Viewers give cold shoulder to hockey series
Though blessed by the hand of reality queen Julie Snyder, the much-hyped La série Montréal-Québec likely won't go down in the annals of Quebec TV as a major hit.
Though blessed by the hand of reality queen Julie Snyder, the much-hyped La série Montréal-Québec likely won’t go down in the annals of Quebec TV as a major hit.
In fact, the garage league hockey series, meant to revive the old battle between the Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques, may mark Snyder’s first major flop.
Described as ‘lame’ and ‘not great but not atrocious’ by critics, only 1.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the first game on TVA last Sunday. That’s roughly 400,000, or 24%, less than the debut episode which introduced the players.
In contrast, 2.5 million tuned in to the first episode of the Snyder-produced Star Académie talent show in 2005.
Snyder and her producers scoured the province to form hockey teams from Montreal and Quebec City, who will duke it out over the course of more than eight weeks.
Sounds like a brilliant idea, especially in a province where hockey-themed TV is so popular – Lance et Compte and Les Boys draw millions. Hockey reality also played well last fall in English Canada when Battle of the Blades proved successful for CBC.
But as Snyder is learning, Quebecers are discerning TV watchers, especially when it comes to hockey. The problem with Montréal-Québec is twofold: it doesn’t have engaging characters like Les Boys and Lance et Compte, and the hockey is average. As sports columnist and TV writer Réjean Tremblay noted, ‘it is a show for ordinary people, not for connoisseurs.’
In a rare mea culpa, TVA admits the series isn’t as good as hoped. After the first episode, programming head France Lauzière told La Presse that there were ‘readjustments’ to make.
From Playback Daily