Global’s PR department finally dropped the release I’ve been anticipating for weeks now — the “We’re kicking ass” release.
“Global jumpstarts the 2021-22 TV season — scoring number one’s across the board,” it begins. The Corus Entertainment network declared itself the home of the No. 1 new and overall series,” CSI: Vegas, the No. 1 reality show Survivor. According to Numeris data* they also got off to a fast start this season with four of the top-five and six of the top 10 most-watched programs in all of Canada in total viewers.**
Not on the release is the fact that the most-watched show in Canada the past three weeks, according to Numeris Live+7 reports, has been another Global import, 9-1-1.
Add it all up and CTV’s 20 year grip on the annual ratings crown appears to be in jeopardy.
Global is winning Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights this fall in 2+ and especially in the A18-34 demo. On that scale, Global’s lead over CTV stretches to eight out of the Top-10 most-watched shows:
Canada’s Top 10 Most-Watched Programs (A18-34)
Take a closer look: Survivor, benched for a full year due to the pandemic, has roared back for Global. It is especially strong where it counts revenue-wise, in the demos and in the GTA. Plus it has knocked CTV’s reality show rival, The Masked Singer, down to 15th place in their head-to-head timeslot battle among Total viewers 2+.
That three of the Top-10 in the A18-34 demo are rookie shows — NCIS: Hawai’i, FBI: International and CSI: Vegas — is especially encouraging for the network. In other good news, two of those imported hours plus another one, Ghosts, have all been renewed for a full season Stateside. So far, according to the release, Ghosts is averaging 1.26 million viewers a week in Canada.
On the downside: CSI: Vegas was booked by CBS as a ten-episode, limited-run series. It will most assuredly be extended, but Global can’t count on it being among the four out of five most-watched shows in English Canada for much longer this season.
Global had luck on their side this fall. With deals in place already for the FBI and NCIS franchises, they likely had dibs on what has proved to be instantly popular broadcast network extensions. They also had momentum after picking up one of the few hits last spring: The Equalizer, which ranked 22nd the week of Oct. 11-17.
Their surge, however, was also aided by a less aggressive broadcast strategy by Bell. In the old days, CTV would overspend and play keep-a-way, doing whatever it cost to deny Global back-to-back simulcast nights. Bell now seems more focused on the streaming side, keeping Crave well stocked with fare from HBO, Showtime and Starz.
Bell Media’s programming executive purge at the start of the year saw a new team head to the Hollywood screenings. They rolled the dice on shows that have underperformed this fall. The new lineup includes the reboot of The Wonder Years, The Big Leap, Celebrity Wheel of Fortune and People Like Us.
CTV’s only rookie import on Numeris’ most recent (Oct. 11-17) Top-30 2+ chart was La Brea — and it ranked 29th.
The 2021-22 season still has a long way to go. Declaring victory after six weeks is premature and CTV may have picked more winners among the mid-season shows scheduled to start in January. They also have last year’s No. 1 scripted Canadian draw, Transplant, which is also in the wings. Plus, you know, the Super Bowl.
CTV’s release, and it will come soon, will emphasize that they still have five of the Top 10 shows in the A25-54-year-old demo, the one most covetted by advertisers. Still, it has to be a concern when one of those shows, the import drama The Good Doctor, ranks third in the older-skewing, 2+ Top-10, seventh in A25-54 and falls out of the Top-10 entirely among A18-34-year-olds.
Give Global marks, therefore, for making the most of September, October and into November in the traditional broadcast arena.
* Sources: Numeris PPM Data, 9/20/2021 to 10/24/2021, confirmed data, total viewers Ind. 2+ unless otherwise noted, 3+ airings, Total Canada, AMA(000), CDN CONV COM ENG National Networks, Primetime = M-Su 8p-11p, Key Demos = Ind. 2+, A25-54 and A18-34
** Not exactly. Canada still has 10 provinces. An average of 1.8 million francaphone Quebec viewers have been making District 31 one of Canada’s most-watched shows all fall.