Sunday, October 11, 2009

Turkey and Grapes: A CBC Thanksgiving

The one thing Bob Probert's kids told him about his taking part in Battle of the Blades was this: do not get kicked off first. As they said to him, "We've got to go to school the next day."
Well, turns out, Bob (and ice dance partner Kristina Lenko) did indeed get the initial boot. But, really, are you gonna pick a fight with Bob Probert's kids??
The second Sunday of the CBC skate-a-dillio finds seven couples remaining in the hunt for Lord Stanley's tutu. The big draw tonight is guest judge Don Cherry, which I think CBC might have mentioned once or twice in a few promos this week. Okay, a few million.
Grapes will be a hoot sitting next to Sandra Bezic and Dick Button. The musical theme for tonight's performance show, which starts at 8/7c, is Frank Sinatra-style Rat Pack tunes, and Cherry and "My Way" sounds about right. Look for Grapes to say things like, "kids, do not try this at home." He will likely also point out that there aren't any good Canadian boys from Kingston anywhere near any of this.
The big question is: will Canadians be too tucked into their Thanksgiving dinners to be in front of the set for this second round? On the other hand, under the new Portable People Meters, CBC could pick up a huge audience from family members chatting this thing up over turkey and then going from the dinner table to Plasma screens en masse.
The ratings bar was set pretty high last week at nearly two million viewers (and likely over two mil once the 10-day total is in). CBC really needs this to click after an up and down fall launch which saw Dragon's Den, Mercer and Blades roar out of the gate but shows like Little Mosque, Being Erica and The Border stumble. Then there is the concern over The National, which seems to be the big loser so far across all networks in PPM impact. As Peter Mansbridge said to me last week in jest (I think), "Maybe I should start doing the news with skates on." Or at least be a guest judge on Battle with the Blades.
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