Listener losing ground on NBC

But on CTV, the rookie drama is down only 2% from its bow a week prior that drew 1 million viewers.

The Listener has so far held strong on CTV in its first two outings, but has stumbled against heavy sports competition on NBC stateside.

The Shaftesbury Films drama about a telepathic paramedic drew 983,000 viewers on CTV last Thursday night at 10 pm, down only 2% from its bow a week prior that drew 1 million viewers, according to BBM Nielsen. Besides winning its timeslot on CTV last Thursday, the rookie drama also saw its numbers in the 18 to 34 demographic climb 17.5% to 201,000 viewers, with females 18 to 34 rising 22%.

It’s a different story on NBC, where the first two outings for The Listener ran up against two popular NBA championship games on rival ABC.

On June 11, The Listener bled nearly a million viewers in its 10 pm simulcast slot compared to its week-earlier premiere, as it got little help from its lead-in, a 30 Rock repeat. That night, The Listener drew 4.4 million viewers on NBC, well behind ABC which won the night with game four of the NBA finals and 12.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

That night, The Listener also under-performed against a repeat of The Mentalist on CBS, which drew 9 million viewers in the 10 pm slot.

A week earlier on June 4, The Listener bowed with 5.2 million viewers at 9 pm up against game one of the NBA Finals on ABC, followed by 5.3 million viewers at 10 pm. By comparison, last year’s July 10 bow for Flashpoint on CBS drew 8.13 million viewers, also to a 10 pm slot.

On June 4, The Listener managed to arrest some demo slippage in the first half hour as viewers stuck with the Canadian drama through the two-hour kickoff.

The test for The Listener is to see how it does on Thursday nights going forward after Kobe Bryant and the Lakers clinched the NBA crown this past weekend.

Data from NBC indicates that, week-over-week, The Listener fell by only 0.1 ratings points in the key A18-49 and A25-54 demos, which portends a possible ratings rebound in the absence of pro sports competition.

The continuing support from NBC for The Listener is due in part because the U.S. network hedged its bets by paying Shaftesbury Films around half of the license fee it pays for a homegrown scripted drama.

From Playback Daily