Numbers are in for how the CBC shows have fared over the first ten weeks of 2008 and the Rick Mercer Report stands at the top of the list, both in total households and in the 25-54-year-old demographic, CBC's targeted demo.
Between Jan. 7 through March 16, the Rick Mercer Report (which featured Anne Murray last night) averaged 889,000 total viewers, followed by Little Mosque on the Prairie at a 835,000 a week average. The Week The Women Went, CBC's just concluded new reality series, scored 754,000 on average. That was followed by Air Farce Live, still a player after 15 seasons with 657,000 weekly viewers across Canada. (All numbers are BBM/NMR estimates based on average minute audience.)
Of note is that the Friday repeat of Mercer came in at fifth on the list, just nudging past This Hour Has 22 Minutes (648,000) but also beating out all those CBC rookies, including The Border (621,000), Heartland (572,000) and Sophie (541,000). Just Four Laughs hung in with 434,000 total viewers per week.
Well back were two shows given the axe, jPod (300,000) and MVP (289,000).
MVP also skidded into the boards in the 25-54 demo, averaging just 138,000 viewers. The producers were claiming that the show should have been saved because it was drawing younger viewers to the network. Not really, and besides, half of nothing is still nothing.
Heartland, too, scored poorly in the demo count, sinking even lower than MVP with 110,000 weekly viewers 25-54. That may be because the Sunday family hour series scores better among tweens and teens.
Here is the complete 25-54 list from the first ten weeks of 2008:
1 RICK MERCER REPORT, 378,000
2 WEEK WOMEN WENT, 358,000
3 LITTLE MOSQUE, 337,000
4 RICK MERCER Friday repeat, 288,000
5 THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES, 282,000
6 AIR FARCE LIVE, 254,000
7 THE BORDER, 239,000
8 SOPHIE, 196,000
9 JUST FOR LAUGHS, 189,000
10 JPOD, 171,000
11 MVP, 138,000
12 HEARTLAND, 110,000
The Border, for those still keeping score, drew 595,000 viewers this Monday, a bit below average. That CBC special with comedian Ron James pulled 677,000 the same night. Both were up against the premiere of another season of Dancing With the Stars on CTV, which danced off with 1,898,000 viewers. Compare Canadian to Canadian, though, and CBC looks good against CTV's Degrassi, down to 314,000 viewers, and bad compared to Corner Gas, which scored 1,134,000 out of that strong Dancing lead in.
Other recent numbers: jPod drew 232,000 last Friday on a night both Air Farce and the Rick Mercer repeat both topped 700,000. Still, jPod did better than a couple of Canadian shows thrown away on the weekend by the private networks. CTV's Whistler scored 214,000 on Saturday, where Global's Painkiller Jane managed a painfully low 109,000.