Blue tops for Global, ABC

Latest Canuck-made cop series wins the night on both sides of the border.

Rookie Blue is off to a good start.

The Canuck police drama hit it off with viewers on both sides of the border Thursday when its debut episode scored a combined nine million viewers on Global and ABC, winning the night on both broadcasters. (All numbers 2+.)

The Toronto-set series, from E1 Entertainment and Thump, bowed at 9 p.m. with 1.8 million viewers on Global, besting the premiere ep of CTV cop drama The Bridge earlier this year (averaging just over a million viewers). It follows a major multi-platform marketing campaign by Canwest, which pulled out all the stops for what the broadcaster said was the biggest push for a Canadian series ever.

Blue, which follows five young police officers just out of the Academy, averaged 7.3 million viewers on ABC – the broadcaster’s best summer scripted opener in six years, according to E1.

‘Launching a new drama is always a challenge so we are absolutely thrilled and this success marks the latest step in our evolution as a leading independent studio,’ commented E1 Television CEO John Morayniss in a release.

In the battle for top spot among Canadian-made cop series, its premiere episode is neck and neck with Flashpoint, which has been a success for CTV and CBS. Flashpoint also grabbed nine million viewers combined on both broadcasters in the summer of 2008, though it ranked slightly higher in the US with eight million viewers, while CTV saw 1.1 million Canadians tune in.

Still, that was before BBM’s new Personal People Meters (in effect since last August), which likely helped boost Blue‘s numbers. Flashpoint will air its third season on CTV this fall, though it is unclear when it will return to CBS.

From Playback Daily