Fight brewing on Wednesday nights

Global has an early lead on the strength of Glee, but will CTV and Criminal Minds have the last laugh?

Blessed with high numbers upon its debut, Global’s new arrival Glee has momentum and one more night to secure its position with Wednesday audiences before facing more serious competition from CTV.

The musical comedy, one of two high-profile pickups that debuted to strong numbers last week, played to 1.7 million viewers in Canada in the 9 p.m. slot, boosted by a hefty marketing campaign and positive reviews on both sides of the border. The simulcast also garnered nearly one million viewers in the 18-to-49 demographic, while about four million tuned in at some point during the broadcast, according to BBM Nielsen. (All numbers 2+ unless otherwise indicated.)

In the US, Glee grabbed 7.5 million, making it Fox’s top fall scripted series premiere in three years, according to Variety.

The show faces strong competition next week, however, when CTV’s reliable Criminal Minds returns – though counter-programming may work in its favour. Glee faces a rerun of the crime drama this week.

The news wasn’t as good for Global’s other new pickup Melrose Place, which despite the strong Wednesday lead-in managed only 641,000 viewers at 10 p.m. The soapy remake aired out of simulcast, and premiered one day prior on The CW, where it netted 2.3 million viewers.

Over on CTV, the net’s only new addition to its prime-time lineup delivered as The Vampire Diaries scored nearly 1.5 million viewers on Thursday at 8 p.m. CTV says the premiere grew by 13% in its second half, while about 3.5 million viewers tuned in to some part of the broadcast.

The series, starring Canuck Nina Dobrev, debuted to 4.8 million US viewers and became The CW’s most-watched series premiere ever.

Coming up, Global will bow reliable hits including Survivor and The Office on Thursday, followed by House, NCIS and its spinoff NCIS: LA next week – up against CTV staples Dancing with the Stars, the CSIs and Grey’s Anatomy.

From Playback Daily