|Yannick Bisson has reason to smile|
The first week of January is a big one for CBC as the public broadcaster tries to take advantage of a more-or-less down week in network television to sneak on its 2013 series premieres. The network headed into the beginning of the year behind the 8 Ball with Hockey Night in Canada off its schedule due to the prolonged lockout, although the good news is the CBC's most-watched broadcast returns Jan. 19. Add in budget cuts, the loss of popular supper hour driver Jeopardy! and other slings and arrows and its a wonder CBC managed to keep the lights on at all last fall.
Sunday, Jan. 6, saw the return of Republic of Doyle for a fourth season. CBC moved it and Dragon's Den to a new night, in part to get it away from stiffening Wednesday night competition. Sunday brings its own perils, however, including football overruns, PBS's Downton Abbey and returning cable gems like Girls and Enlightened.
There's an old saying in television: move a show, lose 20% of the audience--at least at first. That's exactly what happened to Doyle, at least in the overnights, as the Season Four premiere clocked in at 802,000. The St. John's-based cop drama topped a million every week in 2012.
The lead-in was there. Dragon's pulled 1,589,000 Sunday in the overnight estimates. Heartland at 7 p.m. did 992,000. Before that, Finding Nemo on the Disney Sunday Movie landed 944,000 viewers.
There was no Amazing Race to contend with on CTV (it returns Feb. 17). At 9, CTV threw canceled import Mob Doctor against Doyle, drawing just 614,000. Competition on Global (Family Guy, 680,000) and City (Revenge, 449,000) is not so fierce. There's no doubt, however, that Doyle misses the HNiC promotional push more than any other CBC series and should grow its audience as the season progresses.
This Sundayt, the CBC lineup runs straight up against the Golden Globes; more Sunday headaches ahead include the Super Bowl (Feb. 3), the Grammys (Feb. 10) and the Oscars (Feb. 24).
Monday brought great news for CBC with the first CBC-only, brand new Season Six episode of Murdoch Mysteries drawing an overnight 1,184,000. That's a record for the series and a win in the 9 p.m. timeslot nationally. Murdoch's 2+ overnight numbers beat the finale of Mob Doctor on CTV (966,000) and a rerun of Hawaii Five-0 on Global (690,000), plus City's 2 Broke Girls (679,000) plus the City premiere of Mike & Molly at 9:30 (686,000).
The 18-49 demo is a different story, however. Murdoch's season premiere actually comes second last against the above competition on that valued ad industry score, beating only the Five-0 repeat. This Monday's surf drama is a new episode with a gimmicky "pick-the-ending" twist.
Still, CBC will take the 1.2 million total viewers.
CBC's returning Monday comedies did not come back as strong. Mr. d, starring Gerry Dee, did 609,000 in the overnight estimates, with relocated Ron James pulling 468,000.
The competition at the 8 p.m. hour was Charlie Sheen's Anger Management on CTV (927,000), a few repeats on other channels plus the BCS Bowl Championship on TSN (519,000).
The premiere of Deception did 897,000 Mon. at 10 on Global.
Tuesday the Rick Mercer Report did 947,000 in the overnights followed by a strong 808,000 for 22 Minutes. At 9, the new cop drama Cracked cracked the half-million mark, pulling an estimated 564,000. CBC reran it again Saturday.
The killer competition was over on Global, where new episodes of NCIS (2,291,000) and NCIS: Los Angeles (2,162,000) cleaned up from 8 - 10 p.m. Vegas did 1,303,000 at 10 on Global.
Nothing on CTV cracked a million in prime on CTV, including the season premiere of Betty White's Off Their Rockers (882,000). City's top show was New Girl (495,000).
Wednesday Arctic Air returned for a second season to 842,000, not bad considering its lead-in was a repeat of Dragon's Den (652,000).
Wednesdays are competitive. Global's Canadian drama Bomb Girls returned with 858,000 overnight viewers, followed by the night's big winner, the People's Choice Awards (1,742,000). CTV's big shows were Arrow (898,000), Criminal Minds (1,043,000) and CSI (1,378,000). City drew 934,000 for an episode of Modern Family with Cougar Town's season premiere, no longer an ABC simulcast, getting 374,000 on City.
On Thursday, CBC's long-running unscripted tandem Nature of Things (410,000) and Doc Zone (578,000) did pretty well considering they were up against a new episode of the highest-rated series on Canadian television, The Big Bang Theory (4,119,000). Two and a Half Men added another 2,768,000, which Grey's Anatomy did 2,261,000. Elementary won the 10 p.m. hour for Global with 1,507,000 estimated viewers, although Person of Interest isn't far behind on City (1,104,000).