Read this article in the Toronto Star about how bad the ratings for the new CBC shows are.
Their new miniseries October 1970- yet another regurgitation of ancient Quebec history again- pulled in 110,000 viewers. A disasterous showing.
On Wednesday night, the debut of Rumours- 168,000 eyeballs. Another disaster. Man, these numbers are brutal. Shows on cable do better than this. TSN and Sportsnet regularly do better than this. NASCAR usually gets better numbers for its auto races--- IN CANADA--- than the CBC is getting for these latest shows. When a sport from the deep South of the USA beats the CBC, I gotta say that's really embarrassing.
And this follows on the heels of Levesque which lurched to similar bad ratings. And it follows The One, which had awful ratings, but ironically not quite as bad as these latest efforts. The ratings on Thursdays are hurting The National. Only 457,000 viewers tuned in to what is now the third-place newscast in the country. And it's entirely because of the lead-ins they are getting from all these flop shows, you shouldn't blame Peter Mansbridge for this mess.
Folks, if the CBC were run like these networks in the United States these latest shows would be off the air immediately. These are shows that wouldn't even draw a million viewers if they were on the air in the United States.
These American networks don't put up with bad numbers like this, they know how competitive it is. So they yank shows like Smith off the air, often outraging the viewers who started to watch these shows and were beginning to like them!
But here, they're afraid to yank shows. If the CBC yanks a show, people will complain about how the CBC ought to be "above the ratings" and ought to promote Canadian content, regardless if anyone watches it. And they'll say that the CBC ought to be there to provide an alternative to all the junk programming shown on all the other channels etcetera etcetera. All heck usually breaks loose when shows get cancelled in this country. The unions and special interest groups have a cow over it, the politicians usually get involved and question the CBC funding levels, and these show producers are all ready to complain to the CRTC and get more regulations imposed. As well, all the inevitable questions will come up about how much money it costs the CBC to develop a show that flops on TV. Heck, look at all the people who complained last year when The One bombed. They were all going "how much did it cost the Canadian taxpayers for the CBC to put this flop on the air?!" Well, the answer is: about the same as it costs the taxpayers to keep all these other flops on the air. That's why you cancel a show- so you can put on the air a show that will be a hit and which will make you money.
But the CBC can't seem to find a show these days that will even do that. You cancel one flop show, and what do you do? You put on the air another flop! It's hard to make the CBC a successful TV network when just about every show on the network is getting beat in the ratings.
Maybe the CBC should simply run hockey games every night. Wait, they already do that--- during the playoffs. The NHL playoffs can't come fast enough for the CBC, they need to rely on the hockey fans to bail them out.