Alec Baldwin, Maya Rudolph and Jim Carrey on the Oct. 3, SNL season premiere

UPDATED Oct. 17: With a Canadian among the headliners (Jim Carrey, who played Joe Biden in the opening presidential debate sketch), Canadians were ready and eager for the return of Saturday Night Live. Ten days ago, the 46th season preiere roared back with close to two million viewers. That boosted the late night series to second overal in English Canada in Live+7, 2+ totals for the week of Sept. 28 to Oct. 4.

In the younger demos advertisers still covet most, SNL stood No. 1 for the week, ahead of 2+ totals winner The Masked Singer.

With its main timeslot rival, Survivor, benched due to COVID-related production safety concerns, Masked Singer is off to a fast start this fall on CTV. The reality show, which also topped the weekly Top 30 the week before, was the only series to crack the two million mark in total viewers.

Global took a chance this fall on the Fox series directly following Masked Singer, I Can See Your Voice. Thety got lucky; the show is the hit of the season so far and made the Top 5 in Canada on this week in review.

Here’s a complete look at the Top 10:

  1. The Masked Singer (CTV) Wed 2,081,000
  2. Saturday Night Live (Global) Sat 1,931,000
  3. The CTV Evening News (CTV) Mon-Fri 1,495,000
  4. CTV Evening News Weekend (CTV) Sat 1,358,000
  5. I Can See Your Voice (Global) Wed 1,244,000
  6. Big Brother (Global) Wed 1,215,000
  7. Big Brother (Global) Thurs 1,181,000
  8. The CTV National News (CTV) Mon-Sun 1,137,000
  9. NFL Early (CTV/TSN) Sun 976,000
  10. The Weakest Link (CTV) Mon 923,000

Numeris doesn’t factor CNN into the Canadian Top 30 list, but if you look at how many Canadians watched the election debate-slash-screaming match on the US news channel, the total was 1,951,000 viewers. That would rank it the second most-watched show overall in Canada the week of Sept. 28 – Oct. 4 behind only The Masked Singer and ahead of the parody of the debate on SNL.


Just missing the Top 10 is rookie import Filthy Rich starring Kim Cattrall; CTV found 901,000 viewers with the 11th place finish. The NFL is creeping up the viewing chart slightly, with the one o’clock Sunday afternoon game, shown on both CTV and TSN, drawing over a million. The afternoon game ranked 12th for the week with 847,000 viewers.

NHL hockey fans — 818,000 of them — helped push Sportsnet National and the final game of this year’s truncated Stanley Cup tourney into 14th spot. This was a tough year for Rogers and Sportsnet, who put on a good show but got unlucky again as home team rooting interest just wasn’t there. The summer months also worked against the ice sport, me thinks.

With America’s Got Talent bowing out for another season the week before, Citytv was left with just one show in the Top-30: Dancing With the Stars. The revamped import drew 737,000, waltzing off with 18th place.

There were ten newscasts in the English Canada TV Top 30, all split between CTV and Global, as concerned citizens here tried to keep up with Trump’s COVID reports and shenanigans.

Not in the Canadian Top 30, again, was a single CBC series. Next week’s Top 30, covering Oct. 5 through Oct. 11, will reflect the premieres of a few new CBC offerings, including the critically praised Trickster, The Sounds and War of the Worlds. It will be interesting to see if CBC can cut through the clutter while Global, CTV and City are hampered by an ongoing imported scripted drama shortage. The public broadcaster better jump through this widow while they can; CBS’s big hour-long hits, including NCIS, are all returning to Canadian broadcast schedules in November.

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