Mid-season round-up: Part 4 – Quebec

Quebec television has seen a lot of changes this year, so our final instalment of the mid-season roundup gives you the lowdown on what's hot right now in La Belle Province.

Quebec television has seen a lot of changes this year, so our final instalment of the mid-season roundup gives you the lowdown on what’s hot right now in La Belle Province.

Diane Patenaude, account director at Carat Sponsorship in Montreal, sees TVA, TQS, and SRC as the three networks setting the trends in francophone television. Up until recently, Monday nights were owned by Radio-Canada’s primetime programming block, but these days, Patenaude says TVA has been making a strong push to make a significant dent in the night thanks in no small part to the big success of popular police drama, Le Négociateur. In recent weeks, some episodes of Le Négociateur have drawn close to two million viewers in its 9:30 p.m. Monday time-slot which has pushed up the numbers for its lead-ins.

Of the new shows being rolled out this month, TQS looks to have two strong performers. Patenaude touts SOS Beauté, a new makeover show set to premiere Jan. 30, as a likely strong performer in the female demographic, and she also expects Casting (premiering Monday, Jan. 31), a hyperreal fiction about university students developing a new show, to make its mark with the young adult demographic.

TQS has seen good results from its Wednesday night lineup as well, which features C’est Mon Show and popular Hollywood movies leading the network to an average share of 11.5.

Not to be outdone, Radio-Canada has been shaking things up across the board. Patenaude gives credit to the network’s big shift on Sundays, adding Guy LePage’s new talk show, Tout Le Monde En Parle, on a night that is generally reserved as movie night for most stations across the province.

According to BBM, in the first week of January, Tout Le Monde En Parle pulled in the week’s second biggest ratings at just over 1.72 million viewers.

The station’s Wednesday night schedule, which has been challenged by TVA recently, according to Patenaude, has held its ground thanks to shows like Minuit Le Soir, a situation dramedy about Montreal nightlife that airs at 9:30 p.m. Patenaude went so far as to describe Radio-Canada’s Les Bougon, a comedy about a family who never wants to work and never wants to conform, as the ‘it’ for Canadian francophone comedies. Quebecers seem to agree. Early this month, Les Bougon was the top-rated show in the province, which solidified the network’s position in the market with seven of the top 10 shows in January appearing on Radio-Canada.

‘In general,’ says Patenaude, ‘it’s been a really good year here with nice surprises and a good mix of different kinds of shows.’ With television viewership holding strong even without NHL hockey, it seems like the rest of Quebec agrees with her.