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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What We're Watching.

Alex Strachan of Postmedia has written an article on the state of the current TV season.  This includes what Canadians are watching, and the current winners are all veterans.  For example The Big Bang Theory is pulling 3.5 million viewers an episode.  Strachan notes those are Stanley Cup finals viewing numbers, and given that Canada has a market roughly one tenth of the US would be like a show on a US network getting 35 million viewers an episode.  Any US network or show runner would kill for numbers like that.  And The Amazing Race is more popular in Canada than the US, drawing the equivalent of 20 million viewers per episode, while in the US it draws 10 million or less per episode.  (Presumably that's why CTV aired The Amazing Race Canada over the Summer, and it will be back for a second season.)

I doubt anyone will be surprised that NHL hockey is a major ratings winner in Canada.  But some Americans will be surprised that Arrow is a top 25 show in Canada.  That's because Arrow is on CTV, one of the main broadcast networks in Canada, versus its originating US network The CW, which doesn't reach all US viewers. 

Of new shows Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Blacklist made the top 30 in Canada.  I haven't watched Agents, despite being a comic book fan as a kid.  I watched the first couple of episodes of The Blacklist, and should go watch a couple more online.  But frankly my initial impression is that it's trying to be too clever for its own good, and some of the dialogue was clich√© and predictable.  At least James Spader seems to be having fun.

One thing that has changed for Saskatchewan viewers this year was the provincial educational TV network becoming an outlet of Toronto based City.  As a result some shows acquired by City now have a chance at higher Canadian ratings.  Interestingly one of City's 2013 acquisitions, Super Fun Night, has surprised me by being granted a full season.  I haven't seen it, but the promo ad City aired pre-season looked awful.

I personally don't watch much scripted TV anymore.  At the moment the only scripted show  I'm sure I'll watch is Total Drama All Stars, which Teletoon has stupidly not aired yet, even though Cartoon Network has been.  As a result it's been partly spoiled for me, as no doubt it has been for other Canadian viewers.

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