New Idol judge Jack Sparrow Jr.

At this point, with Simon gone and the series shifted onto a new night in its 10th season, American Idol doesn’t seem to need any help shedding viewers. The talent search series got off to its lowest start ever in the United States with an overnight, estimated audience of 26.23 million, a double digit decline from the year before. Thursdays U.S. overnight tally was 22.63 million.
CTV went out of its way to lower ratings by a million-and-a-half viewers in Canada by airing the Wednesday show on one of their networks and the Thursday show on another. As a result, American Idol on CTV Wednesday fetched an overnight, estimated 2,878,000 viewers while the Thursday show on /A drew less than half that total, 1,326,000.
CTV was forced into this awkward scheduling move because they couldn’t move its CBS simulcast of The Big Bang Theory–which drew its usual 3.2 million Thursday at 8 to retain its crown as Canada’s No. 1 show.
Here’s how the rest of Jan. 17 – 23 looked across Canada (overnight 2+ estimates):

House was top show of the night with 2,362,000 viewers on Global at 8.Global had a strong night overall with Lie to Me at 9 drawing over 1.5 million and Hawaii FIVE-0 surfing to 1,732,000 viewers. CTV also had a winning Monday with an hour-long Hot in Cleveland clip show warming up the return of that U.S. cable import at 1,167,000 viewers, followed by Two and a Half Men at 8:30 (2,266,000). Mike & Molly weighed in with 1,550,000 and at 10 Castle drew over a million.
CBC mid-season entries Little Mosque (452,000) and 18 to Life (282,000) struggled to season lows while Village on a Diet gained to 533,000.

Even without Glee, Global rolled to another win Tuesday thanks to old reliables NCIS (2,347,000), NCIS: Los Angeles (1,876,000) and The Good Wife (1,226,000).
CBC started strong with the Rick Mercer Report at 8 (1,118,000) then took a tumble at 8:30 with InSecurity (356,000). Pillars of the Earth held 644,000, less than The National pulled at 10 (792,000).
CTV was held under a million all night except for local favourite Flashpoint at 10 (1,373,000). Less impactful were No Ordinary Family (995,000) and Law & Order SVU (957,000).
The Biggest Loser gained 687,000 on City. A Montreal/Buffalo tilt scored 837,000 on RDS and another 646,000 on TSN.

The two hour season premiere of American Idol stormed back with 2,878,000 viewers on CTV, followed by close to 1.6 million for relocated family cop series Blue Bloods.
This put a slight dent in CBC’s powerhouse Wednesday lineup of Dragon’s Den (1,481,000) and Republic of Doyle (944,000).
Global took the night off with back-to-back Raising Hope and a repeat of Glee all flirting with 300,000; new jungle drama Off the Map at 10 did 882,000.
CTV gifted /A with 1,203,000 Criminal Minds viewers. Idol is forcing even Criminal Minds away from CTV. Modern Family did 683,000 on City. History scored again with IRT: Deadliest Roads (640,000) and Ice Pilots NWT (359,000). A Leafs/Rangers game on TSN scored 733,000.

CTV held its strong Thursday night lineup with CSI (943,000), Big Bang Theory (3,189,000), $#*! My Dad Says (2.109,000), CSI again (1,890,000) and The Mentalist (2,435,000) all performing to potential.
/A had American Idol (1,326,000) but slid all the way back down to 277,000 at 9 with Nikita.
Global countered with Wipeout (825,000), Bones (1,353,000) and relocated NBC comedies The Office (212,000) and that Bollywood version of Outsourced (445,000).
CBC’s Jeopardy! (1,236,000) may skew old at 7:30, but it still pulled twice as many 25-54-year-old viewers Thursday than The Nature of Things and Doc Zone (496,000 and 382,000 in 2+ tallies). On City, Parks & Recreation returned to 295,000 viewers.
Leafs vs. Ducks on Sportsnet Ontario drew 621,000, with another 474,000 catching Canucks/Sharks on Sportsnet Pacific.

Marketplace did 942,000 Friday night on CBC, which is damn good. A Mercer repeat (613,000) and figure skating (613,000) finished off a decent night.
CTV won Friday with crime imports Medium (1,106,000) plus two helpings of CSI: NY (1,162,000 and 1,403,000).
Kitchen Nightmares (622,000) and the relocated Showcase drama Haven (345,000) kept the lights on at Global.


Hockey Night in Canada Game One: 2,028,000. Saturday Night Live 362,000.
Afternoon NFL playoff games were the big draw Sunday. CTV scored almost identical ratings with the early Packers/Bears game (2,112,000) as thet did with the later Steelers win over the Jets (2,121,000). The end of the football season will be cheered, however, if for no other reason than to be spared those creepy promo spots CTV crammed into every second or third down. The bits had these faceless, metal-clad “Rollerball” warriors running around Toronto streets, past streetcars ads for S#*! My Dad Says, past cardboard cut outs of Big Bang geek Jim Parsons, past outdoor window ads where Tom Selleck or the dudes from Castle or The Mentalist gave the anonymous runners the stink eye. It was like being in on some CTV marketing guys wet dream about convergence and American content. Eeew!
It didn’t translate into much for CTV in prime time, with two episodes of overused Big Bang getting less than 1.2 million each and a CSI at 418,000. Desperate Housewives were thrown over to /A, where they dipped to 317,000 viewers. This flip-floppy CTV to /A schedule thing seemed to piss off more viewers as the week went on.
CBC’s Heartland rode off with 1,160,000 Sunday night, with 789,000 tuning in for the figure skating championships. Global did 962,000 for The Simpsons and 849,000 with CBS’s post-football tryout of Hawaii FIVE-0. All their animated comedies in between did close to a half million viewers each.


  1. Was it CTV or the US networks who were cramming in the extra ad breaks during the NFL games? I liked the masculine Rollerball bits – just doubly overused this week is all. (Don’t put up a 80-1 TVFMF poll though).
    And note their added TSN signoffs after both games – as commented about during this very mid-season by, um, me. Next time, spiral over a free advice paycheck will ya, CTV.

  2. Do you have the rating for the Minnesota at Calgary game that was also played on the TSN Wednesday double header?

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