The return of a big-budget Canadian talent search series calls for something we at don’t do as much of anymore, for various reasons: look at a full night of national broadcast numbers.

Several things to keep in mind: half a million is the new million in Canada as competition from streamers such as Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, AppleTV+, Crave and Paramount+, among others, continue to sway more than half the available audience on any given night. Also, these early overnight estimates are sort of like just reporting the first two periods of a hockey game. Final, Live+7 reports — which advertisers look at — will boost all of these early estimates, especially for scripted dramas and comedies. The following is just an indication of how shows are performing on opening night only, which grows less and less relevant in our off-schedule, “on-demand” and more and more digital world.

That being said, the second season of Canada’s Got Talent bowed to a positive start in raw numbers Tuesday night. Overnight ratings show that an estimated 539,000 viewers tuned in to the hour-long broadcast on Citytv. Look for that number to rise once viewing over a seven day period plus digital views on the Citytv app and are factored in.

The good news for Citytv is that the Howie Mandel-led talent series outperformed overnight estimates the same night for well established reality shows such as Big Brother Canada, which was calculated at 464,000 viewers. It also topped CTV2’s early returns for their simulcast of The Voice (304,000).

There was stiff sports competition in the mix, with the Toronto Maple Leafs battling the New York Islanders on NHL Leafs Hockey. That game drew 609,000 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:06 p.m. on TSN. Over on Sportsnet National, an estimated 372,000 from 7 to 11:30 p.m. was the overnight tally for the final of the Baseball World Championships, won by Japan over the United States.

With Global stuck simulcasting three FBI franchise encore episodes Tuesday night (drawing in the high 300,000 to low 400,000 overnight viewer range), the lion’s share of the TV drama audience watched CTV. The Rookie was pegged at an overnight, estimated 984,000, impressive out-of-simulcast at 7 p.m. That series was followed by the hit of the night, a simulcast of 9-1-1: Lone Star (1,053,000). New series Wil Trent (750,000) performed well at 10 p.m. Again, keep in mind, and especially for the scripted dramas, that these early returns are just part of the audience picture.


On Indie stations such as Yes TV in the GTA, Wheel of Fortune (512,000) and Jeopardy! (625,000) continue to spin well across Canada in early prime.

CBC’s Tuesday night went like this in overnight estimates: the incredibly durable import Coronation Street at 7 (389,000) followed by Family Feud Canada (190,000), This Hour Has 22 Minutes (399,000), Son of a Critch (387,000) and Workin’ Moms (160,000). Critch could almost double its audience in 10 days or so when total numbers for scripted originals are released (while no longer shared).

On Thursday, CBC announced it has renewed 22 Minutes (for a 31st season!), Son of a Critch and the Wednesday night comedy Run the Burbs for 2023-24. Workin’ Moms is in its seventh and final year.

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