All throughout the COVID outbreak and subsequent production shut downs, one key ratings question kept nagging in my noggin: would fans of older broadcast dramas come roaring back after sampling a summer and fall full of streaming and cable options?

Questioned answered. The most recent Numeris Top 30, surveying the week of November 16 to 22, shows that English Canada flocked back to the tried and true.

Four scripted drama imports topped the weekly ratings in terms of total audience, all cracking the two million viewer mark. Ageless Grey’s Anatomy was the most watched show in English Canada when its 17th season premiere aired Nov. 12 on CTV. Relative newcomer The Good Doctor was right behind.

An even older show at 18 seasons, NCIS, drew 2,010,000 viewers the same week. Global also topped two million viewers with another drama import, FBI.

There was one Citytv drama import in the Top 10, Chicago Fire, with 1,440,000 viewers. No. 17 Chicago Med did 1,263,000; No. 22 Chicago PD pulled another 1,131,000 on Citytv.

There you have it — cops, doctors and responers still rule. Here’s how the Top 10 ranked (average minute audience, all viewers 2+):


  1. Grey’s Anatomy (CTV) Thurs 2,188,000
  2. The Good Doctor (CTV) Mon 2,148,000
  3. NCIS (Global) Tues 2,010,000
  4. FBI (Global) Tues 2,005,000
  5. The Masked Singer (CTV) Wed 1,987,000
  6. Young Sheldon (CTV) Thurs 1,975,000
  7. CTV Evening News (CTV) MTWTF 1,770,000
  8. Station 19 (CTV) Thurs 1,617,000
  9. This Is Us (CTV) Tues 1,474,000
  10. Chicago Fire (Citytv) Wed 1,440

The return of so many late-starting import dramas pushed several newscasts off the Canadian Top 30. Only three CTV ‘casts survived, including the CTV Evening News at No. 7, the Evening News Weekend edition at No. 11 (1,397,000 viewers) and the CTV National News at No. 23 (1,117,000).

In all, 27 out of 30 shows cracked the million mark in a very robust week of broadcast viewing in Canada. Falling just short were the only two sports entries on the list, the CTV/TSN NFL Early and Late Sunday afternon games, coming in at 28th and 29th spots with 984,000 and 966,000 viewers.

The top-rated and only scripted Canadian original on the list was Global’s resilient Jason Priestley drama Private Eyes. It ranked 18th with 1,152,000 viewers.

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