March break is generally an off week for TV networks with many viewers away on family vacations. The usual suspects–American Idol (down to 11 finalists, above), Amazing Race, Survivor and House all topped the two million mark but otherwise viewing levels were generally down . Sad and scary headlines from Japan also swung many viewers back to CBC’s The National. Here’s how the Canadian network ratings played out in prime time the week of March 14 to 20 according to overnight estimated of viewers 2+:

Shawn Doyle of Endgame

House continues to have a lock on the 8 o’clock timeslot, drawing over two million viewers on Global. Matthew Perry’s mid-season import Mr. Sunshine continues to fade, dragging CTV down to 795,000 viewers. That has helped CBC’s Little Mosque creep up to 580,000 as it closes in on its fifth season finale. 18 to Life held steady at 8:30 with an overnight, estimated 384,000 viewers.
The return of Dancing with the Stars to CTV this Monday will have a big impact on the night.
In the meantime, look who’s still “winning!” at 9: Two and a Half Men, with 1.5 million+ sticking with yet another rerun. That beat a new episode of Global’s mid-season cop show The Chicago Code (1,242,000) and the final episode of CBC’s Village on a Diet (550,000).
Uncharacteristically, none of the networks cracked the million mark at 10 with CTV coming closest with CSI Miami (935,000). Global drew 863,000 with a Hawaii FIVE-0 rerun. Headlines in Japan and Libya sent viewers scrambling back to CBC’s The National, which drew 836,000 viewers at 10 p.m. CTV’s National News, which drew 1,238,000 Monday at 11, was at its usual robust levels all week.
Meanwhile on specialty, the premiere of the Vancouver-based Shawn Doyle drama Endgame drew 232,000 viewers.

Global had a strong Tuesday with back-to-back timeslot winners Glee (1,757,000) and NCIS: Los Angeles (1,434,000). CTV’s The Listener continues to show it can stand alone in Canada, winning 10 o’clock with close to a million viewers.
Rick Mercer had the only other million plus audience on the night (1,137,000). No Ordinary Family was very ordinary at 696,000, helping InSecurity on CBC rise to 409,000. Law & Order: SVU (637,000) and The Good Wife (694,000) coasted with reruns. CBC’s Winnipeg Comedy Fest managed 472,000 at 9, with CBC News up to 762,000 at 10.

A good night all around but especially for CTV thanks to a two hour American Idol (2,780,000) leading into new forensic spin off Criminal Minds SB (2,264,000). The loss of Russell didn’t prevent 2,359,000 from checking out Global’s Survivor: Redemption Island. CBC’s Republic of Doyle arrested 836,000 at 9 opposite a weak NCIS rerun on Global (481,000). At 10, new medical drama Off The Map found exactly one million, with CBC enjoying another strong news night (831,000).

Happy birthday, David Suzuki. The broadcaster and environmental activist turns 75 Thursday and 939,000 Canadian viewers came to the party last week on The Nature of Things. Not bad opposite American Idol, relocated to CTV from /A for a week where it doubled its usual Canadian Thursday take to 2,704,000 overnight, estimated viewers. (The Big Bang Theory took the week off.) Global’s Wipeout at 8 did 1,060,000.
The 9 p.m. battle saw Bones (1,591,000) edge CSI (1,583,000) with CBC’s Doc Zone picking up close to 700,000 viewers.
An infusion of Blue Bloods brought 1,171,000 at CTV at 10, with news from Japan driving The National up to 934,000. Global saw The Office slump to 291,000 and Outsourced outperform at 460,000.

CTV won the night but without its usual three crime dramas. A movie at 8 drew close to 1.1 million with 839,000 sticking around at 10:30 for a slot warmer episode of Shat My Dad Says. The movie was the only network offering to crack the million mark Friday night with Global’s Kitchen Nightmares (849,000) and CBC’s Marketplace (754,000) enjoying decent outings. Rick Mercer Repeat did 556,000, fifth estate 533,000. Global also has shows Friday night including their second window on Haven 273,000.


HNiC Game #1 2,157,000, Game #2 825,000. SNL 293,000. The aptly named Dual Suspects dragged Global down to 79,000 viewers Saturday at 10. Across Canada!
CTV won wire to wire in prime with The Mentalist (1,134,000). Amazing Race (2,441,000), Undercover Boss (1,516,000) and CSI Miami (1,880,000). Only Global’s Celebrity Apprentice (1,135,000) came close. A Sunday night hockey game drew 736,000 at 7 on CBC. Minus The Simpsons, the Fox ‘toons on Global were in the 500-600,000 range. Desperate Housewives returns next week.

1 Comment

  1. Bill, would you mind putting in the actual data for The Listener instead of saying “close to a million” and “close to 1.1 million” because it makes it awkward to use your site as a reference on Wikipedia when you don’t give the numbers.

    Thank you.

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