Analysis: Fall’s few new show winners – and many losers

Despite a strike-reduced pilot roster, few new fall programs broke into the top 10 this season.


New programs have rarely broken into the top 10 this fall. Those spots have been held by the usual suspects: Grey’s Anatomy, House, Desperate Housewives, Survivor, CSI, ER, Criminal Minds, CSI Miami, Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Heroes and, among men, HNIC. Only 90210 legitimately broke into the top 10 (#7 with F18-34).

As a whole, this season’s new programs have not performed spectacularly. The best performer to date was the hour-and-a-half-long premiere of Fringe on CTV, ranking third with an audience of 479,500 among M25-54. But the regular hour-long airings on A-Channel have not performed as well, ranking only as high as #29 among M25-54 (239,500 AMA). The network used the same strategy with The Mentalist, airing the program on the main CTV network, where it ranked as high as #38 among F25-54 (333,200 AMA), and then moving it to A-Channel, where the program’s rank dropped to #111 (149,100).

So You Think You Can Dance Canada has done well with women, finishing in the top 20 with female viewers. The homegrown cop thriller Flashpoint also performed acceptably for CTV, ranking as high as #23 (A18+) (1,157,500 AMA). Other new programs on CTV didn’t place so high: Eleventh Hour made it to #80 (F25-54) (194,500 AMA), and Star Wars: Clone Wars made it to #71 (M18-49) (152,300 AMA).

On Global, the remade 90210 performed well, ranking 7th among F18-34 (298,600), 17th among A18-49 (689,900) and F25-54 (451,100), and 11th with F18-49 (490,400). The US remake of the British program Life on Mars was most popular among F25-54, ranking at #57 (240,500 AMA). Just over 212,000 F25-54 tuned in to watch Bella Bloom search for her intended on The Ex-List, bringing the program to #67 in that demo. Chistian Slater’s popularity towed My Own Worst Enemy to #44 for M18-49 (199,500 AMA) and #49 with M25-54 (209,100).

For E!, the most robust audiences for new programs were for M18-49 and M25-54 tuning into yet another remake: Knight Rider. The adventures of the talking super-car ranked #19 with M25-54 (291,800 AMA) and #21 with the younger male demographic (302,500 AMA). Worst Week struggled to break the top 100 among any demo, ranking at #101 among F25-54 (156,800 AMA). Yet another remake, Kath & Kim, managed to rank at #84 for F18-49, with an average minute audience of 72,600. And 22,400 F25-54 tuned into Instant Beauty Pageant, giving it a rank of #427.

Among CityTV’s new programs Privileged came in at #76 (F18-34), with an audience of 81,800. Opportunity Knocks ranked #250 among F18-34 (21,400 AMA). Valentine ranked at #266 with F25-54 (AMA 50,700), and Canadian sitcom Less Than Kind did best among M18-34 at #349 (9,400 AMA).

Miriam Bernath is the research manager for PHD Canada, the Toronto office of the PHD network, within OMG.

To find out where each new show ranked, go here.