN scored 510,000 for the Monday Night Football Baltimore/Houston tilt.
Hats off to the gang at 22 Minutes. With very little fanfare or promotion, they delivered a strong (if shortened) season. Both creatively and in the ratings. Tuesdays hour-long season finale delivered 1,088,000 at 8 and another 1,039,000 at for almost total retention over the hour. Let’s see CBC step up with a full season order for 2011. At 9, CBC skated off with 681,000 viewers with a Holiday on Ice special.
Global did well with a night full of reruns, including Glee (1,325,000), NCIS: LA (1,684,000) and The Good Wife (1,058,000).
City gained with the finale of The Biggest Loser (961,000) with 544,000 also checking out Minute to Win It. Next year, combine the two shows: Minute to Eat It. Don’t think Fox isn’t already on this.
The original Shrek did 803,000 on CTV Tuesday night, followed by another airing of Flashpoint (749,000).
Sportsnet Ontario scored 651,000 for a Toronto/Edmonton NHL game.
CTV bounced back from a soft Tuesday with a strong Wednesday, scoring with imports Human Target at 8 (1.4 million), Criminal Minds (2.4+) and The Defenders (close to 1.5 million).
The second last episode of Global’s Survivor: Nicaragua drew 2.1 million viewers Wednesday, surprisingly more than watched Sunday’s finale. A NCIS rerun got 712,000 and NCIS:LA repeated at 472,000.
Amid buzz that it is toast, Being Erica went out with a bang with 627,000 viewers, its strongest outing all season. CBC began the night with holiday treats Frosty the Snowman (837,000) and Mickey’s Christmas Carol (777,000).
A Modern Family repeat still managed 511,000 on City, where Hell’s Kitchen cooked up 559.000.
Philly/Montreal drew 792,000 NHL fans to TSN. Over at Teletoon, a Kung Fu Panda Christmas special did 426,000.
A new episode of The Big Bang Theory soared over the three million mark Thursday, leading CTV to its usual Thursday night win. S#*! My Dad Says did over two million, with CSI scoring 887,000 at and 1.6 mil+ at 10.
A rare Thursday night hockey game found 744,000 Habs/Bruins fans. Doc Zone got body checked down to 139,000 wedged between the game and the post-game (442,000).
A mini Office marathon fizzled on Global doing 430,000, 289,000 and 284,000. Outsourced in-between did close to 400,000. A Bones repeat rattled 786,000.
/A channel’s well placed Meet the Fockers nabbed 527,000 viewers. A W network holiday movie (On Strike for Christmas) found the radar with 442,000 viewers.
Everybody is down to holiday movies now on Fridays. CBC scored with Home Alone (1,140,000), CTV had Borrowed Hearts (620,000), Global Surviving Christmas (526,000). Sonny with a Chance did better than half a million on Family.
Hockey Night in Canada continues to cash in on all Canadian matchups, with 2.1 million catching Saturdays tilt between the Leafs and the Canucks. The late game drew 795,000. Paul McCartney’s four song set boosted Saturday Night Live to 542,000 viewers—more than anything else on Global’s entire Saturday schedule.
With the Amazing Race concluded for another year the Survivor finale took top spot on the night, but with less than 2.1 million viewers. Another 1,783,000 stuck around for the spirited after show.
Otherwise CBC’s movie (1.1 mil+) edged CTV’s movies (991,000 and 1,072,000). TSN tackled 630,000 with Sunday Night Football.

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